[[quoteright:348:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/noir2_5456.JPG]]
[[caption-width-right:348:People are dolls, exhausted from their dance...]]

->''Le noir, ce mot désigne depuis une époque lointaine le nom du destin. Les deux vierges règnent sur la mort. Les mains noires protègent la paix des nouveaux-nés.''\\
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''Noir. It is the name of an ancient fate: two maidens who govern death; the peace of the newly-born their black hands protect.''

''Noir'' is an action-conspiracy {{anime}} which first aired on TV Tokyo in 2001.

Nineteen-year-old Mireille Bouquet is a professional assassin operating out of Paris under the pseudonym "Noir". Obsessed with the unsolved murder of her parents when she was a child, Mireille finds an unexpected clue when she receives a mysterious message from a sixteen-year-old girl in Japan named Kirika Yuumura. She flies to Tokyo to meet Kirika, and they team up, both professionally and for the investigation of their respective pasts.

Between the various emotionless contract killings that keep food on their table, Mireille and the amnesiac Kirika (who is a deadlier assassin than Mireille herself) delve into their own pasts, even though Kirika eventually begins to doubt whether even her own name is true. Discovering one confusing lead after another, they soon find themselves plunged into a dangerous world of both organized crime and international conspiracies spanning centuries of history. At the end, they will discover who they are, what they mean to each other, and the secret behind the name "Noir".

On November 11, 2010 it was [[http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/blogs/live-feed/starz-nabs-assassin-project-sam-44664 announced]] that the series was to be getting a live-action adaptation with Starz Network from executive producer Creator/SamRaimi (yes [[Film/SpiderManTrilogy THAT]] [[Series/XenaWarriorPrincess Sam]] [[Franchise/EvilDead Raimi]].) In January 2014, it was announced that Starz would not be moving forward with the series.

This series takes inspiration from the genre called FilmNoir, but should not be confused with it. It was created by studio Creator/BeeTrain (and made it famous effectively overnight), which followed it up with two more GirlsWithGuns installments--''Anime/{{Madlax}}'' and ''Anime/ElCazadorDeLaBruja''--though these are more {{Spiritual Successor}}s than sequels.
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!!This show provides examples of:

* [[AbsurdlySharpBlade Absurdly Sharp Student ID Card]]
* AcquiredPoisonImmunity: The "Cold-Eyed Killer" does one guy in with toxic fumes from an incense burner, to which she's completely immune.
* AlmightyJanitor: The most ruthless, efficient killing machine the world will know is...a [[OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent Japanese schoolgirl]]. [[WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds With abandonment issues.]]
* AloneInACrowd: Kirika comments that even when she was "normal", everything felt ''wrong''. Mireille directly refers to this trope, and as Kirika stares at her in astonishment at her wise words, Mireille admits Hemingway came up with it first.
* AlmostLethalWeapons: Very, ''very'' averted.
* AmazonBrigade: Altena's priestesses.
* AmnesiacResonance: A lot of Kirika's drama derives from the fact that she is a perfect killing machine who murders people with practiced ease and doesn't feel bad about it, yet has no idea why she is so well trained and conditioned and feels that it's just wrong.
* AncientConspiracy: Les Soldats, who are more or less an organization of [[spoiler:[[KnightTemplar Knights Templar]] that have made their mission to defend the weak by killing the strong for about a millennium]].
* ArcWords: "Noir… It is the name of an ancient fate. Two maidens who govern death."
* ArmorIsUseless: Partially averted at the end, when one of [[EliteMook Altena's priestesses]] wears a BulletProofVest. It allows her to take multiple chest shots without injury (but she clearly stumbles a bit from the impact) but unfortunately doesn't protect her from neck wounds.
* TheAtoner: [[AntiVillain Nazarov]] in "Lost Kitten," who decades ago used his position as officer in a ''gulag'' to [[spoiler:massacre members of an ethnic group that wiped out all of his own people [[SoleSurvivor except him]].]] Now he's an anonymous good Samaritan for the poor.
* BadassAdorable: Kirika is an almost perfect example of one. Mireille, although very pretty, doesn't quite make the cut, being neither as approachable nor [[{{Woobie}} in need of a hug]] as her [[RomanticTwoGirlFriendship partner]]. Chloe is more of a...
** LittleMissBadass: What with her having a [[KnifeNut vaguely nasty streak]].
* BackToBackBadasses: Kirika and Chloe slaughtering the Soldats footsoldiers [[strike:stupid]] dedicated enough to try and surround them.
