ADV Films // 1985 // 250 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Chief Counsel Rob Lineberger (Retired) // May 4th, 2006
Can you handle girls with guns? How about two of them?
The World Welfare Work Agency is one of those omniscient-yet-understaffed agencies that get called in for the tough missions in the anime future. Like all super-powerful anime agencies, the W3A has personal spacecraft, hyperspeed communications networks, lots of guns, and a convenient horde of weekly enemies.
Yuri and Kei are trouble consultants for this esteemed agency. What are trouble consultants? Apparently, trouble consultants are hotties in skimpy clothing who waltz in with guns blazing, wreak havoc, and let fly their petulant complaints about men and fashion.
Yes, anime fans, Dirty Pair treads those hallowed anime waters: girls with guns. In fact, "girls with guns" simultaneously describes its raison d'etre, cast list, and modus operandi. If you take away the girls or the guns, Dirty Pair becomes a vacuous shell, a paper-thin container with nothing to have or hold.
I'm torn somewhat in how to critique this series. As the "original" moniker suggests, Dirty Pair was the first anime to focus exclusively on gun-toting females. Virtually every quirky anime heroine descends from this duo. Back in the Old Days, anime was cool simply because it was different; it had an ineffable air of otherness. Even so, the plots were nonexistent, the animation Spartan, and the characters simple. Did Speed Racer grow during his trials? Was there anything to Voltron besides cool, merging robots? Did Lupin III have deep ruminations about philosophy when not careening over the map looking for loot? Anime was all at face value Back Then. It is a wonder that anime has grown so much in popularity.
Given its cohorts, Dirty Pair is Shakespearian in scope. There are honest-to-goodness twists in some of these plots. There is carnage and destruction. Oh, yeah, there's the breasts -- four of them, to be precise -- and if you catch the right trio of frames, they bounce most alluringly.
That said, Dirty Pair has very little to recommend it to modern audiences who have no sentimental attachment to the series (in other words, those whose bodies lack an electrochemical residue of startled lust from seeing such racy gals run amok Back In The Day.) If you want to see animated, bouncy breasts swaying in motion to the staccato beat of gunfire, seventy percent of today's anime will provide a superior experience.
But for those who fondly recall the perky partnership of Yuri and Kei -- fiery redhead and placid brunette, always bantering, always shooting -- the Original Dirty Pair: OVA Collection Box is a decent way to get your fix. It presents all ten OVA episodes in breezy, 25-minute installments of destruction. From squelched prison riots to The Terminator to joyriding kids, the trouble consultants consult with their usual flair for mayhem. There aren't any extras, the monaural sound isn't going to win any awards, and the video is scratched and faded. This simply reinforces the retro nature of the show. As one of ADV's earliest efforts the dubbing is rough and hollow, but even that will endear it to fans.
Original Dirty Pair: OVA Collection Box is found innocent because of the Grandfather clause, but don't let me catch you back in my courtroom again, young ladies.
Review content copyright © 2006 Rob Lineberger; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2015 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: ADV Films
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Japanese)
Running Time: 250 Minutes
Release Year: 1985
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* DVD Verdict Review of the Dirty Pair Movie Box