Who Is Cutey Honey?

Cutey Honey is probably the most important woman in the history of anime !!! She is the ultimate super heroine. Honey is heroism personified. She is idealistic, self sacrificing, and noble. Honey is every bit as much of the genius detective as Batman. (Check out OAV 2 if you need proof.) Although she is loving and compassionate, she can also kick major butt! She doesn't need help from anyone and even when faced by hordes of demons and henchmen and monsters SHE WILL win.

Not only is Honey a really cool Super Heroine. She is also one of the first. In fact Cutey Honey is the very first Magical Girl. Cutey Honey was created by Go Nagai in the early seventies. She has appeared in manga, movies, OAVs and she has two different television series (one in 1973 and one in 1997.)

The following is taken from the prologue to the Cutey Honey treasury edition. It was translated by David Soler

Here is what Nagai-sensei says about the creation of Cutey Honey:

One day a Toei producer came to visit my company Dynamic Productions. Before then, my Devilman and Mazinger Z had acquired some fleeting success. He came on the faith that I could build on this proven record and come up with something new. "Can't you do something with Seven Transformations?" This was what the client proposed. Surely it was (Tarao tomouchi) that was running through the producer's head. ( Tarao tomouchi) was a great Toei series which dominated [the airwaves] for a generation about a man who wore seven faces. He must want me to adapt it to modern sensibilities, thought I.

Suddenly, I thought, "Surely there's no question that it would be more fun to watch if it were a winsome girl doing the Seven Transformations in the style of a fashion show?"

At the time, there were as yet no series which featured a female lead character in the boys' manga magazines. As I always thought, when it comes to boys' manga, "does it really matter whether the protagonist is a boy?" No, I thought...instead I would take the liberal step of writing a manga where the lead was female. I even thought that there was virtue in doing something unprecedented, in challenging what was seen as taboo. So it was in this spirit that I spotlighted "Shameless Academy's" (Ryuuki) 10th Battalion and "Abashiri Family's" Kikunosuke. Almost all of these women were thrust half-naked into intense action scenes. I thought "Wasn't this novel and refreshing?" It was probably these elements that were accepted and perpetuated, no?

So, tying together "Seven Transformations," "Woman," and "Action," I then thought of adding some SF spice. This was none other than Maria from the classic movie masterpiece

"Metropolis." It was with these thoughts that I grew convinced I had the makings of a hit, and so the female android "Cutey Honey" was born.

Her weapon would be something that could be wielded easily even by a woman--a saber. It went without saying that her transformations would involve becoming completely naked. Of course, I would have no qualms about drawing this.

But the story doesn't end there. The villain would be a world-wide criminal cartel. In addition, it would be composed entirely of women, implacably strong foes all. Because they were all women, why not put in characters with a lesbian tinge, and even sado-masochism? The ideas came floating smoothly into my mind.

I may have been the happiest one when it aired on TV. I would watch it without fail every week in order to enjoy the transformation scenes. Unexpectedly, however, Cutey Honey's female fans outnumbered the males. They claimed to be especially fond of the transformation scenes. Afterward, even when I wrote manga like "Kekkou Kamen," which starred a fully-naked woman, I was surprised at its reception by women. Complex and wondrous is the female psyche.

I am always open to sugestions. Go ahead send me some E-mail. You know you want to.

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