I am fairly certain that, during the making of this film, not once did anyone say “We shouldn’t do that because it’d look goofier in live action than on the comic book page.” I think that there was no restraint involved in the making of this movie. Restraints, perhaps, but not restraint.
Think Holly Golightly as a superhero, without quite as much depth to her character, and you’re pretty much there. The villains are great. Black Claw is what every bishonen wants to be, but cannot be, for they do not have minions with violins providing a soundtrack at dramatically appropriate moments. The other Claws aren’t bad either. The reporter has the best hat ever, which is good, because he also has a great origin story.
In all seriousness, I think the exuberance was very effective in carrying Cutie Honey through what might have been ridiculous moments had it ever winked at the audience. The secret of great genre film — c.f. Pitch Black — is a willingness to take the rules of the particular genre seriously. Cutie Honey gets that.
OMG! Cutie Honey! Honey Flash!