You really come to understand how inherently unfair the universe is when you learn that the impossibly dull, full of retread passive female sex object plot “complications” Cutey Honey Seed is on Volume 6, and the incredibly excellent, full of powerful females, and lots of yummy Yuri subtext Cutey Honey a GoGo failed to go past Volume 1 (update: This series was finally completed in 2007 in a Cutey Honey a-Gogo, Perfect Volume.) This is especially heinous considering the history of Honey, who was pretty much the first magical heroine who was completely self-sufficient and didn’t need a man to support her.
This particular iteration of the Cutie Honey Mythos comes from 2004, the same year that brought us the most awesome anime Re Cutie Honey AND the live action Cutie Honey movie, both of which were really great. (The movie, btw, is slated to be released here in the US this month. Here’s a link to it on Amazon.)
Well, Cutie Honey aGogo can easily be seen as the manga version of those fine anime and live action stories. While Na-chan’s character design is nothing like Ichikawa Mikako or the look-alike used in the anime, this is the Na-chan *I* would have created, had they asked me. (insert happy, yet slightly evil, laughter here.) In fact, the art was done by Itou Shinpei, the creator of Hyperdolls. I approve 100%.
In this version of the tale Aki Natsuko is a squad leader for the public safety bureau and her subordinates live in fear of her. Her butchy suit-wearing, chain smoking, gun wielding, impatient with everyone around her personality keeps all the guys working for her, in their place. She has her own personal butt boy, Todoroki, who lights her ciggies, gets her coffee, files her reports and is completely incapable of keep up with her on any level.
I think she’s perfect. ^_^
The story begins, as it does in so many of the other Cutie Honey adaptations, as evil Sister Jill and her Panther Claw gang have invaded the city. It is only the timely appearance of Cutie Honey that saves the city from total destruction. (Lots of blood and violence, as usual for a Honey story.) Of all the police and safety officers at the scene, the only one who has the balls to really involve herself is, of course, Aki Natsuko. Machine gun in hand, she throws herself into the mêlée.
When Butterfly Claw has been defeated, Na-chan takes it upon herself to arrest Honey for disturbing the peace. Honey likes this “reckless O-ne-i-san,” as she calls Natsuko. Like Sham-pu’s “Onee-nii-san” in Kashimashi Girl Meets Girl, this form of address recognizes the “two-heart” quality Na-chan has. (In fact, she is later seen in a dress, and seems as comfortable in that as in the suit. But no less muscular and confident. I really like this Na-chan.)
The second time the Panther Claw attacks, Na-chan is all over it. She’s also right there with the handcuffs for Honey, who cheerfully…a little too cheerfully…goes along with her. There’s a great panel as Honey gives Na-chan a very knowing look as the handcuffs lock into place.
After she’s released for the second time, Honey (in disguise) brings Na-chan back to her father’s lab, and all the basics are explained – Honey is an android, the i-system, Sister Jill, etc, etc. Prof. Kisaragi asks Na-chan to befriend Honey and help her become more human. When Na-chan arrives home that night – there’s Honey, who wants to help wash her back in the tub. ^_^ Resigned, Na-chan can only comment on the size of Honey’s breasts. Of course. Because I’d think the same thing, if a *transforming android* was in my bathroom…
The end of the volume is the inevitable loss of Honey’s father, and her reliance on Na-chan for comfort and support as she sobs in grief and eat lots of gyuudon. Na-chan, not so good at the softer emotions, is maybe not as kind as she could be but she does her best as the book ends, promising to continue the story in the next volume – which it never did. This is *me* sobbing with grief. I have no doubt at all that this would have been the Yuriest version of the bunch. It was set up perfectly for it. Honey definitely had some interest in Na-chan, and my god, Na-chan is so gay, there is simply no way she would have been able to stop herself. When I write the inevitable fanfic, it will be *this* version I will be working with, you can be sure.
/mutter/Stupid dorky otaku who like sex dolls better than women with balls. You suck. It’s *your* fault that stupid Cutey Honey Seed is doing better than Cutie Honey a GoGo did. I blame each and every one of you personally./mutter/
Art – 7 (I did tell you it was Itou Shinpei? I like his art)
Story – 7 – the same story as always
Characters – 9 (Honey and Na-chan 4tW!)
Yuri – 4 with lots of potential
Service – 7 – please, this is Honey, we’re talking about. Hell, this is Nagai Go we’re talking about.
Dear Mr. Nagai – Please, oh please, make more Cutie Honey a Gogo!