Claymore is one of the most intelligent shonen anime that has come out in recent years. It has a pretty good, though rather classic plot of revenge. For a story synopsis go to animenfo.com. In any case, here\'s my review up to eps 14.
We see that the main character, Clare, does grow throughout the series so far, which means in each episode something happens and she is changed by it, and through out the story arcs, she is either benefited by the events or suffers the consequences whether she wants or not. I can talk about this character as if she were a real life
person precisely because the balance of things that happen to her - I don\'t mean that she gets exactly half good and half bad as she journeys, but I mean she has her good days; she has her awesome days; she has her awful days, and she has her almost dying days. She grows through it all.
She has suffered a ton in her life time, and as a woman, she\'s seen a lot of dark side in men. Yet she\'s still on the job, partially because she doesn\'t want to quit. There are rules bounding her but we can assume that she can leave and go in hiding if she desired. But she doesn\'t quit her job. Why is that?
I think she has a sense that the rules of the game are to be followed, maybe not completely to the T, as sometimes she goes out and bend some of them, but not breaking them. There are priorities over organizational rules, after all, especially when it comes to saving a life and nurturing it. She learns that from her previous experience when she was in the position of being nurtured. However, at the same time, she nurtured the person who was supposedly the strong one (this happen when she was young and wasn\'t a Claymore). Something within Clare made her a strong person even before she grew up to become a Claymore - she recognized pain and suffering similar to hers.
Despite all the things happened to her, she\'s still going strong. She risks her life and being discovered (she\'s currently hiding) when she sees her comrades desperately need help; even though she\'s not quite powerful yet and her opponents-would-be are extremely powerful - a classic component of shonen anime. Here, I\'ll go into the shonen stereotypes.
Claymore is a shonen show with its classic plots - revenge, skilling up/powering up, mentors who train, and someone that comes out and help during the most desperate-to-the-urgency-of-death situation (hopefully only one). The biggest and the most obvious twist here is that all the strong characters are women - all the roles that would\'ve been filled by men in the classic shonen (Saint Seiya comes to mind) are filled by women in this case. What marks it apart from a lot of other shonen is the fact that it doesn\'t drag on and on and give out mindless battles or tournaments. That means everyone that the main character has to fight has a good reason to be there, and some of them do indeed come back later, like many shonen shows, but not because they just do, or they have some simple reason like they just want to come back for another round, but these characters all have their reasons, some forced, some by choices, and some by both.
What happens earlier definitely affects what happens later. Friends and enemies are made later because of earlier events and encounters (this anime would make a great RPG).
Because the plot doesn\'t drag - the anime came out when the manga is already on vol. 13 or 14 (I can\'t remember), which means they have a wealth of materials to work with, the arcs are well developed and I don\'t see any unnecessary fillers (at least not yet, I can\'t remember if this is slated to be a 26 eps series), each episode does something to move the story forward. That\'s what a good storyteller should do. In addition to that, the important characters are distinctive and form deep impressions, the unimportant characters mark their short impression and then they\'re forgotten and don\'t take too much of the viewer\'s attention for too long. All these are important to a good storytelling.
This show only suffers a little bit of cliches from shonen anime - one occurrence of ex deus machina. It also has other classic shonen characters like mentor that takes the disciple for training when the disciple has been badly defeated, sociopath characters, sidekicks, and a couple other smaller ones. But these traits get developed the right way, pile those with good character developments and an intriguing overall plot with good small arcs and you\'ve got an awesome storying that retells the classic revenge in its own way.
As for the other elements such as Art, animation, sound - it\'s production I.G. and I\'ll leave those for others to review, because...
this review is too freakin\' long! I commend you for reading this far. Good job! =D
P.S. I obviously like it. For the reason see above! =D
Claymore is a Shounen, Action, Adventure anime in a Fantasy, Medieval setting. The story basically revolves around a specific Claymore "Clare" and her companion "Raki" as she goes from town to town, slaying monsters known as Yoma.
From the beginning the story is very easy to follow. You have Claymores (strong female warriors) and it is the job of these Claymores to slay the Yoma. The story basically follows Clare as she travels to slay these Yoma, which get increasingly difficult to defeat as the story goes on. As a character Clare is developed so well that your opinion of her will change constantly throughout the
series. Knowing her past before she became a Claymore and her current self makes it hard to believe that those two are the same person. What's disappointing is that some of the other main characters are not as developed as Clare but at least they produced good enough results. Raki being the main supporting character is really the only annoying character and doesn't really bring much to the story. As the story goes on it changes completely from the original hunt and kill Yoma, onto a more interesting and compelling storyline with amazing battles.
The fight sequences are just amazing and what helps it is the superb animation quality, thanks to "Madhouse" (also producer of "Death Note"). A lot of detail is put into every aspect of animation, with amazing lighting effects, detailed backgrounds and realistic character models. It is great to see all this kept during the bloody fight sequences however I do feel some corners are cut which just loses some of its essence (e.g. when the arms move so fast it does the typical DBZ speed attacking effect).
The music is fantastic with a magnificent orchestral score mixed in with some wicked bass and rockin' tunes. It's perfect in setting the right atmosphere; drama or action, it does well in both however there are times, mostly during fights, that the music can get a little messy.
Overall this ends up becoming an interesting anime that actually brings something new to the saturated shounen anime market. It manages to stay true to the manga storyline throughout however the story ends up moving at a very fast pace but the benefit of this is that every episode counts and there isn't any screen time wasted by: pointless flashback, training episodes, prolong deaths, etc. It's a shame that the anime deviated from the manga slightly near the end, which is bad news to manga fans and it means there's less chance for it continuing.
The Claymore manga was written by Yagi Norihiro from May of 2001 all the way until October 2014. Yes, it just finished. Roughly midway through the manga's run, in 2007, it got an anime adaptation from Madhouse. Now, I have not read a single chapter of the manga, so I'm not going to notice how faithfully they adapted the portion of the manga they adapted. The question is, does the anime manage to be interesting and coherent with what it does use?
In the world of Claymore, monsters called “Yoma” roam around the land disguising as ordinary humans and eating their guts. In order to combat
these beings an organization with no name creates warriors that are human-Yoma hybrids, the titular Claymores. Our narrative follows a particular Claymore named Clare as she travels the land, fighting Yoma and completing missions for the organization. You quickly learn that there's a particular Yoma she's chasing after to take revenge for the death of someone she loved. Unfortunately, the one she's chasing is a particularly powerful variety called an awakened being. So, how does the series manage the premise?
Let's start with the problems. The biggest one is the ending. Now, let's be as fair as possible. There's no way they could go through the story of the entire manga, even if you only include the bits that had been released at that point. That being said, the part they do end on is kind of rushed and very much unsatisfying. A lot of the story is also pretty standard action fare. It isn't really bad, but it does nothing new either. Clare goes to a place, fights a thing, gets stronger, lather, rinse and repeat.
Now, there are some good things about the story too. The episodes that deal with Clare's back story are quite brilliant. The series also does build up a world that has a lot of potential intrigue, although it isn't nearly taken full advantage of in the anime. The series is also good about introducing major plot points well in advance of the point in the story that they become really important.
