20
Apr
18

The Honey in My Closet

*****

CuteyHoney-TF3-closeup-gawaruwayo_90s-cuteyhoney-ep-1-148

Gawaru wa yo!  [I’m going to change.  Or, so it is translated into English subtitles.]

Ever since 1997, I’ve been a bit consumed by the concept of Cutey Honey. [And, if I’ve said it before here, you’ll just have to put up with me. I go through these periods of indulging an episode or two. I’m about to go through my history with the character(s) and my interest in creating a new series, at length, so get comfortable and prepare to read if you are curious to know.]

There is just something about this gorgeous, loving android and her magical ability to change her appearance while battling a variety of monsters, some just as lovely as her, that enchants me (while some of the monsters she faces and some of the language in the series rattle me). If you are familiar with the recent Teen Titans cartoons, Cutey Honey is like Starfire with more brains and a wardrobe that seems limitless. The artists are generally good with retaining the loving energy and heart-shaped imagery that are associated with the character, similar to how Spider-Man/Peter Parker can say something in an aside and have a form of the hero’s webbing or mask appear behind him. And, no, if you think it’s about the “boobs,” you’re wrong. It takes more than that for such a character to last as long as she has, even if you’ve never taken notice of her. If given the chance, I have a few ideas for giving her a decent, solid story that would satisfy more fans and get her out of the perverse closet.

 

Originally a Go Nagai manga (black and white comic book series) and then 1970s anime, Cutey Honey (or Cutie Honey, depending upon the series) is a female android, created by a scientist named Dr. Kisaragi who lost a daughter (Honey) and who made the automaton in her image, programmed to blend in with the human population and protect them from the evils corrupting their world, including armies led by characters known as Panther Zora, Dolmeck and Sister Jill.  The android has the special ability of changing her appearance rather frequently, replacing damaged clothes, skin and hair with materials drawn from the air by the “airborne element fixing device” which the enemy pursues incessantly when she interferes.  Honey acquires strength from those she befriends/loves which ultimately helps her overcome adversity and repel the darkness.

The concept has had a number of incarnations over the years though it has never earned the American fame of similar characters like Inspector Gadget and Mega Man; instead, she remains like a closet craze, enduring solely by the interest of her fans who put up with the cheeky, flirtatious incidents that continue to unfold in the life of this breathtaking beautiful warrior. I think, if the conceptions were not so littered with “fan service” and had a strong, consistent and understood plot line/origin story, Cutey Honey WOULD be as popular as Wonder Woman. And, if you want a “cleaner” heroine story with a similar flair, you can check out The Adventures of Lady Bug (currently part of ClickTV) and any number of anime that feature similar “magical girl” heroines without the flashes of nudity and exaggerating breasts.

———————-

Breaking down my problems with (various incarnations of) the concept:

1) JAPANESE GIRLS ARE NOT BLONDE (NOR REDHEADS). First of all, this is a Japanese character with BLONDE hair when she doesn’t adopt another color, including RED for her warrior form.  [Though I’ve seen images of the older series in which she has dark hair?  See the image on the right in the above cluster.]   Last I checked, there are no blonde Japanese girls. And, while I get this is an anime staple and typically associated with “ascended” and/or “pure” characters (like the empowered individuals of Dragon Ball Z fame), why can’t Honey Kisaragi be a native Japanese girl with BLACK or, at least, dark brown hair? Or, why can’t Honey be from a different country and retain that lovely blonde hair she flashes? Even if Honey adopted other hair colors and styles to simply complement the outfits she donned (like some Lady Gaga or Katy Perry), her civilian form would not have such a strikingly bright head of blonde hair unless she had lost her hair and wore a wig all of the time; and a dye-job just doesn’t say “purity” as well as a naturally colored head of hair.

2) WORLD DOMINATION DOESN’T STAY WITHIN A SINGLE CITY. The stories take place in some vague city which is consistently the focus of some evil force bent on taking over the world. [Okay, so far, this is nothing new and, thus, boring. Even in The Adventures of Ladybug, everything seems to unfold strictly in Paris, France. Why can’t these world-conquering villains make appearances in various parts of the world and have the protagonist travel there “on a mission” or something similar? Or, why can’t there be some greater reason for attacking only one city?]

3) THE ON-GOING DEBATE OVER “FAN SERVICE.” I just want it to stop. For whatever reason, the concept was given a certain measure of “sex appeal” by consistently using Honey’s assets as a distraction and, occasionally, a comedic touch to her trials with defeating the forces of darkness. From what I’ve seen, there are the occasional instances that push the envelope a bit (at least, for my personal tastes) and probably, rightfully, bother some people enough to say something about them.

