Franken Fran 44: Integrations (nsfw)

This is a great chapter.  It’s 100% episodic, and yet mangaka Kigitsu presides over a gathering of various characters and elements from former episodes and in doing so manages to put a doubt into your mind: isn’t there something larger here at work, will it all turn out to be connected in the end?

Gavrill vs Kuho

We get this right from the start with Dr. Amatsuka and Gavrill:

First page: Amatsuka is being questioned about Gavrill (Fran’s evil sister) over the phone.

Second page, Gavrill is topless on his couch (are they a couple?)

Third page,  Gavrill buttons up and Amatsuka says she’s OK (is Amatsuka Gavrill’s master?)

Fourth page, Gavrill says she’ll be back next month (aha, Amatsuka is only Gavrill’s physician, right?)

And so the story moves along.  We can assume Gavrill is simply getting checkups from Amatsuka, but can we be really sure?  Gavrill is tremendously vengeful when she hears the doctor has been hurt…  Fran is shocked too, but in her case we know that she is in love with his “brain” so to speak, his intellectual capacity.  What about Amatsuka is Gavrill in love with??  It’s an interesting, ambiguous relationship.

Inspector Kuho is the site of another integration.  I’ve written about chapter 13 (one of my favorites) before, but just to remind you: in that chapter Fran enhanced Kuho and reshaped her into the perfect assassin so she could eliminate a series of clones of Yoka, one of her own patients.

Now, Fran creates a series of clones of Kuho in order to act as “cannon fodder” for Gavrill so she may quench her taste for blood.  What we have here is a double role reversal: 1) Kuho was the assassin, now she is the prey; 2) Kuho was the individual facing clones, now it is her clones that are facing an individual.  It’s a nice play, and we don’t have to come up with any deep reasons or explanations for it.  It’s just plain fun.  Though it makes it a bit hard to call this just an episodic series…

The fanservice surrounding Kuho is really no fanservice at all, because it’s not gratuitous or superfluous.  Kuho is Fran’s favorite guinea pig.  Her exposed, naked body and the resilience it shows throughout all its transformations…this is what the series is all about, the fact that Kuho (or Nature) can stand it all.  It’s the reason Kuho and nudity go together so often in this show.  In contrast, you could argue Gavrill’s topless shot in this chapter is fanservice.

Well, something else this series is well-known for is its surprise endings, and this one definitely delivers.  Oh Fran, how fiendishly clever you are!

~ by Haloed Bane on November 1, 2010.

2 Responses to “Franken Fran 44: Integrations (nsfw)”

  1. This was a great episode indeed.I wouldn’t say this is truimph of Nature though. This is one of those episodes where such gross and unnatural modification of human body does much for human good (calming Gab down without killing her, so people can live too). I mean, yea there’s the funny ironic drawback of inhumane treatment of Kuho (her being constantly abused is such a cute running joke…) but it’s all good~

    And this ending solidified how I viewed Fran. Before, I used to wonder “is she really serious? Is she really trying to do them good but does all these horrible things because she’s not aware of its abomination?” Even in this epiosde, when the professor was hurt Fran comes in crying and offers some new ‘operations’ to help the prof (which he kindly declines) with that big smile, it’s hard to tell if she’s just joking or seriously trying to help him. O that scheming innocent-playing Fran…

    • Fran’s offer of help to Amatsuka is based on a) worship of his intellect, b) excitement at the chance to experiment, c) excitement at the chance to strip him naked. OK, maybe not c.

      I think most definitely “it’s all good”. In one way, Fran and co. are about killing god and transforming nature by any methods possible. And we call this “unnatural”. But in another way I think Fran it is all very, very natural. My own way of looking at things has always been to deny the “artificial”. How can something be artificial?? If it exists, it’s natural.

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