Wow! This is one of the few
discs that I have had the pleasure to view in recent times that on occasion
rendered me breathless. Noir is the beautiful tale of two women, accomplished
killers, trying to find their place in both the world and the past.
The style for this anime is truly in a class
of it's own and I admire the team for undertaking this stark technique.
Backgrounds are very plain leaving the storyline to be told through sparse
dialogue and character expressions. The strength in the story is the story
however when there is action it is truly no holds barred.
The premise behind the title is that
experienced assassin Mireille Bouquet meets an amnesiac called Kirika who has
the potential to be a deadly killer. She doesn't remember how she came to be
this way and she has with her a pocket watch whose melody triggers memories in
Mireille of her youth that she is not comfortable dealing with. Together they
will try to find out what it is that drew them together and what it is that
will eventually mean the both of their deaths.
With this storyline you do need to have
patience. There are five chapters or stories on this DVD that will slowly
unfold and explain more of what makes these two women so driven and also how
they relate to the shadow world of death in which they live.
The cels for this series seem to have been
given a special treatment that involves firstly watercolouring the cels and
then giving them a digital treatment to colour when necessary. It's a really
nice approach to showing the feature and really stands out in contrast to what
is out there lately in anime.
An outstanding part of this disc is that is
also has Dolby 5.1 sounds that is worked discreetly into the feature only
raising it's head when it is needed. I did find that some of the dialogue
should have been recorded a bit louder and sometimes Kirika in particular
mumbles a bit below the level of the accompanying music. The series is
presented in widescreen format and very nice to look at. The featured extras
are not anything special and don't really hold the viewers attention.
Quite frankly I cannot wait for Volume 2 of
Noir Volume 1 -
Shades of Darkness
- DVD Extras
- Production Sketches
Clean Opening and Closing
- ADV Previews