Affair of Nolandia was directed by Masaharu Okuwaki, whose repertoire also includes Aishiteruze Baby, Cat’s Eye, and MÄR. Animation director is Yukari Kobayashi, who has worked on Lovely Complex and Gokujou. Notably, as this is Kobayashi first and only trek into the Dirty Pair franchise, the character designs in Affair of Nolandia look slightly different.
Affair of Nolandia finds the Lovely Angels sent to the planet Ookbar to protect a young girl named Missnie. Unfortunately, by the time the duo arrives at Ookbar, Missnie’s caretaker has been murdered and Missnie herself has been kidnapped. After dealing with the planet’s protective Chief of Security named Samara, Yuri and Kei’s traverse to the only place under Ookbar’s clouds with a maintainable ecosystem, the Nolandia Forest. After many ESP-induced mishaps occur during the trek around the forest, the duo are finally able to find Missnie, only to learn that she is naught but a small aspect of a much larger plan soon to unravel.
The premise of Affair of Nolandia is fairly simple and straightforward, with the plot twists occurring midway in the story integrating them well and do not feel tacked on. Some of the pacing in the OVA seems somewhat shaky, namely the scene in which Yuri and Kei are using their forest exploration time to relax and fish out Missnie. Fortunately, though, the slight pacing issues aren’t quite glaring enough to detract from the story. My only big gripe with Affair of Nolandia as a whole would be the ending; I will avoid mentioning any big details , but I will simply state that the ending is rather underwhelming, and feels as though most of the major events that occurred throughout the main story were wasted.
Animation-wise, Affair of Nolandia is an all-around solid effort. Despite the slight change in character design, Kobayashi does an excellent job to ensure that the OVA are pleasant on the eyes. From the psychic power-induced delusions wrought upon Yuri and Kei to the exciting, fast-paced chase scene that brings the OVA to a finish, all of it is wonderfully animated. The titular Nolandia forest in particular, seems to be inspired by the visuals from Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind; particularly with its strange animals that lurk in its wilderness. There are certain occasions where the animation is limited and obviously recycled, such as the pans through the forest as Yuri and Kei fly through it but these moments are thankfully quite far and in-between.
Pros: Animation is clean and detailed. Story flows smoothly and straightforward without feeling
Cons: Ending is underwhelming and makes many of the story’s events feel wasted. Characterization takes a back seat to the story as well as the short length of the OVA overall.
Affair of Nolandia is an entertaining story overall and a good addition to the Dirty Pair: Features collection. Although the story’s ending might leave you with a bit of an empty feeling, Affair of Nolandia is still worth a watch.