Friday, June 6, 2014

Fiji Random by Justin Raimey

It's probably no secret that I love manga. Ironically, I read a lot more manga before I came to Japan, now that I'm here, I tend to read other books. So when I saw the cover of this book resembled manga, (and lured by the promise of a funny storyline), I decided to pick it up.

However, The book disappointed me.

Ok, storyline first. The book has one main storyline (will Fiji get to school?), interspersed with four panel standalone strips. That's perfectly normal, and it happens in most manga. However, this book started inserting many standalone strips before I even knew what was going on in the main story. The main problem for me was the the standalone strips presumes a familiarity with the characters - a familiarity I didn't have because I still hadn't got to the story.

And I consider myself fairly random. I once had a friend use the acronym "tfer" (time for Eustacia's randomness) whenever I said something random. And think about it, it happened enough times for an acronym to be coined. So I should be perfectly suited to this book right?

Unfortunately, no. I need to understand my characters before I can appreciate the randomness that they do.

The second part that disappointed me was the style of drawing. I'm hoping that the reason why the drawings look so rough is because this is an advance copy and that the author plans to clean it up. In fact, a quick web search shows that there are nice drawings out there. I just don't know why they weren't in this copy.

But, the fact that the author made a note about how his characters changed in appearance worries me. There is only one manga I know where the character's appearance changed and that is Detective Conan, which has been published since 1994. That's about 20 years ago, so it's natural for the characters to undergo some stylistic changes. However, Fiji random is not that old, and this is Volume 1, so there's no reason why the author can't go back and redraw all the characters to make their look uniform.

I will give this book props for trying to be funny. It succeeded occasionally, but sadly, the unfortunate placement of the standalone strips (way too early) and the rough drawing style made it hard for me to enjoy this book.

Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.

No comments :

Post a Comment

I really do appreciate all comments, and I'll try my best to reply within 24 hours!