The forces of evil are on the rise. When the evil mastermind Sister Jill transforms one of her girls into the bestial Breast Claw and sends her minions out on a mission involving the group Panther Claw and a jewelry store heist, Honey Kisaragi departs from her Catholic girls' school to confront the threat as Cutie Honey. But that's exactly what Sister Jill wants, as she desires Honey's Airborne Element Fixing Device, which allows her to transform into Honey's seven different forms. Meanwhile, Sister Jill is also on the scene in disguise as Inspector Genet, trying to worm her way into Honey's confidence from a different angle.
This is Japan's 176th (give or take) attempt on giving Cutie Honey the anime adaptation it deserves. At this point, I am convinced that there is no director alive nor studio in existence that can do it today. The only person who could have ever done it in the history of anime is Kunihiko Ikuhara, it should have happened 20 years ago, and the title of the anime be Shoujo Kakumei Cutie Honey - or Revolutionary Girls Cutie Honey in English.
Cutie Honey is a giant. It's hard to deal with, and even harder to understand. The best way I can think to describe it is
call Cutie Honey the combination of Revolutionry Girl Utena and Katanagatari. When a show which no one is watching and which mean score starts with a 5 gets compared to these cult shows that have set standards to both old and modern anime, it's easy to see this as an insult. I think highly of both of the mentioned series and at the same time, see incredible potential in the story and settings of Cutie Honey. Let me put it this way: This year, Devilman finally got the anime adaptation it deserved. Cutie Honey could have -realistically- been Devilman. But it wasn't. Oh. Why am I mentioning Devilman Crybaby here? Because Cutie Honey was written by the same guy.
The original manga was released in the early 70's. Typical for that time period, the work got overlooked by many for being ahead of its time. People were simply too busy praising Tezuka for Phoenix and Buddha. On top of that, 70's is when great many strong female lead series were created. Lady Snowblood, Rose of The Versailles, Glass Mask, Galaxy Express. Cutie Honey came out in a bad time. On top of that, there is the Utena factor in it. While Utena was released in the 90's, Cutie Honey is the exact same thing. Both have lacking source material which full potential could only be unleashed by a director who has a clear vision on how to make it better. That is the one single thing has always been missing from Cutie Honey, and unfortunately still is.
The director is on the right track, but lacking polish, details and abstractly. Which is most likely because his experience with anime directing is on par with a potato. Apparently he was fired from Madhouse after failing with an ecchi show. This is his only experience in the industry as a director if excluding a short animation with even lower mean score than Cutie Honey has. I don't want to say this guy is bad and should quit, but this is not a show he should have directed. On the other hand, I can't name anyone who should do the job instead. We could blame the budget as well. On the other hand, David Production didn't have any problems with their artistic vision on what Jojo's Bizarre Adventure should be like. I call it a lack of basic understanding on what would have made this anime miles better.
To put it simply: Cutie Honey is greatness masked in a shell so non-great that most of its viewers will never even see how amazing this series could have been. Of course, show of that sort is not deserving a praise, but it is worth of noting, and at the very least, worth of a watch for anyone who is interested in modern state of anime. There aren't many shows produced in the year 2018 that will interest anime historians and the connoisseurs of this medium as much as Cutie Honey Universe, but that's pretty much all there is to it.
Don't get me wrong, this show had A LOT of direction's issues, but if you enjoy Go Nagai's mangas, you may enjoy Cutie Honey Universe, since this is one of the closest versions to the original source, albeit with creative freedoms.
If we are going to compare this with something else, it would be with Shin Mazinger or Dororon Enma Kun Meramera, although these did a better job than Cutie Honey Universe.
I agree with another review in which the author said that if someone could make a good Honey's adaptation, that should be Ikuhara, the creator of Revolucionary Girl Utena. Instead, we had a director who
felt quite newbie at his job.
But not everything is bad because will got a lot of Go Nagai humor, eroticism, and a quite interesting development to certain characters. Possibly my favorite version of Natsuko and Sister Jill, although Jill needed more development because what they did with her had more potential
... I also liked what they did with other characters like Naoko.
