Fate/stay nightCardfight VanguardA Certain Magical IndexCutey Honey
Anime 1st episodes 2018: C
Including: Caligula, Captain Tsubasa, Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card, Cardfight!! Vanguard G Z, Cardfight!! Vanguard (2018), The Case Files of Lord El-Melloi II, Castlevania season 2, Cells at Work!, A Certain Magical Index III, Chi's Sweet Adventure, Chio's School Road, Citrus, ClassicaLoid, Comic Girls, Conception, Crayon Shin-chan, Crossing Time, Cupid's Chocolates 2nd, Cute High Earth Defense Club HAPPY KISS!, Cutie Honey Universe
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2018
Series: << Anime 1st episodes 2018 >>, << Cutey Honey
Keywords: A Certain Magical Index, Crayon Shin-chan, Cardfight Vanguard, Fate/stay night, anime, SF, fantasy, magical girl, rubbish, favourite, vampires
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 20 first episodes
Website category: Anime 2018
Review date: 2 May 2020
Listed under "I": Cinderella Girls Gekijou 3rd Season, aka. THE iDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls Theater (comedy shorts)
Listed under "M": Chuukan Kanriroku Tonegawa, aka. Mr. Tonegawa: Middle Management Blues
Can't find: Caramel Honey (one-minute episodes)
Can't find: Cocktail Prince: Shaking Night!! (one one-minute episode)
It's a movie: Chiisana Eiyuu: Kani to Tamago to Toumei Ningen, aka. Modest Heroes: Ponoc Short Films Theatre (disappointing)
It's a movie: Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch II - Handou (film remake of TV series)
It's a movie: Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch III - Oudou (film remake of TV series)
It's a movie: Crayon Shin-chan movie #26: Burst Serving! Kung Fu Boys ~Ramen Rebellion~ (it's awesome)
It's a one-off OVA: Chichibu de Buchichi (26 mins)
It's a one-off OVA: Code:Realize - Sousei no Himegimi
It's a one-off OVA: Calamity of a Zombie Girl (lowbrow but I rather liked it)
Two ten-minute Blu-ray bonus episodes: Children of the Whales specials
Carigura
Caligula
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: confusing video game adaptation
I have no idea what I just watched. I can try to describe it, but don't ask me what it means. I'll give it a go, though...
1. A schoolboy won't shut up about psychology textbooks he's read, Johari windows, etc. His classmates all ignore him, partly because they seem to be as stupid as he's pretentious. (He's the hero, by the way.)
2. A schoolgirl does online restaurant reviews. People eat ramen.
3. Someone's mother might have an eating disorder. She thinks she'll get fat if she eats.
4. A ghost girl floats outside someone's window. She may or may not be "myu", the composer of songs that hypnotise people and turn them into gang-raping monsters. (I might be wrong about the rape, but it looked rapey.) People fizz and turn into something else, like a bad television signal.
The original video game is by Tadashi Satomi, who wrote Persona. (I'm not a fan of the Persona anime either, but you might need to have played the games to enjoy those.) After this episode, I was on the fence. I didn't have enough information for a "yes or no" verdict. Is this a good show? Dunno. You can't judge from this deliberately abstruse sample. I'd need to re-evaluate after ep.2. However that's often a bad sign, so I googled for other people's opinions and found comments like this:
"Caligula mostly fails to leave any impact whatsoever. This show was so forgettable that most weeks I struggled to even remember it existed, and I got paid to review it!"
That's a "no", then.
Cpt Tsubasa
Captain Tsubasa
Series 4
Episodes: 52 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: football anime
Captain Tsubasa is a classic. It boosted soccer's popularity in Japan and helped inspire professional footballers all around the world to choose their career, e.g. Alessandro del Piero, Zinedine Zidane, Francesco Totti and Fernando Torres. The manga began in 1981 and keeps returning, while this is its fourth anime. It was part of the manga/anime boom in Europe in the 1980s/90s, like Dragon Ball.
