The one shame is that Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan is only four chapters, meaning audiences only get a taste for this character.
This review of Netflix anime series Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan season 1 contains no spoilers.
This four-part anime series does not follow an episodic format; it’s presented as four stories following main protagonist Kishibe Rohan — a manga creator who finds himself amongst paranormal events while conducting his research. Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan season 1 is a fantasy-orientated version of an author trying to gain experiences in order to draft their craft; it’s fascinating in many ways — how the lead character absorbs these experiences; the Netflix series angles them from a non-personal aspect. Kishibe Rohan is merely attempting to create his next piece of work.
The first chapter sees the lead in Venice, and while attempting to give his confession in church, he realizes he’s on the wrong side of the box — he’s the priest. The anime series tests the moral compass of Kishibe Rohan, who decides to act like the priest and hearing an alarming and dangerous story of a wealthy man that has been crippled by a curse.
The other stories follow in the same vein; they are a collection of coincidences where a seemingly normal event turns sinister. The series is audacious by design, giving a Black Mirror effect, where the viewer is uncertain how each chapter will conclude. In a couple of chapters, Kishibe Rohan reveals he can control the outcome of a story using “Heaven’s Door”, which further amplifies his purpose in the story.
The one shame is that Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan is only four chapters, meaning audiences only get a taste for this character in under two hours. The concept feels like it could easily follow a linear path, stretching an 8-part series, giving time for the story to flesh itself out properly. This is, unfortunately, not enough to appease our brains — we need more.