Dirty Pair Flash

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About.com Rating

In a crumbling, dystopian future, two lazy, undisciplined, delinquent girls somehow wind up in the employ of the alliance of galactic “troubleshooters” known as the 3WA. It’s a race to see who kills them first: the mad scientists, assassins, or conspirators they’re sent to deal with … or each other.

Fans of the original Dirty Pair TV show and OVAs may be surprised at this (very) alternate take on its source material, which has markedly different personalities for its heroines.

But it’s got the same rollicking, non-stop mayhem which makes this series as fun now as it was when it first debuted in the Nineties.

  • Same grade of laughs and mayhem as in the original show
  • No previous exposure to the Dirty Pair continuity is needed.
  • Fans of the original show may wince at the way Kei and Yuri have been reworked.
  • Director: Tsukasa Sunaga
  • Animation Studio: VAP / Sunrise
  • Released By: VAP / Sunrise
  • Released Domestically By: Nozomi Entertainment.
  • Audio: English / Japanese w/English subtitles
  • Age Rating: TV-MA (violence, nudity, language)
  • List Price: $94.99 (DVD)

Anime Genres:
  • Comedy
  • Science Fiction
  • Action

Related Titles:

The girls are back in town, yet again

The year: 2248. The place: Earth, one of many planets crumbling under the weight of criminal enterprises big and small. Against menaces of all sizes is the World Welfare Workers’ Association, or “3WA,” an affiliation of “trouble consultants” who get sent into various problem hot-spots.

There’s no conceivable reason why Kei and Yuri should be part of this team. They’re a pair of girls in their late teens whose skills mostly seem to consist of shooting things, blowing them up, and in general making more trouble than they’re sent to resolve. And yet the 3WA’s master computer—much to the exasperation of their long-suffering boss—decided they’d make a great team, pairing them up to resolve (if that’s the right word) one mystery after another.

Kei and Yuri can’t stand each other. Each hates the others’ tastes in clothes and boyfriends; each hates the way the other slacks off. But most of all, they hate being called anything but their proper sobriquet, the “Lovely Angels”, especially since they’ve earned the nickname “Dirty Pair” by anyone who’s spent more than ten minutes in their presence. But give the girls a challenge, and they rise to it.

What’s more, they have a knack for surviving insane levels of destruction that would claim any of their other 3WA peers—something that comes in handy when they become embroiled in a mad plot to detonate the entire world’s nuclear weapons supply. It also comes in handy when investigating a series of mad bombings at “World’s World,” (cf., Westworld) a theme park designed to recreate 20th-century Earth.

New look, same mayhem, worse attitude

Those coming in “cold” to Dirty Pair Flash, with no experience with the previous cycle of TV shows and OVAs, might actually be a little better equipped to enjoy it than those who do have that experience. Existing Dirty Pair fans may wince at the way Kei and Yuri have been redesigned, in every sense of the term. They look, sound, and act like brattier younger sisters to their earlier incarnations.

That may well have been exactly the idea. Flash was created as a kind of “alternate universe” take on the source material, the comedic SF novels by Haruka Takachiho, rather than an explicit remake of the previous show. The original TV series was episodic; every adventure was self-contained. Flash has a bit more of a continuing story here and there, but it’s ultimately just a collection of vignettes. Even when there's an overall storyline -- as with the "World's World" cycle of episodes -- it's just a way to get the girls into different kinds of trouble.

Not that what they get into isn't funny. An episode where a female assassin targets the pair degenerates into (oh, dear) a hair-pulling and face-slapping contest after all the ammo runs out. And another episode where Kei ends up in the middle of the wilderness, taking custody of a baby, is a riot (it starts with her pulling a gun on the poor kid!).

Still, if the original series was about laughs and destruction, Flash also delivers all those things without fail. It’s hard to ask for more.

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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