In this section, I will mostly comment on things like cultural (or pop-culture) references, interesting connections back to Classic DP stories, special uses of Japanese language and its meanings, or other points that might be obscure. I will try to refrain from obvious observations about story situations and will limit my remarks to points that are important to the series somewhere along the way (or things that are just interesting or amusing). For dialogue, I refer to back to Takachiho's own words in the subtitles, as translated by Dan Kanemitsu (I may need to mention a few small errors I have found); occasionally, I'll remark on the departures in the English-dubbed version when they are significant (if you have the DVDs, it can be interesting to play the dubbed dialogue with the subtitles displayed).
Rannauei Enzeru <Runaway Angel>
This first set of comments will run pretty long, since it not only discusses this episode, but also introduces the entire story arc. "Mission 1", as ADV refers to it, is conceived as a 2-1/2 hour "movie" in mini-series format. It is very dark in tone, with many of the aspects of a 1940s-1950s Hollywood noir film; in fact, it's clear that Wakakusa Kei, the soundtrack composer, very much likes the music used in those movies (the DPF 1 soundtrack album is worthwhile listening to just on its own). In keeping with this style, DPF is clearly under the influence (as was so much of '80s and '90s SF and anime) of Ridley Scott's Bladerunner  (with Syd Mead's visual designs -- WWWA Headquarters, in fact, resembles the Tyrell Building) and, in turn, the original Bubblegum Crisis series and many other "cyberpunk" stories. The tone of this story is also more in line with Takachiho's own novels, the Classic OVA "Conspiracy of Flight 005", and the two Crusher Joe OVAs than with the more comedic Classic TV episodes or "Project E.D.E.N.".
This is an "origins" story, so it tells how the Lovely Angels of 2248 started to develop into a team. (Is this a sequel to Classic DP? Is it a parallel universe? More on this later...) Consequently, not once in the entire series will you hear Yuri and Kei referred to as "the Dirty Pair"; perhaps this is the adventure that gained them The Dread Nickname.
The "establishment shot" in District 427 of the city of Furool (Fu-lon, in the translation) shows a portion of a city still somewhat in ruins. We will gradually learn that the human-occupied Galaxy has been painfully recovering from a major war. The circumstances are roughly similar to those of Japan and Western Europe in the early 1960s.
We cut over to the office of Chief Garner at WWWA Headquarters (which, by the way, is pretty much modelled on Chief Gooley's office in any of the Classic series); he is 42 years old and we will learn that he came up through the ranks, having been a Tro-Con himself. He is lamenting the wayward team of 17-year-olds he now supervises, who are presently out of contact with the home office. In this story arc, we have the only instance of direct communication between a Chief and the Central C omputer (referred to in notes as the D.S.E.). Here, CC speaks in Kansai <roughly, the western half of Honshu Island> dialect, which is highly inflected and has its own peculiar locutions. Sometime after Edo (later called Tokyo) became the capital of Japan, the Kanto <eastern section of Honshu> dialect became the official one, and Kansai became the "funny" dialect. This is further reinforced by the fact that a great number of Japan's most famous comedians came and come from Osaka, Kyoto, etc. It is an endless source of (mostly humorous) contention that Kanto people think Kansai folk are lackadaisical and talk like the Chinese, while people in Osaka and environs think those in Tokyo talk and act "like a bunch of stiffs". Kei also occasionally uses some Kansai expressions (Takachiho himself hails from Nagoya).
We are given a brief shoukai <introduction> to our two young TCs, as CC reviews their files. Yuri's home world, Shack-G, is a play on the little town in which Studio Nue is located, Shakujii in Nerima-ku. The remark about it being "a little planet out in the middle of nowhere" sounds a bit rueful: Shakujii is a good twenty kilometers (12 miles) from the Imperial Palace and is beyond the reach of the Tokyo Subway. [My suspicion is that, as with so many places where artists set up shop, Nue went there because the rent was cheap.] Workoh, Kei's world of origin, given in Japanese as waakou, might be a play on wakou, the name given to Japanese pirates who preyed on shipping in the Sea of Japan centuries ago. (I also find it irresistible to translate the name as "wacko".) While this introduction is taking place, we are shown what Those Two are up to at the moment, but this is not something CC is actually aware of.
