「死ぬまで気持ちは変わりません」 (Shinu made Kimochi wa Kawarimasen)
“Till Death Do Us Part”
As we dive further into Cutie Honey Universe, the amount of transformations that Honey can go through is being utilized far more efficiently. It was only this last episode when it explored the various forms Honey can shift into, but this time around, it comes naturally to her as she shifts into several disguises from her reporter and flight attendant forms to an athletic ringleader outfit. The premise of this episode’s investigation of an underground arms dealing ring lead by a Panther Claw member masquerading as the city’s mayor also gives Seiji more to work with as an investigator digging into the case, and assisting Honey in getting to the bottom of the mayor’s ties to Panther Claw.
On the same coin, Seiji’s involvement only brings about Danbei and Junpei’s return to the fold, bringing their pervy tendencies into the fold as they latch onto flight attendant Honey. The knowledge that Honey has that the two don’t know it’s her that they’re harassing leads me to believe that this is something that they would definitely do to other women, and have only gotten out of legal trouble because they keep finding themselves gravitating towards Honey without their knowledge, and she knows that they’re just Seiji’s kooky relatives. It does tend to break the flow of the episode, but their cluelessness and behavior is a double-edged sword in that the negatives of being obnoxiously perverted can also play into their favor as comic relief. The fact that Danbei would draw the line at being called over to buy weapons instead of flaunt his status as an entrepreneur plays into the same humor that came with him trying to brag about how beautiful his gasps of pleasure are from the last episode. The infectiousness of the duo’s perverted behavior is also a source of humor as the solution to stop the mayor from whipping Honey is to distract her by acting like they’re enjoying being smothered by mannequins too much. It’s one of those instances where only Cutie Honey could get away with something like having a kid like Junpei smooch on a mannequin person’s buttocks to give Honey an opening to defeat her opponent.
Many of the details they gave about Panther Claw in this episode was also interesting as their stake in the mannequins from two episodes ago is given more light as they hoard them, and show that among the acts of villainy they are known for, underground weapons dealing is one that they pride themselves on capitalizing on. The mayor’s ability to teleport Honey and herself into a dream-like carnival also added a unique twist to the fight as the blank light tunnels are substituted with elephants, tigers, and big-tops, and Honey is challenged to take her on with a disguise tailor-made for a carnival. Patience also seems to be waning for Genet as her familiarity with the set-up and her push to cut off the mission directly makes it so that Honey and the PCIS automatically find issue with her orders. Similarly, the Panther Claw is finding that Honey is taking attention away from them, leaving Sister Jill to adore Honey from her lair while her underlings look away in envy. Her obsession with Honey comes at full force as she revels in her foe’s beauty and torment throughout the episode. When the other shoe drops is anyone’s guess, but things are looking to be complicated for Sister Jill’s double-act.