Franken Fran was a horror-comedy manga by Kigitsu Katsuhisa that set new stakes in the Body Horror category. A Radio Drama adaptation was released as well.In a distant, rarely-visited part of Japan, the world's greatest surgeon, Naomitsu Madaraki, once lived in a large, Gothic-style mansion. But he hasn't come home in ages. Instead, the professor's "daughter", Fran Madaraki, lives there with a large amount of her own ghoulish creations and her "younger sister" Veronica. She's a very unusual girl, what with the stitch patterns on her face and the giant bolts on either side of her head. Just as skilled at surgery as her father, and if you're willing to pay her price, she can do everything up to and including raising the dead.Fran believes that a life should be saved no matter the cost, and keep that in mind, since the results of her surgeries are rarely (if ever) pretty.Not to be confused with the wife of the junior Senator from Minnesota.
This series provides examples of:
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Abusive Parents: Pops up often. The parent's of the girl in chapter 3 are too poor to take her to a hospital, so they simply cut off the mutations growing on her body. When the mutations get too much, they simply abandon their daughter. In chapter six, the a girl's parents kill her, then cook her and serve her up to guests as a birthday feast (her own birthday, no less!). Finally, the step-father of the girl in chapter 21 sexually abuses her.
And then he gets the same treatment his wife had at the request of the original brain uploaded robot, so he could be with her forever. He also gets to be exploited by his company to become the male model of the robot, for some added Ironic Hell.
Action Girl: Despite the series not really revolving on action/adventure, Veronica is sort of this depending of the situation. Chapter 46 for instance shows her doing spy stuff to steal an anti-fat medicine for Fran from a company that refused to let Fran use it to help a morbidly obese girl.
Adaptation Decay: Invoked for Vol.4 Extra chapter, the story of the loyal dog in Ch.27 was adopted into a movie In Name Only. Veronica's reaction is what one would expect: "What the hell is this crap!" *Spit Take followed by throwing chair against the silver screen*
Fran seems to understand that the true story as it actually happened wouldn't make for a good movie judging by her reactions to Veronica's disliking to the changes the movie has over what really happened.
To quote Fran: "Well, it is a movie, so they were bound to change a few things."
A Day in the Limelight: While the focus is usually on Fran and her patients, some chapters instead focus on other characters like Gavrill, Veronica and Adorea.
Airvent Escape: Fran tries this but her butt is too big. Solution? Cut off her legs and walk home on her hands.
Alliterative Name: the people in Chapter 30 all have alliterative names, from A.A. to E.E., mocking the convention of murder mystery, spoofed in this chapter, that usually names suspects as A, B, etc. Of course, our beloved lady doctor is called Franken Fran (even if that's not her actual name)... .
All Men Are Perverts: Zig Zagged in one chapter where Fran comes up with a way to make the male students stop hitting on the girls. It seems to work, but then the girls start complaining that the guys are ignoring them completely, leading to the discovery of a room full of a gelatinous mass that emits pheromones causing the guys to see it as a room of naked women, with whom they have sex.
Amusement Park of Doom: One chapter has a Disney-like amusement park with mascots that are actually real creatures created by Fran. All well and good... until they start running amok and actually killing off the patrons. Turns out the music in the land was keeping them docile and when it went off due to a computer glitch. They turned feral. That not the real kicker though. After that whole ordeal is solved the manager actually re-opens the park again with the same creatures still patrolling the grounds!. Why? Hey good business is business.
Anachronic Order: The creator makes it clear that certain later chapters occur before earlier chapters. It's easy to tell which ones come first because Veronica is absent from them, such as Chapter 29. Chapter 29 occurred over several years, so Veronica was there by the end.
In a more meta example, the scanlations of the chapters are coming in this order, too.
And I Must Scream: The fate of the villain of chapter 15, transformed into a heaving mass of immortal cancer cells.
A lot of Fran's patients wind up in this boat, temporarily or permanently, whether they deserve it or not.
Chapter 43 takes this up to 24. A ten-year-old girl inherits a vast fortune, but can't technically spend it because she's so young. The remaining 24 members of her extended family, including some politicians and Yakuza members, try to get some of the money out of her in the form of donations to charities. Due to a (self-inflicted) explosion, the girl's brain is transplanted into a clone of her which her mother had made in an attempt to replace her. Everyone else has their brains transplanted into stuffed animals, which in turn are all connected to the girl's original body. Fran says "unless they all agree on it, they can't even lift a finger."
Chapter 47: The "zombies" are actually still alive and completely consciousness, they just can't do anything about it.
And the Adventure Continues: In Ch 61, after getting trapped in a sunken ship and dreaming about a party where every single previous character appears including the Professor, Fran gets rescued and goes back to the daily grind.
Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: When Veronica goes to school, she gets several papers taped to her back, like "DIE!" "I'm a dirty whore." "I'll do anyone as long as it's male. Even a dog!" and "Kick me."
The Atoner: In chapter 52, the cardinal that is candidate to be the next Pope used to be a mafia lord. After he was mortally wounded in the head and recovered by a surgery, he decided to pay for his sins by devoting the rest of his life to the church.
Author Tract: Chapter 5. People worship gods of all kinds, be it physical objects/people or spiritual beings. If there is no God, people will make one of their own.
Awesome, but Impractical: The maggot/chrysalis birth method of Chapter 29. In theory it's really impressive and removes all of the hassle that comes with normal pregnancy. In practice... well, one of the advantages of pregnancy is that it protects the developing fetus. So unless you have access to an airtight and relatively secure environment (you know, like a womb) you would have to put in just as much, if not more effort into keeping the fetus safe than if you just went through pregnancy normally.
