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You will remember to call them "Lovely Angels", won't you?

"It's not our fault!"

Humanity has abandoned Earth and spread across the galaxy, but that doesn't mean there aren't any problems any more. In fact, there are quite a lot of them, and some of them are worse than people could have dreamed of before going into space. An Heroes "R" Us agency of the galactic government called the Worlds Welfare & Works Association ("3WA") has its own special way of dealing with these problems — it dispatches teams of highly-trained, well-equipped troubleshooters, called "Trouble Consultants", to find the trouble and, well, shoot it.

One of the most successful teams of Trouble Consultants is the "Lovely Angels", two college-age girls who have a near-perfect success record. However, they also have the rather unfair reputation of blowing up everything they touch (for the record, only a third of their missions have ever ended with something being destroyed, and it's never actually their fault), which has led to their unofficial and hated nickname of the "Dirty Pair". On the other side of matters, a list of the things they have accidentally blown up would include a number of inhabited planets, so it's not as if their infamy is wholly undeserved.


Novelist Haruka Takachiho first created the Pair in 1979, in a series of stories published as Light Novels set in the same continuity as his other series Crusher Joe (which debuted 2 years earlier). The production studio Sunrise adapted the stories into a successful action/comedy TV series in 1985, which continued into a movie, an OVA series, and two feature-length OVAs. In 1994, the franchise was rebooted as Dirty Pair Flash. Meanwhile, Adam Warren (future author of Empowered) and Toren Smith (of translation house Studio Proteus, who left after the first three miniseries) obtained the rights to create an English-original manga-styled Dirty Pair comic miniseries for Dark Horse Comics, technically based on the original novels instead of the anime. As for the light novels themselves, they continued to be published all the way until 2007, when the eighth and final one was finally released.


The Dirty Pair anime was originally translated in the US by Streamline Pictures in the 90s, with the release of the movie and feature-length OVAs. Later, ADV Films released Flash, the OVA series, the feature-length OVAs, and the movie. They had plans to release the original TV series, which fell through due to poor sales. However, the TV series was finally licensed and released by Nozomi Entertainment. Nozomi followed up by re-releasing the movie, the original OVAs, and Flash in 2012, including both the ADV Films and the Streamline dubs (where applicable). The TV series is currently available on YouTube (via Manga Entertainment for Nozomi) and DVD.

Dark Horse Comics published translations of the first two light novels. They also published the comics by Adam Warren (after the original publisher Eclipse Comics went out of business), but those are out of print now.

Also, starting in March 2010, the seinen manga magazine Monthly Comic Ryu published an adaptation of the first light novel, The Great Adventures of the Dirty Pair, which was collected in two volumes. The artist for this version was Hisao Tamaki, who is most famous for the manga adaptation of Star Wars: A New Hope published by Dark Horse Comics. In April 2019, Seven Seas Entertainment announced that they had licensed the manga for release in December 2019 as an omnibus collection.

More information about the Dirty Pair, in all of their incarnations, is available at the website Tea Time in Elenore City.

(Original entry text written by Rob Kelk for The Anime Primer, and used with permission of the author.)


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    Original Dirty Pair (Light Novels and the '80s Anime) 
  • Absent Aliens: There is faster-than-light travel and humans have colonized the whole galaxy, but there are no aliens. There are two exceptions outside the series: The OVA "Affair of Nolandia" does have alien ruins and the technology that resides within, and in Project EDEN a scientist uses a dormant piece of an alien in his experiments. Every other piece of technology or strange creature you see is man-made.
  • Action Prologue: The Movie has one, not too surprising since it (and especially the opening credits) is very much a James Bond homage / pastiche.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: B.R.I.A.N., the central computer of Eleanor City, from episode one of the original series. He did not like discovering the kill-box installed into his system and took it out on the whole city... ironically justifying the kill-box.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: Though Mughi is a cat, he acts a lot like a dog, even licking Yuri and Kei's faces on occasion.
  • Allergic to Love: In both the TV series and Flash; both sufferers were rich, and Hilarity did Ensue.
  • Alphabet Architecture: The 3WA complex is a set of buildings that spell out "WWWA".
  • Alternate Continuity: Dirty Pair Flash, Adam Warren's Amerimanga, the classic anime, and the original Light Novels.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The TV series was dubbed into French and Italian, each with a different theme song from the Japanese.
  • Angels Pose: The many Back-to-Back Badass variants throughout the series, but the most famous one is the one in the Eye Catch, with Kei on the right ready to shoot and Yuri on the left springing to action with a whip.
  • Animation Bump:
    • Project EDEN has a brighter color palette, more detailed designs and more fluid animation than the other animated installments.
    • Flight 005 Conspiracy serves as one to the other OVAs.
  • Arcology: Damocles Tower from the 1985 series, the Angels' home. The tower leans at a visible angle in every appearance after the first episode, and all the other residents remember that Kei and Yuri were involved. (It wasn't their fault!)
  • Art Shift: A rather subtle one- episodes 10, 13, 15, 17 and 24 of the 1985 series were outsourced to Studio Gallop (the series' photography subcontractor), resulting in a more cartoony look for the characters than the other episodes.
  • Bath Kick: Yuri kicks Carson for falling into her bubble bath.
  • Bathtub Scene: The most prominent one being in the movie Project EDEN.
  • Battle Butler: Bruno, Professor Wattsman's manservant and defacto Dragon, from the Movie.
  • Berserk Button: Do not call Kei and Yuri the "Dirty Pair" to their faces. ("That's "Lovely Angels", dammit!")
  • Bruce Lee Clone: One of these shows up in an episode of the classic anime OVAs.
