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Webcomic / Alien Hand Syndrome

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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-2017 this recruitment has not yet taken place, although there have been 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 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a disturbing vision which makes her wonder if she's going mad, and her reaction to it makes Erin think she's even more withdrawn than ever. Mina subsequently has a number of increasingly disturbing out-of-character moments which Nick insists are connected to the stone, although Erin is convinced they have a more "rational" explanation. At the same time, Mina is becoming increasingly aware that Erin is attracted to her, and Mina isn't sure how she feels about that.

The AHS site also features an unrelated story called Idly Falling Feathers, featuring an identical girl named Mina at a magical university encountering another who has been unwillingly transformed into a gryphon. Only twelve IFF strips and three pieces of bonus art were posted, and the title is officially cancelled.

Another story, referred to as "GC", began in September 2016. This features Sara, who also looks a lot like Mina, arriving at a clinic as a care volunteer for a girl named Mary, who looks similar to Erin except for having lighter skin and green eyes - and for being a quadruple amputee. Five color pages had appeared as of mid-June 2017.

The comics updated at irregular intervals, with Idly Falling Feathers less frequent because it was in color. The artist has also reported wrist and shoulder problems, which obviously slow her drawing even further. In spite of this, AHS officially switched to color in late 2014, and since then has switched back and forth sporadically between color and black and white.

In July 2018 Drake wrote a piece on the site expressing uncertainty as to her ability to continue, since when AHS has not updated.

The comics can be read here. Warning: a few brief scenes in AHS are NSFW for nudity. Also note that as of August 2015 the links to Idly Falling Feathers have been moved to the Gallery section. A backup can be found here.

Alien Hand Syndrome contains examples of the following tropes:

  • All Anime Is Naughty Tentacles: Referenced when Erin discovers (to her delight and Mina's mortification) that a big city comic store has a porn section. See panel 3 of this strip (somewhat NSFW although swimsuited).
  • 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.
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • Pizza Hat and McDangus.
    • Erin's smartphone appears to be a Pear. You know, as opposed to...
  • Content Warnings: Parodied in-story with a tiny warning label on a porn comic. Thanks to "Blind Idiot" Translation it reads " For exciting adult only!"
  • 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.
    • Subverted in a later scene when Mina shoves Erin off a cliff. Drake knows readers are expecting it to be another daydream. It isn't. Luckily it's not a very high cliff and Erin survives, and even forgives Mina.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Erin to Mina, frequently, although not so much of the deadpan.
  • Digital Piracy Is Evil: Mina feels guilty about pirating comics off the internet (she doesn't often visit comic shops because she had a bad experience in on once). Erin of course seems to feel that Digital Piracy Is Okay. (The comments on the page suggest that the readers are divided on the subject.)
  • Fanservice: Erin's (very short) nude scene.
    • The nude (sex?) scene in the "historic" movie.
    • A couple of the redrawn early pages include brief shots of Erin flashing a boob or a butt - probably deliberately for Mina's benefit.
    • From the bonus art:
      • This. (Non-canon and mildly NSFW.)
      • There's a piece, actually entitled "Wardrobe Malfunction", where the girls are at the beach and Erin's bikini proves unreliable, much to Mina's discomfort. No direct link due to boobs. Drake's Patreons get to see a fully nude "after" version.
  • 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. Later, she has an even worse case of it when she tries to kill Erin. It's set up so the audience think it's just another hallucination, only to discover a couple of pages that it's all too real.
  • Re-Cut: In August 2016 Drake posted redrawn versions of the first 25 pages, improving some of the artwork, adding small dialogue revisions and in a couple of places completely rewriting scenes. Notably, a couple of pages have a little more nudity than before, and Erin acquires a couple of equine dolls in her room in Prussia (right center of this page). In May 2017 Drake added page 26 and increased the size of the redrawn pages and the whole of the most recent chapter.
  • 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.
  • Shout-Out:
  • The Shadow Knows: The title page for Chapter 2. Happens right before Mina's Daydream Surprise.
  • Title Drop: When Nick is trying to persiade Erin that Mina is possessed, Erin suggests the eponymous (real-life) syndrome as an alternative theory, although she doesn't actually know its name and Dan is the one who comes out with it.
  • Wardrobe Malfunction: There's actually a piece of bonus art with this title. See Fanservice above.
  • 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.
    • Mina shoves Erin off a cliff, causing injury. Luckily help is at hand.

Idly Falling Feathers contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Forced Transformation: The girl who's been turned into a gryphon. (Her name is subsequently revealed to be Lisa).