Most of the major characters in Claymore are quite interesting. The Claymores are nicely varied and the best character moments in the series are among them. The biggest issue with them is that most of their basic back stories are all very samey, at least the ones you see. Dead family because of Yoma and then she became a Claymore. I suppose it does make sense given the sacrifices they have to make to become Claymores. Doesn't seem like the thing you'd get into if you had a loving and supportive family but it still gets a bit repetitive when the series wants you to feel sorry for a particular character because of her tragic past that happens to be virtually identical to the tragic pasts of all of these other characters. The antagonists do have some depth to them too, which is nice for an action oriented series. The secondary characters are largely under-developed, but most of them serve well enough for what they need to do.
After all that let's get to the big problem the series suffers from in terms of characters, Raki. Just imagine the most obnoxious, useless sidekick character you can think of and you've probably got a character similar to Raki. He's a young boy who gets rescued by Clare and then starts following her around while contributing nothing of value to anything. As a narrative device, he serves two purposes. The first is to give the series an excuse to explain information about the organization. Which could have been done without him if they'd been clever with their dialogue. The other purpose he serves is to give Clare an anchor to her humanity. Although I would argue that they could have easily made her a stronger character by giving her a more introspective anchor, like her memories of Teresa or her own determination, and dispensed with the twit altogether. But instead we had to have this obnoxious brat with no good dialogue or moments. I don't know what ultimately happens to him in the manga, but I hope it involves death by fire.
There are plenty of positives about the art. The action scenes are magnificent. The backgrounds are vivid and nicely detailed. They also do put effort into making the Claymores look different in spite of them all having the same outfits, hair and eye colours. There are two major problems with the art, though. The first is the way they do blood. This is one of those series where blood frequently spurts from wounds as though it's shooting out of a high pressure hose. Furthermore, the lighting in some scenes makes the Yomas' blood look like a neon purple hue. Which is practically guaranteed to drain the tension given how silly it looks when a liquid that strongly resembles grape kool-aid is spraying into the air. The second problem is the outfit that claymores wear. It's a tight, white bodysuit with a cape and the only armoured bits are around the shoulders, fingerless gloves and making up the skirt. Now, they can regenerate quite a bit of damage but it still makes no sense for them to leave quite literally all of their vitals exposed. Nor does it make sense for them to wear something that's going to ride up in the worst ways into battle.
They did get some really good actors. Kuwashima Houko, who also showed up in last week's review as Kita Michiru, voices Clare. Paku Romi, Mizuki Nana, Orikasa Ai, Takayama Minami and Inoue Kikuko all give great performances. The one weakness is Raki's actor, Takagi Motoki. That isn't to say he's a bad actor, I really haven't heard him in enough roles to make a good judgment, but he plays a character who spends the bulk of his dialogue either crying or being vaguely perky. As such, he doesn't get the chance to demonstrate any real range. The music is pretty standard stuff, except when it comes to tragic or intense scenes. The composition work in those is really good.
There is a bit of les-yay in this series. Clare's attachment to Teresa comes across as a young girl's first crush. Jean and Clare get some subtext laden moments. Several of the other Claymores get scenes with each other that could be read as having romantic undertones as well. Particularly Helen and Deneve. That being said, the series ultimately does nothing with these relationships that's definitive, so it's ultimately left open to interpretation. So I'm going to give it a ho-yay factor of a 3/10.
Claymore does have quite a bit that's good. A lot of the characters are well done, the premise is interesting, the acting is largely good and the action scenes are awesome. However, it also has a lot of issues. It ends at a bad point, Raki exists, there are questionable art decisions, Raki exists, it draws on quite a few cliches and Raki exists. In the end, the series is still decent enough for what it is but it's certainly not a classic or among the best. My final rating for it is a 6/10. If the premise sounds interesting or you're looking for something relatively quick with some good action, check it out, unless you don't want to deal with an annoying sidekick. Next week I'll look at another request, Welcome to the NHK.
When you first start watching the show you're greeted by a strange looking creature feasting on a dead human corpse. Unknowingly, a tall slender figure appears right behind him. He senses this new danger and turns to fight this opponent. But hidden behind this slender gorgeous figure is a sword just as tall as her. She unsheathes her massive weapon and a vicious fight ensues...
That is the backdrop of what you are going to be experiencing. Fortunately (or unfortunately), that should leave you wanting for more. This story is set in a fantasy land set in medieval times where creatures called Yoma hide within
Many (but not all) of the normal humans fear the claymores because they are made of half of what they are afraid of: the Yoma. But they are a necessary evil since they are the only ones strong enough to combat these horrible beasts. Not many people know much about Claymores. Just as mysterious as they sound, you will know very little about the inner workings of their organization, except for a few important rules. This story surrounds one character only known as Clare and basically shows how one becomes a claymore. From human life, to selection, to training, to assignments, and then to tougher assignments... typical shonen anime right? They way they tell Claire's exploits is a pretty good idea. They pretty much "Tarantino". That is a great way to explain how this universe works, well I enjoy moves told in this fashion too (some folks won't). This shows how emotion plays an important role in the show how their human half creates many internal conflicts with themselves.
There's mainly one main character and like 40 supporting characters. Unlike most anime out there that keeps EVERY character alive, this one actually does the dirty deed of killing off characters, which I enjoy very much. Not the killing part but more of the reality of it. Friends live and die just as willingly as the enemies. And that is very refreshing in the sea of Naruto's and Bleach's. You'll actually get a good amount of face time with all the claymores they present to the viewers. You'll still remember who favorite ones are. This is one of the very few anime that I actually remember most of the characters' names. Not only does each one have a unique look and attitude, but they also have specific powers that separates them from them all. Half way through the anime, im sure you will find a handful of favorite blond warriors. My personal favorite is Clare.
You can't mention anything about the artwork without talking about the character design. I think this is one of the best character designs I've ever seen in an anime. Not just because it mostly consists of beautiful slender blond haired sexytime warriors but, in the variety of how different each warrior is from each other. From hair style to warrior insignias, to even the swords they carry all have subtle details that u can easily remember or recognize. Even their "alter-ego's" are unique to each warrior. And you cant have medieval fighting giant monsters without great backdrops and this show has those in spades. As many fight scenes there are in this show, the backdrops are just awesome. From abandoned towns, to forest fights at dusk, to even fights in dark dreary caves, they're all situated in different places. Sure they sound very typical but with as many variations in the villains they fight, they all feel very fresh when watching them. The background animations like the random civilians, breaking objects, sparks, and fire embers are all here. They don't look anything impressive but they do add wonders tot he fighting. Most notably the blood... and this anime shows them by the bucket load. It never stays away from violence and thats what makes this show great. Not many current anime shows this much gratuitous violence and its very refreshing after watching a few dozen slice of life school comedies.
If there was anything to complain about the show, it would have to be the sound effects. You can tell most of the stock sound effects were from other shows and movies. Most notably would be the Star Wars laser fire sound when a Claymore "transforms." When I first heard it i was laughing so hard. On top of that other sound effects are just very normal like growling and sword clanging etc. The music is also a little on the weak side. They could have done better with some of the 'theme' songs like when clare 'gets angry' or when she 'learns a new skill' the songs appear pretty weak. But they do break out in some serious guitar riffs and rock instrumentals, which are pretty impressive compared to the other music in here. But the opening songs and closing songs are one of my favorite parts of this show. J Rock is really catchy and seems very fitting for this show throughout. Hell, I have it playing in my car as we speak!
The story was very interesting through the first 20 episodes. Representing a little shonen with Clare's development cycle. But the end sorta feels like they're selling the series a little short. At this ending i felt kind of cheated just like what i felt on the ending of Code Geass. If you want to watch a good story driven show this is a good one to watch, but be wary of Raki and the ending.
