「私はあなたにふさわしい」 (Watashi wa Snata ni Fusawashii)
“I Am Made for You”
Cutie Honey‘s retro take on playful eroticism continues to work to Universe‘s advantage as the liberties of our contemporary media landscape and Sister Jill’s disguise as Inspector Genet allows the reboot to retain the manga’s spirit and take chances that would’ve otherwise been a challenge to take during the 70’s and 90’s.
Namely, this adaptation was able to do what Re:Cutey Honey helped open the door for by allowing lesbian romance to return to the series. Although it was apparent with the first episode that there was some yuri here and there in flattering and unflattering depictions of such, it is taken far more seriously in this episode as Natsuko is enthralled to be invited for a date by Genet. It’s surprisingly refreshing to see how the world itself in Cutie Honey handles love as we’re able to see women openly in love regardless of whether they’re conventionally attractive or eccentric cartoon characters. Or seeing how good of a wing-woman Honey is as she gladly helps Natsuko try to charm Genet as she notices her friend’s difficulty in suppressing her excitement about going out with her. That’s not to say this show is the most respectful of yuri anime, but there is some sense of good nature to the idea the show is getting at with love being something as funny as it can be breath-taking regardless of whether it’s with a dashing older woman or a girl who’s rough around the edges. Even the fanservice has been tasteful enough for it to not be completely “not safe for work” with Honey and Natsuko’s curves getting as much attention as some of the bare butts and nude bodies we’ve seen of the show’s men, albeit with the latter being more comical in the spirit of Honey’s teacher couple. Nonetheless, it is promising to see how the show approaches eroticism as something that can be a part of anybody, and isn’t solely attached to the idea of leering men at every corner to let the audience know which moments they’re supposed to enjoy.
It is also cool how much involvement other members of the cast have in this episode. Natsuko is given the spotlight as her trip to a knock-off version of UNIQLO allows us to see her at her most enthused as she is smitten by Genet, yet is still able to find that something isn’t right when the store is transformed into the Panther Claw’s human mannequin factory. Genet’s involvement with Natsuko also offers up the interesting dynamic where now Sister Jill is going far enough to toy with Honey’s friend’s emotions and infiltrate the school via her white roses. Her presence near the end of the episode adds to the number of odd decisions she’s made as she bounces between unleashing her Panther Claw cohorts and helping Honey kill her own crew. We’re also introduced to the duo Akebi Tetora and Momomi Wareme, who are PCIS agents who love to mock fellow superiors like Kogoro Iboji as he gets the backside of his pants shot off.
The most endearing of the characters given exposure in this episode is Naoko, the leader of an all-girl gang who finds her soft spot for Honey to be a large weakness on her behalf as her friends chide her for not wanting to throw down as quickly when she gets distracted by her infatuation or jealousy. Naoko’s gang is further involved in helping fight off the Panther Claw as they go after Honey’s target this week, and Naoko takes a rough punch to protect Natsuko. Her payoff is relatively sweet as well with Honey leaving the door open for Naoko to give her a white rose another time.
Despite this episode being very well done, it could have done a little more for Honey. She didn’t have as much to work with as she is still regulated to her regular form and Hurricane Honey despite the tease of her Misty Honey form on Natsuko’s phone. And though they gave her some input on helping Natsuko with her date, she doesn’t have much else to do other than wait for her cute to transform into Cutie Honey. There’s also the issue the anime has with the fight scenes being a little lackluster due to the blue light tunnels that Honey keeps having to fight in. It doesn’t do much to diminish how fun the show is to follow and keep up with, but it could use a little work along the way.