Uchuu Kaizoku Mito no Daibouken: Has its Moments

Uchuu Kaizoku Mito no Daibouken is an anime from the very late 90s. The first series aired in the beginning of ’99 and the second aired mid to late ’99. For the moment, we’re just looking at the first. I might watch the second at another time if you guys really want to see me review it or if I really want to see it. It was brought to us by Triangle Staff, That’s right, the studio behind Serial Experiments Lain, and Genco, A company best known for working on the more administrative production side of things. It’s an original work too, not one based of of a manga,game or anything like that. Let’s see how it turned out.

Mito1.png

Story:

Mitsukuni Aoi is an ordinary teenage boy. He goes to school, hangs out with friends, has a crusty sock in his closet. That’s not hygienic, Aoi. He’s ordinary save for a couple minor details. The first is that he lives alone. The second is that his mother is an alien pirate. Yes, he finds out during a respectful visit to his father’s grave, when his mother makes an excuse to get rid of him and he finds her fighting with aliens. He quickly learns that the person he thought was his mother was actually a mechanical suit and inside that suit is an alien who looks a bit like a young girl. Here’s what I’m curious about, how did she squeeze out that baby? It would be like a Chihuahua birthing a Labrador puppy. Setting that aside to fester in your minds, he has to come to terms with the truth about his mother all while she’s trying to protect him and herself from the Galactic Patrol. Hijinks happen.

The biggest issue with the series is that it’s not all that funny, and this isn’t a series that remotely works in any kind of serious capacity. Its more serious moments aren’t bad, per se, but they’re pretty weak and the series has to quickly retreat back to something absurd whenever they have one which ultimately cheapens any gravity it might have had. It relies pretty heavily on the comedic aspect and that involves a lot of mediocre gags like Mutsuki breaking out in mushrooms or Aoi having an awkward moment with his mother when she’s outside of her adult suit.

That being said, there are times when the comedy works. Their teacher going full ninja, some of the crazier action sequences and Mito’s crazier interactions with her crew are where the series absolutely shines. If it maintained that level of humour throughout instead of only having it sometimes and filling in the gaps with mediocrity, it would be a great series.

Characters:

As a whole, the characters aren’t that interesting. The series tries to do compelling things with some of them. Like Aoi and the whole incident in his past that haunts him or Mutsuki and her wavering. But they tend to be executed in suck lacklustre ways that the ultimate effect on their characters is minimal. The one exception is Mito with her whole situation of trying to mend things with her son after lying to him for so long. Even speaking as a non-parent, it’s pretty relatable. I think we’ve all had relationships hit rocky patches and had the challenge of mending them. Unless you’re someone who only has close relationships with two-dimensional characters. Maybe try getting just a little sunlight sometimes? The characters can be enjoyable in those comedic sequences that work, but in general the jokes that revolve around their interactions don’t tend to be among the strong ones.

Art:

The series doesn’t look bad. It looks decent enough. The crazier action sequences are outright great looking. One thing that’s a bit disappointing is the alien design. You have aliens like Mito or Mutsuki who just look like humans. You’ve also got a lot of aliens who just look like the animal people from Dragonball. There’s not a lot of interesting or unique design going on. I think the 1960s Lost in Space had more unique designs. And sure, it ran for three years but they were also designing their alien costumes with cardboard and bits of string. You should be able to do more with animation. There’s also the questionable nature of Sabu’s design to consider. She’s a cyborg who looks a bit less than racially sensitive. That’s the polite way to say it.

Mito2.png

Sound:

There are some good actors in this. Kawakami Tomoko, Asakawa Yuu & Hoshi Soichiro among them. And I will say their performances are pretty good, Kawakami’s in particular. Itou Masumi handles the composition and it’s damn good. Maybe not as good as what she did for Galaxy Angel but it’s close, at the very least.

Ho-yay:

There’s a bit towards the end. I don’t want to go into too much detail since it’s a factor in the big ending sequence, but it’s there.