  • Bonus Episode: The 25th and 26th episodes of the TV anime never aired because the series was cancelled for low ratings — but they were released as a special OVA, "From the Lovely Angels with Love", immediately before the classic OVA series.
  • Calling Card: An episode of the TV anime has the Angels as bait for a Serial Killer, posing as a door-to-door salesman, who specializes in killing attractive young women in their apartments and carving one of the letters "B, K, P, Q, R" on their foreheads. The reveal is that there were two serial killers — playing chess with each other, using the letters and the victims' room numbers to represent their moves.
  • The Cameo:
    • In episode 14, when Kei is watching TV, we briefly see one TV channel showing something featuring Crusher Joe. The Crusher Joe movie itself features a longer show-within-the-show cameo appearance of Kei, Yuri, and Mugi. Since the original light novel versions of Crusher Joe and Dirty Pair are part of the same continuity, these qualify as continuity nods or mythology gags. Joe and company also pop up on Mughi's screen (as do the Yaz versions of the Angels) right before the big fight in Project EDEN.
    • A scene from the movie which has Kei and Yuri crashing a hover-car through the lobby of a building has Lum amongst the crowd of people running away in fear.
  • Canon Foreigner: Several in each of the several adaptations. The "classic" anime has Chief Gooley, Nanmo and Gooley's office rival, Calico. The OVA series put Nanmo on a bus, but introduces several other recurring supporting characters, like Gadgeteer Genius Doctor Q or Old Trouble Consultant Madame Beryl.note 
  • Cartwright Curse: Both Kei and Yuri have a habit of would be boyfriends not surviving the episode.
  • Casual Interstellar Travel: It's about as easy as air travel is today. One episode has the Angels traveling in a rental spaceship because Kei thought their Cool Starship would put off her date that week (which conveniently leaves them underarmed while facing the army of robot Space Fighters hunting them down.)
  • Chainmail Bikini: Hand waved in the novels with a "transparent polymer sheath" worn over the bikinis for protection. The author had based the design of the uniforms on female Professional Wrestling outfits.
  • Da Chief: Chief Gooley is like James Bond's M, only more ill-tempered.
  • Childhood Marriage Promise: Yuri got a message from someone who made one to her in the TV series.
  • Classy Cat-Burglar: Carson D. Carson, the Boy of the Week who works with the Pair in Project EDEN while trying to steal a wine bottle from the Big Bad.
  • The Con:
    • One TV episode ("Something's Amiss! Our Elegant Revenge") has the Angels agreeing to help a handsome Con Man with his latest job — talking a drug kingpin into agreeing to buy a worthless planet by way of the Violin Scam. The con man tries to betray the Angels so he can flee with the money, but they see it coming, and he and the kingpin are left helplessly watching it all burn.
    • In one of the Classic OVA episodes ("No One's Playing Anymore"), the Angels masquerade as a pair of rival Professional Gamblers in order to infiltrate a crooked casino, prove that the establishment's most popular game is rigged, and break a fellow Trouble Consultant's crippling gambling addiction.
  • Cool Ship: The Lovely Angel. Even though its appearance is different for every series, OVA and movie.
  • Cult Colony: The OVA episode "Challenge to the Gods! We're Not Afraid Of Your Divine Wrath" has the Angels investigating the murder of several hundred corporate employees on a Space Amish world — with the "God" of the colony's religion as the prime suspect. Although Yuri is able to Do in the Wizard of the miracles performed by the cultists and their god (a cult member chosen to be uploaded to a Master Computer), the self-styled deity doesn't see any contradiction. Kei is just on the warpath because two handsome Boys of the Week get Stuffed in the Fridge in less than 20 minutes.
  • Cyber Punk: Both the classic anime version and Flash flirt with this.
  • Darker and Edgier: The tone of Affair of Nolandia and Flight 005 Conspiracy are much more somber and serious compared to the tone of the series.
  • Dark-Skinned Redhead: Kei is the Ur-Example of this trope.
  • Death Dealer: Yuri and the Bloody Card, a self-propelled Attack Drone the size and shape of a playing card, with razor-sharp edges.
  • Destructive Saviour: Not all the time, but enough.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: The Dirty Pair's absurdly destructive luck constantly triggers ways for their missions to end in disaster.
  • "Die Hard" on an X: The first episode of the TV animenote  introduced Kei and Yuri fighting their way through an arcology tower whose A.I., B.R.I.A.N., is trying to Kill All Humans.
  • The Dreaded: If there is an understandable reason why Kei and Yuri hate their titular nickname, it's because almost everybody who says it around them looks like they are expecting the world to end right after they recognized them (and considering the Pair's luck, that's not far off. Part of the reason why such shit happens is because the bad guys escalate like crazy when they find out that they are after them).
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The movie features a struggle between two political powers constantly on the verge of war. When you see those powers' flags, it becomes all too obvious that it's a Cold War thing.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Kei in the original series. Yuri in the Project EDEN movie.
  • Dub Name Change: Kei and Yuri are known as Dan and Danny in the French dub of the TV series, and Kate and Julie in Italian.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: But it's never their fault.
  • Effortless Amazonian Lift: As the "muscle" of the pair, Kei can carry around men far heavier than she is.
  • Evilutionary Biologist: Professor Wattsman from Project EDEN, who believes that the fossils he discovered in Vizorium deposits are actually a race of superhumans in hibernation that can surpass a stagnant humanity — no matter how many times he only creates monsters.
  • Extraordinarily Empowered Girl: Varies from version to version, but Kei and Yuri are always elite members of a peacekeeping agency, with some add-ons like top-of-the-line gear or being genetically engineered.
