I spent some time this weekend rewatching anime that I own, but haven’t yet reviewed here. It was edifying, let me tell you. There were some things that were great and some less so. I decided to start the week off with a reasonably strong entry. ^_^
Noir Volume 2, *feels* like a second volume. The art is significantly less good than the first volume, the plot sort of drops off a bit in favor of character development (sort of) and the use of repeated footage begins to grate. But otherwise it’s excellent. ^_^
On the positive side, the characters do become more than just ciphers. Despite myself, I was feeling a little for Mirielle and Kirika as they faced what, for them, were major life crises – Kirika’s lack of knowledge about herself and Mirielle’s past trauma coming back to haunt her.
We also get a glimpse of Mirielle in bed in the nude, which has carried Yuri fans for some time, as there is only one bed in the room. It would take a strong woman, so we rationalize, to sleep in the nude with someone with whom you are not sleeping. ;-) In fact, I think it’s a bit early for them, but hey, yuri goggles go a long way to building character development. ^_^
Geographically, we go from New York City to (the wildly improbable deep woods and high mountain passes) of New Jersey to sunny Sicily. For this alone, the “Intoccabile” arc is worth it. But this arc is worth watching, in general. I think Intoccabile would have made a much worthier opponent than Chloe and it was a damn shame we used her up so soon.
This volume also gives the viewer glimpses into a Kirika who is exactly as she appears – a young woman, apt to fall for a cute kitty or a good sob story. I liked that. It gives her more depth than most people assume she has. And Mirielle gets a chance to gently gloat about her superior knowledge of Russian literature. ^_^
So, yes, the second volume has problems – notably the art and repeated footage issue (and the no-wound thing, which plagues the whole production), but as far as giving the characters some three-dimensionality, this volume is fairly crucial – and actually not a bad watch.
Art – 5
Music – 7 (Salva Nos playing as they run through NJ’s bamboo forest is, to me, priceless)
Character – 8
Story – 7
Not as strong as the beginning, or the end, but a must for fanfic writers. ^_^