Anime Review: Claymore

Posted By EthaNox On October 9, 2011

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Anime Review: Claymore

We’ll start off today with a review of Claymore, a title that I could have sworn to have reviewed already but that seems to be missing from the site entirely. What better way to fix that than making a shiny new review cycle for both the anime and manga?

Big swords all around

Claymore is the brain child of Norihiro Yagi and it might just be his best work to date. The manga premiered in 2001 and moved around several manga publications which kinda makes it a pain in the ass if you wish to compile the original prints, but other than that it serves as a testament to a quality of its work to see it survive three different publications. Not to mention that it also got an anime adaptation, which is what we are reviewing right now!

The nuts and bolts of the story are rather simple; it stars a female lead by the name of Clare who works as a Claymore, a special agent of a shadowy organization with the task of exterminating monsters known as Yoma who infest villages and take on the shape on men to feed on the unsuspecting villagers. This may sound a bit clichéd to some, but the story manages to twist it around by doing something that seems impossible. It makes the “child character” likeable.

You read that right. Clare stumbles upon the survivor of Yoma attack by the name of Raki, who has been driving off from his village and has no other choice but to follow Clare. At first this is no different than the usual “little kid acts like a pet” interaction, but he eventually becomes a vehicle for Clare to start regaining her humanity and is actually helpful when it comes to a couple of battles.

The plot is nice

It’s more than just a road trip too, see the main point is that Claymores operate on a jurisdiction and are sent to exterminate Yomas in their areas, but the story does a great job of mixing flashbacks and the occasional narrative to build up a good set of characters and give them an excuse to travel around a mildly generic high-fantasy world.

There are a couple of twists in the story that get revealed casually by the emotionless Clare, which is fine since her companion reacts to it and compliments it nicely. But overall it’s a story about Clare and her life as a Claymore, plus the one she lost.

The only downside to the story is that it gets a bit cluttered at the end and it seems to lose some steam, perhaps as a consequence of trying to catch up with the manga’s twists and turns and still manage to give us some form of closure.

It looks pretty

Some scenes are a bit too heavy on the dark tones, to the point where you may feel that you need to adjust your screen’s contrast. Other than that the show has a pleasing aesthetic that serves to give it an appealing look that makes it stand out.

Watch it

It may not be as deep and developed as the manga, but it has some really nice things going on for it. It’s far from perfect but it’s a solid enough title to carry itself in a simple, yet intriguing premise that could give fans a taste of what the whole manga experience offers.

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