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You will remember to call them "Lovely Angels", won't you?


 "It's not our fault!"


Humanity has abandoned Earth and spread across the galaxy, but that doesn't mean there aren't any problems any more. In fact, there are quite a lot of them, and some of them are worse than people could have dreamed of before going into space. An agency of the galactic government called the Worlds Welfare Work Association ("3WA") has its own special way of dealing with these problems — it dispatches teams of highly-trained, well-equipped troubleshooters, called "Trouble Consultants", to find the trouble and, well, shoot it.

One of the most successful teams of Trouble Consultants is the "Lovely Angels", two teenaged girls who have a near-perfect success record. However, they also have a reputation of blowing up everything they touch (which isn't fair — only about a third of their missions end with something being destroyed, and it's never their fault), which has led to their unofficial and hated nickname of the "Dirty Pair". On the other side of matters, the things they have accidentally blown up have on occasion been inhabited planets, so it's not as if their reputations are undeserved.

Haruka Takachiho created the Pair in a set of stories published as Light Novels (which continue to be published), set in the same continuity as his other series Crusher Joe (which debuted 2 years earlier). The production studio Sunrise adapted the stories into a successful action/comedy TV series in 1985, which continued into a movie, an OVA series, and two feature-length OVAs. In 1994, the franchise was rebooted as Dirty Pair Flash. Meanwhile, Adam Warren (future author of Empowered) and Toren Smith (of translation house Studio Proteus, who left after the first three miniseries) obtained the rights to create an English-original manga-styled Dirty Pair comic miniseries for Dark Horse Comics, technically based on the original novels instead of the anime.

The Dirty Pair anime was originally translated in the US by Streamline Pictures in the 90s, with the release of the movie and feature-length OVAs. Later, ADV Films released Flash, the OVA series, the feature-length OVAs, and the movie. They had plans to release the original TV series, which fell through due to poor sales. However, the TV series was finally licensed and released by Nozomi Entertainment. Nozomi has now announced plans to re-release the movies, the original OVAs, and Flash in 2012. The TV series is currently available on YouTube and DVD.

Dark Horse Comics is currently publishing translations of the first two light novels. They also published the comics by Adam Warren (after the original publisher Eclipse Comics went out of business), but those are out of print now.

Also, starting in March 2010, the Seinen manga magazine Monthly Comic Ryu started publishing an adaptation of the first light novel, The Great Adventures of the Dirty Pair. The artist for this version is Hisao Tamaki, who is most famous for the manga adaptation of Star Wars: A New Hope.

More information about the Dirty Pair, in all of their incarnations, is available at the website Tea Time in Elenore City.

(Original entry text written by Rob Kelk for The Anime Primer, and used with permission of the author.)

Tropes used in Dirty Pair include:


 "Head over to the biogenetics lab right away!"

"I can't make it today."

"Why not?"

"I have that monthly, um... you know..."

"Oh... you mean...?"

"I've got a date!"

