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Monday, June 10, 2019

Noir

Review.

I've talked about this before I think (and if I did not I should have).

Noir turns out to be a superb series, contemporary setting (well, back in 2000 😄) and somewhat different from other anime. What makes this series stand out is music and style... It oozes style...


Heaps of style

What the series lacks in drawing and animation, it makes up for in style, colors, tone, background music. Yes. This is all about style but it does have content as well, and I liked it very much.

Not so good are the overlong and annoying flashbacks. Keep the remote at hand, you may need that fast forward, or take it in small doses like in an episode every week. No need to binge this one.

Synopsis: female assassin picks up a girl that has lost her memory. Together they figure out the past, and get entangled in each others destiny. (Now that's pretty vague, isn't it? 😄)

The series starts at number 1 (no surprise there) then 8 one shot episodes follow. Then it *really* starts and becomes one long story arc. Not much blood but countless dead bodies so this is not for kids.

According to some sources on the net, the lack of blood was on purpose. Characters with a soul bleed, without a soul only bleed for theatrical effect 😄

Character design is interesting: sexy Francoise Mireille, innocent looking school girl Kirika, twisted Chloe, and mislead Altena. Many recent shows suffer from almost identical looking female characters. At least there's some difference here.


The ending has caused a lot of controversy... Big spoilers coming up!


The ending (spoilers!)

The two shots at the end are supposed to be coming from the weapons of Kirika and Mireille (I can't hear the difference, but self proclaimed experts say it is so). Now, when Kirika and Mireille leave, they disappear in the distance, and shots follow. Who shot?


Option 1: they shot each other

Throughout the series, Mireille promised Kirika that she would kill her. This, however, would mean *one* shot, Mireille's gun, shooting the other girl. Kirika has more than once stated that she wanted to be killed. She wouldn't shoot back. So two shots is unlikely.


Option 2: one shot the other, and both shots are from the same weapon.

Most likely it was Mireille who killed Kirika, but it looked like she had given up on that. And why go through the effort then and not simply let Kirika fall? (Watch the episode.)


Option 3: They killed each other for some reason

Perhaps because they suddenly realized they actually had become 'noir', and did not want to expand the suffering to the world. In one of the last episodes you see Mireille and Kirika standing back to back, interestingly enough, Kirika and Chloe were portrayed the same way a little earlier in a similar pose representing that they had become 'Noir'. Two pairings...

The events surrounding Mireille's arrival and fight for Kirika could be considered part of the ritual, which is in a way acknowledged by Altena. So some draw the conclusion that Mireille and Kirika decided they did not want to be (the next incarnation of) Noir, and shot each other or themselves.

This is, again, however, unlikely. What purpose would it serve? Though both main characters are 'damaged goods' and a bit on the depressive side, to me it seems they've fought enough to take a chance at at actually living.


Option 4: they were shot by Soldats

Scary possibility, and though not my favorite this a likely possibility.

Soldats could have left a few snipers to take out the duo, no matter who became the real 'Noir'. Now the question is, would Kirika and Mireille be killed that easily? (Unless they wanted to be killed, as in a form of suicide under option three.)

And... would Soldats take the risk of just two shots? A hail of bullets is more likely.


Option 5: Kirika and / or Mireille shot someone else

Perhaps a guard left behind by Soldats? Could be, Kirika and Mireille both were wounded, and if there would be any transport available opposition might be dealt with quickly and efficiently.


Option 6: it's all an artistic way to say goodbye

Perhaps it's how Mireille and Kirika use the gunshots to say goodbye to their old killing ways. Or the director went too deep and used it as his way to say farewell, and torment us viewers until eternity.

Very likely.

I think it is option 6, but like to think of it as option 5. Hope keeps us all alive...


Bullet-time

So many series and movies mess up with the number of bullets per weapon. Noir isn't much of an exception... So just for fun I tracked down the weapon of Mireille used in the series, it's a P-99. But the number of bullets the clip could hold did not match the descriptions I found... at first.

Turns out it actually does! There are modified (read: illegal) clips for the P-99 that would accept up to 20 (!) bullets, although these are over-sized and stick out of the handle, thus do not match the animation. If it was an FN Five-seveN it would have been right... Hey, not everything can be perfect 😄


For the nitpickers among us, where the hell does the couple keep all the ammo? It's not as if they are overly dressed, especially Mireille's skimpy skirts offer little in the way of storage... or protection against, euh, the elements 😄

But it's anime, after all... And good at that. (A bit dark, but I used a liberal helping of smileys in this review to compensate.)

Seriously good, go and watch it!


Dapper / TellTales! 35

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