So, I have been watching Re: Cutie Honey! And enjoying it quite a bit. I love the animation style, love (most of) the characters, love the colors, love the music. I even like the T & A, which is rare for me. Usually panty-shots and obvious cleavage and that sort of thing really, really bother me, but when it comes to things like this I am apparently just fine with it.
Possible reasons include: a) there is no actual male gaze! Most of the manga (not so much anime, since I avoid that genre of animation like the plague) where I've seen really ecchi stuff has a male protagonist, and when you see that stuff it's because of where they
're looking. It feels creepy as fuck, because it's like I'm complicit in his sexist fantasies. Not so in Re: Cutie Honey. :D
b) the female characters don't make a big deal out of it! So Honey's clothes got torn off again, so what. Natsuko is damn well going to do more important things, like shoot stuff.
c) In the first episode there is this great, great scene where Honey is basically wearing bits of string. She goes to a cafe with this guy, still without actual clothes, and eats an enormous meal and talks to him like it ain't no thing. Even he acts like she's just wearing a low-cut shirt or something; they have a totally normal and reasonable conversation about her father and nano-machines. This is not a show where the narrative treats nudity as 'boobs, whatever' (unlike Basara) so it's very refreshing to see some of the characters doing so for a while.
d) Honey and Natsuko. They are all about each other and their respective jobs; there is no point whatsoever at which they flirt with dudes, or put up with dudes' shit if they try to flirt with them. While technically-speaking the show's nudity is aimed at guys (I don't think this is the sort of show that was advertised super-heavily to women) it sure doesn't feel like it.
Also, here feels like an appropriate place to mention that Natsuko is the only member of the police who actually accomplishes anything. She is the goddamn savior
of the Japanese police force, no matter what those old dudes try to foist off on her.
e) The T & A aren't in the usual ecchi 'sexy sexy' art style. They're just, you know, there. And bouncy.
Other fabulous things: The music! There are all these variations on the opening theme that get used for battle music and such, and they're all pretty fantastic. I'm going to go hunt for mp3s at some point, I think.
Have I mentioned Natsuko? I mean, I know I did, but I don't think I mentioned her enough
. She is badass and cool and she is like a cross between Hiruma of Eyeshield 21 and various Cowboy Bebop characters. Or possibly Michiko of Michiko e Hatchin, it's too late at night for me to be sure. But she is a hard-hitting lady of much shouting and many guns, and I kind of adore her.
She is also Honey's girlfriend! Sort of. Eventually. It's really sweet, despite all the (plot-necessitated) nudity.
The other policemen! Apparently the Japanese police force consists of Natsuko, a bunch of old dudes who try to order her around, her two sidekicks, and a bunch of adorable knee-height chibis in uniform. SO CUTE.
The reason the bad guys dissolve when you kill them is because they are made of NANO-MACHINES.
James Bond shoe-phone.
Basically, if you like the kind of things I like, and you are okay with animated women who are often rather lacking in clothing, this show is for you. Here
is the opening, if you would like to see for yourself. (Note: the actual OVA contains a lot less of Honey looking upset/getting perved on and a lot more of her and Natsuko kicking ass.)