Animé Goes Live

In her role as a cartoon heroine in the new movie Cutie Honey, Eriko Sato pouts, giggles, and snuffs out a gang of villains who threaten to destroy Tokyo. It's exactly the kind of bubblegum part that might give a serious young actress second thoughts. But in Japan, where manga and animé characters are treated with almost spiritual reverence, stepping into Cutie Honey's go-go boots means becoming the custodian of a national treasure—and Sato, 22, is delighted with the assignment. "You really think I look like a cartoon character?" she bubbles, pinching her cheeks as if to prove to herself that...

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