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Literature / Dirty Pair

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

"It's not our fault!"

It is roughly AD 2141. Humanity has abandoned Earth and spread across the galaxy, but that doesn't mean we left our problems behind. 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 blown up, 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 destroyed 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 inspiration was a trip to see the Japanese female wrestlers "The Beauty Pair". 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 2018, when the ninth 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 was available on YouTube (via Manga Entertainment for Nozomi) and DVD, but all but the first two episodes disappeared after Nozomi lost the license.

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. On October 1, 2021, the TV series premiered on Crunchyroll and Retro Crush. In addition, Nozomi has announced a kickstarter to release the franchise on Blu-ray, as well as produce an English dub for the original TV series.

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) 
  • '80s Hair: Kei and Yuri's floofy hair is absolutely fabulous even by eighties standards.
  • Absent Aliens: There is faster-than-light travel and humans have colonized the whole galaxy, but there are hardly any aliens. Granted, this trope isn't completely dominant; Mughi is a Coeurl, and the Pair fights a giant, humanoid alien creature in episode 3 of the TV series. There are also 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.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The Hisao Tamaki manga's version of "The Case of the Backwater Murders" from the light novels — and that goes beyond Isabella's implants. The manga adaptation plays up Isabella as the Big Bad of the story, introducing her early on as the owner of the casino, playing her as a Foil for Kei, and exaggerating her Freudian Excuse. It also introduces a Battle Butler cyborg as a Dragon for the Pair to fight.
  • 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.
  • All Part of the Show: In OVA episode 2note , a rogue combat robot begins launching missiles during a Halloween fireworks display in Elenore City Park, and the audience mistakes the missile explosions for fireworks (as do the pyrotechnicians themselves: "Whoa, when did we send up that really big one?") Kei and Yuri borrow some of the rockets and use them to kill the robot — earning even more applause from the crowd in the park below.
  • Alphabet Architecture: In the TV series, the 3WA complex is a set of buildings that spell out "WWWA". The OVAs show a redesigned building, with the letters worked into the girders across the front façade.
  • 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.
  • Amplified Animal Aptitude: Algernon is a mouse with enhanced intelligence and the ability to command other mice, developed as a security system. Algernon went rogue and took over the heroines' headquarters building before he was stopped by the Pair.
  • 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!)
  • Arms Dealer: Masoho in OVAnote  episode 9 is an arms dealer. It turns out that he's this episode's main villain: he'd been selling weapons to both sides of a war, and wanted to derail ongoing peace treaty negotiations in order to maintain his source of income, so he had several foreign soldiersnote  kidnapped and implanted with mind-control devices in order to force them to carry out surprise attacks in violation of the ceasefire that's in place during the negotiation process. His plan ultimately failed, because one of those mind-control devices got damaged during combat, thus allowing the person wearing it to break free from its influence, which eventually lead to Masoho's evil plot being exposed. (He also didn't do himself any favors by showing up in person to talk to military commanders on both sides of the war, something that Kei and Yuri noticed, causing them to treat him with suspicion. And if that weren't enough, he's also something of a Politically Incorrect Villain.)
  • 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.
  • Bathing Beauty: Yuri and Kei love bathing and have several Bathtub and Shower Scenes, usually played for fanservice.
  • Bathtub Scene: Several, both girls enjoy baths and showers. The most prominent one being in the movie Project EDEN, with Kei and Yuri find a functioning bathing chamber while exploring an old abandoned factory. Happy at a chance to wash up they promptly start singing and flung out of their clothing and start taking a bubble bath side by side while singing, with their bodies covered by Censor Suds up to their shoulders. It's soon interrupted by Carson (who was peeping on them through the Air-Vent Passageway) ends up Landing in Someone's Bathtub and soon after they're all attacked by alien monsters and have to run away in only their towels.
  • 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!")
  • Bolivian Army Ending: The end of TV Series Episode 8. Unlike the original, we are absolutely certain that Kei and Yuri get out of it in spite of being only two taking on an entire army with air support.
  • Boomerang Bigot: Hints are dropped throughout episode 7 that Moon de Goldjeff might not be merely transphobic, but flat-out misandrist. Notably, at the start of the episode, he staffs his son's wedding ceremony with male bunny girls and is perfectly willing to marry his son off to a seven-woman harem just to keep his mind from wandering.