Oh by the way, please try to watch the entire show before you go and give it 10's or whatnot. The last 4-6 episodes will disappoint, I guarantee.
There are these women, Claymores. They are feared across the country, for they are half-monsters. And what do they fight? Monsters. Yes, they save the people from monsters, but are regarded as ones themselves. Irony, huh?
The story follows one of these women. She meets a normal human kid who isn't afraid of her, and they end up as traveling partners. At first, it starts as a standard "good-guys-killing-monsters" show, but it goes deeper. I've always felt that the organization for whom the Claymores are working isn't quite good, but let's just leave it at that. The story, as I said, develops
as time passes, and we get to know more characters, maybe a bit about their background, and it all culminates with a real neat final fight.
The animation in this series is simply... just.-... unique. I haven't seen anything like it, and I don't think I will. It gives me this really weird feeling, but that's good. It's really nice, and definitely one of a kind.
I really enjoy the music in this series. It's really, really nice, and it fits perfectly with the current scene.
The characters are also, um... well, not that much, really. They're kind of okay, but I find the male lead to be veery annoying.
Oh and this anime has a realistic power growth and difference. That's something I really like. Kudos to that!
Final thing: This anime seems very unfinished. After watching it, I thought: "Isn't there a season 2?" Well, one has to come. The end was just too open.
The plot is great, even if it follows the outline of a typical Shonen: a greater enemy to defeat as final objective. The storyline however is enough original and rich of inusual particulars, for example the presence only of women as main characters to part Raki and Isley, the control of the enormous power, the awakenings, and the Organization that is incumbent every minute.
The design of the characters is enough anticonventional and inusual: some physical features, like lips or the face seen of profile, well, not everybody will like how they're done. However they are enough pleasant to see, and the
design in general terms, as of personages as of scenes and of movements is coherent with the type of anime: raw, dry and connoted in the colors.
Door-bells and other sounds similiar to old rhythm can often be felt as a mysterious prefeeling, thus resembles epic scenes. Battles sometimes also have a rock rhythm. Masanori Takumi did a good job on the OST, especially on some songs like Bishou no Teresa (Teresa's Theme), Ginme no Majo, Hateshinaki Tabiji and Fukaki Mori no Naka. The choice of the rhythms is guessed and coherent with the scenes. Other sounds instead are ostensible, for example the sounds heard during the battle: squeaking of blades, cuts, footsteps and blood that exits from wounds. Also the chosen of dubbers have been good, in my opinion.
Splendid characterization of every character! Even if in the first moment nearly every character can seem cold and calculating (Claire for example in the first episode gives so much this feeling), when you learn to know them, to know their feelings and their past, will born an endured empathy, an example is the story of Teresa and Claire, or the Ofelia's one. Every personage has its fundamental characteristics that distinguish she from all the others Claymores (physically, every claymore is similar to the others, therefore is for their qualities you'll love every single character): there is who, like Jean, has one strongly will, who learns to love, like Teresa, who simply loves, as Raki, and who cannot more survive to the pain like Elena.
Every time that I am watching an episode, I always hope that it does not end that way and I hope that it continues not leaving things as they are, I want more and I'm disappointed to have to wait for one week in order to see the continuation. Every minute of the show very is calculated as in converses as in the amazing, never-boring scenes of action, where the spilling of blood is not fine to himself.
There aren't means ways, you love it or hate it. It's a great shonen, similiar to others but also a lot different. I love it, more the story goes ahead the more it becomes interesting... what else? Can't wait to see the showdown!
Scoring Preconditions: While I rate all parts, the overall score takes in most consideration from story, character, and enjoyment. Art and sound are not factors in the overall, although they can slightly enhance or detract from enjoyment portion. I score from as unbiased a view as possible and I view it in a critical sense, not in a simple enjoyment sense. Thus I give at most a one point overall bonus for enjoyment. Story and characters matter most. I will state exceptions to this rule depending on the anime.
Summary: Without going into to much detail, this anime had a lot of potential but wasted a
lot of time. It's definitely more than your average run of the mill anime and the idea is unique. But it hit a brick wall. I discuss this more in the story.
Story (6/10): Now before I say anything else, I'm going to say that on the basic idea alone the story would have been worth a 9 or higher. The only reason this show fell to a 6 here is because the ending left a gaping plot hole. Of course this ending may resonate with those who enjoy a cliffhanger ending - although it wasn't so much a cliffhanger as they just ran out of ideas. Besides the ending, the story arcs were well done. The introduction of Claire and Raki is nothing special but the decision for the next arc to be a flashback was pretty good. And of course flash forward to the present. It isn't clever but it is well executed, of course besides the ending. The original idea is both unique and interesting. The half demon idea of course isn't unique, but a lot of the elements of this plot are. The Yoma Claymore struggle is good to watch. The dark mood really resonates well with the story and creates a nice path to the final battle with Priscilla. It is a good story and well worth watching until they hit the wall.
Art (5/10): Frankly the art wasn't all that appealing to me. I think the blade and Yoma art appeal well, but the human characteristics were kinda hard to swallow. Of course this was my personal opinion and this changes by viewer. But I found a lot of people who share my viewpoint on this.
Sound (10/10): Raison d'Etre was probably the most perfect fit an opening could have for an anime like this. Nightmare's lead has that really strange and creepy voice that matches the mood so well. This is another in my playlist. Other background noises were acceptable. The opening really is the reason for the 10.
Characters (6/10): On their own, the characters aren't much to look at. We have the weakest (and later strongest) claymore and a weak little human boy who really doesn't do much except maintain Claire's humanity. But, what is really great is that we see growth in Claire. Power is one thing, but through the flashback arc we get to see the transition and explanation of how she became a claymore. It was interesting to see how Claire changed throughout the plot. Raki...I'm not sure how to classify other than wimp. While the parallel with young human Claire is clearly visible, Raki is pretty useless and he stays that way throughout the plot. "Oh but he keeps her humanity. That's so brave." Ummm yeah thats great but this is a battle between badass claymores and Yoma. What can Raki do when he can't even use a sword properly. I think he is a necessary character for the plot, but that doesn't make him an enjoyable one. Other characters are support. Necessary but non-unique.
Enjoyment (7/10): I'm not sure how I should classify my enjoyment. I thoroughly enjoyed everything but my happy meter just dropped like a rock after I hit the brick wall ending. I wouldn't have a problem if there were a second season, but seeing as there is none to explain what happens next, I have to downgrade my enjoyment here. But the battles were enjoyable to watch. It's not as if the battles were unique in any way but watching Claire continue using her yoma powers to the limit was pretty badass. Also the Yoma artwork gets mention here.
Overall (6/10): I think that for many people this rating might seem slightly harsh, but I'm averse to giving this anime more than a 6. The story blew up at the ending and while Claire was valuable, Raki was a pain. Seeing as even my enjoyment here fell from the ending, I have one major complaint about this anime that would have entirely changed my score had it been fixed: GET SOME FRICKIN CLOSURE ON THE PLOT!!!
I'm a sucker for super violent animes with lots of demons and/or people getting chopped up (Vampire Hunter D, Ninja Scroll, etc.), so this is definitely up my alley. Still, it has quite a few things that bug me.
Sometimes the animation is very obviously digital (Mostly the camera movements, some of the backgrounds as well. We're not talking well-integrated CGI here, it's obviously a budget thing), and it falls into some of the shonen cliches when someone busts out some badass new super power (though, admittedly, a lot of those really ARE super badass). There are a couple dozen musical cues, so that gets
pretty repetitive by the end as well (plus it sounds like they picked a completely wrong cue a few times in there).