  • Fanservice: They don't call'em "battle bikinis" for nothing, you know.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: Both Kei and Yuri wear slightly different-length boots on their animated versions.
  • Fashion Dissonance: It's obvious the anime versions were made during The '80s just by looking at Kei's and Yuri's character designs.
  • Fantastic Drug: In the OVA series, we are introduced to a drug called "Hustle," which promotes muscle growth and gives the user feelings of invincibility. Kei and Yuri have to face a rogue 3WA agent who's become a kingpin for the drug, and who is high on her own supply.
  • Finagle's Law: The reason for the titular nickname and everybody fearing it: the Lovely Angels are so destructive by pure bad luck that people expect apocalyptic destruction (and them being casualties) every time they are around.
  • First-Person Smartass: Kei, as the narrator of the light novels.
  • Fun with Acronyms: WWWA: Worlds Work Welfare Association. But really based on Women's World Wrestling Federation, the wrestling group that inspired the stories - and the Battle Bikini uniforms - in the first place.
  • Future Spandex: Worn by the heroines.
  • Gender-Blender Name:
    • The name "Kei" is Unisex, but is traditionally more used for males.
    • Yuri is somewhat of a mixed example, as it's a female name in Japan, and a male name in Eastern Europe.
  • Genius Ditz: Both of the Angels tend to act like some variety of the Brainless Beauty until it's time to get dangerous. And sometimes, even then...
  • Girls with Guns: Probably kicked off the genre, at least within anime.
  • Godzilla Threshold: The Lovely Angels are the absolute last resort.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Used to great effect in Flight 005 Conspiracy. When Danny is murdered, we don't see his face getting blown apart. Instead, it occurs offscreen with a sickening squelch sound, accompanied by some viscera hitting Kei in the face.
  • "The Graduate" Homage Shot: Used in one of the episodes of the OAVs, when Kei has to stop Yuri's wedding to the scion of a crime syndicate.
  • Grand Theft Me: One TV episode has the Angels hired by a space travel magnate to deliver a ransom to a woman who'd kidnapped his young heir; the Action Prologue for the episode has the "kidnapper" rescue him from an arranged marriage. The pair seem to be in love through most of the episode, but as soon as the Briefcase Full of Money is in her hands, she delivers a speech to her lover about how It Was All a Lie... until the briefcase gets knocked out of her hands. The briefcase also carried a device that let the magnate's secretary(/Dragon) take over the woman's body as the finale of a Batman Gambit to break the couple up. (See Time Dilation for what happens next.)
  • Hair Colors:
    • Kei's is supposed to be red, but it usually looks orange, if not pink.
    • Yuri's hair is described in the novels as black, but Adam Warren's is the only adaptation that doesn't change it to blue or violet.
  • Heroes "R" Us: The 3WA
  • Hero Insurance: Definitely parodied by the Angels' record.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: The trope was started by editors trying to figure out where to place Kei and Yuri's partnership. Sometimes extrapolated by fans to Girls' Love.
  • Human Popsicle: The reason why Kei and Yuri never showed up in Crusher Joe aside from their cameo in the movie, as confirmed by a 2004 light novel that has them waking up from said cryogenic stasis in the year 2294, which is after the events of Crusher Joe. note 
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: Those "battle bikinis" again.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Unsurprisingly, Chief Gooley keeps a bottle in his desk — a bottle of antacid.
  • In the Blood: All members of Lucifer are related to each other by blood—even very (and that is very) distant relatives are scouted for recruitment by way of playing the "I Am Your Father" card.
  • Kawaiiko: Yuri, who almost always tries to act like a demure-yet-modern Yamato Nadeshiko... frequently trying too hard, unless something or someone (usually Kei) sets her off.
  • Kill All Humans: B.R.I.A.N., the Master Computer controlling the arcology where the Angels live in the first episode of the TV anime.
  • Landing in Someone's Bathtub: Project EDEN has Carson land in Yuri's tub, and then Kei's tub, while they're taking a bath in an abandoned factory during a mission.
  • Laser Blade: Kei gets to use one in Project EDEN.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In the original series, when Yuri suggests that if life were a TV show, a hunk would offer them a lift. Cue an old man.
  • Lemony Narrator: Takachiho's original stories are (depending on whom you ask) either annoyingly marred or significantly enlivened by being narrated by Kei. Her accounts of the Angels' adventures include bizarre, tangential, and frequently titillating details (she will tell you, in detail, how good her butt looks in uniform); occasional putdowns of Yuri, who's often depicted (rather suspiciously) as slightly vain and constantly on the make for potential paramours, especially if she can steal them from Kei; and what can only be described as ploys to gain the audience's sympathy. Everything suddenly becomes more comprehensible when one realizes that Kei is trying to flirt with whomever she's telling the stories to.
  • Light Novels: The original source material of the franchise. Flash also spawned a separate Light Novel series, which didn't last as long as the originals.
  • Lingerie Scene: One episode of the anime series has Kei running around in a bra and panties.
  • The Load: The 25th TV episode, "The Boy in the Mansion Is a Terminator", has Gooley assign his co-worker Calico to temporarily partner with Kei, to get back at both of them for trying to cover for Yuri being on a date. Calico points out that he aced his marksmanship courses, but Kei is painfully aware he has no field experience. His blunders (he has enthusiasm, but little else) manage to get Kei captured, Strapped to an Operating Table, and about to relive the laser scene from Goldfinger before Yuri can come to their rescue.
  • Locked in a Freezer: Kei gets trapped in a refrigerator in the final TV episode, in an incident involving the last piece of cheesecake and a fire extinguisher. All it does is give her a cold.
