Dirty Pair, Part One – DVD Review

Review by: Clive Owen

Publisher: RightStuf!/Nozomi Entertainment
MSRP: $49.99 US
Running Time: 325 minutes
Genre: Sci-Fi/Action
Rating: 13+
Release Date: Available Now

These Lovely Angels will solve your problem … even if it means destroying everything in their path.

This might not be the best way to begin a review but I would like to thank the masterminds who invented DVDs. It is thanks them that anime fans everywhere can experience anime series that we were far too young to catch the first time around or not at all depending on where you live. Among the many mid-1980s anime series I had always wanted to watch was the Dirty Pair and – thanks also to RightStuf!/Nozomi Entertainment – we get to do just that with the release of Part One of the Dirty Pair.

The series introduces us to the fiery redhead named Kei and her dark-haired partner named Yuri who are Trouble Consultants for a group calling themselves the World Welfare Works Association (the 3WA for short) in a 22nd century city. It was 20 years after warp drive was invented that humans create advanced computer technology capable of sustaining life within it so entire colonies can be found throughout various planets.

Eleanor City, however, is the home of Kei and Yuri who solve any problem the 3WA throws their way in their own unique style that almost always ends destructively to the point that these girls who want to be known as the Lovely Angels are more famously known as the Dirty Pair. When we first meet them, they are tasked with stopping the city’s main computer, known as Brain, from malfunctioning further. They solve the problem, alright, but not after blasting every security defense robot and causing an explosion that tilts the city’s main tower to one side … permanently.

Oh yeah, don’t let their appearances fool you. They may be attractive, charming and totally girly but these young women earn their Dirty Pair nickname. They also get the job done with enough time to think about dates with good-looking men, all the shopping they’ll do with their bonuses as well as talking their boss into giving them week-long vacations. Along with the aid of their giant mutant cat-like creature called Mughi and their egg-shaped robot called Nanmo, the girls take on a number of cases that put the girls in some fun and action-packed situations.

In one case, they are ordered to look into series of luxury ship bombings that might be directly connected to a rival company so the girls go undercover to flush out the culprits aboard one of the luxury ships. Then there’s a mission that has the girls going to Planet Vega to obtain an unusually lucky gambling chip called the Golem Chip before a cat burglar gets his hands on it. The trouble is that the owner is the wealthy casino owner who has some impressive and deadly security measures installed. Plus, could it be that Kei actually finds love during this mission?

Then there’s the case where the girls try to track down a cat who was the subject of an experiment. There’s even a case where the girls are attacked by computer-controlled sentries and ships that come from a waste disposal vessel with a mastermind that might actually be targeting the Dirty Pair for a reason. It’s actually a hairy situation that ends up in an interesting way. One of my favorite cases involves the pair helping transport a rare and priceless mineral and protect it from pirates … one of which might even by Kei’s childhood friend.

Another favorite is news that Yuri’s own childhood friend that swore to marry her finds himself in a hostage crisis as a group of terrorists are demanding that a rocket be made. The outcome is actually bitter sweet and surprising, which shows just how good the writing and animation in this series is and still holds up beautifully today.

Meanwhile, the girls take on even tougher missions such as the time they’re shot down and left on a planet resembling the Wild West with each girl joining a gang that’s at war with each another. They even play bodyguards for the heir to a royal family that is being targeted by the same assassins that killed the King or clean the city’s sewer from a mutated creature. There’s a case where the girls find themselves involved in kidnapping that might actually be a rich kid and a female thief running off together and another where an experimental smart mouse stages a coup. Another story involves the girls being mistaken for a Bonnie and Clyde-like pair of bank robbers.

As I said, the writing and animation in the series holds up well and RightStuf!/Nozomi does right by the series on DVD so even if you’ve seen the series before you will be very impressed with how the series looks. I’ve watched more than enough classic anime series on DVD and this is certainly the right way to bring back the classics.

It’s collections like Dirty Pair, Part One, that need to be in your growing library of anime. An exciting, fun and completely enjoyable series, Dirty Pair was an instant classic back then and it certainly remains that way now thanks to the charming characters and exciting episodes that make this such a joy to watch. We are so looking forward to Part Two of this amazing series.

DVD REVIEW BREAKDOWN

MOVIE/EPISODES: A+
Although the prefer to be known as the Lovely Angels, Trouble Consultants Kei and Yuri are better known as the Dirty Pair who solve problems across the galaxy in their own destructive manner. Whether they’re guarding the heir to a royal family, looking for a missing experimental rodent or protecting a shipment from space pirates, these girls do it their way … even if they end up destroying an entire planet.

VIDEO QUALITY: A
For a series that was released in the mid-80s, the episodes look great on DVD with a crisp transfer that makes this the best way to watch Dirty Pair. While the animation might come off as dated for most tastes, I personally think it still impresses.

AUDIO QUALITY: A
The original Japanese voices are intact and that’s a good thing because Kyoko Tongu and Saeko Shimazu are awesome as Rei and Yuki. The music in the series is definitely 1980s and so are the opening and closing theme song but they actually work well for the series even now.

EXTRAS: C
There are some Trailers and the clean opening and closing theme songs and nothing else but considering how great the series the lack of extras is forgivable.

OVERALL: A+
Dirty Pair is a true anime classic in every sense and the first half of this DVD set is proof of that. An entertaining, no-nonsense good time, Part One of Dirty Pair is just one of those anime series that will have you watching from start to finish with a smile on your face. Whatever you do, do not miss this collection.

Review copy provided by RightStuf!/Nozomi Entertainment

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