And Raki. Oh, Raki. Mostly the character development in this show is perfectly satisfactory, even when it goes into an extended flashback that's... Well, long. But Raki is friggin' annoying. He is consistently a total idiot and then cries about his dumb decisions later. I understand his role as Clare's emotional grounding, but still, what a whiny stupid jerk. A humble hint to my readers: If you, a mere human, find yourself in the company of a badass super-powered part-demon woman and you are determined to follow and help her in her quest, learn to play SUPPORT. Basically, learn some escape art, be bait when that's needed, and do reconnaissance or healing or whatever when you'd be in the way. And please don't cry when you try to pick up a sword and aren't able to protect the girl from beings of godly power. She's protecting YOU, idiot.
All of that said, the fight scenes are brutal and cool as hell, the super powers are very super powered, and the themes are fairly interesting, if nothing particularly new. In the end, the good qualities make me enjoy it more than the flaws annoy me.
I wasn't going to write a review for this, but I felt something less Bias than the over reviews were necisary.
Claymore... simply is an anime about blond haired chicks with bigs swords cutting up demons... or other women with big swords. Lots of decapitations and blood and action. The protagonist Clare is a "Claymore" or a 1/2 demon 1/2 human demon hunter. If these claymore use too much of their demon power they themselves will be engulfed by their dark side never to return.
This anime began as a potential masterpiece, but my expectations were crushed half way. What had started as a unique story
line and an awsome character was Infected by stereotypical MAIN STREAM elements that nearly destroyed this anime.
I already gave the Main Plot~ As already said its starts off great and goes downhill in the end. It also has an even pace in the beggining, a perfect blend of plot of battles~ But in the end plot is thrown out the window just for constant battling, Cliche plot twists and complete disregard for story.
I was rather happy with the animation^.^
Mostly darker earthy hues~ but it makes a good contrast with the Claymore shiny swords and armor. The character animation was ok till you find out 90% of them look the same, it becomes hard to tell alot of them apart towards the end.
Both the opening and ending were good, especially the ending "Danzai no Hana" which is perhaps one of the best ending themes of 2007. It completely matched the feeling of the entire anime.
The OST itself is rather good, but it didn't stick out very much when I watched it myself.
Character: As already said, the series starts off with very good characterizations, but in the end throws out their development and makes most of them into stereotype roles that were completely without motive. Besides the protagonist there was hardly any attempt at character development to begin with and they messed that up.
Enjoyment: I can honestly say I did enjoy 3/5 of the series. It had me on the edge of my seat, engrossed in the action and plot twists. The ending 2/5 were a total let down and nearly destroyed the entire anime~ but perhaps someone less picky than me could enjoy it? If all you like is battles and fireworks you will enjoy this anime~
Overall~ I've said all that needs to be said~
This anime is acceptable... but far from a 10/10...
Claymore is a good choice for you if you enjoy admiring the world building of a series and are typically into fantasy action series. It becomes a terrible choice if you hate when a show doesn't really know what direction to go towards the end and doesn't manage to do anything meaningful. In addition to this, you might hate it when the main characters of the series of the series are way blander than pretty much everyone else in terms of personality.
If we are to exclude the fact that Claymore didn't know how to wrap things up, its story was for the most part solid.
The world was presented well, with elements introduced gradually before they were immediately relevant to the current events of the story, this creating a better understanding for future scenarios without anything really ever feeling like a plot required asspull. For example, before the main focus of the series starts, which is the fight against awakened beings, the series has an episode about how Claymores will transform into demons once they use their powers too much and they will want to end their lives before losing their human conciousness. This introduces elements that are gonna be relevant in a future arc that explains the main character's motivations and goal, but also that are gonna be relevant way past this point. When the significant events happen, you don't think they don't make sense or are built in a way just to keep the action alive, because they are introduced well in advance.
Until this isn't the case anymore.
For the most part Claymore faithfully adapts its manga and doesn't really stray from its source material. But, because it had to end and the manga still had more content to go through and create, it had no idea how to wrap things up and create an ending for the anime adaptation. So it basically adapted as much as it could, and then brought the most hyped up bitches together and made them fight. And then ended the series on a note where things were like "Our fight will go on, it's not over, we still have to do shit". Which is a cliffhanger. The final fight was very unsatisfying, featuring a lot of flashbacks to "make us understand the characters perspective" and not at all to fill for time. I mean we already should've known this information but we probably forgot the information because we're really really really stupid. And there's a lot of random powerups in the fight with senseless slashing and power level display, totally not done because "we don't know how to write this fight", but rather because people truly enjoy when characters just think about their lives and nonsensically are more powerful. When people see something done 1000 times done already the same way, they demand it 1001 times more, The final fight is pretty much a "the plot demands this" fight. It's exactly how it feels. It's exactly how it's written. it's exactly what it is.
This hurts Claymore a lot, because of the fact that it introduces elements way in advance that withhold relevance, only to end on a note that seems poorly pieced together, completely destroying I'd say what it was its strongest suit. The planning ahead the initial series did for itself to allow itself the moments it wanted, wasn't at all a factor here. Instead of that, it focuses on the weakest theme of the series, the thirst for revenge. I won't detail it, as to not give the nature of the ending away, outside of it being basically a cliffhanger, but it is something done rather frequently, done very hastily and poorly pieced together, and that for me was very unsatisfying because it brought nothing new, nor was it executed well.
The characters in Claymore made me contradict myself because while I think that they're well done, I also think that they're poorly done. Let me explain myself. The overall design of the Claymores, and the color palette of the series, (or rather the lack of a color palette) make the Claymores really hard to distinguish by character design, with them pretty much differing only in hairstyle. The fact that they're so similar is a downgrade because this makes it really easy to swap in your head their names, faces and personalities, which are differentiating traits. Keep some characters away from the story for too long, and you'll definitely get lost in the details. The point of the design being hard to differentiate is making the Claymores look expendable, because that's how their world treats them, and also recognizable from any other bystander. But a little more customization in the design, like at the very least let them keep their hair color and just make them distinguishable just by their eyes being silver and their suits, could've made them easier to distinguish from each other.
Another thing that is bad is that all the Claymores have THE SAME BACKSTORY. It is not an exaggeration, everyone's family got eaten by demons, then they became Claymores to avenge them by killing them. I mean I can understand this being the case for the majority of the Claymores, but can't be there at least one Claymore that picked up the job for any other reason? I can understand the reason always having to be selfless, because if Claymores are tempted by power, the more likely they are to become demons themselves, but maybe some girl just wants to join because they want to make the world a better place by removing the demon threat due to strong moral values or any other reason.
These were the reasons for which I think they're poorly done. The world requires for their design to be basically the same and the world's rules requires their background to be basically the same. But in a way that makes them well done because they're serving the purpose of the world fully. None of them (for the most part) seem like fantastic out of the ordinary circumstances with any special gift to them, because none of them are, and none of them should be. Some of them happen to be way more powerful than other Claymores, but that's it. That is not an irregularity in the world of the Claymores. On one hand I admire the fact that the series built a world and its characters to be as fitting as possible to their setting, but one hand I see the flaws it creates, making every character forgettable due to how similar to each other they are.
