Dirty Pair Part 3: Eighties Spirits

January 13, 2003
Author: Reverend Ragu
No boy no cry, 'cause we are livin', livin' in the eighties.

The eighties. The age of synthesizers, mullets, bleepy, nonsensical video games, and the outlawing of Russia forever. When life was about fast cars, fast women, and fast times at Ridgemont High; a time when any dream could come true... for a price. Okay, so I can barely remember the eighties; my most vivid memory is my babysitter getting righteously pissed at me when I made my action figures say “DIE YOU ASSHOLES” while acting out The Running Man, and most of my experience with the era comes from music videos, John Hughes movies, and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. I guess if history scholars can become experts on an era by reading crappy old books and not actually BEING THERE, I was both THERE and I've seen more than enough Twisted Sister videos. I think that you can safely call me a scholar of the eighties.

So I welcome you to these crazy times, tough boys, when Japan's economy was rocketing to the stratosphere. There didn't seem to be a ceiling to this rocket-fueled, efficient and sensibly engineered, ascent, and practically anything and everything became marketable. After a long day of manufacturing sock glue, rancid canned coffee or horny remover, you've gotta unwind. There's no time to get a handjob at one of the city's less reputable massage parlors if you want to get a good night's sleep and are nice and rested to get back to your important job as a mindless corporate ant ensuring that the economy will eventually crash on the dead weight of so much useless shit! Thus, out of necessity, the ecchi manga was born: All the socially repugnant sex acts you need to get off without the time, effort, and social stigma! It was an excellent time saver, and saved a lot of time that would be otherwise spent staking out middle school gym lockers.

You know what else that era spawned? The Dirty Pair. I'm not talking this cutesy Dirty Pair Flash shit from the nineties, God forbid we talk about that fucking decade. I'm talking hotpants, cleavage, and hairspray; the real Dirty Pair. Only the eighties could have spawned a concept so utterly wonderful and have the low-quality synthesizers and cheap animators to truly do it justice: Half-naked space cops kicking ass all over the universe. Big hair, big breasts, and obnoxiously catchy synth-driven pop music; The Dirty Pair captured the spirit of the eighties better than just about anything else.

Keeping that in mind, the Japanese should be nostalgic for the halcyon days of the '80s, While they desperately try to recapture that spark that lit the pipe of crystal meth that fueled Japan's rise to the stars by recording all their pop music on the very same synthesizers they used in '85, life keeps moving on. And though militarism, Star Wars, and shitty heavy metal are back, it ain't the same. Police forces just don't have the budget for color-coordinated cops in half million dollar sports cars with the escalating drug and crime problems. Vietnam vets are getting way too crusty to send single handedly into unfriendly nations. Michael Jackson's somewhere between white and decomposing, and Mr. T can't find work. The eighties are dead and gone, stuffed, buried, exhumed to barely extend Andrew McCarthy's career, and finally just cremated.

That won't stop them from trying to bring it back, though, and perhaps h-doujinshi, with its strange and mysterious power to make us write droning articles about them, can set the clock back twenty years as well. This brings us to today's selection, a little doujinshi called "Two of a Perfect Pair", a "tribute" to the age of decadence, debauchery, and The A-Team. Yes! A manga so enwrapped in the time, a manga that will so light the fires of your desire FOR THE EIGHTIES that it's like going into a phone booth and coming out with Cyndi Lauper and the cast of Charles in Charge! Wait... Charles in Charge? What's that smell...?
...It was the whiskey-and-pork-rinds reek of Scott Baio's career I was smelling.
But you know, sometimes we all have momentary lapses of judgement. And watching anything from the eighties, we can see that moment lasted about ten years. Let's just plug our noses and get on with it, shall we? On the table of contents, a 'stylized' Kei implores us to “NEVER FORGET 80'S SPIRITS.” Now, in some circles, rather than being called 'stylish', this picture would be called “horrible”, but those circles, of course, are FORGETTING 80'S SPIRITS as mutant Kei so authoritatively demands you to. Is waging an unwinnable war against your own people for what they personally decide to put in their bodies logical? Is maintaining a frightening facade of a cold war for political capital and the benefit of corporations logical? And what about Stryper? No! It's 80'S SPIRITS! Who needs logic and common sense when you've got pink tights. It's the eighties, baby, and it's time to party like it's 1989!

Something tells me that Yuri's True Hollywood Story is going to be interesting.

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