* BloodlessCarnage: Specifically, despite all the gunplay and Chloe's status as a KnifeNut, the most blood we see is from Kirika's bullet wound in episode 7. The bloodlessness is really odd in some circumstances. This was the result of the original TV network on which it aired only allowing a limited amount of blood, and the production team initially planned to add it back once it was on DVD, but decided they liked the effect and changed their minds.
* BookDumb: Kirika, though not in the usual sense. Her skill in killing things is unmatched, and she's fluent in multiple languages, but her knowledge of literature is virtually nil - to the point where she couldn't recognize a reference to ''Literature/AliceInWonderland''. And since Chloe caught the reference, this is a quirk of Kirika's, not a product of Noir training.
* BrainwashedAndCrazy: [[spoiler:Kirika, from episodes 21 to 25]].
* BreakTheCutie: Kirika and Chloe.
* BrokenBird: ''Everyone'', but especially Altena. In some circles this is considered ''Noir'''s CharacteristicTrope.
* BringOutYourGayDead: [[spoiler:Chloe]].
* BulletproofHumanShield: Done very often, usually by Kirika, but Mireille and Chloe have used meat shields as well.
* BulletSparks: Depending on the episode's budget, this is either played straight or averted very nicely.
* CatchPhrase: A minor example, but the director told Kirika's voice actress to insert "There we go." whenever she thought it fit.
* CheerfulChild: Young Mirielle.
* ClickHello
* CloseCallHaircut: Three times, twice to Kirika and once to Mireille.
* CombatParkour: Kirika is one of the two most lethal human beings on Earth. Her sheer ability to dodge bullets, and general use of acrobatics, enter her into this category.
* CompanionCube: The houseplant, possibly inspired by ''Film/TheProfessional''.
* ContractOnTheHitman: Happens frequently, but very explicitly in episode 3 where they are lured into a trap with a false job. [[spoiler:It's actually a BatmanGambit by the Soldats to make them the best.]]
* CreepyChild: More than one, but especially [[spoiler: the teenaged Lady Silvana]].
* CryCute: Kirika-chan. Aww poor baby.
* DarkActionGirl: Mireille, Chloe, Lady Silvana, Kirika (both her normal self and her [[spoiler:"True Noir" mode]])
* DarkenedBuildingShootout: Episode 3.
* DeathSeeker: Nazarov in "Lost Kitten." [[spoiler:When he sees Kirika pointing a gun at him, he simply closes his eyes.]]
* DarkMessiah: [[spoiler:The True Noir become veritable saints in the eyes of Soldats' followers: Holy Warriors on a crusade to destroy injustice in the world... by ''any'' means necessary.]]
** And then there's [[spoiler:Altena. She rejects the legacy of the Renaissance, Enlightenment, Industrial Revolution, and Sexual Revolution; [[DeliberateValuesDissonance this is good]]. She thinks that the best way to get the rest of the world to stop "overflow[ing] with wickedness" (which, in the show's moral universe, it obviously is) is to kill everybody, because people can't sin if they're dead; [[AndThatsTerrible this is not]].]]
* ADayInTheLimelight: "Assassination Mission" doesn't feature either of the protagonists at all. The episode is all about Chloe. She even does the intro at the end of the credits, which is different from the intro that is normally spoken by Kirika.
* DefusingTheTykebomb: Mireille does this to varying degrees throughout the series. [[spoiler:As a result, in the climactic episodes, she manages to break Kirika's brainwashing at the last second.]]
* DidWeJustHaveTeaWithCthulhu: Chloe, twice. In Moonlit Tea Party and Assassination Mission. At that point it isn't clear if she's an enemy or not; all Mirielle and Kirika know is that a highly deadly member of the Soldats has dropped by for a cuppa.
* DissonantSerenity: [[BigBad Altena]] takes this to new heights. No mere EmotionlessGirl, she has an aura of gentle motherliness and [[TheHighQueen regal tranquility]]. Her theme music is among the most powerful, least melancholy pieces in the entire soundtrack, and an exercise in [[CrowningMusicOfAwesome undiluted awesome]] at that. Did we mention she is the BigBad?
* DramaticWind
* EldritchLocation: The Manor. Said to be be "between France and Spain" (Protip: It's not [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andorra Andorra]]), but Kirika gets there by ''walking'' from Paris. Its entirely normal (for rural areas in western European countries) landscape--it has fields of grapes and scattered Roman ruins--manages to come across as profoundly unsettling even in bright sunlight. The main building seems to be bigger on the inside and is set over an ''active volcano''.
