Dirty Pair

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Dirty Pair
Dirty Pair - light novel cover.jpg
Cover of the novel showing the two protagonists and their Coeurl sidekick
(Dāti Pea)
Novel series
Written byHaruka Takachiho
Illustrated byYoshikazu Yasuhiko
Published byHayakawa Publishing
English publisher
ImprintHayakawa Bunko JA
Original runMay 1980December 2018
Volumes9 (List of volumes)
Anime television series
Directed by
  • Toshifumi Takizawa
  • Norio Kashima (#15–24)
Produced by
  • Norio Hatsukawa
  • Takayuki Yoshii
Music byToshiyuki Kimori
StudioNippon Sunrise
Licensed by
Original networkNippon TV
Original run July 15, 1985 December 26, 1985
Episodes26 (List of episodes)
Original video animation
Dirty Pair: Affair of Nolandia
Directed byMasaharu Okuwaki
Written byKazunori Itō
Music byYoshihiro Kunimoto
StudioNippon Sunrise
Licensed by
Nozomi Entertainment
ReleasedDecember 20, 1985
Runtime55 minutes
Original video animation
Dirty Pair 2
Directed byKatsuyoshi Yatabe
Written byHiroyuki Hoshiyama
Music byKohei Tanaka
Licensed by
Nozomi Entertainment
Released December 21, 1987 April 21, 1988
Episodes10 (List of episodes)
Original video animation
Dirty Pair: Flight 005 Conspiracy
Directed byToshifumi Takizawa
Written byYoshitake Suzuki
Music byTohru Okada (Moonriders)
Licensed by
Nozomi Entertainment
ReleasedJanuary 25, 1990
Runtime60 minutes
The Great Adventures of the Dirty Pair
Written byHaruka Takachiho
Illustrated byHisao Tamaki
Published byTokuma Shoten
English publisher
MagazineMonthly Comic Ryū
Original runMay 2010July 2011
Anime series

Dirty Pair (Japanese: ダーティペア, Hepburn: Dāti Pea) is a series of Japanese light novels (the first one being a fix-up) written by Haruka Takachiho and illustrated by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko that was later adapted into anime and manga versions. The first stories that make up the first volume were first published on the S-F Magazine. The franchise has been published in multiple formats, and adapted into various other media, resulting in eight novels and several shorter stories, a television series, two OVA series, two OVA features, a feature film, a number of graphic novels, and two short Japanese radio series. The 1985 television series won the Animage Anime Grand Prix prize for that year.

The stories take place in the years 2138–43, by which time humanity has spread across some few thousand star systems. A corporation called the World Welfare Works Association (WWWA or 3WA) helps member systems of the United Galactica (UG) federation deal with various planetary-scale problems, for profit, by sending agents called "trouble consultants". The series focuses on a team of trouble consultants in that section, named Kei and Yuri, who have a reputation for leaving a trail of destruction behind them, for which they are known publicly as the "Dirty Pair", a nickname they hate.


Kei and Yuri are the two members of Trouble Consultant team 234, code named "Lovely Angels". Almost every mission they are involved with ends up in disaster, though not failure: They typically capture their target fugitive, but end up destroying a city in the process, earning the nickname the "Dirty Pair", a moniker they openly hate being called. They are always cleared of any wrongdoing by the 3WA's Central Computer because the extreme collateral damage is never actually determined to be their fault, although their mere presence tends to worsen the situations for which they are hired. In some but not all continuities, they have joint extrasensory perception powers, usually limited to precognition. This talent was the reason they were recruited in the first place.


Kei is a hot-headed tomboy with red hair and tanned skin who wears a silver-white uniform. She favors large weaponry and prefers to "shoot first, ask questions later". The more aggressive of the two, she is attracted to manly, muscular men.

Yuri is of Japanese ethnicity, and wears a golden-yellow uniform. She often uses non-gun weaponry such as energy whips or throwing cards. While the more feminine of the two, she is known to become very violent when crossed. She is the more bottom-heavy of the team and is also a coy flirt who prefers cultured, refined men. Her most recognized weapon is the Bloody Card, a technologically enhanced throwing card that can be used to take down several people at once.


