New Cutey Honey (1994-1995)


New Cutey Honey (1994-1995)

Director: Yasuchika Nagaoka
Studio: Toei Animation
Starring: Michiko Neya, Rica Matsumoto, Kosei Tomita
Episodes: 8

Decades after the defeat of Panther Claw, a new threat emerges and Cutey Honey returns to stand against it.

While I enjoy Cutey Honey Flash well enough, I know that purists aren't too fond of it. If you think Flash is too much of a tame Sailor Moon knockoff and RE: is too off-kilter, this is closer in spirit to the original. I want to joke that I'm surprised this isn't the one done by Gainax if you know what I mean. The ecchi factor is higher here, particularly in the *ahem* lovingly detailed transformation sequences. Ironically, though, the character of Chokkei isn't that much of a pervert (mostly just the accidental variety), which is actually a big part of why I find his and Honey's relationship to be rather endearing. Speaking of Honey, I like how confident she is here. I mean, she's fairly confident in the other incarnations I've seen, but it really stands out here. Even Danbei is halfway tolerable when he's not in erojiji mode.

The story's rather uneven. For instance, Raito is initially set up as a major character but is quickly relegated to the sidelines (though there's almost a sort of Batman/Commissioner Gordon relationship with Honey that I would've liked to see explored more). The revival of Panther Claw could have been more intriguing if given a little more attention. It doesn't help that the series was cut short at eight episodes from the original plan of twelve. As such, there's no resolution and honestly not much of a climax either. Although given that the original was something of a shoot the shaggy dog story, maybe we shouldn't be wishing for too much in the plot department.

If you're a fan of Go Nagai's work, then the fanservice isn't limited to Honey's transformations. There are a lot of references and cameos which make this something of a tribute to the larger corpus of Nagai's work. Also, the Les 5-4-3-2-1 rendering of the theme song may be my favorite version of it.

If you want more of a classic take on Cutey Honey, you just happen to like 90s OAVs or you just want to enjoy all the cheesecake, you'll probably find this worth a watch, even if the experience isn't entirely fulfilling.

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