I swear I’ve seen Erica Friedman describe Akita Shoten’s Champion Red as a shônen magazine where dignity and hope for a better world go to die, perhaps even suggesting that its readership should be monitored for their potentially detrimental influence on the gene pool. I trust Erica implicitly, but there is a horror series that’s run in Champion Red that was recently… well… championed in comments, and – as sometimes happens with horrific scenarios – curiosity has overcome good sense. (Don’t go in the Champion Red basement, you fool! It’s filled with the creepiest kind of otaku!)
I refer, of course, to Katsuhisa Kigitsu’s Franken Fran. Those covers make me wish for the swift oblivion of death to end my shame, but the host of Sunday Comics Debt sent me on the road to no return with the following remark:
I like to think of Franken Fran as Pinoko all grown up, and being raised with the Doctor’s medical skill would make her a prime candidate for doing outlandish operations that would be banned in any country. Admit it – all the elements are there – she’s a childish tumor with no qualms of ethics or humanity, and enjoys operating madcap experiments that would make Desty Nova proud, just for the fun of it.
Now, you all know of my completely misguided adoration for Pinoko. I’m not going to bore you by repeating it, but she’s so creepy and disturbing and precious and… ahem. Sorry about that.
It’s being published in German by Panini, and you can see some preview pages at the Amazon listing for the volume. The insides look a little more restrained than the “purchase by mail and try not to think of the shipping clerk judging you” covers would suggest.
We’re almost done with Black Jack (Vertical), and while it seems like a series with great snowy-Sunday reread value, I’d feel better if I knew there was something similarly ridiculous and entertaining on the way. Franken Fran’s potential tackiness may overwhelm its giddiness, but I’m willing to take that risk.