Cutie Honey [Re: = Return/Renewal/Regarding]
Note: This review is for
Episode 1, additional updates will be appended to this review
as future episodes become available.
For more information on this series visit
Toei’s Official Website http://www.re-cutiehoney.com
and Gainax’s Series Website http://www.gainax.co.jp/anime/re_cutie/
Episode 1 (7/24/04 – Sky PerfecTV! PPV; 9/21/04 –
Episode 2 (8/28/04 – Sky PerfecTV! PPV; 10/21/04 –
Episode 3 (9/25/04 – Sky PerfecTV! PPV; 11/21/04 –
Episode 1 – “Ten” (Heaven)
Episode 2 – “Chi” (Earth) -- To be reviewed
Episode 3 – “Hito” (Human) – To be
reviewed when released.
Broadcast by: Sky PerfecTV! Cable PPV
Original Story: Go Nagai
Producer(s): Anno Hideaki (Gainax)
Series Planning: Nakajima Kazuki
Screenwriter(s): Nakajima Kazuki; Kasai Takeo; Taki Koichi
Director(s): Imaishi Hiroyuki; Ito Naoyuki; Masayuki
Character Designs: Hiramatsu Sadashi
Animation: Gainax;Toei Animation
Music: Ueda Susumu
Produced by: Re: Cutie Honey Planning Committee
Lyrics: Nagai Go
Original Producer: Krodo Q (Claude Q)
Original Composer: Watanabe Takeo
Modern Arrangement\Music: n-wonder & Avex Group
Performed by: Koda Kumi
"Into Your Heart"
Lyrics: Koda Kumi
Arrangement\Music: n-wonder & Avex Group
Performed by: Koda Kumi
Horie Yui (Kisaragi Honey/Cutie Honey)
Noda Junko (Inspector Aki Natsuko)
Ishikawa Hideo (Reporter Hayami Seiji)
Nakao Ryohei (Detective Mikami)
Tanaka Kazumi (Detective Tokimura)
Uemura Noriko (Gold Claw)
Itakura Kazue (Sister Jill)
Toma Yumi (Black Claw)
Kingetsu Mami (Cobalt Claw)
Konno Hiromi (Scarlet Claw)
Shimada Bin (Assistant Manager Mainen)
Kiyokawa Motomu (Butler)
Sugiyama Kazuko (Izumiya Kyoko)
Kaneda Tomoko (Takahashi Mayumi)
Komatsu Yuka (Terada Rinko)
The setting is Japan (Tokyo?) and the time
is in the near future. A mysterious terrorist organization
calling itself “Panther Claw” has launched a series
of daring and bold attacks on the city. The Metropolitan Police
are utterly helpless against them. The Police Department’s
top Inspector Aki Natsuko is called in to head the battle
against Panther Claw.
They pursue one of the Panther Claw agents,
Destroyer Panther but are unable to stop her. Just as things
seem at their darkest, a mysterious motorcycle rider appears
from nowhere to stop Destroyer Panther. Upstaged, a furious
Natsuko vows to arrest the mysterious biker. In subsequent
days, Panther Claw’s other agents Doctor Panther and
Scope Panther are also defeated by the same mysterious heroine.
Tiring of these meddling encounters, Panther
Claw dispatches out one of their “Four Kings <Queens>”
(Shitenoh) the hulking Gold Claw to take of the situation.
Gold Panther takes over a local TV station and issues an ultimatum
to the mysterious heroine on National TV. The mysterious heroine
takes the challenge and reveals herself to be the “Warrior
of Love” Cutie Honey.
After a raging battle, which ends in a stalemate,
Cutie Honey is nearly captured by the persistent Natsuko.
It is only through the intervention of street-savvy Mai Asa
Shinbun (Daily Morning Newspaper) Reporter Hayami Seiji that
Honey is able to escape. Seiji seems to know a lot about Honey
and her past, much to her dismay. Seiji also knows Honey’s
secret. That she is a female android who utilizes the “I
<Ai> System” (Love System) to change into the
“hard bodied” Super Heroine, Cutie Honey.
When not fighting crime, Honey masquerades
as a somewhat naïve OL (Office Lady) at the Tachibana
Banking Institution where she is at the mercy of her dimwitted
boss, Mainen and catty co-workers, Rinko and Mayumi.
Thirsting for revenge Gold Claw launches another
assault, this time on the Metropolitan Police Department itself.
Aided by Destroyer Panther, Doctor Panther and Scope Panther,
the four nearly succeed in leveling the entire building if
not for the timely intervention of Honey and Seiji.
After defeating Destroyer Panther, Doctor
Panther and Scope Panther, Honey and Gold Panther do battle
but Gold Panther ’s powers are too strong. Gold Panther
holds Natsuki hostage and orders Cutie Honey to surrender
Natsuki however activates Cutie Honey’s
“I System” with a well placed gunshot to her heart-shaped
choker and Cutie Honey finally defeats Gold Panther with her
ultimate attack(s) - the “Silver Fleuret Lightening
Shower” and “Honey Spiral Typhoon”. Learning
of the defeat of Gold Claw, Panther Claw leader Sister Jill
next orders Cobalt Claw and Scarlet Claw to go after Honey
and destroy her.
Natsuko is assigned fulltime to lead the investigation
against Panther Claw. Natsuko looks forward to the challenge
but dreads the idea of meeting up with Cutie Honey again.
As fate would invariably have it, and much to Natsuko’s
chagrin she discovers that Kisaragi Honey lives next door
to her, in their apartment complex.
Seiji also vows to discover the connection
between Sister Jill, Honey and Prof. Kisaragi.
Who is Cutey Honey?
“Cutie Honey” is the Super Heroine
persona of Kisaragi Honey. Kisaragi Honey is the only daughter
of a famed scientist who was brutally murdered years earlier
by agents of Panther Claw.
Hayami Seiji tells Honey that she is not human
at all but rather an artificial construct built by Prof. Kisaragi
using DNA Code from his real daughter who had died in childhood.
Through the “heart shaped” choker
jewelry that Honey wears around her neck, Honey is able to
activate the “I <Ai> System” (Love System)
that can give her various superhuman powers and abilities.
These abilities include superhuman strength, speed, stamina
and near invulnerability. Honey uses these abilities to fight
as the super heroine Cutie Honey.
Another aspect of her powers include the chameleon-like
ability to change and transform into various disguises, outfits
and personas. This ability is powered by what’s called
the “Imaginary Induction System” which uses Nano-Technology
to power these various costume and fashion changes.
Thess powers are very physically draining
and thus Honey need to consume vast amounts of food in order
to sustain these abilities. When her powers start to drain,
Cutie Honey’s uniform/clothing begins to dissolve, exposing
her ample “assets”.
While Honey is an android, she is so well
constructed and designed that for all intents and purposes,
she can pass as human (she shows emotion, needs to eat and
sleep, and desires love). This can be attributed to Prof.
Kisaragi’s skills as a scientist as well as the DNA
Code he used to create Honey.
Hayami hints that Panther Claw’s various
agents also incorporate a variation of Prof. Kisaragi’s
Nano-Technology for their powers. Sister Jill in particular
is somehow connected to Prof. Kisaragi and may also use a
form of the “I System” for her powers.
Loud, gaudy and campy, “Re: Cutie Honey”
is an assault on the senses.
Taking its cue possibly from American shows
like “Powerpuff Girls”, “South Park”
and “Samurai Jack”, the animation is very much
simplified to the point of resembling crude graffiti art.
The animation style is also similar and reminiscent
of that used in the “New Getter Robo” OVA series
While the fantastic title animation promises
stylish animation harking back to shows like “Cowboy
Beboy”, “Lupin III” and the original “Cutey
Honey” series of the 70’s, the rest of the show
disappoints with distorted and garish animation that is sub
par and truly unsettling.
Even the animation of shows like “The
Big O” and the American series “Justice League
Unlimited” seem better by comparison.
I can only suspect that part of the intention
was to mimic and pay tribute to Nagai Go’s original
manga work but what worked for series like “Kikaider:
The Animation” may not necessarily work for all shows.
However, while the animation suffers, the
story is actually quite good. A very different approach to
the Nagai Go story that puts a bit of a modern spin on the
tale and yet is still familiar enough so as not to put off
fans of the original series.
The music is another bright spot for this
series. Koda Kumi’s rendition of “Cutie Honey”
is quite good as is the ending theme “Into Your Heart”.
It does help that J-Pop Music Powerhouse, Avex-Group helped
with the music arrangement.
“Re: Cutie Honey” is not a bad
series, just not a very good one. Long time fans of Cutey
Honey like myself, will find this a unique and quite different
take on the character and story. While not on the same level
as “Cutey Honey Flash”, I still recommend it to
fans. First time viewers to the show should hold off and wait
for the live-action movie before investing in the series.
“Cutey Honey” is the creation
of prolific manga artist/creator Nagai Go who has created
some of the most memorable manga characters in Japanese comics
including Mazinger Z, Devil Man, Great Mazinger, UFO Grand
Dizer, Getter Robo and Violence Jack.
Nagai Go was an apprentice to the famous Tokusatsu
Creator Ishinomori Shoutaro.
Nagai Go got the idea for Cutey Honey from
the Kawauchi Kohan creation “Ai No Senshi Rainbow Man”.
"Re: Cutie Honey” is based on the
Toei Movie “Cutie Honey” which was directed by
Anno Hideaki, the writer/director behind the revolutionary
and influential anime series “Evangelion” (Gainax;
Horie Yui’s voice credits also include
“Kikaider: The Animation” (Ishimori Pro Inc./
SME Visual Works Inc./Bandai; 2000 - voiced Komyoji Mitsuko),
“Love Hina” (Studio I.G./Bandai/TV Tokyo; 2000
- voiced Narusekawa Naru) and “Kanon” (Fuji TV/Toei;
2002 - voiced Tsukimiya Aya). Horie appeared in the Tokusatsu
TV series “Sen Nen Okoku San Kishi – Bunny Knights”
(TV Asahi/KSS; 1999 – voiced Alice and portrayed Kimishima
Noda Junko is also an alumnus of the TV series
“Love Hina” (portrayed Konno Mitsune). Fans of
the seminal series “Last Exile” (Gonzo –
Digimation; 2003) may also recognize her as the voice behind
Kiyokawa Motomu portrayed another butler,
Norma Burg in the stylish series “Big O” (Sunrise;
Sugiyama Kazuko will always be remembered
as the voice behind G-3/June in the landmark series “Kagaku
Ninja Tai Gatchaman” (Tatsunoko Pro; 1972).