Dirty Pair OAV episode 3 We’re Not Afraid of Divine Judgment. It’s Like Magic?! The God’s Challenge is a massive tonal shift from No Thanks! No Need For a Halloween Party!, but makes the mistake of reverting to the Halloween tone at the last minute.
The episode opens with some dark, red shaded, imagery of a man staggering through a hellscape. It cuts to Kei and Yuri arriving at a very rural spaceport in downright modest dresses. Dresses that Kei is complaining about vigorously, and also commenting loudly on the religious beliefs of the locals.
After being dragged aside by Yuri, Kei and Yuri discuss the murders of about 300 Jason-Hughes mining personnel and the disappearance of investigators sent by Jason-Hughes. Apparently the local god is believed to be responsible for the deaths, but no one is really talking. Yes, this is an infodump, and a fairly clumsy one at that.
On exiting the spaceport, Yuri persuades a local farm boy to drive them to the site of the murders, a village called New Heaven. Bonus points for the farmer driving a truck with a missing back window and an inquisitive cow sticking her head through the window occasionally.
The conversation initially emphasises how good the god is for the planet, including the weather satellites that ensure bumper harvests every year. But the god ordained 5 years ago is possibly a touch dark for the young man, and he’s not sure that he’s a believer the way his parents are.
As the conversation turns to the deaths, and the Lovely Angels ask the wrong question, things get nasty: although covered by a Gory Discretion Shot, the poor lad’s head explodes splattering Kei with blood. A warning for the unclean women to leave is heard over the radio before the driverless truck careers over a cliff.
Kei is not happy that the handsome lad has been murdered like that, and is now determined to investigate. Arriving on foot in New Heaven the Lovely Angels investigate the ruins, including the suspiciously smooth cuts through the buildings. They then discover a Jason-Hughes investigator about to be executed in a creepy cult ceremony. The creepy cultists are also wearing suits closely resembling space suits.
Mayhem ensues, and along the way Yuri confirms that the “miracles” are high tech science such as invisible monomolecular blades. The people have memory metal implanted in them, and that’s what causing the remotely controlled nasty deaths.
Whilst they do rescue the investigator, and get the name of the key shrine from him, he dies shortly afterwards.
The Lovely Angels promptly infiltrate the shrine, which turns out to be a space ship taking off to dock with a large satellite in orbit. Confronting the “god” reveals it to be a Brain in a Jar with a robotic body who chases the Lovely Angels through the space station until they reach the energy converter rooms.
This ends exactly how you think: no energy, no god, and also shortly after no space station.
Although it only tackles the issues briefly, Divine Judgment does look at Clarke’s Third Law, and how it might be perverted to set up a religion. There’s even a few comments during the firefight about at what price is a peaceful society justifiable. For that purpose the darker tone of Divine Judgment serves the episode well, and it should have ended on that tone.
Alas, because the space station was the central node for the weather control satellites, that network is now down. The final moments of the episode are Kei and Yuri remembering what happened the last time they broke a network like that, and apologising to Gooley who is last seen reaching for stomach ache pills.
This bit is clearly played for laughs and I think it damages the episode overall. Dirty Pair has done serious episodes well before, and Divine Judgment would have been better left as such.
The Battle Bikini percentage remains at 100%.