Final Thoughts:

Uchuu Kaizoku Mito no Daibouken has comedy that ranges from mundane to actually pretty great and some more serious scenes that chronically don’t work particularly well. It has decent animation, overall and art that’s perfectly functional. Along with some really good acting and music. Ultimately, that doesn’t add up to a brilliant series, nor even a good one but it’s a decent enough one. Thus, my final rating is going to stand at a 6/10. Next week, Renkin San-kyuu Magical? Pokaan.

Advertisements

400th Anime Review: Sailor Moon SuperS

I’ve done a lot of reviews online over the years. Most have been anime but I’ve also looked at comics like Civil War, live action TV shows like the First Doctor from Doctor Who, Films like DEBS, cartoons like Spectacular Spider-man and even video games like Miitopia. I’ve reviewed some of the worst anime out there, some of the most generic and some of the best. All from a wide variety of genres. And now, I’m reviewing anime number 400. With every hundredth review, I’ve had a tradition of looking at the next instalment of the Sailor Moon franchise. We’ve looked at the first series, R, S and, now it’s time for a look at SuperS. Who knows, maybe I’ll be going long enough to get to the controversial Crystal series. But we’ll worry about that when we get to it.

SuperS2.png

Story:

We open with our pretty sailor-suited soldiers observing an eclipse. Unbeknownst to them, but knownst to us, a group of villains called the Dead Moon Circus use the eclipse to enter their lovely Japanese town. Their mission is to find the person with a beautiful dream that Pegasus is hiding inside. From there, we get the usual Sailor Moon formula. Ordinary people are threatened by monsters, the soldiers power up and drive the menaces back all while getting steadily closer to the mastermind behind it all.

I don’t have any real issues with the Sailor Moon formula. Having a monster of the weak set up works when you’ve got media aimed for younger audiences, which this is. It’s not like they’re stupid enough to put monster of the weak episodes in something for older teenagers or adults. Only someone truly brain dead would do that. That being said, there is one element to the narrative I have a serious problem with. And that is the attempted romance betwixt Chibi-Usa and Pegasus. And it’s not just that he spends most of the series as an alicorn. That is part of it, but the bigger issue is that he’s thousands of years old and she’s a grade school kid. It would be like if the esteemed Princess Celestia was trying to put the moves on Pumpkin Cake. It’s beyond creepy and no one ever acknowledges it. Mamoru will speak out when he thinks she’s interested in a significantly older human, but is surprisingly taciturn when it comes to the paedophile Pegasus. I mean, yes he’s also older than Usagi to a degree where he should not be dating her but at least they have the whole reincarnated ongoing love story thing to somewhat excuse it. As opposed to Pegasus who is just a wannabe child molester.

That whole really terrible romance aside, the series does have a lot to like. There are some really strong episodes that let the other soldiers besides Usagi and Chibi-Usa have a taste of the spotlight. The series is also pretty good about giving the victim characters a sense of personality. There are exceptions, particularly towards the end where entire groups are getting checked. But it is mostly a strong point for the series. The handling of the dream motif is also quite interesting. They explore the dreams of our heroines and they use the villains to illustrate what happens with corrupted dreams, how lost people get without dreams and the danger of having a selfish, impossible dream. The series also has a pretty strong sense of humour, like the rest of the franchise.

Characters:

Our main heroines all get their chances to shine and exploring their dreams does help flesh out and further their characters. Then we have the antagonists. That’s another strength of the series, the way the antagonists are fleshed out. Some of them are quite sympathetic even the big bad Nehelenia who’s pretty pitiable when it comes right down to it. Honestly, I think these are the best antagonists we’ve seen in the franchise thus far. Finally, we have Helios or as I like to call him, the worst part of this entire franchise. No, seriously. There’s nothing in any of the other series we’ve looked at that’s worse than mister ancient but young looking paedophile. And, sorry to spoil it, but I know there’s nothing in Stars that’s worse than him. The interactions that don’t involve him are pretty strong. I like the way the series develops the familial bond betwixt Usagi and Chibi-Usa and I like the way the sailor soldiers interact with the Amazoness Quartet. Those are the two strongest interactions in the series.

