The Starshine is bright and warm wherever Angels tread.
If there was ever a year where Dirty Pair could be said to have been at the peak of its pop culture saturation, 1987 was it. High on the success of Dirty Pair: The Motion Picture (which got its own Famicom Disk System game), Haruka Takachiho’s perfectly timed third novel Dirty Pair’s Rough and Tumble, a slew of tie-in merchandise and the premier of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Kei and Yuri were by now most definitely in the public eye on a scale they’d never been before. But in many ways the franchise’s true home, or at least the home of the Sunrise anime branch of the series, can be said to be OVA. And it’s here where the Lovely Angels got a second wind with an entirely new episodic series following in the footsteps of the cult hit Dirty Pair television show from 1985. This series is officially just called Dirty Pair, but is usually afforded the subtitle “The OVA Series” by fans and critics to differentiate it from its predecessor. More infrequently, it’s also known as Original Dirty Pair, a nod to Sunrise’s belief that this show is closer to the original light novels than the other anime adaptations.
Regardless of what you call it, Sunrise released a series of ten brand-new episodes between December, 1987 and March, 1988. This was an extremely wise move on Sunrise’s part in my opinion: One thing I feel severely damaged the ultimate efficacy of the Dirty Pair TV series was that it struggled to maintain its early momentum as the season wore on. It seemed like the show was dealing with too large of an episode count and the ideas started to wear thin after some time. It’s a perfect example of why I think all TV shows need to have about a third fewer episodes per season, with an ideal of about 10-13. This allows the creative team to focus on one a handful of really solid stories at a time, and means they’re not rushed to throw something out to meet a pre-existing quota. And Original Dirty Pair definitely hits the short end of that spectrum. Combine this with the fact that the OVA medium allows for far more creative freedom just in general as OVAs are not at the beck and call of networks, ratings and broadcast schedules, and we have the potential here for an incredibly fine-tuned and honed sort of Dirty Pair anime.
So what’s new this time? Well, like all iterations of Dirty Pair, this series of course exists in its own continuity strictly distinct and separate from anything that came before or after. Stylistically, this manifests in the Lovely Angel looking like a cross between its Affair of Nolandia and Dirty Pair: The Motion Picture incarnations. The girls’ uniforms similarly resemble most closely the ones they wore in Dirty Pair: The Motion Picture, but are all white, reminiscent of the all-silver wrestling outfits they wear in the books.…