As with the earlier versions of DP, the birthdates chosen for our heroines are relevant: Kei is a Capricorn and aMetal Horse, while Y is a Pisces and a Metal Sheep; the astrological significance of these Western and Chinese birth signs are discussed in Signs and Portents. The change in birth sign for Kei from the outgoing, expansive, optimistic Sagittarian of the novels and Classic DP to a dour, hard-nosed, self-reliant Capricornian can be seen as an indicator of how much the mood in Japan had changed between the era of prosperity in the '70s and '80s and the regime after The Bubble burst in 1989. If Classic Kei is a character in the spirit of Captain Kirk and James Bond, Flash Kei is Clint Eastwood (also a Metal Horse) as Inspector "Dirty Harry" Callahan of the SFPD or the Man with No Name.
Garner's "these kids nowadays" soliloquy is a sort of capsule history of Japan after the Pacific War (corresponding to the Galactic War of the 2220s). During the 1960s, with recovery well underway, there was serious social unrest in Japan (as in most of the industrialized world), with a desire to make major changes in the long-standing post-Meiji social and political order (to which the Garoomun [rendered as Gamruhn in the dub] Riots of the mid-2230s refer). By 1980, an entire generation of people had grown up without experience of the War and its agonizing aftermath and in an increasingly urbanized and Westernized Japan. They became referred to as the shinjinrui <new humankind>, who observed fewer and fewer traditional Japanese customs and explored new and unconventional ways to live.
In the opening title animation, the spinning card visual is a lift from the Phantom Zone Projector in Superman: The Movie (1978); Kei's in-your-face aim, known as an isosceles stance, and the fractured-glass motif refer back to the opening titles sequence of the Classic TV episodes.
What's with the mermaid? She presumably represents a Siren, one of the creatures of Greek mythology, who turn up in The Odyssey of Homer. (They actually didn't resemble mermaids at all in the associated myths.) In that ancient story, the Sirens live on an island and lure passing sailors into shipwreck and death through the enchantment of their singing voices. You are probably already familiar with this part of the tale; the relevant part is that when the Sirens sang to Odysseus, they promised him foreknowledge of all the world's future events. So the communications nexus Siren here is potentially an object of great power to those who seek to control it, since it will ultimately link to all networked media, databases and computers in the Galaxy.
We first meet Kei coming out of a game arcade (identified as 'Game Fantasy'), where she has been playing a holo-game, Final Gunfighter VI (this is visible on cel images, though not in the animation; I like the suspended, gimballed seat for easy 3D play). The two-tone hairdo she wears in this version is known in Japan as "Yankee-style", in which rebellious young people dye their hair in various shades of blonde and red, possibly because it seems "American". Her eyes are green here; in Eastern Asia, such an eye color is an extreme rarity and green eyes are often likened to those of a wolf, so the intention may be to make her seem somewhat feral to Japanese viewers.
A major part of the Flash reconception is to make Kei even more of a rebel against proper Japanese behavior: she has always been brash and "unfeminine", but is now even more non-conformist. She is dressed as a member of the bosozoku, the "speed tribes" who are roughly the counterpart of American motorcycle gangs of the '50s and '60s (an amusing difference is that, while the Americans would get out on a highway and ride as fast as possible, the bosozoku might take over the highway lanes and proceed at 10 kph to delay and disrupt rush-hour traffic). These gangs often act as "feeders" to the yakuza, so they generally have a reputation as a "bad lot".
While Kei's speech pattern has always been very colloquial and even coarse, here she speaks in a rather rough, masculine form of Japanese. This comments on the changing linguistic practices in Japanese cities, where the traditional distinctions between male and female word usage among the young is steadily disappearing. Many of those who grew up in the '80s often have trouble getting jobs because they have become unfamiliar with keigo, the polite, formal usage of Japanese, which is still strictly observed in the business world.
At the start of the story proper, neither TC is armed, since they are not technically on duty (in fact, Kei is supposed to be confined to her quarters at the moment -- not the last time she goes "over the wall"). It seems likely they may never have had a significant mission up to now (unlike all the other versions of DP, the two of them were hired separately at age 14 and were only teamed less than a year before we meet them). This story arc, then, is possibly their first real adventure!
As Waldess indicates later, the planetary moon was evidently shattered in the Galactic War of the 2220s (musta been a doozie!); the folks at Sunrise must have liked the idea, since they would blow up Earth's Moon in a later series you might know... (and the 2002 remake of The Time Machine was content to swipe this).
