Noir is the first of a long line of chicks with guns series, most of which are made by Studio Bee Train. It made some sensation when it first came out (like most new anime do) but it was pretty much shoved to the side more and more with each new similar anime before eventually being almost forgotten after Requiem for the Phantom came out (which is the best of this sort of shows). Most anime that are regarded to be the first in a field are usually labeled as all time classics and remain known to most (examples of which are Astro Boy, Hokuto no Ken, and Urusei Yatsura) but this is not the case with this show. Why? Simple; its context was so simple, it got rehashed right away in later shows with gradually better directing. That didn’t happen with the shows I mention above; they still feel unique even decades after they were made. So to give you a simple comparison, it’s like watching five seasons of Pokemon. The visuals may be improving but they are otherwise THE EXACT SAME THING!
Let’s now focus a bit on the technicals of the show. The artwork is ok for its time, not too detailed but not too shabby either. The character figures are generic, especially when it comes to the mass produced Men In Black baddies. The animation is rather standard, with people mostly standing still and talking, while action sequences are basically the girls doing some really impossible acrobatics while their enemies are standing frozen for several seconds. Meaning, although the battles seem impressive on a superficial level, it all boils down to a few girls killing a dozen men with a six pistol, while miraculously evading a hundred bullets with fancy aerobics and hitting their opponents easily because they are standing still. Hey, I can only suspend my disbelief for a few episodes before it gets repetitive and the stupidity of the whole thing surfaces. THE MOOKS DON’T EVEN BLEED!
The music is very good if you are fans of lyric music full of ambience. I personally have nothing against it and it holds out as a fine soundtrack to bye. The dialogues also have some maturity in them for going for some deep psychological or mysterious issues from time to time. Other than that, the overall simple context of the whole series will most likely make them feel like they are repeating pointlessly. Thus it is the music and not the talking that keeps you interested. Sound effects, meh, nothing special to comment.
The story and characters are A MESS! Trying to stretch a simplistic premise to last a full season can only be accomplished by slow pace, repeating flashbacks, going in circles, and throwing in lots of battles with easily defeated baddies. It tries to be mature and mysterious but eventually the ending is one big WTF and you are left wondering the point of the whole show. Ancient secrets and emo chicks that shoot anything that moves; it’s just not working. The main characters DO develop though. And by main, I mean only the girls since the male genre in this series is just an army of clones, identical weaklings without a face or personality. It’s all about the girls and their emo pasts. There is some interesting chemistry amongst them (hem, yuri, hem) but the whole thing happens so slow and repeats a lot before eventually going for some magical nonsense in the finale. Yeah ok, lol and move along.
There is no value in this anime, since as I said Requiem for the Phantom is its nth remake and the best of its kind (although I am no fan of emo chicks with guns and by no means fan of that series). As one described it, such Bee Train shows are basically long moody music videos and not good action/mystery series. So no, I don’t recommend it. Hear the soundtrack and skip the rest.
And now for some excused scorings.
ART SECTION: 5/10
Analysis: General Artwork 1/2, Character Figures 1/2, Backgrounds 1/2, Animation 1/2, Visual Effects 1/2
SOUND SECTION: 7/10
Analysis: Voice Acting 2/3, Music Themes 3/4, Sound Effects 2/3
STORY SECTION: 3/10
Analysis: Premise 1/2, Pacing 0/2, Complexity 1/2, Plausibility 0/2, Conclusion 1/2
CHARACTER SECTION: 7/10
Analysis: Presence 1/2, Personality 2/2, Backdrop 1/2, Development 1/2, Catharsis 2/2
VALUE SECTION: 1/10
Analysis: Historical Value 0/3, Rewatchability 0/3, Memorability 1/4
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 1/10
Analysis: Art 0/1, Sound 1/2, Story 0/3, Characters 0/4