#1 A chaotic duo
The World Welfare Work Association (WWWA) is a benevolent agency that sorts out trouble all across the galaxy and the Lovely Angels, Yuri and Kei, are its top operatives. They are two fashionable young women who are masters of espionage, hand-to-hand combat, marksmanship, engineering, hacking, and mystery-solving.
However, anybody within their jurisdiction will tell you that Yuri and Kei are more commonly known by the less-flattering nickname “The Dirty Pair”. And for good reason.
Though they are unmatched in their ability to solve cases for the WWWA, Yuri and Kei attract trouble wherever they go. Even the most simple cases have a way of spiraling out of their control, leading to many “accidents” and “collateral damage”. All too often, the damages far outweigh whatever calamity the Lovely Angels may have prevented. If their mission can even be called a success to begin with.
Yuri and Kei make for a cool and empowering duo. Their dialogue and the fun misadventures they get themselves caught up in got me hooked on Dirty Pair; I blazed through its episodes. I especially enjoyed that these are sexy characters with “girly” hobbies like boy bands, shopping, and going on dates, who are nevertheless tough women with a variety of technical skills and a high-paying, morally-upright career. Dirty Pair, in spite of its name, only slightly dips its toes in the waters of fanservice, so Yuri and Kei are in a great position to appeal to both male and female anime fans.
#2 Episodic stories
I went into Dirty Pair expecting a sci-fi version of You’re Under Arrest with a more mercenary attitude to it, but I was pleasantly surprised with the variety of missions that Yuri and Kei embark on. The WWWA is a strange organization that takes on almost any job. There is certainly a lot of bounty hunting, but also espionage, assassinations, and detective work.
Even while writing this segment I have to stop myself from ranting about all my favorite episodes; there is just too much cool stuff to talk about. My favorite episode ended up being an infiltration mission where Yuri learns that a childhood friend she used to be in love with has been forcefully put to work at a shady factory. Most episodes play out like comedy thrillers with lots of action scenes, but this one was more reserved and personal, which led to some fantastic character moments for both our heroines.
With a rare few exceptions all the stories are only 1 episode long, yet they are so densely packed that they feel like mini-movies when you’re actually watching them.
#3 It’s overflowing with style
In terms of animation quality, Dirty Pair has understandably aged a fair bit. It takes some obvious shortcuts at times and the action isn’t as intense as some might like, but there is no denying that the anime is bursting with style.
The OP immediately grabs you with the catchy song Russian Roulette and the stellar animations that accompany it. It immediately conveys what our two protagonists are about and it’s so energetic that I was eager to jump into the show. Its first episode then immediately sells the variety of its sci-fi universe, where distinctly futuristic themes like megastructures and bio-engineered creatures exist side-by-side with recognizable, current-day technology. It’s hilarious to have a show where some people drive hovering sports cars while other folks are so old school they still drive cars that would’ve been vintage even when the show aired in 1985.
The character design, music, sound-effects, voice-acting, directing, there is just so much worth talking about in regards to the presentation, but I am reserving some of that for the follow-up article on Thursday. For now, all I’d like to say is that Dirty Pair is the go-to anime if you want to watch an “old school cool” kind of series.