Honey Kisaragi is a normal catholic schoolgirl. That is, until her father was murdered by the Panther Claws who were seeking the Airbourne Elemental Fixation Device. She then finds out that she is actually an android created by him with the Airbourne Elemental Fixation Device within her. She is now trying to live a life as a normal schoolgirl and seeking revenge against Panther Claw.
I'm a fan of Go Nagai but this is one manga that every fan MUST AVOID. The anime is where the good stuff's at.
As much as I like Honey as a character, this is a surprisingly bad debut for the series. Essentially, Honey is an android created to defeat the Panther Claw organization & most of the series plays in a monster of the week formula, however this is sex exploitation at it's worst.
This manga is best summed up as a bad porno as it features an all girls campus where teachers whip their students & occasionally violate them for no purpose whatsoever. A lot
of the story is surrounded by lesbian conduct in a very unrealistic matter, especially when most of the girls at the campus look more like hairy men with breasts. What I'm trying to express is that there is no sense of story or even some sort of sexual arousal (if that's what you're looking for) as it comes off more disturbing than sexy.
There's multiple scenes that serve no purpose filled with fetish moments as this will come off as a guilty pleasure at the slightest. It's not worth reading as this is definitely Go Nagai at his worst. While it does contain the same violent & dark storytelling Nagai is known for, the writing is more focused on sexual activity in a very uncomfortable way as the visuals aren't pleasing to anyone regardless of sexual preference.
Cutie Honey's debut is a snuff manga while its not as grotesque as more infamous titles such as Hell Season, this is still pretty bad. It's very surprising that the anime series is what popularized the character & is a much better start to the magical girl genre. Watch the 1973 anime & its other anime series. While fan service & ecchi is expected in a Cutie Honey series; all of the animes are better than this awful book.
If there's one thing a manga should not feel like, it is a chore. And, unfortunately, this is one of those pieces that will, something you're drawn in by solely by the cover art, and live to regret. According to Wikipedia, this is one of the very first Magical Girls manga. And let's just say there's a reason we talk about Sailor Moon, not Cutey Honey.
So, onwards with the review.
Story - 3
We're introduced to our main character, Honey, in the wake of her creation by her "papa", a scientist whose dreams have, apparently, "come true!". It's also the moment where you, as the reader,
begin to regret opening this seemingly charming book: the art looks like it belongs in a Japanese grade school's hallways. I'll get more to to that in the art section. The storyline then revolves around Honey, who fights against criminals. Each "twist" of the plot gets progressively worse and worse, supplied with the worst gore I've had the "luck" to set my eyes upon. Again, art section. There seems to be some effort to make it work on the writer's part, but in the end, it just falls flat.
Art - 3
It's not just the fact that it was written 1970s that makes the manga so bad, because you can't even get a charge of nostalgia from it. It's the fact that the artist can't draw the same eye twice, the ridiculous anatomy, paired with the unbelievable characters, that makes this eyesore tick. And if you're only there for the occasional ecchi, the art manages to screw that up as well, making the characters look stiff and unreal.
Characters - 2
It seems kinder to give the characters a two instead of a flat out one, even though some would argue that's the score they deserve. I honestly can't tell what's worse: the character's one dimensionality, or the fact that everybody and their father (literally) wants a piece of Honey's body. When I say there's no characterization, I mean that there is no characterization to be spoken of. There's just Honey, the teachers who would risk jail for a night with Honey, the S and M rapist teacher who gets a kick out of kicking little girls, and villains who wear paws on their head.
Enjoyment - 2
Like I said previously, it feels like a chore just to read the first chapter of this thing. If I can't even get into your porn, then forget about it. It isn't even one of those mangas that's so bad, it's good: it's just flat out bad.
Overall - 3
I feel like this score is too kind. The plot sucks, the dialogue is grating, the art is horrible, and there is literally no reread value. And the fact that the first chapter/volume (not sure which) is 216 pages long? It's 216 pages too long for your time.