Random Manga Theatre 80: Tiji-kun!

Hit the “Random” button and see what comes up! In this feature, we take a look at whatever manga the Random Number God decides to throw at us and find out if it’s worth your time.

This time: Tiji-kun!, with art by Ken Oojiba and scenario by Masahiko Yokoyama

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Hanagasumi High School is right in the middle of Tokyo’s red-light district (as for why you would ever build a high school there except as a setting for a mediocre manga, I’d never know), and as such, the students are constantly being harassed by gangsters and whatnot. Since this isn’t Durarara!!, where high school students are actually super resourceful and badass, we instead get some weird plot about someone named Tiji-kun who goes around the district and beats up thugs. And thus, the student council conducts some moronic scheme to get two students to befriend Tiji-kun and get him to singlehandedly protect every student on campus from gangsters. Because that makes sense and can’t backfire at all.

But wait! What a twist! Turns out the boring, unassuming, personality-less protagonist who was assigned to befriend Tiji-kun is, in fact, Tiji-kun himself! Bet you didn’t see that coming at all! And now that he’s out and about punching dudes in the face to protect the student body, a bunch of weirdoes who just happen to all practice different styles of martial arts track him down to prove they’re the best at street fighting or something. But he still curb-stomps them all anyway, because he knows Okinawan Super Karate and is the best ever at everything. Does this sound boring? Because it’s actually really boring. Like I-had-to-stop-reading-halfway-through-because-it-was-so-boring boring. Boring.

Remember Holy Land? This is basically Holy Land, if Holy Land was shit. Which it’s not, so you should really read that instead.

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Verdict: Ughhhhh

Nothing about Tiji-kun! stands out to me. The characters are dull, the fights are dull (despite being billed as an “authentic fighting manga”, the explanations given make no sense), the art is dull, EVERYTHING IS DULL and I did not enjoy reading it. They say that something being boring is a worse sin that being merely bad, and that’s definitely true. Even with stuff like OniiNyan, I can laugh with my friends later about how miserable it was. Tiji-kun! is simply unremarkable, inferior to Holy Land in every way. A slightly (and we’re talking only just slightly) more cynical me would think this is actually a deliberate ripoff.

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