This episode starts with a football, a small boy and a truck. (It's resolved harmlessly and amusingly.) The theme song's fun. It has a goalkeeper taking on a challenge from players of rugby, baseball, tennis, etc.
It looks fine. I'm not planning on watching lots of soccer, but you've got to respect Captain Tsubasa.
Card Captor Sakura
Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card
Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card Hen
Season 1
Episodes: 22 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: magical girl classical series revival
I've since finished it and... it's a boring waste of time. I was shocked.
It seems completely, absolutely okay. Did I love it? Nope. Did it do anything wrong? I don't think so. It seems fine and I enjoyed the original series in 1998-2000, so I've no reason not to watch this sequel.
Sakura's starting junior high school. Her big brother's still rude to her, which is amusing. Her boyfriend Shaoran's finished his Hong Kong business and can return to Japan for good, while another friend of theirs (Eriol) is in England. Sakura phones him too. Meanwhile her stalker best friend, Tomoya, is still making magical girl costumes for Sakura and filming her whenever possible.
The plot: the 70 Clow Cards from 1998-2000 all turn transparent. Hence the "Clear Cards" of the title. Sakura discusses this with her friend Yukito, who doesn't know that he's also a winged angel.
It's not exciting or anything, but it's pleasant. I don't imagine it'll change my world, but I'll keep going.
Cardfight.Vanguard
Cardfight!! Vanguard G Z
Season 5 of Cardfight!! Vanguard G
Season 9 of Cardfight!! Vanguard
Episode 13 (of GZ)
I didn't fast-forward through: 16 minutes
Card-fighting: 8 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: trading card game battles
It's unusual for Cardfight!! Vanguard, because it's got baddies. Evil dudes are plotting evil! They're Apostles from the planet Cray and they're trying to turn Chrono Shindou into Gyze's Vessel. (Presumably their evil master is looking for people with hair like an ice cream swirl.)
This surprised me because Cardfight!! Vanguard is normally about cardfights. Hence the title. The show exists to make its target audience buy trading cards. Nonetheless, surprisingly, this episode has villains who need beating and heroes who say they just want to fight (i.e. with cards)... but that can wait until after they've defeated the Cray. Goodies succumb to evil and so on. It's good, solid shounen action.
"But what about the cardfights?" I was wondering. I soon got my answer. These planet-threatening, soul-eating villains will turn you into the ZEROTH DRAGON!!! and they fight life-or-death duels... with trading cards. Heroes and villains set up tables opposite each other, lay out their decks and play cards with each other.
Words fail me. It's not bonkers enough to make me watch more cardfights, but wow.
Cardfight!! Vanguard (2018)
Cardfight!! third series
Ep.1 of season
Ep.371 of franchise
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: trading card battle anime
It's actually quite good. Instead of feeling like a show for six-year-olds, it has a cast with flaws and insecurities. Everyone's in high school, for a start, instead of being knee-high and bratty.
Well, except in the introductory flashback. A blue-haired child (Aichi) is approached by another child (Kai) who wants to sell him drugs... uh, no, sorry, trading cards for Cardfight!!. That's how the scene reads, though. Kai is a pusher with merchandise, which he wants his latest victim to take and get hooked. It's almost a twist that Cardfight!! isn't meant drugs, so Kai also gives Aichi a new way of seeing himself. "Imagine being as strong as him. You can change yourself."
Next, it's high school. Kai's still into Cardfight!!, but unusually (for this genre) he's not HOT-BLOODED!!! and DETERMINED TO BE THE STRONGEST!!!!. He can still look like a bit of a jerk, though. He's kind of reptilian, can't be bothered slapping down an obnoxious showoff (at first) and is liable to decline a Cardfight!! challenge. However he'll end up defending Aichi after Obnoxious Showoff's got seriously unpleasant. He defends Aichi in a way that looks as if he's slapping him down, but Aichi needs is clearly an opportunity to act and grow some self-confidence.