  • Brain/Computer Interface: In Project EDEN, Professor Wattsman uses fiber-optic cables connected to his head and hands to control his lab and its equipment. Carson remarks that he was able to track Wattsman after Bruno stole the wine bottle from him because the hand connectors were so unique.
  • Bruce Lee Clone: Li-Su Ryuu, who appears in an episode of the OVAs, is a fellow Trouble Consultant with superhuman martial-arts skills; his callsign is simply "Kung Fu".
  • 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 
  • Can't Bathe Without a Weapon:
    • In Episode 18, Kei and Yuri get the drop on a target while he was bathing but he surprises them by pulling a machine gun from out of the water and opening fire.
    • In the Project EDEN film, Yuri and Kei keep their guns right beside their tubs as they bathe and end up threatening Carson with it after he interrupted them. This comes in handy since they're attacked by monsters shortly after.
  • 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 under armed 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 Guy of the Week get Stuffed in the Fridge in less than 20 minutes.
  • Cyber Punk For Flavor: Both the classic anime version and Flash flirt with Cyberpunk. The most obvious example would be Professor Wattsman's Brain/Computer Interface terminals.
  • 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.
  • Death Dealer: Yuri and the Bloody Card, a self-propelled Attack Drone the size and shape of a playing card, with razor-sharp edges.
  • Death Trap: An episode has the villains capture one of the heroines, and strap her to a laser cutting table (mercifully aiming top-down instead of bottom-up) which they rig to their security system to lighten the guilt.
  • 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.
  • Dirty Kid: In the 11th episode, a group of kids have taken over Kei and Yuri's ship, as they are rounding them up and trying to get them to leave, one of the boys lifts up Yuri's dress and touches her butt causing her to slap him.
  • Disney Death: Project EDEN, where Carson makes a last stand to stop the horde of awakened super-Sadinga pursuing Kei and Yuri. Miraculously, Carson turns up alive after the Angels defeat Wattsman and decide not to kill him.
  • 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 That Was: Earth was destroyed in a Grey Goo incident well before the current timeline.
  • Effortless Amazonian Lift: As the "muscle" of the pair, Kei can carry around men far heavier than she is.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Kei and Yuri are officially codenamed the Lovely Angels. However, due to their unfortunate and accidental tendency to leave a place much worse then it was when they arrived, they've earned their infamous and much-better-known nickname: the "Dirty Pair". Calling them that to their faces triggers their Berserk Button.
  • 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.
  • Family Business: 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.
  • 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.
  • Flirtatious Smack on the Ass: One episode had Yuri in disguise as a stewardess in a train after tying one up and stealing her uniform, she encounters the leader of the gang she and Kei met earlier and she's fearful he will recognize her, as all she's done to disguise her face is put on a pair of glasses, he walks up to her and to her surprise he just tells her "nice ass!" and spanks her.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: In the Project EDEN movie, Yuri and Kei are forced to fight against several alien-like creatures while in Modesty Towels when their bubble baths get interrupted by them. The girls are then forced to retreat while only wearing towels, which barely stay on during the Chase Scene. When they have a quiet moment, Kei strips the prisoner Carson to his underwear and cuts down his clothes them down to her size while Yuri modifies her towel into a bikini form for the rest of the movie — which isn't any different than the skimpy clothing they usually wear.
  • Fun with Acronyms: WWWA: Worlds Welfare and Works Association. This was inspired by the World Women's Wrestling Association, the wrestling group (through its off-shoot, All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling, which used the WWWA name on their championships as a kayfabe sanctioning body) that inspired the stories — and the Battle Bikini uniforms — in the first place.
  • Gag Dub: Several episodes of the series received Ur-Example parody fan dubs by the group Pinesalad Productions, starting in 1987 with "Dirty Pair Does Dishes"note . The series was wildly popular among the Western fandom at the time, and was a spiritual ancestor to The Abridged Series format.
  • Gender-Blender Name:
    • The name "Kei" is Unisex, but is traditionally more used for males.
    • Yuri is 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: The Trope Codifier. The basic concept of tits and ass and guns being handled by the big-tittied and large-assed beauties proved to be incredibly popular, helping inspire a slew of copycats during the late '80s and early '90s.