GCN is the Galactic Communications Network, but the name is possibly also a sly play on GENOM, the sinister mega-corporation in the Bubblegum Crisis stories.
The pacing of this first episode is rather frantic, as it attempts to recapture something of the chaos of the first Classic TV episode (which tilts Damocles Tower, the great megastructure in the heart of Elenore City).
Many among the bosozoku decorate their cars or motorcycles with elaborate, but often useless, accessories (in some ways, this is like the vehicle-oriented subcultures in America). So, in the 23rd Century, why not a car that transforms into a giant mobile suit? (The folks at Nue love designing this kind of stuff...) " 'Practical' isn't important! It's fashion and style that count!"
"But they hate each other!" The situation between Kei and Yuri at this point, as indicated in the dub, seems to be one of the major points that put older DP fans off this version entirely. It is one of the premises in this version that the two of them are not already friends of long-standing by the time we meet them, in order to trace a way in which two antagonists might grow to work together. But, in any case, that isn't what the original dialogue says. Yuri is so annoyed with the present fix they're in (especially since she's missed her date) and so disgusted generally by her partner's ways that she calls Kei "saite" <the lowest, the pits>. As someone who thinks pretty well of herself, Kei's hardly about to let that pass and replies something like "How dare you!". This is hardly down to the level of hatred (where things would get much ruder), it just isn't good... A noteworthy line in this argument, by the way, is when Kei tells Yuri, "You can't do anything by yourself anyway!" Keep this one in mind as the stories progress...
"MONEY?!": when the chase leads into District 427, the local gang boss (sometimes referred to as "Tienanmen Man", for the name in Chinese that appears on the building he operates from) offers a reward for capturing the Angels, causing many of the local denizens to pop out of the shadows. One of them is, rather strangely, dressed as a frog! This is a cultural detail that would be quite understandable to a Japanese viewer. It is a popular thing, especially among younger people there, to carry a coin purse in the form of an animal. A common choice is a frog (kaeru), which is a play on the verb kaeru, "to return": it is hoped that the money taken from a frog-purse and spent will soon return again to its owner.
The transformations of the Pair's clothing, accomplished by the use of their bracelets (which hadn't been used for anything in DP anime since the seventh TV episode), is, of course, a borrowing from the "magical girl" genre, particularly Sailor Moon, which had just come out less than two years earlier. This is probably one of the other elements which most put off fans of the Classic version; fortunately, the use of this gimmick is pretty restrained, I think (we only see the Lovely Angels use their "morphable" outfits a few times in the entire run of stories). In this one full-blown display of the process, which is actually sort of tongue-in-cheek, Kei is doing a "Honey Kisaragi Forward Roll", a take-off on Cutey Honey's transformation. In fact, Go Nagai is generally credited with introducing this sort of henshin <transformation> into anime; it is known as a "flash sequence" (hence we have DPF). Yuri is doing something like a "Sailor Senshi Spin".
In this climactic battle sequence, the run through District 427 to WWWA HQ, we discover that Yuri is left-hand dominant (she's actually good at swordplay with either hand, though), a significant change from her other versions and a pretty rare characteristic among anime characters (the proportion of "lefties" is actually much less than in the real human population!). Her laser-sword is carried over from the print novels (we only see such a weapon used once in all of Classic DP, in the "Project E.D.E.N." movie). While it is a "lift" from the light-sabers of Star Wars, which first appeared in Japan in 1978, the year before the first DP story was published, it should also be said that George Lucas did not invent this idea -- it goes back rather farther in the history of science-fiction stories. (The business with Yuri dicing up the thugs' clothing without wounding them is sort of a 'Toon version of the many jokes and hyperboles used to describe a highly-skilled swordsperson.) The laser sword is for her what the Bloody Card is to the other versions of Yuri.
We also raise for the first time what could be a recurring question, "How good a shot is Kei?" Here, she manages to find the hidden munitions dump in the Tienanmen building without even aiming (after nailing their boss's office with a direct hit), completing the already planned demolition of the ruined District.
While lecturing the two errant Tro-cons, Garner again mentions the Garoomun Riots, which we learn had occurred circa 2233; are they in some way relevant to the characters' history? We'll see...
The final scene, in which Kei and Yuri turn their backs on each other and separate is a reference to a scene in Classic TV episode 26, where their counterparts briefly have a disagreement on strategy and tactics. The use of composition and lighting is very stagy, with the two Lovely Angels walking off in opposite directions, Yuri into the light, Kei into darkness (with the obvious intended symbolism).
