New Cutey Honey Vol. #2 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B
  • Video Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: C
  • Extras Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 12 & Up
  • Region: 2 - Europe
  • Released By: MVM Entertainment
  • MSRP: �19.99
  • Running time: 120
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: New Cutey Honey Collection

New Cutey Honey Vol. #2

By Kim Wolstenholme     July 08, 2005
Release Date: November 15, 2004


New Cutey Honey Vol. #2
© MVM Entertainment


What They Say
The evil forces of Panther Zora are on the march, and only one young woman stands in their way! Of course, if that young woman is blessed with over a dozen lovely but lethal combat bodies, then the Armies of Darkness had better start marching awfully quietly!

Whether she's up against mad bombers, time-tripping samurai, crazed criminal wrestlers or gold-digging femme fatales, Honey's never been hotter! And of course, the irrepressible Grandpa Danbei and his psychopathic pack of pugilistic progeny are all back as well! This DVD release contains a cool selection of extra features including an interview with the Actresses, a Live Cutey Honey concert and the Original Japanese trailer.

The Review!
How many gratuitous transformations and big-breasted lizard women does an anime need? The more the better according to Cutey Honey.

Audio:

I listened to the Japanese track for my main review, and everything sounded perfectly OK. While the track doesn't really make a whole lot of use of the front sound stage it's perfectly functional with dialogue and music coming across well. I spot checked the English track as well and noticed no problems with this option either. The English track is generally much louder than the Japanese track, and I really didn't notice any real use of the rear speakers.

Video:

Again, the video is perfectly adequate with colours coming across well and blacks being nicely represented. There is evidence of some grain in a few scenes but nothing distracting.

Subtitles were easy to read, although I did notice a few grammar mistakes, but nothing that major.

Packaging:

It must be said that the cover here is really one for the fan-boys out there. It is a full cover shot of Honey during one of her 'transformation' scenes where her clothing is either being ripped off or appearing. The back cover has the series blurb accompanied by a few screen shots and the usual technical information. An insert is also included, which has a chapter breakdown and yet another picture of Honey (although fully clothed this time).

Menu:

A static menu with a picture of Honey on the left hand side with options appearing on the right-hand side, the theme music plays over the main menu and music is also included on the sub menus. Access times to all submenus are nice and quick.

Extras:

First up in the extras department is an interview with the various female voice actresses in Cutey Honey. It's a nice inclusion, though the rather grating interview style means it would not warrant repeat viewings. Next up is the recording session, a video taken during the recording of the opening theme. Then there are 3 Cutey Honey trailers that are just variations of the opening animation, and this is followed by the clean opening and closing animation. Rounding off the extras there is a recording of the Honeys Live taken during a convention in Japan. This is a very surreal video " before watching this I'd have not thought that the best place to show off Cutey Honey was a kid's convention in Japan, and afterwards I was even less convinced! Finally there are trailers for other ADV releases.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review will contain spoilers)

This show is all about Honey, who is not only smart and clever, but can also change her appearance to blend in with her surroundings, effectively masking her identity until she confronts the bad guys. Even better these transformations are shown with her clothes exploding off her, then her new outfit reforming over her jiggling body!

This disk carries on straight from the first disc, with Honey and Grandfather Danbei tracking down a bomb situated in Grand Central Station. Unfortunately another gang have decided that they want the bomb and have stolen it before the bomb disposal experts arrived at the station. A race against time then ensues as the bombs clock is already ticking and it has the capacity to destroy a large section of the city.

When Honey finally arrives on the scene to confront the bomb stealers, one of them transforms from a big-breasted woman into a big-breasted lizard woman, who can cover her enemy's in acid. Undaunted Honey manages to defeat her new foe and get rid of the bomb.

The second episode follows much the same sequence of events, although this time the setting is slightly more unique, making this one of the more enjoyable episodes on the disk. For some reason an evil madwoman is kidnapping people and making them fight against mannequins that she controls. Her power to control the mannequins has become such that she no longer has to kidnap people and has a horde of these mannequins attack the city. Of course it's Honey to the rescue once again with her own unique way of defeating the enemy.

This episode stands out because of its slightly historical setting and the different types of mannequin that are controlled; there are sword-fighting geisha, samurai and ninja all trying to stop Honey. This leads to Honey yet again having to take on different disguises in order to get close to the big bad enemy (who also turns into a big-breasted lizard woman). As a method of taking the characters out of their 'normal' environment it works very well, and the idea of sword fighting geisha was quite fun.

In the next episode we find out that people who belong to the Thug Alliance are being kidnapped, and it just so happens that some of Honey's friends have fallen fowl of the kidnappers. Of course everyone sets out to rescue them and Honey gets to try out even more disguises. It's never really made clear why this gang, which is headed by a sadistic woman, is kidnapping people, but with the outfit she's wearing few would care. It looks like some bizarre S & M getup, and amounts to nothing more than a couple of strategically placed belts. Anyway ultimately it's up to Honey to defeat this sadistic enemy, who surprisingly enough turns into a big-breasted lizard woman, then free all the hostages.

The final episode is certainly the weakest in terms of originality, with a gold hungry criminal using a type of transporter device to get into gold vaults all over the city in order to steal all the gold without anyone knowing. This time Honey and the gang enlist the help of Spider who can see the fluctuations the transporter produces. Spider is a bad guy, but luckily for the gang he's also a bit of a pervert and is easily enlisted after he falls for a 'Honey trap'.

Without really knowing what happened in the previous volume it's hard to really know much about the relationships between all the characters, but they all come across well in the second volume, even if they are a bit clich�d. There is a bit of backstory to support some characters, but essentially it all comes down to Honey as she is really the main character in this series.

Personally the big downfall of these 4 episodes for me was the depiction of the bad guys. I accept that 25 minutes doesn't give you much in the way of exposition, but I'm quite frankly bemused as to why they all turned into big-breasted lizard women. It's a shame because even with the large element of fan service I felt Cutey Honey could have been so much better. Unfortunately the story seems nothing more than a thinly veiled excuse for the animators to draw lots of naked big-breasted women. On the other hand this is probably what the animators had in mind when they created the show, so on that level it counts as a success.

In Summary:
I was left feeling a little underwhelmed by New Cutey Honey, perhaps because I came into the series at the halfway point. That's not to say it wasn't enjoyable as Honey squares off against a number of foes, it just became very predictable.

However this is largely irrelevant " most viewers will be drawn into this by the box art, not the temptations of a serious plot. As mentioned this is a fan-service heavy show as the transformation sequences where Honey takes on her disguises are basically just an excuse to show naked anime totty, so most people will probably get what they want out of it! In a nutshell your mileage on this will vary according to how obvious you like your fan-service to be, but I definitely wouldn't recommend showing it to your grandmother.

Features
Japanese Language 2.0,English Language 5.1,English Subtitles,Interview with the Voice Actresses,Honeys Live Performance,Recording Session,Cutey Honey Trailers,Clean Opening,Clean Close

Review Equipment
Panasonic 42" Plasma, Arcam 88+ Prog Scan DVD Player, Kef Egg 7.1 Speaker system with a Ruark log sub. Denon 3802 amplifier.

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