Something to know about the characters

The Angels' character designs for television passed first through the hand of Hosono Fujihiko, who had been working on a manga version of the Crusher Joe stories since about 1979. His studies are something of a departure from the style with which DP fans were familiar from Yasuhiko's novel illustrations.

two character sketches by Yasuhiko from early in the planning stages for the animation, the one on the left with a "gag" version of Mughi, the other somewhat closer to his appearance in the print stories


Hosono Fujihiko's "take" on the Lovely Angels (left) and Dokite Tsukasa's preliminary character design developed from it (right)


The person most responsible for the look of the Classic Angels, though, is Dokite Tsukasa. He came to the series by way of Studio Pierrot, where he had worked on Urusei Yatsura during its early years. By 1984, he was at Nihon Sunrise, where he had worked as a visuals director with Yasuhiko Yoshikazu on Giant Gorg, which aired between April and September of that year. As animation director and character designer for Dirty Pair, he brought Hosono's proposal into line with contemporary anime styles. (His involvement with Urusei Yatsura, along with Takahashi Rumiko's own interest in DP, led to an interaction worth discussing in its own essay)


a sketch by Dokite of Yuri as Lum

In this version, one of the things that "gets tossed over the side" is the Angels' psychic power. The only place where it is ever demonstrated is in Affair of Nolandia; the portrayal of their clairvoyant ability in that story is pretty faithful to the description in the novels. Their weird luck, however, does remain with them throughout the Classic version.

One of the other aspects of their characters that is played up is their verbal sparring, much of which often gives some interesting insights into their personalities. We see a small amount of their domestic life in the TV series as well. The broadcast episodes contain the only stories where Kei "cross-dresses", which sometimes has amusing consequences.

It should be kept in mind that the 1980s were part of a period of relatively happy times and considerable economic prosperity in Japan. This is reflected in the rather happy-go-lucky attitudes of the Angels and their pretty much carefree attitude toward spending money (though particularly when it's on the WWWA's expense account).

The uniform designs from the novels became more stylized: they acquired colors, piping, the familiar "Chinese" collars, and "cutaways" (something all subsequent designers will experiment with). From the Daatipea feature onward, Yuri's glove is switched to her left arm, although she remains right-handed; this eventually leads to Yuri becoming left-handed in DP Flash.

Indeed, each new outing in the Classic anime produced some variation on the basic pattern:


from the first (left) and last (right) TV episodes (1985): a little bit of evolution along the way


the somewhat more "realistic" renderings for Noorandia no Nazo (1985)


a return to the more cartoony style, with some outfit modifications, in Daatipea (1987)


a switch to something more like the silver uniforms of the novels for the OVA episodes (1987-88)


coming back to the "E.D.E.N." style for Bouryaku no 005-bin (1990), in a rendering typical of the transition between "old school" and current practices


Here's a little table of the changes in design details from 1985 to 1990.

piping gloves whip-grapples bracelets holsters boots
TV episodes rhomboid red on right arms
on left
upper arms
on left wrists
Y - right
K - left
Y's have red cuffs
Nolandia " " " " " " single color
Project EDEN triangular black
Y - left
K - right
Y - right
K - left
none on right hips "
OVA series " " " " " " Y's have red cuffs
Flight 005 " " " " " " single color


Story Chronology

There are not many explicit references to dates in the Classic anime. There are occasional hints dropped in the broadcast TV series, though, that some missions mentioned in passing have lasted for several weeks, so the stories we see must span some conisderable length of time.

The Daatipea Cinema Book, which covers "Project E.D.E.N.", shows correspondence, reports, and demands of reparations dating from March and April of 2140. We are told in the first TV episode that both Angels are 19, so it must take place between late March and late November of 2141. In episode 21, the Pair make a resort reservation to commence on 15 August 2143.

Unless the dates are really just picked out randomly (which is always possible in episodic series), we could take it that all of the Classic stories span the period in the Angels' lives between ages 18 and 22, regarded in Japan as one's seishun <green spring>, the best years of one's youth.


an illustration by Dokite Tsukasa for the occasion of Dirty Pair winning the 1986 Anime Grand Prix;

the caption in red reads Atashitachi wa fumetsu yo < We are immortal! >


Episode Guide for the TV episodes, the OAV episodes, and the "movies"

This is presently an on-going project, which will offer information and commentary eventually for all of the Classic anime stories


Links (updated 26 April 2007)

There are lots of Web sites with Dirty Pair images. The ones I've presented here are those which have the most material or something unique and are devoted exclusively to the Classic version. Those which include material on other DP versions are given in the Miscellaneous Links section.