If it was up to me, I’d take out some of the more lewd and “S and M” bits and limit the “fan service” to embarrassing and/or compromising moments in which Honey’s assets are exposed and/or involved in some sort of accident. Keep these instances more subtle and suggestive (less “in-your-face”). For example, if she loses her top, she covers herself while flushing witnesses tumble like dominoes around her; no need to be explicit with the nudity, have men bleeding from their noses or include any form of (whipping, tentacle, rape, etc.) torture. [‘No need to remove her assets because they ARE part of her charm; just like people associate Wonder Woman with being shapely versus some pencil-thin warrior maiden with one or no breasts.]

And, it’s because of this “fan service” debate that the story gets pushed into the closet…yet it endures and keeps being re-invented like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles which have had…how many series now? Yeah. How many times can we tell the origin story of that group? Apparently, plenty. And, each new incarnation isn’t really all that disappointing…just, occasionally, a bit different. We know the history behind the characters even though April changes from a TV reporter to some girl who was an alien experiment and develops telekinetic/psychic powers. Which brings me to my next point.

4) LACKING CONSISTENCY AND CLARITY OF CONCEPT. Maybe it’s just my own difficulty with following the story; maybe it’s a matter of cultural differences? But, I have a hard time understanding why certain characters change from series to series though a continuity of some sort is suggested, as if all incarnations form a single story.

Well, as with the Legend of Zelda video games, that’s not what I see. While tweaking the origin story may refresh interest, it would really help if more was explained sooner than later. [This is also why I am not too fond of re-inventing the Marvel Comics universe as recent cartoons have done, turning characters you might know and love for fitting together one way suddenly becoming very different people with different relations to the protagonist. Yet, I guess, this opens the doors for more people finding a version they like.]

If there is no intended continuity, then I will just have to accept this and sort out who everyone is and how they fit together in each version. [I’ve survived every version of TMNT to air on local TV. I have seen the movies and recent reboot but truly only liked the original Inspector Gadget series. I like both the original and the new Duck Tales. I have tolerated various (not all) versions of Mega Man and even grew to like the “Network” concept/series a bit. I flinched yet gave Iron Man a chance when he became the creation of a younger inventor who shared the technology with his teenage? friends (in an incarnation not related to or part of the more accepted “Marvel universe”). I turned a blind eye when someone decided to give Link earrings in one or more of the Legend of Zelda games. I can decide which Cutey Honey I do and do not like so much.]

This is more of a personal complaint, but I had a small fit when Mikey had his nunchakas replaced with a grappling hook-ish weapon in the TMNT series/franchise (because the latter was less likely to result in harming anyone?). I have had similar reservations when I see Honey’s weapons take on new and/or different abilities. At some point, I begin to feel like I’m watching one of those kid fights in which “no backsies” or “infinity” solves everything. Part of what makes Honey enduring is working with her limitations. When you start making her weapons limitless, you start looking like those other characters that keep upgrading themselves. I understand the reasoning or what might lead to such changes. But, it does get tiresome/repetitive. [Does anyone complain that Wonder Woman consistently relies on her strength, lasso, bracelets and tiara? Do those items ever really change?]

And, the outfit Honey Kisaragi wears consistently as her civilian attire, personally, looked great in the 1990s version, with the pink and white combo. The original yellow-orange dress was rather flat. And, the blue and white dress with that weird curving design somehow painted around it…that just doesn’t sit right with me (though the shade of blue and white work nicely together). [Maybe compromise and replace the pink portions of the 90s outfit with that blue color…or the orange of that original dress? Or, here’s a novel idea, DON’T LIMIT THE MAIN CHARACTER TO ONE EVERYDAY OUTFIT. Hmm? Maybe she has an actual closet of choices.]

———————————–

MY PERSONAL HISTORY WITH CUTEY HONEY

My first taste was the short-lived 1990s OVA mini-series. I had watched a trailer for the concept at the start of another anime video I had purchased. And, within thirty seconds or so, I was hooked. I was red-faced. I was overwhelmed. Never had I seen such quality artistry given such flair, appealing to my personal interests in superwomen with alter egos and fashion design. Yet, all the trailer really showed were a few costumes and that magical melting of materials that sold the package. I had no idea who exactly she was or what she was fighting other than a few creepy characters that made brief appearances. I wasn’t even sure she was just one woman. I began purchasing and cautiously watching the mini-series on VHS.

 

 

daiko-actionhottie-hubby-dynamicduo_shincuteyhoney-ova-ep6-mini-352

Because of this initial exposure to the character, I’ve compared all other incarnations to it and found each a bit lacking in quality.

