Mireille kills for a living. But her already dangerous life only gets more complex when Kirika, a young Japanese girl, shows up. She claims they are connected somehow and asks Mireille to take a “pilgrimage to the past” with her. As the two begin to take jobs together as a team called Noir, another group begins to attack them randomly. As it turns out, Noir, an ancient pairing of maidens who reign over death, isn’t just a legend after all…
The violence is this show is pretty high, thought thankfully it remains tasteful. People are shot, strangled and stabbed, but shots don’t linger on their bodies. Action sequences remain quick. While this level of violence isn’t for the youngest viewers, it’s also not the point of the show.
Cursing is pretty average in this show. Da-n, all shades of B-words, etc. No F-bombs and the curses aren’t too frequent, thankfully. Even so, it’s not non-existent.
We never see any outright nudity, although we do get a few bath scenes. Also, the image of the ancient Noir pair at the beginning of nearly every episode shows quite a bit of skin and one breast. However, it’s art that would be seen in a museum, Greek based, and only shown from the side. Another point to mention, however, is the strange relationship Kirika has with another girl at the end. This other girl kisses her on the lips during a “purification ceremony” which can only be described as outright fanservice. It doesn’t go any further than that, however.
Prophesy on the maidens of death is quoted pretty frequently, almost religiously. In fact, probably the creepiest aspect of this show is how the main characters (and villains) see being assassins as some religious practice. While there aren’t any long indoctrination speeches, the idea that two female assassins are constantly being reborn is a bit strange, to say the least.
This is one of those shows made during the 90s in Japan and, as such, is often seen as a classic. And in terms of animation, it is. However, I personally had to force myself to finish this show. The start of this show is painfully slow and its best pull are the mysteries surrounding Mireille and Kirika. By the halfway point, however, those mysteries are no closer to being solved. In fact, they are only plainly addressed at the very end over only two or three episodes. Up until that point they only bring up more questions and provide no answers. And while some viewers might enjoy being toyed with, I certainly wasn’t one them. The explanation for everything at the very end was also horribly unbelievable. Which is a funny thing to fault anime for, but this particular show is often praised for being “realistic.” Suffice to say, I hope the ending isn’t what gave people this idea or I greatly worry over the sanity of mankind.
On a positive note, the music is quite good. Even the animation is decent for its time. So if you enjoy a series that heaps question upon question, this show is a good bet for you. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you when the ending ticks you off.
Personal Rating: Young adult