The most detailed site I know of which covers the Classic version is Wim van Vollenhoven's site, where he has general series information, material on the TV and OAV episodes, details about the novels and some of the music recordings, song lyrics, fanfics, image galleries (including one, um, not "suitable for family viewing"), and more links. [This was my principal influence as to what I ought to have in my site.]

You may also wish to partake of Master Pun's Anime Banquet, where there is also a serving of Classic DP.

Metalformer also has a shrine to Classic DP (currently on hiatus for remodelling).

Mr. Wilbury has started a shrine devoted to Yuri.

Gary Cooke has a site which carries a large number of anime "vidcaps"; he includes a set from the Dirty Pair movie ("Project E.D.E.N.")

Plot synopses of almost all of the TV and OVA series episodes can be found at Psycho KORps' Show Synopsis Page

Dokite's love of the original Star Trek series was reciprocated by a number of the art staff members working on Star Trek: The Next Generation, to the extent that they slipped numerous DP references into the episodes of the first three seasons (they even sent him one of 85 embroidered jackets bearing the likenesses of Yuri, Kei and Mughi (shown in the Classic Odds'n'Ends section of the Hall of Curiosities). So I thought I'd include links to sites documenting these hidden references in ST:TNG (you'll have to root around among all the material) --

ST:TNG In-Jokes: here or here (I have found this information on the Web in a number of languages, including Icelandic!)

Baycon '89 and '90 notes

panel at Baycon '90 with Rick Sternbach and Mike Okuda

panels at Baycon '92 and Con*Fused '92

and from the other perspective -- Star Trek: U.S.S. Kyushu -- Star Trek from Japan

Speaking of the ST:TNG art people, Rick Sternbach was often found slipping K'n'Y into some of the design sketches as scale figures and the like; then there are things like this (look about halfway down the page -- ya can't miss it...)

Here's an interesting Japanese site, where the owner has their collection of Classic DP cels on display, sorted much like the Art of Dirty Pair books, with galleries for the Pair together, Yuri alone, and Kei solo; they seem to have something from everything except "Project E.D.E.N.", so you can make comparisons between the different styles over the years [Note: the cel galleries play music pretty loudly!]

There's another nice little cel gallery, with about two dozen images, here (there are two separate links on the page -- click on Mughi for the second one)

Murumbo Kingdom includes a largely informational section in which Murumbo-san has collected every piece of information he can find on Classic DP in Japan: all the technical material on every episode and OAV, every appearance of the Pair in the '80s anime magazines, etc.; it is, of course, all in Japanese. [Sheesh, the guy just may be a bigger fanatic than I am...]

Why not go straight to the source of all this and visit Dokite Tsukasa's site, Studio Jipang? He's recently done the artwork for the Daatipea CR pachinko game and the Classic Pair of Daatipea Chronicle Figures, both of which came out in 2002 [Note: when you get to the 'Works' page, keep an eye on the little line-drawing figures of K'n'Y -- they are animated on about a one-minute cycle and change poses three times]

As long as we're visiting Japan via the 'Net, here's another site with DP material -- BRIAN's Library by Asabi


Photo Credits

The DP logos came from the back cover of the booklet for "Daatipea no Daikessan", the 1994 laserdisc boxed set; the drawings by Yasuhiko are appear in the booklet

The drones from Silent Running are model recreations: the set of three are the work of John Rigg of The Robot Hut; the other pix is of a model by Scott Copeland, shown at CultTVMan's Fantastic Modeling site

The 1986 Anime Grand Prix illos by Dokite appeared in the June 1986 Animage

The 'Dan et Danny' screen capture came from the MégAnimation site in France, where you also take a look at the one-minute French promotional "clip" for the series! [thanks to Aivars Liepa for bringing this one to my attention]

The 'Kate e Julie' promotional image came from one of the big DP galleries; the character artwork is from an illo originally appearing in Animage(?)

The Hosono sketch and the preliminary Dokite character design appear in the Animedia Daatipea Film Story Digest

Yuri-as-Lum appeared in a retrospective of Dokite's work in the August 1985 Animage

The early TV character design images are from the Viz Comics/Sunrise Animation Film Comic Dirty Pair #1; the late TV version images are from Dirty Pair Film Book 1

The "Nolandia" character design image is from the videocassette clamshell box cover for the Japanese release of the OAV

The "Project E.D.E.N." character design image comes from the Dirty Pair Cinema Book

The OAV series character design image comes from the back of the jacket for the first OAV series laserdisc

The "Flight 005" character design image is from the cover of the March 1990 Anime V


On to the DP Comix

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