The inspiration for Dirty Pair novels was a visit to Japan by the British Australian science-fiction author A. Bertram Chandler, probably in 1978. On his itinerary was a stop at the young Studio Nue, which Takachiho co-founded. As something to entertain their guest, two of the staffers there, Yuri Tanaka and Keiko Otoguro, hit upon the idea with Takachiho of taking Chandler to a tournament of the All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling organization, which was a member of the World Women's Wrestling Association (WWWA). The card included the highly-popular wrestling (and singing) team, the Beauty Pair. Something that passed among the foursome during that match led Chandler to remark to Takachiho something to the effect that "the two women in the ring may be the Beauty Pair, but those two with you ought to be called 'the Dirty Pair'."[6]

This became the germ of an idea for a novella Takachiho decided to write, transplanting the rough-housing of pro-wrestling to the realm of space-opera mystery stories, with which he already had experience in his already successful Crusher Joe series. The team code-name "Lovely Angels" is also a play on the names of certain women's teams of the time, such as the Queen Angels.

Light novels[edit]

The light novels are written by Haruka Takachiho with illustrations by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko. Between 1980 and 2007, eight novels were published. The first four books were originally serialized in the Japanese publication S-F Magazine. The first two light novels have been released in English translation from DH Press: the complete first book appeared in September 2007, and the second book appeared in April 2008. Previously, English translations existed for the first story (published as one of a series of short books for Japanese students of English) and the fifth book, which was originally released in Japanese and English translation on the Microsoft Network during 1997–99.


  • ダーティペアの大冒険 (Daatipea no Daibouken (The Great Adventure Of The Dirty Pair), 1979; book: 1980 ISBN 4-15-030121-2), won the 1980 Seiun Award 
  • ダーティペアの大逆転 (Daatipea no Daigyakuten (The Dirty Pair Strike Again), 1985; book: 1985 ISBN 4-15-030262-6), won the 1985 Seiun Award
  • ダーティペアの大乱戦 (Daatipea no Dairansen (The Dirty Pair's Rough and Tumble), 1985–87; book: 1987 ISBN 4-15-030300-2)
  • ダーティペアの大脱走 (Daatipea no Daidassou (The Dirty Pair's Great Escape), 1991–92; book: 1993 ISBN 4-15-030876-4)
  • ダーティペア外伝 独裁者の遺産 (Dokusaisha no Isan (Legacy of the Dictator)—Dirty Pair Side Story #1, 1997; book: 1998 ISBN 4-15-030655-9)
  • ダーティペアの大復活 (Daatipea no Daifukkatsu (The Dirty Pair's Great Resurrection), 2004 ISBN 4-15-030876-4)
  • ダーティペアの大征服 (Daatipea no Daiseifuku (The Dirty Pair's Great Conquest), 2006 ISBN 4-15-030921-3)
  • ダーティペアの大帝国 (Daatipea no Daiteikoku (The Dirty Pair's Great Empire), 2007 ISBN 4-15-030991-4) —conclusion of the preceding novel
  • ダーティペアの大跳躍 (Daatipea no Hiyaku (Dirty Pair's Leap), 2018 ISBN 4-15-209822-8)/ISBN 978-4-15-209822-1)


Television series[edit]

An anime television series based on the novels, simply titled Dirty Pair, ran for 24 episodes on Nippon Television affiliates from July to December 1985, winning the Animage Anime Grand Prix prize for that year.[7] Scripts had been written for two additional episodes, that were produced after the TV-series had aired, and released as an OVA in January 1987. In subsequent re-airings those two episodes were added to the original show making the series 26 episodes long.

The Dirty Pair anime has a closer setup to the original light novels by Haruka Takachiho more than any of the other incarnations. Unlike the light novels, the universe of the anime has a more comical atmosphere and presents the typical styles of a 1980s inspired future. The Lovely Angels and the WWWA reside in a location known as Eleanor City where Kei (voiced by Kyouko Tonguu) and Yuri (voiced by Saeko Shimazu) live in an apartment together in the city's famous Damocles Tower. The chief of the 3WA in this version is Gooley Andrew Francess along with Calico who serves as second in command. The Lovely Angels also have two assistants, a genetically modified feline named Mughi, and a small robot known as Nanmo.