  • Logic Bomb: Kei manages to pull this on the supercomputer B.R.I.A.N. in the first episode of the TV series, by double-dog-daring it to calculate whether she or Yuri is more attractive — distracting it long enough to arrange a Tele-Frag.
  • Lovable Rogue: Carson D. Carson, small-time thief and smuggler, and the Boy of the Week in Project EDEN.
  • Lovely Angels: The Trope Namer.
  • Mad Scientist: Professor Wattsman. By the end of the movie he's still convinced that he's just created a new race that will take total control of the universe.
  • Master Computer: The 3WA Central Computer, which assigns the Pair's cases, investigates the aftermath, and clears them of guilt. Several other examples appear throughout the franchise.
  • Mega Neko: Mughi. The original Sunrise anime adaptations portrayed him as a big, clumsy, and hapless Comic Relief sidekick, compared to the Panthera Awesome version from the light novels.
  • Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds: Buildings, worlds, and even entire solar systems destroyed. Remember: It's never their fault.
  • Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: A frequent occurrence. For example:
  • Ms. Fanservice: Both of them wear a uniform that consist of a low-cut, midriff-bearing halter and short-shorts. (And this is from 1985, no less.)
  • Mugged for Disguise: Done by Yuri when she poses as a train attendant in one episode. The real attendant ends up Bound and Gagged inside a cupboard.
  • Named After Someone Famous: The duo, and by that extent the show itself, were named after the famous Joshi Wrestling tag team, the "Beauty Pair", which is why they were mistaken for Pro Wrestlers in Episode 1.
  • Nebulous Evil Organisation:
    • "Lucifer", which mainly plays a role in the novels. The organization is responsible for the events of Flight 005 Conspiracy, and the Big Bad of Flash is a member.
    • In one of the episodes of the television series, "the Devil's Syndicate" gets a mention.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The Series.
  • Nonhuman Sidekick: Mughi
  • Noodle Incident: The Claretta trinary star incident, among others.
  • No Periods, Period: Played with in one episode:
    "Head over to the biogenetics lab right away!"
    "I can't make it today."
    "Why not?"
    "I have that monthly, um... you know..."
    "Oh... you mean...?"
    "I've got a date!"
  • Odd Couple: Kei is a slob and a Trigger Happy gun bunny, while Yuri is a walking Yamato Nadeshiko with a preference for weapons like pistols or the Bloody Card.
  • On the Next: Spoofed in the anime. Kei and Yuri never actually talk about the next episode.
  • Panty Fighter: Are there, perhaps, too many versions of the Battle Bikini? As a topic name, anyway — you can never have too many versions of a Battle Bikini...
  • Persona Non Grata: Usually happens in the aftermath of their cases, assuming there's a place left to ban anything...
  • Pre-Explosion Glow
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: The Lovely Angels often have tremendous collateral damage, yet they are still treated as the heroes because "It's not our fault!" It seriously isn't.
  • Psychic Powers: Kei and Yuri have Wonder Twin Clairvoyance, which were the reason that the 3WA recruited them in the Light Novels. The only installment of the original Sunrise anime to include the powers was Affair of Nolandia, and Flash simply ignored them. Adam Warren's version, which was loosely based on the Light Novels for legal reasons, Does in the Wizard by explaining the powers as a prank Kei and Yuri used to pull in college.
  • Pun: There's one OVA episode about an illegal steroid called "Hustle", and the English dub is unable to resist inserting at least one reference to "doing the Hustle."
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Kei and Yuri practically define this trope for Lovely Angels teams. The idea of the two contrasting personalities interacting, the way they bounce off one another or back each other up, was actually the hook that Takachiho used to convince his editors that a series with a pair of female protagonists could work in the first place.
  • Replacement Goldfish: The villains of the 25th episode are a not-so-evil old couple who became counterfeiters to take revenge on the bank that used their son as a scapegoat, driving him to suicide. The couple, who were also a pair of Robot Masters, also created a robot duplicate of their son, who inevitably goes on a rampage; the episode title is "The Boy in the Mansion Is a Terminator" for a reason, after all.
  • Restraining Bolt: Subverted in the TV series; B.R.I.A.N. decides to Kill All Humans because one was installed in him.
  • Robot Buddy: Nanmo, an original character for the anime.
  • Rule of Cool: In one episode, they reach the bad guys' base via orbital-insertion paradrop, followed by sky-surfing on the updraft from an active volcano followed by surfing on the lava!
  • Science Fiction
  • Secret Public Identity: Throughout the series the girls do nothing to hide their identities. On the other hand virtually no-one realizes just who they are until they check computer records — or someone uses that name. It's not like they look like anyone else (well there is one TV episode where they do... sorta).
  • Shout-Out:
    • The computer screens often contain blatant shout-outs, starting in the first episode where one screen flashes the names of the entire cast of Star Trek.
    • As a result of the numerous shout outs to the original series, the producers of Star Trek: The Next Generation sneaked in a few references to the Pair. For instance in "Conspiracy", a graphic of Dytallix B has what looks like an upside down silhouette of Kei and another of Yurinote . More obviously, the Exocomps from "The Quality Of Life" were blatantly inspired by Nanmo.
    • Another interesting example: a list of people who have a grudge against Kei and Yuri apparently includes Bruce Springsteen, Phil Collins, and "Eric Crapton".
    • The series is also one giant shout-out to Professional Wrestling, more specifically the joshi promotion All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling. The Dirty Pair name is a reference to the Beauty Pair, AJW's top tag team of the Seventies and Eighties, while the Lovely Angels codename is a reference to another tag team called the Queen Angels. The organization's initials (3WA) are also a reference to the company's title belts (WWWA World and WWWA Tag Team championships). This is all lampshaded in the first episode of the series when, after Kei and Yuri announce their arrival, a member in the crowd expresses disbelief at being saved by "pro wrestlers".
