With the ending of the long running Sailor Moon Magical Girl series, a new series is stepping in to fill some rather large shoes. But if anyone can take up where Sailor Moon left off, it’s Cutey Honey, one of the very first Magical Girls out there.
Cutey Honey is the creation of popular shonen manga artist extraordinare, Go Nagi, who also created Devilman. As you might have noticed from looking at Honey, she is very different from other Magical Girls. For one thing she is a ‘shonen’ (boys) manga character. She is older than the average Magical Girl, and is rather more… um ‘developed’ than the others. Cutey Honey was originally a 1970’s anime series for guys, and as such contained a lot of fast paced action and plenty of cute girls, many of them wearing not a whole lot. Take Honey for instance. Her costume does not have the standard Magical Girl skirt. It is of tight spandex and it openly reveals her..’charms’. =)
Cutey Honey is an android that has the ability to transform into a series of other female bodies, each with its own super skills. In order to transform, Cutey Honey has had to shout ‘Honey Flash!’. and flash us she does, as her clothing is discarded and her new outfit/body is donned. This is obviously very differnet than your normal Magical Girl fare. The original 70’s television series was a bit campy (It is hard to forget that OP song! =), but a lot of fun. In 1994 they released a series of New Cutey Honey OVAs, reinventing the android girl. However that OVa series is not something I would recommend for family viewing =)
If Cutey Honey is so obviously a shounen manga character targetted towards guys, why is her show taking over Sailor Moon’s timeslot? Well it seems that there are some changes in store for Cutey Honey. The character and her story have been reconstructed and reborn as a shoujo Magical Girls Series! With the new ‘Cutey Honey F’ (Flash) series, Cutey Honey joins the ranks of teenaged girls with mass marketable magical items! It looks to me that Honey’s age has been trimmed somewhat, so that she is now about 16 or so. Her costume, while still revealing, is not as bad as it was in the OVA series. She looks somewhat younger, but still seems older than 16 years old to me. The character designs for the ner series introduce new characters as well as feature old Cutey Honey favorites. Some of the new characters look like they could have com efrom Sailor Moon. Especially this new female character named Aki. Her hair is dark brown, but the style really reminds me of Usagi’s hair! It is obvious from looking at it that the charaacter designs were done by the same people who did the later epiisodes of Sailor Moon. Most of the characters look like they would walk into an episode of Sailor Moon and no one would notice ^_^
Anyways, the new sereis retains a lot of stuff from the original series, but it all seems so much more mass-marketable now. Yay! Honey is a student at a private school whose father is killed by an evil organization. One day, this extremely handsome bishounen guy (yayayay, always good to see a bishounen guy!) gives Honey her magical type items, that enable her to transform into a variety of snazzy character types, each gifted in some sort of skill. By shouting ‘Honey Flash!’ she can become anything from a tour guide to a nurse, to a tightrope walker! All of her personas are very cool 🙂 Cutey Honey was a series just made to be mass-marketed. Why just have one Cutey Honey Doll when you can get one of *each* of her different personas! It is fun! Honey battles a monster of the episode, usually alongside this equally cute (though not quite as blatantly bishounen) guy named Seiji. He can usually see through Honey’s many disguises and tell that ‘Stewardess Honey’ is also Cutey Honey. I have yet to figure out if he can tell that the cute young blond schoolgirl Honey is also Cutey Honey, but that would seem so obvious to me 🙂
Cutey Honey’s Magical Items include the many things she uses in her different identities (a motorcycle, a camera, a microphone, etc) along with the sword she fights with in her main Cutey Honey form. Honey also has this wrist bracelet that ejects a heart that transforms into a boomerang. It is pretty cool. Honey’s main magical attack is called (from what I can make out of her yelling) ‘Honey Lightning Flare!’. She uses her sword to blast a bad guy, and also does a sort of ‘Zorro-esque’ bit of writing out this very fancy letter in energy on the badguy.
One thing I noticed is that none of the villainous henchmen that Honey battles is human. Whenever she ‘kills them’, they dissolve into this foamy bubble kinda stuff. I am not sure if this matches what happens in the original show. It does make it easy for Honey to go around killing all these people because they aren’t “really” human after all.
Anyways, I am finding myself enjoying the new Honey series, goofy disco music and all!