Dirty Pair: The Original TV Series Part 2 - Mania.com



DVD Review

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B
  • Video Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: C
  • Age Rating: 13 and Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Nozomi Entertainment
  • MSRP: 49.99
  • Running time: 325
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Dirty Pair

Dirty Pair: The Original TV Series Part 2

Dirty Pair: The Original TV Series Part 2 Anime DVD Review

By Chris Beveridge     February 22, 2011
Release Date: February 01, 2011


Dirty Pair: The Original TV Series Part 2
© Nozomi Entertainment

 

The path of destruction that follows the Lovely Angels continues on.
 

What They Say
For Kei and Yuri, no two missions are ever the same. As the WWWA's top Trouble Consultants, they take on all sorts of odd jobs, like chasing down treasure in high-tech ruins, fighting off political assassins, even avenging the death of...  a plaster statue!?! In the end, only one thing's for sure: Anything that stands between these two and victory is sure to be destroyed! Includes episodes 14-26.

The Review!

 

Audio:
This release contains only the original Japanese language track which is presented in stereo encoded at 192kbps. The show is not one that's going to break any preconceptions about how old shows sound but what we get here is a good stereo mix that's a full feeling overall since there's nothing strongly noticeable in terms of placement or depth. The series has a good mix of action and dialogue to it though it all comes across essentially the same. Dirty Pair doesn't surprise here but it's definitely a good track and encoding overall with no problems during regular playback with no dropouts or distortions.
 
Video:
Originally airing in 1985, the transfer for this series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. This set contains the second thirteen episodes spread across three discs in a five/four/four format. With it being a monolingual release, there's a good bit of space here to work with and the overall presentation is really very strong. The show does show its age with the traditional animation and some of the little effects in it, but by and large this is a great looking transfer of a show twenty-five years old. Colors look great and the numerous blues hold up well with only some noticeable grain and noise here and there. The lack of cross coloration and only a very small amount of line noise during the panning scenes helps to make this a really great presentation of the show. I wasn't sure what I was going to get overall, and the show is definitely showing its age in the end, but the end results here should please the majority of Dirty Pair fans.
 
Packaging:
Nozomi has gone with what you could call traditional packaging for them these days with a solid chipboard box that holds three clear thinpak cases. Black is the order of the day as both the box and the thinpaks are covered in it with the focus being more on the character artwork. The box features Yuri stirking a cute pose on the front while the back side has Kei doing the same in a mirrored pose with an equally bright and fun smile. Their outfits are bright and colorful which stands out against the black background and the grays of what we see of a spaceship behind her. The back of box has a small glued on sheet that has the pairing of the two together with a brief summary of what the show is about and the extras that are available on the set.
 
Inside the box we get three really well done thinpaks with unique artwork. Each girl gets their own cover while the third volume puts the two of them together. The black background is again dominant here with the original logo along the top which allows the character artwork to really stand out. The back covers are all laid out the same with more of the black space showing us a few stars and planets with a small subset of pictures along the side which changes from volume to volume. Episode numbers and titles are also clearly listed here while each cover has its own individual technical grid that clearly breaks it all down. With no artwork on the reverse side, the thinpaks have a very minimal feeling overall but I love the look of it with clean artwork that allows the characters to stand out more than anything else.
 
What's really fantastic about this set is a lengthy booklet that's all text. Lots and lots of glorious text. It starts off with a 1993 interview with the series novel creator, Haruka Takachiho, which covers a lot of ground just under ten years after the series had aired in Japan. There's a lot of great material in there but it's the second one that won me over even more. A new interview was conducted with the author based on questions sent in by the fans fills it out and there's a lot to enjoy about his thoughts after all this time. I particularly liked his talk of what constitutes real sci-fi though I don't agree with it since it's hard to imagine being intimately familiar with a large output of Western SF if you're Japanese. Talking about the influences of people like Asimov, Heinlein and Clark make me particularly happy and wish that more Japanese science fiction novels were available.
 
Menu:
The menus for this release are simple but decent as they take the black theme from the packaging design and apply it here with various pieces of character artwork on each disc to tie it all together. The layout and design of it isn't anything too big but it fits the theme of the show in a way that sets the mood for it right. With the menus being static it doesn't pull you in too much but the whole thing is quick and easy to navigate, making it an easy experience to get into the show itself and get going. With little on the discs in general outside of the show and some trailers and only one real extra, everything is a breeze since it's just playing the show and enjoying that. Being a monolingual release, player presets aren't an issue at all.
 
