In the eighties, the Dirty Pair were a valued gem in Sunrise’s stable of content. The series’s combination of sci-fi action and oddball humor charmed viewers across twenty-six episodes TV, an assortment of OVAs, and a full-length feature film. For some, it was a shining example of golden-era extravagance. For others, it was an embodiment of the ’80s itself. Unfortunately, the series was a product of its time and found its welcome wearing thin by the early nineties. Despite this, there were still many calling for the Lovely Angels to rise for one last hurrah. With pressure to satisfy the core, while appeaing to the younger, fresher blood, a dreaded word began to echo through the halls: “reboot.” When Dirty Pair Flash finally hit store shelves, it seemed to bear little resemblance to its predecessor, and it was only natural to question whether it could capture the same magic..
In a distant future, the Worlds Works and Welfare Agency (WWWA) is the esteemed peacekeeping body across the cosmos. Rather, they were at one point. Since the great Gamorian Riots that wreaked havoc across the planets, the agency saw its power diminish, and its influence wane. In the present, they are little more than glorified rent-a-cops. To add insult to injury, the namesake of the WWWA’s finest former agents, the Lovely Angels, was given to a pair of greenhorns that do nothing more than fight!
Kei is a fiery red-head who would rather shoot first and ask questions later. Yuri, a girly girl who’d rather blow off work for dates, is the type who fantasizes about nailing the perfect hunk. When the two are in the same room, they do little more than fight. Every single mission the girls undertake ends with massive property damage, and their once-prestigious namesake was made into the galaxy’s largest laughingstock. Kei and Yuri’s days of playing hooky are brought to an abrupt end, though, when a dying man approaches the two with a mysterious card. The two find themselves dragged into one bad situation after another, as they’re targeted by assassins, and pulled further into a megalomaniacal individual’s plans for galactic domination.
Basically, it’s a show that doesn’t try to re-invent the wheel. The plot is a cookie cutter “save the universe” tale with few real surprises in storytelling. The major antagonist is single-minded and cartoonish, and many of the major plot twists can be deduced with little difficulty.
For many shows, this would be the kiss of death. For the Dirty Pair, though, it seems more par for the course. As with the original Dirty Pair, the real appeal of the show lay in its protaganists. Kei and Yuri drive much of the show’s humor, as they banter, trade insults, and generally make each others’ lives a living hell. The rare moments where they do get along are accompanied by fast-paced gunplay and well-choreographed action.
The original Dirty Pair are an iconic duo, who are known both for their short shorts and their poofy ’80s hairdos. As the years went on, though, the look began to show its age, and it was clear that changes would be needed to attract new customers. The Lovely Angels received updates with more conservative attire and hair that didn’t look like it belong in an episode of Jem and the Holograms. Secondary characters, like Lady Flair and Garner receive far less love from the character designers, and tend to remain in the viewer’s memory for as long as they’re on-screen, and not a second longer. The clean, futuristic cityscapes were replaced by grungy, post-modern slums laden with degenerates and ne’er-do-wells.
While Dirty Pair Flash doesn’t capture all of the magic of its predecessors, the show’s combination of clever humor and charming characters prove to be more than enough to capture the attention of viewers. And, while Flash isn’t the most ambitious title in the franchise, it does prove to be entertaining from start to finish.
Dirty Pair Flash: Mission 1 is distributed in America by Nozomi Entertainment, in the Dirty Pair Flash Collection.
The series can be purchased at Right Stuf
Thanks to Nozomi for providing a review copy!