One day, Honey Kisaragi's a trendy, class-cutting Catholic schoolgirl. The next, her father's been murdered by demonic divas from a dastardly organization called Panther Claw. When his dying message reveals that she's an android, Honey uses the transformative power of the Atmospheric Element Solidifier - the very thing Panther Claw wanted to steal - to seek revenge against the shadowy clan. Can Honey fight her way up Panther Claw's ranks to defeat its leader, the sinister Sister Jill while managing to escape the watchful eyes of Miss Histler, her school's headmistress?
Aided by journalist Hayami Seiji, his ninja father, and his lady-loving grade school brother, Honey sometimes appears as a racecar driver, sometimes as a glamorous model, and sometimes as a beggar, but her true identity is none other than the warrior of love, Cutie Honey!
This anime deserves a review. I am a fan of seeking out older anime and watching it. This anime, as far as I am aware, is one of the original Magical Girl series. Where a girl transforms into different clothes/armor/etc to defeat her enemies. It's a simple concept and this is a simple show. It's your basic Monster of the Week fair. Ultimately leading to Cutey Honey taking on the ring leader at the end. Each enemy Cutey faces is interesting, but most don't have too much development. The death scenes can be quite brutal with a fair amount of blood.
The problem with the show
is it isn't finished. I'm sure the manga finished it, but not here. Cutey defeats a main enemy, but not the main ring leader. By the time the show reboots with Shin Cutey Honey you just have to assume that somewhere along the way the main ring leader was taken out. It puts a damper on an otherwise fairly entertaining show.
Watch 2 or 3 episodes at your leisure and enjoy the funky beats. Just don't watch too much or you'll get burnt out due to the repetitive nature. I found the show entertaining. I think you'll feel the same way.
In the time before time, there was an anime called cutie honey... I'm kidding.
This is probably the oldest anime I ever saw. It aired in 1973 (nineteen seventy three). As a result it is pretty much unlike anything I've ever seen, and the closest thing to it, at least visually, is the first season of Sailor Moon. The anime is also based on works on Go Nagai, who is responsible for Devilman, Devilman Lady, Getter Robo, Mazinger, and many other things.
The age of the anime is noticeable in every its aspect - story, characters, visuals, art style and music. It aired before anime became
very popular and well kknown, and as a result it looks much simpler and much more naive than ANY modern title. The art style is quite different as well, with drawings being flat, and backgrounds being extremely abstract and colored in manner resembling old cartoons like Woody Woodpecker or Pink Panther.
It is still a very nice anime, in the end, despite silliness, strange (by modern standards) style, simplistic story. The music is nice as well.
Detailed breakdown below:
The story is very simple and strictly follows "monster of the week" pattern. It also holds world's record at fastest character introduction - it managed to cover honey's backstory in 5 minutes or even less. Haven't seen anything like it. The story revolves around honey fighting a criminal organization, which wants a certain item Cutie Honey has, and every week sends another female monster after it. The monster always is some sort of hybrid creature, always female, always called "something - CLAW". The structure of every episode is the same every time as well - introduction of the monster, fight, followed by iconic transformation sequence, and brief wrap up. Overall the whole thing almost looks like a kid's movie (with a script written by another kid as well), that is until heads start flying.
In the same naive fashion anime displays its characters, it easily introduces dismemberment and occasional death. Some deaths are quite gruesome, and after happily jumping around in another costume, cutie honey may lop off someone's head or limb with her sword. This doesn't happen often, mind you, but happens. Which reminds the viewer, that, in the end, it is an anime, and not a western cartoon.
The story does not really have an overarching plot, and largest portion of it could be thought as more or less independent episodes, if next monster weren't introduced at the end of episode, although things change a bit at the end of the series.
Locations, circumstances, people, interactions are simplistic, and remind of a kid's movie, and as a result are not very "believable", but still fun to watch. In the end the story is mostly about Cutie Honey prancing around switching costumes and killing bad guys.
Art is unusual by modern standard. Characters are very "flat", meaning their visuals look like something half way between modern anime and, say, old cartoon like Woody Woodpecker. They don't really move about well, deform during movement, and anime does not really portray "depth" anywhere.
The backgrounds in scenes resemble abstract painting, or old backdrops occasionally used in western cartoons. Pink Panther or old Cartoon movies. Basically, it is collection of shapes, usually drawn using flat color. Basically, coloring of backdrops is not dissimilar to, say, south park, although, lines in backgrounds are fluid. Hopefully it makes sesne.
Most of the mechanical objects are not very well drawn, and barely have any detail on them. Main character - Cutie Honey - is amazingly cute, but some of the other characters are not. One of the side characters have a face that looks like a.. an undead peanut. Can't describe it in any other way. "Bad guys" always have evil face, fangs, "evil grin" and slanted eyes. Very different from modern anime.
I would say that overall drawing style shares some similarities with very old titles - for example, it may slightly resemble the very first episode of Urusei Yatsura, and the very first episode of Sailor Moon... I'd say more similar to Sailor Moon, which had "swirly glasses" character.
Music is amazing and catchy. Original intro is something you'd want to sing along to ("Kono goro hayari na onn-nano-ko...") and will get stuck in your head. There's also a constant "whispering" theme that usualy plays when an episode displays this week's villain. (you'll recognize it when you hear "Shi.. shi, shi, shi- shi... SHAAAA!" in background). The anime doesn't have too many soundtracks, however, and seem to be reusing about 5 tunes total.
