Cutie Honey Flash (キューティーハニー フラッシュ Kyūtī Hanī Furasshu?, also known as Cutie Honey F) is a 1997 anime television series in the Cutie Honey franchise. In its native Japan, the series assumed the timeslot of Sailor Stars, the final story arc of the long-running Sailor Moon anime. Employing many of the same animation staff of Sailor Stars, including animation director Miho Shimagasa, Flash features very similar character designs and fits the more traditional mold of magical girl series, aimed at the Sailor Moon demographic. The series was also broadcast in Germany.
Honey Kisaragi is a perfectly normal, beautiful high school student... until her scientist father is kidnapped by the evil organization Panther Claw, that is. However, her father left behind a device that she can use to transform into the red-haired sword-wielding heroine, Cutey Honey. Aided by Seiji, a private eye who specializes in Panther Claw, and the mysterious "Twilight Prince", she fights members of Panther Claw in order to rescue her father.
Like New Cutie Honey before it, Cutie Honey Flash makes references to other series from Cutie Honey creator Go Nagai. Recurring Honey characters Honey Kisaragi, Seiji, Danbei, Natsuko, Panther Zora, Sister Jill, and Miharu return here, along with Alphonne, Principal Pochi (as a dog), Gorgon Claw, a female version of Archduke Gorgon of Mazinger Z, and Freddy Claw, a female blend of Dr. Hell and Count Blocken from Mazinger Z. Three boys from Honey's school are based on pilots from Getter Robo and Getter Robo Go, and Great Mazinger briefly appears on a TV screen early on in the series.
The main protagonist of the series, as with other Cutie Honey media, is Honey Kisaragi. However, unlike other Cutie Honey incarnations, Honey is not an android but possesses a fully functional human body including reproductive capabilities (though she not exactly human either). Consequently, she is indeed a 16 year old girl at the beginning of the series, not a robot posing as one.
Honey studies at the boarding school, St. Chapel Academy, along with best friend Natsuko Aki (who is nicknamed "Nat-chan") from the original 1970s versions of Honey. The academy's faculty includes former Honey characters as well: here, Miharu returns as a dreaded teacher, while Danbei Hayami is the academy's director. Later in the series, Alphonne, also from the original Cutie Honey, appears as Danbei's older sister.
Honey receives help, advice, and white flowers from a mysterious "Twilight Prince" (Tasogare no Prince). Among the things the prince gives Honey are objects invented by her father, the scientist Takeshi Kisaragi. Honey can use the objects, by saying the phrase "Honey Flash", to transform in various ways. Honey can transform into a variety of personas in this series; she can change into versions of Hurricane Honey and Cutie Honey from the 1970s versions, as well as these:
- Hurricane Honey (biker). A woman who rides her motorcycle like the wind.
- Scoop Honey (paparazzi). A woman who is ready with her film and camera acting as a reporter.
- Stage Honey (singer). A woman who has her microphone and her formal dress ready for an audience.
- Nurse Honey (nurse). A woman who knows medical needs.
- Elegance Honey (bride). A woman who wears a white wedding dress. She uses a bouquet when she's in danger.
- Escort Honey (tour guide). A woman disguised as a flight attendant.
- Hyper Honey (heroine). The hearts of Honey and Seira combine to take this form, resembling Cutie Honey but with a different outfit and far more power.
In Cutie Honey Flash, Honey must deal with a version of the Panther Claw organization, composed of Panther Zora, a stone figure that reigns over the group; Sister Jill, who is Zora's second-in-command; Prince Zera, a Panther Claw leader who jealously seeks Sister Jill's position in the group; and various henchmen. When fighting enemies, Cutie Honey uses attacks such as the Honey Boomerang, Honey Lightning Flare, Honey Rouge Arrow, and Honey Virginal Invitation.
A fourth character from the original Honey series, Seiji Hayami, appears as a detective whose father was killed by the Panther Claw. Seiji often meets Honey in her Cutie Honey form, not knowing that she is Kisaragi.
