Journey to the Past
Guest Writer – Shane Sweeney
Noir is not just a girls-with-guns anime. I mean, it is that, but it actually has depth and a well thought out plot. Who knew you could have a well thought out plot in a girls-with-guns anime? This guy! Because I bothered to stick it out through the whole show and let me tell you, you will not be disappointed. Or, I guess you could be if you don’t like dated animation and a lack of blood when henchmen are shot. But in the end, the fact that the plot is well put together and intriguing all the way up to the last episode shines through any other detractors.
Noir is about two hit-woman. One of them is a tall blonde bombshell and she works alone, alone I tell you! The other is a short and quiet assassin and she has a case of amnesia. The blond’s name is Mireille and the assassin’s name is Kirika. The story unfolds when Kirika confronts Mireille with the task of helping her uncover her lost memory. Mireille is intrigued with this young assassin’s entrance into her lonely life as a gun for hire and agrees to help her with the caveat that after Kirika regains her memory, Mireille will have to kill her…. dun dun dun!
Around episode 8 is where the mainly self-contained episodes start to give way to a much grander story arc. From there on out the anime is hard to put down.
Noir may not have been the first girls-with-guns anime, but it may be one of the best ones out there. With a style that is very much like its title, it is a smooth show with lots of long-take shots and slow pans. Characters take time to reveal their pasts and villains stay amongst the shadows.
There is plenty of espionage and some scattered comedic duo buddy dialogue. You grow with the characters over time and they are not one dimensional, thank the Lord! Even though the animation is a tad dated, after a while, it felt nostalgic to me and there are some beautiful action scenes.
Noir also does a fine job of showing what the life of an assassin is like, and let me tell you, it is definitely a lonely, melancholy life. So, so alone. What is the purpose of a life? This anime isn’t afraid to get introspective (an Kirika is kind of emo at times).
But you should really stick this one out (long takes and all).
I would say it is well worth the journey into the past.