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If you like girls, and you like guns, then why not watch girls with guns shooting up a variety of bad people?  Noir is an innovative series that breathes life into the femme fatale genre with panache and a balanced amount of jaw-dropping action.

The story of Noir focuses on a woman named Mireille and her partner in crime, Kirika.  Mireille can’t remember why a certain song haunts her memories, while Kirika can’t remember how she learned to be such a talented assassin.  Oh yes, did I mention the two girls are deadly assassins?  They can kill in a variety of ways, but mostly through the timely application of bullets.  Together they attempt to solve each other’s riddled pasts as they take on different contract killing jobs.

With a name like this, you’d expect a certain number of film noir touches.  In this respect, Noir does not disappoint.  Both women have dark pasts that they seek to re-discover, they’re both incredibly lonely but professional when it comes to killing other people.  Viewers are treated to a variety of depressingly dark, scummy environments like the cemetery, casinos, and alleyways. 

But let’s get right to the point here.  Throughout the show’s 26 episodes you’ll see the two assassins battle an unending horde of villains, assassins, and the occasional bystander.  Most of the action is based on gunplay, though they’ll go hands-on should the occasion arise.  The fighting in this series is very satisfying and on par with other gunfight classics like Cowboy Bebop.

The series does have quite a kick to it, but there are some serious downsides that leave something to be desired.  For one thing, many of the plot twists are regular fare for anime enthusiasts.  Though the style is unique and exciting, the story lacks innovation.  To make things worse, the director repetitively uses old scenes from previous episodes.  Sometimes a flashback can last a few minutes out of the show’s 20-minute length.  That’s a huge point of frustration if you plan to watch the DVD set.  The overuse of recapped scenes could possibly lead to losing your hair as you tear it right out of your own head.

Despite this and some subtitling flaws, Noir is still an action-packed adventure that could leave you foaming at the mouth for more.  I’ve only seen the first five episodes but the next time I get a chance to grab some more I will.

Noir breaks new ground in the visual and audio department with superior animation and great music.  Whatever the flaws, this is one title that will surely leave you satisfied when you’re done with it!