|Genre||Magical girl, science fiction|
|Written by||Go Nagai|
|Published by||Akita Shoten|
|Magazine||Weekly Shōnen Champion|
|Original run||October 1, 1973 – April 1, 1974|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Tomoharu Katsumata|
|Written by||Masaki Tsuji|
|Music by||Takeo Watanabe|
|Original network||TV Asahi|
|Original run||October 13, 1973 – March 30, 1974|
|Written by||Go Nagai|
|Illustrated by||Ken Ishikawa|
|Published by||Akita Shoten|
|Magazine||Boken Oh, Bessatsu Boken Oh|
|Original run||November 1973 – May 1974|
|Written by||Go Nagai|
|Illustrated by||Yuu Okazaki|
|Original run||October 1973 – February 1974|
|Written by||Go Nagai|
|Illustrated by||Masatoshi Nakajima|
|Published by||Tokuma Shoten|
|Original run||November 1973 – March 1974|
|Cutie Honey 90s|
|Written by||Go Nagai|
|Original run||July 8, 1992 – April 7, 1993|
|Cutie Honey Tennyo Densetsu|
|Written by||Go Nagai|
|Magazine||Weekly Manga Action|
|Original run||August 21, 2001 – July 29, 2003|
|Cutie Honey a Go Go!|
|Written by||Hideaki Anno|
|Illustrated by||Shimpei Itoh|
|Published by||Kadokawa Shoten|
|Original run||November 28, 2003 – July 1, 2005|
|Cutie Honey SEED|
|Written by||Go Nagai|
|Illustrated by||Komugi Hoshino|
|Published by||Akita Shoten|
|Original run||June 22, 2004 – February 14, 2006|
Cutie Honey (Japanese: キューティーハニー, Hepburn: Kyūtī Hanī, also spelled Cutey Honey) is a Japanese Shonen manga series written and illustrated by Go Nagai. First appearing in Weekly Shōnen Champion's 41st issue of 1973, the series ran until April 1974. It follows an android girl named Honey Kisaragi, who transforms into the busty, red or pink-haired heroine Cutie Honey to fight against the assorted villains that threaten her or her world. One of the trademarks of the character is that the transformation involves the temporary loss of all her clothing in the brief interim from changing from one form to the other. According to Nagai, she is the first female to be the protagonist of a shōnen manga series.
The Cutie Honey franchise spans many works, including numerous manga series, three anime television series, two OVA series, two drama CDs, and three live action adaptations. The first anime aired in 1973 and is considered a magical girl series in retrospect.
Honey Kisaragi is a regular, 16 year old Catholic schoolgirl, until the day her father is murdered by the "Panther Claw" organization. After his death, she learns she is actually an android created by him and within her is a device that can "create matter from the air" (空中元素固定装置, kūchū genso kotei sōchi, variously translated as "[atmospheric] element condenser mechanism", "Fixed System of Air Elements", "Airborne Element Solidifier", etc.). With her cry of "Honey Flash!" she can use the device to transform into the sword-wielding red-haired superhero, Cutie Honey. This device, or similar devices, have been used to explain her powers in all later Honey versions.
While attending the Saint Chapel School for Girls, Honey seeks revenge against the Panther Claw organization, which is ruled by an ancient primordial evil known as Panther Zora and her younger sibling Sister Jill. Zora wants "the rarest items in the world" and seeks to steal the device within Honey created by her father, which would allow them to "create an endless supply of jewels". Meanwhile Jill, leader of the group's division in Japan, "only wants the finest riches" and has a crush on Honey.
Honey is aided in her quest by Danbei Hayami and his two sons, journalist Seiji and young Junpei. Danbei is based on the character Daemon from Nagai's prior work Abashiri Family. Nagai's manga also borrows the character Naojiro from that series (in a female form named Sukeban Naoko), while the anime borrows the Paradise School along with the characters Naojiro and Goeman (a teacher at the school) from the series. Naojiro is here the boss of the school's delinquent boys before being joined in the job by Honey.