The TV series (including the two extra OVA episodes) was licensed for a release by Nozomi Entertainment, who released it into two box sets on November 2, 2010, and February 8, 2011, respectively, each containing 13 episodes.[8][9] These releases contain Japanese dialog with English subtitles. David Williams from Sentai Filmworks did confirm that he offered to produce an English dub with Seraphim Digital for the re-release, but was declined for unknown reasons.[10] Dirty Pair was aired in North America on the Showtime Beyond channel.[citation needed]

On October 1, 2021, Nozomi Entertainment launched a Kickstarter campaign to release the original television series on Blu-ray, along with the creation of a new English dub to be produced by Headline Studios.[11][12] The following day, after raising 75% of their $275,000 goal, Nozomi announced in an update that Jessica Calvello would be reprising her role as Yuri from the OVA series dub for the new dub of the original series. An update on October 13 revealed that Pamela Lauer, who last played Kei in the ADV dub of Project Eden in 2005, would be coming out of retirement to reprise her role.[13] On October 30, after reaching $600,000, an update revealed that Jason Douglas would reprise his role as Gooley. The campaign closed on October 31, 2021, with a final pledge tally of $731,406.[14]


A 10-episode OVA series was released on December 21, 1987, through April 21, 1988. ADV released the OVA series on five English dubbed and subtitled VHS tapes from November 11, 1998, to January 25, 2000, each containing two episodes.[15][16] The series was later released to bilingual DVD in two five-episode volumes on July 17 and October 23, 2001.[17] A complete collection was released on December 27, 2005.[18] Nozomi Entertainment later license-rescued the OVA series, and re-released it in a remastered bilingual DVD set on January 3, 2012.[19] This series has been called Original Dirty Pair or Dirty Pair 2 in English.[20]

The series featured two stand-alone OVA hour-long features: Affair of Nolandia (ノーランディアの謎, Nōrandia no Nazo) (1985) and Flight 005 Conspiracy (謀略の005便, Bōryaku no 005-bin) (1990). The first revolves around a plot with the pair tracking down a psychic girl, while the second concerns the pair investigating a mysterious plane explosion. Both OVA features were released onto English dubbed VHS on November 23, 1994, and February 21, 1995, respectively by Streamline Pictures and Orion Pictures.[21][22] They were later re-licensed and re-dubbed by ADV Films and released to bilingual DVD on November 4 and December 2, 2003, respectively.[23][24] ADV later re-released them to DVD, along with Project Eden, on November 8, 2005, in a 3-DVD boxset.[25] They were later re-licensed by Nozomi Entertainment, who released them in a bilingual DVD set (with both Streamline and ADV dubs) with Project Eden on May 8, 2012.[26]


Dirty Pair: Project Eden, known in Japan as Dirty Pair: The Movie (ダーティペア, Daati Pea Gekijou-ban), is a feature-length anime film based on the Dirty Pair anime series originally released in Japan on November 28, 1986.

Dirty Pair Flash[edit]

Dirty Pair Flash were three OVAs series totaling 16 episodes, 1994–1996. The story premise and character designs are very different from any of the other versions.


The American comic company and manga translator Studio Proteus acquired rights to create comic versions of The Dirty Pair in 1989; the first two graphic novels were published by the since-defunct Eclipse Comics. Later the rights were transferred to Dark Horse Comics. The first three series were written by Toren Smith and Adam Warren and drawn by Warren—after that Smith left the project and Warren took over writing completely.


The Great Adventures of the Dirty Pair (ダーティペアの大冒険, Dāti Pea no Daibōken) is a 2010-2011 manga adaptation by Hisao Tamaki serialised by Tokuma Shoten in Monthly Comic Ryū, that is a retelling of the original Dirty Pair light novel of the same name, but with significant character redesigns. It was released in English by Seven Seas Entertainment in an omnibus volume on December 17, 2019.

Radio series[edit]

A fifth version of the "DP Concept" made its debut on 1 October 2006 in a 26-week radio series on FM Osaka, entitled "Lovely Angel: Kei & Yuri". A streaming Internet broadcast of successive episodes became available beginning 15 October. The story involves a case in which the Lovely Angels assist the FBI on a case which takes them along the route of the old Route 66. The series features Horie Yui as Yuri and Minagawa Junko as Kei. While Takachiho participated in the selection of the voice artists, he was not involved in the writing for this series. (Additional information on the series, in Japanese, can be found at Nihon Sunrise's site.[27]

A second radio series, "Daatipea91: Kunoichi" began on FM Osaka on 15 October 2007. This time written by Takachiho himself, it places eighteen-year-old Kei and Yuri in Japan in the year 1791 as student ninjas who find themselves embroiled in political affairs of the period. Horie Yui and Minagawa Junko reprised their voice roles. Again, a streaming broadcast was available. This series was re-broadcast during March to April 2009.[28]