Art:

Yeah, the artwork continues to be rather dated but fine looking. One thing I really like in this series are the monster designs and the whole atmosphere you get in the Dead Moon Circus. The performers have interesting and varied looks. But, like every part of the franchise, you can expect a lot of stock footage and long transformation sequences. You can also expect the occasionally bizarre facial expression.

SuperS.png

(I had to include this image from the second ending theme tune.)

Sound:

Our all star cast returns. We get strong performances from Mitsuishi Kotono, Fukami Rica, Tomizawa Michie, Shinohara Emi, Hisakawa Aya & Araki Kae. We also get some great acting from our secondary cast. One in particular I want to talk about is Ishida Akira. Almost three years ago I reviewed the OVA, Ice. In that series Ishida Akira voiced a woman and gave a terrible performance,sounding completely masculine. This series lets us confirm for absolute certain that that was the director’s fault. In SuperS, Ishida voices the trans-woman Fish Eye and he sounds really feminine doing it. They don’t even use the shitty old joke where his voice turns super masculine at times. It’s feminine throughout. Arisawa Takanori’s soundtrack is nicely done. Even if the franchise has been using the same opening theme tune for every series.

Ho-yay:

This one dials back the les-yay quite a bit. There’s an episode where a young girl starts admiring Rei in a way that comes across as more than friendly. We also get to see Ami dance with Makoto. That’s something.

Final Thoughts:

Honestly, I seriously considered going as low as a 6 for this one. Solely because of Pegasus. Like I said, worst thing in this entire franchise. However, I’m going to go a bit higher because the antagonists are really well done and there are plenty of other strong factors in the series. It’s still the weakest instalment of the franchise thus far but I would still say it’s enjoyable and pretty good. So, my final rating is going to be a 7/10. Next week, Uchuu Kaizoku Mito no Daibouken.

A big thank you to everyone who’s been a regular reader. I appreciate all of you whether you generally agree with my assessments or not.

Melty Lancer: Underwhelming

Melty Lancer is an action comedy ova based off of a Konami game. You may know them as that company that seems bent on losing any good will it might have ever had with pachinko machines based off of their franchises and whatever the hell Metal Gear Survive was. The studio they got to work on this was Gonzo. The same studio that gave us Final Fantasy Unlimited, Solty Rei & Sunabouzu among others. How does this hold up compared to their other works? I’m guessing better than Sunabouzu, not that that would be hard.

Melty Lancer.png

Story:

We open with a bunch of old, politician looking types approaching a prisoner. They offer him a deal. He leads a group they’re reuniting and they’ll give him his freedom. They don’t even care what happens with them. We cut to his aide travelling about to find the members of the titular Melty Lancer. Fortunately, they gather just in time to stop an attacking giant robot. Unfortunately, they seem to be pawns in some kind of political game, probably connected to the case Sylvie’s been working on. Will they be able to survive and conquer this perilous situation?

Honestly, the big issue is just that the comedy is so generic. We’re talking jokes that are super obvious and overdone like the old chestnut about men being a bunch of mindless apes who will lose it at the sight of a pretty girl. Because I know when I’m supposed to be guarding something I’ll just give a pretty girl access immediately. They also have the old jape about the powerful looking machine that has a really glaring weak point but it’s okay because they lampshade it. The series just never makes use of surprise or has anything uproariously funny. The best it can manage is being kind of, sort of funny. And that’s a big issue when you’re looking at a comedy. What’s supposed to make up for it? The strength of the plot? Because, I have to say, this isn’t a complex, compelling plot line.

That being said, there’s nothing in the series that’s bad. The comedy might be underwhelming but it’s not cringey or awful. The same is true for the script. It’s not particularly interesting, but it’s not bad either.