I’ve seen images from the original 1970s cartoon and even purchased a DVD collection, recently, but have yet to watch any episodes. I can see how I might have taken to it in its original form back then, but, looking at the old cartoons now, the original seems a bit dated and awkwardly cartoonish, like my childhood days of watching shows like Fangface and Teen Rod. The artistry is primitive in comparison (to the 90s OVAs) though the 60s/70s fashion sense isn’t all bad and, as cartoon concepts go, it was groundbreaking for the time. While there may have been other robot stories coming into existence, how many involved a female android with such a crafty system of producing costumes and weaponry?

Then there was “Cutey Honey Flash” which came around the turn of the century and involved a slightly different protagonist with a second “Honey” who adopted a blue costume and hair. I have yet to see more than a few images of this version, as well, but I have not been entirely drawn to the exceptionally slender and “starry-eyed” artistic style of that series, either, which seems to be the first to result in the creation of dolls.

hurricanehoney-spotlight_cuteyhoneyflash-1

CuteyHoneyF-dolls-sample-big-small-1

Cutey Honey F (Flash)

Next came a live-action movie (and a lunch box) which honestly is a sad Power Rangers-ish joke compared to the animated series. While I could see how a superhuman android designed by a human scientist might be dumber than a “smartphone”–and that might make a good angle for future stories about robots built by mankind if it hasn’t already been used to death–seeing Honey as a dumb blonde (with a really bad dye-job given to an actress with naturally dark hair), fumbling through her day and night jobs, ruined my enthusiasm for the character. Had she done a better job of pretending to be dumb in public while reserving a more serious, intelligent persona for her heroics, I might have given the film more credit. [Of course, I would have picked a different actress, too, who would sensibly fit the color scheme. See my list of flaws with the concept.]

cuteyhoney-liveaction-movie-kisaragi-officegirl-3

cuteyhoney-liveaction-movie-warrior-huh-face-1

My thoughts, exactly, Eriko Sato.  Huh?  What are you doing looking like that?

[I recall how Blondie, the famous wife of the old comics character Dagwood, was portrayed as a sort of dumb blonde who wasn’t as dumb as you’d expect from the name, and how Marilyn Monroe might have been a bit air-headed at times from appearances but often enough proved she had more wits under the surface.]

cuteyhoney-liveaction-movie-natsuko-kisaragi-spanish-2

Movie Natsuko on the left.  Kisaragi disguised as policewoman on the right.

While the new Natsuko lacked something in terms of personality, making the acting appear rather poor, she was a refreshing alternative to what I’ve seen of her and had a somewhat believable friendly, somewhat more than friendly relationship budding with Honey. Given a better script and acting, this might have turned into something great for future “chapters.” [Natsuko could be like “Chief” in Inspector Gadget but have moments of intimacy in private with the robotic hero(ine) while maintaining a more professional persona when in public or around other agents/officers.]

I thought that movie might be the end of her (at least, for a while). But, like Godzilla, she rises, again, sooner than you might expect.

cuteyhoney-ova-transitionfrommovie_natsuko-1

I discovered an animated series (or mini-series?) in which Natsuko reprises her movie role as the stern yet charming government agent working alongside Honey (whenever they run into each other, at least). I’ve only watched bits of it, so far, so I can’t speak for the whole story or character design. The animation is decent yet more comical–like the original Inspector Gadget–when compared to the first version I saw (the 1990s mini-series). It’s not as dated as the original nor as “starry-eyed” as the “Flash” or “F” series. It feels fairly “fresh” and has a certain 60s live-action Batman feel to it with a touch of Tank Girl’s relationship with Jet.

kisaragi-honey-closeup_cuteyhoneyflash_by-honey-kisaragi1973

And, before I can even get back to looking at more of what I just mentioned, I discover an even newer series. [Or, mini-…just what are each of these incarnations supposed to be? Trials of something bigger that just don’t quite make it for whatever reason? Fan fiction?]

In Cutie Honey Universe, Honey is a student at some school shared by Natsuko (who is a very youthful and somewhat naïve alternative to the previous incarnation and–I am assuming without seeing any episodes–closer to the character from the original 70s series). But, Honey also is linked to some sort of city police force and runs off to fight the forces of Sister Jill who quickly takes on a new twist by becoming a police chief who is killing off her own army of “panthers” and is apparently sly enough to keep her two identities separate though she has less of a disguise than Honey, looking more like Clark Kent/Superman who hid behind a slightly different hairdo, suit and a pair of eyeglasses. [How dumb do we have to be not to notice the chief resembling Jill?]

