|Original Run||1973 - 1974|
- 1 Genre
- 2 Sum it up in a Sentence
- 3 Main Description
- 4 If You Liked This, You Might Like...
- 5 Personal Opinions
- 6 Links
Sum it up in a Sentence
At times a racer, at other times a flight attendant, a model, a singer, or a photographer...but my true identity is the Warrior of Love, Cutie Honey!
Cutie Honey was originally created by Go Nagai in 1973 and published in Weekly Shonen Champion. Since then, it has been adapted into four separate anime series, a live action movie, and a tokusatsu series. While they all differ in their approach, every iteration of Cutie Honey has a few things in common. The main character is a young woman named Honey Kisaragi who's father is killed by an evil organization called Panther Claw, which usually consists of hideous monster-women and their henchmen. As her father dies, Honey learns that she is actually an android with the ability to transform into a variety of different forms, each with their own abilities. The most powerful of these is Cutie Honey, a red-haired warrior that fights with a sword. Armed with these powers, Honey swears vengeance against Panther Claw.
The original manga has Honey as a high school student attending an all-girls academy. It's classic Go Nagai, with lewd humor, bloody action scenes, a hot-blooded main character, and really fun monster designs. Cutie Honey is the prototype for the transforming magical girl. Honey's clothes would disappear whenever she changed form, which would go on to become a staple of the character and the magical girl genre as a whole. The two most important side characters are Aki Natsuko, a schoolgirl with a huge crush on Honey, and Seiji Hayami, a reporter that Honey meets shortly after her father is killed.
1973 TV anime
This ran alongside the manga from 1973 to 1974. One of the most faithful 1970s adaptations of Go Nagai's manga, it tones down the story only slightly as compared to most other adaptations of Go Nagai's works from this time period. The lesbianism of Honey's classmates is less obvious, the violence is toned down a little, and the humor is somewhat less perverted. All of the cool fights and monster designs are still there though, and the personality of the characters along with the story is still the same. This anime introduced the opening theme that would be reused in all future adaptations.
New Cutie Honey
An OVA released starting in 1994, set 100 years after the conclusion of the original series. The tone is darker than the original anime, and there is a much stronger focus on action with less of a focus on comedy. The setting in this version is Cosplay City, a city beset by superpowered criminals. It contains a bunch of references to other Go Nagai series, and characters from Devilman and Mazinger Z show up as well. Planned for 12 episodes, the anime was canceled after it's eighth episode. It works if you consider the first four episodes as one arc and the last four episodes as fun monster of the week affairs though. It's available legally stateside, usually at a very low price for the amount of content you are getting.
Cutie Honey Flash
A very non-Cutie Honey-ish TV anime made by Toei Animation in 1997. This version is much closer to a traditional magical girl story, with much of the same staff and airing in the same timeslot as the Sailor Moon anime. This version takes away a lot of what made Cutie Honey stand out and replaces it with your average generic magical girl tropes. For example, Flash contains a dark magical girl counterpart and a mysterious prince that helps Honey. In other words, it's complete trash and should be avoided, and is only included here for completeness.
Re: Cutie Honey
A three episode OVA (about 50 minutes each) produced by Gainax and released in 2004. Hideaki Anno supervised the project while a different staff member directed each episode, giving each one a distinct feel. Re: Cutie Honey offers a complete re-imagining of the setting, but in a way that remains faithful to the spirit of the original manga. In this version, Honey is a young office worker, Aki Natsuko is now a hotblooded armed-to-the-teeth police officer, and Seiji Hayami is now some sort of secret agent investigating Honey. Koda Kumi offers a great version of the opening theme.
Cutie Honey (live action movie)
A live action movie directed by Hideaki Anno, released in the same year as Re: Cutie Honey. The movie has a similar setup to Re: Cutie Honey in the way it handles the characters and setting. The plot is mostly similar to Re: Cutie Honey, but overall it isn't quite as well done. Go Nagai makes a cameo appearance where Honey falls on his car. This one is also available legally in the United States.
Cutie Honey: The Live
A tokusatsu show that aired on TV Tokyo from 2007 to 2008. This is probably the oddest re-imagining of Cutie Honey. In this version, Cutie Honey is still a high school student, but her personality in this version is closer to a complete ditz instead of a hot-blooded heroine. Seiji Hayami returns as a reporter, this time living among a group of homeless people who serve as supporting characters. Panther Claw is much different than in any other version, this time being a group involved in various super-villainous activities consisting of a mix of mostly normal looking males and females, although they still have some weird superpowers. This version also adds two other women capable of transforming in the same manner as Honey, although their powers are less complete.
If You Liked This, You Might Like...
Pretty much anything by Go Nagai
The original manga, 1973 anime, New Cutie Honey, and Re: Cutie Honey are all amazing. The live action movie and tokusatsu series are not quite as good, but are still worth checking out. Flash is terrible and should be avoided like the plague.
Warning: These are catchy as hell and will never leave your head ever.