Honey is mischievous for a Japanese female hero, often teasing her male friends and mocking her enemies in combat. When transforming into Cutie Honey, she gives a brief rundown of the forms she has previously taken in that particular episode, and then declares, "But my true identity is ..." before yelling "Honey Flash!" and transforming. At school, Honey is something of a "class clown" who enjoys teasing and pranking her teachers Alphonne and Miharu. Much of the comic relief in the series comes from Honey's exploits at school. Miharu initially sees Honey as an incorrigible pest, but Alphonne is attracted to Honey and goes out of her way to be nice to her. Honey's best friend at school is the cute, freckle-faced Natsuko "Nat-chan" Aki. In the manga, Nat-chan, as well as the other students, had a crush on Honey; this crush was downplayed in the TV series.
Honey has a large array of transformations in the series, her most common personae including:
- Hurricane Honey (biker). A woman who is "cool" with her motorcycle, anytime she needs to escape.
- Misty Honey (singer). A rockstar with a dusty voice, who uses her microphone as a weapon.
- Idol Honey (stewardess). A woman disguised as a flight attendant.
- Flash Honey (cameraman). A reporter who blinds her opponents with her camera's "flash".
- Fancy Honey (model). A classy model who uses a long-stick cigar as a weapon.
- Cutie Honey (heroine). A sword-wielding pink-haired warrior of love.
In 1992, Nagai wrote that the idea to create the "Seven Transformations" hero was pitched by a Toei producer. His inspiration for this character came from classic shows that featured protagonists who took seven different forms, including the Bannai Tarao mysteries and Warrior of Love Rainbowman (1972). His decision to make the protagonist a "female android" came from female characters from his previous works, Harenchi Gakuen and Abashiri Family, and from the character Maria from Metropolis.
Originally, Cutie Honey was meant to be a shōjo series like the later Cutie Honey Flash, focusing more on Honey and Shun Kazama (Seiji)'s relationship and lacking any nudity or excessive violence. A great deal of merchandising was initially planned, such as 'changing' dolls of Honey. The manga was slated to run in the monthly Ribbon magazine, and the series was set to air at 7:00 on NET TV, a timeslot previously held by mahō shōjo (magical girl) series. However, the timeslot was given to Miracle Shōjo Limit-Chan (which garnered poor ratings) and Cutie Honey was going to air on the hour show, Majū Kaijin Daihenshin!!! which previously aired Micord S and Devilman. Because of this, Cutie Honey was now going to be a shōnen (teen boys') series, making it the first magical girl series for teen boys. To make it appeal to a young teen male audience, more action was added and Nagai proposed to draw Honey nude during her transformations.[unreliable source?]
This section may contain excessive or inappropriate references to self-published sources. (June 2009)
The original works of the franchise were various manga series, one made by Go Nagai, two others made by Ken Ishikawa, another two by Yuu Okazaki, one by Chizuko Beppu, one by Yoshiko Suganuma, another by Masatoshi Nakajima, and an animated TV series.
A 1992 manga series was also created by Nagai; set 30 years after the originals, it was released in the United States in 1997 by the now-defunct Studio Ironcat, as Cutie Honey '90. It has received criticism for having "bad quality" and "clumsy"-looking characters.
Several other manga versions have also been produced. The first, Cutie Honey, the legend of an angel (キューティーハニー天女伝説, kyūtī hanī tennyo densetsu, lit. Legend of the Tennyo), ran from 2001 to 2003. Set in 2005, Seiko Hayami struggles with apparitions of monstrous beings, including the Panther Claw terrorist organization, which she must defeat with the help of Hisashi Hanyu, which is in fact Cutie Honey. The second, Cutie Honey a Go Go! (キューティーハニー a Go Go!, Kyūtī Hanī a Go Go), ran from 2003 to 2005; it was not fully released until October 2007. An omnibus volume is planned for release in September 2017 by Seven Seas Entertainment In this version of the tale Aki Natsuko is a squad leader for the public safety bureau. Natsuko takes it upon herself to arrest Honey but Prof. Kisaragi asks Natsuko to befriend Honey and help her become more human. When Natsuko arrives home that night, she finds that Honey has come to live with her. The third, Cutie Honey Seed (キューティーハニーSEED, Kyūtī Hanī Shīdo), ran from 2004 to 2006; it was "written by Go Nagai, but not drawn by him", and tells the story of a boy named Yuuta, a Cutie Honey fan, who meets an alien with powers similar to those of Honey.