It's more on the lines of "Horrifyingly Wrong and Dangerous But Practical", really.
The entire Manga more or less seems to be this, as whenever anyone asks Fran for surgery, it usually ends up going horribly wrong due to the unforeseen side effects. Fran seems to be fully aware of these side effects (unless it's an experimental procedure) but the patients more or less don't care.
Ax Crazy: My fucking god, is Gavrill ever. Not only does she love tearing people to shreds, she also likes to eat their corpses. After Dr. Amatsuka prevented her from killing anyone during her time as a school teacher, she was absolutely delighted when the school was taken over by a group of kidnappers, allowing her to finally unleash her lust for bloodshed.
Back for the Finale: Basically every secondary or one-chapter-only character makes an appearance in Fran's dream in the last chapter.
"...one of the victims happened to be the grandson of an influential politician, so I've been asked to determine the exact cause of the deaths that occur here. But let's not worry too much about the whole DYING thing. We should think of this as a vacation and have a good time!"
Beast Woman: Gavrill. Her body can distort into a giant wolf-like creature with double-rows of teeth.
And played with in some cases. Some of the crap that happenes to them is their own fault. In one case overdoing a youth treatment that Fran warned her against causes her to mutate into a blob of cancer cells. Another rips off the transplanted skin that was perfectly fine because it was derived from a cockroach.
Berserk Button: Inverted. Fran is usually pretty happy to do operations, but when you want do it to impress someone you like, she starts breaking into Tender Tears. It seems like she's really into The Power of Love...
In the chapter "Killing Impulse", Gavrill goes in a violent rampage against a group of politicians who ordered to attack Prof. Amatsuka. Moreover, near the end of the same chapter, Fran also admits she would do the same thing if she found out who was the culprits behind Amatsuka's assault, except she would use her own methods instead simply killing them. It's strongly implied that she does know — or at least suspects — and is covertly threatening them against trying it again.
Beware the Nice Ones: Irritated that Veronica keeps killing people (even if they are attacking the lab), Fran sends her to a girls' boarding school to learn to be sociable. Veronica is viciously bullied, but one timid girl tries to be friendly to her. It turns out the timid girl and the bullies are working with together (specifically, timid girl was leader of the bullies, who didn't know about the real plot) and gave their victims to pedophiles who export Japanese girls to overseas otaku. Veronica... puts a stop to it.
Fran subtly shows that she's not one to be messed with either. When she realised that someone was attempting to steal information from her and Dr. Amatsuka, she turned the spies into dog-human hybrids, along with their master. She also subtly threatened a senator after helping him evade a vengeful Gavrill, hinting that whatever Gavrill did is tiny compared to what she can do to him.
More blatantly, in an extra chapter, after being conned into doing a Gorn movie that portrays both her and Professor Madaraki in an extremely negative light, she modifies another victim of their con into a horrific monster that kills them. It's very much implied that she knew that this would happen if she went through with the modifications, but is able to rationalize it as not against her code of ethics because she was just modifying the girl; whether she decided to kill the porn-studio con artists or not was her own decision that had nothing to do with Fran.
Blessed with Suck: At the end of Chapter 10 Fran crafts a new layer of skin for Kouryuu that's much younger-looking than her previous one. However it was made from the chitin found in cockroach exoskeleton, causing her to start tearing at her new skin.
As seen in "Cosmetic Surgery," Fran will advocate normal, family-friendly solutions for problems before turning you into an Eldritch Abomination.
A quick summary, for clarity's sake: If it's elective or minor, she will recommend the normal way with hospitals and all, unless you absolutely insist. If it's an extreme case (and especially if your life is tight-roping on the edge of a knife), she'll get straight to it; there will absolutely be For Science! mixed in, and "alive but in deep and incurable psychological torment" is always preferable to "dead" in Fran's book.
She also has absolutely no qualms about selling any biological "specimens" to the highest bidder, much to the chagrin of those around her. She's also apparently unaware that the same specimens are used to attack her home.
Body Double: The mobster in Chapter 9 makes use of this. This results in some...complications.
Surprisingly averted in some chapters, like chapter 45.
Born Lucky: Fran's explanation for the condemned man's Healing Factor in Chapter 28 - he's simply impossibly lucky, and his indestructibility is a result. He pushes his luck too far and is completely incinerated by a lightning bolt at the chapter's end.
Actually, rather than pushing his luck too far, he basically got lucky enough to acquire the rare achievement of "struck by lightning".
Gavrill (to a gonky boy): "You wanna be popular with the girls? Get plastic surgery and transfer to another school. Also, practice talking to people a lot. And if you need to, lie to women or buy them off with money."
Bring My Brown Pants: In one of the bonus chapters shows the reporter who got infected in the zombie virus in containment. It is noted that the disease makes her constantly hungry and she keeps crapping herself as fast as she can eat.
Brother-Sister Incest: "Octopus", although he might be referring to the shape-shifting tentacle creature who happens to look like his sister and not his actual (dead) sister.
Though he does mention he always wanted to do this with her.
Butt Monkey: Veronica, lots of unpleasant things happen to her, she has been used as a guinea pig by Fran more than once (the first time Fran "experimented" on her, she just ripped her apart and left her disemboweled for a month), bullied a lot when she went to school for the first time, brutally eviscerated by Gavrill, and the first time she makes a real friend said friend dies horribly. Also, in the final chapter, she gets cruelly teased by her sisters, to the point that they make her cry (although she gets a bone thrown at her at the end).
Chainsaw Good: In chapter 28, after hanging and lethal injection failed to kill a death row inmate, and Fran is denied the chance to study him, the prison officials give up on finding a humane way to execute him and violently dismember him instead. With chainsaws, as per the trope. He is able to recover from this after Fran reassembles him.
