The End of Franken Fran
The manga has finished after eight volumes.
The extra at the end of volume 8 featured an “interview” with the three Madaraki sisters: Fran, Veronica and Gavrill. As I enjoyed their funny little back-and-forth, the words “lost potential” flashed across my mind. These characters were quite well fleshed out (the adjective is kind of a pun in the context of Franken Fran!) and they had so much more potential for epic storytelling/drama/hijinks…
But kudos to the author Kigitsu. He knew what it was that he wanted to do, that is, an episodic light-hearted gore fest, and he kept to that program throughout. Looking back, I see how the series never ever aspired to be anything more than this.
You’ll remember how we were introduced to Fran as a young and monstrous doctor following in the footsteps of her creator: the great Professor Madaraki. This mastermind was missing, and Fran, as the caretaker of his household and medical practice, pined away for him and longed for his return.
The setup is such that I imagine many readers fell into the same trap as myself: we believed that at some point Kigitsu would give us news of the Professor’s whereabouts, and the story would shed its episodic nature and become more of an adventure epic. The hunt for Professor Madaraki, say.
But of course this never happened. Kigitsu left our hopes for a glimpse of the madman until the very end. And then with a dash of delicious sadism, the author tossed us a final chapter named “DREAM”. In other words, we knew immediately, before even reading the chapter, that we would be denied. Even if Professor Madaraki turned up, it would be in Fran’s head. And he didn’t even turn up!! He didn’t even turn up!! Wow.
I feel like Kigitsu played with me for 61 chapters, though I can’t really blame him for setting up expectations when he never really did. It was me at fault all along. I’m like one of Fran’s patients who suffers from consequences I inflicted on myself. Fran remains absolutely blameless. And as painful as it was at times, I am glad I met her.