Aki.Natsuko-student-casualattire-cuteyhoneyuniverse-1

The more youthful and naïve Cutie Honey Universe Natsuko

I’ve watched the first two episodes (as of writing this article). And, while I like the throwback to the 70s style (namely the rather Charlie’s Angels wardrobe and posing of “Breast Claw”) and the same fresh animation that I saw in the previous incarnation–with some new “techno-flair” thrown in during the battle scenes–I am once again bothered by Honey Kisaragi’s “uniform” (not the school one), the abuse some characters face and warrior (Cutie) Honey’s wide array of new weaponry which still seems a bit like the creators are working toward an insanely endless number of abilities which could overwhelm the enduring spirit of the character.

I noticed they also cut back on the foul language and nudity by having Honey change within a sort of bubble (reminding me a bit of the “Network” Mega Man). And, that’s okay…but it does mess with the head a bit when you come to expect the artistic quality of that 1990s mini-series (which, seriously, seems hard to top though the language, blood and nudity pushed the envelope a bit). [It was just so moody, organic and three-dimensional which is saying something when you realize how much 3D animation is computer generated and metallic-looking these days. You could feel the fabrics forming around the heroine instead of watching pixels come together like some video game. Not to mention the video-game-like text that appears (backwards?) when Honey calls upon one of her abilities/weapons.]

The second episode makes an effort to reprise the origin story, which helps.  And, the way Jill claims her “Claws” with roses is decently done.  But, this battle dimension that the show uses makes the whole thing feel more like Mega Man Network than the warrior of love defending the city in the raw, destructive way she was portrayed in the 90s.  [I am guessing this dimension idea was inspired by the battle with Yasho/Yasha in ep. 6 of the “Shin” OVAs (direct to video releases), in which a sort of illusionary field falls over the city, restoring an old park full of mannequins which are then brought to life to fight.  When the fight ends, the illusion falls, and the city is restored, minus the casualties.]  And, there is no explanation for how Honey goes from knowing nothing about herself–even that she’s an android–to suddenly having the ability to pull out an arsenal of weapons to fight enemies she is meeting for the first time.  The new theme music isn’t terrible though loyal fans of the previous series don’t approve of much change.  It’s the poorly cut cinematics of the intro and closing that, to me, seem more rushed and in need of improvement.  There is potential in both, but they need to hone it.

—————————

IN SUMMATION: MY NEW PACKAGING/OUTLOOK ON A FUTURE CUTEY HONEY (SERIES/MOVIE):

1) RECLAIM THE OVERALL APPEARANCE OF THE 1990s MINI-SERIES, giving Honey that same weighted athleticism, feathery hair and mature figure with all of its shading, dimensions and that pink and white outfit, keeping the moody settings, as well, but reducing or limiting the amount of nudity and other “fan service” (including no lengthy and/or oddly placed abusive scenes with whips and tortured cries) to more suggestive instances that still tease viewers but aren’t explicit enough to provoke them into freezing the video frame-by-frame.

I’d also go so far as to say the concept of the drug/capsule distribution could be retained because there was something underhanded about it that seemed to relate to the on-going drug businesses we hear about and had infinite possibilities for variation.

And, while the nudity may have been a bit much, there was something so genuinely satisfying–even occasionally lacking–in how organically those looks Honey had came together and blew apart versus just giving viewers some quick flash of light and/or changing “room,” which also made the character/artistry unique.

2) REPRISE THE 1970s ORIGIN STORY ABOUT HER CREATION (AND FATHER)–if it’s still valued–or create a new one that sticks and is explained soon enough to educate new viewers as well as those of us who’ve seen more of this character story. Do not just play out events and randomly insert bits of a new explanation for why things are the way they are over a lengthy period of time. Maybe start the new series/movie with that backstory…even though that can delay the enjoyment of the new plot. [Or, if nothing else, should a new movie be made and eventually released on some format like DVD, include the origin story as a bonus feature on the disc to inform new viewers.]

3) RETAIN PANTHER ZORA, SISTER JILL AND, MAYBE EVEN, DOLMECK AS MAJOR VILLAINS, along with the assortment of nameless henchmen (which sort of look like Carmen Sandiego’s nameless gang from the DIC 90s cartoon series of that franchise) and a mixed crop of “panthers” (which might go by a different, more general name) from the various series. But, if you reprise these roles, be sure to give sensible explanation for their (re)creation/existence, especially if we are to believe they were ever destroyed. [Perhaps, they come from and return to seeds when they are defeated, able to regenerate in some distant future time if given the proper “fertilizer?”] I’d suggest having the three primary villains either be related or hatched from the same “pod” of some dark origin, possibly a “force of destructive nature” in contrast to “the light of creation.” It might be difficult to conceive all three working together at once unless they have a collective mind, sort of like the Borg of Star Trek fame or those multi-faced judges you see in cartoons like the original Transformers. Maybe they stay in contact but each try taking over different parts of the world? You know, somewhere other than Cosplay City or whatever you call it.

