yuriboke: (Default)
[personal profile] yuriboke posting in [community profile] scans_daily

My reaction to finishing Nagai Go's classic Cutey Honey:

o_o ... o__O


The real review-



Cutey Honey is about Kisaragi Honey, an android created by Dr. Kisaragi to be his daughter.

After transferring to a yuri acid trip of a girls' school, charming her entire class,


and quickly making friends with amorous classmate/roommate Aki Natsuko,



Honey hears Dr. Kisaragi calling for help via a transceiver in her earring and immediately goes to his lab, which is being ransacked by members of the international crime organization Panther Claw.

After finding out she's an android, killing the burglars,



and seeing Dr. Kisaragi die, Honey learns from a recording of Dr. Kisaragi's voice that she has special technology inside of her that can "create matter out of air" and which allows her to transform into the redheaded super-crime fighter Cutey Honey when she presses the heart on her choker and yells "Honey Flash!"


Panther Claw, naturally, wants that technology and Honey wants revenge. At the lab, she also meets a doofus-y reporter named Hayami Seiji, who she befriends. (And later, Seiji's clingy little brother Junpei and pervy father  Danbei who I wanted to spray with insect repellent to make them go away.)


Other players include Honey's rather hideous homeroom teacher Alfone-sensei (who has the hots for Honey and is in a relationship with principal Pochi), sadistic dorm mistress Histora (who Honey has to evade when sneaking into and out of her dorm at night), the freakiest all-girl gang ever to grace the pages of a manga, and the mutants in Panther Claw, the most important of whom after their reclusive leader, Panther Zora, is the head of their Japanese branch, Sister Jill.


After luring Honey out with another burglary, Panther Claw captures Seiji, disguises one of their own as him, and manages to find out where Honey's school is. This does not bode well.


Everyone dies. Honey disguises Natsuko as a rock to save her from Panther Claw but doesn't have enough energy to disguise herself. When Panther Claw comes very close to where Honey's hiding, Natsuko bursts out of her disguise and pretends to be Honey running away. Dragon Claw burns her to a crisp, which pisses off Sister Jill, because the entire point was to capture Honey for her technology, not to destroy her. Sister Jill kills Dragon Claw and, convinced that Honey's dead, the Panther Claw members leave.

At Panther Claw's next planned burglary of a gold Buddhist statue, Honey makes herself look like the statue and takes its place before Panther Claw steals it (which isn't all that hard considering what the police in this story are like)



so she can infiltrate their hide-out. There, she fights Sister Jill

(after Jill's kind of hilarious reaction to Honey trying to transform) and kills her. Honey walks out of Panther Claw's castle, which Panther Zora blows up while crowing, "You'll fight me next, Honey!" And Honey swears to keep fighting until Panther Claw is completely destroyed- serving as a good segue for the two Cutey Honey TV anime series (one shounen, one shoujo, both more tame than the manga), OVAs (both seinen), a live-action TV series, a live-action movie, and numerous manga reboots in which Honey, once again, faces off against Panther Claw.

Honey is one of Nagai Go's most perennially popular creations. He is responsible for introducing some of the most ubiquitous tropes found in anime and manga (like mechs controlled by pilots in Mazinger Z), and his work is known for being loaded with nudity and violence. (His work even got him in trouble with PTAs back in the day, especially his series Harenchi Gakuen, which was the first "ecchi school" series.) However you feel about Nagai's oeuvre, you have to credit the man for knowing what sells.

While the first magical girl series was Mahou Tsukai Sally in 1966, Cutey Honey, which ran in Shounen Champion in 1973-1974 (the anime aired concurrently), introduced a major characteristic of the genre- a heroine who uses an accessory to transform and fight against baddies. Sailor Moon went further in introducing the concept to shoujo (hence, removing the seedy T & A- Honey's transformation is called "Honey Flash!" for a reason; correction on 11/02: Sailor Moon was just barely preceded by Sailor V, a short, relatively obscure transforming-magical-girl-fighting-baddies shoujo title by the same creator, but it did everything else I've credited it with here), adding in a sentai team element (a group of color-coordinated fighters/best friends transforming and defeating the bad guys), and becoming wildly popular around the world- and spawning more mahou shoujo ("magical girl") series that follow a similar pattern, like PreCure. So Cutey Honey's pretty significant even if it is incredibly trashy. (And as far as I know, Natsuko's the earliest ancestor of Daidouji Tomoyo/Suzumi Tamao/Shirai Kuroko/every yuri character with a comical crush on her best friend.)