    • An official calendar was made for the show that had Kei and Yuri parodying popular movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars, Blade Runner, and Beverly Hills Cop.
    • Mughi is a Coeurl, a feline monster from The Voyage of the Space Beagle.
  • Show Some Leg:
    • In at least two stories, Kei has thrown an enemy off by flashing her breasts. The first time was as the capstone to an Indy Ploy plan — the Angels, suddenly caught by a group of guards after Kei sneezes, distract them by casually walking up to them while arguing loudly about each other's assets, then mug them for their uniforms.
      Kei: [reaching for her top] Say what you want, because in the end, men go for boobs!
      [flashes guards, who gawk while Yuri is shocked]
      Kei: [while immediately elbowing one guard] See!
      Yuri: [kicking remaining guard] Guess so!
    • In an earlier episode, Yuri plays it exactly as the name says (this qualifies as Let's Get Dangerous! for Yuri).
    • The first episode of the original OVA series has Yuri pull this simply by being a woman in a maximum security prison where most of the inmates haven't seen a woman for years. All she has to do is stand hipshot, giggle, and run her hands seductively through her long hair, and a handful of guys run straight into an ambush.
  • Small Girl, Big Gun: Kei, most prominently. As an example, Yuri's personal sidearm is more manageable, but Kei's is described In-Universe to be quite the Hand Cannon.
  • Space Trucker: The last episode of the classic OVA series, "No Need to Listen to the Bad Guys, We Are Space Truckers!", has the Angels go undercover as rookie space truckers to investigate the attacks being made on independent truckers by agents of a Mega-Corp.
  • Space Western: The ninth TV episode ("Hire Us! Beautiful Bodyguards are a Better Deal") has the girls working undercover for rival gangs on a desert planet. Kei goes for the classic look, Yuri goes for a serape. Sometimes called the "Yakisoba Western" episode.
  • Spanner in the Works: They solve more cases this way...
  • Spy Catsuit: The girls' alternate uniform during the TV series (in purple/black).
  • Strapped to an Operating Table: In the 25th TV episode, Kei is strapped in one with a laser heading towards her crotch. Yuri is able to shut it off just as the laser is close enough for Kei to feel the heat near her loins.
  • Stripperiffic: Just look at the picture at the top of this page.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: At least once a story and in one case no less than five solar systems.
  • Team Pet: Mughi
  • Tele-Frag: The Angels destroy a rogue A.I. in the first episode of the TV series by having a spaceship warp into its core.
  • Time Dilation: Episode 7 of the TV series has a space travel magnate trying to separate his son from a lover he disapproved ofnote  by launching her on the prototype of a slower-than-light "Time Dilation Tour" ship he has handy; the plan is that she'd only return after the son has aged the fifty years of the trip, so would he still love her then, bwa-ha-ha. The Lovely Angels can't stop the launch, but free the son in time for him to follow his love on another of the ships. The father gets on the final ship because he can't live without his son.
  • Title Confusion: The Movie was originally called Dirty Pair: The Movie, but virtually everyone — including ADV Films — calls it Project EDEN, after the Mad Scientist villain's master plan. It's understandable since the Battle Butler literally bangs a gong after Professor Wattsman says the magic words.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Kei is the tomboy and Yuri is the Yamato Nadeshiko girly girl.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: There are several gags relating to Kei's love of cheesecake.
  • Unluckily Lucky: The lucky part is that they always survive their missions no matter how insane the odds and always solve the problem (statistically speaking, they have a 100% solve rate, which is why the Central Computer keeps clearing them)... the "unlucky" part is the apocalyptic amounts of collateral damage that they almost always trigger.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Most versions display this trope to one degree or another, frequently arguing Like an Old Married Couple. (See Heterosexual Life-Partners.)
  • Walking Disaster Area: Hence the "Dirty Pair" nickname.
  • War for Fun and Profit: In the OVA episode "Red Eyes are the Signal of Hell. Follow the Slaughter Squad!", the squad of soldiers with Night-Vision Goggles the Angels are investigating turn out to be brainwashed soldiers kidnapped by a perverted Arms Dealer who had been appearing in the background during the episode, selling to both sides of the civil war. Naturally, he wanted to keep the government and rebels from signing a truce, and mysteriously lethal commandos attacking rebels would do the trick. His biggest mistake: he made it personal for the Dirty Pair, several times over.
  • Whack A Mole: Episode 17 of the anime has the Angels following a tip that a wanted assassin will be aboard a spaceliner in disguise. After our suspects for the episode are introduced, the ship's captain complicates the plot by sabotaging everything, setting course toward a black hole, locking the ship's controls, and killing himself. The assassin — also a genius cryptanalyst — is the only one aboard who can save the ship. But who'll be alive by then?
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Yuri
  • Zeerust: In the original novels reference such amazing inventions as energy weapons, flying cars, and MicroFiche.

    Dirty Pair Flash 
  • Amusement Park: The second series revolved around "World's World", a theme-park planet dedicated to faithfully recreating the culture of the Earth That Was. Since most of the story arc is set around the "20th-century Tokyo" area, this effectively served as a Setting Update.
  • Bald, Black Leader Guy: Well, Ambiguously Brown — Poporo, the Angels' new supervisor starting with the second series.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: One episode ends with the pair charging who knows how many robots. Then subverts when they are shown after the credits wearing twin Slasher Smiles.
  • Canon Foreigner: Most significantly, Lady Flare and Toma.
