Dirty Pair OVA Box (Thinpak) (of 1) (Mania.com)

By:Luis Cruz
Review Date: Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Release Date: Tuesday, December 27, 2005



What They Say
Can you handle girls with guns? How about two of them? Meet the original girls with guns: Kei and Yuri, the Lovely Angels, top agents of the World Welfare & Works Association (3WA), better known to the rest of the galaxy as the Dirty Pair. And when the 3WA unleashes this infamous pair, the bad guys aren't the only ones in trouble. Still, as the 3WA's supercomputer is quick to point out, the Lovely Angels always get their man, and the collateral damage that results is never really their fault. Don't miss the mayhem, destruction and downright devastation surrounding the delectable Original Dirty Pair!

The Review!
ADV provides ten episodes of old school "girls with guns" mayhem in one convenient package.

Audio:
I listened to the Japanese audio track for my viewing session. Given the age of the source material, the audio comes from the center channel with no discernible use of the front soundstage. It is a solid track free from distortions or other issues. It may lack the punch of recent titles, but it is a solid and enjoyable audio experience for a title nearly two decades old.

Video:
Originally airing in 1987, the video source for the series has managed to hold up fairly well. There is noticeable print damage, scratches and such, throughout, but you will notice more during the opening and ending sequences than in the actual episode content. Outside of some ghosting, there were no apparent defects from the digital transfer.

Packaging:
A sturdy box houses two thinpak cases and features some good artwork of Yuri and Kei. The individual cases feature similar cover art with no text marring the images. The back covers feature the requisite information about the disc's content and specifications.

Menu:
The main menu is a static image of Kei and Yuri with a loop of the opening theme playing. Menu items are along the left of the screen with no transition delays between sub-menus; while lacking visual flair, the menu system will get you into the content quickly.

Extras:
None.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Kei and Yuri seem like typical eighteen year old girls living in the near future; they are concerned about finding an attractive boyfriend and keeping their skin healthy and beautiful. However, they have a most unusual occupation working as "Trouble Consultants" for the 3WA. Normally, a Trouble Consultant is called in to resolve a particular sticky situation, such as extracting a prison warden held hostage during a riot. But, when the "Lovely Angels" are called in, they end up causing more trouble than they solve usually in the form of massive property damage and casualties. For this, the rest of the galaxy has dubbed them the "Dirty Pair".

That is really all one needs to know about the ten OVA episodes in this set; Kei and Yuri bounce from one situation to the next spreading their special brand of chaos across the galaxy. There is no elaborate plot tying the stories together, no grandiose machinations of super villains; it simply wants you to sit back, slide the brain into neutral, and enjoy some old fashioned episodic action and comedy. Kei and Yuri make for an interesting pair of protagonists, and the writers have a lot of fun with them. While in a barrage of gun fire, they can still find the time to exchange the catty banter only two friends can sling at each other.

The Pair is also given some depth beyond their banter and gun play. One episode features Kei having to deal with a little girl involved in a murder case. While she normally does not like dealing with children, her stubborn pride ends up making a genuine connection with the girl and helps the girl recover a bit from the trauma of her life. My favorite episode has Yuri falling in love with a gangster to the point she is willing to die by his gun if he feels she has truly lied to him about that love. This episode also manages to pack in a reference to Castle of Cagliostro, The Godfather, and The Graduate.

This series is one of life's guilty pleasures, a solid mix of explosions, pop culture references, comedy, and eye candy. It may use an old and simple formula, but it is one that continues to hold up over time. You could tell that the production staff had a lot of fun creating these characters and their stories, and it translates into ten episodes of fast paced, scantily clad fun for the audience.

In Summary:
Simple but well executed, these ten episodes of Dirty Pair provide plenty of entertainment without the need for an overly elaborate plot tying them together. Looking for some light, fun "girls with guns" action? Step right up and give the Dirty Pair a spin; you won't be disappointed. Sit back, relax, and enjoy them exchange gun fire with their enemies and friendly insults with each other.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Mitsubishi 27" TV, Panasonic RP-82, Sony STR-DE915 DD receiver, Bose Acoustimass-6 speakers, generic S-Video and optical audio cable



Mania Grade: B+
Audio Rating: B
Video Rating: B
Packaging Rating: B+
Menus Rating: C+
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: ADV Films
MSRP: 24.98
Running time: 240
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Dirty Pair