By: Go Nagai, Itou Shinpei, Anno Hideaki
Translator: Jack Davisson; Adrienne Beck; Wesley Bridges
Release Date: March 27, 2018
Publisher: Seven Seas
Series: Cutie Honey
Received From: Publisher
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)
I was intrigued when I saw another Cutie Honey manga was going to be released. Honestly, I’m always intrigued when another edition of an older franchise has been released. So I got my hands on a copy as soon as I could to see what the latest incarnation of Cutie Honey was all about. Cutie Honey a Go Go! is a new standalone manga in the Cutie Honey franchise by Go Nagai, Itou Shinpei, and Anno Hideaki.
As the pages at the conclusion of the manga state, Cutie Honey a Go Go! is based off of the live action Cutie Honey movie released several years ago. However, the original print run of the manga was cancelled. This manga is only one volume, one large volume, but a volume that is incomplete as the original serialization was canceled. This means that the story ends quite prematurely, leaving the plot open ended and the story unfinished.
The story has a bit of a more serious tone than other incarnations of Cutie Honey. Everything is told from Natsuko’s point of view. The police have no leads on why Panther Claw keeps attacking the city. These events seem to occur at random, with Panther Claw’s motives obscured. Every person assigned to the case has the bad habit of being killed or disappearing within twenty four hours. Natsuko is determined to get the bottom of these occurrences.
Aki Natsuko can be a lot to handle, at least in certain of versions of Cutie Honey. The over the top characters and wild antics are usually a draw to the story for me, but here I couldn’t help but feel irritated. While Natsuko was very determined and driven to find out Panther Claws motives, Cutie Honey’s relationship to them, and what Seiji Hayami’s motives were, she also felt overly stubborn and obtuse, refusing to see some of the more obvious character traits in those around her. This strayed from character flaw into simply annoying. The delightfully quirky, bizarre, and over the top feel is muted in this version of the story. Large sections feel much more like a regular cop drama. In one sense this heightens the bizarre feeling – regular police treating super-villains as totally normal in a world that appears otherwise completely like our own is pretty amusing. However, all too often it simply felt odd.
Certain sections are bloated with exposition. The manga flips between the exciting action scenes we’d expect to a total standstill as the police try to parse through the information they have and discover Panther Claw’s motives. This really slowed down the plot in certain places, going straight from fun battle scenes to a long discussion in a police station. The entertaining story of an android with wild powers feels distinctly at odds with the straight shooting detective movie feel of large sections of the manga.
I did enjoy having Dr. Kisaragi in the story more than usual. Certain changes were interesting, and I honestly wanted to see where the plot was going to go. But the story remains unfinished. Sister Jill was never given much screen time. Cutie Honey’s coming to terms with her human aspects and mechanical aspects was never fully explored. The exact motives of certain characters weren’t ever revealed.
Overall, if you aren’t already a fan of Cutie Honey you probably won’t enjoy Cutie Honey a Go Go! very much. Certain parts would probably be confusing to those completely unfamiliar with the series. However, if you are a fan this might be something that you want to add to your collection for completion’s sake.
You are a fan of the Cutie Honey franchise; You like wild, over the top battle scenes
Don't Read If:
You haven't read or watched Cutie Honey at all; You don't like incompleted works