Gah, this is bad. This is really bad. They took the awesome classic and turned it to a lukewarm mahou shoujo.
If you don’t know of Cutey Honey , let me enlighten you with some basic info. The original series was made in the 70’s by Go Nagai , the dude who didn’t give a damn about morality or politically correct characters in his works. The original was a twisted mahou shoujo with lots of violence, death, nudity, and angst. This may not sound much today but back in the 70’s all anime were about nerdy kids, too-goody heroes and kind-hearted little witches doing silly, light-hearted adventures. Go Nagai’s series were a complete contrast to all that silliness. Dark, grim, pessimistic, with battles where the good guys were losing and were even killing their enemies. Cutey Honey happens to be the first mahou shoujo aimed at teenage males and not little girls and became a legend for the impossible-to-grasp twisted and violent things it depicted. For some unknown reason, the series is nowhere to be found as of yet and all I got to see is half of the series. Still, it was more than enough for anyone to admit that the original series had content that was decades ahead of its time… Just like anime are decades ahead of cartoons.
Anyway, the years passed and some dudes decided to rekindle the legend with a remake. Nothing bad here; lots of anime get remade. Yet, they also decided to turn the remake back into a series for little girls. So, you can imagine what a disappointment it was for any fan of the original to see the pioneered series of the 70’s to revert back to the mediocrity it stirred away from in the beginning.
I must make clear that I have nothing against remakes. They are welcomed as long as they have something more to offer than the original. In this case, the remake practically killed all the magic and turned the unique story and characters into a typical Sailor Moon clone. The remake offers LESS and is not special or memorable for any given reason.
ART SECTION: 6/10
The animation looks much more lively and detailed, being 20 years younger than the original. Yet, this is where the plus stops. It is an otherwise typical-looking series, with a pretty girl using magic gizmos to defeat bad monsters and spread love and happiness to everyone. Sorry for saying this, but the original had great battle choreography, fan service, perky characters and an atmosphere that was making you feel uneasy. The animation here has none of the above. It feels generally dry. Ok, at points it is better than even Sailor Moon, for having more detailed backgrounds and less repeating scenes. It is still far from being good or special in any way. I didn’t feel the multitude of emotions the original offered.
SOUND SECTION: 6/10
The catchphrases of Honey and the original intro song are present; this is good. Yet, the characters don’t sound like sex-hungry teenagers, nor do they use bold words as in the original. It is all about love and romance and punishing the bad-guys we hear in all mahou shoujo. So, although voice acting and sound effects are decent, they are not spicy in any way and most of the time they are like copy-pasted from any other magical girl on the block.
STORY SECTION: 4/10
This section hurts and hurts a lot. They took out the deaths and the spicy ecchi scenes and replaced them with that of a klutz girl looking for her father while looking for romance and a happy school life. It is simply too silly. Too fairy tale-ish. The original was partly thriller, partly erotic, partly violent martial arts. This one is… Sailor Moon. Ok, not exactly like SM but the basic formula is the same. Even if seen as a stand-alone story, it is mostly eventless, monster of the week episodes and a predictable happy ending. Very simple and basic stuff. Nothing worth remembering.
CHARACTER SECTION: 5/10
Although quite colorful and cheery, the cast is also nothing special to remember. Honey is just another klutz, silly girl looking for romance, her love interest is a mysterious hunk, and the baddies are typical generic monsters. Although even the cast in the original wasn’t any more developed than that, at least it had a dark, lustful side to it and made it far funnier or scarier than this one. Plus, there are no muscular lesbians or old hag teachers. They were to die for! And they took them out! Major bummer!
VALUE & ENJOYMENT SECTIONS: 1/10
What can I say? It is far less interesting, eventful and memorable than the original. It is an average at best series if seen without prior knowledge of the Cutey Honey legend. You won’t miss anything if you don’t watch it. Yet, you will hate it if you happen to watch any of the old episodes.
The accused now follows the laws of the state, stopped taking drugs, refuses one-night relations and became a moral citizen we can all be proud of… GUILTY! We loved you more when you were a pitiful lustful bitch.
The original Cutey Honey.
The second remake, RE Cutey Honey. It rocks!
And if you like mahou shoujo so much, Sailor Moon and Princess Tutu.