It might not be considered the best of a bygone era, but very difficult to call Dirty Pair anything short of memorable or for that matter, entertaining. If you are a fan of the Buddy cop subgenre, this old title will make you feel right at home with the perfect duo.
Series Name: Dirty Pair
Genre: Action, Comedy, Sci-fi
Synopsis (Via MAL)
Ever since I watched Miami Guns 3 years ago and followed more recently by You’re Under Arrest, the atypical (or typical) partner and sidekick or buddy cop subgenre really has started to become a beguiling experience. Despite the two aforementioned titles utilizing the same concept to produce two different sets of results and as pleasurable as they were, I felt like their was something better else out there – something more I was missing. I’m not sure if Dirty Pair qualifies as the “something better”, but in terms of pure enjoyment and memorable factor, it is hard to deny it anything else.
Coming from the annals of the 80’s era of anime, the Dirty Pair follows the misadventures of Kei and Yuri , two female agents known as the “Lovely Angels” working for the World Welfare Work Association or 3WA for short. Everything from finding lost animals to dangerous infiltration missions are in their job description and what they known for, but there most often claim to fame comes from their indiscriminate damage and massive amount of mayhem they leave behind branding them the infamous “Dirty Pair”. Joined by their cat-like pet Mughi and reliable robot, Nammo – the Dirty Pa…I mean, Lovely Angels take on any job available bringing along their destructive habits along for the ride. If you ever wanted to watch two women armed to teeth with weapons women like these two should not have and blowing up all manner of public property….you obviously arrived at a nice destination.
Following the episodic formula, each episode sets the duo up on what seems like earnest and simple missions, but almost every time result in near catastrophic results for any type of personal property, yet bodes well overall for getting the job done. If you are familiar with titles like: Gunsmith Cats and the aforementioned Miami Guns, the same principle and nature applies. While I found some the earlier episodes more enticing than the latter half, I would say overall that each episode displays some degree of variety, entertainment, and uniqueness – despite the title itself lacking said uniqueness. Impressively enough, the variety goes along way from keeping the series out of the realm of belated boredom, but much like any episodic affair, repetitiveness due to design is still an issue. However, with enough action to go around, problems to deal with, and buildings to reduced to rubble – Kei and Yuri will undoubtedly keep you well-entertained through the 26 episode run. If you are not the biggest a fan of episodic titles or don’t like the standalone model that is associated here, this is probably a series (expect for 2 or 3 episodes) that keeps it as engaging as possible. Although, sitting through it for Kei and Yuri’s banter makes it a little more enduring.
Of course, with very little reoccurring characters, most the enjoyment comes down to Kei and Yuri’s chemistry, which works out exceptionally well over the course of the series. Kei, the red-headed, strong-willed tomboy perfectly compliments and clashes with Yuri’s feminine, domestic, and witty attributes akin to almost any Buddy-cop title. Ranging from the dynamics of sometimes catty acquaintances to sometimes bosom buddies, is immensely humorous to watch and makes the series memorable during the duo’s many laughable escapades. Attributed to some excellent voicing act roles, Kyouko Tonguu (Kei) and Saeko Shimazu (Yuri) really do bring their respective characters to life and truly do make ever minute worth your while.
Sadly, being a loose adaptation of the light novels that the series draws from, the TV series fails to bring out some of the more desirable aspects of the franchise. For example, in the light novels, Kei and Yuri are shown to have psychic abilities such as being able to read each others thoughts and also fills in some the back story like how the two became a team. Obviously, for people new to the series, missing these details will not be a major offense – but I highly recommend checking out the novels since the TV series does omit a lot of details that make the series what it is. Either way, you can still enjoy Dirty Pair as it is and really doesn’t comprise the level of enjoyment the TV series produces.
As a series that is somewhat dated in terms of artwork and animation, Nozomi Entertainment does a great of remastering the series. It still does little to improve upon the aged animation that looks as cheesy and plastic as stop motion animation, but the artwork comes out benefiting by leaps and bounds. Much like any elder title that uses the sci-fi backdrop, you can expect rich floral whites, deep obsidian blacks, and the like. Of course, beyond animation and the fine tuned artwork, the sound quality is another misnomer that shows it age – with minor distortions to the character voice-overs and musical score. You can think of it like someone with a microphone, but they aren’t talking directly into it. It’s not a glaring issue, but somewhat noticeable, especially with regards to Kouhei Tanaka’s (Sakura Taisen, Rosario Vampire, One Piece) musical pieces that sound more like cheap background pieces. He really meddled together some great mirthful jazz pieces and ragtime-like bits, but hard to really catch with regards to sound quality.
If your fan easy-going action/comedy titles akin to the ones frequently mentioned above, Dirty Pair is a no–brainer. It might not contain the same energy or technique as its youthful counterparts, but when it come to pure fun and enthusiasm it doesn’t fall too far behind the rest. It might not be considered the best of a bygone era, but very difficult to call Dirty Pair anything short of memorable or for that matter, entertaining. If you are a fan of the Buddy cop subgenre, this old title will make you feel right at home with the perfect duo.
Pros: Nice DVD remastering of an old title, excellent cast of characters/interactions, lots of variety on the episodic model, great musical score, nice voice overs
Cons: sound quality and distortion, slightly repetitive due to design, omits a great deal of material from the light novels