Characters:

The cast is pretty standard. They’re bland comedic characters. And a comedy having characters who are kind of one-note can work. We saw that last week with Galaxy Angel 2. The difference betwixt that series and this one is that that series had characters who had strong comedic interactions. That series had characters who were enjoyable to watch get into shenanigans. Whereas this one has characters who are just dull.

Art:

The character designs aren’t bad. They aren’t the most visually interesting group out there but they’re fine. The backgrounds and action sequences are perfectly acceptable. Again, not the most interesting you’ll see but they work.

Melty Lancer1.png

Sound:

They did get some strong actors for this. Ogata Megumi, Tange Sakura, Yukana, Ikezawa Haruna & Iwao Junko are all good actresses. (No, this isn’t a Cardcaptor Sakura reunion.) And their performances in this are good, not their best but good. The biggest issue is with Iwata Mitsuo. He has two modes in this series, mumbling and shouting. Maybe the director thought that would be a good quirk for his character but it’s not. It’s kind of obnoxious. Amano Masamichi’s soundtrack is decent enough. I won’t be listening to it on its own or anything but it was fine.

Ho-yay:

There are some moments that come across as a bit les-yay, but those are very few and nothing comes of them.

Final Thoughts:

Ultimately, Melty Lancer is a below average series. But hey, that still makes it better than a lot of Konami’s recent output. It’s not bad but it’s far from good. My final rating is a 4/10. Next week is my 400th anime review (obviously not counting the manga, cartoon, comic or live action ones) and you all know what that means. That’s right, time for some Star Power make up.

April Bonus Review: C.O.P.S

Last month I said that I was going to look at a cartoon based off of one of Hasbro’s properties. Naturally, I had to pick their most famous toon, C.O.P.S. For the very few of you who haven’t heard of it, COPS was a late 80s cartoons based off of Hasbro’s toy figure line of COPS & Crooks. So, let’s delve into it and see how it holds up, before Michael Bay directs a shit film based off of it. 

Cops.png

Story:

The show is set in the futuristic Empire city where the Big Boss and his gang of crooks are always up to some untoward activities. Fortunately, the city has COPS (the Central Organisation of Police Specialists) to fight against these nefarious schemes. Each episode basically deals to the Big Boss or one of his cronies coming up with some scheme to steal loot and the COPS having to foil them. 

The biggest issue with the series is just that it’s satisfied with being a generic children’s show. It never tries to do anything unique or interesting and it easily could have. And this was a premise that could easily have gone above and beyond.  Cops and Robbers with a sci-fi twist could make for an amazing kid’s show. All they needed were some ongoing story lines with character development. You know, like those 90s super hero cartoons that were coming out three years later. Instead, what we get is a bog-standard show where they foil the plot of the week and move on to the next one. I think the only time we even get a multi-part episode is the Case of COPS File One.

And you can tell the writers don’t care that much because there are pretty consistently things they don’t bother thinking through because they either can’t be asked or they want to just get the next episode out and they figure children won’t notice. So, you’ll have an episode where Bullseye has his helicopter stolen because he just leaves the cockpit open. Goofus leaves his expensive work helicopter out in the open while he buys doughnuts. Gallant locks it up and keeps the keys safely with him. In the aforementioned COPS File One there are characters who are called by their code names before they actually have Code Names. Because it’s hard to remember that Bulletproof’s real name is Baldwin Peabody Vess or that Mainframe’s is Tina Cassidy. There’s also one where they have invisible crooks and no one thinks to let the cyborg puppy loose to nibble on their bums. And I fucking know kids spotted that one because kids aren’t that stupid. They know dogs have great senses of smell. 

That being said, I can’t say anything about the show’s writing is truly bad. Yes, it would have worked a lot better if they’d taken more time to develop their scenarios and thought through them properly,  but  they’re kind of entertaining as they are. Honestly, if I was watching this as a kid I’d probably find it diverting enough. And it does have some awesome ideas like the cyborg pup or the crook with a sub-machine gun in his chest. Yes, this cartoon from the late 80s has actual guns. I wasn’t just talking shit when I said that 4kids is made up of overly sensitive cock munchers. 

