Something to know about the characters

The new stories greatly alter the personal history of the Pair. The principal premise in this new conception is: what if Kei and Yuri had not already been good friends for years when we meet them? Here, they do not already know each other before they started working for the WWWA, although they do begin their jobs there at the age of seventeen, just as they have in all the other versions. Because they have no special rapport, their contrasting personalities are antagonistic: simply put, initially they can barely stand one another. Even their character designs emphasize the magnitude of these differences: their color schemes are complementary (Kei: red, orange, yellow, black; Yuri: blue, purple, white) and they even have opposite handedness (Yuri is predominantly left-handed in this version). Happily, the friction between them subsides gradually. In a somewhat different way from the Classic version, Flash is not really about science-fiction adventure -- it's about the relationship between the two Lovely Angels.

The Angels' personalities are actually still consistent those of the characters in the earlier novels, but their most familiar characteristics have become more exaggerated. Kei is now a no-nonsense, street-wise, harsh-spoken*, violence-prone, almost thuggish individual; she is, however, not without compassion and acts on the side of justice and principle. Yuri is even more boy-crazy than in the other versions and has greater tendencies to being prissy, silly or selfish; in a crisis, however, she will bear down and see the job through to the end. Both show evidence of having come from poorer economic situations (Yuri's obsession with marrying into wealth, Kei's apparent ability to get by "on the streets."). There are also hints dropped that Kei may have been orphaned quite some time earlier.

*she uses rough, masculine Japanese almost exclusively and refers to herself by "ore", rather than "atashi" (Her protest "Ore wa onna da!" <I'm a woman!> is a bit of linguistic humor which is untranslatable into English -- it was actually pioneered by Takahashi Rumiko for her character Fujinami Ryuunosuke in Urusei Yatsura. There's more about that here.)

It's an interesting question as to whether these Angels have any unusual abilities. In several episodes, Kei exhibits superhuman strength when angered, but this is such a common anime convention that it's not entirely persuasive as a special capability. There are a number of occasions on which she correctly intuits the circumstances of a case from very limited information. But if she has anything like a "sixth sense", it is for recognizing imminent danger -- not so much clairvoyance, perhaps, as a talent cultivated from unhappy personal experience. Yuri demonstrates an ability to pick up information without having to be focused on its source; she also has a strong intuitive sense of what actions to take in a crisis. They also continue to enjoy (if that is the word) their peculiar sort of luck in this version, as in the others.

Their birthdays are now 1 January for Kei (which is regarded as highly auspicious either for the individual personally or for the world in general -- perhaps chosen to underscore her unusual luck?) and 3 March for Yuri (which in Japan is the Hinamatsuri, or Festival of the Dolls, also known as Girls' Day). These dates maintain Yuri as a Pisces, but now make Kei a Capricorn (though she retains a few Sagittarian traits). They also portray characteristics of the Horse (Kei) and the Sheep (Yuri) in Chinese astrology [see Signs and Portents].


Story chronology

2111 FTL propulsion developed; human interstellar colonization commences

2125 first Galactic Federation established

2135 original WWWA founded

2163? - 70? Great Catastrophe: collapse of galactic civilization, seven-year gap in Federation history

2175 new Federation established

2179 second WWWA organized

2220s a major Galactic war erupts

early 2230s original "Lovely Angels", Molly and Iris, active in this period

1 January 2231 Kei born on Workoh

3 March 2231 Yuri born on Shack-G

2233 the Garoomun Riots: widespread social disorder; Molly killed, Iris severs relations with WWWA and vanishes

2240 WWWA relocated Headquarters to current location on Furool

2245 Yuri manages to just pass the entrance exam and is hired by the WWWA as an "auxiliary"; Kei is also admitted during this year; both receive their training at this time

late 2247 Yuri and Kei are teamed up and assigned the codename "Lovely Angels" by the WWWA Central Computer (also known as "D.S.E.")

2248 time of first story arc, "The Siren Case", which traces the development of the latter-day Angels into a team; series concludes on 12 October

the later stories presumably continue into at least 2249

[based on material provided in the "WWWA Press" insert for the Japanese videocassette release of DPF "Mission 1", episode 4]


Episode Guide and Commentary for the three "Missions"

This is presently an on-going project, which will offer information eventually about all sixteen episodes.


Links (updated 15 February 2007)

As I've mentioned elsewhere, there are loads of DP galleries around the Web. In this section, I am providing links to those which are solely devoted to the Flash version. Sites which carry material on more than one version can be found in the Miscellaneous Links section.

Daijishin Anime (in Indonesia) has images and information, including plot synopses for Mission 1.

Jamm!n's Ladies of Manga [sic] site has a five-page Flash picture gallery with a cute Java applet leading to it.

You'll also find a gallery of large images here.

Chibi Maya has a site for DP Flash and Burn Up W.

Nicole F. has an interesting character analysis of the Flash Pair, based on their designs, at her site (I don't agree with every word of it, but it's worth looking at to learn something about how portraits convey information about people, even fictional ones...)., which started in October 1998 as a very ambitious site, expired in 2004 after a long period of neglect


Photo Credits

The DPF character design images come from the November 1993 Anime V, "frame captures" (vidcaps) from the "Mission 3" opening credits (provided by Haruka), and the Dirty Pair Flash Art Book. The images of Mai and Yui Koujiro, Simone Rufuran, and Kiara Suun came from The Pretty Character Chronicles: The History of Animation Heroines, 1958-1999. The image of Sonoda Kenichi's Lufy appeared in the December 1987 Anime V.


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