Franken Fran (the Japanese Wikipedia Article)
[Owing to the dearth of English-language information on the Franken Fran manga, I sat down and translated the Japanese Wikipedia article. If anyone wants to take this, improve on it and submit it to English Wikipedia or elsewhere you’re more than welcome. The article itself is so lovingly written I can’t help but wonder if the author or someone close to him wrote it!!]
Franken Fran (フランケン・ふらん) is a manga from Katsuhisa Kigitsu. It started appearing in the Champion Red magazine (from Akita Shoten) in September 2006 and it is ongoing. It is a horror comedy starring Fran–a patched up synthetic beauty with an expertise in anatomical remodeling technologies, which she employs in the service of various people.
Fran–a girl constructed by a biologist. Every day clients with issues regarding their bodies come to her, and she attempts to resolve these issues through surgical procedures. The operation scenes are explicit, the remodelings are grotesque and full of dark humor. The beauty of the protagonist and her learning make a peculiar contrast with this raw imagery. Judging from the title and the main character design, the manga is patterned after the tale of Frankenstein.
She lives at the Madaraki estate. But Dr. Madaraki is not a blood relation, instead she is his “masterpiece”. Fran has undergone several inhuman surgeries: she is fitted with two Frankenstein-like electrodes at each side of her head and she has stitches all over her body as if she had been patched up. However, at first glance she looks like a regular girl. Her unsteady step and a habit of drawing out the end of her sentences stand out. Sometimes she even dons a blazer and goes to school.
She seems absent-minded and easy-going, even aloof, but she is perceptive and can keenly see through to her clients’ desires. She makes her client’s dreams come true and very often the consequences are extraordinary. Even so, Fran carries on without a concern. During surgery, she is able to increase the number of her arms and operate at great speeds.
Assassin bioweapon created by Dr. Madaraki for his own protection. In addition to her naturally high combat ability, she is trained in the handling of explosives and the setting of traps in the field. A large, X-shaped stitch marks her face. Because she was created after Fran, Veronica calls her “elder sister”.
She wields a huge guillotine blade in her right arm and a sharp sword in her left. She also has sharpened daggers sticking out of the pommel. She follows her own battle etiquette: “To murder while causing as little suffering as possible”. In opposition to Fran, who believes that “regardless of the shape or form, if it can function as a living organism it is good”, Veronica supports the notion of “rather a painless death than a painful life”. She is the antithetical existence to Fran.
The face of a fearless youth with the body of a cat. Male. He often works along with Fran, supporting her or making fun of her. When attending parties he attaches a human body to his head, thus taking the form of a perfectly normal adult man. During operations when Fran goes too far, Okita is sometimes bewildered, but in general he supervises them in silence. Very rarely does he fall in love with female cats.
Butler with the face of a dog and the body of an adult human male. He calls Fran “Mademoiselle”. Howl receives phone calls and makes tea. He behaves in a relaxed, sophisticated manner.
One of Fran’s servants, he wears a black cloak and a hat. His true form is unknown due to his clothing. Judging from his superior sense of smell and the partially exposed snout, the likelihood that he is a pig is high.
During the world war this scientist worked for the Biochemistry Division, earning fame and the moniker of “Devil of Biology”. He was and is considered a top-class thinker in the field of biotechnology. He has also been called the “Spider’s Thread” due to some of his surgical operations involving human resurrection. After the war he moved from country to country for the sake of his research, although apparently he has returned home in recent years. At the moment his whereabouts are unknown. If he is still alive then it is estimated that he must be quite old. Dr. Madaraki defined World War II to be “a war to kill the gods” because of its promotion of scientific development and the erosion of religion accompanied by it.
A friend of Madaraki’s since the days of the old Japanese Empire. His various achievements have earned him the title of Viscount in England. He has an open bet with Madaraki on the existence of God.
Bibliography (Japanese volumes)
Volume 1 – published Dec. 20th 2007 (announced Nov. 20th) ISBN: 978-4-253-23311-8
Volume 2 – published Aug. 20th 2008 (announced July 18th) ISBN: 978-4-253-23312-5
[End of translation. Kudos to Kigitsu for a great read, to SnoopyCool for the sweet scanlation, and Kaiserpingvin for the recommendation]