Cutie Honey (Live-Action Movie)
Maybe someday somebody will create a computer program for animated productions to simulate it, but at present there's nothing like seeing real live people flying through the air, with limbs flailing in all directions, after taking a super powered kick. It just cracked me up. Going in, I was uncertain what to expect from this live-action remake of the classic Cutie Honey story--was this a good idea or not? Fortunately, as it turned out I had little trouble suspending my disbelief and accepting Eriko Satoh as Honey. Actress Mikako Ichikawa bore an uncanny resemblance to animated inspecor Natsuko Aki--no problem here. The villains tended to seem more ugly than frightening--especially Sister Jill herself. Black Claw was clearly a man--my understanding was that Honey's opponents were supposed to be deformed women. Another unusual character was Honey's uncle--I don't recall hearing of such a relative in any of the other incarnations of this genre. The movie begins with pretty much the same scene as Re: Cutie Honey, the three-part animated OVA series which was made more-or-less simultaneously with this movie. Some animation was incorporated into this film, namely the OP sequence, and a clip as Seiji explains the Panther Claw organization. Fortunately, this isn't just a trimmed-down (94 minutes instead of 3 x 45 minutes) live action version of the OVAs. Though they follow a similar general plotline, the details are different. My favorite was a drunken karaoke party involving Honey, Natsuki and Seiji. Also included was a music video scene based on the ED song from the original 1973 TV series. Stay sharp, or else you are liable to miss a great Go Nagai cameo (hint: he's in a car). Special effects were never cutting-edge, but varied from clever touches (like the emergence of the "Jill Tower") to those that suggested a low budget production. Is it just my lack of familiarity with the Japanese language, or did the animated OVA characters sometimes actually act better than their live action counterparts? No big deal, the acting was never atrocious, and may even have contributed to a fun, campy feel to the show. Despite all the parallels to the OVA series, the ending wasn't what I was expecting--not neccessarily better, maybe not even as good, but almost anything would be better than the same conclusion as I'd already seen. All things considered, I was pleasantly surprised how well this live-action movie worked out--I must have been, because when it ended I had a smile on my face.|
My favorite line: "I'll omit the second verse" --Black Claw
Last updated Monday, March 28 2005. Created Monday, March 28 2005.