So, if you can tolerate the service and gross-out humor (hur hur, the detective has a hemorrhoid- hur hur, now his ass is being karate-chopped), derive entertainment from the trippy moments (like Honey being inhaled by a giant panther and fighting several mutants in an alternate reality where she needs to quickly change forms- from a European knight to an animal tamer to Tarzan), and appreciate Honey's place as a benchmark manga and anime heroine (she has a likeable, strong-willed enough personality that it's easily to see how she has appealed to people in multiple demographics over the decades, with her story tweaked appropriately for its different variations), it's a title worth checking out. It isn't licensed in English, although there are unofficial translations floating around online. It can be purchased on Amazon JP.

Story: The story's a piece of crap (more for the execution than the underlying premise)... C

Art: C+

Overall: ...but it's a weird, historically valuable piece of crap. (Especially, for example, for someone like me whose gateway anime and manga was Sailor Moon.) B

Edit: Better quality images added. Also, this review originated here.

Date: 2010-10-25 01:08 am (UTC)
shanejayell: (Nao_WTF)
From: [personal profile] shanejayell
When I saw Re:Cutey Honey I thought Gainax were just being ODD. Looking at your post on the manga, it actually looks like they based it on the canon. Sorta. *lol*

Date: 2010-10-25 01:39 am (UTC)
shanejayell: (Default)
From: [personal profile] shanejayell
Exactly. :) I sorta wish there was a manga of the Re:Cutey Honey series too.

Date: 2010-10-25 02:39 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] wonderwomanhero
Kono goro hayari no onna no ko
Oshiri na chiisa na onna no ko
Kotchi wo muite yo HANII
Datte nanda ka datte datte nan da mon....

Date: 2010-10-25 02:39 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] wonderwomanhero
Okay so...I have New Cutey Honey OVA....and I also have the live action movie....but WTF....I wonder why they won't release the original series plusa few other anime adaptions internationally?

Date: 2010-10-25 03:01 am (UTC)
shanejayell: (Default)
From: [personal profile] shanejayell
It IS pretty odd.

The closest to a 'modern' adaption of the original manga is RE:Cutey Honey. Same villains and a similar style, but updated a bit.

Date: 2010-10-25 03:59 am (UTC)
majingojira: (Wondy Smile)
From: [personal profile] majingojira
All the early manga I've read (Osuma Tezuka and Go Nagai) have this kind of art style that's rather simplistic and rough compared to what occurs in manga today (though Nagai was definitely rougher).

Now you got me wanting to re-read and/or post some Devilman. One of my favorite manga series (the top spot going to Pluto currently).

Date: 2010-10-25 04:24 am (UTC)
sandoz_iscariot: A young man looks thoughtful, his chin resting on his hand. (Scott Pilgrim: Expressway to Your Skull)
From: [personal profile] sandoz_iscariot
*sighs* I wish there was a larger market for 70s and 80s manga in the U.S. So many titles it would be great to have in official translations.

Date: 2010-10-25 04:58 am (UTC)
darrylayo: (Default)
From: [personal profile] darrylayo
American audiences just can't handle the manly eyebrows of '70s manga.

Date: 2010-10-25 05:10 am (UTC)
sandoz_iscariot: A young man looks thoughtful, his chin resting on his hand. (Scott Pilgrim: MANLY TEARS)
From: [personal profile] sandoz_iscariot
They are very intimidating!

Date: 2010-10-26 08:23 pm (UTC)
meatwhichdreams: (Gaga ding)
From: [personal profile] meatwhichdreams
Ha, your icon weeps in sympathy for those who cannot handle manly eyebrows.

Date: 2010-10-25 01:19 pm (UTC)
majingojira: (Squirrels)
From: [personal profile] majingojira
Or the Epic Sideburns.

Date: 2010-10-25 09:10 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] psychopathicus_rex
Does... does that mook have a panther paw on the top of his head? That is a WEIRD costume choice, even for manga.