Chekhov's Gun: The bomb Fran implanted in Veronica is later used to blow up Gavrill. Even Fran is unconvinced that killed her.
Chew Toy: Poor, poor Officer Kuhou. Throughout the course of the series, she's been wrapped up in a case of more-than-possible severed body parts, cloned to help kill off other clones and then had to kill off the clones of herself (though this is probably a dream sequence), tried to talk down a half-suicidal man transplanted into a theme park mascot protecting a little girl, randomly been ejaculated upon for just being in the room, and nearly raped by a Reality Warper, and that's just what we've seen so far; note that the majority of situations involving her are Played for Laughs. No wonder seeing Fran makes the woman seriously trip her shit.
In addition to that list, Fran kidnaps and creates clones of her again, this time with the ability to divide asexually to create even more clones. She then drops more than 1000 of them off on an isolated island to fight Gavrill, figuring that the best way to handle Gavrill is to let her kill enough of them to calm herself down. The original Kuhou gets to go back home, physically no worse off than before.
It's become even worse now: Kuhou learns that a new batch of her clones is being used to fulfill the many fetishes of a slightly crazy rich man. She breaks down hard at this, before accidentally getting captured and surgically altered into a monster girl—who accidentally wins the full love and devotion of the man who had broken her brain.
Cloning Blues: In one chapter, Fran clones a girl using a method resembling cell division. However, she slightly botches it - the girl starts to endlessly duplicate. Later on the same thing happens to a police officer on the case of a serial killer actually Fran cleaning up her mess by killing every copy of that girl. Fran also kills all the copies of the police officer, leaving one of them alive. She has post-traumatic stress flashbacks whenever she runs into Fran. They're played for comedy. Probably a dream sequence. Probably.
Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Fran, Fran, Fran. The worst part is that It Makes Sense in Context; Fran is an Artificial Human with the brain of a really chipper five year old, and her decisions and ethics are sound... for what she knows. Fran has been programmed to never, ever take a life, no matter what, and lacks the maturity to really think past that singular thought. This results in monstrously poor judgment on her part. She's a child with the power to mutate someone else for fun and profit, and no one can stop her. Scared yet?
Contemplate Our Navels: Fran is prone to meditating on the nature of humanity, ethics and everything in between - after she's done the morally questionable and potentially unsafe operation, of course.
Contemptible Cover: As mentioned above, the covers make the books look like they're very weird medical fetish manga.
Continuity Nod: In the last issue Fran has a dream in which every person she ever treated throws a big party for her.
Perhaps the most awesome example is the cover of Volume 3, which features a sexy picture of Adorea, complete with cute face — despite the fact that her actual face is a mass of tentacles designed for swallowing people whole. The aforementioned horrific version reveals that the "cute face" was just a biological mask.
Cruel Mercy: Veronica spares the leader of the boarding school kidnappers because she was the only person who was nice to her, leaving her to explain the dead pile of pedophiles to the authorities. Although...
Cult: Eventually leads to the birth of an actual Flying Spaghetti Monster. Depending on the viewer, this could also be considered Crowning Moment of Funny.
Cute Monster Girl: Fran, to a certain definition of "cute"- she becomes remarkably less cute when performing surgeries and holding people's parts while those people scream in their heads about how they don't want her to do this to them.
Dark Is Not Evil: Depending on how you interpret her character, Fran is either an example or a subversion — she looks like a stereotypical horror monster (if a bit cuter), yet comes off as reasonable and nice at first glance. Then she starts dragging people off to her lab to use them as human experiments For Science!...
Her various creations play this straight, however.
There's also the assholes who gangraped and killed Miyake from Chapter 59, killed by a deadly bacteria that was inoculated in her body by Fran.
Downer Ending: A regular occurrence; the rare positive endings are actually surprises.
Chapter 3 ends on a remarkably nice note for the girl. The police on the other hand now have to deal with a VW Bug sized mass of cancer tumours.
Chapter 41 probably comes the closest to averting this trope entirely. All Nightmare Fuel and Body Horror is kept to a minimum, and the character of the day isn't turned into some monstrous parody of humanity by Fran. Instead, the chapter ends on a "blowing things out of proportion" gag you'd expect from the likes of Ranma ½.
Also chapter 11 is aversion and one of the few Crowning Moments of Heartwarming in series.
Dude, She's Like, in a Coma!: Apparently, everyone working on the movie in Chapter 20 came to this conclusion. The critical difference in this case was that she wasn't sleeping; she had already died of the parasitic infection. Leading inexorably to the squicky twist ending...
Easy Sex Change: In one chapter Fran gives anyone and everyone in a school plastic surgery, from the mundane (epicanthoplasty) to the still mundane but getting goofy (giant breasts, a guy who's remade to look like an action hero star) to the completely ridiculous (human bobble head, demon horns). Ranging in the middle of the spectrum is a boyfriend and girlfriend she switches the sex of - literally swapping their genitalia even - because the girlfriend was attacked once and is now afraid of men. No, sexuality doesn't work that way, but this is Franken Fran.
Eldritch Abomination: The brain eating/mind absorbing Flying Spaghetti Monster "god" that Fran helped create in chapter 26.
Also once the painter can see all strands of the Electromagnetic spectrum he sees eldritch abominations and other horrible horrible things.
Pretty much half the things that Fran makes fit this. The other half is Body Horror.
Even Evil Has Standards: The people of unusual tastes manage to out-creep Fran, though the argument could be, as a doctor, she has issues with people who obsessively cause themselves pain.
