Episode two of CHU is mostly an origin story as Honey tells Genet how she became Warrior of Love, Cutie Honey. We see an extensive flashback scene of her rebirth, her father’s death at the hands of Panther Claw, and an explanation of her superpowers.
Introduced in this episode is the mysterious reoccurring techno-object-thing of the Cutie Honey franchise, the “Airborne Element Fixing Device” which sounds like something used to control the weather but is actually what Honey uses to transform herself. In a nutshell, it can alter the particles in the air around Honey to help her transform into various costumes, disguises, and her warrior form.
It’s revealed that the device is the main reason why Panther Claw was after her father and subsequently, Honey herself because it resides inside her body. What exactly the AEFD is and how it works varies between CH iterations so time will tell if we get any interesting details about the device in this series. We probably will.
Further introduced are two other prominent side characters of CH, Seiji’s father and younger brother, the consistent comic relief characters of the franchise. They are headstrong and loyal but do have a tendency to be perverted goofballs.
The biggest emotional beat of the episode was Dr. Kisaragi’s hologram explaining to Honey what her purpose is and what her greatest strength is: her heart full of love and sympathy towards others.
I think a lot of what makes Cutie Honey work for me is that Honey is a person that has come out from the traumatic loss of her father, is suddenly burdened with the responsibility of these strange powers, and still manages to be both incredibly strong and incredibly vulnerable. She cries and fights, she loves and fears, but she never gives up!
Very simply, she is the Warrior of Love, reminding us that our greatest strength is not in how physically powerful we are, or if we are cute android girls or not, but through how much we care for those around us and want to protect the weak. It’s a very simple message but it’s one that doesn’t need to be complicated.
In production terms, the animation hasn’t gotten much stronger since episode one. The fight choreography seems a little cookie-cutter and the production design is really nothing to write home about. It doesn’t look bad, just kinda regular.
Here’s to more flashy adventures to come!
Cutie Honey Universe simulcasts every Sunday on HIDIVE.