Date: 2010-10-25 01:20 pm (UTC)
majingojira: (Squirrels)
From: [personal profile] majingojira
You should see the demon's Go Nagai designed for Devilman. They are all sorts of weird and awesome.

Date: 2010-10-25 09:43 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] psychopathicus_rex
I'm sure, but a demon is different - if a DEMON looks like that, it's presumably just bizarre demonic biology at work. If a PERSON looks like that, it's because his fashion designer has gone MAAAAAAAD!

Date: 2010-10-25 10:19 pm (UTC)
majingojira: (I Reject Your Reality)
From: [personal profile] majingojira
In most incarnations I've seen (I haven't read the original), they're cyborgs.

Date: 2010-10-25 10:27 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] psychopathicus_rex
Oh, much better. A CYBORG panther paw on his head.

'Stop right there, or I'll HIT you with this PAW on my HEAD!'

'Uh, or you could just HIT me. Y'know, in the normal way.'

'...SHUT UP!'

Date: 2010-10-25 10:48 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] psychopathicus_rex

Date: 2010-10-25 11:02 pm (UTC)
majingojira: (Squirrels)
From: [personal profile] majingojira
Still doesn't top the movie's version which uses a pony tail as a helicopter rotor.

Date: 2010-10-25 11:15 pm (UTC)
majingojira: (WTF Guyver)
From: [personal profile] majingojira
Wait, that was Gold Claw, different character, but still, weird shit.

Date: 2010-10-25 11:30 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] psychopathicus_rex
Oh, I dunno - that's at least USEFUL. A head-mounted third limb, on the other hand, is just bizarre, especially when you consider that it's SHORTER than the guy's normal arms, so in order to use it, he'd have to get close enough to someone or something that he might as well just use his regular ones anyway. The only way I can see that thing being useful is if there's something he needs on a high shelf right above him, and he's already carrying a pile of heavy books...

Date: 2010-10-26 12:06 am (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Which is borrowing a notion from Snoopy using his ears as helicopter rotors, to name but one.

Date: 2010-10-26 01:05 am (UTC)
majingojira: (Squirrels)
From: [personal profile] majingojira
That may be, but it's a bit different seeing that in live action.

Date: 2010-10-25 03:11 pm (UTC)
janegray: (Default)
From: [personal profile] janegray
Out of curiosity, has Go Nagai ever written anything that didn't end with 98% of the character dying horribly?

Date: 2010-10-25 06:48 pm (UTC)
majingojira: (Default)
From: [personal profile] majingojira
I think a good portion of his Mazinger-related work have most of the cast surviving. Not that people don't die, mind you...

Pretty much all of his adaptations (some of which are developed first, like in the case of Devilman) are softened up.

Date: 2010-10-25 11:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nanairosmile.livejournal.com
i guess Cutie Hone was, next to Kerokko Demetan, the first anime ever i couldn't stand. perhaps i was to young when it was aired back in 1997 but there were so many tits and i really couldn't get into the story.

(Kerokko Demetan was just cruel.)

Date: 2010-10-26 01:23 am (UTC)
droolfangrrl: (Default)
From: [personal profile] droolfangrrl

oh ok, so this is the same guy who did the manzinger angles thing

well either it's wonderful zany fun, the manaka is INCREDIBLY messed up in the head, or most likely somewhere between the two points.

Date: 2010-10-26 11:05 pm (UTC)
meatwhichdreams: (Default)
From: [personal profile] meatwhichdreams
That's a fairly perfect description of what I've seen of his work. 0_o

Date: 2010-11-08 11:05 pm (UTC)
janegray: (Default)
From: [personal profile] janegray
Can I ask you a question? You seem to know a lot about Cutey Honey, and I thought you might know...

I found some pretty interesting Cutey Honey AMVs while I was watching Utena AMVs. They showed a kickass woman in a suit and glasses, she looked pretty cool. Turned out that the woman is the Natsuko version of the Cutey Honey OAVs, a police inspector.

I was going to check the OAVs out, but there is a problem: my aversion to downer endings, and in general to series where a lot of the cast dies.

Can you please tell me if Re:Cutie Honey is like that?

Date: 2010-11-09 09:54 am (UTC)
janegray: (Default)
From: [personal profile] janegray
Thank you! :D


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