Veronica has a moment where she is wondering why Fran is forcing people to live. However due to Blue and Orange Morality this is more of a case of Blue having heard of Quality of Life.
Evil Old Folks: Chapter 50 is about a woman who has lived to an extreme old age all the while leeching off their family and making them miserable She turns out to be part of a growing group of people that can live extremely long in a blissful dream-like state of lowered metabolism, contributing nothing while their families are obliged to take care of them, and it's implied most of them share her enjoyment of basking in the misery of others.
Fan Disservice: There's a surprising amount of nudity... and every time it shows up it stops being erotic about three panels later. There's also the scenes with Fran acting in horror movies...
One of the horrifying and disgusting examples is in Chapter 19, Lust, when Fran helps the girls deal with their boy problems by getting rid of the boys' sexual lust. What the boys think is a pile of hot, young women ready to do the down and dirty is actually a mass of tentacles and body parts emitting a pheromone.
Fantastic Aesop: Practically every issue Fran observes a flaw of human nature and takes some bit of wisdom from it that the reader can share in. Things like, "Don't get so addicted to being revived from death by a maestro surgeon that you keep killing yourself over and over." Or "don't turn yourself into an anime character for love, or your skin will molt off and your lover will crush you to death trying to escape the alien you appear to be." Or maybe, "Inner beauty may shine through a layer of bandages, but those bandages are there to cover something horrifying"
Fate Worse Than Death: If the villain of the chapter doesn't end up outright killed, they'll usually end up with one of these — either courtesy of Fran's dedication to saving life no matter what, or her questionable medical ethics.
Just villains? Almost EVERYONE who ever went through Fran's surgery will suffer this, one way or another (only a few don't, lucky them). And if they don't, someone else related have to face either death, or a fate worse than death itself.
The Fettered: When Gavrill is forced to becomes a high-school substitute her doctor/protector's only request is that she does not kill the students. She doesn't, but she does beat the shit out of them during a brawl with another school.
In "Best Friend", Gavrill finds out what happened to Veronica's friend but will only tell her if she becomes her slave. Veronica agrees, but Gavrill orders her to not harm the perpetrators.
Gag Dub: In the fan translations there is a little gag at the end of the chapter that involves editing one of the panels to make a joke. These have ranged to making fun of the Geico commercials, comparing Bronies to Zombies and how they spread the same way, to the fact Naruto causes brain damage. All in good fun though.
Gainax Ending: Neither the last chapter or the ending itself have any build-up or lead-in, and its kinda hard to tell what actually happened in the end.
Generic Cuteness: In the plastic surgery episode, a girl wants "big eyes" (read: she wants an epicanthoplasty). It's near impossible to tell the difference in the before and after, and even the author admits the character designs gave the story some problems. Though, we only get one "before" shot of her - one eye seems to be squinting while she holds the other one open wider. It's possible the "squinting" look is natural, and what she wants to have altered.
It also caused problems in Ch 37, where an actress wants to look like an anime character. The difference, especially with the eyes, is small.
Gift of the Magi Plot: A bit of a... variation, all right. A girlfriend to a boy had a traumatic experience with men and now has a psychological aversion to them. His response is to get Fran to change his gender by swapping his genitals for a woman's. The girlfriend has Fran do the opposite to her.
And then they cheat on each other... Well, assuming the omake pages are canon, at least.
Glasgow Grin: Apparently, Fran's jaw didn't come with the rest of her head.
Gone Horribly Right: Boy, howdy. A painter asks for working eyes - and gets to see Cthulhu. Girls complain about the boys being too horny - we find them in the embrace of... God-doesn't-want-to know-what, and it's passed as comedy. A woman wants to be eternally young - well, just look at And I Must Scream above.
Her creator also does this - can you say giant pregnant whale-daughter?
Gorn: Lots and LOTS of it. In fact, in one episode Fran is (unknowingly) taking part in a Torture Porn movie. Then she realizes what it was and... well, the director's career ends.
Groin Attack: Oh fuck, chapter 31, right when the Man Tribe vs Female Tribe begins. There's this slightly shadowed, but obvious pic of one of the female amazons cutting one of the male's genitals off. This is payback, because in the exact same page, there's a pic of some of the male tribe members raping the amazons(including the dead ones). So yeah, they were asking for it.
Grotesque Cute: The humans in this story can be quite adorable, as long as they stay human.
That solution is thusly Fran's solution to being sliced down the middle is to let both halves of her body develop and repair themselves individually and recombine them at a later date. However, prolonged separation causes Fran's right half to develop a proper moral code. This influences the right half to escape her property and become a successful doctor at a normal hospital. Sadly, she's too easily guilt-tripped into acting on the whims of her patients, and the resulting mess of corruption and bribery brings her work to a screeching halt.
Not in the present, but he does have a conversation with Amatsuka on-panel in a flashback to WWII.
He also appears in the Adorea flashback, with only his eyes hidden in the shadow of his hat.
Healing Factor: The villain in Chapter 28. He survives and completely recovers from hanging and lethal injection on his own. He later recovers from dismemberment by chainsaw after Fran puts him back together. In the end, the Healing Factor fails to save him from a lightning bolt.
In Chapter 51, the fourth Sentinel is given this instead of the usual superpowers so Sentinel III can claim vengeance for him again and again.
Heel Face Turn: The man in chapter 43 who originally wanted to swindle his niece's fortune. After being forced to share her body, he realizes how awful her life is because everyone around her (including himself and her own mother) resents her and wants the fortune for themselves. In the end, in an unusual variant of Redemption Equals Death, he condemns himself to a Fate Worse Than Death to give her a chance to live free.
