Cover of the novel showing the two protagonists
|Genre||Adventure, Science fiction|
|Written by||Haruka Takachiho|
|Illustrated by||Yoshikazu Yasuhiko|
|Published by||Hayakawa Publishing|
|Original run||May 1980 – October 2007|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Norio Kashima
|Produced by||Norio Hatsukawa
|Music by||Toshiyuki Kimori|
|Original network||Nippon TV|
|Original run||July 15, 1985 – December 26, 1985|
|Original video animation|
|Affair of Nolandia|
|Directed by||Masaharu Okuwaki|
|Written by||Kazunori Itō|
|Music by||Yoshihiro Kunimoto|
|Released||December 20, 1985|
|Original video animation|
|Original Dirty Pair|
|Directed by||Katsuyoshi Yatabe|
|Written by||Hiroyuki Hoshiyama|
|Music by||Kohei Tanaka|
|Released||December 21, 1987 – April 21, 1988|
|Original video animation|
|Flight 005 Conspiracy|
|Directed by||Toshifumi Takizawa|
|Written by||Yoshitake Suzuki|
|Music by||Tohru Okada (Moonriders)|
|Released||January 25, 1990|
Dirty Pair (Japanese: ダーティペア Hepburn: Dāti Pea) is a series of Japanese sci-fi comedy light novels written by Haruka Takachiho and illustrated by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko that was later adapted into anime and manga versions. The franchise has bounced across multiple formats and production companies, resulting in (so far) eight novels and a few 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".
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, but not failure (they will catch the crook, but a city may be destroyed in the process), and thus they are more generally known as the "Dirty Pair", a nickname they hate. They are always cleared of any wrongdoing by the 3WA's Central Computer because the extreme collateral damage is never actually their fault (though their mere presence has been known to make things worse). In some but not all continuities, they have joint ESP 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 also the bustier of the pair and 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 SF 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'."
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.
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 SF Magazine. The light novels have begun to be released in English translation from DH Press: the complete first book appeared in September 2007, and the second book appeared in March 2008. English translations previously existed only 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 Dirty Pair's Great Adventures>, 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 <DP'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 <DP'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 <DP's Great Resurrection>, 2004 ISBN 4-15-030876-4)
- ダーティペアの大征服 (Daatipea no Daiseifuku <DP's Great Conquest>, 2006 ISBN 4-15-030921-3)
- ダーティペアの大帝国 (Daatipea no Daiteikoku <DP's Great Empire>, 2007 ISBN 4-15-030991-4) —conclusion of the preceding novel
An anime television series based on the novels, simply titled Dirty Pair, ran for 26 episodes that aired on Nippon Television affiliates from July to December 1985. Despite winning the Animage Anime Grand Prix prize in 1985, it was canceled after 24 episodes due to its ratings, leaving the last 2 episodes that were produced to be unaired. The episodes were later released alongside the 10-episode sequel OVA series released on December 21, 1987, through April 21, 1988, under the title "With Love from the Lovely Angels". The TV series (including the remaining two 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. These releases contain Japanese dialog with English subtitles, however 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. This makes the television series the only Dirty Pair animation to not have an English dub of any kind. Dirty Pair was aired in North America on the Showtime Beyond channel. The English version of Dirty Pair was licensed by ADV Films.
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 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. They were later re-licensed and re-dubbed by ADV Films and released to bilingual DVD on November 4 and December 2, 2003, respectively. ADV later re-released them to DVD, along with Project Eden, on November 8, 2005, in a 3-DVD boxset. 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.
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.
Original Dirty Pair
Original Dirty Pair, also known as Dirty Pair 2, is a 10-episode OVA series. It is a continuation of the original Dirty Pair series chronicling the further adventures of Kei and Yuri. The 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. The series was later released to bilingual DVD in two five-episode volumes on July 17 and October 23, 2001. A complete collection was released on December 27, 2005. Nozomi Entertainment later license-rescued the OVA series, and re-released it in a remastered bilingual DVD set on January 3, 2012.
Dirty Pair Flash
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. These stories have a much more cyberpunk style than the other versions; the later stories, starting with Fatal but not Serious, move into the transhuman subgenre.
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.
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.
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.
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