Review: Rohan at the Louvre
Hirohiko Araki’s Rohan at the Louvre takes its cues from the world of J-horror, using the Louvre Museum as the setting for a nifty ghost story. In the book’s opening pages, we’re introduced to Rohan, an aspiring manga artist who lives with his grandmother in a nearly deserted rooming house. (N.B. Fans of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure may recognize Rohan as a minor character from one of the later volumes of the series, though prior knowledge of JoJo is not necessary for appreciating Louvre.) The unexpected arrival of a beautiful divorcee turns the normally placid household upside down with tearful drama. Within a week of her arrival, however, Nanase disappears into the night, never to be seen again.
We then jump forward ten years: Rohan, now 27, is a successful manga artist who decides to visit the Louvre to view what Nanase once described to him as “the darkest painting in the world.” The painting, he learns, has never been publicly displayed; it sits in a long-forgotten basement vault. What transpires in the bowels of the Louvre is a mixture of old-fashioned Japanese ghost story and contemporary slasher flick; if one were to update Masaki Kobayashi’s Kwaidan for today’s audiences, the denouement of “The Black-Haired Woman” or “Hoichi the Earless” might look like the climatic scene of Rohan…. [Click here for full review.]