4) OTHER THAN THE ABILITY TO CHANGE APPEARANCES (WITH THE DESIRED COLLAR/DEVICE), LIMIT HONEY’S ARRAY OF WEAPONRY TO HER SWORD, ARMOR MODE** AND BOOMERANG AND EXPLAIN THEIR ORIGIN. Heck, you could even cut her down to just the sword, and I’d likely be okay with it because her only other assets would be the ability to disguise herself and whatever strength is built into her robotic body. Although, can someone explain from where she draws the sword? At the moment, I cannot remember if it comes out of her leg in the 90s mini-series. Even with that magical collar of hers, there’s never an instance where she produces a weapon by drawing matter from her surroundings into her hand; the weapons just seem to appear when she twirls around. While I sort of like the new “shield” or “block” technique she uses in the latest stories…and that DOES complement her having a sword, I suppose…I think she could get by just as well using her wits and whatever is handy (as shields). If the Hulk or some other superhuman character can deflect an attack with a car or street sign, so can she. If you up her array of weapons, it’s just never going to end, and older fans may go mad (not in a good way).

**In regards to the armor mode, let’s keep it closer to an Iron Man suit of armor and less like a lady knight with her chest exposed, even partially (as it appeared in the 90s version). Here’s a concept, what if the intended origin of Cutey Honey was some sort of valiant lady knight of light who had armor, a sword and a shield? Then, she COULD call upon one or all of those as her accessories (or her warrior costume), and there would be a story to them, similar to She-Ra’s sword and its history with Etheria. The armor wouldn’t even have to be an actual suit of armor; maybe her classic red and blue costume could be fortified to repel attacks like the armor and strengthen her punches/kicks with some sort of “accelerator” internal energy source.

5) EITHER GIVE HONEY’S CIVILIAN FORM DARK HAIR OR CHANGE HER NATIONALITY. Especially if you’re going to make another live-action movie. Or, the actors should all wear wigs of crazy, unnatural colors, so there are characters with hair that’s blue, green, pink, etc. Ditch the dye-jobs that just don’t work.

6) RETAIN NATSUKO, CHOKEI AND/OR THE MALE REPORTER/COP CHARACTER AS CLOSE FRIENDS AND ENSURE AT LEAST ONE HAS AN INTIMATE AND FAIRLY PRIVATE RELATIONSHIP WITH HONEY. Decide whether Honey is bisexual (because she genuinely wants to love everyone) or heterosexual (for obvious reasons) and do not tease at every angle about the relationships she keeps. Granted, by not having her become genuinely involved with any character, it is left to our imaginations what they might do together if circumstances were different. But, it is repetitive torture to see a character sigh or speak of a desire to be more with Honey and never have that. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing. If there is a serious, intimate relationship with one or more of the above characters (because she might share intimate moments with each of them, discreetly), it doesn’t have to be very apparent. It might just be mentioned under the breaths of the characters between interactions with others.

[For example, Natsuko mentions what she enjoyed about Honey’s company the previous night, and Honey mutters something about meeting up again to reprise those roles another time just before the two women meet with some police or government official who wishes to speak with them for whatever reason. We know they are intimately linked without seeing them doing anything together. And, if there is no intimacy with a particular male character, for another example, who claims an interest in Honey, she might clarify her indifference with a playful excuse to do something else with her time (rather than date the guy).]

The reporter/cop is clearly mature enough to have that job and adult notions. Though, you could turn him into a kid, I suppose, getting photos for a school newspaper/magazine. As for Natsuko and Chokkei, they could be portrayed a number of ways, depending upon how old they are. I only give this any thought because of how Natsuko has changed in the various versions; and I was rather partial to her late-teen persona in the 1990s version which reminded me a bit of the original cartoon April O’Neil.

natsuko-chokei-wereinthismesstogether_shincuteyhoney-ova-ep6-mini-288

So, maybe Natsuko is a girlfriend of Chokkei who is not quite so young that he can’t have a reasonably legal relationship with Honey, and Natsuko occasionally gets “jealous” of Chokkei’s apparent feelings for Honey not unlike Lum and Shinobu would get about Ataru chasing other women in Urusei Yatsura. Or, Natsuko is a mature neighbor/roommate of Honey’s while Chokkei lives in a nearby house/building and regularly runs into the two women who have an intimate relationship while keeping Chokkei at a friendly distance, trying not to hurt his feelings. Maybe Honey and Chokkei have a genuine relationship they keep discreet; maybe he knows her secret(s) and still interacts with Natsuko, a coworker, classmate or neighbor who can be a bit nosy and maybe take photos…like a reporter (hmm?), working in that angle, sort of combining characters. Or, maybe, Chokkei is lucky enough to have a respectable threesome situation, sharing his time with both Honey and Natsuko who understand each other and how a guy like Chokkei could not choose.

