Kei and Yuri are back and ready for more action, adventure, and indiscriminate property damage. A new mission and five misadventures await the damsels of destruction, as they’re hurled into an experience that truly is a blast from the past. This time, there are no saucy assassins, adorable cat mascots, or galaxy-threatening plots. With this in mind, one can’t help but wonder if the Dirty Pair Flash’s second installment can match, let alone match its predecessor.
The amusement planet of World’s World is quickly becoming the hottest vacation destination in the galaxy. The planet boasts an accurate recreation of Tokyo, right down to cars that run on gas, and trannies that wander the streets. Recently, though, the computer that runs the planet’s systems, from the subways to the plumbing, started malfunctioning. As strange occurrences arise, the higher-ups begin to suspect terrorism from a competitor. Rather than risk a total collapse of their operations, the World’s World executives called upon the WWWA for a solution. Unfortunately for them, though, the Lovely Angels are on the case. When they solve the case, there may not be a park left to run!
For the most part, Dirty Pair Flash 2 is a complete break from its predecessor. While there is a general plot, it serves mostly as a way to book-end the rest of the series. What could have been a five-episode tale of corporate espionage and cutthroat business is instead a gaggle of misadventures, that range from manhunts in the desert to ghostbusting duties in a prestigious high school. The oppressive atmosphere and constant urgency are instead replaced by a playful picnic atmosphere. The barbs the barbs between Kei and Yuri were softened, and many of the more grandiose displays of destruction were either toned down or removed removed.
While it could have easily become the kiss of death for the series, the more restrained tone actually serves as an asset. Kei and Yuri share a wondeful on-screen chemistry, which seemed to get ignored in the midst of the first Dirty Pair Flash’s plot. The decision to dial things back allowed the focus to sit squarely on Kei and Yuri once again, an gives much of the series a feel reminiscent of the original TV series.
To usher in the new series, the hard rock soundtrack of the original Dirty Pair Flash was dropped. Instead, Dirty Pair Flash uses a lighter, upbeat series of arrangements. The opening theme, Loving Thrills, is a playful, poppy melody performed by Rika Matsumoto. Many of the tracks in the series’s soundtrack revolve around the hook from the opener, and feature plenty of big, brassy phrases or speedy strings to set the mood. Similarly, the visual style saw changes with the new tone, as characters often break into over-exaggerated facial expressions and gestures that were noticeably absent in the original series.
Dirty Pair Flash 2 is, far and away, the strongest of the franchise. The carefree sense of humor and strong characters come together to deliver an fast-moving experience with few real weak points. If there were any real complaint that could be levied, it is that things seem to end too quickly. The entire series has an inescapable charm that will ensure that viewers will continue to return time and time again.