Cutey Honey (2004) Review

One from the re watch pile…
Cutey Honey (2004)


Film: I was too old to like Mighty Morphin Power Rangers when it first hit Australian televisions, and yet somehow I did. When it first appeared on television I was working in a job where I was home early enough to watch it, and I guess I loved it as it tapped into my love of ‘uniformed hero teams’ like Fantastic Four and the Thunderbirds, and started a love of Sentai that remains to this day. 

With the new Power Rangers film out, I’ve been hit again by Sentai fever and have been watching the original MMPR on Netflix, and due to a bad influence who love anime and manga at work, have started getting back into Japanese movies, comics and cartoons again.

One thing I decided I needed to revisit was this film, Cutey Honey, a live action film based on the manga (and subsequent anime) of artist Go Nagai directed by another anime director, Hideaki Anno, best known for Neon Genesis Evangelion, and who created a new type of special effects for this film, ‘Honeymation’ which combined single photos of the cast which is then turned into ‘live’ anime sequences for effect, giving birth to another term created for this film, Digital Comic Cinema.


This movie tells the tale of Cutey Honey (Eriko Sato), an android copy of a human who has special powers which she uses in her fight against the forces of Sister Jill (Eisuke Sakai) and his (her?) villainous gang of thugs Panther Claw. Cutey Honey gets some help, though, from a cute young police officer, desperate to prove herself, Nat-chan (Mikako Ichihawa) and a reporter, Seiji Hayami (Jun Murakami), but will their combined skill be enough to thwart the baddies?


It’s a bizarre film, even by Japanese standards, with completely over the top villains and crazy events that only make sense within the confines of the film. If you tried to describe the events, I imagine people who watch ‘normal’ films either wouldn’t believe you or would suggest you accidentally ingested horse tranquillisers.

Japanese model Erika Sato is no doubt an exquisite beauty, but in this her acting range extends all the way from sad faced covergirl to squealing excitable sexpot. Actually, the squealing in this film is so frequent, sometimes I felt like I was at a 14 year old girl’s birthday party at a bowling alley, but she is something special, and the camera loves her! Unfortunately, unlike the anime, there are no flashes of nudity with Cutey Honey activates her powers, though she is frequently seen in her underwear, miniskirts or a garbage bag… yep: a garbage bag.

I should point out that Sato is not the ONLY beauty in this film, Mikako Ichihawa is lovely too, though I wish she smiled more, even though it’s not in her characters range.

The film is a load of fun, and it’s funny too. In an age when most superhero films are dark and depressing, this one has a distinct joy in its story, and the bad guys seem to only exist to be evil, though typically, there seems to be an element of Honey’s origin that’s tied into them. Their costumes are bonkers too, looking like rejects from that old MMPR show.

It is overacted, dumb and fun and you’ll perhaps doubt your sanity for watching it, but it is definitely a spectacle worth trying.

Score: ****


Format: This film was reviewed with the Australian Madman DVD release which is present in an OK 1.78:1 image with a good Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track presented in Japanese with English subtitles. The film runs for approximately 89 minutes.

Score: ***1/2

Extras: There is a decent amount of extras on this disc.

The Making of Cutey Honey is a 20 minute subtitled extra highlighting the cast and production of the film. It’s actually quite funny as it’s like a 60s styled, school aged aimed doco, with a whole pile of dialogue like ‘now Cutey Honey is a police officer… I wouldn’t mind being arrested by her’… I’m actually reading the subtitles in a Troy MacClure styled voice! The subtitles on this are occasionally annoying though as the feature itself has a fair bit of Japanese text on it so finding WHERE to see the subtitles seems to be a chore!

There is a bunch of trailers, from the sneak peak, to the actual trailer and a bunch of TV spots.

My most hated of extras, a stills gallery!

There’s also trailers for other Madman releases: Godzilla, Mothra, Mecha-Godzilla: Tokyo SOS, Please Teacher! and Seven Samurai.

Score: ***1/2

WISIA: It’s cute and dumb fun: yeah I’ll watch it again.

