Original Dirty Pair: Affair of Nolandia
Cynthia Ward · January 22, 2004 | I saw my first Dirty Pair movie at a science fiction convention in the mid-1980s, but as the years passed, I forgot the title. Was it The Nolandia Affair, or Project Eden? Visiting Best Buy recently, I learned the series had added several titles over the intervening decades; in fact, it had split in two, resulting in two different Dirty Pairs, Original and Flash. I opted for Coke Classic and bought the DVD titled Original Dirty Pair: Affair of Nolandia. That was the movie I'd seen. Wasn't it?

Watching Nolandia, I didn't recognize a thing beyond the heroines, Kei and Yuri, and their alien pet/sidekick, Mughi. Maybe it was Project Eden I saw. I hope so, because Nolandia was a lot weaker than I remembered.

An OAV, Nolandia (1985) must have been made in a rush or on a budget: the art is pedestrian, and many of the cels are recycled. Perhaps recycling is a common anime practice, but if so, I'd never noticed, because the storylines absorbed my interest. Alas, Nolandia's science fiction is unsophisticated, while its mystery-suspense plot doesn't quite make sense, a problem worsened by the Dirty Pair's ability to miss the obvious while leaping to brilliant, accurate conclusions deduced not from previous events, but from thin air.

Original Dirty Pair: Affair of Nolandia
ADV Films, 2003
Originally released in 1985
Directed by Masaharu Okuwaki
50 minutes

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With its buxom babes in bikini uniforms, its lesbian overtones, and its gratuitous nudity, Nolandia is clearly aimed at horny adolescent boys (of all ages). That's not inherently a problem—movies as different as Project A-Ko and the first American Pie target the same audience, and they're brilliant. But the creators of those movies assumed their viewers were intelligent; as a result, their creations gained fans from many demographics. Whether by accident or intent, Nolandia aims for a considerably lower common denominator.

What's Good: Cute girls who kick ass.

What's Bad: Recycled art; weak storyline; gratuitous nudity; almost no DVD extras.

DVD Features: Aspect ratio 4:3; English and Japanese 2.0 Dolby digital audio; English subtitles.
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