* EliteMooks: The Knights of Paris and the Soldats High Priestesses are both highly trained BadAss armies - yet they're dispatched as easily as any of the several dozen nameless minions the protagonists have killed thus far, rendering their "elite" status something of an InformedAbility. Then there's the one Priestess did have to be shot repeatedly to no avail due to the armour she was wearing and finally took a blade to the back of the neck, which is about as elite as anyone whose name isn't Mireille, Kirika, or Chloe gets in this series.
* EmotionlessGirl: Kirika feels nothing about killing, which quite distresses her.
* EmpathyDollShot: In the flashback to Altena's childhood, she carries a battered doll. [[spoiler:The camera focuses on it in the scene where she is raped by a soldier.]]
* EnfanteTerrible: Kirika, Chloe, [[spoiler: Silvana]].
* EvenEvilHasLovedOnes: President Hammond of [[PrivateMilitaryContractor Atride]] is an amoral bastard who makes a living by inciting unstable countries to civil war, so it's not a surprise that he's divorced from his wife and greeted his daughter Rosalie with a slap. Still, he apparently takes their picture with him to his job sites and tries to make amends with Rosalie by letting her stay and getting her a birthday present.
* ExclusiveEnemyEquipment: Averted in episode 3. Kirika wastes no time in relieving an enemy {{mook}} of his [[MoreDakka machine gun]] and NightVisionGoggles.
* ExtraordinarilyEmpoweredGirl: As one fan put it: "Kirika isn't a ninja, she is a witch."
* FallingChandelierOfDoom: Episode 3.
* {{Flashback}}: There are Flashbacks ''in flashbacks'' in this series, done completely straight.
* FriendsRentControl: Averted, and also justified. Mireille's apartment isn't too implausibly large for Paris and only has one room with a divider between the bedroom and living area, and it's heavily implied that she's fairly wealthy from her inheritance, assistance from her Uncle Claude (who lives in a friggin' mansion) and from the jobs she gets, which are implied to be fairly high priced for assassinations.
* GangstaStyle: Kirika, though in many cases the gun is only tilted a few degrees to the side, rather than the full 90° or even 45°.
* GirlsLoveStuffedAnimals: Whenever Mireille is shown as a kid in flashbacks, she's holding a teddy bear.
* GoodEyesEvilEyes: [[spoiler:Kirika's eyes become more like Chloe's as she comes under the True Noir's influence.]]
* GratuitousFrench: Just look at the title.
* GreyAndGrayMorality: A career assassin looking for answers and revenge against a larger group of assassins with the help of another, albeit [[{{Tykebomb}} less-than-willing]] assassin.
* TheGunslinger: Mireille.
* GunFu: Kirika-chan's elegant and deadly primary style of combat, with a lot of...
* GunKata: ...thrown into the mix as well.
* GunsAkimbo: Cold Blooded Killer Part 2.
* GunStripping: Mireille and Kirika clean their guns pretty regularly.
* HeroicBloodshed: Cited by BeeTrain studios as one of the main sources of inspiration for this series: Just switch Chow Yun Fat and Danny Lee from ''TheKiller'' with Kirika and Mirelle respectively and you'll have a JohnWoo film starring beautiful girls.
** Or TheBoondockSaints.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Mireille and Kirika. If it isn't LesYay to you.
* HiddenEyes: Kirika [[spoiler:as her "true Noir" personality begins to re-emerge]].
* HonorBeforeReason
* ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy: [[FridgeBrilliance Justified by Altena's goal.]]
* ImprobableAimingSkills
* ImprobableWeaponUser: Kirika. In addition to her gun, she has killed with forks, her student ID, a necktie, and a disassembled toy truck. She has also used a man's sunglasses and a popcorn machine as tools in her missions.
* {{Joisey}}: Part of the ''Intoccabile'' {{arc}} takes place in the Skylands region of New Jersey.
* KillEmAll: [[spoiler: The show ends with two thematic gunshots, but since the sound effects used for those two gunshots were the same ones used specifically for Kirika and Mireille's individual pistols recorded by real versions of them not those used for the weapons of the generic grunts, and given that both guns were gone by that point the fans generally accept the theory that this was symbolic more than an indicator of this sort of ending.]]
* [[SeanConneryIsAboutToShootYou Kirika and/or Mireille Is About To Shoot You]] in much of the artwork.
* KnightTemplar: Altena, to the point that [[EvenEvilHasStandards the rest of the Soldats think she's dangerous]].