Veronica is arguably an example. For the start, in her debut chapter she is portrayed in a more antagonistic way to the point she even stated that she wanted to kill Fran, probably due of jealousy as Fran was having a less sufferable life than hers. But in the following chapters she starts to gradually develop concern and care for Fran, as well as revealing to be not exactly a bad person despite her violent tendencies and beliefs.
Heroic BSOD: In Chapter 20 Fran has a bit of one when she is unable to save the Actress life and her last words were about the movie. Fran's Response? Make a giant puppet out of her skin to finish the movie.
Hey, It's That Guy!: In the special chapters "Movie Star" and "Bloody Veronica" the small mini-sodes that follow both feature recurring characters, a man in a trench coat with the misfortune to see bloody spirits, and a girl with an eyepatch wielding giant scissors
Hive Mind: Chapter 10 implies that cockroaches possess one.
Hollywood Exorcism: Chapter 52 has a cardinal being possessed by a demon and the Vatican exorcist troops doing everything they can for him. He's faking it so he can't become pope — he was a gangster and if his enemies found him they could hurt his friends. This being Franken Fran there's also the fact that he's got a fully developed infant in his skull thanks to an untested stem cell treatment.
Humanoid Abomination: Many of Fran's (and her creator's) experiments end up creating nightmarish things who can only be considered human in the loosest sense of the word, Adorea being the most prominent.
Gavrill "The Wolf" has a "transforming" body/skeleton that distorts her into a gigantic, nigh-invulnerable wolf-like creature.
Hypocritical Humour: In chapter 4, a girl tells a boy who took Frans offer of free cosmetic surgery to gain a tribal appearance that he lacked restraint, while all she got breasts almost twice the size of her head.
Incest Subtext: It's hinted more than once that Veronica loves Fran as more than just a sister. This gets lampshaded in the final extra chapter, but Fran shrugs it off as Veronica just being over-reliant on her.
Intrepid Reporter: Ijuuin, the reporter girl who appears in the chapters "Piety", "Rolling World" and "Living Dead".
Keeping Secrets Sucks / Sadistic Choice: Once again Veronica makes a friend and once again something horrible happens to them. Gavrill uses her super-senses to find out the truth but will only tell Vernonica if she'll be her slave. Veronica agrees but Gavrill's order is to not harm her friend's rapists/murderers. Fortunately the victim already did something and gave alllllll her rapists a nasty disease.
Knight Templar: Veronica. She was built to defend her target by killing any threat. The problem, as later chapters are making clear, is that her definition of "threat" is rather lower than it should be. Chapter 25 opens with her killing people for coming near Fran's mansion, and she's pulled her weapons for people just teasing Fran.
All the Sentinels qualify as well. The first one to be introduced killed a guy who recently had left the prison because he didn't think that two years sentenced in prison was enough for him.
Laser-Guided Karma: Usually happens to either the person Fran operates on or whoever that person is closest to. Also has a strong chance of not helping at all, and just having a regular old Downer Ending when people die without deserving it.
For an ideal example, the villain from Chapter 15 tries to have Fran killed (unsuccessfully) and has her anti-aging treatment stolen (successfully) the moment she has it working. She acted prematurely — the anti-aging treatment worked, but she took it before Fran had the time to eliminate the potential side effect of it turning the user into a heaving puddle of cancerous tissue. It was her own greedy desire to get it as soon as possible and keep anyone else from having access to it that led to her downfall.
Latex Perfection: Ssssssort of. Less "latex", more "actual skin". A patient of Fran's dies from a parasite that destroys the body's interior, but leaves the skin unscathed. Fran uses this in order to fulfill her patient's dying wish to finish her recent acting job... by wearing her skin as a disguise and pretending to be her.
Leaving Audience: What happens during Fran's lecture on her new childbirth method in chapter 29. It's a rare woobie moment for Fran as the fleeing of the other doctors brings her to tears.
Les Yay: Invoked Trope. Nothing solid in-universe so far, but not only do the Contemptible Covers depict more...uh..."friendly" interactions between major female characters, but Veronica has a couple times gotten highly contemplative when the idea of "girls loving each other" or "girl on girl" was brought up.
Plus, Fran at one point gives Veronica a hickey. Just to make a point. You know.
Aaaand then there's Fran-M and L reuniting...
The penultimate chapter results in a brainless but alive clone of Fran. For some reason, Veronica likes spending a lot of time alone in her room with her...
The two best friends in chapter 22 have an unrequited love for each other, which ends in tragedy. Then Fran steps in and gives them another chance...ornot.
And during the end of that chapter, Veronica just can't stop thinking about romantic relationships between two girls.
In "Curtain Call", the interviewer asks Veronica about her rumored attraction to Fran.
Locked Room Mystery: Invoked by Okita in Chapter 30. This being Franken Fran, the solution is squickier than mere murder. They did it to themselves.
Lolicon: Unlike most examples, played for drama. In chapter 21, the step-father of a girl abuses her. The ending of the chapter quickly becomes a massive fridge horror once you find out that he requested Fran to turn him into a much loved children's mascot, and then goes to work in an amusement park teeming with kids.
The Long List: Matsumae explaining what kind of characters has been made out of the clones in "Panoramic Island 1".
Loophole Abuse: When Fran is forbidden by the family to perform a simple heart operation due to what usually happens she respects the wish even though the kid will die. However they said nothing about modifying the surgeon that was going to do it and giving him extraordinary medical abilities. And unlike most cases it seems to have a happy ending as the kid survived and the surgeon, while acting somewhat out of character, is now one of the best surgeons in the field.
Losing Your Head: Seems to be a frequent occurrence among Fran's patients. Even Fran herself swaps bodies sometimes.