1973 TV series
Toei Animation produced an anime television series, also titled Cutie Honey, simultaneously as the manga was being drawn. It was broadcast on NET (now TV Asahi) on October 13, 1973 and ran until March 30, 1974. The TV series is much tamer than the manga version, removing much of the violence, gross out humor and lesbian undertones, but retaining Miss Alphonne's attraction to Honey. While the manga was marketed as "SFコミックス" ("science fiction comics"), the Toei anime is considered, at least in retrospect, a magical girl series.
Outside Japan, the only country in which the original Cutie Honey TV series was released was France, where it aired under the title Cherry Miel ("Cherry Honey") from August 1988 to February 1989, On November 26, 2013, Discotek Media released a DVD boxset of the complete series in North America.
For an anime television series, the original Cutie Honey achieved respectable ratings in Japan, and some of its cast and crew have worked on other major titles. The series achieved a peak rating of 11.6% for episode 18 (broadcast February 11, 1974) and generally scored ratings of around 8–10%.
New Cutie Honey
In 1994, the original video animation series New Cutie Honey was released. The series, which ended with eight episodes in 1995, pays homage to some of Nagai's other works, including the Mazinger and Devilman series. It is set after the events of the original version, in a cyberpunk-like future. While the first four episodes contain a complete story, the last four episodes take a monster of the week approach.
When the series was released on DVD in 2004, a scripted but unfilmed episode 9, a Christmas story, was released as a drama CD. The eight filmed episodes were released by ADV Films in the United States. Jessica Calvello, the voice of Honey in the English language version, was hand-picked by Nagai. Until Discotek picked up the first anime, this series remained the only Cutie Honey anime to be commercially released in the US.
Cutie Honey Flash
Toei Animation also produced a shōjo Cutie Honey series, known as Cutie Honey Flash. It began broadcasting on TV Asahi on February 15, 1997, and aired until its conclusion on January 31, 1998. Employing many of the same animation staff as the recently-finished Sailor Moon Sailor Stars, including Miho Shimagasa, Flash features very similar character designs and fits the more traditional mold of magical girl series. It uses hand-drawn animation; according to Shimagasa, the use of digitally animated characters on hand-painted backgrounds was planned and tested, but later rejected. The series was also broadcast in Germany.
The series is unrelated to the previous anime productions, being more of a reimagining of the story. All the characters from the original TV series return, with the exception of Junpei, Naojiro, and the staff of Paradise School. The anime also introduces Misty Honey, a rival and self-proclaimed younger sister of Cutie Honey, whose name was chosen through a contest in Japan. Honey has a larger array of transformations as well, including versions of her original forms Hurricane Honey and Cutie Honey.
Re: Cutie Honey
Gainax also produced Re: Cutie Honey, a three-episode OVA series. It was first shown on Animax, with the first episode airing on July 24, 2004, two months after the live-action film was released. DVD releases for each episode followed, with the first on September 21. The OVA tells the same story as the 2004 live-action film Cutie Honey, also produced by Gainax, but contains nudity and additional character development. While Hideaki Anno directed the series in general, each episode also had its own director and the three episodes differed in style.
Cutie Honey Universe
On December 28, 2017, a new anime television series titled Cutie Honey Universe was announced and premiered in April 2018. The series, with its storyline and character designs closely patterned after the original manga, was directed by Akitoshi Yokoyama at Production Reed with Natsuko Takahashi handling series composition, and Syūichi Iseki designing the characters and credited as chief animation director. The series stars Maaya Sakamoto as Honey Kisaragi.
The 2004 live-action film Cutie Honey, produced by Gainax and directed by Hideaki Anno, stars popular Japanese model Eriko Sato as Honey. The tokusatsu film loosely retells the story of Cutie Honey's battle against the Panther Claw to defend humanity and avenge her father. It was released direct-to-DVD in the United States on April 17, 2007 by Bandai Entertainment. Previously, the New Cutie Honey OVA was the only incarnation of Cutie Honey to have been commercially released in the US. It is very popular in Thai culture, and was distributed by Sutida Inc media conglomerate.
Live-action TV series
A live-action TV remake, Cutie Honey: The Live, premiered on TV Tokyo on October 2, 2007. Starring gravure idol Mikie Hara as Honey, the series focuses on a set of three transforming girls with different personalities and a Panther Claw run by four leaders.