There's a basic Cardfight!! info-dump. Cardfight!!ing takes your spirit to the planet Cray, where you'll fight as an astral body. This episode doesn't have much Cardfight!!ing and so I didn't need to do much fast-forwarding, but I'm sure there will be lots of it in the rest of the series. I was still reasonably impressed, though.
Case Files Lord El Melloi II
The Case Files of Lord El-Melloi II
Lord El-Melloi II's Case Files
Episode 0, with a full series following in 2019
Keep watching: I'll put it on hold
One-line summary: cold, pompous people try to kill each other
MIGHT WATCH ONE DAY
It's based on a novel series set between Fate/Zero and Fate/stay night, which makes me hesitate. I have a cautious semi-interest in the Type-Moon Fate universe. Some parts are good, while others are boring. This one looks pretty dull... but it's a sequel to Fate/Zero, which is well-regarded and on my to-watch list. I didn't know its cast, so I won't have been judging this fairly.
This episode has the cold-blooded adventures of a lecturer (Lord El-Melloi II) who says "a satisfaction gained by saving something is a misconception by the brain" and "a simply comical reflection of things is the world we live in."
Other lords are even more reptilian. "Sympathise? A Mage, a Lord, would do something so mundane?"
There's also a girl who was saved by our hero. Her dialogue (to the man she reveres) includes: "the fact that you detest this face of mine delights me."
That said, though, the episode's trying to establish El-Melloi as having some level of caring and sympathy. Despite appearances. Apart from the missing heartbeats, it's a decent episode. I'll try again after watching Fate/Zero (one day).
castle vania
Castlevania
Season 2
Episodes 5-12
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: vampires
I've since finished it and... it's eight crawling episodes of "boring".
It's an anime-inspired American series from Netflix, based on the Konami video game series. (You can listen in Japanese, if you want, though.) Dracula's human wife got burned as a witch by the Church in 1478, so he's raised an undead army to start a war to exterminate the human race. (He's calmed down a bit now, though. He still wants total genocide, but his depression's reached a stage where he's no longer so fussed about whether or not they suffer beforehand.)
The start of the episode is a flashback to Dracula's wife. It's basically more of what we saw in Season 1, but familiarity won't reduce your hatred of these medieval Church bigots.
After that, the rest of the episode is talky. It's basically just reintroducing the cast and world of Season 1. Dracula's minions don't all get on, especially since two of them are still human. The heroes don't do much either. It looks okay, though. Season 1 was decent, so I'll see how this goes.
Hataraku Saibou
Cells at Work!
Hataraku Saibou
Season 1
Episodes: 13 x 24 minutes + a 14th OVA
Keep watching: YES YES YES
One-line summary: anthropomorphised cells in the human body
I've since finished it and... it's wonderful.
It's amazing. I love it already.
Our heroes are a red blood cell and a white blood cell. The former is trying to deliver oxygen, but she gets lost en route to the lungs and runs into trouble with evil purple germs. Her name is "red blood cell", but she's still lovable. (She looks like a normal delivery girl in a red uniform.)
As for the white blood cell, he's a stoic knife-wielding albino, often gore-splattered after doing his duties.
The episode's fresh and wonderful to watch, but I don't buy the scale. 37.2 trillion cells in the human body. 7.4 billion humans on Earth. This community feels town-sized. Well, never mind. There's still lots to love here, e.g. the lovely girl with the bloody cleaver in the title sequence. The platelets are adorably earnest tiny children.
I'm already looking for this on Amazon. (Manga I can buy, but English-language Blu-rays not yet...)
Toaru Majutsu no Index
A Certain Magical Index III
Toaru Majutsu no Index III
Season 3 (or 5 if you include the RAILGUN spin-off series)
Episodes: 26 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: magic vs. science superpowers light novel franchise
I've since finished it and... it's franchise-killingly bad. I've now sworn off all things INDEX-related.
