Random

Webcomic: Alien Hand Syndrome

Mina (left) and Erin. In this page image Mina looks a lot more relaxed and confident than she does for most of the story, at least so far.
Alien Hand Syndrome is an animesque Web Comic by Drake, aka Knullakuk on DeviantArt. According to the official description, "This is a comic about two girls being recruited by an organization that deals with supernatural incidents." As of mid-2014 this recruitment has not yet taken place, although there have been a few hints as to future developments.

The story takes place in a parallel world where airships are the main form of international travel. Mina is a shy, reserved high school student and comic book fan in Prussia (a more or less generically western country which may be based on modern Germany). She is surprised when her new friend, the upbeat and outgoing (and rich) Erin, invites her to visit her homeland of Amaria (which has obvious similarities to Japan, although many Amarians seem to have light hair). Despite her initial reluctance she is finally persuaded to go.

Arriving at Erin's mother's hotel, they encounter a couple of mysterious strangers (later named Dan and Nick) and briefly examine a stone that may or may not have magic powers. Shortly afterward Mina has a disturbing vision which makes her wonder if she's going mad, and her reaction to it makes Erin think she's even more withdrawn than ever. A subsequent visit to a clothing store only causes Mina more embarrassment, especially when Erin persuades her to try on a doll-like outfit. Then Mina says something totally out of character that freaks her out even more...

The AHS site also features an unrelated story called Idly Falling Feathers, featuring a girl at a magical university (no relation to Hogwarts, although it is housed in a Neuschwanstein-like castle) encountering another who has been unwillingly transformed into a gryphon. As of mid-2014 only ten strips have been posted.

Both titles update at irregular intervals, with Idly Falling Feathers less frequent because it's in color. The artist has also reported wrist and other health problems as of mid-2014, which obviously slows her drawing even further, in spite of which AHS officially switched to color in late 2014. They can be read here. Warning: a few brief scenes in AHS are NSFW for nudity.

Alien Hand Syndrome contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Ancient Artifact: The mysterious stone that Erin shows Mina and Mina breaks may be one. Nick's question here seems to confirm it.
  • Art Evolution: The first few strips have much cruder artwork, and the rest show a definite progress even over the course of a couple of years.
  • Animesque
  • Bland-Name Product: Pizza Hat.
  • Cool Airship: Especially when you can travel first class, snobbish fellow passengers notwithstanding.
  • Cult: Erin's opinion of Sol Invictusnote , the religion to which Dan and Nick subscribe. But then, as this strip reveals, that's also her opinion of her world's version of Christianity (to which neither she nor Mina belong).
  • Daydream Surprise: shy little Mina shoves a guy in front of a train and sneers... and then wakes up and wonders how the hell she could have imagined such a thing.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Erin to Mina, frequently, although not so much of the deadpan.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The browser Title text on the homepage used to read "Alien Hand Syndrome | This is a Comic that is on the web." note 
  • Fanservice: Erin's (very short) nude scene.
    • This. (Non-canon and mildly NSFW.)
    • The nude (sex?) scene in the "historic" movie.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Hilariously averted in the "historical" movie Erin takes Mina to see.
  • Head Desk: Erin bangs her head on café tables a couple of times in response to Mina's unadventurous eating habits. (First link has profanity.)
  • Hot Springs Episode: Initially a very brief one for our heroines, because it turns out Dan and Nick are already bathing in it. They return to the spring a little later, even though by then it's raining.
  • Modesty Towel: In the aforementioned hot springs scene Erin gives Mina one because she's embarrassed at the idea of being naked outdoors. Next time they both wear towels.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Mina's face says it here after she's had another out-of-character moment and threatened and traumatized an annoying guy and then destroyed his phone.
  • Panty Shot: During Erin's Les Yay Dream Sequence.
  • Rugged Scar: Erin takes Mina to see a movie about a Samurai-type warrior who has scars all over. The warrior looks a bit like Mina, which could explain a lot.
  • Shrinking Violet: Mina.
  • The Shadow Knows: The title page for Chapter 2. Happens right before Mina's Daydream Surprise.
  • Wham Episode: Faked. Mina kills a total stranger. Only it was all in her head.
    • Mina has some kind of temporary aberration and calls Erin a stupid bitch. Only Erin apparently doesn't notice.

Idly Falling Feathers contains examples of the following tropes: