Review: New Cutie Honey (1994)

Directed by:

Distributed in Australia by:

This is the second time I’ve reviewed a remake/re-imagining of Go Nagai’s work after New Getter Robo and I’m beginning to think that old Go is an anime industry equivalent of American horror director John Carpenter. Both their early works were influential and inspirational to the generations that would follow but attempts to remake these early works in the modern age often fall flat.

Cosplay City is besieged by violence crime and chaos with even low level street gangs sporting access to fire power that would make most military squads think twice about attacking them. Enter into town a new mayor with promises to clean up crime and corruption. It isn’t long before he gets targeted for an early death by various evil doers. It is during one of these attempts on Mayor Light’s life that Chokkei and his perverted grandfather Danbei discover that Honey Kisaragi, Mayor Light’s secretary, is actually Cutie Honey, an android that can transform herself to be whatever she needs to be for the situation at hand, be it a sword wielding fighter for justice, a motorcycle racer or a scantily clad nurse.

It’s while fighting the criminal element of Cosplay City that they all discover that it’s all a nefarious plot by Dolmeck to release a greater villain upon the world – Panther Zora. At least that’s the plot for the first four episodes. As far as I can tell the remaining four episodes that make up the eight episode series are stand alone episodes that lack the grander arc of the first four, almost like they were given four extra episodes but didn’t quite know what to do with them and so came up with stand alone stories for each episode.

Being an older show made in the early part of the 90’s the animation still holds up well but the designs suffer a little from the time period it was made in. The original Cutie Honey has long been considered the prototype for the transforming magical girl that has become quite popular thanks to the likes of Sailor Moon, so it stands to reason that any adaptation of the material will require Honey to change her appearance. My only objection with this is do they always have to make these transformations include nudity and a camera that swirls around her always taking in slow motion the finer points of the female form. Translation: do we really need this much T&A?

On the side of the voice work and audio it sounds fine to me. They include what I understand has become the main theme to Cutie Honey in all her adaptations and give us the original Japanese song for the first four episodes and an English translation for the new credits for the last four. As for preference on how you should enjoy your Honey will largely depend on mood; for “Comedy” I’d go with the English dub that includes some extra profanity and sexual innuendo, but the Japanese track will be better if you want a more serious ride. But really if you’ve come this far into the review and still think you want to give New Cutie Honey a shot then you probably aren’t caring about taking things seriously.

I didn’t enjoy my time with New Cutie Honey. While watching all I could think was ‘If you add in some sex scenes this would become the next La Blue Girl’ (or so I’m told…). Sure, there is a market out there for fan service filled anime like this but I’m really not interested in it. If you can get over the fan service, unengaging story lines, fan service, bad comedy dubbing by the English voice actors and fan service then you just might be able to have a fun time with this.

4.5 magical naked transformations out of 10.
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