I enjoyed it. I'd just finished watching all 100-odd episodes of INDEX and RAILGUN to date, mind you, so I'd been expecting to watch this latest season too.
For the most part it's light, re-introducing the core cast and concepts. Touma's the hero, technically powerless but equipped with an Imagine Breaker anti-magic hand. Index is the girl who lives with him and is so self-obsessed that she'll bite him in rage when he drops his wallet... because he can't buy food for her. I don't like Index. (Anime's full of short-tempered girls who physically attack boys for slight or non-existent offences, but I see a difference between fantasy punishments like lightning bolts and something real like biting.)
Shirai's introduction made me happy, thanks to Satomi Arai's voice. Damn, I love her performance. Biribiri (sorry, Misaka) is still cranky when she's around Touma. Meanwhile, Index meets a nice granny.
...and then we have guns and possibly an execution. Touma gets given a mission that'll take him out of the country. Looks pretty standard for this series so far, but in a good way.
Chi Sweet Home
Chi's Sweet Adventure
Koneko no Chi Ponponra Dairyokou
Season 4
Episodes: 25 x 12 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: cute CGI kitten
It's for small children. Misaki (age one) came straight over and sat on my lap to watch it, saying "cat", "fish" and "tail". She's the perfect audience.
An all-CGI kitten discovers that her human family has acquired a goldfish. She's interested. She has little vampire teeth when she smiles. This produces twelve-minute of harmless, charming hijinks, followed by cat drawings that were sent in by members of the audience (aged four and five).
Next week: Chi meets pigeons.
Chio chan no Tsuugakuro
Chio's School Road
Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: girl goes to school
I've since finished it and... it's funny and I'd recommend it.
Chio has to go to school. Chio was up until 4:30 am killing people in her computer game. Chio discovers that her route is blocked by roadworks, but she could run along the rooftops if she climbs a telegraph pole!
This is a bad idea. Chio knows it, but she does it anyway.
I liked this episode a lot. It contains two stories, one that's just physical rooftop action (which is great fun) and one where Chio goes into Nerd Overthinking Mega-Analysis when a popular girl says "hello" to her.
Looks like a laugh. I'm definitely watching this.
Cit.rus
Citrus
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: incest lesbians (but they're step-sisters)
I've since finished it and... it's a strong show that I'd recommend.
Three gaudy schoolgirls are discussing their love lives. Who they've dumped, who they've slept with, or who's currently looking for a man. Yuzu is one of them, but she's: (a) about to transfer away because her mother's got a new man, and (b) bluffing about her love life.
We then get a mega-lesbian title sequence, aka. a whole world of spoilers.
Yuzu's a lot of fun, especially in a fossilised girls' school that has a stick up its arse. She's a breezy bottle-blonde whose idea of "hello" is to ask about group dates and karaoke. People think she's a delinquent. "Your make-up, top button, non-approved ribbon, accessories, fake nails, bag and skirt length are all in violation of school rules."
Her foe is the Student Council President, who's into lesbian sexual assault. That happens in front of everyone, in order to confiscate Yuzu's mobile phone.
There's a lot of startling conduct here. Yuzu hasn't met her new stepfather (despite living in his house) and hasn't been told an important piece of information about him. There's an arranged marriage and some extreme parenting, not justified by that family being filthy rich. There's also inappropriate student-teacher behaviour when anyone could have walked around the corner.
Is this trash? No. It's a well made, intelligent episode. Does it look problematic? Yup.
Will I be watching the rest? Definitely.
ClassikaLoid
ClassicaLoid
Season 2
Episode 38 (or ep.13 of Season 2)
"Forget The Years Hardships! Red vs White Musik Contest"
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: wacky comedy with reincarnated (?) classical composers
I watched this show in 2016, then dropped it. I admire its enthusiasm and energy, but the plot was going nowhere and I didn't really care about the silly characters. It looks as if the show's kept going and made lots of episodes, though.
