Honey News Flash: Cutey’s For Kids

Cutey Honey was a TV anime that originally aired in 1973 and has since enjoyed multiple adaptions and remakes over the decades.

Cutey Honey is the first example of a warrior magical girl in anime. However, unlike our modern image of this sub genre i.e. Sailor Moon who is a school girl saving the day via magical healing moon escalations in the name of justice, Cutey Honey is literally a school girl android who stabs people in the chest in the name of vengeance. Due to Cutey Honey’s violent story line and overtly sexual humor and themes (this show pioneered the naked transformation), many western fans assume it to have been aimed at an older male audience.

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The opening for the original series featured the above shot as well one with Honey in the bath tub and one displaying unsafe motorcycle practices.

But the series enjoyed an early evening time slot before kids went to bed. And its title screens had furigana so that children could read them. So in reality Cutey Honey was a kids’ show, but specifically a girls’ show. While the creators knew it would appeal to boys as an action series, the merchandising featured dolls of Honey that were meant for girls to purchase. Cutey Honey was also apart of Toei’s Majokko brand and enjoyed crossovers with fellow magical girls like Sally the Witch and Akko-chan.

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Majokko Daisakusen was a crossover video game aimed at young girls.

Kumiko Saito, a Japanese scholar, cites Cutey Honey in her analysis of the magical girl genre as being intended for an audience of preteen girls.

That is not to say Cutey Honey was the best role model for young girls but assuming that she wasn’t one at all only reinforces stereotypes about the types of media each gender is “supposed to” or “allowed to” enjoy.

 

Related Posts:

Who was the first magical girl?

Moe VS. Internalized Misogyny

[This post was originally posted: Nov, 5th 2016 on the Otaple 1/2 Tumblr]

2 Replies to “Honey News Flash: Cutey’s For Kids”

  1. BlackEmolga

    Cutie Honey was released in Weekly Shonen Champion a manga magazine targeted to teenage boys. It’s also important to note that manga in Japan is sold in separate aisles based on gender. So it was almost certainly initially intended for boys. That being said it is fairly common for shonen series to be popular with girls. It’s the reverse that ‘s uncommon.

    • Mari

      Many people look to the source material to determine the intended audience for the entirety of the Cutey Honey franchise. Yet, the Cutey Honey franchise is actually an excellent example of how the intended audience of a single franchise can change over separate versions of the story. Cutie Honey the manga was indeed aimed at boys but Cutey Honey the anime was aimed at girls thanks to Toei. Multiple changes were made to the story to better suit it for the majokko brand. Not only were the sexual elements toned down but Honey’s variety of career based disguises were exponentially increased. This change was meant to help the series emulate previous majokko series like Akko-chan and make the story more appealing for an audience of young girls.

      Shoujo manga/anime has been popular among men for decades. Beginning in the 70s the fabulous 49ers expanded shoujo into an art form that was enjoyed both adult men and women rather than solely young girls. Shoujo manga/anime also saw a surge in popularity in the 80s, titles such as Minky Momo and Creamy Mami were particularly popular among college aged men. Many people are confused by the terms shounen and shoujo as they literally translate to boy and girl respectively but they rarely function as hard guides as to what demographic is the intended and actual consumer.

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