|AKA: キューティーハニーF, Cutey Honey F the Movie
|Genre: Action, Comedy
|Length: Movie, 40 minutes
|Distributor: Currently unlicensed in North America
|Content Rating: PG-13 (violence, nudity)
|Related Series: Cutie Honey (TV and Movie), Cutey Honey (OAV), Cutey Honey Flash (TV), Cutie Honey Universe (TV), New Cutie Honey (OAV), Re: Cutie Honey (OAV), various live action movies.
|Also Recommended: New Cutey Honey
|Notes: This is a theatrical feature used to further promote the Cutey Honey Flash TV series.
Cutey Honey Flash the Movie
Honey and crew go off to some tropical locale and fight a menagerie of mutated insect women. There's an ancient relic involved. Yadda yadda yadda.
And now we return to the anime who heralds the heroine as the one with the cute butt and the shapely breasts. (Snort. Chuckle.)
In this, the movie version of the Cutey Honey Flash TV series, Honey travels to some far-off country where she fights off insectoid baddies and ends up in a forest full of glowing green butterflies. Sound silly? You bet. Cutey Honey Flash is the obvious shoujo spin-off of the not so obviously shoujo Cutey Honey franchise. Not typical Go Nagai stuff by any means, this show has everyone acting generally tons more cutesy than you'd ever see in any other installment of the series, and it might put off just about anybody used to the original, or to Go Nagai's other work.
Frankly, it's not made for Go Nagai fans. That's why I could actually watch this thing and not throw darts at the TV screen. Mind you, it's not exactly totally right as a magical girl show either - there's still the violence and the nudie transforms that the title implies. It is toned down from the OAV series, certainly, despite topless Jungle Honey. But there are still some strange, obviously Go Nagai-inspired design choices here that can cause some consternation, like a poisonous insectoid beast with the naked upper body of a preteen girl (what, a Lolita-pillar?) and other insects crossed with women that just look sick. It's as if Cutey Honey Flash is trying to wash the ecchi influence off itself, but fails, leaving you with a halfhearted attempt at both action and shoujo that doesn't really mesh.
It still surprises a lot of people (mostly Westerners) that this series was actually quite popular with girls for quite a while - it only goes to show the divergence between what is considered acceptable in Japanese culture and what is fine for Americans, or other Western-based societies. No way in heck would you see a female character prancing around practically naked killing things in an American animated series - but here's Cutey Honey "FLASH"ing the audience with every outfit. Whee. (Sailor Moon this is NOT!)
Of course, as a stand-alone, this movie just doesn't work. Character development is completely lacking, and it's assumed you know the relationships between them from the get-go. The plot is pretty much trash, being a let's-destroy-bugs sort of affair. Yeah, Honey may have lots of interesting (and probably well-marketed) toys to defeat her enemies with, but it's still just hack-and-slash. And the final battle, as it were, is anticlimactic and confused. It certainly doesn't help that the writing and voice acting are woefully unsubtle. New Cutey Honey is starting to look really good in comparison.
Essentially, this is a fluffy action show with some of the trappings of a magical girl show, and some of the fluffiness, and yet unmistakably Cutey Honey, which makes for a strange experience indeed, but not necessarily a bad one, if you like the series. However, it's not even near the quality of New Cutey Honey (which I don't think tried nearly as hard to be silly, but at least made fun of itself), so you should probably give this one a pass if you're expecting anything exceptional. Certainly pass on it if you'd rather watch a more conventional magical girl show instead.
Halfway between two genres, it doesn't succeed at much except being strange. — Carlos/Giancarla Ross
Recommended Audience: Best for teens and up, for the obvious reasons (hey look, it's topless Jungle Honey!).
Though the violence and nudity are drastically toned down from New Cutey Honey, it's still racier than usual shows of this genre.
Version(s) Viewed: digital source
Review Status: Full (1/1)
Cutey Honey Flash the Movie © 1997 Dynamic Planning / Go Nagai / Toei Animation