This episode is a plotless flashback recap montage that's constantly breaking the fourth wall. Kanae's dad explains that he couldn't appear in Season 2 except in flashbacks.
Also, though, there's a Red vs. White Musik Contest! The cast splits into two groups and everyone sings a song to a clip montage. There are thirteen or fourteen of these. Then: the end. That's all. Kanae's dad says he's proud of the show's wacky unpredictability. Can't argue there. I've never seen a recap episode like that before. The songs themselves are mostly based on real classical pieces (as is mandatory in this show), but loosely. One's done as reggae. I fast-forwarded through most of them, but the tenth one (Bach's) is okay. He also jumps out of a helicopter.
This isn't a normal episode, even for ClassicaLoid. I'd been expecting frivolity and I got it. This is a pretty empty show, unless you're a music history buff, but it's also happy, colourful and full of beans.
Comic-Girls
Comic Girls
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: schoolgirl manga artists
I've since finished it and... it's surprisingly good, actually, underneath the lovable fluff.
A schoolgirl (Kaos-chan) has crippling confidence issues, although they're played lightly. She's the kind of hopeless blob who'll miss her train because she's cowering from the ideas in her head. Also, though, she's a near-pro manga artist. She's got an editor (or an agent, or something), although she doesn't yet have an ongoing series and her reader feedback is brutal.
It's suggested that Kaos should try living in a girls' manga dormitory. Everyone there draws manga and the socialising will be good for her. She can't disagree, so off she goes.
Obviously this episode's all about getting to know each other. They're colour-coded. Kaos is pink and she draws 4-panel comedy manga. (She can't draw sexy girls, because her only model is herself and she keeps getting mistaken for an elementary schoolgirl.) Yellow/Orange draws shoujo manga, but can't draw boys. Blue draws hot-blooded shounen adventures. Purple is adults-only, although she started out trying to draw children's stories.
It's a lovely episode. Everyone's nice and the show understands its subject matter, which is always important. It's fun to watch even when everyone's talking shop. Pink and Orange getting excited are adorable. I'm definitely continuing with this.
Ore no Kodomo Unde Kure
Conception
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: ahahahahaha, no
One-line summary: trashy sleazefest that doesn't even succeed at that
Even the animation staff knew this was a stinker. First episodes usually try to be a showcase, but this looks like garbage. There's an emptiness to the facial expressions.
The writing's the real problem, though.
A girl (Mahiru) is trying to tell her childhood friend (Itsuki) that she's pregnant, yet also a virgin. The scene's terrible. Itsuki has no personality and Mahiru isn't convincing either. Later, she'll barely react on being told that she's not pregnant after all, because of magic.
Itsuki and Mahiru get transported to another world. A demon attacks them for no reason, so Itsuki grows a sword from his hand and kills it.
We then get to the, uh, meat of the show. Itsuki must father twelve children! The women have even been chosen for him. The first of these is Mahiru, because, uh, um, anime. All this is ridiculous, but at least here the episode comes alive. Two childhood friends have to make babies in front of a doctor and a repulsive red panda that says things like "Don't use me for wank material, okay!"
This scene is unpleasant and badly animated, but I respect how extreme it is for the characters and I was able to believe in it. They have to shag. That's their only option, to save this world and get home. The episode ends just before the critical point, though, so what about next week's episode? (Answer: no sex. Baby-making doesn't require penetration in this universe. It's enough to cuddle chastely for a few minutes. In other words, this anime has a skin-crawlingly sleazy premise, but it's bottling out of it.)
That scene was the only thing here that worked and even that's going to get undercut next week. It's not sexy. (You'll know in the first eight seconds that none of the animators have ever seen a naked woman.) Itsuki's a lump of wood, but I didn't believe in Mahiru either. The writing's flat and the animation's lazy. It's not even worth watching to laugh at.
