The series follows the story of two young female assassins who embark together on a personal journey to seek answers about mysteries from their past. While at first they seem to be only vaguely related to each other, there are clues and hints given throughout the series that there are more than meets their eyes. During the course of the series, they are lured into more and more traps by a secret organization named Les Soldats.
The series follows the story of two young female assassins, the Corsican Mireille Bouquet and the Japanese amnesiac Yumura Kirika, who embark together on a personal journey to seek answers about mysteries concerning their past. In their journey to learn more about Yumura’s lost memories and her connection to Bouquet, the two form an alliance and begin performing assassinations under the code name “Noir.” During the course of the series, they are lured into more and more traps by a secret organization named Les Soldats (“The Soldiers” in French). Les Soldats are a secret organization that has been a part, yet separate group of humanity. It is this hidden group that created and once completely controlled the deadly duo “Noir.” Each time that Les Soldats soldiers are sent to kill Bouquet and Yumura, it is considered a test as to whether or not the young women are suitable to carry the title “Noir”.
Les Soldats is a mysterious organisation in Noir. According to Altena, a thousand years ago, a group of people who had survived a bloody war that cost a numerous lives, formed a group called Les Soldats to protect the weak and take revenge on the world. When Kirika travels to a Soldats’ village, she finds out that during the late tenth century, Les Soldats has taken place in every social part of humankind. For example, Soldats were witnessed the birth of the Greone’s mafia family which was created 200 years ago from the time the series began. Near the end of the series, Altena states that “Les Soldats” has been consumed by the very greed they once swore to undo, and thus had become like the world itself. Although the Soldats were founded by a united group, in Noir its members were separated into two groups: Altena’s followers and her opposers, the Soldats’ Council members. For easy identification, Altena’s followers are mostly people who dress up as nuns and common villagers who are skilled at fighting while her opposers are mainly men in black suits. The Soldats’ Council are the people who disagreed with Altena’s opinions; while Altena and Chloe are trying to protect Mireille and Kirika, the Council is trying to do the opposite.
Noir is the French word for “black”. In Noir, it is known as the name of the two maidens who govern death. Pictures and sculptures of the two maidens can be seen on Mireille’s father’s watch and on Soldats’ churches. To the underworld, it is known as the “One Thousand Year” darkness of Europe. According to Altena’s story, when the Soldats went under, two hands were left on the surface, so their ancient task is to retrieve the two maidens known as “Noir”. The ritual to become Noir takes place under Altena’s manor, an underground temple in the style of ancient Greek ruins.
Kirika Yuumura is a teenage girl with amnesia; the only things she remembers are the word Noir and her killing skills. When creating the characters for Noir, its producer Shigeru Kitayama wanted the image of Kirika to be “sweet and fragile”. In the Japanese version, she is voiced by Hōko Kuwashima, and by Monica Rial in the English dub.
Mireille Bouquet is a Corsican woman born into a powerful crime family, Mireille and her uncle are the sole survivors of a brutal attack on her family, whereafter he trained her to become an assassin. When creating the character for Noir, Kitayama imagined Mireille as “a lithe female panther”. According to producer Shigeru Kitayama, Kotono Mitsuishi’s voicing of Mireille was a continuation of the working relationship they had from creating Excel Saga, where Mitsuishi voiced the protagonist Excel, while the first thing she was told was that Excel and Mireille are completely opposite characters. When creating their English dub, wherein she is voiced by Shelley Calene-Black, ADV Films decided against giving Mireille a Corsican accent to avoid confusion in viewers unfamiliar with the language.
Chloe is a skilled assassin who uses throwing knives instead of guns. Like Kirika and Mireille, Chloe is a candidate to become Noir. Chloe idolizes Kirika for her exceptional killing skills, and believes that she and Kirika are destined to become Noir together. She is the personal favorite character of Noir’s composer Yuki Kajiura. Her Japanese voice was provided by Aya Hisakawa. In the English version, Hilary Haag performed the part.
Altena is the high priestess of the Soldats. She believes that the Soldats have been corrupted by power and greed, and attempts to return the Soldats to its “original state” by reviving Noir. She lives a medieval lifestyle in a place the Soldats consider as their holy site called “The Manor”, where she raised and trained Chloe. Voiced by Tarako in the Japanese version, her English voice was provided by Tiffany Grant.
|01||Maidens with Black Hands|
|03||The Assassination Play|
|04||The Sound of Waves|
|07||The Black Thread of Fate|
|08||Intoccabile Act 1|
|09||Intoccabile Act 2|
|10||The True Noir|
|11||Moonlit Tea Party|
|13||Season of Hell|
|14||A Bouquet of Flowers for Mireille|
|15||The Cold-Blooded Killer Act 1|
|16||The Cold-Blooded Killer Act 2|
|17||Return to Corsica|
|18||The Darkness Within Me|
|19||Two Hands of the Soldats|
|20||The Sin Within the Sin|
|21||Morning Without Dawn|
|23||Sentiments for the Remaining Flower|
|25||The Depth of Hell’s Fire|