Back when a live-action drama based on Hirohiko Araki’s JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure spinoff series Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan was first announced, we were pretty excited: out of all the JoJo-related media, this one seemed like the perfect choice for live-action. Fast forward two months, and we’ve received our first trailer for the project: ahead of its imminent premiere at the end of December on NHK, it’s looking pretty good.
The first thing that you’ll notice about this trailer for the Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan drama is that it is narrated by Rohan’s voice actor from the David Productions anime, Takahiro Sakurai. This appears to be for promotional purposes only, and Sakurai won’t appear in the actual series. That’s a good thing, as he wouldn’t want to take away from Issei Takahashi’s own performance of the character.
— ＮＨＫドラマ (@nhk_dramas) December 7, 2020
I’ll be the first to admit that I know next to nothing about the world of Japanese live-action series, nor have I ever seen Issei Takahashi in anything else. But what I can say, as a fan of the series, is that he’s doing phenomenal work in this trailer for the Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan drama. Not only is his costume great, he also manages to capture Rohan’s self assuredness in his speech and body language.
Some other cast members were confirmed in this trailer, but, again, I don’t really know who any of them are. What I can say, however, is that the Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan drama appears to be capturing the tense and mysterious atmospheres of the original stories very well: I particularly like the disjointed soundtrack from Naruyoshi Kikuchi, who also composed the excellent soundtrack for Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt.
Finally, anyone who has seen the live-action Diamond is Unbreakable film will know that while the Stands were made using the latest SFX technology, something about them just looked a bit off. That’s not the case with Heaven’s Door, Rohan’s Stand ability: the pages that appear in this trailer look very real, and there’s good sound design when Rohan flicks through them.
All in all, this trailer makes it clear that the Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan live-action drama is shaping up well. It’s almost a shame, then, that it’ll remain almost certainly limited to Japan after it airs on NHK General on 28, 29, and 30 December. Perhaps Netflix might consider picking it up?