Extras:
The extras for this release are spread across all three volumes as we get the clean ending on the first and a number of varied line art galleries spread across all of them.
 
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Dirty Pair came on strong in its first with a variety of fun stories with large action sequences that invariably has events crashing around the Lovely Angels. The pairing of Kei and Yuri is pretty standard material but like some of the best odd couple kinds of shows, they click in a way that makes it exciting and fun to watch as their opposite personalities clash yet find ways to work together when it counts. Most of the time. The amount of collateral damage along the way is part of the fun as is the way they try to get more and more money for each mission they do. There are certainly staples to most of the episodes but even with that they pull it off well.
 
The range of episodes here is similar to the first as it moves along. One story has some political machinations in order as a couple of candidates running for office are coming to the 3WA in order to talk to folks there. The girls find themselves in the office during it as they've discovered they're being shorted in their paychecks so they're taking it up with their boss. It's all well and fine until it's learned there's an assassin inside the building that's gunning for one of the candidates. The girls get sent to deal with it and it's fun watching them playing cat and mouse with the assassin while other little tidbits fall into it that has Yuri realizing there's something else going on here. Adventures within the 3WA building are certainly rare so having a chance to see them run around it and make an impression is fun.
 
Another fun story involves the girls being sent to hunt down a guy named BJ who is a star witness regarding a drug related incident. They have a lot of problems at first since they hit up and cause destruction at at the wrong hotel he was hiding out in but once they have him it only goes from bad to worse. Things are even bigger than they realized as the whole problem goes much higher than just what they know, it goes up into the police level as well as even Chief Gooley gets caught up in it when one of his bosses appears to be involved as well. That puts the main trio into the fun of having to work with each other and the level of destruction goes even further when that happens. There's something to be said for watching Yuri driving a large vehicle and crashing it into a building as hard as she does.
 
One story that deals with some of the girls past actions comes back to haunt them nicely as they're given a mission request by a man named Reamonn who actually lost his mother to one of their actions. They're really nervous about it and realize that their best bet is to get him to drop the case and that means winning him over with their feminine charms. That turns into an unhealthy competition between the two which is made all the worse when they realize he has an allergic reaction to women that get within a meter of him. And in the middle of this, there's someone else out there that's looking to kill him. This episode hits some fun notes to it and seeing the girls actively domestic to win him over just seems unnatural
 
While the majority of the set is standalone episodes, there is a two piece story here that's interesting to see unfold as it's a mystery involving the disappearance of 463 people on a interplanetary ship. The girls are brought in to figure out why the ship arrived with nobody on it, no crew or passengers, and discover what really happened. The man operating the investigation on the planet, Eddie, has a vested interest as his daughter was on there which ties in to the separation of him and his wife and the fact that his son lives with them. It takes advantage of the two episode length to make it a bit more involved with what's going on and it allows for Kei and Yuri to actually do some investigative work to solve it. It's got a nice hook to it with how the actual trick was pulled off, but that's only half the story there as it gets more involved with the real reasons behind why they were kidnapped. It's a story that definitely has a good bit of fun with things but knows when to play it serious too.
 
In Summary:
The Dirty Pair TV series has long been one of the holy grails of series that I wanted licensed and it's been fantastic going through it all over these two sets. This set is essentially a lot more of the same but that same is good fun with a lot of destruction alongside some girly fun as they want to go on dates, think about themselves and dress skimpily. The episodic nature of it keeps the stories short and fairly condensed but that works in its favor with the way the action plays out. The pacing keeps the story flowing well and while it has its brief lulls, it's primarily all about advancing things in a way that's fun, sometimes chaotic but always enjoyable. While the Dirty Pair isn't for everyone, this is a fun series that hits so many of the marks right that I already feel like going through it all again and savoring it outside of marathon form. These are iconic characters that I wish still had a strong life in modern anime.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles, Clean Closing, A booklet featuring line art, a special commentary by Dirty Pair creator Haruka Takachiho, and a 2010 interview with Mr. Takachiho

Review Equipment

 

Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.
 

 


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