Anime Quick Information
|Average Rating: 8.50|
Martin scored this with 9/10. Disagree?
Mireille Bouquet is a professional assassin, one of the best in the business. When she receives a cryptic e-mail which merely reads ‘Make a pilgrimage for the past with me,’ť accompanied by an eerie melody that brings back painful memories from her own life, she embarks on a journey with a young Japanese girl named Kirika Namura who knows nothing of her own existence apart from an ability to kill with efficiency and lack of remorse which exceeds Mireille's own. Reluctantly, they team up to form a two-person assassination outfit which goes by the codename of Noir. Although they never quite trust one another, Mireille and Kirika are bonded by a desire to seek the truth concerning their lives and find out the motives behind a mysterious organisation known as the Soldats which seems to have been manipulating their every move from the very beginning.
Right from the outset, ‘Noir’ is clearly not a run of the mill cute-girls-with-guns anime series. The story is almost exclusively set in picturesque towns and countryside of Europe as opposed to a futuristic metropolis or ancient feudal society of Japan. This gives it a very fresh and unusual atmosphere, more in common with Luc Besson’s classic ‘La Femme Nikita’ than traditional manga-style animation with large explosions and generous amounts of fan service. Both Kirika and Mireille, despite their obvious good looks and apparent vulnerability, are in fact very unusual heroines who make a living out of coolly killing victims unknown to them, no questions asked. This is not to say that the viewer does not sympathise with them; Mireille is a sensitive and straightforward human being behind the icy exterior and Kirika's innate ability to perform assassinations seemingly without conscious thought is in great contrast to her childlike, innocent demeanour and complete lack of knowledge as to her real identity and purpose.
The animation is fluid and carefully executed (no pun intended!) and lends a great deal of its style from the classic film noir genre from which it takes its name. The use of subtle facial expressions and body language remove the need of excessive dialogue, and the scenery views make good use of subtle pastel shades and mimic camera techniques which increase the sense of constant tension and intrigue. An especially noteworthy feature of 'Noir' is its soundtrack, which is nothing short of superb. Gentle and melodic background melodies give way to a haunting and emotionally charged score, enhancing the tension of action sequences even further.
This series is not completely without its flaws, however. Many of the victims are portrayed from the heroines’ perspective, i.e. faceless figures in dark suits who meet swift and unemotional ends in quick succession. This can be a bit of a drag at times, seeing so many victims fall without a fight and you start wishing for an adversary who has skill and charisma of their own and survives more than one episode. Luckily, this does occasionally happen. The mysterious and maternal Soldat member Altena and her knife-weilding protegĂ© Chloe are among the few supporting cast members who play a larger part than being merely moving targets for Mireille’s and Kirika’s deadly skills. The series does take a little while to properly pick up pace, and the departure from usual anime clichĂ©s may make hardcore anime fans think twice about seeing it. ‘Noir’ IS a grower though. After a few episodes, it will work its quiet seductive magic and you will be utterly hooked and waiting to see if there's a season 2. The DVD extras give extensive galleries of production sketches, and later volumes include interviews with the Japanese voice actors. As always, there is an option of an English dub or Japanese dub with subtitles, both of which are of the high standard AD Vision has produce in recent years.
A cool and stylish series with exquisite attention to detail and a soundtrack that will leave you breathless. A refreshing action/drama anime.
|Score:||9 out of 10|
|Date Published:||Sat, 22 Jan 2005|
1. Comment by JV3r8
2. Comment by Kiniau
3. Comment by noir_girl
4. Comment by The Always Manic Foz!
5. Comment by Harun
6. Comment by Mars
7. Comment by Manmohan
8. Comment by Aiden
|Your rating of "Noir"?:|
|out of 10|
Type the characters you see in the picture above.