Dirty Pair Flash: Angels at World's End (of 3) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Tuesday, December 11, 2001
Release Date: Tuesday, December 11, 2001

What They Say
Kei and Yuri [aka The Lovely Angels] are assigned to protect a computer troubleshooter. But the girls would rather spend their time sowing wild oats on the galaxy’s number one party planet than keeping a young nerd from getting assassinated. Unfortunately, their plan is shot to pieces (along with a number of innocent bystanders) when the idyllic World’s World suddenly becomes a magical kingdom of death!

With android hit-women and cross-dressing assassins on their tails, the Lovely Angels learn there’s no place to hide when somebody wants you dead. Their ultimate vacation becomes a living nightmare as a deadly chase leads Kei and Yuri through haunted houses, five-star restaurants and a painstakingly authentic re-creation of one of Earth’s most barbaric eras – the 20th Century!

The Review!
The second of three "mission's" that the Lovely Angels are involved in, this new version of Dirty Pair settles more into their roles with this release and feels more like the original than the first volume. There's still that something special missing though.

For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. The dialogue for the show primarily employs the center channel in its use, but there were a handful of moments where it felt like it was doing some good with the left/right channels in making the forward soundstage sound a bit more active. Music and sound effects fill up the area nicely, but overall this is your basic stereo soundtrack.

There's a decent amount of improvement here over the first volume, which if this was done as a separate series in Japan as it seems to be, that may have a lot to do with it. The grain we saw throughout the first is much reduced here to a minimal level, which was our main gripe with the first volume. There's a fair bit of minor cross coloration throughout the episodes along some edges, but not enough so that it's going to cause a major problem. Other than some occasional shimmering during camera panning sequences, things look much nicer here this time around.

A good piece of art is the focus of this cover with my favorite gal Yuri getting the big spotlight here, though Kei isn't too far behind her. It's an eye-catching cover to be sure. Te back cover gives the majority of its space to a sexpot shot of Kei while giving the story summary and a listing of the features. Technical and production info are clearly listed and the insert provided gives a rundown of the five episodes chapters.

The menu layout is probably the least attractive thing here on the disc. There's running animation in the background with music, but the animation has been passed through in purple, so some of it shines through to a different set of images in the background. You can't really make much of it out so it just looks like a mess. But other than that, the menus work nicely with solid access times between menus and a nice enough layout.

A decent if minimal set of extras are included here. Outside of the character biographies, we get a nice set of clean credit animation and the original trailer used by ADV to market the show. Dirty Pair has always been minimal with the extras, so I'm not surprised there's little to be used here.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
While the first volume introduced us to the new and revamped Kei and Yuri and the galaxy that they inhabit, this volume moves them forward a bit and gets them a bit more comfortable with each other. There's still some bickering, but the all out hate saw in some of the earlier episodes is gone. These two actually start working together sometimes here.

This time around, the mission is fairly simple. Kei and Yuri are assigned bodyguard duty to a fellow Tro-Con named Touma. Touma's one of the 3WA's top network specialists, and he's being sent off by request to World's World. This planet is essentially a theme planet, but one with an amusing twist; the one city built so far is a replica of late 1990's Tokyo. Yup, Tokyo.

People come from all over the galaxy to spend time living in the past here. Upwards of 200,000 guests at a time as well as many more people who work and live here. Those employees who work the various shops also make sure their shops actually work. The bank is really a bank, and so forth. It's become its own community, but it still serves as a great tourist attraction. And the attention to detail is fabulous!

Things aren't going so good for this place at the moment though, as someone has placed a virus into the master computer system that controls everything on the planet. The staff managed to isolate it and things are running smoothly, but someone of Touma's skills are required to clean it up and get everything back up to speed. And with someone still trying to take advantage of the virus being inserted, their best bet is to kill the network specialist. Hence the bodyguards.

The show dispenses with this entire bodyguard gig after the first episode, but also manages to set things up so that the single spaceport is closed for several weeks and the system cleanup will take at least two weeks. Kei and Yuri seize on this as a great vacation and set about to enjoy things. Except for the lack of bed space, which means they get put up at an all-girls dorm.

Yuri looks good as a schoolgirl.

The majority of the episodes on this mission seem fillerish, but it's a light mission in the end. The basic premise seems to be to flesh out the two girls and their relationship, which is done pretty nicely here. A good amount of attention is paid to this world, but I'm convinced it was done just to get the Dirty Pair in a more domestic setting. Up until the final episode, there's no real massive destruction taking place, which will disappoint some. But for others, seeing the girls in a more domestic way makes up for that.

The animation for the show also feels like it's gone up a notch since the first mission with some better character animation and more fluidity to it. The designs are also a bit more appealing, to a point where I'm wondering if they started to change them slightly and subtly to be more like the originals. I'm still not a huge fan of this version of the Dirty Pair, but I'll take my Kei & Yuri action where I can get it. If you enjoyed the first volume, things get built nicely upon here.

Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Character Biographies,Original series trailer,Textless end credits

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.

Mania Grade: B+
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: B
Packaging Rating: B+
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: C+
Age Rating: 3 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: ADV Films
MSRP: 29.99
Running time: 125
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Dirty Pair Flash