Claymore. An Uknown Fondness.

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.

Clare the Claymore at the front, her nemesis at the back.

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.

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16 comments on “Claymore. An Uknown Fondness.

  1. kluxorious says:

    i dislike the manga because they fucked up the ending.

  2. Ninjovee says:

    As far as I know, Claymore won’t get a second season. And like kluxorious said, the conclusion in the anime was bad. I wish they would get the same treatment as FMA did, but I don’t think Claymore has a fanbase as huge as FMA… :<

    • Guy says:

      I don’t think the conclusion in the anime was bad, per se.

      Also, they really changed things in FMA, concluding the story before it was finished, whereas in Claymore they did leave the story open. It would require a retcon/complete rewrite were they to try and continue though, that is true.

  3. Baka-Raptor says:

    Claymore starts out slow at first because it’s taking care of its background material before reaching the meat of the plot. There’s a lot to explain in the Claymore world: what Claymores are, the dangers of using their powers, why Raki is such a pussy, etc. Once all that’s out of the way, Claymore takes off. From Teresa’s arc on, I was completely addicted.

    • Guy says:

      Theresa is so awesome, could’ve happily watched a full series about her ;)

      But yeah, the exposition is very rapid, and even feels a bit forced in the beginning. Already in the second episode we see what happens to those who fail to contain their powers, but it also lacks an emotional punch at that stage. And of course, we get to hear it several times again later, in case we forgot ;)

      That reminds me, I forgot to type it in the main entry, but I wonder if Yoki is basically “Yoma ki” or “Demon chi”.

  4. Reltair says:

    Hmm, seems like I might have to go read the manga.

  5. Snark says:

    Claymore is one of the manliest shows ever made. The fact that you liked it is irrefutable proof that you are neither a pedophile, nor a communist. If I could, I would shake your hand.

    • Guy says:

      Well, as Baka-Raptor and myself had told you on the Air Master post, you need to watch and love Tenjou Tenge to prove you are ;)

      Who knows, you might get to shake my hand some day.
      Also, communism is so passe, I do have certain socialist leanings, but then again, I live in a country that continually tries to find its place on the socialist-capitalist spectrum, so I can appreciate both stances, and more than that, the medium.

  6. lovelyduckie says:

    I’m primarily a fan of the manga, the anime was something I experienced 2nd. BUT I still liked the anime and did a review of it a while ago.

  7. Blowfish says:

    Claymore is a great example on how you can make a nice Manga/Anime with a heavily used theme and still make it interesting and engaging.
    I highly recommend you to take a look at the Manga now since its alot better than the Anime.
    At first I was turned a bit off by the Art since the Mangaka has a rather “unique” style where alot of characters look alike and well females arent his speciality ^^
    The Art becomes better throughout the series as expected and Im now uo to Volume 15 and still love every little bit of it.
    Sure Claymore isnt reinventing the wheel but it takes the existing tropes and turns them into an enjoyable little series

    • Guy says:

      The million dollar question is how. I mean, if people would know how to reliably take tired cliches and turn them into enjoyable things, they’d be rich.

      BTW, I wrote a micro-fiction a couple years ago called “A Tired Old Cliche”, I might post it, heh. It’s based on my love for The Man with no Name (Clint Eastwood’s character), so it might fit.

  8. FinallyAnime says:

    You know, I’ve NEVER seen Claymore (or read rather). Does that make me suck? lol

    • Guy says:

      Well, if you know formal Logic, then: “Enjoy Claymore” is P, “suck/pedophile” is Q, and Snarky’s comment is:
      P>~Q (If P then not Q).

      From this you can get :
      Q>~P (If Q, then not P). Pedophiles/sucky people do not watch or enjoy Claymore, but it doesn’t follow that all who did not watch Claymore suck/are pedophiles (we didn’t end up with ~P>Q). Though to be honest, Priscilla at the end was very cute. Theresa was the best though, hands-down.

  9. Yi says:

    I should really get to watching this. I’ve already got the whole series on my computer.
    It looks good though. 7/10 is not bad right?

    • Guy says:

      7/10 is bad on Gamespot, and many other places, these days 8.5 is the new 5 (mediocre), but no. I actually plan to write an entry “On Grading”.

      6 is ok, but could’ve been better. 7 is good solid fun. 8 is do not miss, 9 is spectacular, and 10 is perfect.
      Code Geass is 9.5 or so.

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