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Anime ● Review: SYNDUALITY Noir – Part 2

Title: SYNDUALITY Noir – Part 2

Director(s): Yamamoto Yuusuke

Screenwriter(s): Aoshima Takashi & Kamoshida Hajime

Studio: 8bit

Released: 2024

Runtime: 12 episodes, ~24m each.

Starring: Koga Aoi, Ootsuka Takeo, Kobayashi Yuusuke, Inagaki Konomi, Aoyama Nagisa, Ban Taito, Komatsu Fuminori, Hirose Yuuya, Kaji Yuuki


My Verdict: Like Part 1, decent voice acting and production. More focused storytelling but signposting is a little clumsy. Still mildly enjoyable.


SYNDUALITY Noir – Part 2

● Part 2 continues directly from the end of episode 12 of Part 1. This review assumes one has seen Part 1 in its entirety.


● Encountering and fighting Enders is essentially non-existent in Part 2. The story is ultimately about Kanata and Noir, and the plot mostly follows these two as they try to solve the mystery regarding Noir and some hidden city named Histoire that Kanata wants to find.


● Although a little clumsy, it is obvious enough that Part 1 sets up all the parties for this: Noir is some sort of “key” that Kurokamen wants to obtain and he works under Weisheit; Ciel is the Magus spy also working under Weisheit; Tokio knows Kurokamen and the two share a past. The plot and conflicts are based on this setup. It is mildly intriguing even though there is nothing particularly new.


Kurokamen (seated) and his Magus Schnee
Kurokamen (seated) and his Magus Schnee

● In addition, there is the problem of Mystere taking the place of Noir, the former not only having a different appearance but having an almost opposite personality. Noir is apparently some sort of “safe mode” that allows Mystere is remain hidden or dormant to conduct self-repair. A few hints regarding Noir’s (and Mystere’s) past are given in Part 1 and Part 2 elaborates on these details.


● There is the problem of Noir and Mystere using the same body and whether one will eventually disappear. This plot device is nothing new and is therefore predictable, which is fine, except it tries a little hard to be dramatic. As such, there are perhaps two episodes in the middle of the series that are somewhat slow.


Kanata and Mystere
Kanata and Mystere

● The overall pacing is nonetheless mostly steady across the series. If anything, there are events or plot points that happen too conveniently and quickly.


● Like Part 1, there are times when it comes across as too much of the harem genre. Having said that, the relationships between the characters—for example, Ellie and Noir—do develop, however brief and superficial.


● The production is the same as Part 1 which is generally good, although the 3D mechs and vehicles can fit better with the traditional-looking characters and environments. It is noticeable but not jarring; this is common enough. It is up to one’s personal tastes and tolerance. The voice acting is generally solid which is probably why it still works. All that being the case, it is a minor disappointment that Part 2 does not work on some of the weaknesses.


● The plot is quite different from Part 1 in the sense that it is much more focused on Noir without all the Enders. This is not a bad thing but it is something to note.

● The final act involves a more conventional mech battle between the main characters as well as the significance of Histoire. There are flashbacks that try to provide background to the main characters and how it has led to the present conflict(s).


● However, in terms of structure and pacing, these are a little clumsy. In other words, the series is not bad—as already mentioned, the pacing is mostly steady—but the worldbuilding and signposting across all 24 episodes can be more gradual and some points need to be explained better. For example, whilst not dwelling on why the environment outside the domed cities is dangerous with environmentalism is appreciated, the narrative can play with this theme more interestingly and better explain the history.

 

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