A mysterious organization known as Panther Claw make their presence known by terrorizing Tokyo and giving the cops a run for their money. Police are further baffled by the appearance of a lone cosplaying vigilante who thwarts all of Panther Claw's evil schemes before disappearing. That cosplayer is Honey Kisaragi, the result of the late Professor Kisaragi's prize experiment. A master of disguise, Honey can magically alter her physical appearance and outfits. But with a push of the heart-shaped button on her choker, she transforms herself into Cutie Honey, the scantily-clad, sword-wielding warrior of love and justice.
As a heterosexual female, I have no interest in fanservice geared towards males; they can enjoy it as much as they want but I’d certainly prefer not to see bouncing breasts at every turn when I watch anime. I find it even more irritating when fanboys insist that the latest fanservice-laden series is really deep and meaningful when you look past the D-cups. So when I downloaded a little OVA known as Re: Cutie (or Cutey) Honey, I wondered what I was thinking. Sure, the original 1973 anime series more or less created the modern-day magical girl, but this OVA is a much more recent
– not to mention shortened -- retelling of the original. Could such a remake really be anywhere near as enjoyable as the original must have been to have so much influence? The answer, as I quickly discovered, was yes, yes, yes! Re: Cutie Honey is everything I’ve come to expect from one of my favorite genres, but with its own unique twist.
That said, though, the uniqueness isn’t apparent in the basic story. While Honey herself brings a few neat elements to the table (more on that later), the storyline itself is pretty standard magical girl fare. Honey can transform into a scantily-clad warrior who fights for love and justice, and she does so to battle the mysterious forces of evil that have come to her city, eventually making it to the leader, who of course has some connection to her. The worst part of the plot is that this story has been used in every magical girl series ever. That said, it’s still told well, and since the series totals to a little over two hours, it’s also told more quickly than usual; those who shy away from magical girls because of the filler that’s usually to be found, fear not! Another nice bonus to this typical plot is that it keeps the series from turning into completely over-the-top comedy-slash-fanservice fest. It’s also important to note that Re: Cutie Honey is completely self-contained and requires neither prior knowledge of the franchise nor watching another series to understand. Neat!
It’s fair to say that characters are vital in setting a cliché story apart from the crowd, and Re: Cutey Honey knows exactally how to do that. Honey, despite being the idol of rabid fanboys everywhere, is one of the coolest magical girls you’ll ever see. She’s smart, she’s strong, she’s cool, she can take care of herself, and she’s not afraid to be sexy. Because of the latter aspect of her personality, then, the fanservice elements of the series are significantly less intrusive than those of other series; Honey would rather kick butt while half-naked than panic and scream when her clothes get ripped off. As for other characters, the only truly significant one is Aki, a police officer that will stop at nothing to capture Honey at first but eventually becomes her closest friend. It’s a pretty predictable way for her to develop, but she’s still a lot of fun to watch bounce off (literally and not) of Honey; honestly, it’s one of the best parts of the series.
Meanwhile, Re: Cutie Honey’s music doesn’t disappoint. The opening theme song, used in some variety for every Cutie Honey series to date, is a peppy J-pop tune that is guaranteed to be stuck in your head for the rest of your life. This is not an exaggeration, by the way. The ending song, meanwhile, is cute but more forgettable. The background music, however, is top-notch; while it has been accurately compared to that of His and Her Circumstances, that’s in the best possible way. The happy scenes in particularly have BGM that’s both appropriate for the scene and well-composed on its own merit. Overall, the music, while not perfect, is in general a blast to listen to. The same can be said for the art, perhaps to an even greater degree. No matter what you look for in a good character design – cute, sexy, or just unique and stylish – Re: Cutie Honey has it in its characters. The most impressive element of the art, however, is the animation: loose, fun, and with perfect flow; it’s perfect for such a fun OVA.
And in the end, that’s what Re: Cutie Honey is: a lot of fun. Despite having a serious overlaying plot and good character development, almost every minute of every episode is packed with action and energy, and it rarely gets dull. It’s hard to find a series with more relentless energy. It might not be what you might expect from a short magical girl OVA, but this one’s special in that it’s more focused on making you laugh and just have a good time than anything else, and that’s what really makes it special. Even the large amounts of fanservice don’t distract from this: if you’re not interested in topless girls, it’s easy to look at the silly excuses for fanservice as just that: silly. I for, one was not bothered by it at all – I just looked at it as another of the series’ unique elements. If you’re looking for a quick, easy to watch anime series that won’t ask anything of you but to enjoy it, look no further than Re: Cutie Honey.
Re: Cutie Honey was good. That's all you need to know. Go watch it. What, that's not enough for you? You need to know things about it? Alright, time to get a review going.