Comic Review: Naruto Volume 1

NARUTO VOLUME 1

If you’ve read anything about me here at the To Watch Pile, you’ll know that I love my comics. I’ve been collecting for years and enjoy everything about them, but I insist that both the art and the story are of a decent standard.

It’s a medium that celebrates both and should do so.

Now I’ve mainly been a Marvel or DC guy, with a few dalliances into Dark Horse and some of the other smaller companies, including the mighty 2000AD and also for a while was grabbed some manga stuff, like the Akira collection, and now defunct company Eclipse used to do Robotech comics as well., and even occasionally, and for a reason opposite to my claim about liking both art and story, I’d get Shonen Jump comics just for the cool Japanese styled drawings.

Now I’ve not bought manga for years, but recently, due to an occupationally change, I have become in contact with HUGE anime and manga fans, and upon their say so I have decided to check some out. It just so happened, coincidently that the bookshop near my work started getting a pile of manga collections in: Sailor Moon, One Piece, Death Note, Attack on Titan, and this one, Naruto, which I decided to give a go.

Naruto tells of a neophyte ninja desperate to prove to a town that hates him that one day he will be the greatest ninja in the town, but first he has to graduate ‘ninja’ school and prove to all who despise him that he is greater than the evil force that’s living inside him.

This comics was published by Viz Media and as it is a manga, it does read from back cover to front, and each page from right to left.

Story: This first Volume of Naruto is all about setting up the story. It’s divided into 7 chapters which start at Naruto becoming accepted into the Ninja teachings and how he and two contemporaries, the serious Sasuke and dreamy, love-lorn Sakura start on their journey with their teacher Kakashi. This book also reveals the horrible secret that Naruto has hidden within.

The story is all about introductions and setting up but never becomes bogged down with them, and the story moves along a quite the clip. Writer/ artist Masashi Kishimoto has really given The main characters a variety of personalities, and they read nicely as completely different ‘types’ of people.

Score: ***1/2

Art: Madashi Kishimoto’s art is fantastic. It’s nice and simple and light and the characters are just ever so slightly cartoony, but not enough so it becomes a distraction, or do you ever not think they are ‘real’ people. The action is fast and furious and contemplative scenes are relaxed and understated.

Score: ****

WIRIA: I sure will: it’s totally cool! I’ve even already bought Volume 2!

Nerds of Oz: Weekending 19th May 2017

Week Ending 19th May 2017
Back due to popular demand is Nerds of Oz, or, as I like to call it, who got my pocket money this week!!

Comics

From Marvel comics this week I grabbed the latest Kingpin and X-men Blue, both which are excellent for different reasons. Kingpin is an amazing look at the private life of Daredevil’s villain, and is very much aimed at the Sopranos or Breaking Bad styled fan with its glorification of the gangster lifestyle, and how a normal person can be dragged into it. Both X-men titles are awesome at the moment, though Gold is a little above Blue. Jean Grey is certainly a far more rounded character now though, which is cool.


I have also started to read manga again, and am starting with Naruto and One Piece, both suggested by a friend from work.



Magazines

As an extension of my new found love of manga, I also picked up the latest NEO mag, just to see what new animation and manga are around.


Books

I stupidly have started another Partworks (you know those fortnightly newsagency collections) and this is the current issue of the new-ish Games Workshop, 40K novel collection.


DVD/ Blurays

Are they future reviews? Possibly, but this week I grabbed Idle Hands, The Autopsy of Jane Doe, The Bye Bye Man, Split, I Am Not A Serial Killer, the Legacy Collections of Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy and The Wolfman, and the latest entries into the Resident Evil and Underworld franchises.




I also grabbed an anime called High School DD, which is basically the 80s film Revenge of the Nerds vs Busty Devil Women. Sounds awesome.


Records

I finally got my hands on Volume 2 of the Stranger Things soundtrack, which I am quite happy about!


Gaming

Last but not least, I grabbed this cool box for my Magic the Gathering cards!

Nerds of Oz Collection Post: 30th December 2016

Week Ending 30th December
Comics, and Pops, and Records: oh my!

