Rohan Kishibe accompanies Kyouka Izumi, a manga magazine editor, to a buy house at a village far off from civilization. They soon discover the village is home to a group of millionaires who had all mysteriously become rich at the age of 25. Rohan and Izumi enter one of the houses, only to realize they they are trapped by a mysterious power that won't let them progress unless they follow specific rules lest they suffer the consequences.
David Productions decided to give JoJo fans an Rohan OVA instead of any informations about the animated version of Vento Aureo, at first I was optimistic... until I saw the teasers and screenshots (Okuyasu what have they done to you). My pessimism was growing more and more until I actually watched it, and I was pleasantly suprised
I'll start with the best thing about the episode which is suprisingly the animation and music. Everything looks great, the animation itself is smooth and the overall style fits the tone of the story, especially the moments with the darker colour pattern look very nice. The Music... well it's
David Productions so there's not much to talk about, it's really good, especially the opening and the ending
After getting that out of the way let's talk about the story which is told using only three characters (not counting the final scene which is more like a cameo of the main cast of DiU). There's also not much to talk about here, the setup is pretty good, there is no deeper message in here, it's simple but also pretty interesting, if you're looking for action you won't find it here, the story focuses more on the mystery surrounding the "Millionaire Villiage". The previously mentioned characters are also nothing special (well maybe except Rohan, I think that guy's great but that's only my personal opinion).
Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan is nothing special, but it's a short really enjoyable episode, I recommed you'll give it a watch
(Edited) This is my first review, so it might not be the best review that can be done but I will try to write something that hopefully makes sense.
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure is a series that needs no further introductions, it's considered to be a staple manga series that withstood the test of time with currently 7 parts and the eighth part currently ongoing. It had been a cult classic for such a long time before it finally got adapted properly by David Productions in 2012 for the first time and had seen become very well known within the anime community.
Hirohiko Araki, in my humble
opinion, is one of the most creative mangakas to ever set foot in the industry. He can create a story in which the readers can immerse themselves inside a wacky world filled with stands, ancient beings, vampires, mafia, horse races, serial killers, etc. There is something about the way that he effortlessly writes Jojo's bizarre adventure that just appeals to me. And Hirohiko Araki has a talent of creating loveable, iconic characters that have lasted with a lot of Jojo fans, including myself.
I finally got around to watching the Rohan Kishibe OVA and I have to say I'm somewhat disappointed for a variety of reasons: First of all, they adapted a rather lackluster one shot compared to the other one shots that Hirohiko Araki wrote, which were much better in my opinion. For example: Dead Man's Questions. Dead Man's Questions would have been far more interesting than Millionaire Village, forgive me if I sound bitter.
I will try to avoid as much spoilers as possible so here goes:
Kishibe Rohan and his editor, Izumi Kyouka, head to a place called Millionaire Village that exists 80 kilometers away from Morioh so that Kyouka could by a house while Rohan tries to find inspiration for his next manga. The story takes a weird turn with the appearance of Ikkyu and the conflict is centered around "manners" and if these manners were broken, severe consequences would soon follow.
The entire OVA, including the ending, felt a bit lackluster in all honesty. While the premise is very simple to understand it can become somewhat boring when you're watching it in motion, it doesn't do enough to capture your attention story-wise.
The execution was mediocre at most.
The art reminds me of Part 8's, Jojolion's, art style. And while I do enjoy the new art style it's just something about it doesn't feel right, it fits much more as a manga. I understand that it's hard to adapt to this style of Araki's art, but it just doesn't translate too well on screen and it looks very weird. However, it's still good enough to be watched and it still has that distinct Jojo's Bizarre Adventure feel.
I'm not going to touch on this much, it's just recycled soundtrack from Part 4's anime, and the sound effects remain more or less the same and the voice acting is good enough, except for Rohan’s voice which is superb as usual.
Kishibe Rohan is easily one of my favorite characters from Part 4 alongside Yoshikage Kira so when I heard he was getting an OVA I was ecstatic. However, while Rohan was his usual self in this OVA, everybody else including the new character Ikkyu, Koichi, Okuyasu and Josuke's back (LOL) felt stagnant so I will refrain from mentioning them since they contributed nothing to this OVA except for Izumi Kyouka.