However, the title of the next episode is not referring to Kei...
Daakusaido Enzeru <Darkside Angel>
The opening exposition in this episode has Waldess, who we now understand to be the head of GCN, in the council room of the ten chiefs of Lucifer, the reigning galactic organized crime syndicate, which also reaches into planetary and galactic government, the intelligence services, and the legitimate corporate world (we wouldn't want to suggest that this idea draws on anything in the real world...). Lucifer (the name of the Fallen Angel) figures in the print novels and turns up in Classic DP in "Flight 005 Conspiracy". The virtual meeting room is inspired by the opening trial scene in Superman: The Movie. This scene presents Waldess' self-concept as a sort of corporate messiah to the human-occupied Galaxy (to which we return later). He mentions an epochal event in future Galactic history, the Great Catastrophe of 2163: more on this later...
We will shortly come to realize that the assassination of Ralmophon, who heads United Galactica's telecommunications research labs, and his unfortunate WWWA escort was pre-arranged with aid from the factional military forces ("make a noise in the East, attack in the West"), so that everyone at the launch site would be facing the wrong way. How good a marksman is the assassin?: they get both targets with one shot (as an exercise, try figuring out where the sniper was standing). Capricornian Kei regards her work very seriously (indeed, her level of skill is her measure of self-worth) and takes this failure personally, which drives her pursuit through the next few episodes.
We are treated to the bizarre spectacle of an aircar being chased by a starship ("Can't this thing fly straight?"), in a sequence which is a bit silly. (The Angels do eventually learn how to manage slow, level flight...) We also get a glimpse of the assassin during the chase.
The confrontation in the marsh gives us our first good look at the mystery figure. She quickly sizes up her opposition and is plainly toying with the Pair. For no clear reason, when she finally has both of them dead to rights, she passes up the opportunity to finish them (she's already demonstrated that she doesn't lack the ability). Interestingly, her "cyber-arm" is made out of one of the few materials that can stop a laser sword, which tells us this is someone who has access to special technology. It becomes clear also that the matter of her "arrest" by the government's military police was staged and she expected it to be observed (the little smile for her audience on the bluff says it all).
The ox and crane that Kei finds first in the field are traditional symbols of good luck, which in this case means that the Angels don't get themselves killed.
The mystery assassin is eventually identified for us both by one of her aliases, "Ms. Elena" (for Elene/Helen, the legendary beauty of ancient Greece), and by her professional identity. "Flair" is a reasonable rendering of Fureiya, but the various notes from the original Japanese material give her name as "Freya". Freya is usually known as the Norse goddess of beauty and love (analogous to Aphrodite/Venus in Greco-Roman mythology). She is one of the Vanir, the ancient Northern European deities; as a fertility goddess, she is seen as a life-giver (and sometimes taker) and a protector of young lives. Freya is something of a warrior: she is even sometimes identified as the leader of the Valhyries. She is knowledgeable of a special form of magic (traditionally suspect because it is associated with feminine power) and thus cannot be killed. Freya mourns the loss of her mate, Odir, who disappeared after departing on a long journey, and sometimes roams the world in search of him. (In various folk verses, incidentally, the goddess is sometimes invoked as "Lady Freya".)
Something I rather like in this episode is that the current Angels are counseled by an older person, the head starship mechanic at Shutajeh. In her first conversation with him, Yuri sums up part of the team's problems in saying of Kei, "she's no partner." (This is only in the subtitled version; another interesting line to consider for later...). The mechanic's infamous "Lovely Angels" speech sounds a bit corny, but there is some nice cinematic use of visual elements: the killing of a fly as punctuation to the remembrance of Molly's death, the welding torch repairing the ship leading into his remarks on the need of Yuri and Kei to work and be together.
While this sequence is taking place, we find Kei in a machine shop studying a "blueprint" and making a little modification to her gun. In the anime versions, at least, Kei is the "techie" of the team and is sometimes seen working on or repairing machinery, with varying degrees of success. (At this age and in this situation, it figures she'd choose an alteration which is excessive for the purpose...)
By now, it's pretty clear who Flair once was, but you've been given a number of clues along the way...
