Yesterday night I finally got to see the Cutie Honey film at the Virgin Cinema in Roppongi. It’s a live action version of the ’70’s animated cartoon. Let’s get it straight, this is a low budget ‘cute’ film action with virtually no plot, and some very low-budget special effects.
However, unlike recent ‘comedies’ like “The Haunted Mansion”, this one is actually *fun*. It’s the story of a cyborg girl who can change costumes to help her fight the evil “Panther Claw” gang as long as she eats enough food, which in the film is 90% onigiri from Family Mart. The hook is that she has to be naked to do her ‘Honey Flash!” identity change. Also, when she runs out of energy, she loses her clothes. Fear not, in the film, she never gets out of her underwear – much to the annoyance of a lot of the other male movie-goers I suspect.
Eriko Sato as Cutie Honey does a fairly comedic performance, though there is the otaku pleasing ‘yoga in underwear’ scene, the rest of the film is more cheeky than some fans may have liked. Her ‘flashes’ are mostly an anime style CG, and many other action sequences are very manga in their design, which makes for a very fantasy style to the film.
Why was I watching it? Well, I’m just trying to take in more smaller Japanese films, which is getting easier to do as the general quality is getting better, and most of the recent big Hollywood films have been pathetic (Matrix: Revolutions, Haunted Mansion and Day after Tomorrow for example), and also because more and more Japanese films in Japan have showings of English subtitled versions, which helps me with some of the plot points.
The Japanese film industry goes beyond Akira and Takeshi films, so try some of these smaller films and see what you think!