On her sixteenth birthday, Honey Kisaragi goes to meet her father. However, he shows up injured and on the run. Out of nowhere, a group of thugs and a monster show up. A detective, Seiji Hayama, rescues Honey and her father. Unfortunately, the monster captures Honey`s father. A grieving Honey goes home to find it in ruins, but a handsome man gives her hope and a device to use against the monsters who took her father. With them, Honey can transform into multiple forms and destroy Panther Zora, the evil behind this.
I totally love Cutey Honey. She's tough and not afraid to be sexy. And even though she was one of the first magical girls, she stands out just as much as a unique character as she did in the 80s. Most versions of her story are pretty similar only to each other. There's one major outlier, though: Cutey Honey Flash.
As the series that took over Sailor Moon's timeslot when it first aired, Cutey Honey Flash is not the ecchi/action sort of magical girl series you'd expect from the franchise, instead following a more typical formula. It takes place in high school, it's totally family-friendly, and
It's very episodic. In every episode, Honey and her friends start out doing something typical of teen girls (or at least what little girls wish that their teenage years would be like). Then (rather underdeveloped) evil strikes, and Honey has to transform and fight evil. There's an underlying plot, of course -- in this one, Honey is trying to rescue her missing father -- and a mysterious yet helpful man (sound familiar?). It's far from unpleasant, but it's very much your typical magical girl plot and atmosphere. Rather underwhelming, really, and while I understand that the intention was to give Sailor Moon a spiritual successor, Cutey Honey Flash doesn't bring anything new to the table to make it stand out from Sailor Moon and other similar series.
Still, Cutey Honey Flash retains a decent amount of the charm in other versions. While Honey is meeker in this version, she's still a strong character, both in the sense of being well-characterized and the sense of kicking a lot of butt. A version of the classic theme song is used as the opening, along with Honey's costume being a variation of the original. Honey still has her transforming abilities, too; she solves problems brought by the villains by transforming into different types of people. It can indeed fun to watch the traditional components of the original Cutey Honey mixed with your standard magical girl tropes, and I'm glad that even in a different genre, Cutey Honey Flash still has some of what makes other versions great.
Full disclosure: I only understand English, and this review is for those who are in the same boat as me and wondering if they should try out this series anyway. Cutey Honey Flash has only been fansubbed up to the ninth episode, with little sign of more coming up. It may become a very different show in the next thirty episodes, but for now they aren't available. For now, it's a solid but not fabulous watch for magical girl fans who don't mind seeing every 90s trope in the book, and Cutey Honey fans who also enjoy more traditional shoujo.