Franken Fran, Vols. 3-4

By Katsuhisa Kigitsu. Released in Japan by Akita Shoten, serialized in the magazine Champion Red. Released in North America by Seven Seas.

Franken Fran has many grotesque, nasty images throughout. There’s blood, gore, other bodily fluids, and truly disgusting things being done to the human body. And yet the most terrifying thing in the entire series is easily Fran herself, who is quite simply impossible to understand or empathize with, and whose concept of what life is does not remotely cross over with the majority of humanity. Fran is simply a force of nature, and this omnibus shows us several times when your jaw drops at what she carries out. Oddly enough, it’s Veronica, her sister the assassin who was introduced at the end of the last book, who ends up being the voice of sanity in the series (as well as the straight man).


This is not to say that Veronica is a good guy, of course. In one of the more touching chapters in this book, Veronica and walking organ bank Adorea go to a high school undercover to, theoretically, give Veronica “social skills”. (The fact that Fran is the one who says she doesn’t have these is one of the best jokes in the book.) Of course, veronica is a small, sullen, scarred girl, so naturally she proceeds to get bullies to hell and back, with only one other girl nice enough to be friends with her. And then, of course, everything goes even MORE horribly wrong, as we discover a slavery ring and Veronica has to clean house and chop up a few bad guys. If this were a normal, non-funny thriller series, Veronica might be the anti-hero.

And of course there are the plots of the chapters themselves. Franken Fran is to a large degree an anthology horror series, with Fran and her occasional cast dealing with tragic young love, evil matriarchs seeking immortality, and of course at least two chapters dealing with bugs, which are absolutely not for the squeamish. There’s even a cameo by a certain cult religious deity. The two best chapters in the book are two of the most touching (note that I’m defining touching in the venue of Franken Fran, not beyond it) – in one, a suicidal young man who changes his mind is given new life as a children’s mascot, and crosses paths with a young girl who’s being abused by her father. In the other, a young girl’s dog is killed by a truck, and it’s Fran to the rescue, though her new dog is, shall we say, not what you’d expect. The series even mocks itself by having a Hollywood movie made out of the latter chapter, with dire consequences. (“The bestiality was a nice touch.”)

In the end, Franken Fran is about the stories. They won’t make you feel good, they may gross you out, and one or two of them may give you nightmares. But they’re all stories that stay in your head. And Fran, being a protagonist (I refuse to call her a heroine) who is our guide through this twisted world, is just as memorable.

Did you enjoy this article? Consider supporting us.


  1. All of this is exactly why I’ve avoided this series like the plague.

Speak Your Mind