RELEASED BY:   MVM
  ASPECT RATIO:   16:9 ANAMORPHIC WIDESCREEN
  AUDIO:  

ENGLISH DD 5.1 / JAPANESE DD 2.0

  RUNNING TIME:   100 MIN
  RATING:   15
  RELEASE DATE:   10/01/2007
  REVIEW DATE:   10/13/2007
  REVIEWED BY:   SANDRA SCHOLES

"I've come to deliver some bad news."

Shin Itagaki's new noir comedy adapted from the manga concentrates on a rapid fight sequence showing two men in combat, guns blazing. Sven Volified is a sweeper, clothed in white hat and suit he blends into any scene as a gangster type would, but he is a bounty hunter trying to make fast money in a harsh world where life is at a premium for the likes of him. Speed is on his side, though against his enemies as is his ability to see into the future albeit for only a limit of five minutes.

Train Heartnet on the other hand is an assassin, an elite Eraser who does work for an arcane society known as the Chronos Corporation. He has a singular skill, and uses his super fast reactions in taking out his targets and anyone who has the misfortune of getting in his way. He is know as Kuri Neko, or black cat and his agent number is thirteen which makes it unlucky for him to cross anyone's path.

Travis pounces on a lone church under cover of darkness as a stark moon hangs over the assassin as he strikes, ending an individual's life, then bounding away, his cloak wafting in the distance as he escapes. When he gets back to the corporation, he is commended for his success in eliminating the tyrant, and is being sent on his next assignment for which they consider his stealth perfect.

Sven has his own assignment in mind. He intends to capture and bring to justice the newly elected Governor Liv Tyrant, a former gangster and small – time drug dealer who had his connections get him slowly into power.

In this first volume the two characters find themselves in a dire situation. While one is assured of cash once he has eliminated the targets he has been given, the other assassin is always chasing his next target as well as his next meal. This is made more humorous as Sven is perpetually hungry, his stomach constantly rumbling, as he watches others eat and never has enough money to eat or pay his way. The scene in the diner where he is hungry and a group of children at the other table are tucking ravenously into a huge meal will make the viewer laugh out extremely loudly as the animation of this depicts how fast they eat and how hungry Sven is in reality.

There is plenty of humour to be seen in this anime. The two protagonists showing that although they are in a world where corruption rules around them, they have the time to fool around and act in the way the viewer expects. This has a noir look to it, but with none of the despair any viewer would expect from that genre. This has the comedy right where it should be, and even though the noir aspect is present in this it has none of the darkness associated with it. In terms of story, it is wonderfully dynamic, and the humour in the anime shows this kind of story can be done showing two rivals pitted against each other amongst other stories that can be considered continuations of the theme.

EXTRAS:
Text-less opening and closing animations and trailers.

IN SUMMARY:
A noir meets comedy anime that is one of the best new releases yet.

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