  • 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: OVA #6 has Kei (in nun disguise) pounding away from the choir loft at Yuri's wedding. In this case, she isn't trying to move in on either half of the couple. She just needs to warn Yuri that the groom's "family" is on to them.
  • 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(/mistress/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.)
  • Growing Muscles Sequence: Sandra Guts does this to herself with her own formula called 'Hustle.'
  • Have a Gay Old Time: In Affair on Nolandia, Kei yells at Mugi for "molesting the wildlife".
  • Heritage Face Turn: The galaxy-wide criminal conspiracy "Lucifer" had one particular method to make sure that all of its members were fanatically loyal: they were ALL related by blood. A few of the times that it appeared in the novels, such, all they had to do was drop the "Luke, I Am Your Father" card on the Victim of the Week to make them despair about whether or not to join (and some did).
  • Heroes "R" Us: The Worlds Welfare & Works Association, better known as the 3WA, are the unfortunate employers of the Dirty Pair.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: The trope was started by editors trying to figure out where to place Kei and Yuri's partnership.
  • 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.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Professor Waldo Wattsman from Project EDEN. He's a Mad Scientist hellbent on playing God, and he stole a rare wine sought by Carson, but he's extremely dedicated to his task and stubbornly refuses to give up even when the specimen he's experimenting on refuses to cooperate with his plans for humanity's future successor—he truly believes humanity will go the way of the dinosaur one day and is simply paving the way for the species he believes the best fit to succeed humanity as the dominant biological species. Even with all the enemies he makes in the course of the picture, he and his butler Bruno get to survive the climactic showdown, and Wattsman ends the film dreaming of continuing to cultivate humanity's chosen successor.
  • Karma Houdini: Professor Wattsman is defeated and arrested but not discouraged, and otherwise gets off scot free for all the crimes he's committed in the course of Project EDEN and before the events thereof, with him and his butler preparing to continue his work on preparing humanity's chosen successor.
  • 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.
  • The Lad-ette: Kei loves to drink, fights in underground fighting rings, and is more sexually aggressive than her partner Yuri.
  • Landing in Someone's Bathtub: Project EDEN has Carson land in Yuri's tub who has a Naked Freak-Out and kick him into 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. Yuri uses one in Flash.
  • 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.
  • Leg Focus: Yuri and Kei usually stretch their legs during their many bathing scenes.
  • 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: In Episode 5 of the anime series, Kei is attacked by robots as she is getting dressed. As a result she spends most of the episode fighting and 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.
  • Long Hair Is Feminine: Yuri
  • Lovable Rogue: Carson D. Carson, small-time thief and smuggler, and the Boy of the Week in Project EDEN.
  • Lovely Angels: The Trope Namer, as the whole premise of the series is a duo of Action Girls with contrasting personalities and appearances, with Kei being the redhead impulsive tomboy and Yuri being the cerebral blue-haired Girly Girl and they fight crime.
  • 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 are Head Turning Beauties that wear a Stripperiffic uniform that consists 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 extension 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, is a SPECTRE styled crime syndicate, so secretive that they only admit blood relatives as full members. The organization is responsible for the events of Flight 005 Conspiracy, and the Big Bad of Flash is a member.
    • The TV episode "Lots of Danger, Lots of Decoys" has "the Devil's Syndicate" as opponents — but they're portrayed as much less this trope (or like any version of the Lucifer syndicate before or since) than a Space Pirate guild with tons of Offscreen Villain Dark Matter, led by an dimwitted Agent Peacock carrying a torch for Kei.
  • Never My Fault: The Lovely Angels use this as a Character Catchphrase. And generally, they aren't the direct cause of the worst of the collateral damage around them. ...Most of the time.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Frequently implied to occur whenever the titular characters are on the job (it's the reason for their Embarrassing Nickname), but one OVA episode spells it out plainly. The Angels are investigating the mysterious deaths of several hundred mining employees on a planet run as a religious colony. They find that the religion's leadership has evolved into a murderous cult that, with the help of a ring of weather satellites, is capable of calling down Sodom-and-Gomorrah-style devastation in a specific location. After they destroy the cult's station in orbit, they assume correctly that the cult's reign of terror is ended. Unfortunately, the space station was also the control for the weather satellites and the weather satellites weren't just used for destructive purposes. The Angels look down from orbit and see about nineteen hurricanes beginning to form with no weather-control system left to prevent them.
