Mania Grade: B+
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- Audio Rating: B
- Video Rating: A-
- Packaging Rating: B
- Menus Rating: B+
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: TV PG
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: ADV Films
- MSRP: 24.98
- Running time: 190
- Aspect Ratio: Mixed
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Dirty Pair
Original Dirty Pair Movie Collection (Thinpak)
By Brett Barkley
November 08, 2005
Release Date: November 08, 2005
Original Dirty Pair Movie Collection (Thinpak)
What They Say
© ADV Films
It's as if the Dirty Pair are in your galactic neighborhood! The original girls with guns are back! Kei and Yuri, the Lovely Angels, top agents of the World Welfare & Works Association (3WA), known throughout the rest of the galaxy as angels of destruction! 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!
While, for the most part, the Dirty Pair bring their trademark mayhem and massive property destruction to the Original Dirty Pair Movie Collection set, this set itself is a mixed bag of entertainment value.Audio:
The three OVAs featured in the Original Dirty Pair Movie Collection set each offer English 2.0 and Japanese 2.0 with subtitles. Both audio tracks are fairly standard and are certainly clear without distortion. While definitely solid, the audio doesn't really stand out as anything spectacular.Video:
Project Eden is presented in 16:9 Anamorphic widescreen, while Flight 005 Conspiracy and Affair of Nolandia are both presented in the original 4:3 full frame aspect ratio.
The transfer for Project Eden is truly nothing short of spectacular. The colors were bright and consistent with solid blacks. In fact, I didn't find any graininess throughout the entire picture. Perhaps most impressive, considering the Project Eden OAV originally aired in 1987, I also detected next to zero dust or scratches on the film. I was tremendously impressed with the Project Eden transfer.
The Flight 005 Conspiracy transfer isn't quite as impressive, however. It wasn't nearly as clean, having more scratches and dust, and blacks weren't quite as true. In general, the color scheme was much more on the darker, on the more muted side and comes across feeling a bit older or dated in comparison.
Much the same can be said for Affair of Nolandia. Similar to Flight 005 Conspiracy, the transfer didn't meet the standard of quality as set by Project Eden. In the case of Affair of Nolandia, however, the effect is more noticeable. In general, the animation comes across as very flat by comparison.Packaging:
This is a really nice looking Thinpack set, featuring art from the first two movies in the collection on the front and reverse covers. The image colors are crisp and clean. The rest of the box features an eye-catching blue tone with a strong retro feel. The Original Dirty Pair logo is boldly stamped on the covers, the spine and top of the box. Considering the covers are more heavily toned with blue, the orange logo really pops.
The individual movies (01-Project Eden, 02-Flight 005 Conspiracy, and 03-Affair of Nolandia) are shipped in the standard Thinpack clear keep cases featuring simple cover designs, primarily comprised of an image of the Dirty Pair (occasionally with characters from the feature), Kei and Yuri, with the OVA title and number in the upper right corner of the cover. The reverse covers feature six images from the feature and a brief episode summary against a background of that nice retro blue from the Thinpack box. As with the box itself, the disc keep cases are simply designed, but actually stand out nicely. Menu:
The menus are fairly basic, but still nicely designed. Each menu from the three different OVAs features unique images of the Dirty Pair (usually from the keep case cover) set against a colorful background. The art itself is clean, crisp and bright, making the menus really pop. The OVA title is clearly listed (in a style identical to that on the cover the disc keep case) at the top of the screen. This is followed by: Play Feature, Languages, Previews (included on the Project Eden OVA only), and Credits in descending order. An audio loop unique to each feature plays throughout. Extras:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
From the disc reverse cover:
The original girls with guns are back in their first full length motion picture! Agerna is a planet rich in Vizorium, the one mineral necessary to space travel. So when a series of mysterious attacks on mining operations has the governments of the world pointing fingers and blaming each other, the World Welfare & Works Association naturally sends in their top agents to investigate. But are the lovely Angels up to the task of stopping a mad scientist bent on taking a long dormant alien race to its final evolutionary form? Throw in a thief after a bottle of vintage WWII wine and it's a safe bet that nobody on the planet is safe. It's more chaos, more mayhem and even more destruction than ever before as the Dirty Pair take on their wildest cast yet!
With a running time of roughly ninety minutes, Project Eden feels much like a feature film. And it certainly meets the requirements of high production values, a great plot, interesting characters with wildly differing motives, intriguing settings, and a great ending. From the great opening scene and the credits paying direct homage to the James Bond films, to the climactic ending, the production value remained consistently high. In fact, of the three features included in the Original Dirty Pair Movie Collection set, Project Eden is the all around strongest.
Originally airing in 1987, Project Eden looks absolutely beautiful. In general, the art and animation is of very high quality with consistent character likenesses and some great action sequences. The colors are bright and strong with true blacks throughout. The painted backgrounds are vibrant, beautiful, and intriguing. I was particularly fond of the intricate tech designs found nearly everywhere throughout the feature. Character designs are also well done with the Dirty Pair themselves sporting what I found to be the most interesting and best designed costumes of the three OVAs.
Project Eden's plot is interesting and engaging. While not placing as great an emphasis on mystery as does Flight 005 Conspiracy, the story builds on equal parts humor, suspense and action. There is a fair amount of animated violence, however, but it remains primarily on the level of eviscerating strange alien monsters. For the most part, the characters are all well handled and the viewer actually cares about the secondary characters and their motivations (in this case, primarily Carson D. Carson, master thief). Character interaction is strong, with one of the Dirty Pair actually developing feelings for Carson D. Carson. There was a slight amount of fan service and a bit of the Dirty Pair's trademark mischievousness with a truly humorous finale.