Characters:

The big issue with the characters is just that they’re bland. the series could have really benefited from taking more time to give the characters real senses of personality and from having some crooks who could put on the façade of being respectable at times when they weren’t just trying to look good in front of their mothers. 

Art:

Honestly, this is not a good looking cartoon. There are things that definitely could have worked. The character designs, overall could’ve worked. The futuristic technology could have been great as well. Unfortunately, the animation itself seems to have had a very limited budget resulting in awkward movements and expressions. As well as stuff that’s just heavily recycled. Then we have the villainous bloke with dwarfism, Small Guy. He and his gang appear in two episodes and their designs change pretty noticeably from one to the other. It’s like they couldn’t even be bothered to go back and look at what they’d done before so they could keep it consistent. And the combination of crap animation and inconsistent art just doesn’t look good. That’s another thing this show needed, a budget that wasn’t being heavily embezzled for cocaine. 

Sound:

Honestly, the voice acting isn’t bad. It’s pretty “meh” but it’s far from the worst I’ve ever heard in a kid’s cartoon. It’s definitely better than Defenders of the Realm or Spectacular Spider-man. One issue with it is the budget. There are episodes where characters will appear and be featured quite prominently in scenes, but won’t say a bloody thing. Presumably because they didn’t want to pay for more voice actors. The music is pretty good, actually. The theme tune has a good beat and would’ve been pretty amazing without the lyrics, which consist of saying the word “Cops” periodically. In case you aren’t sure what you’re watching and need reminded twenty seconds before they show the logo. 

Final Thoughts:

COPS was a show that could have been amazing. I’d honestly like to see Hasbro get a studio that gives a shit with competent writers and revive it. Just to see the concept done justice. In fact, I’ll do it. I’ll even promise to not heavily imply that every single character isn’t straight. Which would be unusual for my writing. Still, the sixty five episodes are passable enough. If you’ve got a wee one at home, they’ll probably be entertained by it. My final rating is a 5/10. It’s mediocre. 

Galaxy Angel 2: Don’t Eat the Chestnut

I’ve talked about Broccoli Entertainment’s Galaxy Angel series before. A long, long time ago. Seriously, it was a very early review and it was a great series. Like Broccoli’s other franchise I’ve reviewed, Di Gi Charat the anime was handled by Madhouse. Does this one live up to its predecessor? Let’s look and see.

Galaxy Angel21.png

Story:

Like the first series, this one has no real story. Each episode puts the Angel unit in a different bizarre situation, a lot of which use the lost technology to drive the shenanigans and some of which just rely on putting the characters into a situation and letting them be delightfully quirky.

The big issue with the series, like the first instalment, is that it has an inexplicably serious episode. Yeah, there’s an episode about Forte having a traumatic experience on the battlefield and her old enemy returns and she has to face her fears and go against it and the episode has, in total, one joke and it’s not a particularly funny one because it’s taking itself far too seriously. This is an anime that parodies game shows and sentai series, has an episode with the characters switching bodies and does a bunch of other crazy shit. A largely serious episode doesn’t fit. The gags in the Volcott reunion episode are kind of weak too. They’re pretty much built around seeing him bossed around by crones. But at least s has some.

Those halves aside, the comedy in this is is spectacular. It’s built on high energy, zany absurdity that’s excellently executed, with only those aforementioned exceptions that only make up… 12% of the series.

Characters:

This isn’t a complex group of characters. They’re built on their quirks and on having very strong comedic interactions. Which, to be fair, is a perfectly acceptable route to go down in a comedy. And the characters are designed in such a way that you can put any of them in a scene together and get something funny out of it. You don’t need any specific permutations. It’s hard to even say whether some work better than others. So, the comedic chemistry is pretty spot on.

Art:

I’ll give Madhouse credit on the artwork front again. They have some excellent backgrounds, strong object designs and really good visual gags. The extended chase scene with Vanilla being a good example of that. If there’s anything worth being critical about, it’s that the comedic art style shifts might be considered excessive for some people. But they also suit the comedy type, so I can’t say I had any real issue with them.

