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Review
Show: Noir (2001)  
Review by: Animetique
This summary/review is provided by animetique.com and used under the Creative Commons License.
Story:

My Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0

Let me start by saying that I'm usually not a big fan of the chics with guns genre (police anime, etc). Noir, however, has captured my interest, at least up through the first couple episodes so far. Now, maybe that's because the music is done by Yuki Kajiura, who also did the music for .hack//sign, which gets extra points in my book, but Noir does have a certain intrigue to its characters and story.

Noir is made up of the two maidens of death, as the intro states. Kirika Yumura is a girl who awoke with amnesia one morning in a strange room. The only thing she could remember was that she was Noir. The other member of Noir is Mirielle, a blonde chic who has been the only member of Noir up to this point. This is probably a discrepancy, as I'm not all that far along in the story, but it appears that Kirika and Mirielle knew each other at one point in their lives. They seem to be tied together through the music that plays whenever Kirika opens her pocket watch. The music really upsets Mirielle and she can only take small doses of it. That being said, the two are amazing assassins, who never seem to lose their cool even in the most difficult of situations. Neither has a problem with the guilt and remorse associated with killing another human being, either.

When Kirika woke up with amnesia, she immediately tried to get in touch with Mirielle. The two meet and Mirielle offers Kirika a place to stay as she tries to figure things out. Not long after, they realize they are targets of the greater enemy, the one who gave Kirika amnesia, and someone whom they know nothing about. When Mireille and Kirika aren't killing their prey, they're trying to figure out who exactly this mystery group is that seems to be after them. And, of course the mystery group is tied to the true meaning of "Noir."

I found the anime to be a bit slow at times. The series could have probably been crammed into 13 episodes. Around episode 20, I was kind of bored, but the last couple of episodes picked up. Most of the episodes are a bit formulaic... your two assassins go on a job, shoot up the place and leave after causing some damage.

There is, however, this undercurrent - what exactly is "Noir" theme? It has this quasi-religious, "what is death?" cult theme that doesn't really play out until the final episodes. Instead, you get a bit more of the same vision episode after episode until they finally reveal the "climax" in episode 22 (or around there, anyway). And much of the episodes do focus on the growing friendship/bond between Mireille and Kirika - two lonely girls who have this knack for avoiding death at all costs and who have never really trusted anyone before. That character development also plays out well in the final episodes.

I must say that by the end, I really liked Kirika, and I thought the ending worked really well, given the circumstances.

Animation:

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5.0

The animation style of Noir is excellent, with very detailed backgrounds and nicely drawn, realistic characters.

Music:

My Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0

As I mentioned above, the music is done by Yuki Kajiura, so it's damn good! I'll be purchasing the OST sometime soon...

Character Design:

My Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0

The characters are intriguing in their own nature, particularly because neither has a problem with looking someone right in the eye before shooting them. There is no remorse or guilt for committing such an act. In fact, Kirika is really bothered by this aspect of her personality and questions why she isn't reacting with typical human emotions.
Last Updated: 1/25/2007
Other Reviews by Animetique
1) FLCL (Updated: 1/18/2007)
2) Ah! My Goddess! (Updated: 1/18/2007)
3) The Animatrix (Updated: 1/18/2007)
4) Chobits (Updated: 1/25/2007)
5) Parasite Dolls (Updated: 1/25/2007)
6) Noir (Updated: 1/25/2007)
7) Martian Successor Nadesico (Updated: 1/25/2007)
8) Gasaraki (Updated: 1/25/2007)
9) Fullmetal Alchemist (Updated: 1/25/2007)
10) The Vision of Escaflowne (Updated: 1/25/2007)
11) Neon Genesis Evangelion (Updated: 1/25/2007)
12) Scrapped Princess (Updated: 2/8/2007)
13) Escaflowne (Updated: 2/8/2007)
14) Metropolis (Updated: 2/9/2007)
15) Howl's Moving Castle (Updated: 2/9/2007)
16) Spirited Away (Updated: 2/15/2007)
17) Tenchi Forever! (Updated: 2/15/2007)
18) Blood: The Last Vampire (Updated: 4/4/2007)
19) Paranoia Agent (Updated: 4/23/2007)
20) Perfect Blue (Updated: 5/10/2007)
21) Elfen Lied (Updated: 5/17/2007)
22) R.O.D the TV (Updated: 6/5/2007)
23) Read or Die (Updated: 6/5/2007)
24) Elfen Lied (Updated: 6/29/2007)
25) The Twelve Kingdoms (Updated: 7/9/2007)
26) Love Hina (Updated: 8/17/2007)
27) Samurai Champloo (Updated: 3/6/2008)
28) Texhnolyze (Updated: 3/12/2008)
29) Tsukihime Lunar Legend (Updated: 9/2/2008)
30) Full Metal Panic! (Updated: 2/2/2009)
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