————————-

Now, after saying all of that…and I wrote quite a bit on the subject, I am making this ultimatum. Either I get the chance to work on a future Cutey Honey project and make these adjustments (and any other adjustments) that suit a wider audience (not “mainstreaming” the concept or radically changing major components in a desperate effort to draw a new crowd and offend the older fans) and please me personally to my core…or I will go forth on my own and do one or two things.

1) Write my own Cutey Honey fan fiction (and maybe find a way to create a movie and/or cartoon) that suits my interests.

And/Or,

2) Create a similar story with an original cast of characters which may resemble or tip its hat to Cutey Honey but move in its own direction toward something more sustainable. And, if it surpasses Cutey Honey in longevity and/or fame, it’s just a shame I couldn’t do more to keep the spirit of Cutey Honey alive (as silly as the name might sound to some unfamiliar with the concept).

Chokei-sittingwith-KisaragiHoney-by-moonlight_90s-ep-3-clip-1

And, like I said about what happened after the (first) live-action movie, this character rises from the ashes, AGAIN!  I just discovered a new 2016? 2017? film titled Cutey Honey -Tears- which I just finished viewing.  From the trailers and first ten minutes, it looks like a vast improvement on the previous film!  There have been a few changes I am concerned about at the moment (not including the radically new costume).  And, I’m not sure where they are going with the villainess and the reporter? cop? agent?  Whatever Hayami is in this version.  [For the moment, he’s a reporter.]  I’d be a lil more than just shocked if a wealthy businesswoman lifted me off the ground.  Yet, the film looks and feels essentially like what I’ve been aiming at for Honey’s character.  I’m somewhat excited to see where this goes.  Again, these incarnations pop up under my radar!

Cutey Honey -Tears-

Okay.  So, in short, I give the film 3.5 out of 5 stars.  Possibly 3 stars.  The biggest failings are the fight scenes, but there are also a few odd moments, “traditional” Cutey/Cutie Honey slips (moments when things appear or disappear without explanation) and some poor subtitle translations/grammar.  The actors could have benefited from some choreography lessons.  [Try watching Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow in Iron Man 2, for example.]

On the plus side, Takahiro Miura is a GREAT Seiji Hayami (even if his haircut is a bit crude, not stylish like the cartoon character).  He brings so much to the film; my heart went with him throughout the film.  Mariya Nishiuchi (Honey Kisaragi) is cute, for sure, not the ideal Honey but closer to a Japanese character than the previous Honey incarnations.  She has a wicked, enchanting smile and can just as well give you sick chills when she scowls.  Nicole Ishida is one scary, scrawny villainess, Lady Jiru.

This isn’t anywhere close to the classic Cutie Honey, not very colorful or flirty.  There is nothing supernatural about the enemy; no Panther Zora reincarnated surprises or capsule/rose transformations.  The henchmen are reduced to a drone army and one gun-toting assistant.  Honey’s fighting costume is “toned down” from the original and skimpy on flair, including the tiny hearts which I think could have been bigger.

But, what lacks is replaced with a raw, gritty story that hits home with environmentalists.  This is a sort of wake-up call to hasty garbage management, air pollution and what can happen if we put computers in charge of everything.

The movie touches nicely on the origin story.  Yet, there is no explanation for how Honey learns to change, how she acquired the ability (other than mention of the “condenser”).  The special effects used for the changes are decent if not impressive.  But, the changes themselves are not very impressive.  [And, though the weapons might not be crucial, Honey seemed a bit naked without her sword.]

Thankfully, there is a moment during the rather emotional ending in which we are given a glimmer of hope (for a sequel).  But, it doesn’t make much sense after what just happened.  [Unless I am misunderstanding what just happened, including how Honey/Hitomi wins the fight against Lady Jiru after Seiji enters the room with a laser gun.]

Overall, it’s watchable and worth a second look.  Yet, I see room for improvement and have ideas for how to achieve it.

 

Advertisements
19
Apr
18

Exit the Social Media Freeway System

*****

Everything internet comes with some measure of traffic. If you feel yourself getting stuck or lost in any of that, if you feel like the loser at a school reunion with nothing to compare, nothing to showcase with a smile, pull to the side, stop the car and get out. Now. Don’t spend another minute putting up with the irritations and discouraging faces around you. Don’t continue to sit in guilt, distress or confusion.  Don’t turn to drugs or destructive behavior as some sort of revenge-slash-self-harm. Don’t keep looking for the off-ramp to satisfaction. Just get off the road and take a few deep breaths where the air is fresh.

