|“||Believe in yourself. Try different things to grow more powerful, don’t ever feel small. Even if you really are small.||„|
Noodle was born in Osaka, Kansai, Japan on October 31, 1990. She spent a portion of her childhood in Japan as a subject of a classified Japanese super soldier project under the management of the Japanese scientist, Mr. Kyuzo.
Noodle and twenty-two other children were trained for the sole purpose of fighting as soldiers for the Japanese military and government. After the children were deemed too dangerous and unstable for combat, the project was scrapped. Mr. Kyuzo was then ordered to dispose of all possible traces of the failed experiment, as well as its participants. Kyuzo killed the twenty-two child soldiers, but was still reluctant to kill Noodle. Deciding to spare her, Kyuzo placed her in a state of amnesia through the use of verbal commands. The phrase used to place Noodle in her state of amnesia was "Ocean Bacon." After temporarily clearing her memory of the project, Kyuzo smuggled Noodle to the United Kingdom in a FedEx crate and falsely reported her death to his superiors.
Noodle arrived at the doorstep of Kong Studios in 1998, in a FedEx crate. Once the crate was taken inside, Noodle sprung out of the box and performed a guitar solo (which 2-D described as being "brilliant" as well as sounding like "200 demons screaming in Arabic"). She ended her solo with a twenty-foot high karate kick and saying a few words in Japanese before bowing and saying the word "noodle." This earned her the name "Noodle" (her only currently known name) and a spot in the band as lead guitarist (replacing Paula Cracker).
Gorillaz Phase 1: 2000-2001
Noodle was about ten years old in this phase. She mainly played the guitar, but also provided vocals for the Gorillaz, most notably the track "19-2000." In numerous idents and music videos alike, it became obvious that Noodle was talented at much more than just music. She is also proficient at martial arts. During this phase, she couldn't speak English, except for a few phrases including "yeah" and "duh" (apparently she could also say "she turned my dad on", "get the cool shoeshine" and “it’s the money or stop" as seen in the "5/4" storyboard, the "19-2000" music video and Re-Hash respectively).
Post-Phase 1 to Pre-Phase 2: 2002-2004
After the band's abrupt breakup, Noodle traveled back to Japan by herself to learn about her forgotten past. During her stay, she visited a sushi bar in Osaka where she heard a waiter tell the bar's chef that he needed an order of "Ocean Bacon." Upon hearing the phrase, Noodle simultaneously regained all memories of her previously concealed past (which included her ability to speak fluent English as well as every other known foreign language). After her sudden revelation, she returned to Kong Studios, which had fallen into a state of disrepair during the bands' absence. She also discovered that the studio had become infested with hordes of undead zombies. Using Kong's security surveillance room as a "safe house," Noodle slowly cleansed the complex of its unwanted inhabitants, although the band never came back. During her stay at Kong Studios, Noodle laid out the concept plans for the 2005 album, Demon Days. After completely ridding the building of the zombies, Noodle embarked on a mission to reunite with her bandmates.
Gorillaz Phase 2: 2004-2008
This phase featured the album Demon Days, written by Noodle herself (now around fifteen or sixteen years old), which contained the song "DARE," the first song featuring Noodle doing almost everything, including instrumentals and singing.
At the end of this phase, Noodle planned to leave the band for a while after filming their final music video for"El Mañana." During the filming of the video, Noodle parachuted off the floating island from the "Feel Good Inc." video after it was gunned down by two armored helicopters. When filming was complete, Noodle had disappeared; causing panic across the set and everyone on it, except for Murdoc. Her used parachute was found amongst the wreckage of the crash site. This caused many to believe for a while that Noodle had been killed off. These rumors of Noodle's supposed death were finally laid to rest, as Murdoc assured everyone that she survived, and they had staged the crash to get rid of Jimmy Manson, who had hidden away in the windmill, thinking he was part of a plot to get rid of Noodle and take her place with the parachute. Murdoc stated in the Gorillaz book Rise of the Ogre that Noodle was "off in the Maldives, just chilling out." However, in the epilogue of the book, a transcript of a radio broadcast from Noodle was printed out. Another similar radio broadcast could be heard in the basement of Kong Studios on the official Gorillaz website. Murdoc later "confessed" that Noodle was stuck in hell, but he had allegedly saved her. He was drunk at the time, so it is unknown if what he said was true or not.
Gorillaz Phase 3: 2010-2012
Four years after her disappearance, Noodle embarked on her journey to reunite with her former band mates. She was formally seen last in the "On Melancholy Hill" video, sporting a cat mask onboard a cruise liner known as the M. Harriet. During the voyage, a crew member notified her that the ship was being attacked by pirates and that he was sent to escort her to the ship's lifeboats. Without speaking, Noodle opened her luggage and armed herself with a Thompson submachine gun. It's assumed that she was seeking revenge for being marked dead by Murdoc. After shooting down one of the two pirate fighter planes, Noodle was forced to abandon the M. Harriet which was sunk by a dive bomb torpedo released by the second plane. She is later seen in a lifeboat being lifted out of the water atop Russel Hobbs' head, who is currently in a noticeably larger physical state than usual. In the canceled Rhinestone Eyes video, she and Russel made it to Plastic Beach and reunited with 2-D and Murdoc.
