Adapted from the manga series by written and illustrated by
Norihiro Yagi, Claymore is a 26
episode anime show that faithfully translates the dark and intricate
the small screen. Filled with engrossing
characters that populate an intricate world, this series fires on all
through most of its run. It is only at
the end where the story dips just a bit, and that's mainly because they
for the source material there.
Humanity has a problem.
There is a race of demons, the Yoma, which feed on human flesh. The Yoma can perfectly disguise themselves as
human too, taking on the manners and characteristics of someone they've
eaten. The only people who can detect
Yoma are an order of female fighters, The Claymore.
When a village notices that people are
disappearing, a sure sign that a Yoma is in the area, they contact the
organization. One of their fighters will
be dispatched, hunt the demon down and kill.
All for a hefty fee.
The reason that Claymore can detect Yoma is because they are
part Yoma themselves. They've undergone
a secret process that makes them half Yoma and half human.
They can access their Yoma side in battle to
gain more power and speed. There is a
danger to doing that however. The more
often they access their Yoma side, the sooner they'll turn into
themselves. When a Claymore fully
embraces their Yoma half they loose their humanity and become an
Being', a monster of tremendous power with a ferocious appetite.
As the story begins, a Claymore named Claire arrives in a
small village that is been stalked by a Yoma.
She follows a young boy who recently lost his parents, Raki, to
because he has the scent of Yoma about him.
It turns out that Raki's brother is actually a Yoma in disguise
after Claire dispatches the beast she leaves.
The villagers distrust Raki however.
Why was he the only one from his family spared?
Could he have latent Yoma tendencies? Erring
on the side of caution they exile the
teen who takes up following Claire.
While the Claymore doesn't want Raki following her, she
slowly starts to appreciate his company.
He makes her feel human again, something she really isn't. As Claire fights Yoma with Raki watching on
she slowly becomes aware that things might not be as straight forward
they've always seemed and that the organization doesn't necessarily
best interests of their warriors in mind.
Especially when she arrives at a rendezvous and her comrade
This is a very interesting and enjoyable show that really
reaches out and grabs the viewer. It
seems to start off as a typical monster-of-the-week show, but it never
goes that route. They quickly set up an
interesting dynamic by establishing that the Claymore, a term only the
use, are desperately needed by mankind but that they are feared and
by those that they're protecting. The
fate of the Claymore, hopefully to be killed by their best friend
before they can
turn into a monster, is cruel and unfair, but also raises the question
would want such a life.
That's answered in a Claire's multi-part origin, some of the
better anime episodes I've seen in a while.
This fleshes out her character and gives viewers some insight as
drives the Claymore.
The only real problem I had with this anime wasn't
necessarily the creator's fault. Claymore is still being published as a
manga so the story isn't finished yet.
This show adapts the first 11 volumes of the comic, but then has
on an ending. The last two episodes
depart from the source material in order to wrap things up, which they
to a limited extent. The main plots are
still unresolved and there are still a lot of mysteries left even with
ending. I didn't realize that the final
installments weren't from the manga when I was watching the show, but
even so I
thought that the story took a bit of a dip in quality and that the
wasn't as tight as it had been. Still,
this shouldn't stop anyone from watching the series.
Overall it is excellent and the ending isn't
bad, just a bit of a let down.
All 26 episodes are presented on 6 DVDs. These
are housed in double thinpak cases and
stored in a slipcase along with two booklets (see the extras section
info on these.)
The program has the original Japanese soundtrack in stereo
along with an English 5.1 dub. The dub
sounded very good, especially during the battle scenes.
The rears were used to good effect and the
ultimate battle at the end of the show was really improved by the
mix. Having said that, I did have a
slight preference for the Japanese track.
I just wish it was in 5.1 also.
The 1.78:1 anamorphic image looked very good. The
lines were tight and crisp and the colors
were solid. There was a good amount of
detail present too. On the digital side
of things the show also was a little less impressive.
There's some digital noise in scenes where
one color predominates, and aliasing was evident too.
Overall this is a good looking show with some
There are several extras scattered across the six discs that
make up this series. There are six
commentary tracks, one on each disc, with the English cast and crew
about average anime commentary tracks.
In other words there is not a lot of new information about the
pleasant enough to listen to.
A couple of the Japanese crew members are interviewed,
including director Hiroyuki Tanaka, sound director Yasunori Honda, art
Manabu Otsuzuki, and Nobukito Sue who part of the art department. I appreciated these interviews much more than
the commentary tracks since they discussed the genesis and design of
and these people actually had something to do with the creation of the
There are also cast auditions (yawn), textless songs, and an
Finally the set includes two 24-page booklets that include
character designs and profiles as well as interviews with the creators.
I really enjoyed this show.
A story of a powerful woman who risks her life every time she
powers would have been good to begin with, but this show fleshes out
the characters nicely and creates a very detailed world filled with
intrigue. While the ending wasn't the
series strong point, the rest of it easily makes up for any dip in
the last episodes. Highly Recommended.