Which is dissapointing because the two main characters, Clare, who is a girl who's on a revenge quest against Yoma, just like everyone else, and that's her personality. And Raki, the annoying sidekick who's there to humanize Clare and cry because hey Claymores aren't that bad y'all racist. Clare is the brooding silent type who has nothing on her mind than revenge, which is a boring and predictable character type. Raki is a kid who just lost his family and just follows Clare around because he has nobody left, with his role pretty much being to fuck up Clare's battles and yell CREHRH from time to time. None of these characters are interesting. The most interesting arc of the series, is, ironic to everything I said, the backstory arc of Clare, where a different Claymore is the focus of the story. Who is a much more interesting protagonist than Clare and makes Clare that much worse, because not only does that backstory have the exact same purpose that the main characters have in the overarching story, but it's done that much better and with a character that is irregular to the world of Claymore.
And as a result of such after that background story, the story doesn't really bring anything new, and pretty much develops the world for the action bits. The action of the series is mostly women slashing gigantic monsters displaying their powers and how they differentiate from one another. The way they differentiate themselves is interesting and how certain demons need a certain type of strategy to be combated is also interesting, but for the fights can seem dull since there isn't intrigue sometimes, since it's mostly the characters constantly using the powers they've established and slashing the shit out of an enemy until they die. You usually know how things are going to play out in terms of choreography, the more interesting part is how the characters decide to get there, and how they make use of the powers that differentiate them from the other Claymores in these situations.
I think the action could've been enhanced visually if the series had brighter colors. I made a joke earlier in the review that the series lacks a color palette, because, it barely uses any warm colors, and mostly uses monotone cold colors, even on backgrounds that are colorful. Everyone is dressed in some very monotone looking pieces of cloth, Claymores are dressed in almost full grey-ish clothes and the monsters are mostly designed with dark colors. There isn't really any inbalance in the colors to catch your attention visually when something significant happens and everything always looks regular due to the show's overall tone. In terms of visual details, the series does not lack those, everything is well detailed, and the characters are drawn realistically which is a definite plus, but you need some way to draw attention to the spectacle of the series, the action, and look for a way to not make everything seem as monotone every single time. The soundtrack of the series didn't really help the tone for me, I didn't find it noteworthy and I mostly got annoyed of hearing the same song whenever a battle is about to commence.
Ultimately, I think Claymore had an excellent world with only one arc that actually tells an interesting story, both things I enjoyed a great deal. But it has a lot of shortcomings, with plenty of unfullfilling fights, some dull main characters and a story that doesn't know how to draw any sort of conclusion. It felt like a dragged out story of an arc that at heart had the same goal as the overarching story, backstory which already fullfilled the role of the main story. I think there are some things in Claymore that are genuinely worth seeing and on which it can be recommended on and be easily enjoyed, but also plenty of shortcomings that definitely ruins the potential it has built. If the premise of Claymore genuinely interests you, you could watch it, but please consider the problems I've had with the series and if they have the potential to ruin the series for you too.
This is Dragonball. With an all female cast and the added benefit of not having to watch someone power up and grunt for 3-4 episodes before unleasing teh ultimate attak.
In an alternate reality bleak medieval world, humans are considered food by monsters creatively called Youma... :| Since this is a non-adult show Youma just masquerade as and devour humans, foregoing the rape. In a move of brilliance, a secret dark society of Men in Black decided that the best way to combat Youma is to cross-breed them with human warriors, creatively called Claymores for the weapons they wielded.
Their first attempt was to use men, but
the power rush--akin to an orgasm--made all of them seek their Youma power and transform into insanely powerful "Awakened" beings and actually made the problem worse since the awakened warriors were infinitely more powerful than the Youma.
The sheer stupidity of pursuing the Claymore program is never commented on in the anime, since clearly the Awakened ones are more of a menace than the Youma, as they wage war and organize, while the Youma are content to munch on a leg or two here.
So now all Claymores are women. Silver haired, silver eyed women who all look alike. The protagonist of the story, Claire, is a weaksauce Claymore (being 1/4 Youma due to a important plot development) wandering the wastes. After we get around to her origin story, involving a Claymore, Teresa, who took her in as a teen in a totally non sexual way, Claire then finds herself a boy, Raki, and in a totally non-sexual way lets him accompany her in her exploits.
When she's being totally sisterly and non-sexual with Raki, Claire meets other Claymores who become her friends, cloned characters consisting of waify skinny chicks who all look and act alike. They all have tragic backstories of Youma and why they became Claymores--which sort of becomes comical once it's told over and over again and it becomes more of a guessing game of WHO in their family was eaten.
Together they fight Youma, Claymores, and the Awakened ones. And that's really the show. It's like Dragonball or Bleach. Powering up and a seemingly weak protagonist suddenly becoming all-powerful, and the usual escalation to more and more powerful opponents untl it becomes absurd--which is what the ending was.
I honestly turned my media player off and said: "Are you shitting me?"
Yes, it's that silly. And it takes itself seriously, that's the saddest part.
I found this anime to be among the most disappointed ones. It started very good, and followed the manga, which is very good, too. Then... it went horribly wrong.
Story: As I mentioned, the story started very good. It was simple yet have some depth in it; love, hatred, revenge ... it had all. And slaying demons are never boring, in a good show. But all the potential in the world does not guarantee anything; from episode 20, the series branched off from the manga, and had one of the most disappointed ending ever. It made people feel incomplete. What is going to happen to them,
who were the leader of the Claymores ...? The manga is still far from end, and making an anime based on a good yet to end was a bad idea. And the result? A disappointed storyline.
Art, and sound: not much to complain, they are good. Sweet animation; perfectly fit in the classic shonen hack n' slash action. It was just good. The music, awesome. 9 for both Art and Sound.
Characters: amazing and unique characters. All the Claymores were unique; and I loved that. The only thing that held the character point from getting any higher was Raki. He was supposed to be a key main character, but he turned out to be a weak boy who always got into the middle of the battle and Claire had to get him out. And for a long time, he had nothing to do with everything happening in the show. Didin't he supposed to be cool and important? So lame!
Enjoyment: I enjoyed this series from the beginning till' it was 10 minutes before the final episode ended. As I mentioned, the ending left me an overwhelming disappointment. What's the point of such ending? I had the felling that the show had just started, even it was the last episode. Then I decided to burned this anime to DVD and locked it up forever, unless they made a sequel. Rewatch value: 0. Enjoyment before you hit the final: 10/10. Disappointment after you hit the stop button: 100/10. So, 5/10.
Overall: Claymore was supposed to be an extrememly good anime. But the story made a horrible turn at episode 20 and hit disaster at the last episode. I want a sequel or a remake! If it is a remeke, let just forget episode 20 and onward, and make it the way the manga is. 6/10
The anime Claymore,is one that gave me a deep impression and I am willing to read the manga too.Awesome fights and intriguing characters,Claymore is an anime you should definately check out.
In this world,humans coexist with demonic creatures called Yoma,who feast with human innards and can take human appearance.For the reason of killing Yoma,exists an organization,which consists of female warriors called "Claymore".These warriors though are half-human,half-yoma and for that are detested by humanity.
The story is not an extraordinary one but not a bad one either.Following the protagonist,Clare and her path towards her goal develops gradually.From just slaying Yoma it goes on to a much
more interesting story and tremendous battles.From some point on though it becomes less promising(because it does not follow the manga) and ends a bit dissapointing,for me atleast.