  • Carnival of Killers: In episode 5, Waldess is on the run from both the 3WA and the criminal organization Lucifer, and is trying to escape by spaceport. The 3WA's plan to arrest him is complicated by the fact that virtually every other person in the spaceport is an assassin sent to kill him.
  • Da Chief: Garner and Poporo, both of whom were obvious homages to Gooley and his predecessors in the light novels.
  • Close-Call Haircut: Lady Flare; doubles as an Important Haircut for her Heel–Face Turn.
  • Cowboy Cop: Kei's arc in the first series/Mission. After Lady Flare assasinates a witness she was bodyguarding, Kei becomes obsessed with defeating her, which leads her onto the trail of Waldess and the GCN's plot. She unilaterally Turns In Her Badge while trying to pursue the case, but eventually returns to the 3WA after becoming worried about becoming like Flare herself.
  • Combining Mecha: The Lovely Angel can separate into two ships.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: After Yuri accidentally blows up a space station, the girls are ordered to send each of the 300,000 survivors a hand-written letter of apology.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Waldess from the first series/Mission — CEO of the GCN Mega-Corp, a member of the Lucifer crime syndicate, and the Big Bad of the storyline.
  • Costume Exaggeration: It had Kei go through a literally bra-bursting transformation sequence in the first episode, never seen again.
  • "Die Hard" on an X: The episode "The Grey Avenger", featuring a terrorist attacking 3WA headquarters and trapping the Angels inside, together with Da Chief and his young daughter.
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: Waldess performs this in the sixth episode of the first series after using a backdoor to take control of the gigantic Siren communications relay station. Not even the holographic meetings of Lucifer's Omniscient Council of Vagueness are immune. Waldess attempts to convince the galaxy that he's the Chosen One to embody the will of the people to cleanse corruption from the universe, but nobody pays attention to his speech.
  • Evil Counterpart: Lady Flare, a mysterious assassin who Kei forms a rivalry with that threatens to lead her to the dark side. Appropriately, Flare turns out to be Iris, a former 3WA agent and an Expy of the original anime's version of Kei.
  • Extreme Sport Excuse Plot: The beach volleyball episode. The Galaxy Cup tournament is Not Just a Tournament because the sponsor is a criminal who keeps himself hidden from his enemies at all times, and can only be guaranteed to appear in person to award medals to the tournament winners. Because the 3WA wants to arrest him, that means Kei and Yuri need to win the Galaxy Cup.
  • Gave Up Too Soon: During the flashback to Lady Flare's Start of Darkness in the final episode, Iris throws down her communicator in frustration after she's told that backup won't be coming. Shortly afterward, when Iris/Flare calls out Garner and the 3WA for leaving her and Molly to die, Garner responds that he'd been on his way for them, but suddenly lost their communication signal — and Iris suddenly remembers throwing the communicator on the ground again.
  • Groin Attack: The first episode of the OVA series has Yuri kicking a goon from the Mega-Corp GCN in the groin after he began to harass her about an item that she had gotten from a recently deceased man. It's safe to say that his teammates weren't too pleased to see this and that they eventually went after Yuri, who somehow got Kei involved in the chase as well.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Dirty Pair Flash has a different naming pattern for each of its three parts:
    • The first part's episode titles are follow this pattern: <English adjective> Angel. (The last episode is titled "Lovely Angels", plural.)
    • The second part's episode titles are in mixed Japanese kanji, katakana, and romaji/English, and contain at least one English word each. (e.g. "キラキラ純愛 Flower Shop", or "Sparkling Flower Shop of Love".)
    • The third part's episode titles follow this pattern: <color name in Japanese or English> ? <noun in Japanese> [<approximately the same noun in English>]. (e.g. "ピンクの狙撃手 (スナイパー)", or "Pink Sniper".)
  • I'm Dying, Please Take My MacGuffin: The first episode has a dying 3WA agent stumble across Yuri and beg her to deliver a data card to headquarters. She and Kei spend the rest of the episode trying to pass the buck to each other while either defending the card from their pursuers or trying to reclaim the card after it's stolen.
  • Important Haircut: In the last episode of the first series, Lady Flare gets a Traumatic Haircut when Waldess tries to shoot her after her Heel–Face Turn. Significantly, hairstyle inertia causes the remaining hair to style itself into a Boyish Short Haircut resembling her haircut as Iris (which, naturally, resembles Kei's hairstyle from the original Sunrise anime).
  • Innocuously Important Episode: The first episode of the first series; despite seeming like a filler episode, the data card MacGuffin plays a role in the development of the rest of the plot, and the episode also introduces several other characters and elements that play important roles (such as the Siren station, along with the previous Lovely Angels Molly and Iris).
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: The fourth episode has Yuri sent into the virtual-reality dreamworld of a witness the 3WA needs to testify against the Big Bad. Most of the storyline is a Heroic Fantasy pastiche, but the ending is clearly a metaphor for the witness reaching an epiphany about how he'd been living his life.
  • Kawaiiko: Yuri is Flanderized into an extreme example, but goes through Character Development down to tolerable levels.
  • Laser Blade: Yuri's beam sword.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In the dub, the girls are giving advice to a lovelorn hacker. Yuri suggests taking her to a nice foreign film. Kei interjects "Nah, movies with subtitles are boring!"
  • Leotard of Power: Flash has the Angels' battle outfits as differently accessorized versions of this.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: Yuri has to free a scientist from one of these in an episode.
  • Marilyn Maneuver: Yuri in the episode, "Hot Springs Steamy Romantic Tour". While she's trying to steady a helicopter, her dress receives a draft from outside and reveals her pantyhose in full and peach-with-periwinkle-flower-patterns-panties underneath. Kei mentions panties and Yuri quickly holds down her skirt and sits in a chair, then closes the door.
