Noir Vol. #1: Shades of Darkness (Regular & Special Edition) (

By:Ben Steelman
Review Date: Sunday, May 04, 2003
Release Date: Tuesday, February 18, 2003

The Review!
Mireille Bouquet, professional assassin, checks her e-mail one day for possible clients. A mysterious one pops up with a picture of a young girl and the words "Make a pilgrimage for the past with me". Mireille dismisses it as a stupid prank, until a song starts to play on the computer which causes her to shudder in horror. This is where Noir begins.

The first showing in America of the much anticipated series is a strong one. The first episode, Maidens With Black Hands, introduces you to a young Japanese schoolgirl named Kirika Yumura. The second episode, Daily Bread, takes you through Noir's first hit. The third, The Assassination Play, is about a hit gone horribly wrong, and is in my opinion the best episode on the DVD. The fourth entry, The Sound of Waves, is a very emotional episode which shows you just how personal the assassin lifestyle can be. And the final episode, Les Soldats, is where Mireille and Kirika find out just who's been toying with them the whole time.

The DVD itself is great, with excellent voice acting, musical score, and overall presentation. The sub and dub are both very well done. Also, been wondering exactly how to get to the secret portion of the DVD? In Episode 3, Chapter 4, press left, left, right to access secret interviews with the English voice actors of Mireille and Kirika. Be warned that doing this, when watching the dub, can cause you to picture the voice actors talking into a microphone when Mireille and Kirika talk instead of Mireille and Kirika actually talking. It did that to me for a while and I just recently got over it.

Overall, Noir is probably one of the top animes I've seen in a while. The only thing that really bothers me about it is that there are a lot of flashbacks into previous episodes. I definitely recommend you buy it. I give it a 9/10.

Review Equipment
Noir DVD, PlayStation 2, Sharp TV which is like 19" or something

Mania Grade: A-
Audio Rating: A+
Video Rating: A+
Packaging Rating: A
Menus Rating: B+
Extras Rating: B
Age Rating: 15 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: ADV Films
MSRP: 29.98/44.98
Running time: 125
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Noir