The art style is very unique and in a way realistic for an anime.The are some elements that differs this style from other art styles of anime.Some of them that I noticed are in the faces mostly,the eyes,the hair,the lips.The shadows and the expressions,even the monstrous forms are ones to be concerned.It may seem weird to some people,but because of this unique style you can indetify Claymore.
I do not have much to say about the sound of the anime.The OSTs were not anything remarkable but fit the "mood" of it.The opening and ending songs are really great too.
The characters in Claymore are exceptional and you can recognise the depth in most of them.They vary and each one of them has a special reason for living and that makes them trully notable.I really like this anime because it portreys strong female individuals with no fan-service.It reflects their powerfull will and does not display their body.I did not really like though the main supporting character Raki.I understood him but I think that he contributed almost nothing.He did not develop much as he was mostly all-talk and nothing more.
I really enjoyed Claymore.It was one that kept me continue without getting bored.The battles were outstanding and the development was intriguing.It was definately worth the time.
Claymore is an anime worth watching.If you want astonishing battles,a touching story and strong but at the same time deep female characters,you have found all you want.
Claymore is a perfect example of an anime that tries desperately hard to be dark, but completely and utterly fails. This show demonstrates a complete misunderstanding of what actually makes an anime mature. The result is a series of boring, brainless, deus ex machina-filled, melodramatic fight scenes with a static plot and uninteresting/indistinguishable characters (with the exception of one). Tag on an ugly, almost monochromic animation style (in my opinion), an inconsistent soundtrack, and an unsatisfying ending, and you've got yourself a tremendously overrated anime.
In a world where demonic predators called Yoma exist only to kill and eat humans by
disguising themselves as other humans, a mysterious organization creates half-human, half-Yoma warriors known as the "Silver Eyed Witches", or more commonly, "Claymores". The story begins with a young boy named Raki who has lost everything in a Yoma attack. He meets Clare, a Claymore, who agrees to let him travel along-side her and experience her Yoma-slaying occupation.
My main problem with Claymore's plot is that it is based on nothing but classic shounen fighting/screaming and melodrama where whoever screams and grunts the loudest is the winner, but it THINKS that it is also about deep psychological themes and "what makes us human". The later aspects are completely butchered and the former aspects are exactly what they sound like.
To give an example: there is a great story arc in the beginning of the show about a Claymore named Teresa and a little girl named Clare. Clare has lost everything and has nowhere else to turn, so she starts following Teresa around. Teresa, who essentially feels no human emotions due to the fact that she is a Claymore, is indifferent to the girl at first, but they eventually grow to have a very touching relationship. This relationship is clearly supposed to parallel the relationship that Clare and Raki now have with each other; someone who thinks she has lost her humanity is proved wrong by a child who has lost everything and grows to see her as a motherly figure.
At this point, Claymore was shaping up to be a very good anime. However, as soon as that arc ends, we get nothing that comes even remotely close to the character development and good themes that we just saw. The relationship between Rocky and Clare receives no further development and eventually decides to go in a, ummm, "different", direction than the one that preceded it. Let's just say the lines become very blurry when it comes to what Clare and Raki actually are to each other.
Butchering the potential of telling a touching story wouldn't have been as bad if the plot that they DID give us wasn't so generic and boring. In addition to the slow pacing, it's just the classic: "Fight the monsters! Get revenge! Get stronger!" kind of plot that really has nothing to offer that you haven't already seen.
The show thinks it is being dark and mature by not being afraid to kill off pointless side characters, but it completely fails to make us care about those characters or what they are fighting for. They continuously hint at the Organization being secretly evil, but that never leads anywhere. The characters all have either shallow motivations (such as revenge) or no motivations at all and are just working as puppets of "The Organization". The fights are all predictable, the side characters add absolutely nothing (more on them later), and the ending is extremely unsatisfying. Everything that the show was building up to abruptly stops, an archetypical shounen moral is quickly crammed in our face, and then it just sort of… ends. There is certainly nothing special about Claymore's plot.
Taste in art is subjective, but I really dislike the dark and boring color palate used in Claymore. It fails to set a good atmosphere, and the blood effects are terrible. The EXACT same effect is used over and over and over again and it doesn't even look good! It just looks like a bunch of red lines coming out of the wound! And don't get me started on the way, way overused trope of two people running past each other, swinging their swords at each other, there is a long pause, and THEN somebody starts bleeding! I'm pretty sure claymore uses that stereotype in every single episode. Once or twice is fine, but come on!
The soundtrack sometimes works and sometimes does not. Average OP and ED. The voice acting is average. The sound effects were really below average though. I kid you not: they use the Star Wars gun sound effect in this anime, on multiple occasions! It feels so random and out of place.
Before I talk about the personalities of the characters, let me just say one thing: Claymore might win the award for worst character design in anime history. News flash guys! You can only have so many characters with blonde hair, silver eyes, and the exact same outfit before it becomes impossible tell them apart! Good luck trying to remember the name of the characters in this anime, I mean seriously! I was happy whenever one of them died because that was one less to keep track of.
Anyway, the characters in Claymore are certainly nothing special. Clare is the same as any other stereotypical shounen protagonist, except she is a girl. She is motivated almost solely by revenge and the only thing different about her is her relationship with Raki, but I already touched on how that was botched. As the protagonist, she is constantly busting out deus ex machina after deus ex machina to the point that it just becomes unbearable.
I have mixed feelings about Raki. He is a genuine character, clearly expressing his feelings at all times, but he is also very annoying, particularly towards the end. He starts out as someone who is easy to feel sympathy for; he has nothing left and the way he latches on to Clare is touching at first, but since that plot element receives no development, it just becomes stale and irritating. He ends up getting in the way more often then he helps anyone.
With the exception of one, the side characters are worthless. Occasionally one of them might receive 3 minutes of development, but the only purpose they serve is death fodder. I can't remember the names of more then 3 of them, and there were dozens.
The only character I truly liked was Teresa. She is the only character who we really get to see go through a change; she goes from a cold emotionless tool who mindlessly kills for the sake of "The Organization" to a loving person who realizes that she is still human. If Teresa had gotten a LOT more screen time, I would have probably enjoyed Claymore.
As a relatively highly rated shounen, I must say that Claymore fails to live up to it's hype. It simply doesn't differentiate itself from the rest of the genre in any meaningful way (a female-dominated cast is unique but poorly written). The plot is static , uninteresting, and peaks after the first real storyarc, the animation is not appealing, and the characters are nothing special. If you are looking for a unique shounen, you won't find it here. If you are a fan of shounen in general though, I could see how you could enjoy it. Personally, it wasn't my cup of tea.
For me, Claymore has been an anime that has given so much mixed emotion over the past days that I have watched it. Emotions both surprisingly positive and unsurprisingly negative, to a point that I just had to write a review about it, both because of sheer enjoyment of how I experienced the show but mostly because of how much I was disappointed in its presentation.
To start off in the notion of why I enjoyed it, it was because not of its theme (humans< monsters< half-human half-monster< protagonist) but because somewhere down the line when I was watching the show, it gets interestingly good.
Not to spoil the content for the readers but, there are certain times where the show hooks you pretty well because the series of events in the show actually was getting good.
But with that been said, let us go to the bad side of the case. I was mostly disappointed that it, most of the time, leaves the viewers wanting for more than what we came for. The story progression in Claymore is like a roller coaster to begin with, slows start, progressing high during the middle but when you reach the top of the roller coaster to see the climax of the story, so that you can enjoy the ending, it just stops. And that’s the problem I have with the show. It’s like a fisherman catching the interest of the little fish viewers, patiently waiting for us to bite the bait so he can reel us in for the epic kill, but disappointingly pulls up the fishing line before we even got a chance to take a bite.