* KungFuJesus: [[spoiler:The True Noir are a particularly dark and disturbing twist on this trope.]]
* LaserGuidedAmnesia: Kirika.
* LaserSight
* LovelyAngels
* MagicSkirt: Especially Mireille's.
* MafiaPrincess: Mireille used to be one; Silvana could very well be described as one.
* MeaningfulName: Chloe's name sounds a lot like "Kuroe" or "Black" in a Japanese accent. "Kiri-ka" is very similar to "one whose job is to kill."
* MenAreTheExpendableGender: Almost all of the {{Mooks}} seen are men, and the few female villains tend to be a lot tougher and harder to take down. A level of FridgeBrilliance when you take into account Altena's plans.
* TheMenInBlack: The hordes of [[{{Mook}} Mooks]] sent after Mirielle and Kirika; actually referred to by "knights" by the other Soldats.
* MindRape: It's heavily implied that the "mundane" version was a major part of [[spoiler:Kirika and]] Chloe's training.
* MiniDressOfPower
* MoeCouplet: Mireille and Kirika in their happier moments, especially early in the show.
* MoeStare: Rosalie Hammond in Episode 4 and fake!Kirika in Episode 1. This expression is [[EveryoneIsJesusInPurgatory symbolic of innocence about to be shattered]] in ''Noir''.
* MonochromeCasting: Sort of. It can be kind of hard to tell with an anime, but it seems that every single extra in France is white when 20% of the population of Paris wasn't [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris#Demographics even born in France]].
* MultinationalTeam: Sort of.
* MysteriousPast: Kirika's is one of the driving forces of the plot.
* MythArc
* NotEvenBotheringWithTheAccent: Mirelle does not speak in a French or Corsican accent, not even in the English dub. However, the reason for this was because ADVFilms wanted to avoid confusion to those unfamiliar with the Corsican language.
* NunTooHoly: The Soldat nuns.
* OddFriendship: [[FriendlySniper Amiable]], savvy, and cynical Mirielle Boquet and the [[LaserGuidedAmnesia amnesiac]], [[TheQuietOne near-silent]] and more child-like Kirika Yuumura.
* OffModel: The show's low budget really shows at times, and it's very clear when different animation teams have done episodes. How Mirielle's hair was drawn in particular seemed to shift a lot, sometimes looking like [[http://www.pureanimegallery.com/d/7239-1/mireille-and-kirika-2.jpg this]] while other times like [[http://www.pureanimegallery.com/d/7213-1/mireille-bouquet-from-noir.jpg this]].
* OminousLatinChanting: When the choir starts singing "Salva Nos", rest assured that the body count is about to skyrocket. Bonus points for the chanting actually being in [[AsLongAsItSoundsForeign Latin]].
* OnlyAFleshWound: Mostly averted. Kirika gets shot a few times over the series, and it seriously compromises her ability to pull off her usual feats of death-dealing. In one episode, she has to tape her gun to her hand since an arm wound has rendered her incapable of gripping the weapon properly.
* TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou: Chloe saves a man she has been sent to kill from assassins sent by an old enemy of his because killing him is ''her'' job.
* ParentalAbandonment: Mirielle's parents are dead. Nobody knows what happened with Kirika's. And when she found herself as an amnesiac schoolgirl, nobody posed as a parent, despite her having an apparently forged picture depicting them. This makes the "abandonment" feeling worse.
** Chloe's parents are also never mentioned, but she considered Altena to be her mother figure. [[spoiler:It is implied that Kirika had done the same before her amnesia.]]
* PeekABangs: Silvana.
* PhenotypeStereotype: Mireille is a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, pale-skinned Corsican. Not entirely impossible, but there's no way Silvanna looks even ''remotely'' Sicillian.
* ProfessionalKiller: The leading duo.
* PsychoLesbian: Chloe, possibly [[spoiler: Silvana]].
* {{Qurac}}: The unnamed Middle Eastern nation in "The Black Thread Of Fate".
* RapeAsDrama: [[spoiler:Altena's reason for villainy]].
* RedStringOfFate: '''Mireille:''' "The thread that binds you and I is the color black, of this I am sure. Blacker than pitch...blacker than night...blacker than the darkness itself."
* SchoolgirlLesbians: [[spoiler:Chloe's affection for Kirika, though it's one sided]].
* ScrewDestiny: Mireille near the end of the series.
* ShoutOut:
** A visual shout-out to ''{{Zardoz}}'' of all things: the word 'Noir' in print (diegetically) is often 'bubbled' across the screen in the same way that 'Zardoz' was.