Lotus-Eater Machine: The girls were complaining that all the boys were all obsessed with sex, so Fran creates a pheromone based creature which all the boys can get their rock off with. It works too well causing all the boys to lose interest in sex with real girls.
Fran is actually ignorant of this fact, amusingly. When she was told that she basically was this in Chapter 11, she became saddened and confused... then she talked to her friend Okita about the matter, while ripping out a person's intestine.
I'm not sure that's a person's intestine...
Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter: Averted. Fran, for all her smiley Genki Girl nature, is probably more dangerous than her father is, especially when she tries to "help" and ends up turning you into a grotesque mockery of life.
Mandatory Twist Ending: Skillfully averted. That is, we do get a guaranteed twist at the end but sometimes the twist is a straight happy ending when we all expect something horrible. Thus, we can never be sure how it ends until the last panel.
This is noticable in Chapter 2, where one page turned what would have been a happy Aesop about loving someone deep down into a biological booboo joke.
Mind Screw: In Justice 2, an evil organization plans to destroy the world! By, um... giving away free medicine, fixing world hunger, curing diseases, destroying poverty, helping developing countries, and settling disputes. Um... yes.
Mr. Seahorse: Well, sort of. Because of an experimental stem cell surgery, a cardinal's brain developed into a fully developed infant. He convinced Fran to remove it so he could take his secret about his past life to the grave. The baby was given to the nuns that tried to exorcise the cardinal.
She is a genuinely skilled doctor (Insanely skilled, at that) when it comes to most regular medical practice. It's just that many of the operations she's asked to perform are too crazy for us readers to usually remember it.
Multi Armed Multitasking: Fran frequently acquires at least one pair of extra arms when she's doing surgery, the numbers fluctuate between 4 and 8.
Mukokuseki: Deconstructed. Shows to what lengths idols will go to get that anime look... and what lengths it would actually take (like removing the entire lower jaw and bathing in silicone). It wasn't enough for just a simple epicanthoplasty. This is why it's important for art majors to take anatomy. Basically, it invokes an Uncanny Valley.
Munchausen Syndrome: Fran has the five patients in "People of Unusual Tastes" that each kill themselves so that they can be treated and revived by Fran. They manage to even freak out Fran herself.
Muscles Are Meaningless: In chapter 38, the boy's first request for Fran was to have bigger muscles so he wouldn't be as easy to bully... but she didn't make him any stronger, just bulkier.
Nightmare Fetishist: There are some people in-universe who find Fran attractive since someone did want to make Torture Porn starring her. The assassin Agito even called her "cute" after nearly decapitating her.
And then there's a bunch of people who once were saved by Fran from almost dead state. They gathered together and called her for a party. Then they played up a Locked Room Mystery so they could almost die and be saved by Fran again.Fran was squicked by them.
No Celebrities Were Harmed: The dickish executive from Chapter 46 has a disturbingly odd resemblance with Steve Jobs, so that his name is... Steabe Jocks.
No Questions Asked: Fran's policy. As long as you have the money, she'll perform whatever procedure you ask for. What you do afterwards is none of her concern.
Not Using the Zed Word: Invoked by Fran and subverted in Chapter 47. "Isn't that what a zombie is? How are we supposed to call them?"
Obliviously Evil: Fran does some pretty horrific things. Not only does she think she's doing good, she thinks everyone loves her for it. She is genuinely shocked and hurt during the few times someone calls her out on what she does.
Old Shame: In-Universe example. Fran is tricked into starring in a torture porn movie. A few issues later, it's shown that Veronica knows Fran was in a movie but hasn't been allowed to see it.
One Gender Race: The gender-segregated islands in "Amazon", which became that way thanks to Fran's dad. The two "tribes" want to get to know each other better but they're so hyper-aggressive and clueless about relationships with the opposite sex that they wind up killing each other. ONE baby is born who survives the massacre, and it's a hermaphrodite.
Only Sane Man: Okita, the only sane cat-man among Fran's entourage, often acted as a snarky foil to Fran before Veronica arrived. As in, a cat with a man's head. Or is it a man with a cat's body...
According to Veronica, he's a cat. Presumably he's been uplifted in some way. Or she's wrong. Or she implies that he doesn't have human male's distinct body parts.
In the first chapter, Okita states that although he "may look like this now, [he's] still got [his] human pride", implying that he's a man with a cat's body.
Our Zombies Are Different: In chapter 39 the mascots of Rolling World who were modified by Fran to have organs and live and walk with functional bodies get infected by a parasite that lives on the mountain the park is built on and start eating humans. Oddly enough, the people that they do bite who survive turn into a flesh eating mascot. In the end, they found out that they were infected from the beginning, but hadn't lashed out because music keeps them calm.
Chapter 47 has a Caribbean island where people killed by a disease of unknown origin come back from the dead to feast on the living. As it turns out, the disease was caused by a brain parasite which causes feigned death then makes the host a cannibal aware of their condition but unable to stop themselves. Worst of all, this is reversible but no one knows that.
Pet the Dog: Gavrill, from all people, shows signs of this to Prof. Amatsuka.
As a more literal example, Veronica to Paku in the extra chapter "Bloody Veronica".
Speaking of Veronica, she got one of these during a chapter where Fran was split into two people when Fran's nice side gave her a hug and praise. The other half was not as nice. She was also hugged in the epilogue of the series by both of her sisters.
Petting Zoo People: Okita sort of parodies this. While the usual blend of human and animal elements are in place, the proportions are completely reversed. He has a human head and intelligence, but aside from that he's basically an ordinary cat.
