What Hollywood Can Learn From “Cutie Honey” (2004)

We have a year coming up of reboots, sequels, and movie adaptions of series that have goofy origins like the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.

That for some reason is receiving a gritty interpretation.

It’s become standard practice. Dark and brooding, angst ridden, and lacking the true sparks of fun. Which is why Hollywood may need to look over to Japan for this one, at it’s long running franchise Cutie Honey’s 2004 live action film.

For those that don’t know, Cutie Honey is a series started in 1973 by Go Nagai. It focuses on super powered android with a human conscious, Cutie Honey. She fights crime bosses, changes into outfits and disguises amongst a large amount of fan service which normally I find to annoy a plot, but there has always been a strength and charm to the way the Cutie Honey franchise.

So when Studio Gainax decided the take on the franchise by rebooting it with a live action film, the question was would they tone it down? Did they have any fear of how to transfer a series so bizarre in premise and execution that over its 30 year run, only a few of it’s tied in media came to the states?
They rolled with it! The Cutie Honey 2004 movie didn’t hold back. It is as goofy…

It has as many bizarre fight scenes…

It even has a few charmed moments that are unique to it.

And it was amazingly well recieved!

It got a spin off anime that brought the series back into the major public conscious once more. It’s strength lies in the fact it got it was goofy and over the top. With a plot where hyperactive android Honey (played by model Erik Sato).

She faces off against criminal organization Panther Claw which is led by the enemy Sister Jill. Panther Claw is a organization made up of various claws including the dual faced and androgynous Black Claw who Honey fights after they perform a fun music number.

Fierce Gold Claw and multi armed leather bound Cobalt Claw. Scarlet Claw destroys a large chunk of the city and it is all so good.

Honey and her partners, reporter Seiji and police detective Natsume faced against countless enemies in a comedic and action filled plot.
It is easy to think that people who grew up when media like Power Rangers, which itself is based on the Japanese Super Sentai series would want a series adaption that lined up a bit more as a modern version of what they liked. A series filled with tropes, over the top battles, and a bit of a ageless whimsy like Power Rangers is some thing Hollywood (and most adults) would think not marketable to adults.

As much as Hollywood might have it in their heads that we want all our childhood franchises aged up with us and given R ratings, sometimes we just want to have fun. There can be serious moments in your goofy movie (look at the Lego Movie for reference).
You can make us feel and laugh and still be fun! Goofy, bizarre, laughable, and just a bit mind numbing fun.

Like Cutie Honey. It is raunchy and kiddy and kinda near perfect. Please Hollywood learn?

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