They say “never meet your heroes”.
On his way home from school, Koichi runs into Hazamada, who has cooled down quite a bit since his attempting to murder several people. While they hit it off, the topic of the manga comes up, and it turns out that Hirohiko Araki…ER I MEAN Rohan Kishibe (Vic Mignogna), a 20-year-old manga prodigy who writes and draws one of Koichi’s favorite stories, lives in Morioh. The two decide to check out the place and try getting some autographs, but when they meet him, he’s a bit more…eccentric than they expected.
He’s very committed to the “reality” of his work, so much so that he picks up a spider, stabs it with one of his tools to see how its organs work, then licks it to get its flavor. When Hazamada understandably vomits at the sight of this, Rohan is eager to sketch his reaction for reference. Koichi’s also feeling something off, wanting to leave…but only after they look at Rohan’s latest work. As it turns out, this was all part of Rohan’s plan to lure them in, as he has his own Stand ability: Heaven’s Door, which allows him to open his target’s skin like pages filled with everything about them. Through this ability, he reads Koichi’s memories and discovers the events of the past dozen episodes of the story, deciding he’ll use Koichi’s fantastic reality and experiences to make his stories even better.
Koichi can’t do anything to stop him, as Rohan has written a command to expressly not fight him on Koichi’s pages. Now he’s trapped to be research material and there’s nothing he can do to stop Rohan from ripping pages from his face! EVERYTHING’S GONE TO HELL AND THERE’S NO WAY FOR THEM TO ESCA-
-so after a fun time meeting their hero, Koichi and Hazamada head home. That night, Koichi realizes he’s lost more than half of his body weight. He surmises this must be the effect of an enemy Stand, but when he goes to call Josuke about it…he forgets what he was going to say.
The next day, he starts feeling an odd compulsion to walk to Rohan’s house, and little by little, he wanders further into his house until he meets Rohan himself, who is busy at work with the pieces of Koichi’s pages he stole last time. Luckily, Josuke and Okuyasu spot him going in, confused as to what he’s doing there.
Oh hey, Vic Mignogna! Haven’t heard you in a more major anime role in a while! I have heard him in minor roles here or there the past few years, but I certainly didn’t expect him to show up here. Mignogna’s range doesn’t need my explaining as many modern anime fans will likely be well aware of the many varied performances (Tsubasa Chronicles, Ouran High School Host Club, Full Metals both Panic and Alchemist) that he’s given, and eccentric bordering on deadly is certainly one he is familiar with.
As for Rohan (who is DEFINITELY NOT a self-insert character for the story’s author, Hirohiko Araki, so don’t bother asking if he is), he certainly leaves an impression as this and next week’s antagonist. Whereas the Italian Food and invisible baby episodes were examples of “non-fight” fight episodes with new Stand users, this is most definitely one antagonist that isn’t going to be stopped with just clearing up a few misunderstandings or filling a river with blood. His power, Heaven’s Door, is as terrifying as it is creative, turning people into literal walking encyclopedias about themselves with pages that can be ripped from their person and even having their memories altered. Seems almost a BIT too overpowered, but that just makes it that much more interesting as to how he’ll be defeated.
Also, can’t help but notice that Koichi is just a magnet for attracting weirdos who try to kill him and/or his friends and family. First Tamami, then Yukako, and now Rohan, the latter two gaining a rather sudden obsession with him due to his innocent and earnest nature. I mean, yeah, he’s a good guy and all, but I don’t think I’ve ever liked someone enough to want to peel off their skin. I mean, not recently, anyway. And based on the pattern of last time, will we see another stage to Reverb that will help save the day? It’s going to become pretty cheap if that’s how they solve every fight Koichi ends up in, so hopefully, that’s not the case, but we’ll find out next week.
Last week, I was pretty disappointed with the lack of direction this story seemed to have once they beat Chili Pepper, but I think I can be patient for the next big bad guy as long as they interlude episodes continue to be as fun and thrilling as this one. Back to the drawing board!