The fourteenth episode of the anime introduces Misty Honey, a rival and self-proclaimed twin sister of Cutie Honey, whose name was chosen through a contest in Japan. Ironically, Misty Honey was one of her alter-egos in the original cartoon. Misty Honey, unlike Cutie Honey, cannot turn into anyone she wants; she can only change to Misty Honey. She has a band around her thigh that resembles Honey's choker which acts as the activator for her Airborne Element Fixing Device but she uses a ring to transform with the words "Honey Flash". Seira's heart was "poisoned" by Panther Zora. The darkness in her heart (and her flawed transformation device) creates Panther Claw minions. She can be seen as a negative version of Cutie, since Misty Honey has long blue hair and a more revealing outfit, while Cutie has short pink hair and a less revealing outfit. Her alter ego, Seira Hazuki, shares her given name with Seiji's child, who appears only in the 39th and final episode. While the anime and manga versions of the characters of Cutie Honey Flash mostly look similar, the two versions of Hazuki differ greatly in appearance. Misty Honey's attacks include Honey Sexy Dynamite.
- Seira's family name "Hazuki" is the classical/romantic Japanese name for the eighth month of the lunar calendar. In contrast, Honey's family name "Kisaragi" is the classical/romantic Japanese name for the second month of the lunar calendar. "Kisaragi" corresponds to March/April (Spring), while "Hazuki" corresponds to September/October (Autumn) of the solar calendar, representing the opposing characteristics of the twin sisters.
Cutie Honey Flash uses hand-drawn animation; according to Shimagasa, the use of digitally-animated characters on hand-painted backgrounds was planned and tested, but later rejected. Its theme music was performed by Salia.
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- In the Name of Love! the Maiden transforms
- A Young Woman's Determination! A Flower in the Sunset
- A Girl's Dream! For Whom is the Wedding Dress?
- The Tear of the Mermaid Princess! The bond between Father and Daughter
- Overcome your fate! The Girl of the seven-colored Rainbow
- Can't Transform! Honey Trapped
- The Sea of Sorrow! Seiji's Recollection of His Father
- The Sweet and Perilous Scent! Protect a Maiden's Pure Heart
- Prince is in Danger!? A Rival Appears!!
- Lighting Flare Defeated!? Honey's Desperate Battle
- The Encroaching Terror!! Honey targeted
- Honey Cornered! Jill's Electric Shock Attack
- Fight with the Power of Love! The Final Battle with Jill
- The Entrance of a Mysterious Fighter!! Overture to a New Fate
- The Act Begins! The Super Battle between Two Honey's
- The Entanglement of Love and Hate! The Sisters' Tennis Match
- The Shocking Truth! Father reveals Honeys' secret
- Scorching Memories! Seira's Past
- The Competition in Swimsuits! Battling Skeletons on a Ghostship
- The Seal of Panther Claw! The Secret of Seira's Breast Mark
- For the Sake of Love! The Last Battle between the Two Honey's
- Seira Perishes in a Sea of Flames! holding her Father's Love to her bosom
- The Finale of Love! Honey's Love that Shines through Fate.
- School Destroyed! The Threat of the Resurrected Panther Claw
- Honey brings up Baby
- An "Idol" Panther? The Battle of the Singing Divas
- The Queen of the Circuit! The Dangerous Ultra-High-Speed Race
- The One called the "Devil": The Tear of a Panther Warrier
- Big Adventure on an Uninhabited Island. Much ado about a Treasure Hunt
- There is No Getting Off! The Train Speeding toward Hell
- Passion and Love Persist! The Days of Father's Youth
- The Worst Day for Hungry Private Eye, Seiji Hayami
- The Trap in Outer Space! Honey's Biggest Crisis
- Honey's Choice: Seiji vs. Prince
- Have Faith in Me! The Power of Love at Full Maximum
- Battle of Courage! The Electrifying Pro-Wrestling Match
- The Last Holy War! (Part 1) Love confronts Fate
- The Last Holy War! (Part 2) The Triumph of the Power to Dream
- Honey the Bride! The Light of Love is Forever
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- Cahill, Peter. ""The Three Amigos": Imagawa Yasuhiro, Yamashita Akihiko, and Shimogasa Miho". EX. Retrieved 2008-02-18.
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- Cutie Honey Flash (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Cutie Honey F -'97 Summer Toei Animation Fair (キューティーハニーＦ － '97夏東映アニメフェア) (Japanese)