For this review I decided to look back at one of the first full anime series to feature a female lead, Cutie Honey. Cutie Honey, first aired in 1973, wasn’t the first anime to have a heroine lead, but it was one of the first of its kind to actually receive high ratings and gain popularity and franchising. It’s been adapted and reproduced in several titles from the popular Cutie Honey Flash to the laughably bad live action series, Cutie Honey: The Live. The only constant in each version is the opening theme. This anime is also considered the first of the “transforming magical girl” genre, though it was Sailor Moon that set the standards of today’s magical girl anime. The style to Cutie Honey was quite unique as well, employing colorful, almost surreal backgrounds that were pleasing to the eye.
The original Cutie Honey follows 16-year-old Honey Kisaragi, who is a joker and a “class clown” at her school. While attending Saint Chapel School for Girls, she enjoys pulling pranks, sneaking out of classes, and torturing two of her teachers, Alphonne and Miharu. Actually most of the comic relief of this series happens in her exploits and antics at school. The story starts when Honey finds her father has been murdered by a strange organization known as Panther Claw and that they are after a special invention of his, something that’s in her. Honey Kisaragi then realizes that she’s an android with the ability to transform and fight against the members Panther Claw, who want the device in her neck that allows her to transform.