GalaxyAngel2 1.jpg

Sound:

Tamura Yukari, Yamaguchi Mayumi, Sawashiro Miyuki, Kanai Mika & Shintani Ryuouko get to show off their acting chops a bit more in this series. Yes, they were good in the last one too and all my praise about the surprising levels of nuance still holds true. But the body changing episode has the group of them swap mannerisms and basically imitate the speaking styles of the other characters, which they do fabulously. We can thanks Itou Masumi for the soundtrack. She also worked on music for Phantom & Shigofumi. And I’ll give her full credit, she is excellent at composing music that suits the atmosphere of a series. I quite like the theme tunes as well.

Ho-yay:

Again, there’s a bit. There are points where Ranpha seems to lose her general boy crazy mentality and be more into the other members of the Angel unit. But there’s not a lot of that.

Final Thoughts:

Galaxy Angel 2 is a bit of an improvement over the first series. It certainly suffers from some of the same problems, but its high points are better. If you like that variety of off the wall crazy comedy, I’d highly recommend it. If you like your comedy to be more subdued, dry, raunchy or referential it’s probably not for you. For myself, I really loved it. I had a god time watching it and was very entertained. As such, I give it a 9/10. Next week I’ll look at Melty Lancer.

Yu Yu Hakusho the movie: Not the best episode

Yu Yu Hakusho was a good anime. I’ve also reviewed Hunter x Hunter, which had the same author and was great. Today, we’re talking about Yu Yu Hakusho the movie. They call it that, but it’s only the length of an episode so… that’s a thing. But I’ve reviewed shorter anime that were classified as films and the length, in this situation, doesn’t mater so much as the quality of the content. So, let’s look at it and see how it holds up.

Golden seal1.png

Story:

We open with Botan fetching Yuusuke & Kuwabara while they’re engaged in a brawl. She tells them Koenma was kidnapped and the culprit is demanding the golden seal, which is King Enma’s proof of office, in exchange for him. Naturally, Yuusuke borrows the seal, saying it won’t be a problem if he brings it back. He and Kuwabara run for the area where the exchange is meant to take place, not knowing their hosts have arranged for a welcoming party of monstrous menaces to munch their jugular veins.

The big issue with it is just that there’s not a lot of development behind anything that happens. Koashura’s motivations are weak which, to be fair, they lampshade and use for a bit of humour. But even that’s better than what we get for our big bad of the episode, I mean movie. Let’s call him super generic shounen villain five. A lot of the content also comes down to a running battle as they progress towards their goal and just tear into expendable henchmen on their way. Which doesn’t make for the most compelling content in the world. Nor does it ever do anything that’s unexpected and attention grabbing.

On the positive side, I did like the confrontation that Yuusuke eventually has with generic shounen villain five. It has some strong moments. I will also credit the work with giving Koashura some sympathetic traits in his cutaway scenes. And, speaking as someone who liked the series, it is nice to see more of this world and its characters.

Characters:

We have the same major cast as the series. Hiei and Kurama appear rather briefly and get a bit of banter. The focus is on Yuusuke, Kuwabara and Botan. They’re the same as they are in the series proper. None of them have undergone any life changing epiphanies. The main antagonist, old Five, is just bland.

Art:

The artwork is kind of good. I know, one of my issues with the series proper was the abundance of very noticeable art errors but this is a bit more polished. I noticed one sequence that was a bit awkward, but that was pretty much it for animation issues. The designs continue to be a bit odd but excusably so since it deals with supernatural beings.

Golden seal.png

Sound:

The acting continues to be a strong point. With Ogata Megumi, Miyuki Sanae, Sasaki Nozomu, Hiyama Nobuyuki & Chiba Shigeru all reprise their roles just as strongly as they performed them in the main series. Our new characters are voiced by Aono Takeshi and Matsumoto Rica, both of whom do perfectly well. The music is the same as it is in the series proper, right down to the same theme tunes. And the series has good music.

