Introducing Kei and Yuri, also known as the Dirty Pai... er, Lovely Angels!
Space is the final frontier… and these two girls are about to destroy it!
If you’ve ever hung around with oldschool anime fans, you’ve probably heard them mention Dirty Pair. This science fiction buddy-cop comedy has a huge American following, enough to make it one of anime’s best-known cult classics. In fact, this show’s popularity led Nozomi Entertainment to go through all the legal hassle of licensing it nearly twenty-five years after it originally aired. But why exactly is this series so beloved? Well, to answer that question, I just need to make one simple comparison.
Dirty Pair is the Japanese version of Star Trek.
Like Gene Roddenberry’s classic 1960s TV show, Dirty Pair is anachronistic. The look and feel of this anime is incredibly dated, mired in that campy mid-eighties culture that we all enjoy mocking. However, this campiness is part of the charm; the space bikinis, short miniskirts, moon boots and outlandish hairstyles just add to the sense of unrestrained fun that permeates this show. Just like Star Trek, this series’ strengths lie in snappy writing, loveable characters and great stories, allowing it to rise above its sillier qualities and become a true science fiction classic. Despite being a relic of another era, Dirty Pair is still a timeless anime that everyone can enjoy.
This is totally crazy, I know. This is the show everyone in the interwebs is drooling over. Surely I must have caught some rogue virus that rots away the parts of the brain that enjoy moe anime. I mean, I don’t like K-ON!! either, so just what is wrong with me? You’d think since I enjoyed Clannad so much this new offering from the same writer would be just as good, or at least have the same amount of impact as its predescessor, right?
Looking back at previous Key series, it turns out I didn’t like Air or Kanon very much, so it should hardly seem surprising that Angel Beats! ended up on the disappointing end of the scale with the rest of them. Why is that? The tried and tested formulas were there: mysterious afterlife world, highschool setting, girls with guns, a bit of fun thrown in the mix with emotional reefs to run aground on, etc etc etc. Oh, and a lead female protagonist who looks like Haruhi. Yup, all the key ingredients were there to satisfy my brain, and by all accounts Angel Beats! should have been win… yet it wasn’t.