And to top it all off, it happens in every arc, up until the ending.
But enough of that for now, let’s talk about the character design and development. I’m going to make a point that the character design in Claymore had a similar feel to it with being in a comic book or a particular show where every hero wears a motorcycle helmet for a mask. The good guys have same bland costume and body structure, but different voices and hair style (with the great exception of the protagonist and some supporting characters), while the bad guys, well, they were a bit too similar to begin with, but the design gets progressively good as the story goes on, but they do have this issue that they never seem to run out of, as the saying goes, ‘this is not my final form’, only to get hacked to chunky bits in the end because the story wants the good guys to always win. The personality of the different characters of the story was at least a giver of ways for the same looking characters to shine, so I’m no longer going to point out the fact that there were at least certain elements of moe (personality speaking to be the very least).
Character development in Claymore has been a 50-50 battle of whether or not it’s good or bad because it did well to develop the main characters and the main supporting characters in the story (If you’re wondering, yes, there is such a thing as main supporting character in this story), but it’s a double-edged sword for the other characters because they tried to make every character that way, but ended up failing in that aspect, so the minor support characters ended up looking half-baked. And to top it all off, there was one point in the story, somewhere in the middle, where one of the main protagonist (Claire’s pet human boy), who was supposedly a main character, suddenly became a main supporting character down the line. It was like, Claire, who was once just a main supporting character in the story, became progressively the main character in the end, and her pet human boy, who was once the main character of the story, became a cameo in the middle and made an unsatisfying appearance in the end. The fact that he was there just to drive the protagonist forward and no longer appeal to the viewers, was just irritating when he made his grand appearance in the end. I’m no longer going to mention the other main support characters in the story because, it’s either they were good enough to understand in such a short span of only one arc or that they were too minor to begin with, but the story seemed to revolve around them for some time anyway, so it would be wrong to call them just a supporting character [SPOILER WARNING] (given that most of the supporting characters in the story all end up dead anyway) [END OF SPOILER].
Also, just to let out a bit of frustration out of watching the show, [SPOILER WARNING] CLIFF-HANGGERS EVERYWHERE!!![END OF SPOILER] I mean it’s redonculous to a point that there’s so much more things left unanswered. I mean not to spoil the show in any way but, there is still so much questions that is still hanging. I am no longer going to mention all of it for the fear I might spoil the show to the readers, but you’ll know what I’m talking about when you’re done with the show.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to fly back to another planet before I change into my final fantasy form and fight the most bad ass boss that’ll probably have his own final form as well. KAI!!!
Since Claymore is one of those anime that doesn't adapt the whole manga and has an anime original ending; I never really bothered to watch it. The premise looked cool, but I didn't want to be disapointed. Now that I've finally fished it; here are my personal thoughts on it:
Claymore's setting can be descriped as Dark Fantasy; it's very grim, there's virtually no comedy or fanservce; it's violent and a lot of people die. So first of all,what is this anime about: Claymores are half monster girls (not as sexy as it sounds) who defeat actual monsters ("Yoma") with their giant swords. But
since there are part monsters themselfes, they might turn into "awakend beings" who are even more dangerous than normal monsters. The main characters are a young woman named Clare, who seeks revenge for a beloved person from her past and her sidekick Raki who doesn't really do anything, except whining.
Probably the first thing that you'll notice, is that 95% of the characters are female. What, a fighting shounen with females who aren't weak? Exactly. I have to be honest here, if it wasn't for the strong women in Claymore; this show wouldn't have that much indentity. That's a pretty poor statement, but I still really apreciate the author's decision, since action anime with girls are still pretty rare.
I didn't like the amout of character deaths though. Too many characters die 2-3 episodes after they're introtuced, which made it hard to like any of them (except for Clare). The fact that most characters look the same didn't really help (same clothing/armor and very simmilar hair and faces).
This show had an interesting artstyle and I really liked the atmosphere in Claymore, it felt really dark and edgy. The music was decent too and there are a few tracks that really stood out. Animations are good too, the action scenes usually look fluint.
The ending was by the far the worst aspect of this anime. It wasn't satisfying at all and felt like there was so much left (which it was, since the anime only adapts 40% of the manga). But what this anime adapt was pretty good and for the most I felt very entertained. After you finished this show, you either want to quickly read the manga, because this anime made you a Claymore fan and you want to see the real ending or you're just disapointed and want to never touch Claymore ever again because of the ending(in my case it was the former ^^).
I know many anime fans, who don`t like Claymore. Their argumentation is something like " What a nonsense! "You`ve lost you hand, take mine, and I`ll grow one more". Can`t stand such a crap". And I always ask: "WHAT were you watchng? Fights and breasts? (Yes, Teresa`s ones are great, hehe) Or this serial, maybe, requires a bit of thinkning and brain using?"
Howewer, that`s not easy - make people like it.
Which of you ever wanted to live in Middle ages? I think, everebody. Just look into Claymore world... there are not too much differences between guts-hungered yoma and nomad hordes. And great-looking Claymores... girls,
who lost their destinies through sacrificing themselves for the mankind serving? (Yes, I know that real knights were a bit off that, but... their romantic shapes sometimes remain in our mind) So come and live here... be a simple peasant and live in a fear to be eaten everyday. Claymore easily ripes illusions.
Well, I`ll return to anime. It`s much spoken about Clare and Teresa already. I want only to say: don`t you think that everyone can find similiarities in his and Claymore`s lives? Each of us had tragedies, losses... same like they. Each of us found ourselves in filthy situations... same like they. But go on fighting - and you will go through them with honour. That is what Claymores teach us.
P.S. Special thanks to Riyu Kosaki and others.
Claymore was definitely a good pick and a fine watch despite the much repeated and disappointing fact that the entire manga hasn't been adapted and considering that the manga just recently ended it just makes one wish that they would continue.
Now to start off the review, the best way to describe this anime is... an amazing idea, a well executed anime but lacking in certain elements and those elements bugged me a lot. Just to state beforehand, I am not going to stress on it being an adaptation and bringing in the manga to quote everything - I'll consider the anime as an anime, not
as a 'meant to be a faithful adaptation to a certain manga.'
The story of Claymore is intriguing. Its start gives off the air of Blood+ or Muv-Luv in that it portrays an issue and gives its solution - defining the universe in terms of those monster/hunter/prey and similar characteristics while the rest of the elements like the time era and the culture remains as secondary. It is a fine approach, nothing wrong with it but it does give the initial vibe of the mainstream anime story progression (won't go into details there) and does not keep attention as did Another, Deadman Wonderland and Mirai Nikki (for me) in their first episodes. However I always say that animes should be given certain episodes to develop - I know many people who dislike Code Geass based only on first episode.
And when the person gives time to this anime, then the culture, the environment, the physics of the universe slowly start to unravel in more detail, and in a more relevant manner. An example is that the initial "Queen's Blade" vibe of all female fighters is slowly shattered and the person emerges from a world of simple monster vs hunter to a much complicated and gripping universe. I do wonder how the story line elements hinted yet left out of the anime were tackled in the manga but the slight graze of the side story isn't a negative, it eventually gives the story a multi-purpose and while the anime concludes on ONE of these 'purposes', the rest are a well thought way to keep the viewer motivated to watch.
So basically the anime is a well developed story, complex and intruiging HOWEVER, the ending retracted back to typical anime-ish. Wish I could give a comparison but it would be near equal to a spoiler.
