Friday, June 17, 2016

Friday Review: The Great Adventure of the Dirty Pair (Novel)

Dirty Pair is best remembered today for its numerous anime incarnations but, prior to appearing on the screen, Kei and Yuri were first brought to life in the pages of Haruka Takachiho's light novel series.

Published in 1979, The Great Adventure of the Dirty Pair features both the title story and another tale, "The Case of the Backwoods Murder." Takachihio would go on to pen seven more Dirty Pair novels between 1985 and 2007.

The Great Adventure of the Dirty Pair finally received an English translation and release from Dark Horse Books in 2007. The translation is well done and all of Yoshikazu Yasuhiko's illustrations are intact (there are twenty in total).

The "Great Adventure of the Dirty Pair" follows the WWWA trouble consultants, Kei and Yuri, as they investigate the destruction of the Gravas Heavy Industries facility where all is not as it seems. The second story, "The Case of the Backwoods Murder" takes place on the vacation planet of Lamier, where a murder occurred. Both are told in first-person narrative from Kei's perspective and, despite being the inaugural Dirty Pair outing, each story feels like it could easily be an episode of the anime.

There are a few bits of information not touched upon in the anime, such as the special material of the girls' revealing outfits, as Kei explains:

"It may look bare to you, but we're completely protected, not only where there's fabric but where it looks like our skin's exposed, too. We're encased in a transparent sheathing of ultra-thin reinforced polymer. The polymer was developed by WWWA's own research labs, and even gives us some protection against heat and bullets."

Dark Horse Books released the second Dirty Pair novel, The Dirty Pair Strike Again, in 2008. Unlike the first release, which were two novellas in one, the follow-up was a full-length novel. Unfortunately, Dark Horse never released any of the subsequent volumes. It's too bad, since the novels were both fun and worthwhile reading for Dirty Pair fans. The first novel can still be found fairly cheap on eBay, but the sequel is harder to find and fetches far higher prices.

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