** Mireille's potted plant is reminiscent of Leon's in Film/TheProfessional.
** In an early episode, Kirika and Mireille walk into a shop. We can see the shop name backwards in the window. "BeeTrain."
** In a bizarre digression in the second episode, when Kirika is chopping vegetables in Mireille's kitchen, she's wearing an apron with...uh...the Music/WuTangClan symbol on it. We're... really not sure why.
* SilkHidingSteel: Altena. She's very beautiful, motherly, soft-spoken, sincere about what she believes in - but considering ''what'' she is so dedicated to, she's also ''creepy as hell''.
* SmallGirlBigGun: Kirika resorts to machine guns a few times, though the creators specifically made her usual gun being fairly low caliber.
* SpannerInTheWorks: [[spoiler: Holy shit, '''Mireille'''. ]]
* SoundOnlyDeath: The family of the Mafia boss being tortured in the next room by Silvana aka Intoccabile, which just makes it more horrific.
* TakeMyHand: The ending. "I'm begging you [[WorthLivingFor to live...]]"
* ThereCanBeOnlyOne: [[spoiler: Well, only TWO True Noir actually... the "loser" of the contest is considered completely expendable in the grand scheme of Soldats' AncientConspiracy.... poor Chloe.]]
* ThatLiarLies: [[spoiler: The response to Chloe telling Mireille that Kirika killed the rest of the Bouquets.]]
* TokenYuriGirls: Kirika and Mireille are not shown being physically intimate, but they share a bed (episode 8) and by the end of the series are emotionally dependent on each other. Also, Chloe exhibits a rather warped (and mostly frustrated) desire for Kirika.
* TroubledButCute: The sad but adorably cute Kirika.
* TriggerPhrase: "Receive the final guidance." ''* gunshot* ''
* TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture: While made in 2001, internal detail indicates the series is set around the year 2010. Not that it's actually noticeable and overall it seems fairly contemporaneous.
** Also, in Episode 6 a current newspaper article about the [[GeorgeWBush 2000 Presidential Election]] is visible on the screen.
* {{Tykebomb}}: Again, Kirika.
* UnwittingPawn: [[spoiler: Chloe.]]
* ViewersAreGeniuses: Do you enjoy digressions into the history of the Mafia, ethnic minorities in the former USSR, the nature of sin and redemption, how to make wine with medieval technology, all sorts of AuthorAppeal about the Catholic Church, and more? If so, ''Hamartiology: The Anime'' is the show for you!
* VillainsDyingGrace [[spoiler:Mireille decides not to kill Altena in the end, though Altena forces Kirika's hand. And then, dangling over the LavaPit, Altena sacrifices herself to throw Kirika into Mireille's reach.]]
* VillainsOutShopping: Altena is mostly seen in the beginning of the series...picking grapes, writing letters, and taking walks in the sunshine. This has the effect of making her ''more'' creepy than the previous mafioso punks and thugs.
** And while she's one of the protagonists, the first thing you see of Mirielle is her out in sunny Paris, doing her grocery shopping and motoring back to her apartment on a sunshine-yellow scooter. Then you look over her shoulder as she opens her e-mail. For her job. As an assassin.
** Kirika and Mireille enjoying a spring day, eating ice cream cones in the park... while planning their next hit.
* VillainousValor: In the final episode, several of [[spoiler:the Soldat nuns]] put up a surprisingly valiant fight against Kirika and Mirielle, but ultimately are defeated.
* WaifFu: Kirika and Mirielle are never shown using firearms which require rifle rounds (which are much larger than the pistol rounds that they do use).
* WolverineClaws: "[[RedBaron The Cold-Eyed Killer's]]" method of execution is a scratch with poison nails.
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds: Kirika. [[SuperpoweredEvilSide Holy shit, Kirika.]]
* WorldOfActionGirls: Not is only almost every member of the cast some kind of badass assassin, but most of the cast are also women.
* WhenSheSmiles: Kirika-chan, OverNineThousand in sheer cuteness when she smiles for the very first time in Episode 6.
* XMeetsY: WordOfGod calls this anime a GenderFlipped version of TheKiller by JohnWoo, with Kirika as Chow Yun Fat and Mirelle as Danny Lee.
* YouGottaHaveBlueHair: Most characters have natural hair colors. And then you have Chloe, with her violet PeekABangs, for whom the CurtainsMatchTheWindow, [[PurpleEyes no less]].
** Also Intoccabile with her blue-gray hair.
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