Thursday, June 22, 2006

Dirty Pair

There are some events in the world of anime fandom that seem so improbably awesome that you have to pinch yourself to see if you're dreaming. Kyoani remaking Kanon and giving it 24 episodes. Doremi-Keroro cranking out new fansubs of Keroro Gunso faster than cheetahs on acid. Kodocha actually getting a region 1 license. Seeing the Dirty Pair TV series fansubbed is one of those kind of things, something I knew was theoretically possible in much the same way that I COULD come home and find my wife has entered, and won, the lottery and I'll never have to work again.

If you have an aversion to old school, you should probably stop reading now. Dirty Pair is an old-school classic--when the manga-ka of You're Under Arrest was still too young for solid food, there was Dirty Pair, the ultimate policewoman duo of Kei and Yuri, going after the bad guys, getting yelled at by their boss, and taking collateral damage to a level that occasionally wiped out entire planets.

To give a quick summary, Kei and Yuri are agents of the W3A, an elite organization set in a sci-fi universe that handles any problem they get tasked with, usually involving criminal activity. Kei's the red-haired, hotheaded Natsumi-type (in YUA-speak), while Yuri would be more like Miyuki, more calm and smarter. They're assisted by a robot and by of sorts, Mughi (an alien who looks like a large dog but is far smarter than, say, Scooby-Doo). Kei and Yuri's "battle bikinis" and the sheer number of explosions and casualties that their missions involve make some look at this as an example of what's "wrong" with anime, since it fits the stereotype commonly held by non-anime fans that anime is just "big boobs and guns". It may fit the stereotype, but it's still entertaining to watch--Kei and Yuri's bickering and the action scenes are all well done, and while it's pure episodic action, there are much worse ways to spend 24 minutes than enjoying the ride as the Dirty Pair take on their mission of the week. The characters really make series like this succeed or fail, and like YUA, Dirty Pair has a strong cast (although it's not as big as YUA's, and lacks YUA's romance subplots). The duo of Kei and Yuri has awesome chemistry--you really get the feeling watching them in action they've worked together for ages, and their bantering back and forth is always good for a few laughs.

The first three episodes of Dirty Pair TV are fansubbed, and if you're looking for an action/crimefighting/sci-fi series, I'd recommend giving Dirty Pair a try. In region 1 you can get the Dirty Pair OVAs (10 episodes, aired after the TV series, for $20), and three Dirty Pair movies from ADV (also $20 for the set). ADV never licensed the TV series, and based on their downsizing and comments that "old school doesn't sell" it seems like a license is unlikely. There's also a series called Dirty Pair Flash that aired in the 90s, which is a remake with different character designs and changes to Kei and Yuri's personalities--while purists will say it's just not the same, I thought it wasn't too bad either.

Just remember...Kei and Yuri's official W3A codename is the "Lovely Angels" so don't call them the Dirty Pair to their face or you'll end up in traction.


Anonymous said...

"...when the manga-ka of You're Under Arrest was still too young for solid food...",9,fekzhh,fujishima_kosuk.html,783,higubg,dirty_pair.html

Might just want to check up your facts. I do agree with your main point the Dirty Pair is pretty good old school anime.


Anonymous said...

You probably didn't know this, but the Dirty Pair TV series was already fansubbed "years ago" and the entire 24 episode series can still be downloaded at or

Quality is from the VHS-Rips and encoded in wmv or asf format (I think)

I've seen it already and loved it. They even have the 2-part OVA episodes 25 & 26, Dirty Pair: With Love From the Lovely Angels.

suguru said...

Might just want to check up your facts.

Yeah, I exaggerated more than a little, I guess ^^;

Quality is from the VHS-Rips and encoded in wmv or asf format (I think)

Thanks for the that you mention it, I remember hearing it had been VHS subbed but I didn't know there was any way to get them anymore or that VHS-rips existed for it. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing the rest in DVD quality though, hopefully Exiled-Destiny will keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Mughi is a cat not a dog. In the novels its a panther like cat with tenticles allowing it to control electromagnetic fields and allowed Mughi to pilot the ship.

It also contains a number of Star Trek in jokes from the original series and first movie. Later on in Next Generation and DS9 the favor was returned with a number in DP in jokes.

The creator, Haruka Takachiho, was at the first con I went to, Anime America 1993 along with Monkey Punch (Lupin III), Kenichi Sonada (char designer BGC, Gunsmith Cats), Johji Manabe (Outlanders, Caravan Kid) and Megumi Hayashibara (super seiyu, pick a popular series from the late 80s to mid 90s and she is in it, from Rei in Eva to Ranma-chan in Ranma 1/2). It was quite a con for its time.

- old timer

suguru said...

You're right, Mughi is a cat...although in the TV and OVA series he's one hell of a big kitty. If Wikipedia's right, there are still Dirty Pair novels coming out today...wonder what the odds are of yet another anime version, guess I can always hope...

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