The 2nd Dimension

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Viewing Journal: Cutie Honey (live action movie)

Movie Overview
DVD Info

Overall= B
Story = B
Video = B
Audio = B-

When Honey's uncle gets kidnapped by the evil criminal gang known as "Panther Claw," she must use her magical powers of transformation (fueled by love) to save him. Meanwhile the same crime group has been responsible for a number of other crime sprees across Tokyo. In the process, Honey teams up with the seemingly cold police woman Natsuko Aki and hot shot journalist Seiji Hayami as well as battle the four "claws" of the Panther Claw gang to save her uncle and the rest of the city. (Source: ANN)

This show was a riot! It's a live action version of a Go Nagai manga/anime and was directed by Evangelion mastermind Hideaki Anno. And I have to say that whatever personal issues Anno was trying to work though when he created Evangelion, he seems to have gotten over them by the time he directed this movie. Because while Evengelion used classic anime staples (giant robots) to present an angst-ridden drama, Cutie Honey uses classic anime staples to just have a lot of fun.

This is a campy, fan-service laden, strait-out ridiculous movie, which anybody could laugh with but probably only anime fans can fully appreciate. It's full of scenes that you often see in anime but which (obviously) are done in live action -- like when Honey kicks a bad guy, who then goes flying sky high and disappears in a glint of light; or when the villain "Gold Claw" shoots a seemingly infinite number of missiles from her arm and they all go chasing after Honey (a la Macross Plus). These are cliches that we are used to seeing in animation, but when you see them in live action it emphases just how goofy they really are, and you laugh your butt off because of that very fact.

That's why I say that anybody could laugh with this but only an anime fan can really appreciate it -- because while anybody can laugh at the high energy ridiculous fun, only anime fans will be able to recognize the references. Sure the story is nonsensical, and the costumes are outlandish, but they are also bright and fun and if you take this movie literally you are really missing the point. Because it's all done with a wink and a nod as a kind of homage/parody to its source material in a way that only a true otaku like Anno could pull off.

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