Thursday, March 7, 2013

MR Cutie Honey

Time for another "Live Anime"!
After Yatterman and Ranma, here's Cutie Honey!

Movie: Cutie Honey aka Cutie Honey: Live Action Film
Directed by Hideaki Anno
Release date 2004
Genre Superhero action comedy
Country Japan

Cutie Honey (also spelled Cutey Honey sometimes) was originally a manga series created in the 70s by mangaka Go Nagai.

Cutie Honey was adapted several times all these past decades.
The most popular ones being the 1973 classic anime series and the 1994 OVAs ("Original Video Animation") New Cutie Honey which were the first Cutie Honey stuff to be imported in most countries outside Japan.

It's a pretty simple concept.
An android-girl is left without her "father" and decides to uses her abilities to protect the world, to prevent alien-creatures to take over the Earth.
She might look like an ordinary girl at first, but in a traditional Japanese "magical girl" way, she can transform into a purple/red/pink-ysh haired warrior superheroine!

In this live adaptation, Cutie Honey was played by the lovely Eriko Sato.
A very cheerful dynamic gravure idol. Most of the movie rests on her shoulders, so I was glad to found out she was not only fitting for the role but also quite talented (as well as so pretty :'3).

The movie is a reiminaging of her classic origin story.

Honey Kisaragi is the daughter of Professor Kisaragi.
He has been killed by strange alien-creatures for the secret of the technology he developed.
You see this version of Cutie Honey introduces the "Imaginary Induction System", the I-system for short.
To save his daughter, Prof. Kisaragi used it on his daughter. She now can "recycle" the food she hates to power her up. That way she could theoretically live forever!
It also helps that this I-system allows her to change into the heroine Cutie Honey!

But Panther Claw - the villainous groupuscule - wants it to allow their leader Sister Jill to rejuvenate and thus conquer the universe!

The movie follows Honey has she battles this threat, fighting to help humanity and also avenge her father from Panther Claw!
But first she'll have to go through Gold Claw, Cobalt Claw, Scarlet Claw, Black Claw and all of their henchmen!!

But worry not, she is not alone!
To aid her in her quest, Honey is reluctantly accompanied by Natsuko Aki, a police inspector played by Mikako Ichikawa (Samurai High School), and Seiji Hayami, a reporter played by Jun Murakami.

The film is a pretty fun and faithful live adaptation of Cutie Honey.
Worry not, it's a film for all ages. No, really. There's no nudity like the more extreme version of Cuties Honey in the 90s.

Eriko Sato is perfect for the role!
The movie does spend some extra time on all additional characters such as Natsuko or Seiji Hayami.

This 2004 movie was produced by Gainax.
And it actually even was directed by Hideaki Anno, mostly known for being behind the all-time cult classic Neon Genesis Evangelion series.

I really like the way they didn't bother making it realistic or modern.
It really recaptures the vibe from a 70s anime series, live!
The villains are perfectly over the top like something you'd expect from a Super Sentai/Power Rangers type of series.

Go Nagai himself even gets a cameo like Marvel films tend to do with Stan Lee.

The movie has an appropriate funky vibe, the music is really excellent.
There's some humorous bits like the catchy random English song for Sister Jill (during the lead villain's introduction no less!)
And composer Koda Kumi  interprets Cutie Honey's theme song here. Which was awesome!

"Honey, flash!"~

Overall, it's like a live anime!
It's cute, humorous and pretty fun!
It was a bit campy, the acting was sometimes over the top and the CGi was silly but decent enough.

Maybe not for everyone's taste, but really fun in a cartoony sort of way~

The movie was such a success than it relaunched a wave of new Cutie Honey stuff in Japan.
It was quickly followed by a new animated series, Re: Cutie Honey, which was actually a retelling of the movie with famous guest directors on the helm of each episode, handed Toei Animation.
And another live adaptation later. A Drama TV series, still currently airing now.

I give it:
2.5 / 3 Astroboys!

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