  • No Transhumanism Allowed: Averted in the Warren comics; Run from the Future plays with this, having the pair infiltrate a space colony established for those too transhuman for normal society — while using more transhumanist toys than ever before.
  • Odd Couple
  • Panty Fighter: Are there, perhaps, too many versions of the Battle Bikini? As a topic name, anyway — you can never have too many versions of a Battle Bikini...
  • Persona Non Grata: Usually happens in the aftermath of their cases, assuming there's a place left to ban anything...
  • Pre-Explosion Glow
  • Prophetic Names: You just know Lily in Flash is there to teach Yuri a lesson, since her name is a translation of Yuri's.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Accidental though it may have been, this plus Crossing the Line Twice is the only way to justify why Kei and Yuri are not considered Complete Monsters in-universe. Remember, they've committed (accidentally) multiple planetary genocides.
  • Psychic Powers: Kei and Yuri have Wonder Twin Powers Clairvoyance in the Light Novels. Adam Warren's version Does in the Wizard by explaining it as a prank.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni / Tomboy and Girly Girl: Kei and Yuri practically define this trope for Lovely Angels teams.
  • Restraining Bolt: Subverted in the TV series; BRIAN decides to Kill All Humans because one was installed in him.
  • Robot Buddy: Nammo
  • Rule of Cool: In one episode, they reached the bad guys' base via orbital-insertion paradrop, followed by sky-surfing on the updraft from an active volcano followed by surfing on the lava!
  • Science Fiction
  • Secret Public Identity: Throughout the series the girls do nothing to hide their identities. On the other hand virtually no-one realizes just who they are until they check computer records — or someone uses that name. It's not like they look like anyone else (well there is one TV episode where they do... sorta).
  • The Seven Mysteries: Flash squeezes this in to a High School AU Day at the Bizarro.
  • Shout-Out
    • The computer screens often contain blatant shout outs, starting in the first episode where one screen flashes the names of the entire cast of Star Trek the Original Series.
      • Continuing the Trek theme, one episode of Flash makes a reference to "Mudd's Passion Planet".
    • Another interesting example: a list of people who have a grudge against Kei and Yuri apparently includes Bruce Springsteen, Phil Collins, and Eric Clapton.
    • The series is also one giant shout out to Professional Wrestling, more specifically the joshi promotion All Japan Womens Pro Wrestling. The Dirty Pair name is a reference to the Beauty Pair, AJW's top tag team, while the Lovely Angels codename is a reference to another tag team called the Queen Angels. The organization's initials (3WA) are also a reference to the company's title belts (WWWA World and WWWA Tag Team championships). This is all lampshaded in the first episode of the series when, after Kei and Yuri announce their arrival, a member in the crowd expresses disbelief at being saved by "pro wrestlers".
  • Show Some Leg
    • Kei actually flashes some guards as a distraction in one episode of the TV series.
    • In an earlier episode Yuri plays it exactly as the name says (this qualifies as Let's Get Dangerous for Yuri).
  • Skunk Stripe: The Flash incarnation of Kei.
  • Small Girl, Big Gun
  • Space Elevator: In Flash, complete with an orbital ring at the top for all of them to connect to.
  • Space Western: One TV episode has the girls working for rival gangs on a desert planet. Kei goes for the classic look, Yuri goes for a serape. Sometimes called The "Yakisoba Western" episode.
  • Spanner in the Works: They solve more cases this way...
  • Split Personality: Shasti, from the Adam Warren comics, was an Artificial Human Super Soldier designed with four personalities to handle varying situations effectively.
  • Spy Catsuit: The girl's alternate uniform during the TV series (in purple/black).
  • Stripperiffic: Just look at the picture at the top of this page.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: At least once a story and in one case no less than five solar systems.
  • Tele Frag: The Angels destroy a rogue A.I. in the first episode of the TV series by having a spaceship warp into its core.
  • Time Dilation: Episode 7 of the TV series had a space travel magnate trying to separate his son from a lover he disapproved of[1] by launching her on the prototype of a slower-than-light "Time Dilation Tour" ship he had handy; the plan was that she'd only return after the son had aged the fifty years of the trip, so would he still love her then, bwa-ha-ha. The Lovely Angels can't stop the launch, but free the son in time for him to follow his love on another of the ships. The father finally gets on the final ship because he can't live without his son.
  • Team Pet: Mughi
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Most versions display this trope to one degree or another. Warren wrote a short story showing Kei and Yuri constantly resuming old arguments through most of their history together.
  • Walking Disaster Area
  • Whack a Mole: Episode 17 of the anime has the Angels follwing a tip that a wanted assassin will be aboard a spaceliner in disguise. After introducing our suspects, the ship's captain sabotages everything, sets course toward a black hole, locks the controls, and kills himself. The assassin — and genius cryptoanalyst — is the only one aboard who can save the ship. But who'll be alive by then?
  • Xanatos Roulette: In the second Adam Warren miniseries, Shasti pulls a multi-layer roulette to pull off The Caper. The Angels only get on her trail when Kei sees her in a crowd at random and goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Yuri
  • Zeerust: In the original novels reference such amazing inventions as energy weapons, flying cars, and MicroFiche. *Head Desk*.
  1. because she was a male-to-female transsexual