The Cutie Honey opening theme, which appears throughout all of the Honey anime and live-action versions, except for Universe, is known for its lyrics by "Claude Q" (クロード・Ｑ, Kurōdo Kyū) describing Honey and her body. The 1973 series' theme, originally intended for Linda Yamamoto to perform, was sung by Yoko Maekawa. In Cutie Honey Flash, it is performed by SALIA. In the New Cutie Honey OVA, the original song is performed by les-5-4-3-2-1, and the English language version by Mayukiss. Kumi Koda performed it for the Re: Cutie Honey OVA and its live-action adaptation. In Cutie Honey: The Live, the theme is sung by Minami Kuribayashi as part of Wild 3-Nin Musume.
Other artists have also covered the song, including GO!GO!7188 for their Tora no Ana album, Masami Okui in the Masami Kobushi album, and a version by TWO-MIX. Animetal Lady also did a cover of the song for their 1998 album Animetal Lady Marathon, with the lyrics sung by Mie of the Japanese pop group Pink Lady. Pop star Ahyoomee's solo debut was a Korean adaptation of Koda's version; it became highly popular online, despite controversy over her pronunciation of the lyrics and her "unambiguously Japanese" outfit in one performance. Harp player Mika Agematsu covered the theme—and songs from Lupin III, Candy Candy, and others—in her album Anipa (UCCS-1088); it was released by Universal Music in June 2006 in Japan, and in February 2009 in the United States. In the fourth edition of her 2016 "BELIEVE" single, Mariya Nishiuchi recorded a "CUTIE HONEY -TEARS- version" of the song for the B-side; "BELIEVE" is the theme song of the live action movie CUTIE HONEY -TEARS-, in which she played the title character.
The song can also be heard during episode 27 of the 1974 magical girl TV series Majokko Megu-chan, when the main character Megu watches Honey, in her pop idol persona (Misty Honey), perform it on TV. In the seventh episode of the 2006 series Princess Princess, the Princesses also perform it, singing a few lines from the theme for an opening to a choir concert.
A "self cover" CD, Cutie Honey (21st century ver.), with new versions of the opening and ending themes by Maekawa herself, was released on February 27, 2008.
Connections to other works
Since its creation in the 1970s, Cutie Honey and its heroine have been referenced and parodied in various works by Nagai and others.
Honey appears as a secondary character in Nagai's Violence Jack manga. There, Honey is the younger sister of Ryou Asuka and is living in New York City. When she hears of the earthquake that devastated Kantō, Honey and several of her friends go to Japan to search for Ryou, who has become the pet of the Slum King. Honey's friends are alternate universe versions of her transformations in the 1973 series:
In the last volume, Flash, Misty, and Cutie are killed when they fall into a spiked trap when they try to free a chained up Miki Makimura. Honey is electrocuted when she tries to rescue Ryou from the Slum King. Idol, Fancy, and Hurricane die in an explosion. The spirits of the seven women come together to form Angel Honey, whom Ryou sees in his dreams. When Ryou returns to his true form, as Satan, he fights in his sister's memory.
Also, Honey's girlfriend Nat-chan (Aki Natsuko) – or a girl strongly resembling her – appears in the Devilman manga. Her appearance is brief before she is killed by a demon.
Honey makes an appearance in the last episode of the OVA adaptation of Kekkō Kamen as a student; her teacher from the 1973 TV series, Alphonne, also makes two brief appearances there. Danbei is a main character in Go Nagai's 1975 anime UFO Robo Grendizer; in episode 50 of Grendizer, Seiji Hayami appears taking pictures in a crowd. This scene also featured cameos by Hayato from Getter Robo and Babel II from Babel II. In the Japanese opening of Super Milk Chan, there are moments that directly parody the 1973 series' opening sequence.
A strategy video game, Majokko Daisakusen: Little Witching Mischiefs, was developed by Toys For Bob and released by Bandai in 1999, and features Cutie Honey and other magical girls. An RPG, Legend of Dynamic Goushouden: Houkai no Rondo, was developed and released by Banpresto in 2003, and features Honey and other characters created by Nagai.
Notes and references
- "Cutie Honey: The Classic Collection". Seven Seas Entertainment. Retrieved May 25, 2018.
