So today is Day 10 of our little Magical Girl Marathon, and the Blog Barista and I were very very excited to watch today’s Magic Girl, Cutie Honey Flash. When we first saw/ looked her up two things caught my eye: first, Cutie Honey transformed appeared a lot older then most magic girls, and second, Honey is badass and sexy (not the general “Cute” magic girl). Since she is just one more alternative in the magic girl universe, we really wanted to watch her show, and I am glad to say we were not disappointed (we watched the original, not the Re Cutie Honey Flash OVA though I will talk about it). There are three different anime you could watch: New Cutie Honey was made in 1970 and follows the manga (Personally Blog Barista did not like this one at ALL), then there is Cutie Honey Flash made in 1990s that was super awesome, and lastly Re Cutie Honey is a 3 episode Ova that follow the manga in a less serious more perverted light. We are going to focus on the better and more serious Cutie Honey Flash (this is the only one of the three where she is depicted as a magical girl and not android).
-What are these cartoons about?
The story is about Honey Kisaragi, a regular high school girl, who gets involved with the evil organization, the Panther Claw, when her scientist father is kidnapped. On her sixteenth birthday, Honey goes to meet with her father (she stays at a boarding school, St. Chapel’s Academy); however, her father comes crashing into a light post, disheveled and bleeding, and eventually is taken. Honey’s father, however, leaves behind a device (choker and ring) that allows honey to transform into eight different women (all 27 years old): Hurricane Honey (black haired motorcycle rider) , Scoop Honey (short orange hair photographer), Nurse Honey (short blonde haired nurse), Elegant Honey (blonde haired bride), Stage Honey (blonde movie star), Escort Honey (brunette tour guide that always takes you to hell), and Cutey Honey (kickass, red haired sword wielding heroine). Honey fights evil with the help of a private eye detective named Seiji (who is specialized/obessed with taking out the Pather Claw) and the “Twilight Prince” (a mysterious man who knew her father).
-Who are the central characters?
So there are a lot of characters involved in this show, but I don’t want to talk about most of them, because some of them are tied into the plot. If I mention them I can ruin the dramatic roller coaster ride that is this show, so I will only talk about three people.
Honey Kisaragi is the 16 year old main protagonist of the series. She is very beautiful and is the star of the school. She is an excellent swordsman (even part of the fencing club). This Honey, however, is not an android like the original Honey and New Honey. Other minor characters at the school (like her best friend is Natsuko Aki and the faculty) are all returning characters from the original series, though some of the male students are based from other anime pilots. Through out the anime she gets help and gadgets from the Twilight Prince, including the choker that allows her to transform (the required phrase is “Honey Flash”). She uses the power of love (for her father) to fight.
I am glad to point out that Honey is not a klutz, cry baby, or love obsessed. She is skilled, idolized, loving, and heroic, acting first and asking questions later. Best of all she fights for love, just like other magical girls, but her’s is not a romantic one it is familial.
Seiji Hayami is the private eye detective that aids Honey in the battle against the Panther Claw organization. In this version he is a possible love interest and has feelings for her at some point. In previous versions Seiji is a photographer (and never actually likes Honey that way). Interestingly, he is actually considered Honey’s sidekick or support character (she doesn’t get a magical animal like other magical girls so this works). He is the first person to realize her secret identity and is always consulting her in her moments of doubt.
Panther Zora, Sister Jill, and Prince Zera are the highest members in the Panther Claw organization. Panther Zora is the leader and a giant statue that desires shiny stones and the Airborne Element Fixing Device (the choker). Sister Jill is Zora’s second in command, and Prince Zera (only male villain other then the masked henchmen) is one of the leaders who is seeking Sister Jill’s position. They are not human, and the fights between Honey and the henchman throughout the series is almost identical to the process found in Sailor Moon (each episode she fights one bad guy part of a bigger organization that is really colorful and weird).
-How is the Artwork?
This magical girl is more of a comic book girl. It does not follow the generic magic girl path, and watching it you can feel that it is not the same as Pastel Yumi or Pretty Sammy. As I was watching this I noticed that the 1950’s mafia henchmen, the night time crime runs, and the large city reminded me of Batman in Gotham city (specifically Batman: The Animated Series). The super strong, yet bad ass, I-am-not-taking-this-crap woman who is sexualized yet still awesome reminds me of Superwoman. The long legged, big eyed style looks like Sailor Moon (by the way some of the animation and writing staff from Sailor Moon worked on this anime). The anime is wonderfully done, but even the OVA (Re: Cutie Honey Flash) is amazingly cute. The animation is extremely smooth and surprisingly adorable (for an anime that focuses so much on the protagonist’s body). The following is a mix of pictures from both the Cutie Honey Flash and its OVA.
-What makes the cartoon awesome?
Now I am not looking at Re: Cutie Honey Flash, because that OVA makes the show comedic and more sexualized (to a ridiculous and annoying point that makes it hard to enjoy just how well drawn it is) then the original. Cutie Honey Flash is EXTREMELY dramatic, like holy crap the twists and turns man. Its not even sappy drama, but Batman’s-vengeance drama (its the Batman for girls). Just like Correcter Yui from yesterday, Honey Flash is new form of magical girl that broadens the view of what a heroine can be like. She is strong, she actually battles, she is not innocent and cute but really sexy. She fights for love but it is one for a parent not a love interest. She does not complain, but powers through. Cutie Honey is different and amazing, and she is another great magical heroine to be added to a diverse list of awesome.