Noodle later makes a brief appearance in the music video for "DoYaThing" when 2-D looks into her room. Most of her facial injuries seemed to have healed since the events of Plastic Beach. However, the house they are staying in (212 Wobble Street) is suffering foreclosure; what happens next is uncertain.
Gorillaz Phase 4: 2016-2017
Days after the attack on Plastic Beach, Noodle awoke in a strange Japanese fishing village. She was nursed back to health by an old pearl diver named Chiyoko, so Noodle took a job as her apprentice to repay her for her kindness.
One day, deep beneath the waves, she opened an unnaturally big pearl shell, and accidentally released an ancient demon from Hell. Noodle learned this was Mazuu, a shape-shifting devil that could take human form. The only way to destroy it was to remove its head from its body. And so, for years, Noodle pursued Mazuu across Japan. Finally, she had tracked it down to Tokyo, where it had risen to the top of the criminal underworld.
Disguised as a geisha, she infiltrated their headquarters, The Demon's Lounge. While Mazuu was distracted, she chopped off its head. Its earthly existence was over. Escaping Mazuu's sumo bodyguards, she packed herself into a box with dried fish, bottled water, and a copy of Moby Dick. Her package was addressed:
West London, England - c/o Murdoc Niccals
Noodle is later seen in the "Saturnz Barz" music video, wearing glasses with a pink lens on the right eye and a green one on the left. The music begins when Noodle starts to play a record in the basement of the house. She then gets attacked by a snake-like monster with one eye. Later in the "Strobelite" music video, she dances with 2-D while Murdoc is off doing some shady business and Russel is sleeping.
Gorillaz Phase 5: 2018-2019
In the music video for "Humility," Noodle is seen playing chess against Remi Kabaka Jr. while wearing a Hello Kinky shirt. She moves a piece resulting in a checkmate, causing Remi to pull down his glasses in shock (revealing another pair of glasses). For the "Tranz" music video, she temporarily dyed her hair orange.
Upon Murdoc's escape from prison, he sent Noodle to Patagonia to track down El Mierda, a man who he claimed to talk to in the "Strobelite" video, who also framed Murdoc for smuggling. Noodle arrived in Patagonia but was surprised to find that El Mierda was a short and very old man who had never even heard of Gorillaz. After contacting the prison, she learned that Murdoc, in fact, had been imprisoned for parking fines, not smuggling, and he had broken out the very day he would have been released. As she vented her frustrations that Murdoc must have done this all to take attention away from 2-D, she noticed a yak approaching her in the distance. Upon closer inspection, she was shocked to realize Murdoc was tied to its back.
In the first of the G-Shock ads, Noodle brings the rest of the band a message sent to them by G-Shock's inventor Mr. Ibe asking them to send the watches to outer space. In the second G-Shock ad, Noodle and Murdoc hand out watches to the aliens at a party in outer space. She also catches 2-D and saves him when he falls out of their vehicle. G-Shock also did an In Conversation interview with Noodle and 2-D, with Noodle being the translator and giving her own answers.
Gorillaz Phase 6: 2019-Present
During a brief hiatus for the band, Noodle visited Iran to see Lake Urmia. There, on September 3, 2019, Noodle made note of how climate change had taken a toll on the lake. She came to a realization regarding the fleeting state of nature on Earth, and sent a postcard to Murdoc, 2D, and Russel at Studio 13 with a message detailing her desire to build a machine and see the world before it’s gone. The postcard arrived at Studio 13 on September 12, 2019.
The machine was activated on January 28, 2020. The following day, the band announced their next project, Song Machine, a multimedia series of songs/music videos released episodically through 2020, as a continuously-updating playlist via streaming services.
In the first release, "Momentary Bliss," Noodle and the rest of the band casually record the song in Damon Albarn's studio with slowthai and Slaves, with Noodle playing guitar and dancing alongside Albarn. In "Désolé," during the portal trip to Lake Cuomo, Italy, Noodle wears monster gloves while playing guitar to blend in with the monsters surrounding the lake. Noodle also conducted an interview herself with the episode's guest, Fatoumata Diawara.
