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Anime: Noir
Saturday, September 24, 2005
Noir
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Its a well known fact that I'm a big fan of Noir. So I'm not going to sit and review the series, but address one of the points I seem to be in constant agreement or argument over. What is this point do you ask? Well all shall be revealed below! (Yes I'm doing this as I'm a little bored ;) ). But first for those of you who don't know about Noir! Lets meet the cast!

Cast

Mirielle Bouquet
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Mirielle heralds from Corsica and is a gun for hire, an assassin. One day she receives a mysterious e-mail from a young Japanese girl named Kirika, asking her to come to Japan with her. The e-mail states "Take a pilgrimage to the past with me", and the accompanying sound file attatched to the e-mail sends Mirielle off to Japan to find this girl in an instant.
Mirielle is cold, calm and collected with some obvious trauma in her past. She kills easily and without emotion simply viewing it as her job. She is not a very likeable character and usually distances herself from most people. She makes an exception for Kirika.


Kirika Yumera
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Incredibly quiet and with no memories of her past, Kirika contacts Mirielle without really knowing why. Yet she does know the music box that was found in her possession when she came too (as if from a dream) links her past with Mirielle's. Despite an initial distrust the two team up to find out about their pasts together.
Kirika is silent and brooding, always looking spaced out, her mind wandering. When it comes to killing though she is second to none using any implement available to bring about a swift death. She does at first seem cold like Mirielle, but the more she kills the more you realize somewhere deep down she has a conscience. She kills without remorse, yet this actually bothers her because she knows killing is wrong.

Chloe
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Chloe is a knife wielding assassin as cold as ice, that appears out of nowhere and holds the key to both Kirika and Mirielle's pasts in the palm of her hand. She is lethal with her knives and the other two girls are very unsure whether Chloe is friend or foe. Regardless of which she seems to be acting under someone else's orders and speedily develops a obsession for Kirika. How deep this obsession goes will take time to reveal itself.

Altena
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Altena only appears from time to time throughout the story to begin with. She seems to live in a mysterious case and acts as a mother figure for Chloe, showering her with attention and praise. It is very apparent whatever agenda Chloe is following, it is the one Altena orders her too.



There's the cast, but my main point of me writing this is to address the romance in Noir. It always seems atopic that's ripe for debate whenever its brought up so here's my view of it. Of course you can see from my blog in general that I'm a bit of a fan of such things so probably read into things more than others but here's my case anyway.

In Noir you basically have two pairings in MiriellexKirika and KirikaxChloe (I rule out AltenaxChloe as its possibly a little disturbing and the fact of the matter is it's very much a mother/daughter relationship). Personally I view Noir as a semi-love triangle, with both Mirielle and Chloe gunning for Kirika's affections. I of course won't reveal who eventually "wins", as that kinda spoils the whole point of the show.

When it comes to MiriellexKirika, the first things that tends to be pointed out is that its a sisterly relationship or even Mirielle taking a more motherly role as she is more forward and to the point than Kirika. Although there are several point that show otherwise. Firstly, when Mirielle's flat has (and always has even once Kirika moves in) one bed, and when the two go abroad throughout the series they always share a hotel room as well. They could be of course working under the pretence their assassination "team" is only one person (more than likely the case). I'm not implying something is going-on here, but the key point is they are in constant close proximity to each other, around each other 24/7 and they are evidently going to develop some kind of bond despite surface tensions.
Secondly, there is the episode "Season Of Hell" where Kirika befriends an artist when she paints by the river every day, and quite clearly develops a close bond with him. Mirielle seems to obsess over this a great deal, this could be put down to she knows the risks of making friends as an assassin. Although it could also be put down to the fact that their is some seething jealousy going on in the background here.
Finally there is Kirika's letter to Mirielle (I shall not spoil what the letter is about), but there is heavy implication before it is blown away in the wind that the last line of it says "I love you".
The final episodes evidently wrap things up, so I won't spoil them too much, but I think there is a moment in episode 25 that says it all. A moment of the fact they do care for each other dawning on them both.

For KirikaxChloe, the subtext is certainly more apparent. Chloe is utterly and totally obsessed with Kirika, and treasures the infamous fork Kirika gives her as a gift. The obsession seems to spread more and more throughout the series and there are many occasions where it reveals itself.
Towards the end of the series when the two characters spend a lot more time together Chloe evidently feels that Kirika has feelings for her too, explaining some of the scenes where the two of them are honing their battle skills and preparing for a certain ritual together. Once Mirielle arrives on the scene towards the end too, some of Chloe's dialogue expresses intense hatred and rage that she was not the one living with Kirika.

Plenty of holes to be picked in this argument of course that I have always seen before. But if you rewatch Noir while looking for romantic tones I think it can put an entirely different perspective on the show.

posted by Mangaminx On Saturday, September 24, 2005  
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