Noir-Volume 5: Terminal Velocity (2001)

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Released 18-Nov-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Anime Menu Animation & Audio
Gallery-production sketch montage
Credits-clean opening
Credits-clean closing
Trailer-ADV Previews (5)
Booklet-production notes
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 73:09 (Case: 75)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Kτichi Mashimo

Madman Entertainment
Starring Houko Kuwashima
Monica Rial
Kotono Mitsuishi
Shelley Calene Black
Aya Hisakawa
Hilary Haag
Tiffany Grant
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $34.95 Music Yuki Kajiura

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures Yes
Subtitles English
English Titling
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, next episode teaser

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

Noir — it is the name of an ancient fate
Two maidens who govern death;
to ward the darkness from the nursing babes
their black robes serve as shields.

    Yes, the same variation on the opening recitation as on episode 14 (this time on episode 17) — I am trying to spot a pattern, but haven't yet... If you haven't been reading along as I've reviewed these discs, I strongly recommend that you begin by reading my review of Noir Volume 1: Shades of Darkness. You might care to follow that with Noir Volume 2: The Hit List, then Noir Volume 3: The Firing Chamber, and Noir Volume 4: Death Warrant.

    The episodes on this disc are:

17 Return to Corsica Mireille returns to Corsica to visit her old home. She disturbs some memories and uncovers more than she expected, and more than she wanted
18 The Darkness Within Me Kirika suffers rejection by Mireille, and wanders aimlessly for a while. Almost by accident, she receives more information about the mysterious photocopies
19 The Two Hands of the Soldats The hunt for the manuscript is on. Chloe and Kirika share more than either Mireille or Kirika are happy with.

    This is another three episode disc, unfortunately. However, it doesn't feel so bad this time, possibly because a lot happens in these three episodes. However, the episode preview for episode 20 provided a momentary glimpse of something that could be quite shocking — I wish it were on this disc!

    The first episode is set in Corsica, and focuses on Mireille discovering rather more than she expected when she returns there to pay her respects to the place she was born. Seemingly to counterbalance that focus on Mireille, the second episode focuses on Kirika and her search for identity. The last one brings something of a shock to both Kirika and Mireille, through some information they get from Chloe, who is increasingly lurking around now. We also learn more about the Soldats, and the conflicts between different factions within them.

    I'm not certain, but it looks like a different artist was drawing Mireille in some of these scenes (and on the front cover, too) — her features look wrong, a bit out of proportion. But it's not enough to stop us enjoying the show.

    The tension is building. We learn some more, only to find more mystery in the answers. With just two DVDs left, it's getting to the point where the wait between discs is torture.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


    This DVD transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced. This show was framed for widescreen from the beginning, and it shows.

    The image features sharp character animation over softer backgrounds, as though the characters were drawn in ink and the backgrounds in watercolours — it's really attractive. The characters are drawn with deceptive economy of line and colour — the result is quite beautiful. There is no film grain, and no low-level noise.

    Colour is used simply and well, with some rich tones and delicate shades. Colour seems a touch more intense on this disc than on the first few, which does it no harm at all. There are no colour-related artefacts.

    There are no noticeable film artefacts.

    There is some visible, but not troubling, aliasing on panning shots, and occasional minor aliasing on static shots (but only on a non-progressive system). There's no moirι, and no MPEG artefacts. Interlacing was never evident when playing at normal speed.

    We're provided with two sets of English subtitles, one just covering signs (and songs), the other giving full dialogue as well. I watched the full-dialogue subtitles, and they are easy to read and seem well-timed and accurate. As usual, they don't match the English dub.

    Like the previous three episode disc, this one is single-sided and dual layered, which is a bit unusual among anime discs with this little content. The layer change is placed between episodes, rendering it invisible. The first two episodes are on the first layer, while the last one is on the second layer.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The soundtrack is provided in English and Japanese — this is always good. Both languages are provided in Dolby Digital 5.1, running at 448kbps.I watched the three episodes in English, and again in Japanese. The soundtracks sound pretty much identical except for the language — even the voice acting is very similar.

    There's not a lot of dialogue in this show. The English dialogue is clear and easy to make out, even when it is quiet. The Japanese sounds equally clear. Both seem well-matched to the animated mouth movements.

    Yuki Kajiura continues to provide an excellent score. One of the reasons I look forward to this series so much is because I love the music. There's some slower paced music in these episodes, and it sounds marvellous.

    The surrounds are used mostly for ambience, and some subtle score. The subwoofer is used for emphasis, but it's well-integrated and not noticeable.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    The extras are pretty much the same again, but the interview is good, and I like the production sketch montage. The back cover lists all these extras, and another: Original Japanese Promos — that one's missing from the disc.


    The menus are animated with music. The main menu is familiar, after four previous discs using the same design.

Interview — TARAKO (5:52)

    A bubbly young voice actress, TARAKO was surprised to get the part of Altena, feeling that she was too young for a mature woman. This is an interesting interview, but there's a spoiler in it for something that happens later in the series. Another case where the interview would have been better held for a later disc.

Gallery — Production Sketches (3:43)

    This is the best extra in this series — it features sketches from the episodes on this volume in a free-running montage. Fortunately, they've realised that the likely viewers of this disc probably doesn't read Japanese, so they've made the angle with the translated notes the default this time.

Clean Opening (1:31)

    The opening theme and animation shown without credits. I don't mind this, but I now own five discs, all containing it. I have a sneaking feeling I may soon own two more... I do wish Madman and ADV would realise that this is a pretty lame extra to include on EVERY disc in a series.

Clean Closing (1:31)

    The closing theme and animation, also minus credits. Ditto.

Trailers — ADV Previews (7:43)

    Five trailers that play one after the other:

    At least the last one is new.


    The booklet is brief (four pages of content), but at least we get a booklet this time (I really missed it last time). I like the booklets in this series because they fit a fair bit of content into them.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 1 version of this disc was released in August 2003, quite a bit before this one (the gap is getting larger). It has the same episodes, the same front cover artwork, and mostly the same extras. They get some Japanese promos that we don't, even though they are listed on the back cover (oops!), but they don't seem to get the ADV Previews.

    The R1 transfer sounds to be at least as good as the R4, and there are comments about aliasing that aren't too different from mine. I think you could be happy with either. I'm happy to buy the local version.


    Three more episodes of one of the best anime series around on a high quality DVD.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is excellent.

    The extras are good, with the production sketches and booklet quite interesting.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Tuesday, December 02, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left, Centre, Right: Krix Euphonix; Rears: Krix KDX-M; Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

Other Reviews NONE
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