Crayon Shin Chan
Crayon Shin chan
Episode 940-ish
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: crude children's TV show
In my experience, Japanese adults tend to dislike Shin-chan. He's vulgar and disrespectful, albeit often in ways that are untranslatable into English (i.e. misuse of names and honorifics). However, that's the point. This show's been running since 1992 and has been translated into thirty languages.
Before a recent trip to Japan, though, I'd never seen any of it. On the plane, I'd been genuinely impressed by a Crayon Shin-chan movie. These TV episodes are less attention-grabbing, but they're also more surreal and hence quite interesting. These are three random episodes I happened to see while Natsuki was watching NHK, incidentally.
1. HELL SALESWOMAN - a saleswoman comes from Hell to try to sell a computer. She gets no respect, with everyone calling her "man in drag", but I'm wondering if the price of a successful sale would have been your soul going to Hell.
2. GOLDFISH - everyone's a goldfish in a fish-scooping carnival game. They argue about whether or not they want to get caught.
3. DAD HAS NO UNDERPANTS - the only episode that's neither supernatural nor mental. Shin-chan goes shopping with Dad to try to fix the described problem. (These aren't the real titles, by the way.)
It's amusing. It's also weird, puerile and a challenge for English-language localisers. I liked it. These episodes weren't brilliant (unlike the film), but even after 100000000000 episodes the show hasn't got bogged down or predictable. It's surprising and interesting.
Fumikiri Jikan
Crossing Time
Fumikiri Jikan
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 3 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: schoolgirls wait at a railway crossing
Two girls wait for a train to go past. "Is it okay for us to wait here?" asks one. "It doesn't scream of youth!"
They agree to scream the name of their secret love as the train goes past. Afterwards, one of them then makes a lesbian love confession to the other.
It's light-hearted and pleasant enough if you like anime schoolgirls and slightly random conversations, but one of the girls is silly in an uninteresting way and the other is quite good, but also teetering on the edge of cliche. I wasn't tempted to keep watching, even though it's only three-minute episodes, but equally I could have said "what the hell" and gone for it. There's nothing wrong with the show.
Aishen Qiaokeli ing
Cupid's Chocolates 2nd
Aishen Qiaokeli-ing... 2nd
Season 2
Episodes: 15 x 18-ish minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: Chinese harem anime
Title sequence: six girls and one boy.
GIRL #1: a blonde crying in a hospital bed. She'll be part of the comparatively good bit near the end, when the episode moves beyond harem slapstick and misunderstandings. (She's a famous singer who's been in a coma or something. Our hero's surprised that she knows him.)
GIRL #2: she's a fairy who can stop time, fly and steal from shops. She wears a frilly mega-dress that's effectively boob straps. She's liable to electrocute you and cover you with flour.
GIRL #3: gets called "Boobs" by a rival, even though all female characters have the same body type. The only difference is that this girl went running in a crop top. Her breasts can block a sword attack.
Our heroines demolish doors, throw knives and catch our hero unclad with a man. They decide that he's gay. (That was eye-rolling, but it's also the most plausible explanation for lots of harem anime.) It looks as if these girls usually jump to the worst assumption about anything, c.f. the scene of a girl in the hero's bedroom.
They've got superpowers, by the way. Looks like a battle harem.
I have no intention of watching this. In fairness, though, being Chinese anime doesn't seem to have made this significantly worse than any other annoying harem garbage.
Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu LOVE!
Cute High Earth Defense Club HAPPY KISS!
Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu Love HAPPY KISS!
Season 3
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: magical girl parody show
Season 1 in 2015 disappointed me. The idea's hilarious, but the actual episodes aren't so much. I skipped Season 2 and now it looks as if I'm skipping Season 3 too.
It's a cutesy magical girl show, but gender-switched. Frilly costumes. Nude transformation sequences. Hearts, kisses, love, etc. It's all fangirl bait and deliberately camp, but that's the point. Their transformation sequence is triggered by a naked kiss. Gripping your love stick makes the head grow bigger until you have a magical eruption. When fighting a Monster of the Week... "Now, my soldiers, make him happy all at once!"