This isn’t the venue for making the best of connections.  This isn’t the best art gallery to feature your work.  This isn’t likely the office of the publisher you want to turn your latest fruit of the heart into a bestseller.  I’m not saying these things are impossible here, but the odds are much slimmer.  And, I know slim odds.  I’m tackling them right here with you, steering away from the “mainstream,” trying to exist outside the box.  It’s hard.  No doubt.

But, how many ever achieve anything while in traffic?  Other than road rage and maybe an exchange of papers in the case of an accident?  Other than those rare stories of passersby sparing a crash victim from dying in the vehicle?  How many are making friends in traffic?  I mean something greater than the friendly wave for letting you into the very traffic I am warning you is going to get to you.

Thanks, stranger; I needed a way onto this road to get where I am going…but, wait, I didn’t want this!  Now, I’m stuck.  Again!

Everything internet feels a bit like the rat race to get the latest this or that or fill our “bellies” with what we crave.  And, if you can’t keep up with the speed limit, it can really wear you down or wreck your life.  You might take a break and get right back in it, too.

Why??  What is so addictive about this trafficking.  Heh.  I said it.  This, too, is human trafficking.  It’s not the known definition of the term, for that is just the cover under which so much else goes on unseen.   That’s how moral crime works.  You only see a glimpse of the whole or bigger picture.  There is so much more going on outside your perspective.

Now, let everything I just said wash through your hair and out of your brain.  Let’s get right down to what you’re seeking.

Fame?  Find an agency.  Make a YouTube spectacle of yourself.  Self-publish your books and do whatever you can to get on a talk show or share a table with someone who has her own channel for just about everything and loves bread.

If you seek human connection whether as friendship, love or to feed your soul some other way, reach out to people, at the very least, online as you find them.  Make contact.  But, better yet–and I need to remind myself of this–get away from the glowing screen and deal with people around you.

Want to know what that person is thinking or doing right now?  You know, there used to be this thing called a telephone, technically a “land line,” and you had to use that same scrolling finger you burn up on the glowing slab of plastic-crete you may now hold to turn an actual wheel a few times to reach the person you favor.  And, if that wasn’t good enough, you could put pen to paper and put that in an envelope that went through what used to be called a postal service which then sent the paper and envelope, along with a “stamp” to the person you named on the envelope.  Or, you hopped on a bike, took a hike, caught a bus or drove a car to VISIT the person(s).  Try that, maybe.  You’ll likely feel better and get some fresh air in the bargain, that is, if the air is still fresh when you do.

I’m slapping myself with this one right now (metaphorically), reminding myself to mind the traffic.

 

19
Apr
18

Apology to the Valiant Poets of this World

*****

Your hearts are bleeding in verse.  It’s your choice of language.  It’s easier than speaking in clear sentences, instead of telling the cold, hard truth.  I get it.  I speak in metaphors, sometimes, and they can boggle the sharpest minds.

It’s just…  And, I’ve said this many times, before.  I’m so sick of poetry.  I’m sick of my own metaphors and creative explanations when they only cloud the minds of those we want to reach.

It’s too easy for a casual reader to breeze by and approve or take a snapshot of something they understand only as their eyes can see/read it.  The creator might get a false sense of appreciation or achievement.

And, while I’d like to peel through so many onions and find the root of your messages, the task brings a little vomit into my mouth.

I used to write poetry in high school.  It might have been well written, but it was depressing, grim crap.  It was the product of a soul coming to terms with an empty social life and childhood.  It wasn’t very cathartic.  And, looking back, I wish I had stuck with the comical limericks about frogs.

So, forgive me if I slight you, dear poets of the world.  [Though one or two of you might be so lucky to have me grace your pages with my wit and even the depths of my heart.]  I just cannot stomach much poetry, anymore.  [Yet, there is so much of it here.]

Maybe one day you’ll reach this stage, too, when you finally get tired of putting lace and blood on pages, stop scrapbooking life and start ripping the hard, cold, raw material from your gray matter and clenching chests.  You’ll wipe away the mime makeup and expose your scars.

I still wear a mask here and other places.  But, that’s…well, it’s just reasonable defense, considering circumstances.  But, if you talk with me “like a real person,” you’ll get what you give…just maybe in a delayed fashion if I don’t warm up to you fast enough.

I’m not one who sees much value in the word “sorry.”  If you’re sorry, you make up for what you regret.  But, I’m saying it now just to let you know why I cannot say anything good about what you have to share…when I know, to some degree, you seek that approval.