In "Aries," during a race with the rest of the band in Morroco, Noodle stops in the middle of the race to text Russel and expresses concern for 2-D, who is riding a motorcycle with Murdoc. She then closely follows 2-D & Murdoc and calls out 2-D's name, who is unaware she's behind them. Despite her efforts, Murdoc unfortunately still manages to inject 2-D with a truth serum syringe. In the aftermath of Aries, Noodle restrains Russel while he physically assaults Murdoc for hurting 2-D. The Machine Bitez following "Aries" is the first of the Machine Bitez to feature Noodle, making it the first time all four band members were heard together in an audio recording since Phase 2.
In "PAC-MAN," Noodle plays Pac-Man on her phone and watches in awe as the song's collaborator ScHoolboy Q records his verse. As she watches ScHoolboy Q, she begins to shapeshift and change form into different art styles, one of which being an animesque style and the other being a Peanuts style. According to a comment from Murdoc, she recently gained a new ability that allows her to morph into different styles, triggered every time she hears music she enjoys enough. Noodle says in a Reddit AMA that it comes from the many different energies flowing through Kong. At the end of the video, Noodle unplugs the Pac-Man arcade machine that 2-D is playing.
In "Strange Timez," Noodle goes to the moon with the rest of the band and blows up a billboard. Noodle does not appear at all in "The Pink Phantom" (and neither does Russel), but she and Russel both appear in "The Valley of the Pagans." In an interview with Dazed, it was revealed that Noodle was present in the studio during the recording of the "The Pink Phantom" music video, but was behind the cameras. In "The Valley of the Pagans," Noodle brings the rest of the band along on a joyride through the streets of Los Angeles before they're all suddenly teleported to Plastic Beach in "The Lost Chord."
As part of promotion for Song Machine Live, Noodle DJ'd an hour long set from the roof garden of Kong Studios for Song Machine Radio, and interviewed CHAI. She described her location as quiet and peaceful, except when the train passed. Noodle DJ'd the entire set and conducted her interview in Japanese, minus some quick introductions in English.
When first conceptualizing the depiction of a guitarist for Gorillaz, Jamie Hewlett was initially considering depicting her as a 17-year-old adolescent girl carrying guitars, but Albarn noted that the idea was too similar to what Jamie usually draws and suggested that Jamie create "something different." Taking Albarn's advice, Jamie came up with the first official Noodle, a 10-year-old Japanese girl. Later, Jamie drew her as 13 years old, and since then, he said he has "aged" her further.
- "Despite the language problem, you picked up pretty fast that Noodle was into music in a real way." —Russel Hobbs, Rise Of The Ogre
- "We weren’t really Gorillaz until Noodle arrived." —2-D, Rise Of The Ogre
- In Phase 1, Noodle's singing vocals were by Miho Hatori, the lead singer of the Shibuya-Kei band, Cibo Matto. For "DARE," her vocals were provided by musician Roses Gabor.
- Tina Weymouth has erroneously been credited as having voiced Noodle due to providing backing vocals on "19-2000." Noodle's performance in that song was purely that of Miho Hatori.
- Noodle's speaking voice was provided by Haruka Kuroda from Phase 1-2 and briefly in Phase 4. Kuroda also provided Noodle's singing voice during the Gorillaz LIVE tour, as well as providing the second guitar: she also wore a replica of Noodle's signature radio helmet, as seen in her silhouette from behind the screen.
- Beginning with the Casio interview, Noodle is voiced by Haruka Abe. Kuroda noted in an interview on the podcast Hallelujah Monkeyz she is unsure why she was recast and has received no word from the creative team (besides being inexplicably called into a Noodle audition by her agent), but she suspects her age may have been a concern.
- According to the Gorillaz MTV Cribs episode, she likes Johnny Thunders and Richie Sambora.
- In 2016, she became the global ambassador for Jaguar Racing.
- In "On Melancholy Hill," it is revealed that Noodle is in possession of a shotgun and a Tommy gun (though we don't know if she still has these).
- Phase 1 and 2 Noodle owned a Gameboy Advance.
- Although Noodle's primary instrument is guitar, she is actually is a highly skilled multi instrumentalist who can play every instrument known to man.
- Her orange hair from the Tranz music video may be a referente to the Dirty Harry live visual, on which, at the upper right side of it, a child extremely similar to Noodle on Phase 2 is present, having the same hairstyle as her, but colored orange instead of black.
- Being from Osaka, Noodle always speaks with a very thick and fast Osaka-ben when speaking in Japanese.
- To this day, her real name is still unknown (although seeing that she was part of a government project it's probably just a bunch of numbers and letters).
- Noodle, now as an adult and despite being the youngest in the group, considers herself the big sister of the band. She's said she helps the rest of the members with their shenanigans.
|The full image gallery for Noodle may be viewed at Noodle/Gallery.|
- Instagram: 私は Noodle
- Gorillaz. Page 165 Rise of the Ogre. Penguin Group. Published 26 October 2006.
- Gorillaz. Page 29 Rise of the Ogre. Penguin Group. Published 26 October 2006.