Claymore is an anime based on a manga of the same name, that I had recently watched. I had not found it very engaging in the beginning, but by the time the series ended, I was quite fond of it. There is no one thing I can point at that I really liked, or was well-made, but for some reason, I’ve liked it. I do think I know when the transition was made, perhaps.
This is a “Things I Like” post, and as such, it’s not a review per-se, but my thoughts on the series. Spoilers should come as no surprise, this post will have certain amount of spoilers.
When the show began, not only was I not overly impressed, I was decidedly underwhelmed. A lot of it was cliche or not as well done as I could have hoped for, and as people’s glowing recommendations lead me to hope for. The upper lips of the characters, especially when seen from profile are decidedly too long and protruding. Clare who is the protagonist speaks in a “dead tone”, and that’s not a mark of good acting, but lazy and uninspired, even cliche. The music, while the music is not bad, it’s often very ill-fitting, blaring rock or lilting tunes in all the wrong places, and it shows way too often in the beginning. And of course, Raki (whose name sounds like “Lucky”) is one of the more annoying whiney brats anime/manga had graced us with, and you all know how many there are…
The animation style is sometimes majestic, and sometimes just below par. The backdrop and scenery, and the characters when viewed from some distance look good (or nearly great for the scenary). I guess it grew on me as the series went on, and I even grew to overlook the upper lip. Now, the issue of Clare’s emotions, and rather her emotionless voice, I think I know where that happened.
You see, if you tune in about midway through the series, you’ll notice that while Clare’s voice is still somewhat muted, the emotions are noticeable and not very rare, and it is not just us who have grown accustomed to them (though it might be that the seiyu grew better with the character). They made the transition during the flashback sequence, where we see how history repeats himself, and as Raki is to Clare (a boy she saved from the demonic yoma), she was to another Claymore, the awesome Theresa of the Gentle Smile (Teresa no Bishou).
Now, I’m often not too fond of flashback sequences, but by Gorm! Theresa was quite awesome, a warrior without peer, looking good, acting cool. I loved Theresa, and it was a good flashback sequence. Of course, grokking who Clare is should’ve taken most of you about thirty seconds once she was introduced, though for a while beforehands I wondered, as we’ve seen Theresa in the OP, so I wondered if she was someone Clare would fight.
The series in my mind is very close to Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust, in the end, the Claymores are kind of like dhampirs, being half-yoma and half-humans, never aging, etc. The music, the landscapes, and the animation styles had served only to reinforce this impression.
After the anime ended, I wondered at all the loose ends, and looked online to see whether there’ll be or is a continuation planned, and it turns out that the series is based on a manga of the same name, but the ending is quite different, so it’ll be interesting to see if and how they continue this series. There are plenty of things alluded to (such as the “Monstrous current First and Second”) which I wanted to see resolved. I might end up picking up the manga, though I’m less fond of picking up still serialized series, as they take too long to finish :D
Score: Solid 7/10 heroic ass-kicking ladies. The show doesn’t have any stand-out feature, but it ends up sucking you in.