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If they did it to Cutie Honey and Fujiko Mine, they can do it to Wonder Woman. I’m talking about the kawaii treatment, which works like a kiss of death to bad-ass super-heroines in Japanese pop culture.

Like Wonder Woman, Cutie Honey and Fujiko were butt-kicking superstars in an openly discriminating, rigidly patriarchal society. But when the two characters made the leap from the pages of their respective mangas to live action on the big screen, the kawaii factor was employed, turning them into demure sexpots. What happened? Marketing, that’s what. Or studio executives who refused to budge from the notion that audiences don’t want to see a female character that’s too assertive.

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