Funko Pops

Horror Pops, not the band.


I know, I know, I wasn’t gonna buy more of these, but it’s Leatherface, Michael Myers and Pinhead: how could I resist?!?

Comics


I managed to read all my comics this week! How did I find the time?

READ! Harley Quinn #10 from DC Comics. Honestly I don’t know why I read Harley Quinn anymore. The stories are getting worse and worse and are usually just her going on silly inconsequential adventures, with a variety of artists that aren’t very good or funny. Occasionally they’ll do a serious one, but I think it’s time for a writer change on this one, sorry Jimmy and Amanda, I used to love the stories but now they just seem to be like old issues of Archie. Lame jokes and no real involvement with the rest of the DCU. At least a couple of art favourites of mine show up here in Bret Blevins and Joe Michael Linsner.

READ! Justice League vs Suicide Squad #1 from DC Comics. My two favourite teams from DC in a comic together? Yes please, though basically the plot will go that they’ll versus each other u til they realise they have a common enemy before begrudgingly working together. Comic Trope 101. The comic of course starts that way be we are also given a look into another group of bad guys who have banded together to,’save the world’ as the leader of them puts it. I won’t give away who they all are, but it’s nice to see the ‘main man’ of the DC universe back! Art by Jason Faibok is excellent, and the writing by Joshua Williamson is damned good too!

READ! Raven #4 from DC Comics. Continuing the tales of Raven of the Teen Titans. So far this comic has been amazing! I hope it continues in its Spiderman-ish teen alienation tales of woe and adventure. This comic just keeps going from strength to strength.

READ! Lady Mechanika: La Dama De La Muerte #3 from Benitez Productions. Awesome art and a pretty good story so far have made this anxiously looked forward to. Joe Benitez’s art is one of those things that both inspires me to draw, and makes me not want to draw as it is so beautiful. This issue doesn’t fail to impress! The bummer though it’s the Final issue… ARGH!

READ! Captain America: Sam Wilson #16 from Marvel Comics. I don’t normally buy this but it had Misty Knight on the cover carrying the shield: I’m buying that! If any character screams ‘Blaxploitation films’, it’s Misty Knight, and I LOVE Blaxploitation films! Tragically it doesn’t live up to its cover. The art is nice but it seems like it’s a fill-in issue. I probably won’t buy this title again. One, and done.

READ! Gamora #1 from Marvel Comics. She may not be on any Guardians of the Galaxy merchandise, but she at least gets a title of her own. Let’s hope it’s got some longevity. The story is written by Nicole Perlman and is fantastic, and supported well by really nice art by Marco Checchetto. I look forward to the next issue!

READ! The Mighty Captain Marvel #0 from Marvel Comics. I’ve always loved this character, from Ms. Marvel to Binary, so I’ll keep buying! It takes place after the terrible Civil War II which to me was an absolute travesty, especially after the awesome first Civil War which really was a thought provoking look at the whole super heroic experience from a ‘real world’ point of view. Anyway, now Marvel is in charge of Alpha Flight and is suffering from a touch of PTSD after Civil War II… hopefully she’ll get over it quickly and this book doesn’t end up just about ‘feelings’.

Magazines

Anime mags


I grabbed Otaku USA’s Dec 16 issue, and NEO’s issue 155. Due to my workplace, which has several anime fans, I am being dragged back into becoming a fan of anime, which I was many years ago. I have started on Eureka Seven AO, the sequel to an anime I like a few years ago called Eureka Seven.

Bluray



Which brings me to my bluray purchase, which includes collections 1, 2 and 3 of the anime RWBY, a horror from Monster Pictures called Satanic and the heart-stopping horror film Don’t Breathe. No doubt reviews if the movies are on their way!

Vinyl


Picked up three soundtracks at the Boxing Day sales: The Lego Movie, X-Men: Days of Future Past and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Only listened to the Lego one so far which is by Devo’s Mark Mothersborough, and it has a fun vibe to it, and it starts with the epic ‘Everything is Awesome’.