- Silverman, Rebecca (December 5, 2018). "Cutie Honey: The Classic Collection [Hardcover] GNs 1–2 – Review". Anime News Network. Retrieved December 6, 2018.
- "Seven Seas Fights Evil With Style With Release of CUTIE HONEY: THE CLASSIC COLLECTION Hardcover Manga Omnibus". Seven Seas Entertainment. September 13, 2017. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
- 「キューティーハニー」まえがきより. The World of Go Nagai (in Japanese). Archived from the original on December 15, 2007. Retrieved February 13, 2008.
「七変化ものはできないだろうか?」 これが先方の提案だった。きっと「多羅尾伴内」が東映のプロデューサーの頭にあったのだろう。 ['How about something with seven changes?' That was their proposal. I bet the Toei producer had 'Tarao Bannai' in mind.]
- "Cutie Honey (キューティーハニー)" (in Japanese). Toei Animation. Retrieved January 4, 2009.
Honey Kisaragi/Cutie Honey: A 16-year-old girl student in St. Chapel School. (如月ハニー/キューティーハニー 聖チャペル学園で学ぶ16歳の少女。)
- "Cutey Honey". Japan Hero Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on June 5, 2003. Retrieved January 29, 2008.
- Toei Animation. キューティーハニー (in Japanese). Retrieved January 29, 2008.
「キューティーハニー」 作詞：クロードＱ 作曲：渡辺岳夫 編曲：小谷充 うた：前川陽子 ['Cutie Honey' Lyricist: Claude Q Composer: Takeo Watanabe Arranger: Makoto Kotani Singer: Youko Maekawa]
- Automated kanji-romaji translation of Toei Animation page above, via learn-japan.org: "kyuteihani". Archived from the original on January 14, 2009. Retrieved January 29, 2008.
- 愛の戦士、キューティーハニーさ!. アニメで英会話台詞逆輸入 (in Japanese). Retrieved January 29, 2008.
- ロマンアルバム40『キューティーハニー』 [Roman Album 40 'Cutey Honey']. Tokuma Shoten. 1981. p. 30.
- Salvatore (Umino). "Panther Claw (Hyou no Tsume)". Lovely Warrior. Archived from the original on October 22, 2009. Retrieved January 29, 2008.
- Salvatore (Umino). "Manga Characters". Lovely Warrior. Archived from the original on October 22, 2009. Retrieved January 28, 2008.
- Greco, Silvio and Dario Nitri. "Change Robot Getter 3". Enciclo'robopedia (in Italian). Retrieved February 20, 2008.
Un personaggio graficamente simile era già apparso, con successo, in Cutey Honey, con il nome di Danbei Hayami ... Katsuda, produttore della Toei, che amava molto questo personaggio, originario di un vecchio manga di Go Nagai intitolato Abashiri lkka (La famiglia Abashiri), nel quale era chiamato Akumajiri Daemon.
- Salvatore (Umino). "Characters". Lovely Warrior. Archived from the original on October 22, 2009. Retrieved February 20, 2008.
- 吉田陽一 1999, p. 034. (『ハニー』が誕生するまで『キューティーハニー』は東映動画からの企画で、「これまでにない新しいものを」という考えから「女版・多羅尾伴内」をコンセプトにしていた。)
- Rainbowman and Seven Color Mask (1959), both created by Kōhan Kawauchi, were two tokusatsu (live-action) shows involving transforming superheroes (another Kawauchi creation, "Gekko Kamen", is parodied in Nagai's Kekko Kamen).
- Salvatore (Umino). "FAQ". Lovely Warrior. Archived from the original on October 22, 2009. Retrieved January 29, 2008.
- "キューティーハニー". The World of Go Nagai. Archived from the original on February 14, 2008. Retrieved February 16, 2008.
- "Cutey Honey Flash-Mangas [sic] and Merchandise (part 1)". Tokyoland. Retrieved February 16, 2008.
- "漫画版". infoseek.co.jp. Archived from the original on March 16, 2010. Retrieved February 16, 2008.
- "Cutie Honey Tennyo Densetsu". The World of Go Nagai (in Japanese). Archived from the original on January 8, 2008. Retrieved February 16, 2008.
- Friedman, Erica (November 14, 2007). "Cutey Honey a Go Go Manga, Perfect Volume (Japanese)". Okazu. Retrieved February 16, 2008.