Flair = Iris:
at the opening titles, as the spinning "card" retreats, we see K'n'Y together, then the woman we will learn is Flair, suggesting some connection between all of these characters;
in the "battle of the marsh", just as Kei departs from the wrecked aircar, we see an iris in the foreground, then discover a whole field of these flowers;
once we see Flair out in the open, we notice that her own outfit includes the same colors worn by both Yuri and Kei;
after the mechanic chides Kei about her gun modification and mentions of Iris, the very next person we see, in tight close-up, is Flair;
in the ruined food shop where Flair spies upon her young harriers, she gives a startled reaction at the mention of their ship, Lovely Angel
"The last thing I need is you hanging onto me again." In the Classic anime, especially the TV episodes, there are many times when the Pair are in a perilous spot and Yuri is hanging onto Kei's legs for dear life (occasionally, it's the other way around...).
One of my favorite sequences in the story arc is the one where the Angels suddenly appear at Flair's porthole on the space shuttle (it's probably just as well you can't hear what Kei says, punctuated by a head-bang). Granted that the whole thing is 'Toon physics (how do they stay on the outside hull with a 500 kph wind streaming past? extra sticky boots? sheer cussedness?), but it's also traditional in older adventure movies to have a chase and showdown atop a moving train, so what the hey? (It may be some of these little excesses in the episodes that Sunaga wrote that Takachiho was a bit unhappy about...)
Both inside and outside the shuttle, Flair passes up a second opportunity to eliminate her two antagonists, though she's more serious about doing so this time; only another bit of amazing luck intercedes to spare their lives.
At the end of the Angels' (seemingly hopeless) "cavalry charge" against the Barrage units, the fade to sepiatone is a reference to the final scene of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969); that pair, incidentally, did escape Bolivia and retired quietly back in the States (the ending in that movie is fictitious).
Furoozen Enzeru <Frozen Angel>
In the lobby of GCN, where Kei makes her impromptu "interview" with Waldess, we see these massive gilded statues of winged bulls with the heads of crowned and bearded men. These are Assyrian monuments which would date from roughly the Ninth Century B.C.E., if they were authentic (it is unclear as to whether the ones at GCN would actually have come from Earth, given what is eventually implied about the planet's fate). It may be that this is a reference to Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian Empire (in what is now Iraq), for some time the great power of Asia Minor and the successor to Babylonia. In the Old Testament, the city was generally held as a symbol of the arrogance and vainglory of worldly power, which is ultimately doomed (when the end came for Assyria in the late Seventh Century B.C.E., it collapsed rapidly before outside conquerors -- including what would become the Persian Empire, in turn conquered by Alexander of Macedonia, and so forth). So this little scene may be intended to foreshadow Waldess' destiny.
a bull and eagle are fused with a king's head as a symbol of imperial power
Kei is "escorted" outside by agents of WWWA's Team 9, Gustav (the section chief) and Vasily (Basil, in English); that latter name has no good transliteration into Japanese, and so gets mangled a number of ways in the English translation
While she is being "called on the carpet" in his office, Garner explains to Kei the problems of intruding on the operations of other departments (something essential to avoid in Japanese organizations). He remarks upon the need to "smooth things over" with the offended Chief of Team 9; this will not be the last time he performs such maneuvers to protect the reputations of his charges or others (we'll come back to this later, too). Things have about hit bottom for the current Lovely Angels, who have ceased to function as a team and pretty much pursue their work as they see fit. It can only be uphill from here, since we "know" how this story has to end...
We first see Yuri, at Prof. Kapps' laboratory, playing a videogame -- something of an anticipation of the premise of the next episode.
Once Flair makes her lethal way to her current target, luck intercedes again: she is about to shoot Yuri, when we hear glass shatter (it's Kapps fleeing, though we won't know this for a bit).
How good is holography in the 23rd Century?: apparently good enough to pass for real on a brief glance (we come back to this in a later story), which is all Flair gets before making her own escape.
Classic DP uses quite a number of '60s Star Trek references, so we get one quick one here when we hear "Dr. McCoy" paged at the WWWA Infirmary. This is appropriate in a way: DeForest Kelley had a cameo as an aged "Bones" McCoy in the pilot episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Kei shows that she can turn on the "girlie-charm" when she wants to (here, to get a bit of information) -- in this incarnation, she just rarely wants to... (we see her cracking her knuckles not fifteen seconds later). Yuri exhibits part of the "dark side" of being a Piscean and a Sheep in her motive for taking off after Kei, who must pay for ruining yet another date!