Characters are pretty much symbols. They have specific role or function and are completely defined by it. Cutie honey's role is to kill bad guys and look cute while wearing outfits, for example. They don't really develop anywhere, and don't have much of personality to display, they pretty much only do one thing they were designed to do. Honey occasionally tries to act seriously, but it always comes off as awkward and strange.... then again it is sorta in line with "naive old anime" feeling about it.
It was an interesting and a very refreshing experience. The anime is unlike pretty much anything that is released nowadays, and it was nice to see something from time when plots were simpler, grass was greener, etc.
I recommend to check it out, if you have opportunity. For historical opportunity, or to see what anime used to be in 1973. However, if you're looking for anything serious, the anime might not be the right choice, becasue despite its occasional attempts to have serious or dramatic moment, it may look silly... but then again, it is Nagai GO material, and some of his older works may come off as a bit direct/naive by modern standards.
So, for something more serious, a good candidate would be original Sailor Moon, which starts off with similar formula and somewhat similar old art style, but then becomes much more dramatic.
Cutey Honey is a show produced by Toei Animation and is directed by Tomoharu Katsumata (Devilman). Cutey Honey is based on the manga of the same name by Go Nagai. It is regarded as one of the very first magical girls.
The story in Cutey Honey is quite simple. Kisaragi Honey is just your average catholic schoolgirl (not). One day she returns home to find that her father has been killed. An evil organisation called Panther Claw is responsible for his death. His dying message reveals that Honey is actually an Android that can use transformative powers thanks to the Atmospheric Element Solidifier that is located
inside her body. The Atmospheric Element Solidifier is also the very thing that Panther Claw killed Honey's father to get a hold of. Now Honey has sworn to become the warrior of love Cutey Honey, and to get revenge on her fathers killers. Cue monster of the week.
This show is little more than a monster of the week show, with the added benefit of fanservice. Cutey Honey is silly and over the top. Seing Honey not just defeat her enemies, but also kill them every episode was a nice change for a magical girl. However, the silliness runs dry quite quick and the show becomes much more of a slog. Pair that up with less than pleasing visuals, almost no animation, and backgrounds that look like they were painted by children, the show has really shown just how much of a product of it's time it is. It's an interesting watch as a historic piece, but as an entertainment piece it is honestly not good.
Remember back in the day, when people still used to fap to magazines? Lucky you.
There is not much of a story, more like an excuse for the show to exist. Panzer Claw want that device (whatever it does) from Honey, she wants revenge for her killed father. Later on we get a second motivation for the heroine, though it neither changes her goals nor her attitude, so I don’t really know what the purpose of that scene was. Besides the first and the last, Cutey Honey is a monster of the week anime, with pretty much nothing important happening in the other 24 episodes. Not
only that, all these episodes are also basically the same. You can do this formula and still be interesting (see Sailor Moon), but boy was this show boring. You can easily skip 16 to 18 episodes and you will not miss anything. This is basically Filler - The Animation. The fights are not even entertaining or anything, it’s just a huge waste of time.
I don’t hate old anime. I can look at something in relation to the time it was released and realize that it may have been good-looking back then or the top possible quality. I never understood people who said everything old is shit. Everybody who refuses to watch pre-2010 anime with that justification should be put on death row. With that off of my chest, Cutie Honey looks like shit. It ran about the same time as (still) pretty shows like Alps no Shoujo Heidi and even later than Attack No. 1, so I can compare it to its contemporaries and say this with certainty. The animation is awfully lazy and it just looks bad more often than not. The character designs of the villains are ugly as hell and even the normal humans are off-model way too often. This show also features next to no backgrounds, though this is more due to its age, so I’ll give it a free pass for that. If you don’t believe me, look at Honey’s pantyshots. Half the time they look like fucking diapers!
The only highlight of this show is the pretty cool psychedelic soundtrack. Only Honey’s character theme gets a little annoying after 20 episodes, but it’s not bad or anything. The voice acting is not bad either, though obviously the sound quality is far from what you may be used to from modern anime. The opening song is catchy and stylistically very different from the J-Pop of today. The ending was very cool, being a full blown ballad that reminded me of the chansons of the 60s and 70s. I also liked the fact that these songs were actually about the show instead of basically nothing like so many others.
I thought Honey was a stereotypical fanservice babe like so many others, but it turns out she is a very cynical and violent girl, mocking and occasionally mutilating her enemies. That’s kinda cool, but it doesn’t really fit her father-avenging motive she keeps bringing up. Maybe that’s just an excuse so she can do all these mean things? Would put a whole new twist on the plot. Her companions are really lame “perverts”, though they’re somewhat likeable. Many of the side characters were either totally useless (the little girl with the crush on Junpei) or extremely annoying (Alphonne), so there was not much entertainment gained there. The villains were, as mentioned, hideous, which is weird seeing how big their titties are. Am I supposed to fap to them or not? Whatever the case, they sure as hell weren’t very developed, not even Sister Jill. I got the impression that they were merely evil for the sake of being evil. And what exactly do demons need to steal art for?
If Cutey Honey was shorter, it would have been much more bearable. Sadly it drags on and on and on with nothing coming of it. Watching the same badly animated, meh written episode over and over again was very tedious, something an anime should never ever be. I don’t know how the remakes turned out, but I am pretty sure that they would be worth watching a lot more, even if it’s just for sake of looking a whole lot better than this. I know, I can’t expect a show from the early 70s to be a masterpiece, but come on.
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