Beginning in the year 2160, the stories follow the adventures of members of "Crusher Conference", an organization of people who perform dangerous tasks for a fee.
The series was adapted into a short (1 volume) manga series (illustrated by Fujihiko Hosono) in 1979, an animated film released in 1983, and two OVA short features released in 1989. The manga was published in English by Studio Ironcat in 2000, and the anime was released in English by Animeigo in 1997note . (There was also a heavily-cut dub-only version of the movie released in 1988, titled Crushers, by Jim Terry Productionsnote .) The light novels remain untranslated.
This series provides examples of:
- Arm Cannon: Talos has a machine gun hidden under his prosthetic left hand.
- Crossover: The prequel story Doruroi no Arashi covers the same events as Dirty Pair no Dairansen.
- Cyborg: Talos
- Ghost Ship: In the manga, Joe's team is hired to find a retrieve a freighter called St. Germi, which disappeared en route to its destination and since then seems to be traveling at random, leading to rumors that it's a ghost ship. In a way, it really is — the ship is being controlled by a psychic energy being, which was attracted to the ore on board the ship, because that kind of ore acts like a drug to it.
- Little Guy, Big Buddy: During the parts of the movie where they're separated from the other half of the team, Ricky and Talos.
- Small Boy, Big Gun: At one point in the movie, Ricky takes down some enemies with a shoulder-wielded assault cannon bigger than he is.
- Human Popsicle: The plot of the movie begins with Joe being hired to transport a cryogenically-preserved person.
- Rebellious Princess: Alfin
- Show Within a Show: In the movie, there's a scene at a drive-in theater where the film being shown features Kei, Yuri, and Mugi (whose character designs are much more like the ones in the original novels than in any later version of Dirty Pair, because the novels' illustrator Yasuhiko Yoshikazu was the character designer for the Crusher Joe movie); counts as a Continuity Nod. note
- Space Pirates: Some of the antagonists.