"Ambivalence" - The coexistence within an individual of positive and negative feelings toward the same person, object, or action.

I enjoyed the entire series of Noir so much I bought the DVD box set, yet it's terrible. I love-hate this anime with all my heart!

Why I love Noir
  • Set in France two female assassins, Mireille Bouquet and Kirika Yuumura, don the guise of the legendary Noir, a mercenary for hire, who takes down the rivals of the underworld. These women are highly trained and will kill without mercy. While the morality of their actions may seem at odds with their otherwise civilised nature Mireille explains that it's simply bad guys killing other bad guys. Society as a whole still benefits from their actions.
  • Chloe, a rival assassin, has a crush on Kirika, whether this is romantic or simply friendship isn't clear but it taints her otherwise emotionless personality. Both Mireille and Kirika don't trust Chloe yet Kirika gives her the benefit of the doubt whilst still remaining cautious. The characters in this anime are realistic and multi-levelled, making some of the awkward scenes between the three characters a joy to watch.
  • The music is amazing especially how it flows seamlessly from one variation to another of the same theme. It's as though the music changes mood with the characters. You'll have that tune in your head for days afterwards.
  • I watch and re-watch many of my favourite episodes over and over again.
  • There are 26 half hour episodes in all available in separate volumes or as a DVD box set. The separate volumes also contain booklets with director's notes and some contain a pair of red tinted glasses to read secret codes written on the back of the booklets.
  • The DVD extras contain interviews with both the Japanese and English voice cast. Some memorable highlights include the voice actress Hoko Kuwashima, voice of Kirika, describing how she voiced a cat meow, also a group interview with the English voice cast in which they practically giggle all the way through.
  • There is no fan-service. No matter how often the characters kick and jump within their skimpy skirts there's not a single upskirt scene. Even Mireille in the shower revealed no nudity. I'm aware this could be seen as a bad thing but often fan-service detracts attention from the main plot.

 

Why I hate Noir
  • How old is Kirika? No matter how often I watch it the age difference between her and Mireille makes no sense. In the opening scene Kirika is seen at school in her school uniform. In a later episode she has crush on a man who may become a potential boyfriend yet he's a full grown adult man in his 40s at least. In a later episode still we see a flashback scene with Mireille and Kirika as children yet they appeared the same age. Kirika wouldn't have been born when that event took place. Maybe Kirika is older and pretending to be a schoolgirl as part of her disguise, but it's not clear if that's the case.
  • With this anime being Japanese and the story set in France there are a few oddities that don't quite make sense. These aren't that important but I thought I'd mention them anyway. Mireille and Kirika will often bow their heads when greeting Chloe which certainly isn't a French custom. Also Kirika and her fellow classmates wear Japanese school uniforms.
  • As I already mentioned there are some amazing episodes but the more the story progresses the more the plot itself wanes. The character Altena explains that Noir can only consist of two maidens but Kirika wishes to team up with new friend Chloe so intends to kill Mireille. After an exhausting and pointless scene she snaps out of it so intends to murder Chloe instead. The only reason all three of them can't team up is because Altena said so.
  • The story ends with meaningless killing for gibberish reasons.

 

"Love-Hate Noir" website by Raymond Johnson. www.raysnet.com.
"Noir" anime by ADV Films.