Parental Guidance Recommended
2001 Ryoei Tsukimura (creator) Koichi Mashimo (director ). Victor Entertainment, Beetrain, TV Tokyo
|Noir DVDs |
Noir is a name of purity for a sinner's soul, a codename that two assassins have taken as they weave through the dark side of society. Kirika is a young girl whose memories have been lost and Mireille is a woman who has made a decision to bid farewell to her past. Following them are a series of risks as they chase case after case and gun down men after men. Together they search for the true meaning of Noir.
Lethargic but action packed. Eh? >>> by skysenshi
Set in present-day France, Noir is Cowboy Bebop meets Serial Experiments Lain -- intense and action-packed but beautiful in its subtlety. The atmosphere is quite different from most anime since Noir is devoid of nearly all forms of exaggeration or excessiveness, including humor and blood baths. There is dramatic flair and exquisite attention to detail, even dabbling in a bit of European history, without resorting to overemphasis.
Noir is profound -- so much so that it becomes quite a heavy watch. Because of this, Noir is not something that would be good for a marathon. Some scenes tend to be drawn out and the juicy parts make their entrance only in the middle of the series, when the connection between Noir and their clients takes root in family history and clan-based mafia activities. At this point, one sees that the characters Kirika and Mireille aren't completely heartless... just hardened. When they start developing attachments, situations that may break one's heart would happen. Ironies like these have a high probability rate in such a grim tale, though, so one must really anticipate the worst yet still manage to receive an unpredictable outcome. Such can only be expected from Ryoei Tsukimura, the person responsible for Noir's original plot, composition and scenario. Tsukimura is also known for brilliant masterpieces such as Revolutionary Girl Utena and El Hazard.
The sounds are definitely the most noticeable aspect of Noir. In fact, I got wind of its soundtrack first, which eventually led me to this anime. We have Yuki Kajiura to thank for this, as she has woven a wonderful repertoire of rich and somber classical, new age, and techno pop music. Goosebumps may raise at the vocals, accompanied by simple yet elegant play of the violin and the contra bass of such pieces like Canta Per Me (Italian for "Sing for Me"). The voice acting is equally superb, taking into consideration that Noir's main characters are quite complex. Excellent delivery by seiyuu Kuwashima Houko (Kirika) and Mitsuishi Kotono (Mireille). Mitsuishi Kotono, best known for her work as Usagi in Bishoujo Senshi SailorMoon and as Misato in Shin Seiki Evangelion, especially synchs well with Mireille.
All these make Noir a philosophic discourse with the soul...a profound discovery if one has enough time to at least take one dose of it every night.
Individual Rating: Art/Animation 8; Story 9; Characters 9; Sounds 10