While Hirohiko Araki seems to like this character so much to include her in the author's note, I can't help but disagree with him. She's just boring and her presence became somewhat annoying. If this was a main series entry she would probably be considered a minor character (and in a way, she is.) However, in this OVA she shares the spotlight with Kishibe Rohan and she was, in a way, a detriment and a plot device to introduce the setting more than anything.
I thought that the OVA was average. It wasn't bad by any means, but it wasn't great either. Some enjoyment can still be derived from this OVA,
It's not really special and adds almost nothing to the overall series. I can safely say that this was a very lukewarm OVA.
Presentation/Animation 9/10: I'm very surprised how great this OVA looks. Adapting an art style like the manga's is a task I thought impossible, but David Pro actually did it. Each character, especially Ikkyu, looks fantastic and faithful at the same time. As "usual" now, the color pallet is an absolute joy to look at; and there are many points of creatively directed background animations. That's not all it has to offer, it even re-uses music from the DiU anime. It's technically lazy but the implementation is so great I have a hard time disliking it. The general tone of this was spookier than reading it
which was an alright change. Having Koichi and Okuyasu show up at then end was a neat closer, though notice how Josuke's back is in one of the shots yet his face is never shown, probably because it would've looked horrendous. The only downside is the pirated version on Youtube has chinese subtitles, and superimposing the (hopefully accurate) fan-translated subs on top of it looks pretty bad. That's obviously not the fault of the OVA though.
Story/Character 6/10: Rohan is basically the same as his DiU counterpart. The new addition of his manga assistant was pretty good. None of the characters every annoyed me, which is surprisingly rare. The concept itself of having gods controlling the village of which mansions of rich people reside was pretty hilarious to watch; and the testing of manners was also done pretty well. Insecurities of correct manners showed in both of the main cast. Compared to the batshit insanity of certain parts, this is actually one of the calmer yet paradoxically weirder stories in jojo as a whole.
The plot seemed too simple but at the same time confusing (Much like your average JoJo episode), and had the mood and bizarreness to it that part 4 had and had me wanting to know more, making things feel like a mystery. 'Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan' has basically zero context to it and tries to distance itself from the original universe and normally each chapter in the manga is unchronological and isn't linked to the next one. So watching this OVA starting at 'Episode 5: Millionaire Village' felt really weird it had zero context felt as if they just threw things at you expecting for
you to understand what's going on. I understand that 'Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan' is a series of one-shots but it still felt really confusing.
Personally, I'm not too much of a fan of the animation. It's a real pain to look at and looks horrible in motion, but I'll give it credit for looking very similar to its source material. On another note, I found the voice acting to be average/to what I expect from Takahiro Sakurai as Rohan; but I couldn't take the crying noises from Kyoka Izumi, seriously it sounded like the kind of crying you'd hear from a shitty school production. I really wanted to like this OVA, but in all honesty, it made me angry and upset that part 5 was delayed for this (My favorite part). I had a hard time understanding the plot. I mean this OVA is set many years after the evens of part 4 right? Why were Koichi and Okuyasu still wearing their school uniform?
The opening was nice and had some Harry Potter vibes to it. It sounded mysterious and creepy which really helped set the tone of this OVA until I saw the rest of the animation. Anyways, I really do appreciate the effort and time that David Productions put into making this. It felt new, yet it had a familiar part 4 style to it reminding us that it was still JoJo. This got me excited for part 5 and the future for JoJo OVA animated spin-offs, I hope David Productions doesn't just adapt JoJo one-shots but also adapt the light novels too, which in my opinion would help viewers transition a lot more easily from JoJo one part to another a lot without having the part that they were on feel incomplete. I hope in the future we get to see a 'Purple Haze Feedback' OVA animated adaption and a 'Dead Man's Questions' OVA to help make parts 4 and 5 feel more complete.
I give 'Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan - Episode 5: Millionaire Village' a 5/10. I recommend only watching this if you want to satisfy that hunger for more JoJo content and if you're a fan of Rohan of course.