Franken Fran: Inhumanity has its Price

October 9, 2010

Human bodies are flawed in many ways. Our skins wrinkle as we age, mothers must undergo ridiculously long and painful and pregnancy, and we have only one (!) body to give to our loved ones. But what if we can’t choose between the boys (o how terrible)? What can we do?

Franken Fran is, in a sense, a series of such grotesque thought experiments. It plays around with fascinating medical possibilities of altering human body to conveniently solve particular problems, like being able to split into two same people and take one boy each (o my god). But at what cost? What is the consequence of choosing to play god and change the way we were born with? 

I have a lot of respect for the mangaka’s imagination. Just from reading few chapters you know he has vast interest and knowledge in human bodies, but even more impressive is his ability to take that simple scientific concept to a terrifyingly twisted possibility.  Franken Fran shuns beautifully glorified image and embraces the most repulsive approach possible in drawing those changes to human bodies, effectively externalising the degree of horror of becoming less human.

Human nature, things that make us human, is the price we pay in pursuing our vain illusions of perfection. Want to look younger forever? Eternal youth! Don’t know who to pick from two boys? Cloning! Want more strength to fight evil? Superhuman strength! All are within grasp in Franken Fran should one desire it. But only doom awaits for those who strip themselves off of humanity.

Another favourite chapter of mine is “Egg of Parturition”. You have a medical procedure allowing a mother to give birth early to a miniature embryonic cocoon, where the prematurely born baby will develop outside the womb. Surely this will solve many pregnancy-related issues for women like work and pain/risks. What could possibly go wrong?

For one, the cocoon may be parasitised by Apanteles Glomeratus. Or by cockroaches. And since they look more like a disposable egg you can just pop out anytime, people just won’t give enough care for them, or even illegally trafficking and selling them like drugs. This is the horrifying price we pay by choosing to bypass our painful and laborous ways of giving birth through medical means in the twisted world of Franken Fran. Perhaps there is a good reason why human body is designed to give precious birth to babies the hard way.

Let us not give into our vain pursuits of perfection


What is more scary is that some stories are only slight exaggerations of what is happening in our world today.

That is not to say there is no human triumph to be found in Franken Fran. Can you love a girl who has turned into a caterpillar? Do you love someone enough to change your sex? Has your pet’s devotion touched you enough to love your pet for who he is?

I am not saying Franken Fran is an emotionally touching work, but when our feelings and sincerity transcend such horrifyingly disturbing aspects of our body, I perceive it to be much more authentic and affecting than glorified love in typical Hollywood movies (there is actually an excellent chapter making fun of Hollywood adaptation). Whether advanced technology makes us human or not depends on the person who use it. Just as we shouldn’t blame political system for the evil deeds done by those in power in Legend of Galactic Heroes, we shouldn’t blame technology for inhumane sins committed to satisfy our unsatiable desire for perfection. Because beauty and love can blossom by obliviating our body, in Franken Fran‘s own twisted and sick way, as long as your heart is sincere.

Still, I don’t think Franken Fran aims to seriously explore this issue as a critical text, and you shouldn’t read Franken Fran for that alone. I would say you should read Franken Fran if below pictures satisfy your twisted desires.

~~

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9 Responses to “Franken Fran: Inhumanity has its Price”

  1. animekritik Says:

    It’s nice isn’t it.

  2. omeca Says:

    I wonder if the love affair that the world has over the paranormal now – is creating a new form of animation…

    “Spawn” to also be an example…

  3. gaguri Says:

    @animekritik

    it, it’s not like I have sick fetishes or anything

    @omeca

    Midori no Shoujo: Tsubaki is perhaps the only sick and twisted animation in the line of Franken Fran’s madness I’ve seen. This is actually a very old animation, but since then we haven’t seen much of that…in fact what we have is clean and perfect moe moe kyun kyun girls arghh

  4. Shadowmage Says:

    You should consider yourself ahead with Franken Fran and quit. The Japanese’s well of truly crazy, f-ed up material has no bottom.

    Oh yeah, and here’s my usual Saya no Uta plug. Beauty and revulsion in one moe package.

  5. gaguri Says:

    I agree. I recently read Tokyo Red Hood too, which makes Franken Fran look like a picture book for little kiddies.

    And that’s the second time you mentioned Saya no Uta so I should give that a go…last time I unsuccessfully obtained two non-working copies of the game and just gave up.

  6. Shadowmage Says:

    Assuming the files you downloaded were not corrupted and are legitimate (I got mine from Googling “saya no uta hongfire forums”), I think you are simply suffering from not knowing how to install the game.

    1)Download Daemon Tools
    2)Install Daemon Tools (careful not to let them install those annoying tool bars on your browser).
    3)Reboot and run Daemon Tools
    4)Click on the Mount function (looks like CD with a “+” sign overlaid) This function will ask you to input a file to open.
    5)Search through your downloaded Saya no Uta files and find “SAYANOUTA.cue” and open to mount.
    6)You should now see an icon of an anime character’s eye on the Mount’n Drive Manager. Double click it. (If your version of Daemon doesn’t have the Mount’n Drive Manager, go to “My Computer” and you see the anime eye icon on a false disk drive known as “(H:)”)
    7)Install the game. (All the instructions and such are in moonspeak but if you’ve ever installed anything in your life, you should be able to do this blindfolded.)
    8) Congrats, you now have the JAPANESE version of the game. Time to install the English patch.
    9) You can follow the instructions on the “readme_patch.txt” inside the .rar containing the English patch… or follow my interpretation instructions if you’re too lazy.
    10) Locate the Japanese version of the game on your PC. It’s usually in “C:\Program Files\NitroPlus\沙耶の唄” but if this doesn’t work, use “C:\Program Files\NitroPlus\” and click on the single folder with the gibberish title.
    11) In this place extract your English patch, and give permission to overwrite all the original Japanese files during the extraction.
    12) Run the game and notice that the Japanese has been replaced with english (Use the icon on your desktop, in your START menu or in the Program File itself)
    13) Congratulations! Enjoy not being able to sleep soundly for three days! Make sure you go with the “Do not modify grotesque images (default)” option and save every time the game asks you to do something (a total of 2 times!). Also, be sure to watch all three endings, which are determined by your two decisions.

    PM if you need further technical support.

    Yes, downloading and playing eroge is a royal pain. It reminds me of all the hard work I had to do to find 50 MB files of Love Hina back in the day.

  7. gaguri Says:

    Hey hey I know how to work daemon. And arghhh that hongfire forum file is on rapidshare -__-. I guess if I’m really desperate I’ll wait a day per file for five days.

  8. Jack Says:

    Even though crazy and weird alterations to the human form have been explored in literature pretty thoroughly, bringing them into the visual medium always seems more effective.

    Strangely, reading this brings Kaiba to mind, even though Kaiba doesn’t really deal with explicit gore and body-horror.

  9. gaguri Says:

    Not a bit strange my friend.

    Kaiba has 100% relevance to Franken Fran. Think what improved technology does to humanity in Kaiba and FF. And look at how we deal with it. You’re spot on, I knew I wasn’t the only one to find the connection!


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