That's still amusing. Less so are the interminable conversations about nothing. The episode starts with the boys talking about a missed school quiz, the different Japanese words for "lazy", what to eat and drink and whether or not there used to be a real Defence Club. (This might be a new group of students at Binan High School, with the last lot having graduated.) One boy gets a character trait (lazy).
There's not enough here. The central joke is still funny, but I've seen it before. Everything else is meandering at best, or static at worst. On the upside, though, there are no jokes about the corpse of someone the heroes accidentally killed. That's a plus. This show isn't terrible and it's definitely worth watching an episode or two, but it'll be funnier if you're familiar with the genre. Have you watched Sailor Moon, PreCure, etc.? If you have, consider trying this... but I wouldn't stick around for the long haul.
Cutey Honey
Cutie Honey Universe
6th Cutie Honey series of one kind or another (since 1973)
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: iconic stripping superhero, by Go Nagai
I've since finished it and... I enjoyed the first half of the series, but hated the second half.
I love Cutie Honey. I own every anime and live-action version, ever since the beginning. (They're often the original Japanese DVDs, which cost an arm and a leg.)
That said, though, this incarnation doesn't seem to have gone down well. Well, never mind! I'll watch this! (Even if I hate it, I'll watch it. Some things are mandatory.)
BAD THINGS
1. They don't use The Theme Music. Mind you, I quite like the new theme songs (both opening and closing). The latter's kind of jazzy. However, I still hope they use The Theme at some point, even if only as incidental music.
Cutie Honey: Tears also seemed embarrassed about The Theme Music, come to think of it, although that's the least of that film's problems. (The franchise as a whole has long been embarrassed about that "boin" lyric.)
2. Honey's first transformation is a bit offhand. The second one's much better, but doesn't have her "aru toki wa" speech.
SURPRISING ADHERENCE TO TRADITION
The Go Nagai character designs are way more faithful than I'd expected, which means we meet freakish gonks. That's cool. This also applies to the Panther Claw she-monsters, which are a major focus.
Honey's super-violent again. She's a nice, kind, fun-loving girl and initially in her original school setting, but she doesn't hold back against her enemies. She cuts someone in half. Vertically. (They've earned it, though, e.g. shooting all the hostages in a sadistic way that forces Honey to watch the last one die slowly. "Killing their victims too quickly is boring.")
I'm seeing a strong 1970s influence. I like this a lot. The episode's ditched some of the stuff everyone knows (which will have upset people), but it's being faithful to subtler stuff that's less well remembered.
INTERESTING THINGS
Sister Jill isn't just ordering around minions. She's getting involved in the action! That's revolutionary. She has a lesbian paradise of girls who obey her every whim, so she stabs one with a blood-drinking rose and turns her into a monster. Looks painful. Jill ends up murdering the girl herself because... uh, I'm not sure. Given her final leer, it might have been for laughs.
The woman's a monster.
The filth is nastier and sleazier than usual. (Honey and Natsuko study at Sparta Academy? I'm not expecting Kekko Kamen to appear, but the "tame torture of schoolgirls" gimmick feels familiar.) That said, though, I'm only talking about an occasionally skeevy tone and you don't see naughty bits. It's certainly nowhere near Go Nagai's manga on that count. Besides, the mild titillation is alongside a prudish take on Honey's transformation sequences. They're family friendly! They're on a par with the live-action adaptations!
In short, I liked this episode. It reminds me a lot of the 1970s series, with a violent but cool action heroine. She stands upside-down on an airplane in flight! We meet Natsuko and the Hayami family. There's a mention of her late father, albeit downplayed. The episode's ditched the most famous things about the franchise (theme music, transformations), though, and art has its unimpressive moments. (They should have used thicker lines.)
I'm looking forward to this a good deal, but that's the verdict of a hopeless fanboy.