  1. ^ Santos, Carlo (December 3, 2010). "Dirty Pair Sub.DVD Boxset 1 - Review". Anime News Network. Retrieved January 6, 2020. That's one of the retro sci-fi lessons to be learned from the Dirty Pair TV series, which offers a now-quaint view of the future to go with its feisty girls-with-guns escapades.
  2. ^ Moody, Allen. "Dirty Pair TV". THEM Anime Reviews. Retrieved November 10, 2021.
  3. ^ Yegulalp, Serdar. "Dirty Pair - The Original TV Series". About.com. Archived from the original on December 8, 2010. Retrieved November 10, 2021.
  4. ^ Pineda, Rafael (October 1, 2021). "RetroCrush, Crunchyroll Stream Dirty Pair TV Series (Updated)". Anime News Network. Retrieved November 10, 2021.
  5. ^ Ashley, Mike (March 27, 2020). Science-Fiction Rebels: the Story of the Science-Fiction Magazines from 1981 To 1990:. Liverpool University Press. p. 250. Takachiho Haruka mercilessly spoofed the whole concept of pulp space opera in his humorous 'Dirty Pair' series
  6. ^ "Crusher Joe liner notes". AnimEigo. Retrieved 19 August 2014.
  7. ^ >>第8回アニメグランプリ [1986年6月号, archived from the original on 2013-09-28, retrieved 2015-03-26
  8. ^ "Dirty Pair: The Original TV Series, Pt. 1 DVD Collection". amazon.com. 2 November 2010. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
  9. ^ "Dirty Pair: Original TV Series Pt. 2 DVD Collection". amazon.com. 8 February 2011. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
  10. ^ "Sentai Filmworks Industry Panel". Anime News Network. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
  11. ^ Whitbrook, James (1 October 2021). "Classic Sci-Fi Anime Dirty Pair Is Coming to Blu-ray, With Your Help". Gizmodo. Retrieved 2 October 2021.
  12. ^ Hazra, Adriana (October 3, 2021). "Right Stuf, Nozomi Ent. Launch Kickstarter for Dirty Pair Anime's English Dub". Anime News Network. Retrieved February 19, 2022.
  13. ^ Mateo, Alex (October 13, 2021). "Retired Voice Actress Pamela Lauer Returns for New English Dub of Dirty Pair TV Anime". Anime News Network. Retrieved February 19, 2022.
  14. ^ Antonio Pineda, Rafael (November 3, 2021). "Dirty Pair Kickstarter Ends Successfully With All Stretch Goals Met". Anime News Network. Retrieved February 19, 2022.
  15. ^ Original Dirty Pair 1 [VHS]: Original Dirty Pair: Movies & TV. ASIN 6305350728.
  16. ^ "Original Dirty Pair 5 [VHS]: Original Dirty Pair: Movies & TV". 25 January 2000. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  17. ^ "Original Dirty Pair - Damsels of Destruction (Vol. 2)". 23 October 2001. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  18. ^ "Original Dirty Pair: OVA Collection Box". 27 December 2005. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  19. ^ "Dirty Pair: Original OVA Series DVD Collection: Masayoshi Tanidabe: Movies & TV". 3 January 2012. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  20. ^ "Original Dirty Pair OAV Vol. 1". Anime News Network. Retrieved 3 December 2020.
  21. ^ Dirty Pair:Affair on Nolandia [VHS]. ASIN 6303273157.
  22. ^ Dirty Pair: Project Eden [VHS]. ASIN 6303106552.
  23. ^ "Original Dirty Pair - Affair of Nolandia (Vol. 5)". amazon.com.
  24. ^ "Original Dirty Pair - Flight 005 Conspiracy". amazon.com. 4 November 2003.
  25. ^ "Original Dirty Pair: Movie Collection". 8 November 2005.
  26. ^ "Dirty Pair: Original Features DVD Collection". 8 May 2012.
  27. ^ "FMサウンドシネマ「ラブリーエンゼル ユリ&ケイ」放送開始のお知らせ" (in Japanese). Sunrise. Retrieved 2011-11-11.
  28. ^ "FM OSAKA~FMサウンドシネマ" (in Japanese). FM Osaka. Archived from the original on 2011-11-28. Retrieved 2011-11-11.

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