Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan - Episode 16: At a Confessional (岸辺露伴は動かない 〜エピソード16:懺悔室〜 Kishibe Rohan wa Ugokanai 〜 Episōdo 16: Zange-shitsu 〜) is a One-Shot manga written and illustrated by Hirohiko Araki; originally featured in Weekly Shonen Jump in 1997, and later collected in Under Execution Under Jailbreak.
Rohan Kishibe presents himself and narrates a gruesome story he heard in Italy.
After an incident forcing him to pause his series Pink Dark Boy for the summer, Rohan decides to take a vacation in Italy. As he was visiting Venice, Rohan decided to research the churches, especially for their architecture and spiritual background. He walked into a confession booth to research the interior, but mistakenly into the side reserved for the priest. Shortly after, a man entered the other side of the booth and confessed his sin to Rohan, believing him to be the priest. Interested in getting information out of the man, Rohan heard out his confession.
The man confessed that he had committed a grave and mortal sin and started by accounting for his life as a common worker, carrying bags of corn and working many hours for menial wages. One day, an Asiatic beggar came to him begging for food, claiming he had not eaten anything for five days. The man, feeling disgusted that the beggar did no work to get his food, forced him to carry the bags of corn to the storage. Eventually the beggar fell and was crushed by the bag. As the man scolded the beggar, the latter mysteriously appeared underneath the table and swore revenge against him, claiming he would come back as the man's happiest moment. Soon after, witnesses confirmed that the beggar died under the bag.
Things soon looked up for the man,as money arrived from distant relatives, his idea to process corn into corn flakes and popcorn became a big hit, he married to a top-class model and had a daughter with her. By this point, the man has already become the master of a large mansion with several servants and a luxurious car. One day, as the man walked with his daughter cheerfully opening a bag of popcorn and throwing one in the air to catch it in her mouth, and a butler, he couldn't help but think that it was the happiest moment of his life.
Suddenly, the spirit of the beggar possessed the little girl and revealed that he has assisted the man's prosperity from behind the scenes so that he could fulfill his vow of taking the man's life at his happiest moment.The beggar knocked out the butler and explained that he wanted Fate to judge the man fairly, as he wanted a just retribution and not simple revenge. The ghost thus challenged the man to throw a piece of popcorn in the air higher than a nearby lamppost and catch it in his mouth, each time at the clap of his hands, three times in a row. If the man succeeded, the beggar would acknowledge that his death was due to destiny and leave the man forever, but if the man failed, the beggar would cut off his head.
The man threw his first piece of popcorn in the air,. However, the sun's rays blinded him and he only succeeded out of pure luck. Unfortunately for him, the beggar remained adamant about trying him here and then. At the second throw, the clouds covered the sun and the wind did not blow, but a couple of pigeons, attracted at the sight of the first pop corn, tried to grab the second pop corn in midair. The man scattered most of the other pieces of popcorn to distract the birds and successfully catched the snack. To deter the whole flock of pigeons at the last try, the man lit the pop corn on fire as he threw it. However, sunlight shone out from behind the clouds, preventing the man from seeing the popcorn. Thus it landed on his shirt and without a second to spare, the beggar cuts off the man's head.
At this moment in the confession booth, the man clarified why he was still alive, he revealed that his wealth enabled him to hire a valet who would do anything he was told to. Thus the man was called out by the specters of the beggar and his valet, who revealed that he had surgery to look like him. Thereby he fooled the beggar into taking revenge on the servant instead. Rohan witnessed the spirits of both the beggar and the beheaded servant follow the man as he quietly left. Both vowed to watch him around the clock to make sure that he did not trick them again. Rohan watches on with curiosity, deciding to interview him later if given the chance. He also expresses some respect for the man who tries to hang on to life.
- When the editors commissioned a short story from Araki, one instruction was that the story wouldn't be linked with any existing work or character. However after making a first draft without Rohan, Araki changed his mind and included the character anyway, claiming that Rohan being the narrator made the story better. This decision pushed him into writing other spin-off with Rohan.
|Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan|