In many ways, Re:Cutie Honey takes the next step
in Gainax's evolution post-Eva, from Eva to Kare Kano to FLCL. It's
incredibly stylized (pastel backgrounds, sixties outfits and cars),
the action sequences are hyperkinetic, and its over-the-top nature
prevents the show's rare introspective moments from hitting you on
any sort of emotional level.
The Three Episodes
Although Hideaki Anno is listed as the show's director,
each 45-minute episode is so radically different in look and feel
that each episode director must have had considerable autonomy.
Directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi
The greatest work yet by Imaishi, the Gainax animator behind
the really crazy sequences of Kare Kano and FLCL. Episode 1
is a hyper thrillride of brillirantly creative animation. Also,
while there’s plenty of ecchi in Re: Cutie Honey, it’s
ecchi done right: creative, funny, and never repetitive (for
example of tired ecchi, see Mahoromatic Summer Special).
Directed by Takamichi Ito
Boring or retro, depending on who you ask. According to Kazuki
Nakajima, a scenario writer of the series, Episode 2 "is
a retro-flavored work in the style of old Toei Animation."
Gainax intentionally modeled it after the fashion of big Toei
Animation's action & shoujo shows in the golden age. Old-type
screen-directing is used in several scenes deliberately.
This episode is slower-paced, but some appreciate it for its
character development. Highlights include chibi Scarlet Clow's
rendition of the Cutey Honey theme.
Directed by Masayuki
A big Gainax spectacle of an ending. Episode 3 has quite an
Evangelion feel, owing to its use of Anno-ish emergency displays
and on-screen text, characters drawn with very long , thin limbs
(another Masayuki trademark) and Anno-style psychology. It's
determined to tell a serious story, with a more satisfying portrayal
of Sister Jill than the live action film and an exploration
of Honey and Natsuko's motivations. One of Masayuki's specialties
is the animation of water, so watch for plenty of water in this
Re: Cutie Honey shares its theme song with its sister-work,
the live-action film Cutie
Honey. The theme is a rendition of the old Cutie Honey theme,
now sung by the amazing Koda Kumi (who sang Real Emotion in Final
Fantasy X-2). The ED theme, “Into Your Heart,” is also
sung by Koda Kumi, and both songs can be found on Koda’s Love
& Honey EP.
Kill Bill: Re: Cutie Honey makes
multiple nods to Kill Bill. During one hectic gun battle, a song
kicks in with handclaps and disco/flamenco guitar, a clear take-off
of Santa Esmeralda's "Don't let me be misunderstood,"
easily the most rocking song in Kill Bill. There's multiple instances
of the "cut down four enemies who sort of stand there for a
second and then all collapse simultaneously while the hero is posing"
thing (for instance, where Uma takes out three of the Crazy 88),
which Tarantino derived from anime in the first place. Lastly, there’s
a scene in Re: Cutie Honey episode 2 where Cobalt Claw is jumping
from table to table, much as Gogo Yubari when she fought The Bride
in Kill Bill):
Lupin III: Honey’s boss dresses
exactly like Lupin III in the manga and movies: red jacket, blue
shirt, and yellow tie, while Seiji’s turquoise jacket and
black shirt/pants resemble clothes worn by Lupin in the Miyazaki-directed
Castle of Cagliostro