Noir is the most popular and controversial anime created by studio Bee Train, detailing the story of two adolescent lesbians coming out of the closet. The series has been noted for its intense storyline, huge amounts of lesbian angst and extreme graphic violence and gore.
The two titular heroines are a Japanese schoolgirl Kirika "I kill people in my spare time" Yuumura and French model Mireille "Who killed my parents?" Bouquet. Both of them are soon revealed to be serial killers who call themselves "Noir" because they thought it sounded cool at the moment of their initial meeting. The latter involves a brutal murder of several dozen men stalking Kirika and gives a foretaste of what was yet to come in the series.
The extreme violence of the show results from the angst both heroines display on regular basis, due to being unable to admit their feelings and lead a fulfilling sexual life with each other. To relieve the stress, they randomly pick a geographic location to situate a bloody massacre of everything that moves in every episode. Thus, they keep the audience wondering when are they finally going to kiss until the very end (they never do, actually; oops, that was a spoiler, wasn't it?). The suspense and intensity of the show are legendary.
Noir's carnages often leave a trail of collateral damage (not counting faceless mooks), for example, Kirika murders a defenseless paraplegic Russian charity worker and Mirielle mercilessly slaughters her last remaining blood relative when he invites her to his garden. In a particularly shocking episode, an underage girl is stabbed to death with a cutlery fork, and just minutes after that, her legal guardian is burned alive.
Due to its high body count, excessive gore, and explicit lesbian themes, Noir has become widely popular in Japan, US, and Europe, spawning a line of poor rip-offs from Bee Train's own Madlax through to Gunslinger Girl.