If you catch a look at Kei's ID card where it landed on Garner's desk, you'll see that her name is rendered as "Key". This transliteration into English turns up from time to time in various DP print materials; "y" is actually a traditional form of "i" in European languages, so occasionally someone writing out the romaji form of her name swaps one letter for the other...
Aboard his yacht at Jai-Sulmail, Waldess declares his attraction to dangerous locations and people, a bit of bravado for which Flair gently expresses her contempt (nicely written in the original Japanese) -- there's a difference between viewing it in safety and living it...
In the verbal exchange with Flair after Kei's unsuccessful surprise attack, Flair's demonstration with the modified gun essentially serves as her signature, though she could hardly know of the mechanic's earlier observation ("only Iris could handle a gun like this"). Her question of Kei, "Do you understand?", is thus more directed to the audience. Is Kei merely surprised by Flair's demonstration of superlative skill (a benefit of something like 15 years' more experience) or her realization of who Flair must be?
Another question: does Kei in fact "know nothin' " or is she really able to resist truth serum? (She shakes it off pretty fast, but this question is also left unanswered.). In the interrogation scene, it's established that Flair knew Garner, if you still had any doubt who she once was. So we realize that she is also any agency's worst nightmare: an enemy who is a renegade agent with full knowledge of their former employer's methods and secrets.
Soon after her arrival at the yacht, Yuri upholds another of her traditions (in any version) of wrecking most any machinery she encounters...
The Angels' luck intercedes yet again: Yuri appears on the scene just in time to sow confusion. In the second showdown between Kei and Flair, Yuri misses her opponent with her sword again, but this manages to work out anyway. Waldess seizes the opportunity to flee for his life (obviously he doesn't care for too much danger...) and Flair passes up a third opportunity to simply liquidate her foes.
As the handcuffed Flair is seemingly drawn to her doom, we get a genuine shocker in her flashback:
Iris = Classic Kei (sort of) --
This is not in any way inevitable, but there have been a number of clues to this along the way as well:
in "Ms. Elena" 's tight close-up, she is wearing the same dark glasses and triangular earrings worn by Kei while undercover in the opening sequence of "Project E.D.E.N."
Classic Kei drops her "cover" in a "sting" operation against smugglers
also, on more than one occasion, there is a cross-cut from our Kei over to Flair; as one example, in this episode, while Yuri is keeping an eye (kind of) on Kapps, she hears the struggle in the corridor and asks, "Is that you, Kei?" -- Flair appears at the door (well, blasts it open...)
The tragedy of Molly's death in the flashback deals with the question: what if the 'Lovely Angels' weren't the 'Dirty Pair'? What we see and are given to understand is that the Angels of the 2230s were excellent operatives who were not exceptionally lucky. While they are plainly modelled upon the Classic Pair, they are missing a couple of things Those Two had: the whip-grapples they used to save themselves from fatal falls any number of times, and Mughi as their back-up.
This sub-plot is built upon another question which has come up: how would Classic Kei react if she lost Yuri? A hint is given in the previous DP outing from 1990, Conspiracy of Flight 005. After both are caught in a tremendous explosion, to draw out their assailants, (whoops: spoiler!) Kei adjourns to a bar to stage a mourning for her partner (Yuri is actually in hiding off-camera). One of the lines in her (somewhat drunken?) speech is "I'll avenge you if it takes the rest of my life." Flair is a plausible manifestation of Kei's (in any version) potential for implacablity and pitiless rage.
Flair may also be reacting to her own physical mutilation; Classic Kei is quite proud of her body and one can only imagine the psychic damage such an injury would cause her. The loss of her left arm is, of course, also a symbol and constant reminder of her loss of Molly. (Flair's character design actually has a number of such asymmetries: her single earring, the heavy 'cyber-arm', the pattern of her combat outfit -- red on the right, blue [mostly] on the left).
There is an additional meaning here. The molly plant, in ancient lore, was a protection against evil (there is more on this is the 'Choice of Names' portion of Signs and Portents). Without Molly's presence, Iris enters the Path of the Assassin.
An amusing business is Yuri's maneuver to establish Kei's possession of her illegally-altered gun (Kei got to play lawyer once already by temporarily not having the weapon on her person). This establishes the precedent that Flash Yuri can be incredibly sneaky, something which comes up again later on. The sequence also plays out one of Kei's personal nightmares -- arrest by the authorities...
More on the second half of Dirty Pair Flash (Mission 1) to come...