Ho-yay:

You don’t really get any here. Our characters who were a bit homo-erotic in the main series have a couple minutes of banter but nothing that really conveys that aspect of their relationship.

Final Thoughts:

The Golden Seal is basically like a stand alone episode of the series and not like one of the better episodes. It’s decent enough and if you really liked Yu Yu Hakusho you’ll probably enjoy it as a little bit more. For myself, I give it a 6/10. Next week I’ll look at another franchise I’ve discussed before with a look at Galaxy Angel 2.

Dirty Pair Flash: Roughly On Par with A-ko.

Dirty Pair is, like Project A-ko one of those well known franchises that started in the 80s and ran well into the 90s. The Dirty Pair Flash OVAs came out in the mid 90s as an alternate universe for the TV series & OVAs of the 80s. Like those instalments, it was handled by Sunrise. Yes, the studio behind Gundam, Code Geass & Gintama just to name a few. How does this hold up? Let’s take a look and see.

Dirty Pair Flash1.png

Story:

We open with a computer conversing with the chief of the 3WA about the status of the “lovely angel” pair of Kei and Yuri and how they’re rubbish at their job. Apparently, they both did well at practical exams but terribly at academics and they’ve also both been suspended a fair number of times. We cut to Yuri taking a walk down a street when she happens to run into Kei. She wonders how Kei can be out and about so care-freely when she’s currently suspended. An agent crashes in front of her and hands her a card that she has to get to the 3WA. Naturally, Yuri tries to pawn it off on Kei because she has a date. And the two end up getting caught in a wacky chase sequence leading steadily back to their headquarters.

The biggest issue with Dirty Pair Flash is that it’s not particularly skilful when it comes to switching between more absurd and more serious content. You’ll get a ridiculous action sequence in an airport and, not long after, the closure of Lady Flair’s supposedly tragic story. And these aren’t elements that work well together. In general the OVA doesn’t do well with trying to handle anything more serious because it’s always fresh from, or shortly away from cutting to, something absurd.

Now, I will give the OVA credit on that front. It has some really funny moments. The chase sequence from the first episode is quite good and the airport sequence is the OVA at its absolute best. Really, when it’s just going with absurd action sequences, it works. And the series is largely trying to be comedic. Those moments where it takes itself a little more seriously are rare.

Characters:

The characters in this are pretty basic. The OVA tries to add some complexity with the whole Iris and Molly story and by having Yuri work with someone who has all of her faults to try and force her to grow as a character but the characterisation never really moves beyond the very simple archetypes that we started with. Which works fine when the OVA is going with its absurd action and doesn’t really when it’s trying to be a bit more serious. One thing I do quite like about the way it handles the characterisation is the whole arc with Yuri & Kei coming together as partners. It’s definitely the closest the OVA comes to having real complexity with its characters.

Art:

The artwork is actually pretty good. It’s a bit dated by today’s standards, certainly. But it still holds up pretty well. The OVA does delve into fan-service a bit, although not as much as I anticipated, but it’s also got some interesting designs for its futuristic technology and the absurd action sequences are nicely done. Which does contribute to them being the height of the OVA.

Dirty Pair Flash.png

Sound:

Matsumoto Rica & Kouda Mariko do a nice job as our leading ladies. The rest of the cast is perfectly fine, considering most of them have very minor roles and those who have larger roles are very basic roles like the insane antagonist and the sympathetic antagonist. I quite like the music. Wakakusa Kei did a good job on the soundtrack. It’s certainly better than what he did for Hikaru no Go.

Ho-yay:

There’s not really any. We know Yuri dates a lot of guys and Kei doesn’t show romantic interest in anyone.

Final Thoughts:

Dirty Pair Flash is a decent enough anime. If you’re looking for an anime buddy cop work about a couple of ladies, it’ll probably satisfy you well enough. If you want something more complex or a completely unique take on that whole formula, it’s not the series you’re looking for. For myself, I give it a 6/10. Next week I’ll look at Yuu Yuu Hakusho: The Film.