Power Limiter: Gavrill has one that looks like an egg timer built into her head "bolts". It takes a lot of concentration to control her very complex body and it's implied that she would've quickly fallen apart if she lacked will power.
The Power of Love: Lampshaded in an in-universe movie based on one of Fran's adventures:
Actress: "My leukemia has magically been cured, somehow! The doctors said it was the power of love!"
Veronica:(flings her chair through the screen) "What the hell is this crap!?"
Recursive Canon: The hospital director in "Snow Light" refuses to let Fran do a surgery because of a book he's reading about her. It's the first tankobon.
Fran: Oh my, how embarrassing!
Red Baron: Gavrill is nicknamed "The Wolf" due to her extreme brutality and the form she likes to transform into during battles. In a bit of a subversion, though, most people actually refer to her by her name.
Restraining Bolt: Fran inserts one into Veronica in order to keep control over Veronica's violent tendencies.
Religion Is Right: Jesus existed and was able to work miracles, at least. The Flying Spaghetti Monster also exists, or at least does now.
Revenge Before Reason: Sentinel 3, AKA the "Avenging Sentinel" from Franken Fran becomes addicted to vengeance even setting up his own non-combat allies to be killed just to have excuse for it because the act of vengeance feels really good. And it's not like this or like that, it's just knowing you're avenging someone even someone you set up to die in the first place produces that same kind of high.
Revised Ending: Word Of God is that Chapter 11 was originally going to be an Omake in which Fran fails to save the girl's brother (because they won't let her near the operation due to her reputation), and instead fixes the girl's broken doll. In the full version that was published, the girl makes Fran realize that she can save her brother even without being allowed to perform the heart transplant — by performing unauthorized surgery on the doctor that was chosen that enhances him to the point that he's up to the task. Instead, she can't fix the doll, as she just knows how to fix actual, living people.
See You in Hell: Uttered by Kuhou, of all people; right before she could kill Matsumae in chapter 55, she is shot and falls down the building she was standing atop, though she does manage to say the line. In a subversion, though neither she nor Matsumae die.
Sexy Secretary: Professor Amatsuka gets one in chapter five, who is actually a spy out to steal his and Fran's medical secrets.
Shout Out: Chapter 23 is a great big Kamen Rider pastiche. In fact, the whole Setinel arc is one big parody of it.
On Page 5 of Chapter 12, Fran uses a trick she read in a book to stop two schoolboys from fighting over a girl. The book she's reading? Pool Maison Ikkoku.
Chapter 27's ending is a shout out to the history of the dog Hachiko.
In chapter 26, Franken Fran "helps" a cult maintain its messiah figure; who gives birth to the Flying Spaghetti Monster, absorbs its followers with its noodled appendages, and flies away. Did we mention the "mother" is a 10 year-old girl who had a giant factory complex for a body ? Hum.
Chapter 29 has Dr. Serizawa, the scientist who steals Fran's new method for childbirth, who has the same name and Eyepatch of Power of the scientist from the first Godzilla film; also, the half-human half-fly hybrid that gives birth to an entirely human baby.
The pregnant insect-girl's name was Kaneda. Now go back and read chapter 2 again.
Chapter 28 has a minor one to Silence of the lambs
Chapter 41 features two Shout Outs: The first is the nun Shelly, who was possibly named after Frankenstein's author Mary Shelley, and the second is the section of Vatican which Shelly works for: a certain 13th division responsible for realizing exorcisms and hunting down evil creatures.
Sibling Yin-Yang: Veronica and Fran. The "yin and yang" isn't Good/Evil, but Life/Death; Fran cannot end a life, while Veronica cannot spare one.
And then there's Gavrill, who doesn't care about life or death.
Soundtrack Dissonance: The ending of the CD drama adaptation of "Chrysalis" wherein Kaneda eats her mutually loving boyfriend, Tajima, in the manner of many insects is accompanied by light, cheerful music.
Also the front page image above, when she's preparing to screw 3 guys for stalking her mansion. Boy were they screwed
Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism - When it's not being darkly humorous, it's being cynical. See the two Justice chapters, the latter of which convinces the idealistic hero that charity = badevilwrong, because it'll overpopulate the world and cause humans to destroy themselves from this, and forces him to kill a bunch of angry people who were hurt by the first Justice.
Something Completely Different: Chapter 45 doesn't deal with weird surgeries. It deals with Veronica finding a city made by cockroaches, which includes technology, music, love, superheroes, supervillains, Humongous Mecha, and a Super Saiyan cockroach......It really makes no sense, even in context.
Stockholm Syndrome: when Veronica is introduced, she terrorized Fran and even kills one of her subjects. Then Fran catches her and starts conducting horrible experiments offscreen. By the next chapter, she's Fran's doting little sis.
Strictly Formula: Someone comes to Fran for help. Fran "helps" them. It backfires. Fran shrugs it off.
Alternatively, Fran invents some Nobel-worthy achievement in medicine to "fix" a "problem". Someone steals the idea. It backfires. Fran shrugs is off and moves to the next patient.
Super-Deformed: Veronica in one chapter as she got cut in half and Fran only had limited part to rebuild her. Note Veronica is not happy and only has two shaolin spade blades for arms.
Super-Powered Robot Meter Maids: Not with robot, but artificial organism. For some reason Fran decided to give a living amusement park mascot 20 times the strength of a horse and teeth sharp enough to bite people's heads off.
Fran's lab assistants tend to be about ten feet tall and half as broad across the shoulders. At least one of them has a remarkable Healing Factor and can serve as a decent assassin.
Super Senses: The wolf-like Gavrill has super-hearing and super-smelling. The latter makes her already torturous tenure as a high school sub unbearable because the students' body fluids are overwhelming.
