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.

~ by Haloed Bane on May 15, 2012.

11 Responses to “The End of Franken Fran”

  1. it ended huh? kidna sad, with that episodic, blackhumoric setup of it, it coudlve very well ontinued into eternity. but oh well, it was a nice ride and i hope his next work will be equally awesome^^ just too bad this is never ever gonna get an anime adapton xD except maybe as OVA’s.

    • They did make a drama CD, which I remember listening to a bit. It was pretty funny I guess. A 6 episode OVA with really good production values and voice acting would be awesome, though.

      • i see.
        well, i just mean its a matter of.. if they showed it in TV, theyd probably have to censor half of it xD or cut many chapters out. i guess they could show the more abstract stuff liek the caterpillar story and stuff, but generally… i think an OVA is more likely. the question is just if its popular enough for that? it WAS popular enough to get licensed at least, the manga.

        • Is the manga getting translated officially? I didn’t know that.

          The good thing about it being episodic is they could take about 10 chapters, mix and cut them down into 6 episodes, and release that.. I could totally be on the committee that decides which chapters go in 😀

          • yeah, its gettign translated and sold officially here in germany at least. i think the first 5 or 6 voluems are out here, and i got them all.

            hah yeah^^ no matter what, i definately want the chapter about the guy who gets into the macot-body and saves the girl that sbeeign abused by her pedo-stepfather by switchign bodies with him, sicne i liek it and its oen of the few with a kidna happy ending. also id like the chapter with the pastafari-reference in, and the one with veronica falling in love with that one guy she laways fights, , and maybe.. all the cancer-and clone related chapters are prettx good… agh i think id just want every chapter to be animated afzer all xD probably with the “1 episod =2 stories/chapters” format, i think that might work.

            • The one episode 2 stories format would be perfect, I agree. You could make an OK 26 episode series from that, or choose only the best episodes and make a great 13 episode series. I’d like to the see the chapters with Kuho (her island of clones) and Gavrill (especially when she becomes a teacher) animated myself.

              • true^^ well, as a big veronica-fan id like for them to include some of her chapters too; would also make fr some action to lightne the mood sometimes.

                • Well, if the series were 6 or 13 episodes, you could easily make it a Franken Sisters kind of show, with equal focus on all the sisters. There’s definitely enough material for that.

  2. “the story would shed its episodic nature and become more of an adventure epic.”

    I actually never quite got this vibe with Franken Fran. The entire setup of the series where these sort of horrific yet zany stories, with little in the way of continuity save recurring jokes/twisted abominations, very sitcom-like in fact.

    And hey, this might not be a permanent end; other manga have come back from the dead before (Battle Angel springs to mind).

    • I got the vibe at the very beginning, and then the whole issue of Prof. Madaraki lingered in the back of my brain long after Kigitsu stopped thinking he’d actually introduce the character (if he ever did have that intention)…

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