Noir Vol. #3 (of 7) (

By:Paul Jacques
Review Date: Monday, September 22, 2003
Release Date: Monday, September 22, 2003

What They Say
The word is out on the street: Noir is back in business, and any life can be bought for a price. But Mireille and Kirika's latest case takes on an unexpected wrinkle when someone else beats them to their first target. Who is this unexpected competition, and what links does she have to the mysterious Soldats? If you thought our first two femmes fatales were deadly, just wait 'til you meet Noir's third lethal lady of the night. Her name is Chloe, and her calling card is murder

The Review!
The plot finally begins to form into identifiable elements, no longer is it just names and vague references. At last we begin to get some meat on the plot bone.

Perfect Dolby surround sound reproduction on both the English and Japanese sound tracks.

Clean, crisp and widescreen- what more do you need?

The front of the box depicts Chloe with Mireille and Kirika looking on. I recommend reading the insert inside, as it contains some nice production notes about the animators and the weapons. You will learn something new about the characters if you care to read it through. The rear of the box has six stills from the three episodes, plus on the right side we see a young Mireille and “Intoccabile” (?). The disk itself is a glossy grey with a black silhouette of Chloe.

The menus are presented in slightly off centre angle, giving the feeling of a foreboding corridor. Selection speed was quick and at no time did I have resort to pressing the Root button to get me out of there.

The extras included are very good, the sketches are vast and are presented as a slide show, and is accompanied by NOIR’s musical theme tunes. You also get the opening\ closing shots without the text. Also included are the brief promos and the ubiquitous ADV trailers. Of course the jewel in the crown is the Houko Kuwashima interview.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The first episode involves a bent Judge – plus some associated bent police officers – who are paid to subvert the course of Justice. Someone is not happy with this state of affairs and so contracts Noir to “redress” this imbalance. Only when NOIR arrive to administer justice (retribution) someone else has already beat them to it! This someone turns out to be a young lady called Chloe, who says she is the real Noir! A little later Chloe sets a trap (or is it?) for our two heroes, as they carry out the final part of their contract hit.

The next episode has Noir being contacted by Soldats to arrange a face to face meeting. At the meeting they learn that they are still hunted, but for some unfathomable reason the Soldats want to show them some more of the book that Mareille has been seeking. For me the scenes where Chloe drops in on Noir for a cup of tea are a real peach, with plenty of dark humor in the situation. By the end of this episode we know that there is a very strong connection between the Soldats and Chloe. We also know that the Soldats appear to have divisions or conflicts of interest within their own organization.

The last episode is a story about revenge between old adversaries, and clearly shows that in a feud all will be lost in the process- an eye for eye will leave the world blind! The feud is terminated by the intervention of Chloe, and shows that she has a heart and that she is the consummate professional when it comes to revenge. Another great episode, with plenty of action and a small insight on Chloe and how the Soldats work.

In summary- This volume is a milestone in the plot development (if you are paying attention), so buy it twice and give the other disc to a good friend.

Japanese 5.1 Dolby Surround,English 5.1 Dolby Surround,English Subtitles ,Production sketches ,Clean opening and closing animation,Original Japanese promo spots ,Interview with Houko Kuwashima

Review Equipment
JVC 28" Pure Flat Wide Screen TV, Pioneer 454 Progressive Scan code free DVD player, Logitech Z-680 THX DD/DTS receiver & Speakers.

Mania Grade: A
Audio Rating: A
Video Rating: A
Packaging Rating: A-
Menus Rating: B+
Extras Rating: B+
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: 2 - Europe
Released By: ADV Films UK
MSRP: £19.99
Running time: 75
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Noir