「あなたはあくまで私のもの」 (Anata wa Aku made Watashi no Mono)
“You Will Be Mine”
Now that we’ve reached the point where Honey finds out that Genet is actually Sister Jill, it becomes apparent that the new ideas that Universe had for Cutie Honey couldn’t fundamentally work by retaining the classic elements of the series. It wanted to hit all the beats from the original story such as the deaths of her friends, yet also assume that Honey is completely in the dark at this point about Genet because her logical deduction skills are flawed. Thus, the show has to rely on Honey having no critical thinking skills to deduce that there is something suspicious about Genet, and it’s honestly egregious that even after the warning signs Natsuko gave her before her demise, she not only doesn’t connect the dots, but is appalled by anyone who could ever find Genet to be suspect because she’s helped them out. It relies on Honey being emotionally stunted and clueless, which feels like a disservice to her by placing her in the position where she’s deliberately ignorant about hearing what people have to say about Genet. By the time she plays her final card as Genet by propping herself up on Sister Jill’s chair, it’s groan-worthy to see Honey try to play it off like Genet playing a tasteless joke when everyone saw this from a mile away. Sure, Honey was on the field most of the time, but she kept ignoring much of what Natsuko and Seiji have been telling her about coping with loss and watching out for Genet in favor of shutting them out, getting snappy at them, or changing the subject. Natsuko’s last words were about Genet; you’d think that’d be somewhere along that point, Honey would pick up on at least keeping her guard up for her.
But instead, Sister Jill reveals herself and Honey is so taken aback by the shock that she lets herself get beat up until Dragon Panther makes her fight back. I’m unsure of how the original fight played out by the time Honey went to Sister Jill’s hideout directly, but I’d imagine it didn’t involve letting herself get knocked around from the shock of the most obvious villain character disguise being the villain. It relied too much on the concept of Jill’s “mind-break” plan that we’re just supposed to assume that Honey would be broken from finding out that she was betrayed, yet also wants to adapt the manga with most of the events in-tact. What we’re left with is the impression that they had to write around the new twists to make the final battle happen, and transform Honey into a character that needed to be incapable of drawing conclusions and easy to manipulate. Honey’s inconsistencies make her out to be far worse as she is far more devastated by the reveal that Genet is Sister Jill than the personal tragedies she got over far more quickly. That we’re supposed to see this point as the exact moment where Sister Jill is ecstatic about the possibility of her submitting any moment to her. It’s admirable for the show to try to reinvent and innovate on the original formula as closely as possible, but the new ideas brought in to spice things up did a poor job at meshing with the series by the time they had to lift the veil Sister Jill kept over herself.
The only characters who are actually coming out of this well are Tarantula and Dragon Panther. Having them change sides and fight alongside Honey brought in some nice action and suspense as it’s neat to see how the two handle their mutiny from the Panther Claw. Seeing Tarantula be humanized as her good side tries to empathize with Honey and settle the personal vendetta she has with her split personality is as intriguing as the Genet concept started out as before it was mishandled. Additionally, I wouldn’t have expected Dragon to be as apt to help Honey or be as invested in making sure that she can exact her revenge against Sister Jill, but that was a pleasant surprise that came from this final battle. Seiji was shaping up to be an interesting supporting character as well, but they haven’t given him enough to work with until just recently. We’ll have to see how it all shapes up from the final face-off, but hopefully it can wrap things up neatly once it’s all said and done.