- キューティーハニー a GO GO 完全版 (リュウコミックス) (コミック). ASIN 419950060X.
- "Seven Seas Licenses Cutie Honey A Go Go! Manga". Anime News Network. January 13, 2017.
- Friedman, Erica (May 19, 2006). "Cutey Honey Seed Manga, Volume 1". Okazu. Retrieved February 16, 2008.
- Nagai, Go. Cutie Honey (キューティー・ハニー). 1. Akita Shoten. front cover. ISBN 4-253-03144-7. Archived from the original on July 17, 2011. Retrieved November 24, 2008.
- "Film Catalog: Magic Girls". Toei Animation. 2004. Archived from the original on December 30, 2008. Retrieved November 24, 2008.
- Salvatore (Umino). "Cherry Miel". Lovely Warrior. Archived from the original on October 22, 2009. Retrieved February 4, 2008.
- "Cutie Honey: The Complete Series – 4 Disc Set". Retrieved December 2, 2014.
- デビルマン＆キューティーハニーＴＶ放映リスト. mazingerz.com (in Japanese). Archived from the original on February 10, 2007. Retrieved June 19, 2007.
- "Cutie Honey Universe Anime's Teaser Video Streamed". Anime News Network. December 28, 2017. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
- "Cutie Honey Universe Anime's 2nd Promo Video Reveals Main Cast, April Premiere". Anime News Network. February 8, 2018. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
- "Cutie Honey Gets New Live-Action Film Starring Mariya Nishiuchi". Anime News Network. March 3, 2016. Retrieved May 6, 2016.
- "Cutie Honey". Newtype USA. 6 (12) 15. December 2007. ISSN 1541-4817
- "Cutey Honey FX for PC-FX". GameFAQs. Retrieved April 30, 2009.
- "Cutey Honey FX – Overview". allgame. November 10, 1995. Retrieved April 30, 2009.
- ADV's Essential Anime Collection release of New Cutie Honey contains two different opening sequences: the one for episodes 1 through 4 credits the theme's lyrics to "Krodo Q", and the version used in episodes 5 through 8 credits them to "Clode Q".
- Orbaugh, Sharalyn (2003). "Busty Battlin' Babes: The Evolution of the Shōjo in 1990s Visual Culture". In Joshua S. Mostow; Norman Bryson; Maribeth Graybill (eds.). Gender and Power in the Japanese Visual Field. University of Hawaii Press. p. 228. ISBN 978-0-8248-2572-0.
- 吉田陽一 1999, p. 050.
- Jenkins, Mark (February 17, 2006). "Japanese Imports". The Washington Post. pp. 2 (WE27). Retrieved December 9, 2008.
- "Extras: Costume Play". New Cutey Honey: Essential Anime Collection. (English subtitles)
- "Challenge! The Fangs of the Evil Sky Monster". New Cutey Honey: Essential Anime Collection. Episode 5. Opening sequence.
- "Ayumi's Hit Solo Debut Divides Online Critics". Digital Chosunilbo (English Edition). July 19, 2006. Archived from the original on February 7, 2008. Retrieved March 1, 2008.
- "Anipa: MP3 Downloads: Mika Agematsu". Retrieved May 10, 2009.
- "Mika Agematsu Discography (上松美香 ディスコグラフィー)" (in Japanese). Universal Music. 2009. Retrieved May 10, 2009.
- Salvatore (Umino). "Sightings". Lovely Warrior. Archived from the original on March 26, 2007. Retrieved January 26, 2008.
- Yoko Maekawa performed the opening themes for both Cutie Honey and Megu-chan.
- Ellingwood, Holly (September 7, 2007). "Princess Princess Vol. 2 Chorus Of Cuties". activeanime.com. Retrieved January 27, 2008.
- "「キューティーハニー」のセルフカバーCDが2月27日リリース". Dengeki Online.COM (in Japanese). Media Works. December 26, 2007. Retrieved January 20, 2008.
- "Little Witching Mischiefs Release Information for PlayStation". GameFAQs. Retrieved April 30, 2009.
- "Legend of Dynamic Goushouden: Houkai no Rondo for Game Boy Advance". GameFAQs. Retrieved April 30, 2009.