  • Nobody Here but Us Statues: In one of the OVA episodes, the robot the Angels are chasing breaks into a museum and disguises itself as a statue. In order to flush it out, Kei begins firing randomly, sending shots all over the place... and three would-be art thieves who are also disguised as statues throw themselves to the ground and surrender.
  • Nonhuman Sidekick: Mughi is a giant cat creature that serves as a sidekick to the girls.
  • 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!"
  • Not What It Looks Like: In "Pursuit Has the Smell of Cheesecake and Death", a newlywed couple is having their first night in their new apartment, when Kei barges in to chase after the Living MacGuffin cat that happened to be in the apartment and her dialogue makes it sound like she was chasing after the groom. The jealous bride comes to the Wrong Assumption that Kei is another woman he may have been involved with and threatens to divorce him. After he was able to quickly make up with her again, he then proceeds to take a shower but then Yuri who followed Malatesta's footprints into the house, invades his bathroom and sees him naked in the shower causing him to have a Naked Freak-Out and his bride to come in and assume him and Yuri were about to engage in a Shower of Love and starts throwing stuff at him in a jealous rage while Yuri sneaks out.
  • 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...
  • Playboy Bunny: Locales with filthy rich clientele tend to have at least a few of these on staff. Episode 7 takes it up to eleven by having a wedding ceremony staffed with male bunny girls.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Masoho (the arms dealer from OVAnote  episode 9) makes unwanted sexual advances towards Kei and Yuri that cross the line into sexual harassment, which portrays him as an unsympathetic character. This character trait, among others, makes it unsurprising to the audience when he's eventually revealed to be the culprit behind the series of assassinations which Kei and Yuri are investigating in this episode, and also unsurprising that he's so greedy and callous that he's willing to prolong a war in an impoverished region just so that he can sell more weapons.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: In Affair on Nolandia, right before slashing the throats of numerous Mooks with a playing card, Yuri asks, "Anybody wanna play cards?"
  • 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.
  • Pro Wrestling Episode:
    • A TV episode has them competing with an In-Universe tag team to track down a shaggy-cat.
    • One OVA has them investigated drug-use by fighters, with Kei entering the ring.
  • 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.
  • "Psycho" Shower Murder Parody: Appears in episode 24, which is a murder mystery fittingly enough.
  • 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. Kei is the Red Oni being a tomboy with Fiery Redhead and dark skin with a energetic and boisterous personality. Yuri is the Blue Oni being a Girly Girl with blue raven hair and pale skin being more of a Yamato Nadeshiko with Kawaiiko tendencies. Many of the Lovely Angels teams who followed in their footsteps share a similar Red Oni-Blue Oni dynamic.
  • 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! In another, a monorail runs through a bed of lava adjacent to an active volcano.
  • 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).
  • Sexy Silhouette: In episode 13 we see Yuri's silhouette behind a screening door as she's showering. When she steps out she already has a Modesty Towel wrapped around her. OVA episode 6 has a similar scene, but with her behind the shower curtain this time.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Episode 4 is a literal one, involving a pink cat named Malatesta. The Lovely Angels are sent by a research laboratory to retrieve it only to learn at the end that they'd returned the wrong one.
  • 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.
    • Cultural anthropologist Josh Marsfelder's blog Vaka Rangi, an in-depth analysis of the entire Star Trek franchise, also includes detailed reviews of all the Dirty Pair material including an in-depth episode guide, and points out numerous concepts and subtle ideas and references to Star Trek.
    • 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), which themselves were inspired by Mildred Burke's World Women's Wrestling Association, a Los Angeles-based group which toured Japan in the 1950's. 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.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Both Kei and Yuri act like the Brainless Beauty, even in mid-mission, being boy-crazy and having seemingly shallow interests. But they are hyper-competent at their jobs, and have never failed to close a case, and at 19, outshine far more experienced agents.
  • 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 MegaCorp.
  • Space Western: The ninth TV episode ("Hire Us! Beautiful Bodyguards are a Better Deal") has the girls going undercover to work for rival gangs on a desert planet. Kei goes for the classic look, Yuri goes for a serape.
