Anime Vice News

DIRTY PAIR #1 -- Watch & Learn

A good oldie that shows how ridiculous T&A has become.

Change of pace, lunatics. We’ll be taking a break from EUREKA SEVEN and YU YU HAKUSHO for a week or so to catch up with a number of fine titles that have come to my doorstep. Read my thoughts on…

Whoa… I feel incredibly silly for never getting around to watch this show until now. This is exactly the kind of speedy, fleet-footed adventure that spins my wheels. Exactly.

Though, I like to believe that the positive flipside of my tardiness is that it allows me to evaluate a classic series like this without the usual nostalgic prejudices. Specifically, I look at DIRTY PAIR and see a show that handles T&A (or “fan service,” if you prefer the doublespeak) so much more tastefully than so many contemporary shows that just love to push that button. There’s something artfully ironic about that considering how the show’s actually named after an innuendo for T or A (the dirty pairs of the front or the back, right? Right?) The obvious answer is that this might have been one of the first shows to push the envelope and a couple decades worth other shows have simply licked that envelope until it’s dissolved entirely.

Or perhaps they really just don’t make ‘em like they used to.

I want to watch more of this. It wastes no time stomping its high-heeled foot on the accelerator and it doesn’t let up to ever spell out the details we've already sussed out. I got the biggest kick out of how the beat that immediately follows the introduction of this massive super-computer is the shocker that it’s going into full-tilt misanthropic megalomania. No time wasted! The fact that his name’s “Brian” and his name punctuates nearly every passage of breathless Japanese dialog was just the titter-inducing cherry on top of that madness. The Dirty Pair themselves are hoot, too. Incessant banter can turn into excessive banter rather easily, but I was having a hell of time watching them constantly undermining eachother whilst on the go.

You know what? Depending on how you lunatics respond, I just might make this the series to join DARKER THAN BLACK once I wrap up EUREKA SEVEN and YU YU HAKUSHO. I kind-of like this set-up of coupling an old school favorite with a more recent hit.

Also, I'm preparing for a special Q&A edition of this. If you'd like to participate, put your questions in this thread.

Watch this episode, "How to Kill a Computer” below and decide for yourself.

Tom Pinchuk’s the writer of HYBRID BASTARDS! & UNIMAGINABLE. Order them on Amazon here & here. Follow him on Twitter: @tompinchuk

Mezmeroon Feb. 28, 2012 at 8:47 a.m.

I've always heard of this show but haven't actually seen it until now. I have an affinity for the classics and Dirty Pair left a good first impression. I had seen Panty and Stocking like a year and a half ago and I never realized that they totally ripped their premise straight out of this. I think I prefer the crazy future setting of this over P&S's and the presence of a pet space-sloth (or space-bear or whatever the hell it is) puts it over the top for me. I might end up watching more of this since I don't like a lot of the newer stuff that comes out these days. I just hope there are more explosions.

GreggDon Feb. 28, 2012 at 8:48 a.m.

I remember back when Showtime Beyond used to play this and Fist of the North Star a lot. Man, those were the days.

zaldaron Feb. 28, 2012 at 10:18 a.m.

hmm I like slow character development which I have always heard this lacks, then the action is more meaningful. Why Eureka worked better for me (until the end) Have heard of this one and may try to make time for it, but to busy with the new last exile and p4 now.

If you haven't checked out p4 you should is pretty entertaining.

Chris2KLeeon Feb. 28, 2012 at 10:19 a.m.

You're not wrong Tom. I think to much anime today just copies the basic formula of what worked before, without any of it's craft of pacing. While the Dirty Pair certainly had it's fair share of fan service, it also had characters I enjoyed watching and actually cared about. Too many anime characters nowadays I'd just as happily see thrown under a bus, than actually watch their dull T&A filled seizure fests.

Sonata moderator is online on Feb. 28, 2012 at 12:07 p.m.
How Ironic I was watching these a week or so ago great series.
generikoon Feb. 28, 2012 at 3:17 p.m.

Yes one of my favorite shows I watched as a kid along with Fist of the North Star thanks to Showtime Beyond. Also the pastie bikini episode good times

Username_Undefinedon Feb. 28, 2012 at 3:53 p.m.

I had barely heard about Dirty Pair before this. I watched the first episode, and though it didn't grab me as much as it seemed to grab you, Tom, but I can see there's potential for it to grow on me.

I was going to recommend Phi Brain for the next W&L, but it seems that you found the next shows yourself, so I'll wait until you're finished with those.

mpgeiston Feb. 28, 2012 at 4:03 p.m.

I love the Dirty Pair and still watch an episode here and there every once in a while. They just don't make em like this anymore.

PenguinDuston Feb. 28, 2012 at 4:07 p.m.

This one is on my all-time favorites list. I love older anime and this classic from the late 80's certainly qualifies. The end credits song is one that gets stuck in my head when I hear it. I've seen this series and if you liked the first episode, then you'll probably like the rest. It should be mentioned that this series is only loosely episodic. There is no overall story arc. Most shows are single-episode stories with one or two running two shows in length. It's a very undemanding series.

There's some fast paced action with some good humor mixed into each tale. The girls have a lot of character and are not neatly categorized by any single archetype. Actually, they set the standard for later cocky, conceited, argumentative, tenacious, selfish troubleshooters with hearts of gold. Kei and Yuri are fun and I loved watching the chaos that followed in their wake. Their "cat", Mughi often comes across as the only sane one on the team and he's an animal. Speaking of cats, one of my favorite episodes involved a missing cat and, needless to say, there was a hefty amount of collateral damage when the girls were hired to find it.

The truth is they don't makes shows like this anymore and that is a pity. On the other hand, I'm not sure how well something like The Dirty Pair would be received by the modern anime audience. Single episode stories following two abrasive female heroines and no love interests...well, come to think of it, the last one that somewhat fit that description was Galaxy Angel, but it too had at least three moe-types added for mass appeal. Kiddy Grade is similar in set-up to the Dirty Pair, but I found the characters very bland and too ideal. It was popular enough to earn a second 24 episode season. I think that's the more likely route for any space heroine show these days.

If you want more of the Lovely Angels, there were some OVAs that are pretty good and a couple of movies. There was also a reboot series called Dirty Pair Flash which was very much like the Bubblegum Crisis 2040 series you looked at recently. It's a crisper update that lacks some of the charm found in the original.

Kouzou_Fuyutsukion Feb. 28, 2012 at 5:38 p.m.

Yeah! Dirty Pair is great fun! The reboot of it is pretty good too. :)

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