  • Master Swordsman: Yuri is very, very good with a beam sword, frequently demonstrating Implausible Fencing Powers like cutting goons' clothing apart.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Averted with Garner. Despite his history with the previous generation of Lovely Angels, and taking several wounds during the final battle, he ends the final episode polishing a new set of golf clubs.
  • The Minnesota Fats: Lady Flare, a rogue ex-3WA agent who repeatedly outmatches the Angels throughout the series.
  • Monowheel Mayhem: In the OVA series Dirty Pair Flash Mission 3, a young female assassin called Monica drives a Red Futuristic Monowheel.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Iris, part of a Generation Xerox of Kei and Yuri, once used the same uniform that the Pair wore in the classic anime version, and is clearly an Expy of that version of Kei. Her history as an agent turned mercenary might also be a nod to Shasti from the Adam Warren version.
    • Later, Yuri wears her classic counterpart's uniform as part of a series of cosplay outfits for a White Prince — long story.
  • Origins Episode: The first series/Mission revolves around Kei and Yuri developing into true partners.
  • Potty Emergency: Yuri has a case of this in Episode 15.
  • Prophetic Names: You just know Lily is there to teach Yuri a lesson, since her name is a translation of Yuri's.
  • The Seven Mysteries: Flash squeezes this in to a High School Bizarro Episode. Kei and Yuri are forced to stay at a girls' boarding school while trapped on World's World, and the Theme Park Version of a girl's school naturally includes this trope.
  • Shout-Out: Continuing the Trek theme, one episode of Flash makes a reference to "Mudd's Passion Planet".
  • Skunk Stripe: This incarnation of Kei has a shock of blonde hair contrasting with her traditional red hair.
  • Space Elevator: Complete with an orbital ring at the top for all of them to connect to.
  • Stalker with a Crush: The episode "My Boy in Rose Color" featured a young Bishōnen rich boy obsessed with Yuri. After falling in Love at First Sight, he had observed her from a distance, and built a robot based on what he believed her to be like (which was very, very different than she actually was). Yuri gets drafted to replace the robot after Kei accidentally destroys it when the boy took it out for a date. (The boy's father donates 14 percent of the funding the 3WA receives from civilians, so they're very interested in keeping him happy.) Yuri eventually tried to convince him to stop believing in his false impressions of what she was like. She hoped that by doing this, he would then learn to fall in love with the real Yuri. Unfortunately for Yuri, this just ended his crush on her... at which point he began a relationship with a girl who had been a Stalker with a Crush for him. Yuri was not happy about this result.
  • That Man Is Dead: Happens twice with Lady Flare in the last episode of the first series. First, when Chief Garner encounters her on the Siren station and recognizes Iris, Flare retorts that "Iris" died years ago, along with Molly. Later, after Flare/Iris dies while stopping Waldess' plan to nuke galactic civilization, we learn that Garner had fudged the official report of the mission to claim that Iris had been reinstated and "killed" Flare before dying in the line of duty.
  • Training from Hell: Coach Gazelle, a 3WA fitness instructor, puts the pair through a rigorous and often humiliating set of drills and exercises, to win a volleyball tournament of all things.
  • Transformation Sequence: One of the most controversial changes made in Dirty Pair Flash; Kei and Yuri both had wristbands that could change them into their uniforms (or any specialized clothing needed) this way.
  • Transforming Mecha: In the first episode, the team of GCN goons trying to steal the MacGuffin from Kei and Yuri hijack a car from the leader of a bosozoku gang, and accidentally shifts it into Humongous Mecha mode a few scenes later. The goons complain about not being able to get a clear shot while hanging off the sides of the robot. The bosozoku leader defends the honor of his Cool Car by saying that it's trendy.

    Adam Warren's Dirty Pair 
  • Action Survivor: Cory Emerson, the Intrepid Reporter from the "Plague of Angels" miniseries, becomes one of these when she's drawn into one of the Angels' cases.
  • Baleful Polymorph: The Boy of the Week, Kelvin O'Donnell, from the original "Biohazards" miniseries has his mind uploaded into a Ridiculously Cute Critter by the villain Streib, a Corrupt Corporate Executive who blames O'Donnell for an accident that left him paralyzed unless he always wears a suit of Powered Armor (and unable to use cyberware or upload his mind elsewhere). Kei and Yuri manage to rescue the creature before it can be eaten by Streib's warbeasts.
  • Body Surf: Carvalho from "A Plague of Angels", the leader of a cell of A.I. terrorists who hijacks their victims' bodies by swapping the thumb drives containing themselves onto their Brain–Computer Interface ports.
  • Bond One-Liner: Warren's version (allegedly) took a course in this during 3WA training — "Combat Quips".
  • Canon Foreigner:
  • Chekhov's Armory: In "Sim Hell", the Dirty Pair discover a stash of BTR files relating to various black projects, many of which become relevant both later in the story and in "Fatal But Not Serious".
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Shasti goes out of her way to backstab anyone she no longer needs for her plans.
  • Cloning Blues: In "Fatal but Not Serious" a clone of Yuri is made and is told she's in a training simulation where her objective is to kill the "simulated" Kei and Yuri. Thinking she's in a consequence-free simulation, she indulges in her bad side and gets some tattoos, and causes even more collateral damage than usual, up to and including making a star go nova.
  • Cyber Punk: This version, drifting towards full-scale Transhumanism as time passed.
  • Designer Babies: Kei and Yuri in this version are both genetically enhanced, as are many others in their universe.
  • Dying Dream: In "Sim Hell", Kei's nightmare of dying in a crash and being sent to hell (during the prologue) is later hinted to have been an actual near-death experience.
