“Rohan at the Louvre is Rohan’s darkest and most personal adventure, walking a thin line between supernatural and horror. The slow pace and the anxious atmosphere help building up to the unexpected revelations. This is an exciting follow-up to the series. Once again, Issey Takahashi reminds us that he is perfect as the title character.”
Rohan at the Louvre (Rohan au Louvre 岸辺露伴 ルーヴルへ行く (Kishibe rohan rūvuru e iku) in Japanese) is based on the book of the same name by Hirohiko Araki. It’s a spin-off of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures focused on Rohan Kishibe. Rohan also has his own manga series called Thus Spoke Rohan Kishibe. NHK made a live-action series Thus Spoke Rohan Kishibe composed of 8 episodes. Outside of Japan, the series is divided into 3 seasons. Depending on where you live, these episodes can be available on Prime Video. Rohan at the Louvre is the latest chapter of this live-action adaptation. It was first released in Japanese cinemas on May 26. The film is now available worldwide on Prime Video.
You can watch Rohan at the Louvre without having seen the series Thus Spoke Rohan Kishibe. That being said, your viewing experience will only be better if you have seen it. Rohan Kishibe is an eccentric and famous mangaka. He has a power called ‘Heaven’s Door’ that transforms others into books which allows him to read them for inspiration. Rohan often finds himself linked to supernatural/paranormal events while he is conducting researches for his next manga story arc.
In this film, Rohan (Issey Takahashi) is making researches on art for his next manga story arc. This brings back memories from his past when he met a mysterious woman called Nanase (Fumino Kimura). She told him about a painting using the darkest black in the world. He embarks on a journey with his editor Kyoka Izumi (Marie Iitoyo) to the Louvre in Paris in order to find this elusive painting. This is Rohan’s darkest and most personal adventure yet.
This is the first chapter of Rohan’s adventures that features flashbacks and reveals more of Rohan’s past. These flashbacks inform Rohan’s actions in the present. It’s all linked to this search of the black painting. And this search sends Rohan on a strange path with unexpected revelations. The anxious atmosphere helps building up to these reveals. The tone walks a thin line between supernatural and horror, which is really exciting to watch. Like the series, this is a slow-paced story so it takes its time to explore the mystery and puts a spell on the audience.
Once again, Issey Takahashi reminds us that he is perfect as Rohan Kishibe. This man has so much talent. Rohan is an intelligent, complex and eccentric character with a big dash of arrogance. Through his performance, Takahashi makes you feel all the different layers of his character. Honestly, I would love to see the series continue because I want to see him continue playing the role for as long as he wants to do it. In Rohan at the Louvre, Issey Takahashi gets to speak French. I was surprised that his French was flawless. It’s impressive!
In addition, Kento Nagao does a good job as a younger Rohan. In his performance, you can feel hints of the adult Rohan while he is still able to add something to the character who isn’t yet the one we know. Marie Iitoyo continues to be funny as Kyoka Izumi. She has a great chemistry with Takahashi. Their characters are very different from each other and yet it’s a duo that totally works. New additions to the cast for the film includes Minami and Fumino Kimura. It’s a great cast that has been gathered for this new adventure.
Moreover, the crew that made the series is the same crew returning for the film. Thus, they kept the same visual aesthetic and the same way of filming. In fact, Rohan’s house is the same one you saw in the series. The cinematography feels artsy. The director Kazutaka Watanabe has an eye for filming places. He tries to capture everything in a light that feels as natural as possible. It really makes a difference. The series was visually beautiful and so is this film. Additionally, the way Watanabe films his actors feels different from what you may see usually. There are some really striking shots. Whether it’s a close-up shot or a long shot, each shot has a meaning.
Rohan at the Louvre was filmed in Paris. It showcases the beauty of this city. Indeed, the shots of the Louvre immediately catch your attention. For example, there is a shot near the end where it feels like we as the audience are standing behind the characters as they look at the Louvre. At the same time, this shot makes you feel the grandeur of the building next to the characters. They actually filmed inside the Louvre Museum too. In fact, this doesn’t happen everyday, this film was a lucky one. It brings more authenticity to be able to film in the actual places. It adds something to this supernatural story.
And just like Heartstopper season 2, this film accurately captures what Paris is actually like as well, not just the beauty of the city and the clichés but the rest of it. For one, the weather, it’s not always sunny in Paris and the sirens. That last part is important. You hear in some scenes the sound of sirens from fire trucks and the police. This is Paris.
Finally, Kikuchi Naruyoshi returns as the composer for Rohan’s new adventure. He re-uses his themes that were already iconic. His music captures the eccentricity of Rohan and the mystery of his adventures. Naruyoshi’s score can be creepy at times while lighter for other scenes and more dramatic for others. The range in his work mirrors the different faces of Rohan Kishibe.
The series had the credits rolling while Rohan was still doing something or while the camera was showing a place. The film does that as well. It had to, it’s like a trademark for the Rohan aesthetic. This type of end credits changes from the usual black background with the names appearing in white. It’s so unique because in each episode what was going on during the credits was different and here it’s also different from what we saw in the series.
Rohan at the Louvre is Rohan’s darkest and most personal adventure, walking a thin line between supernatural and horror. The slow pace and the anxious atmosphere help building up to the unexpected revelations. This is an exciting follow-up to the series. Once again, Issey Takahashi reminds us that he is perfect as the title character.
Rohan at the Louvre is now streaming on Prime Video.
Collectables Editor at Future Of The Force.
Star Wars and Marvel specialist, anime expert