What a really fabulous series Noir is. It’s been years – practically lifetimes in fandom years – since I first watched this series as it came out on Japanese TV. I enjoyed it just as much, maybe even a little more, this time as I did lo those many years ago when I first set eyes on Kirika and Mirielle.
In Volume 7 of Noir, everything comes to a head. Kirika has left Mirielle behind and given herself over to the dark side of the Force. She’s entered the alternative universe of Altena’s Manor and, to Chloe’s genuine joy and delight, has dedicated herself to being Noir.
Chloe really blossoms in this volume and it still creeps me out. ^_^
When Mirielle arrives, the sense that she’s come to free Kirika from a spell is not as strong as the sense that she’s arrived to allow Kirika to free herself. And then the battle become two on one and there’s no question, really, who the true Noir is. It’s the “End of the Matter” as the volume title states.
In the final episodes, as Mirielle takes on the members of Altena’s household, hearing Shinohara Emi as one of them was like a little easter egg for me.
There’s a lot of wonderful moments in the final volume of Noir, most of which would be spoilers, so I don’t want to point them out. If you have never watched Noir to completion, do – there’s gold in them there hills. If you have and can’t remember Altena’s final scene, then watch it again. It confirms what I have been saying since the beginning – she was a refugee from a completely different anime series. ^_^
We were treated to a bump up in Yuri for the final episodes, with Chloe fawning over Kirika, but for me, not being a huge Chloe fan, it was Mirielle’s decisions that spoke volumes about her feelings for Kirika.
The final production notes read more like a discussion guide than anything else. They propose questions for us, the audience, to answer, and end them all with “What was Noir to you?” I’ll tell you what it was to me – a story of love and redemption, a story of action and violence, a story of growth and diminishing, a story of two women whose lives change are irrevocably changed when they meet after many years. And the beginning of a fantastic triptych of girls with guns on the run.
Art – 7
Character – 9
Story – 8
Yuri – 6
Service – 4 Hawt ritual bathing action
Overall – 9
Still want to do a Noir, Madlax, El Cazador marathon. If they are each good by themselves, how much better will they be when we run them together until our eyes bleed? Everything’s better in excess! ^_^