The most impressive thing about this show's story is that all three episodes manage to be wildly different while still telling the same story.
The first episode is a regular Imaishi action comedy romp. The blueprints for Kill la Kill are very apparent, and while this series doesn't develop the great visual sense and character dynamics that later series did, it still hits a lot of the same excitement.
The second episode,
on the other hand, is a regular superhero drama. It's the typical story of the hero who tries to do her best, but gets blamed for the trouble villains cause. While it's a really common story these days, it had a lot of hold considering the more carefree episode before it. Another huge thread in this episode was society's treatment of women. As funny as that sounds to talk about in an ecchi anime, the second episode did a lot to capture how Honey and her peers weren't being appreciated.
The third episode is the one that was directed by Hideaki Anno. The apocalyptic imagery and themes of isolation you'd expect are very much present. I thought the script was kind of iffy though, and would have liked it to have followed up on the themes in episode 2.
But what really strikes me about the story is that while I can go on about how the three episodes' scenarios are different, the characters have one united story. Natsuki and Honey's dynamic is always sharp and adorable, Seiji is always an amusing witty sidekick, and Kyoko always brings a smile to your face. And that's what the story was for me. These four people coming together to fight this enemy, and not the convoluted specifics of where this enemy came from.
It's Gainax, so of course it's gonna look good. The first episode in particular is a standout display of colors, as expected from Imaishi. The next two aren't as visually stunning, sadly, but the series stays good looking enough you won't especially miss it.
The OP is excellent, and the slowed down instrumental version that plays throughout the show is especially my jam. I felt there were some places the soundtrack felt bland or repetitive, but it was a fair track.
Are the characters deep? No. Are the characters fun and relatable? Yes. Honey is a ray of sunshine, and the day to day troubles she faces make her quite sympathetic. Natsuki is an excellent foil for her: strict, independent, and confident. Seiji, as I said before, is great if you enjoy the "smug smartass" character type (see Ryoji Kaji, Aikuro Mikisugi). There's nothing profound or original about these characters' depths, but if you like them they easily make the show worthwhile on their own.
This was exactly the pick-me-up I needed. Short show with only three episodes. Great action, great music, great design, some interesting themes, and like I've made clear, adorable characters.
Not sure how to be "objective" about enjoyment, but if you're here to have fun and you love subtle yuri (we're talking a couple inches above the Euphonium level), give this show a try.
This isn't the score I have on my list. That's because there's a lot of shows I think are "Outstanding" (10), but I don't think all "Outstanding" shows are equal. I don't think all "Great"(9) shows are equal either.
But even if it's not in my favorites, I do think Re:Cutie Honey is a really good show. It's easy to finish, it hits a perfect balance between variation and consistency, and it'll have you shipping Honey and Natsuki in a jiff.
Keep in mind that I didn't watch the original series, so I'm reviewing this show alone. The first episode has been an unique and totally enjoyable experience. Lots of fun, action, and nice art (oh, and also fanservice). After the first episode, it starts to look like another generic ecchi and action anime. Almost everything that made that show unique now starts to disappear. This series tries to have a serious plot, but it's impossible given its own beginning and all the clichés and fanservice.
I don't know how was the story of the original series, but I find this one to be boring and out
of place. It would have been better if it didn't intended to have a real plot. Or at least not a so forced one.
The art is nice, at least in the first episode, as it shows a lot of interesting backgrounds and scenes, the animation is good overall and the soundtrack is also great.
Cutie Honey is an awesome character. The 1973 series and the 1994 follow-up, Shin Cutey Honey, are are wonderful. (I have yet to see Cutey Honey F as it's not subbed fully) If you have no seen them I suggest watching them before watching this. The Gainax interpretation of the character isn't terrible, but it's the worst one I've seen sadly.
The animation is zany and loose. Ranging from very clean with fantastic backgrounds to Honey looking like a noodle flopping around. It's honestly annoying how ugly is looks sometimes. I understand this was a style choice, but it wasn't the right direction for Honey.
is a step down too. While the cast of characters Honey faces has more build than any before, battles themselves are still uninteresting. They also lack blood. Couple this with the strange animation and lazy "clothes rip off" cliche and battles are very disappointing. To be clear I don't mind the clothes ripping off stuff, but it just seemed lazy here.
So yes, there is nudity everywhere. More so than ever before. So if you like that than you're good. Of course there is a ton of fan service with some lesbian overtones.
Unlike most people I find the first episode the worst and than things get better as it goes along. However, it never really becomes great. The entire show seems like a parody of Cutey Honey. I do not dislike this show. In fact it's quite good. I just prefer the other interpretations of the Cutey Honey character. I recommend those first.
Also to note, this anime is based on a live action Cutey Honey movie. I have not seen it. It is subtitled if you are interested.