Flight 005 Conspiracy
From the disc reverse cover:
It's Chief Gooley's worst nightmare come true. The Lovely Angels are back on the job, but this time the 3WA's Central Computer has assigned them two cases at the same time: investigate a space liner explosion in which three hundred people died, but no one's come forward to claim any insurance money; and find a missing scientist and his family. Could the two cases be connected? Only the Central Computer knows and it's not talking. So it's up [to] the Dirty Pair to get down and dirty and solve the puzzle before time runs out for a grieving grandfather, his family and the universe!
With a running time of roughly fifty minutes and produced in 1990, Flight 005 Conspiracy looks fairly good and manages a tight and interesting story based largely on action and mystery. As stated above, it doesn't hold up visually as well as Project Eden, as I detected a fair amount of graininess throughout the feature. The animation is still top notch, however, with some great action scenes and massive explosions. The art style is consistently dark, which works nicely for this storyline, as it too is much darker than Project Eden. As in Project Eden, I found the attention given to tech detail to really add to the overall quality of the art
While very strong, and certainly interesting and engaging, I didn't find Flight 005 Conspiracy to be as humorous as Project Eden and the story takes a couple darker turns, including the deaths of two secondary characters. There was a bit more in the way of animated violence and a fair amount of death. I also didn't find the characters as well explored as in Project Eden. And again, while certainly having its moments of humor, the story ends on a very dark note (and interestingly the closing credits scroll over images of the two secondary characters killed during the course of the feature "like I said, very dark). So while there was plenty of action and mayhem, it also felt a little heavier than typical Dirty Pair storylines.
Affair of Nolandia
From the disc reverse cover:
Kei and Yuri have traced Missinie [sic] to the forest of Nolandi, but their investigations have stalled not thanks to a less than helpful Chief of Security. But the Dirty Pair have never let a little bureaucracy stand in their way. It's the unicorns and UFO's, not to mention the unstoppable, killer robot, that are going to be the problem as the Dirty Pair tackle their toughest case yet in Affair of Nolandia!
Lacking the production value and plot strength of either Project Eden or Flight 005 Conspiracy, I found Affair of Nolandia to be the weakest feature in the set. Originally produced in 1985, it is the oldest in the set, and it shows in the production quality. Much like Flight 005 Conspiracy, there is a fair amount of graininess and the colors appear dulled and flat. The animation quality also falls short of the prior two OVAs with numerous examples of recycled art and animation (the numerous scenes of running, stalking, and flying through the forests of Nolandia, for instance). For the most part, the backgrounds felt flat, lacking the luster of the richly painted shots in Project Eden and Flight 005 Conspiracy.
Considering I was very pleased with the art and attention paid to tech design in the first two features, Affair of Nolandia is a significant disappointment by comparison. There is very little intricacy in any of the designs. In fact, most of the technology featured in this OVA owe more to their contemporary counterparts, than to imaginative futuristic designs. The automobiles look and feel very much like automobiles of today and the spaceport appears as little more than a contemporary airport. Character designs in general appear duller and forgettable. In fact, even the Dirty Pair's costumes suffer from this apparent lack of production values, being much simpler and, frankly, more boring than found in the other two. There are a large number of strange and alien creatures featured in the Affair of Nolandia, but all feel uninspired, offering little more than slight variations on Earth animals (floating jellyfish and unicorns, anyone?).
As the production values, the animation and art are far weaker than the other two OVAs included in this set, so too does Affair of Nolandia's plot fall short of its counterparts. As the story includes a number of odd illusions (often doing little more than offering brief nudity and a great deal of confusion) that do little to engage the viewer. Dialogue is often difficult at best, with the Dirty Pair themselves inexplicably swinging from seriousness to nonsensical joking and frolicking through the forests of Nolandia (Hey, look, that unicorn just drowned in the lake. Let's go waterskiing there!) with absolutely no warning or reason. The majority of secondary characters appear to be written to type, simply written to serve the purpose of 'bad guy' or 'bad girl who only needs just a little push to be the self-sacrificing maternal figure' with little other depth than their stereotype. Whereas the other OVAs featured action sequences throughout, the majority of the action here occurs in the last few minutes and is also un-inspired In Summary:
I found the Original Dirty Pair Movie Collection set to be a mixed bag. The feature length Project Eden is the obvious standout of the three OVAs, featuring some stellar art and animation, as well as a decent story. The Project Eden transfer was very clean and impressive. Flight 005 Conspiracy didn't have quite the transfer quality of Project Eden, but sported some very nice, though a bit darker, animation and a story that, while a little difficult to follow at times, was interesting and engaging, though itself a fair bit darker. Affair of Nolandia was the disappointment of the set, sporting strange inconsistencies from the other OVAs, significantly poorer animation quality, and a story that just failed to ever really pick up.
As this set features a fair amount of disparity in quality, I was at once pleased with some of the material and disappointed in the other. I think this set is probably best suited for diehard Dirty Pair fans, or completists who don't yet own these particular OVAs.
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles
34" Sony FD Trinitron Wega HDTV KD-34XBR910 and Sony Dav-FR9 progressive scan Home Theatre System with 114 watts per channel to each speaker and 115 watts to each of the subwoofer's two woofers.