  • Spoiler Title: TV episode 22, "We Did It! 463 People Found!"
  • 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.
    Yuri: You're lucky to be a girl. If you were a boy you'd have no future.
  • 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, a large cat-like creature who sometimes accompanies the Dirty Pair on their missions.
  • 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.
  • Thanks for the Mammary: After Yuri kicks Carson out of her tub after he lands on it he ends up falling on Kei's bathtub, with his hands accidentally groping her breasts. When she angrily tells him to take them off, he asks if she's sure, since he's technically providing her with Hand-or-Object Underwear with his hands. She's not amused and just punches him.
  • 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 released in Japan as Dirty Pair: The Movie, but virtually everyone in North America — including Streamline Pictures, ADV Films and Nozomi — 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 with Boyish Short Hair and Yuri is the Yamato Nadeshiko girly girl.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: There are several gags relating to Kei's love of cheesecake.
  • Trans Relationship Troubles: Defied in one episode (ep. 7 of the TV series, also mentioned above under Time Dilation) where the heir of a spaceship corporation and his bodyguard developed a Romeo-and-Juliet style Bodyguard Crush and ran off together. After a lot of other attempts at separating them (which involved lots of gunfire and explosions) didn't worked, the heir's dad used what he thought was his trump card: he told his son that the bodyguard was a trans woman. The kid made clear that he didn't gave a damn.
  • Unflattering ID Photo: Kei's WWWA identity card, as seen in the TV series, has a laughable picture of her looking angry.
  • 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. Yuri and Kei and two government operatives who just happen to attract apocalyptic disaster wherever they go. Their typically ham-fisted and violent style in handling such situations doesn't help matters, but Finagle's Law is a way of life with them, and calamity seems to strike wherever they go, even when they're on vacation. In one miniseries, a villain performs an "experiment" to see what would happen when a clone of Yuri is thrown into the mix, injecting three "Lovely Angels" into the situation. The result: a supernova that threatens to set off more supernovae by its shockwave. Clearly two women you should be inclined to avoid. "It's not our fault!"
  • 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.
  • Wedgie: In an attempt to save Kei and Yuri from falling, Carson grabs Yuri by her bikini bottoms while she's carrying Kei. This results in her getting a hanging wedgie, as they were beginning to slowly rip, until all three of them fall off.
  • 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?
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: The Boy of the Week in episode 3 has two disguises, one of which, fitting this trope, is an old fortune telling woman.
  • Worthless Treasure Twist: Subverted in episode 15. A treasure hunter looking for treasure in the ruins of an alien planet has hired Kei and Yuri to help him find the treasure and fight off a rival treasure hunter in exchange for a share of the profits. It turns out that the treasure is a piece of paper with writing in the alien language, which Kei and Yuri can't read but the treasure hunter can. He claims that it says is "there is a value in cooperating with each other", referring to it taking three people to open the door to the room where it was. Yuri comments that "this is the typical ending to a treasure hunt". However, the writing was actually instructions on how to use some Lost Technology and thus highly valuable; the treasure hunter lied about it to avoid paying them. He does later send them flowers — an entire roomful of roses.
  • Wunza Plot: The very premise being the impulsive tomboyish Kei being paired up with the more cerebral and mannered Yuri. They fight crime.
  • Xenomorph Xerox: Project EDEN has the Lovely Angels investigating a mining planet being attacked by Xenomorph-like creatures called Sadinga. They're revealed to be created from fossils within the Green Rocks mined on the world by an Evilutionary Biologist, convinced that he can reanimate them into the Ultimate Life Form.
  • You Don't Look Like You: Mughi is a bear-like creature rather than a tentacled panther in the anime, probably due to copyright issues.
  • Zeerust: In the original novels reference such amazing inventions as energy weapons, flying cars, and MicroFiche.

    Dirty Pair Flash 
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Kei and Yuri's respective hair colors are red and blue in the original series. In Flash, their colors are changed to blonde/orange and purple.
  • 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.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: One episode climaxes with the pair charging who knows how many robots. This is followed by the chief watching a news report of them 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 MegaCorp, 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.
  • The Diaper Change: In the episode "Snow White Chaser," Kei winds up having to look after a baby boy. At one point he messes his diaper and Kei has to change him. She demonstrates that she's far more comfortable shooting people than taking care of babies when the boy pees during the change and Kei pulls her gun on him.
