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Fiji Random
by jack_tha_ham on February 24th, 2011, 11:15pm

Rating - 8.6 / 10.0

User rating of this review - N/A out of 5
Story/Plot - 4 out of 5
Characters - 5 out of 5
Drawing Style - 3 out of 5
Enjoyment - 5 out of 5
Overall - 4.5 out of 5

Fiji Random is the oddly satisfying comedy centered around a high school gamer girl named Fiji Maide. Fiji is a lazy underachiever who regularly (and indirectly) finds ways to get into trouble. Throughout her crazy walk to school, Fiji encounters a series of insane events, some of which require her to make choices that greatly affect the lives of the manga's other characters. The way in which Fiji Random is read is interesting in itself. The manga is split up into two reading styles: the main story, called stages (a video game reference, each stages begins with the words "press start" on its title page) and random comic strips that don't follow the main story line, but rather, act as fillers to further develop the manga's characters.

A disgruntled foreign exchange student from the world's most violent land, immoral pirate children, a car wash bathroom dwelling dinosaur, a cos-playing stay-at-home mom, a half-zombie girl and... mermaid milk? These are just a few (and I stress the words "a few") of the many colorful characters who make Fiji Random such a unique and satisfying experience!
Drawing Style
Fiji Random is the brain-child of Justin Raimey, a young man who has a love for manga and draws in his free time. Don't let this turn you off though, because for a rookie this guy is extremely talented. His drawing style is classic and simplistic, yet fresh and vibrant. This can especially be seen in the prologue of the manga in which he opts to color each panel with water colors, adding greater depth and detail to Fiji's world. Interestingly, the manga is sort of chronicle to Justin's development as an artist, since he drew the manga over a period of 6 years (from the time he first started teaching himself how to draw), the artistic quality of the manga gradually improves as the reader advances through the story.

This manga is definitely different to say the least, even for a comedy. It stands out from the rest with its random jokes that pop up without warning from panel to panel, making the storyline unpredictable, yet a blast to experience and simple to follow. This manga was especially enjoyable for me on account that there were many video game references, as well as references to nostalgic pop-culture ( the 90's baby!). There were also many milk jokes (like I said, this manga is DIFFERENT).
In conclusion kids, Fiji Random is a blast to experience! Beyond it's simplistic and light-hearted art style is an extremely humorous 208-page story with enough high school high-jinks and unpredictable jokes to cause anyone to burst into tearful laughter. I can definitely see myself reading through this one again. It's sold through an independent publisher, Black Streak Books in digital format. Just for reference, here is their website where you can read a free preview of Fiji Random
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