I’m sorry I can’t digest much poetry.  And, right about now, I’m at the breaking point.  I’m full.

19
Apr
18

Vanishing Comments, Too?

***

I swear, this had better be a glitch…and it probably is.  But, if there’s any chance this is linked to me trying to remove unwanted Follow-ers and some sort of Pandora’s box I opened…

Now, I know some people have comment filtering.  But, more often, I submit a comment and see it on the page with “waiting for approval” or something like that.  But, since yesterday and my fuss about the bad follow-ers, every time I submit a comment, it just vanishes without a trace.  And, I hate to feel so stupid to keep writing out my thoughts just to have them disappear.

So, am I just running into a new shift in the way things work here, is this a glitch or do I have another reason to fuss?

19
Apr
18

Can’t Remove Unwanted Follow-ers?!

***

Congrats, WordPress.  You’ve done it, again.  One more thing that doesn’t work when I try it.

You’d think by having the latest computer tech that everything would be up to speed, but that’s not the case.

What am I complaining about, now?

I finally figure out there’s an option to Remove unwanted Follow-ers, namely ones I know are not actually interested in my blog for reasons other than stalking and marketing purposes, and the damn thing won’t work!  I can delete people I know are legitimate and nice enough (probably; I’m not going to chance it).  But, when I wave the cursor over the “bad ones,” it doesn’t always show the hand or register a click.  And, instead, I get a “Stop Script” error message about WordPress not functioning properly.  And, after that, everything starts freezing up, and soon portions of the page disappear.  I can’t log out or anything.  So, I close the window, reopen and have to log in, again.

Tons of fun!  NOT.

For all I know, it’s the scammers/phishers sending me spam and racking up views on that stinky post I made.  I have a strong suspicion the trouble is coming from the Ukraine.

I want the stalkers and scammers/phishers off my reader list.  Do I name names and get someone else to do it?

18
Apr
18

Too Many Offices Behind the Screen?

****

Everything is going internet and APP these days.  Or, so it seems.  No one wants to do anything face-to-face, anymore.  Where do you think that will lead?  And, what kind of faith do we have to have to trust those we cannot even see?

I mean, we might chance the occasional online shopping to get something that isn’t available in the local store.  But, if it’s near home, can’t we sum up the courage and resources to go get it?  [Not if we’re going to support drone service, download the app for everything and do what when something goes wrong?  Who are you going to call for help?  Some Uber android service representative?  Some remote control repair person?]

What gets me going on this tangent today?  Well, I’m noticing sooooo many bloggers writing advice columns for just about everything.  They take up probably 2/3 of this blog site, leaving the other 1/3 to personal tales and soooooooooooooooooo many poems.  Oh, and a few artists’ simplest of works.  Look, I drew a pencil.  LIKE it.  And, random photos from people looking to scrapbook life.

I get to thinking…who takes this advice seriously?  Who reads all of this stuff?  And, how do you trust some advisor you never met?  Are you going to consult a doctor who never touches your body or witnesses what you are suffering?   You prefer self-diagnosis and assumption?  [And, what of the advisor who isn’t even legitimately advising but leading you on to some linked sham?]

I forget that’s what we’ve been doing for a long time with tabloid TV shows and magazines featuring countless ads for pills, cigarettes, ridiculously expensive cars and watches, etc.  Magazines are known for this sort of thing.  So many articles and cover blurbs about how to do this and that better than you probably know yourself.  Why ask someone you know when you can read about it from a complete stranger?

Except, with good ol’ magazines and TV, there was nothing to open or click on to give you trouble.  You slowed your life down to read or watch.  You didn’t invite “malware” to shut down your TV or fingers.

Whatever happened to “word of mouth” or consulting your neighbor?

So, what am I achieving by writing out these thoughts?  I dunno.  Who really cares.  You’ve got more important things to do, see and read.  Like all those advice columns.  This isn’t exactly one of them.  But, it might sound like one.  And, while I know I am a genuine heart and soul writing these words, I realize you only know the text on the screen.  Everything else you feel is your imagination (and, maybe, gut feeling if you’re lucky).

 

 

12
Apr
18

A Meeting of Beautiful Minds

*****

Inspired by the creative traveling fashionista, Nuraine Sadaf (or as I am presently nicknaming her, Rain), composer of the blog Into Words.  

thewarmhandofcompanionship-goddessofferingtoangelicspirit_ap-24001600-5thewarmhandofcompanionship-goddessofferingtoartisticspirit_ap-CSPP-24001600-1B

Considering this may just be a fantasy, I went ahead and made a few variations.  One of which will appear on my About Me page for a touch of romantic humor and continuing inspiration.




Archives

Advertisements