Monday, October 8, 2007

Cutie Honey (Japan 2004)

Honey Kisaragi (Eriko Sato, pin-up model extraordinaire), is enjoying a nice bubble bath when she gets a call from her Uncle Utsugi (Masaki Kyomoto), a top science professor. While on the phone, she hears him being abducted by an unknown assailant and quickly leaps into action. Honey, alter-ego of Cutie Honey, finds that she doesn't have enough energy to transform, so she's forced to dress in a clear garbage bag and run to the store for some snacks. With that catastrophe averted she's finally able to transform into Cutie Honey by pressing the heart-shaped button on her choker and yelling, "Honey Flash!". But alas, uncle Utsugi's captors have already been completely boxed in by police at the Tokyo Bay aqua line. Most notably among them is squad chief Natsuko Aki (Mikako Ichikawa, also a model). The chief finds herself in over her head when the kidnapper turns out to be Gold Claw (Hairi Katagiri), a member of the evil organization Panther Claw. Cutie Honey, dressed as a police officer, saves the chief just in the nick of time and drags her kicking and screaming out of harms way. Cutie Honey takes over from there and eventually defeats Gold Claw single-handedly, rescuing her uncle in the process. Natsuko is anything but impressed and tries to take Honey into custody. A mysterious reporter named Hayami Seiji (Jun Murakami), interjects that the chief is committing a false arrest and he finds himself being handcuffed for interfering with police business. With a smile, and some nice diversionary tactics, Honey slips away and turns back into plain ol' Honey Kisaragi, the low-status office worker with no friends who can't seem to do anything right.

Upon returning to headquarters, Natsuki is having problems of her own. Her superiors reprimand her for the damage done at the aqua line and her inability to capture the criminals responsible. With that, she finds out Professor Utsugi has been kidnapped by Panther Claw once again from right under her nose. Now we're all back to square one. So Natsuki, Cutie Honey, and Hayami come together due to the fact that they all have their own reasons for wanting to get to the bottom of exactly what Panther Claw might be up to.

Cutie Honey is based on Go Nagai's 70's comic creation. This has spawned countless OVA's comics and other merchandise over the years. Enter Hideaki Anno, of Neon Genesis Evangelion fame, Warner Brothers distribution company, and a legion of fans that have probably been waiting years to see one of their favorites manga's come to life. All of this could be a recipe for success, or it could create a movie that is aimed directly towards the hardcore fans, so much so, that it completes neglects anyone else. Cutie Honey is a perfect example of the latter. I for one have seen the animation and found it to be alright, but how it would translate into a live action movie was the million-dollar question. I like to think that it holds it's own. The presentation is bright and colorful and keeps with that anime flare. Eriko does a fine job playing a bubbly, cute, yet dim-witted at times Honey. However, the story starts without you, in the sense that it's based on a world that the fan's know all about, but be patient and you'll soon catch up. Most of the special-effects are a double-edged sword. Either you'll hate the campiness of them, or you'll totally adore it. I did notice a few animated effects that were pretty original, such as when Honey is flipping about during her fight sequences. Overall, Honey won't amuse everyone and I don't believe it was meant to. It was built for the fans and I think they love seeing Honey come to life and do her thing. (Converter)

Buy Cutie Honey Subtitled US Version on DVD from YESASIA!

Buy Cutie Honey Limited Edition; Subtitled US Version on DVD from YESASIA!

1 comment:

Yui Setyowati said...

Probably a typo... thats eriko sato mate...
erika sato is AV idol