100%. respect for the Go Nagai's characters.
The battle scenes are too chaotic and the decision to add a blue background was questionable.
Although it doesn't have the original opening for legal reasons, the new opening and ending are satisfactory. The rest... the OST is a mixture of very good and very bad themes, focused mainly on electronic music that I don't think that it fits very well.
Best Natsuko, best Jill and best Naoko.
If you're a Go Nagai fan, you will enjoy it like me, but if you're not, look Re: Cutey Honey, It is very far from the essence of Go Nagai, but it is a good series of OVAS that by themselves.
I just don't get the latest entry into the Cutie Honey universe. I am not a fan of the series or Go Nagai in general but Re: Cutie Honey knew what it wanted to do & was entertainingly fun.
Cutie Honey Universe was neither. It looks fine with some occasional very interesting visuals (such as in Episode 6) undercut by some quite rough moments. Music was also fine. I quite like the new theme actually but that the original theme is missing is a slightly disappointing. Some of the action and fight sequences were also genuinely quite good. Not great but not terrible either.
I felt with the visual and audio presentation however were minor compared to the problems I had with the overall tone, plot & characters. The story had difficulty maintaining anything asides from negative momentum, slipping and sliding to its eventual sad misguided conclusion. The 'fanservice' and 'comedy' moments, standard Go Nagai tropes, were not well used and only served to bring any story momentum to a screeching halt. Too many characterizations were illogical, insubstantial and ultimately infuriating.
Ultimately anything good that Cutie Honey Universe achieves is really undermined by bad writing and misguided direction. Not recommended.
Oh Cutie Honey Universe, so much potential, so ill executed. A beloved decades old manga, given the light of a new modern adaptation after the previous simply stunning Gainax adaptation of Re; Cutie Honey, or the more shoujo Flash meant to replace the vacant spot of Sailor Moon. Further back to Shin Cutie Honey with the overall more edginess. Even back to the OG 70's adaptation. Is still think Honey looked better with brown eyes.
Universe was produced for the 50th anniversary of Go Nagai as a manga artist. Other famous works of his include the violent Devilman and Mazinger manga's, each laying their groundwork
for many later works. Cutie Honey was no exception, depicting a strong female protagonist fighting against the criminal organisation known as Panther Claw. So much potential for a modern interpretation of the story as done superbly with the Gainax adaptation, which I believe to be the pinnacle of the series.
It was clear from the start that hardly any effort was incorporated into this adaptation, if anything that is one of its stronger points, with how much it sticks to the source material (I have heard anyway.) The story had pacing issues and several very questionable plot points and their resolutions, yet the inclusion of Investigator Genet was a surprising and welcome dynamic compared to the original. The art was lacklustre to say the least, glaring colours which looks entirely tot plastic and goofy (although this was most likely sticking to the material, somewhere just bad), very jarring 3D animation, and fairly underwhelming battle scenes, taking place in strange gravity tunnels for most of the fights all got boring fairly quickly.
The music was generally fine, except for the unforgivable act of not using the original Cutie Honey sound track for the new adaptation, although I do congratulate them for trying something new, the original song has become so iconic and beloved that the pure nostalgic factor could have made the show more tolerable.
Characters were generally flat and uninteresting. Although some characters were interesting such as Tarantula, and Investigator Genet. Honey herself was fairly Oll Korrect, yet nothing outside of the expectations of her to protect her friends and the Airborne Element Fixing Device from the machinations of Sister Jill. Yet, Honey still had several memorable moments. Sister Jill was as masochistic as ever, betraying her own minions just to inflict pain to Honey. Many of the characters also acted in a generally homosexual fashion, which is something fresh to see, as Cutie Honey has always been a bit gay. (So offense intended)
Overall, give this one a skip unless you REALLY want to watch all of the Cutie Honey adaptations, although perhaps leave this one for last. Highly recommend the 2004 Gainax adaptation which reimagines the basic formulae of Cutie Honey into a more modern story, while also having a much better animation and direction quality.