Honey Honey no Suteki na Bouken (ハニーハニーのすてきな冒険 Hanī Hanī no Suteki na Bōken?, lit. Honey Honey's Wonderful Adventures) is a shōjo manga by Hideko Mizuno first published in 1966 and made into a 29-episode anime TV series in 1981 by Kokusai Eiga (Movie International Company, Ltd.). The anime was released in the English language in the United States as Honey Honey and also broadcast in various European countries and in Latin America.
The story begins in the city of Vienna in 1907, as the city holds a lavish birthday celebration for its beloved Princess Flora. The princess entertains a variety of suitors from around the world who have come to propose marriage. Also on hand for the celebration is Phoenix, a handsome, gentlemanly jewel thief who has his eye on stealing the princess's precious gemstone, the "Smile of the Amazon." Upset with Phoenix's brash manner, Princess Flora then drops the ring holding her gemstone into a cooked fish and throws it out the window, to the shock of everyone present.
Meanwhile, a young teenaged orphan named Honey Honey is working as a waitress. Her pet cat and constant companion, Lily, spies the fish that the princess threw out the window and proceeds to eat the entire fish, thus swallowing the ring. Since Princess Flora has declared that whichever of her suitors successfully returns the ring to her shall become her husband, the princess's suitors and Phoenix immediately fan out all over the city pursuing Lily and her owner, Honey Honey.
Phoenix catches up with Honey and Lily and helps them hide from the princess's suitors. Honey proceeds to tell the handsome jewel thief the story of how she was orphaned and brought up in a convent, and of how she befriended Lily, who, like her, was abandoned. Phoenix then tries to persuade Honey to sell Lily to him, but Honey, who is still unaware that Lily has swallowed the princess's ring, furiously refuses and immediately flees. Honey and Lily hide in the basket of a hot-air balloon, which soon lifts off with Phoenix and Princess Flora's suitors still in hot pursuit. Thus begins an adventure in which Honey and Lily are pursued by Phoenix, Princess Flora, and her suitors to various cities around the world, including Paris, New York City, Oslo, London, Monte Carlo, Tokyo, and Gibraltar. Along the way, Honey falls in love with Phoenix and tries to keep Lily out of the clutches of the selfish, vain princess.
Eventually, Flora's ring is removed from Lily's body, but this is not the end of the story. The series concludes with the discovery that Honey Honey is in fact Flora's younger sister, when she is captured by a nomadic people who force young women to run over a pit of hot coals to see if any one of them revealed a tattoo of a rose on her foot. Honey Honey turned out to have that tattoo that they were searching for so long. Honey Honey finally learns why everyone wanted Lily, makes peace with Flora and marries Phoenix (the son of the nomadic tribe's leader, actually).
The anime version of Honey Honey, produced by Kokusai Eiga (Movie International Company) and animated by Toei Animation, lasted 29 half-hour episodes and was broadcast across Japan on the Fuji TV network from October 1981 to May 1982. Minori Matsushima (Sayaka Yumi in Mazinger Z and Candice in Candy Candy) provided the voice of Honey Honey, and Phoenix was voiced by Makio Inoue. The anime was cut short due to low ratings (which forced the removal of several manga storylines, including an episode in which Honey Honey visits Hollywood, from the anime version) but would later achieve a fair amount of success in Europe and Latin America (although many of the character names were changed in the non-English dubs; i.e. Honey Honey is Pollen in French, Fiorellino in the first Italian dub, Favos de Mel in Portuguese, and Silvia in Spanish).
Dubbed into English by Modern Programs International, the anime series aired in the United States on the CBN cable network (now ABC Family) in 1984 and was also partially released on home video by Sony. Enoki Films U.S. currently holds the American license to the anime series.
- Original Story
- Hideko Mizuno
- Executive Producer
- Juzo Tsubota
- Directed by
- Takeshi Shirato
- Character Designs
- Kozo Masanobu, Yoshiyuki Yamamoto
- Akihiro Komori
- Theme Song
- OP- Hāto wa Ōsuwagi, ED- Niji ni Shōjo, performed by Youko Seri
- Kokusai Eiga / Toei Animation / Fuji TV