Another one has popped up comprising of Sentinels I-IV.
Take That: Most folks are often too focused on the dark horror-humor to notice that the other half of the manga's comedy is firmly rooted in biting, snarky satire, often regarding Japanese culture and manga/anime tropes and cliches. Mostly from taking whatever is being mocked at the time, and bringing it to a twisted extreme. Japanese blood type superstition, for instance, is mocked by depicting it leading to a segregationist, dictatorial caste system. Then you have an entire chapter showcasing the horrific things one would have to do to themselves to look like an anime character in real life, and just how hideous that would actually look. And then you have the chapter focusing on an impossibly old woman, and Fran discovering the secret to her supposed immortality. The chapter appears mostly serious, with very little in the way of jokes, until you're hit square in the face with the punchline of the entire chapter: Ever have an extremely old relative who requires constant care and attention, and never seems to die? They're doing it on purpose, because they hate you, and your misery feeds them and makes them immortal. Old people hate you.
Chapter 17 has a small one against radical nature organisations like Green Peace.
Terrified of Germs: The client in chapter ten has this so bad that she asks Fran to create something that will kill off all cockroaches. After she gets badly burned, her skin grafts are revealed to be made from the exoskeleton of cockroaches. Cue Freak Out, followed by the above trope.
The Unreveal: In the last chapter, Fran has a dream where all her friend and former patients visit, but she's woken up just before we get to see Naomitsu.
In chapter 17, the reader never get to find out exactly what the sea monster gives birth to.
Thirty Gambit Pileup: It starts off with a Mafia boss forcibly make a double out of an attempted assassin of him and quickly devolves it to everyone remotely involved gunning down each other. Fran herself doesn't even know who is who.
Took a Level in Badass : While your opinion may vary as to whether she became "badass" or not, you can't deny that officer Kuhou became a hell of a lot serious after she was transformed into a monster girl.
The Topic of Cancer: Used for karmic justice (and the compulsory Body Horror) - a rich villain hires Fran to extend her life and tries to get her killed to steal her research (fortunately, Fran is Ambiguously Undead and can live through decapitation). Fran returns to the villain's mansion and finds her Showing Off the New Body - the experimental formula allowed her teleomers to regenerate indefinitely, making her cells immortal... Just as the first side effects start to appear, Fran calmy explains that the only cells not programmed to die of old age are cancer cells. She then walks away, leaving her client "immortal" - as a gibbering pile of semi-liquid flesh.
Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Lampshaded in Chapter 30, where people explain to Okita that they don't find the sight of a cat with a man's head surprising because they're familiar with Fran's work. Okita hadn't even thought of it.
Vagina Dentata: The girl in chapter 3, sort of. Due to the mutations on her body, she has an actual mouth where her lady-parts would usually be.
We Can Rebuild Her: Multiple examples, but one of the most extreme is in Chapter 26, where the cultists keep a young girl alive by converting her into a factory that somehow gets pregnant. Even Fran is a little stumped about how that happened.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: Probably one of the oddest examples of this trope, as Fran is not of the typical "I do what is right, even if I have to do terrible things to do so." Thanks to Blue and Orange Morality, Fran is entirely incapable of seeing her extremism as anything wrong. At most, she might see those solutions as not ideal.
She also subverts this at times. Most chapters put her in a situation that requires extreme measures to be taken, but when faced with day-to-day concerns, she often suggests more rational courses of actions.
What Happened to the Mouse?: A small example: Paku, the dog who accompanies Veronica in the extra chapter of volume 2. Veronica briefly mentions him in the beginning of "Her Pet Dog", but aside that he is never seen or mentioned again.
What the Hell, Hero?: Played with in the sequel to "Justice", when a new Sentinel discovers that the Big Bad's plan to destroy the world is through charities (clean water and hospitals for everyone = population boom = overcrowded humanity will fight each other at the drop of a hat = Profit!). Nonetheless, the Big Bad is very upset at the deaths of his minions and allows their families to take revenge. It doesn't work since they're normal humans against one of Fran's creations. The Sentinel goes on a bombing spree against anything remotely charitable and gets tagged as a terrorist.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: A bizarre inversion would have to be the Black Lotus Syndicate. Their plan is the eradication of humanity. But they don't plan on killing even one person, instead they plan on improving the human condition to the point that the number of human beings on the planet exceeds the number of resources available, which will incite World War 3, as every nation battles every other for the few remaining resources left. Naturally, their leader is an Actual Pacifist, who tries to stop his minions and Sentinel 2 from fighting one another. He fails utterly, his minions too enraged by Sentinel 2 killing their family members, and Sentinel 2 not able to control his own strength.
Fran herself. Her intentions are unquestionably altruistic, but she doesn't quite get the concept of "extremism"...
We Will Meet Again: The villain of chapter 46 delivers this to Fran, in a very rare moment where she is actually defeated.
Wife Husbandry: A twisted version happens at the end chapter 22. The patient requests Fran to fertilize her egg with the genes of her best friend (and love interest) so that they can have another chance together. However, Fran later states that the genes of the friend went into remission, so in effect the baby who the patient plans to court is not her best friend reborn, but rather her biological child.
Your Mind Makes It Real: In Chapter 38, Fran injects a teenager with an experimental batch of stem cells that respond to his thoughts, literally making him the man of his dreams. However, they are highly unpredictable, causing the boy to change on a whim. In the end, the boy becomes despondent and mutates into a giant sea squirt. The reason why he became depressed was because the girl he loved had a boyfriend. In the end, it turns out she never did, and Fran gives her a perfume made from the musk of the boy. *sniff* (On the upside, the kid's musk makes his mom rich.)