November 08, 2015
The first appearance of The Dirty Pair came in 1979, serialized in Japan's SF Magazine . While not the art for the original 1980 release of the first book "The Dirty Pair's Great Adventures", the above picture is a very faithful remake of it for the 1993 Japanese reissue (and the cover of the US release). It may as well, then, be the original character design for Kei and Yuri. Amusingly, their outfits were based off the costumes worn by women's pro wrestlers in the '60s and '70s... which makes sense, as the concept of the duo was formed from the pro wrestling team "The Beauty Pair", who wrestled for All-Japan Women's Pro Wrestling. That company was part of the Worlds Women's Wrestling Association... which also made it into the books as the World Welfare Works Association, or 3WA. In any case, pretty much everything we'll see springs from this design for all intents and purposes. They won't be exact copies, but the important stuff carries over.
The year is 1985, the first true animated appearance of the Dirty Pair. While clearly inspired by the cover art of the book, there's actually very little in the way of description of Kei and Yuri in the novels. In any case, while the cover may be canonical, this is the way the Dirty Pair looks for most people. The TV series had a troubled broadcast history, with the first 24 episodes airing in 1985, but the last two being delayed until late 1986. In between, the OVA/Movie Affair At Nolandia was released, and interestingly the designs are sort of a cross between the TV series and the book cover: more realistic, but not real like the cover. The OVA was not well-received, mostly because it was too serious and realistic. The followup movies and OVA series follows the TV series' designs.
Dirty Pair Flash
Nearly 10 years after the original series came out, an OVA "reboot" of sorts was released. Dirty Pair Flash ignored almost all of the previous source material; the two didn't even like each other to start with. Some things did carry over however: Kei's the hothead tomboy, Yuri the supposed girly-girl. On the whole, most fans of The Dirty Pair don't particularly care for DPFlash, though I like it. I just try not to compare the two.
Technically this is out of chronological order, as the US comics by Toren Smith and Adam Warren (later Warren alone) first appeared in 1988. However, this is my post. Heh. Warren's version of the DP was actually that which I saw first; somewhere in a box back at The Old Home Pond, I've got the original comics for 1988's "Biohazards". The character designs are curvier than the TV series, but the outfits were very much based on the original book art. Warren's designs fluctuated over the 10 years he was actively doing these, from relatively normal looking to quite stylized. It's not to everybody's taste.
So. Plenty of source material for an imagined reboot to work with. If only it would actually happen... bet it'd go over pretty well (assuming it had a budget)!
Note: If you're not overly familiar with the Lovely Angels, the best place on the web for info is ElenoreCity. While it hasn't been updated since 2007, it's still the go-to source for all things Dirty Pair, and has been since the web was young. I've had it bookmarked for years.
Yes, I still have it.
I wouldn't say that any incarnation of The Dirty Pair is the best of its kind, but I will always have a warm place in my heart for these two walking disasters...
Posted by: GreyDuck at November 09, 2015 09:14 AM (rKFiU)
Either way, I love the OVA intro and music still.
Posted by: Tom Tjarks at November 09, 2015 10:26 AM (XbFxF)
IIIRC, Sim Hell, while listed as a Warren solo, still had a lot of story input from Toren, which explains why it was better than what came after.
Posted by: J Greely at November 09, 2015 11:37 AM (ZlYZd)
Ergo, "It's not to everybody's taste." I agree with you, by the way; Toren Smith was almost like control rods in a nuclear plant... remove them, and Warren went crazygonuts with his designs. I think he's an excellent artist, but I have a hard time with what he did to Kei & Yuri in his solo stuff.
Posted by: Wonderduck at November 09, 2015 06:29 PM (a12rG)
Posted by: J Greely at November 09, 2015 09:22 PM (ZlYZd)
Which would be his default level of lips a little while later.
Posted by: Wonderduck at November 09, 2015 09:36 PM (a12rG)
Yeah, he's been going further and further astray. From obsessively busy backgrounds to this compulsion to hang signs on everything. But on the other hand, I just cant resist stuff that mucks around with the Superhero Genre.
Posted by: Mauser at November 10, 2015 06:26 AM (5Ktpu)
Has anyone seen my marbles?
I didn't get past "Sim Hell" in the Warren comics, and from everything I've heard, that was a wise decision on my part. Those lips shown in the above comments aren't so much "pouty" as "balloon-like." Nooooot appealing, Mister Warren.
Posted by: GreyDuck at November 10, 2015 09:06 PM (rKFiU)
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