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Nozomi Cover Art - Dirty Pair OAV Series

Nozomi Cover Art – Dirty Pair OAV Series

In which the Lovely Angels accidentally disrupt 4 criminal plots whilst killing a terminator[1] with fireworks.

The 2nd Dirty Pair OAV episode No Thanks! No Need For a Halloween Party! is possibly one of the most iconic Dirty Pair episodes[2] ever made. Driven by Rule of Funny, Halloween Party is fast paced, and always good for a laugh no matter how many times I see it.

The episode opens with the criminals who are planning to use the Eleanor City wide Halloween parties to cover their criminal plans. The four groups are in costume as:

  • Ali Baba and his thieves,
  • Alice in Wonderland along with the Mad Hatter and the Dormouse,
  • A bunch of robots[3]
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. I’ve always liked the anchor tattoo on Snow White’s bicep[4].

Announcing their target as Halloween, the scene shifts to some fairly disgruntled Lovely Angels who are having to work tonight. Note to Kei: don’t insult Yuri too much whilst she’s holding a loaded machine gun. Fortunately the target shows up in an air car and the Lovely Angels fly off to arrest him.

Well, that sort of worked. I guess. It ends up with Yuri reporting a successful arrest and an emergency landing[5]. At which point Gooley asks about the cargo that the Lovely Angels didn’t know about.

The cargo that has walked away.

Ooops.

At this point the Lovely Angels have one hour to track down the Tactical Robot Weapon whilst it’s in evasion/infiltration mode before it switches to destroy everything mode.

The problem is that with everyone in costume, picking the robot out of the crowd is a bit of a challenge. So Kei buzzes the crowd at low altitude to make everyone duck, except the robot is a little slow to react. Once the robot is found the chase is on.

The robot itself is one of the funniest things ever put into Dirty Pair. It has a combination of flashing eyes and a chittering laughter sound effect that is simultaneously creepy and hilarious. Combined with a sense of physical comedy that feels inspired by Warner Brothers, the chase for the robot is funny throughout.

The first gang to fall by the wayside is Ali Baba and his thieves. They’ve successfully hijacked an armoured car and are busy unloading the gold when the robot runs in their direction. Their attempts to stop it are, well, pathetic[6], and the robot ends up literally running over them.

Meanwhile Alice and her crew have entered Tiffany’s and get their jewellery heist underway. Bonus points to the Dormouse for bringing a vacuum cleaner to collect the goods from the display cases. Alas, the robot crashes through the door followed by half a dozen police cars[7] piling up inside. The Lovely Angels come in next, borrow the Mad Hatter’s rocket launcher, and blow the robot through the wall.

The chase is on again, and leads to the museum. With time running out, and rather than search the place, Kei starts randomly shooting and flushes out the robot costumed criminals who had also snuck inside. This does also flush out the robot, and more mayhem ensues.

Eleanor City didn’t really need that museum, right?

Next up is the bank vault that the dwarves are carefully hacking to derive the combination whilst an increasingly impatient Snow White is demanding results. The robot shows up, punches in the combination and jumps inside, closing it afterwards.

The Lovely Angels then ask the shocked Snow White if she’s seen the robot, Snow White points to the door, and then the Lovely Angels blow it open. The stunned thieves are left sitting there with a “WTF just happened” look on their faces as the alarms go off, and the security grills come down.

Meanwhile the Lovely Angels are discovering that the vault backs onto a metro tube, and that the robot is chasing down a train.

This leads to one of the best sight gags in anime history that I won’t spoil here. Go watch the episode yourself, you won’t regret it.

The Lovely Angels manage to corner the robot on top of a building just as the time runs out and it switches to destruction mode, just as the Halloween fireworks display starts. In this mode the robot is basically all guns, and the Lovely Angels are completely outgunned, and very shortly out of ammunition.

Conveniently, there’s a huge array of fireworks nearby that the Lovely Angels commandeer in place of their normal weapons.

What follows is hilarious, and contains a few cultural references that I picked up from the Nozomi liner notes. In the late Edo period, around 1810 or so, two rival fireworks groups would stage competitive displays. From this arose the Japanese tradition of shouting the groups’ names of Tamaya and Kagiya when pleased by fireworks. The other item is the “big one” or the sanjakudama firework referenced by Kei.

This is a real fireworks shell that is 3 feet across, and gets used at least four times a year at the Nagaoka Matsuri in August.

To be honest the idea that a terminator could be defeated with fireworks when military grade weaponry has repeatedly failed doesn’t make any sense.

Just go with it. This is very much a scene where Rule of Funny overrides everything else, and it’s an opportunity for the Lovely Angels to perform for an audience. Which they do.

Rule of Funny is what drives this episode and it works brilliantly. It always puts a smile on my face, and the scene of the Lovely Angels having a drink afterwards while dismissing the issue of “We broke more stuff than usual”[8] just seals the deal.

Of course, the final line is given to Alice as all the criminals are being driven away in a paddy wagon: “I HATE Halloween”.

Halloween Party is a great episode, and possibly one of the best episodes to show people who haven’t encountered Dirty Pair before. It’s just a huge amount of fun, and great to watch with a group.

The battle bikini percentage remains at 100%.

Here’s the rather cute ED:

Next Up: We’re Not Afraid of Divine Judgment. It’s Like Magic?! The God’s Challenge.

[1] Technically it’s a “Tactical Robot Weapon” but we all know what it really is.

[2] At least in JAFWA for several years.

[3] The leader of which is not dressed as C3PO. Honest.

[4] This is definitely not the usual representation of Snow White…

[5] Which means exactly what you think it means.

[6] Yuri even says so as she flies past.

[7] It wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if The Blues Brothers was an inspiration here.

[8] That’s a direct quote from the subtitles.