  • Evil Counterpart: Shasti, a former 3WA super-agent gone rogue.
  • Fan Convention: "Fatal but not Serious" is set at "Kei 'n' Yuri Con '41", a textbook example of the trope with huge crowds, dealers' rooms, and long lines to get autographs from the guests of honor, the Angels themselves. Things are complicated by an Evil Clone of Yuri who caused the local star to start going supernova before trying to kill the original Pair, as well as a terrorist who released a Hate Plague causing the guests to attack the Angels.
  • Fantastic Drug: Several sci-fi drugs are brought up at different points, this being a future filled with transhuman technology.
    • Wardrugs are implants that inject a tranquilizing cocktail into the blood after a serious injury. At one point Kei gets her leg half blown off, and starts "glanding" Wardrugs. She identifies "no-shock" and "happy juice", the latter of which makes her very giggly.
    • There is also a chemweapon called "Proust-in-a-Can", which places the victim into a coma while they are locked into re-experiencing a distant memory and "Crybaby", which forces the target to become a harmless, crying mess (as well as recalling things that they find hurtful, fueling the misery they feel).
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: Weaponized during "Run From The Future". Kei and Yuri are on opposite sides of the Nimikasi station, and Yuri's closer to one of their targets that Kei really wanted to capture — so they agree to take control of each others' bodies temporarily. At the end of the miniseries, when Kei is captured, bound, and about to suffocate, her only hope is to take control of Yuri's body again while she's high on "Proust-In-A-Can" and rescue them both before it's too late
  • Gambit Roulette: In the second miniseries, Shasti uses a multi-layer roulette to pull off The Caper by metaphorically or literally seducing a succession of patsies to get what she needs to go forward, then eagerly and sadistically murdering once they had outlived their usefulness. The Angels only get on her trail when Kei sees her in a crowd at random and goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Hate Plague: In "Fatal but Not Serious", a terrorist has one of these engineered, and uses it to turn a convention of fans of the Lovely Angels into Laser Guided Tykebombs aimed straight at them.
  • Imagine Spot: In "A Plague of Angels", one Running Gag is Intrepid Reporter Cory Emerson imagining lurid If It Bleeds, It Leads newspaper headlines while attempting to interview Kei and Yuri for a puff piece. Being drawn into their latest case does not help in any way.
    (When the Angels talk about being scouted as "Model-Actress-Whatevers") Vocational Shocker Could Have Been Worse — They Could Have Been Singers!
    (After hearing the story about being recruited to the 3WA after pretending to have psychic powers) Because of "psychic hoax"... MILLIONS HAVE DIED SCREAMING (It's True)
    Cory: (Dazed and wounded during the final battle in the series, thinking) "Exposed — The 3WA's absurdist plot to annihilate the human race — A little cheesecake makes the bitter main course of species extinction go down easier..."
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: Most of the plot of "Sim Hell" involves Kei and Yuri being forced to escape Virtual Reality scenarios that are either Virtual Training Simulations, idyllic scenarios designed to trap users, or Psychological Torment Zones.
  • The Minnesota Fats: Shasti, a super-agent who briefly trained the Lovely Angels, and who they were never able to beat before her Heel Turn.
  • Mohs Scale of Science Fiction Hardness: Physics Plus. The main forms of Applied Phlebotinum are FTL and gravity control, but aside from those the series generally attempts to stay reasonably scientifically plausible.
  • Mugged for Disguise: Done by both girls to get on board a luxury starship. Unfortunately, the girls they stole the costumes from were entertainers who had to dress up as Playboy Bunnies.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Adam Warren's version uses the novels' version of the 3WA Battle Bikini in flashbacks, while also using their fiercer version of Mughi.
    • "Run from the Future" also introduces the shapechanging uniforms from Dirty Pair Flash.
    • Kei and Yuri lie to their 3WA entry interviewer that they are psychic... although the man is apparently too Distracted by the Sexy to care.
  • Nanomachines: This version is set after the Earth was destroyed in a "grey goo" disaster known as the Nanoclysm; nanomachines are strictly regulated afterwards — in theory, anyway.
  • No Transhumanism Allowed: Averted in the Warren comics; "Run from the Future" plays with this, having the pair infiltrate a space colony established for those too transhuman for normal society — while using more transhumanist toys themselves than ever before in the series.
  • Nuclear Option:
    • The pair fire nukes to blind a starship's sensors in "Biohazards".
    • "Run from the Future" ends with the destruction of Nimkasi by a variety of nuclear and antimatter explosives after the pair's presence is discovered.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • The authors actively consulted NASA research for the portrayal of the effects of vacuum in "Dangerous Acquaintances".
    • The method of stellar destruction in "Fatal But Not Serious" was based off astrophysicist Iosif Shklovsky's "mining graser" concept.
  • SkeleBot 9000: M97, The Dragon from the original miniseries, was a Faux Affably Evil robot with a skull-like face. Later, in "A Plague Of Angels," the A.I. terrorist Carvalho Body Surfs into another robot of the same model, equipped with both holographic camouflage and a massive bomb. Both of the robots were shown to be unusually hard to kill.
  • Smart Gun: A one-shot criminal happened to be a gun.
  • Split Personality: Shasti is an Artificial Human Super Soldier designed with four personalities, which she can switch between freely in order to handle varying situations effectively.
  • Split-Personality Takeover: Caused Shasti's Face–Heel Turn when she uploaded a copy of the mind of a serial killer to serve (temporarily) as her fourth personality.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Warren wrote a short story showing Kei and Yuri constantly resuming old arguments through most of their history together.

Alternative Title(s): Dirty Pair Flash


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