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DVD Reviews: Noir Volume 1 - Shades of Darkness

The Final Say!

Feature Score:
DVD Extras Score

Reviewed by Tory Favro
Review Date: 19 March 2003
Distributed by:
The AV Channel
Running Time: 125 Minutes

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 this series!

Noir Volume 1 - Shades of Darkness Features

  • DVD Extras
  • Production Sketches
  • Clean Opening and Closing
  • Original Japanese Promos
  • ADV Previews


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