  • "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 Sports 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 MegaCorp 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 of the series, 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.
  • Loving a Shadow: In "My Boy in Rose Color", an admirer of Yuri's built a robot duplicate of her, programming it to act how he imagined Yuri acts. When the boy gets the chance to spend time with the real Yuri, he finds that she isn't like he imagined at all.
  • 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 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 third series, a young female assassin called Monica drives a Red Futuristic Monowheel.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Like the original Pair, this one is also a duet of very sexy women. Takahiro Kimura's (GaoGaiGar,Betterman, GUN×SWORD, Godannar) artstyle helps things even further by giving each of the girls a unique flair: Kei's got a distinct bronze shade to her skin and a lithe, athletic frame while Yuri's very pale, tall and willowy.
  • 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.
  • Robot Me: Happens a few times:
    • "Tokyo Airport Hot Pursuit" has Touma scare the duo by thinking he died by blowing up a robot of himself. They are not amused.
    • The beginning of "Pink Sniper" has the episode's villain, Murderous Monica (the titular "Pink Sniper"), kill android doubles of both of the girls as practice for killing the real deals.
    • Finally, "My Boys in Rose Color" has Julian hanging out with a mecanical doll of Yuri. Which shocks Kei when she accidentally decapitates it, setting up the episode's plot.
  • 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 makes a reference to "Mudd's Passion Planet". In another episode, a Doctor McCoy is called for on a hospital's PA system.
  • 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.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The Reveal of why Kei was so gung-ho on her Roaring Rampage of Revenge against Shasti in "Dangerous Acquaintances". Through the miniseries, the audience learned Shasti was the Angels' Minnesota Fats, who killed her own partner and left the both of them for dead. But what really angered Kei was that the salvage crew that found them Shamefully Stripped took some pictures before rescuing them, and sold the pictures to a porno magazine — and that is the story of the infamous "Dirty Pair" issue of "High Sense" magazine that was and continues to be mentioned as an in-universe Noodle Incident. The fight scene begins immediately after this reveal.
  • 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".
  • But What About the Astronauts?: Part of the infodump Kei recites in "Sim Hell" about the Nanoclysm was that the human diaspora into outer space was able to survive the worst of the chaos caused by the nanotech plague. She and Yuri get to experience this through a pair of Virtual Training Simulations where they have to escape a station about to be destroyed in the wake of the chaos. They manage to escape the space station with their usual finesse, but the scenario on an Underwater Base infected by the Nanoclysm has Yuri become a Zombie Infectee at the last moment.
  • 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 the next miniseries, "Fatal But Not Serious".
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Shasti goes out of her way to backstab anyone she no longer needs for her plans.
  • Cyberpunk: 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 teased to have been an actual near-death experience when it's revisited as another scenario, where an angelic Yuri explains that the VR scenarios were the form of her eternal torment. Kei manages to escape with a Shut Up, Hannibal! speech (mostly about being sure that the real Yuri wouldn't just abandon her even if she was damned to Hell).
  • 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).
  • Forced Transformation: 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.
  • "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 each of them as soon as 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.
  • Holodeck Malfunction: The main plot of "Sim Hell". When Kei is using a Brain/Computer Interface with the WWWA Central Computer's network for her employee exam, Yuri is suddenly called in and told that everything's gone horribly wrong, Kei's trapped, and the only way to stop it without killing her is for Yuri to use another interface into the same Virtual Training Simulation. Subverted in that this was part of Kevin Sleet's plot to hack the Central Computer... but then again, it was all part of the exam for Kei ... and for Kevin Sleet. Or Was It.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Shout-Out: In "Run from the Future", the "Proust-In-A-Can" Fantastic Drug is named after Marcel Proust and pays homage to his novel À la recherche du temps perdu and its central theme of involuntary memory.
  • 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.
    • "Biohazards" uses the term "Rifkin Index" as the name for a fictional kind of biomedical measurement that indicates whether or not a person can be cloned. This is named after Jeremy Rifkin, a real-world political activist who opposes biotechnologies such as cloning and genetically-engineered food.
  • 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 from "Run From The Future" happened to be a gun — much to the surprise of the mook holding said gun when the Angels come calling.
  • 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