|“||It's an honor to have my manga published in a girls magazine for the first time. So I wanted to give it an unusual but happy ending.||”|
Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan - Episode 9: D.N.A (岸辺露伴は動かない エピソード#9 D・N・A Kishibe Rohan wa Ugokanai Episōdo 9 D・N・A) is a "one-shot" manga written and illustrated by Hirohiko Araki as part of the series Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan; starring Rohan Kishibe of Diamond Is Unbreakable.
A young man stratches his head with his little finger and sticks his tongue out in embarrassment. Her female companion notices its and comment on it. The man then takes out a can of drink, opens it and proposes it to his companion. As he expires, the man tries to reassure the woman, and regrets that the two of them didn't marry sooner because of his impending bar exam. It is revealed that the car they are in is flipped and both have had a grave car accident.
Several years later, Rohan Kishibe sit in a café along with Yukako Yamagishi and the same woman introduced earlier. Rohan tells Yukako, whose name he doesn't recall to her frustration, to get to her point as he is following a baseball game.
The unnamed woman then introduced herself as Mai Katahira. She explains that the girl in the white dress playing in the playground behind Rohan is her daughter Mao. Mai explains that just as she became newly-wed, her husband passed away and Mai couldn't fall in love with anyone else. However, she went to a sperm bank to become pregnant with a child. After a brief banter with Yukako, Rohan gets to the point of the conversation: Mao.
Mai then details all the bizarre behaviour and physical characteristics of her daughter. Mao only speaks in reverse, doesn't make noise when she walks, and somehow wets everything she walks into. Mao's appearance behind Rohan allows Mai to describe her child further: the young girl has no eyebrows nor eyelashes above her eyes, yet has long eyelashes below and has sideburns; finally she has grown a tail which when touched, makes Mao camouflage herself into her surroundings. Mai demonstrates Mao's power, to Rohan's astonishment.
The mangaka uses Heaven's Door on Mao to investigate her, but finds that Mao is naturally like this and there's nothing inherently wrong with her. Although Yukako pleads Rohan to cure her, he retorts that there's nothing to cure, and he cannot even modify Mao's body. Rohan takes his leave, telling Mai to assume her choices. Disgusted with him, Yukako doesn't despair as she's glimpsed information on the father when Mao was transformed into a book, and reveals to Mai that the donor lived in Yamagata and was 30 years old when he donated his sperm, and also had a scar on his forehead.
Despite the clues, Mai is still full of questions. She wonders if the name Yamagata indicates the prefecture or the city, how old the donor is now, what kind of life he has and if she could even find him. In a train station, as she is thinking about the donor, Mai spots a man with features very similar to that of Mao's. She sees from an arrival panel that he comes from a line cutting through Yagamata, but when she turns her head, the man is gone. That man does reappear near immediately behind her, buying a can at a vending machine, allowing Mai to spot the scar on his forehead. Shocked at the possibilities, Mai still observes the man, who displays more and more similarities with Mao; determined to confirm her suspicions, Mai trails him across the town until both arrive in a park where she sees Mao playing around.
Mai realizes that the man is approaching Mao and is seemingly abducting her. Panicking, Mai runs toward the man and her daughter to save her, and as the man embarks on a taxi, Mai catches up. However, "Mao" falls apart, revealing a young boy. Mai understands that her daughter has put her camouflaged skin on the boy to play a prank and apologizes for disturbing her. The man guesses that the scar may have scared Mai, and explains that he fell off a cliff once 15 years ago. In embarrassment, the man scratches his forehead and sticks his tongue out. This shocks Mai, and when the man reassures her the same way her late husband did, she asks if they have met before. He denies the possibility and presents himself as Obazanawa, a divorced man who occasionally visits his son. Approaching Mao, he offers her the can, and both get along well together, Mai even speaking normally with him. Obazanawa then reveals that he is working at a law firm.
In tears, Mai thanks Obazanawa for the drink, causing him to wonder if they did meet before. The two immediately become close and decide to sit together with their children on a bench.
Later, Yukako crosses path with Rohan, and reveals to him that Mai has married with Obazanawa three months after their meeting, which Yukako guesses was a ploy by Mao. She smirks at Rohan's surprise and leaves satisfied.
- This one-shot is the first in the series to be published in a shōjo-based magazine (shōjo being a genre aimed at young women).
|Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan|
|Under Execution Under Jailbreak|
|Earlier works by Araki|
|Other short stories|