One of the very big positives in Claymore for me was the art. The art style was very impressive and enjoyable. Let's consider it a little more technically. The background was well managed, with detail where necessary and reflecting the over all ambiance of the time. The color scheme was suitable and the art was fluid especially in many fighting sequences. If we consider character art, the females certainly were similar in most traits, however they had believable proportions... not only in terms of the bust size but thighs, arms and over all stature. Yes, similar but they were all fighters and I suppose they could have varied the height a little but otherwise the physique should be more or less the same. The lips and eyes were designed very well - I loved many characters in how appealing they looked not due to a hanging cleavage but due to a decent art style. The basic monster art was also impressive, the lesser monsters were more or less generic but they still didn't look... bad.
I would say here that an all blonde congregation was not really the best idea.... especially since many gave the first impression of being 'elvish'... but ah well.
The sound however was a... 30/70 for me. 70 in the negative. The sound tracks were certainly unique and some did have quite the appeal but they were executed at very awkward moments making one confused for a moment whether they are interpreting the overall atmosphere in the wrong way. So not really a fan of the music however I enjoyed the voice acting and the sound effects reflecting actions or movement.
Now the character development was a roller coaster for me. Lets see... considering the main prominent characters... Clare, the protagonist, an emotionless warrior, brutal in her fights against the monsters but calm alongside, a balanced character with a clear vision that doesn't waver but needs to be reminded in between since there are slight 'additions' to her goals. There isn't much complex about her, she had a past that carved her present and if there are complexities to her personality that isn't shown in the present story. Her interaction with other characters is also justified and reasonable.
Raki... the... pathetic side kick that has... okay lets tackle him a little properly. When you are alone and helpless and are dependent on someone that has far superior intelligence, exposure, endurance skills than you and is mentally a lot more stable, you are supposed to... what? Depend on them. You stick around, give them company, comfort yourself and them. We see another relationship in the anime comparable to what he and Clare have and THAT was BEAUTIFULLY executed. His wasn't. Why? Raki has to impose his sense of helplessness every other episode, he has to lecture Clare every other episode over what is right or wrong, has to butt into every single situation when he isn't required... I mean... just stop being an annoying pest! I disliked that character a lot and the story line plus a few other major characters kept me watching.
TERESA, a secondary character that does have a huge impact on the story was well handled. The best handled character. You can understand her, see how she thinks and understand how it makes sense. Her interaction with other characters was very believable. I won't go into much details but she was easily my favorite character.
Miria and other characters too have a personality defined yet they are not so constricted to it that you find them completely 1-D. They have certain traits to them that keep them believable characters. Yes, there are certain characters you will be able to identify in other animes as well (like the typical fight crazed guy) but the over character development is good. Just ignore Raki and you'll like the characters.
Now... if we were to sum it up to enjoyment... then it was a certainly enjoyable anime that had me waiting to know more - more than was shown in the anime but it kept me on the edge, it kept me guessing in places and the only part that did piss me off were it being incomplete and where they ended. The way the ended it didn't justify the rest of the anime.
So a good anime over all with decent fighting sequences, a story with various elements and if you ignore the character Raki and just try to get over the ending than a VERY good watch!
Thank you for reading and Feed back is more than welcome!
-I am going to make this short and sweet.
-I don't understand why people gave this anime 6's & 7's. This anime is truly great in its own way.
-I believe this anime came from nothing and evolved into something much greater than expected.
-I loved this anime from the characters to the story. Every character that was involved in this anime were really unique and made this anime really good and entertaining. The story was pretty cool too, it was something new to me that really peeked my interest I didn't know much about this anime before watching it all i knew was what the synopsis provided
me. (which wasnt much) One of my favorite parts about this anime was the Arc with Teresa and Claire and how Claire met Teresa. This was remarkable and very memorable to me. It told a really really good story and explained the unexplainable about Claires life. Thats the reason why I rated the story a 9 was just based off of this arc.(yeah your probably thinking that its not an arc but whatever its the same thing to me haha)
-The best thing about this show and the ratings was the Enjoyment of this anime, i rated it a 10 because i never saw myself losing interest in this show. Every episode was filled with some sort of action even if the story was starting to get slow it still kept me wanting more. I ended up finishing this anime really really fast because it was that damn good.
-If you dont believe what i am saying to you then stop reading this and go try it for yourself.
-Hope this helped you in deciding to watch this or not have a great day!!
Don't let the creepy designs and macabre setup fool you, despite its appearance Claymore is a shonen anime at its core, which means lots of weird powers and grand-scale fight scenes, speeches about honor and friendship, a conga line of weird villains, and a whole lot of swinging swords and screaming. I know that the word "shonen" makes some anime fans cringe on sight, but it is not automatically a bad thing. There are many shone titles that have stood out positively over the years, whether through captivating heroes and villains (Rurouni Kenshin, Yu Yu Hakusho), a polished and distinctive style (Soul Eater) or some
surprisingly mature themes thrown into the mix (Fullmetal Alchemist). While Claymore doesn't really excel in any of these categories, it is at least competent and often above-average in many of them, placing it a red and purple bloodstained cut above most shows of its ilk.
The name Madhouse usually promises at least above-average production values, and this is no exception. The backgrounds are expansive and nicely detailed, and Yagi's unusual, distinctive character designs are generally well-maintained throughout the many fighting scenes, not to mention some of the monster designs are just plain wicked. The action itself is half-and half. On one hand, this was definitely adapted from a manga, and during some of the less inspired battles you can practically see the seams from the panels being stitched together: speed lines, quick motions that look more like teleporting, all the shortcuts normally associated with shonen fighter series are here. Thankfully, the strong animation budget softens the blow considerably, with a fairly consistent level of detail, and when it's time to show off during a pivotal battle, the choreography and design work can get really impressive. In a nutshell, this show looks a lot like Naruto and Bleach, only a little more grizzled and much better.
Claymore boasts a rich and diverse music score that mixes folksy strings and winds with modern electric noise, but unfortunately it doesn't seem to have any idea what to do with it. The music direction is so incredibly hit-and-miss that I honestly have to wonder what the show's creators were thinking for some of the choices they made. It will start too late and overstay its welcome, rarely playing loudly enough to make a noticeable impression and often completely failing to match the beat of whatever is happening on-screen. The end result is consistently either forgettable or distracting and only occasionally manages to hit the right beat. I half-suspect that they just went to a composer, asked for an appropriate soundtrack, and then put it on shuffle over the show and called it a day; if someone told me that was the case, I might actually believe it because some of the pieces would have been perfect if they weren't playing over the wrong scene. I should clarify, it's not that bad all the time, and sometimes it actually works really well, but it only takes a few slip-ups to sour the experience and there are more than enough to make this shortcoming noticeable.
Voice-wise, this series is a bit atypical for shonen in that it lends itself to low, threatening intonations instead of the overwrought screaming you usually hear. The Japanese track is a lot of fun to listen to in this regard from start to finish. By contrast, the English dub starts off a little on the dull side, but after awhile the voice actors really grow into their roles so that by the end, both tracks are solid listens. I do have one bone to pick with the dub, and that is Todd Haberkorn's portrayal of Raki. Haberkorn is a very good actor, don't get me wrong, but his voice is a little too snide and snarky to play innocence convincingly, resulting in Raki sounding overly whiny at all the wrong moments, whereas Motoki Takagi was able to carry the character more naturally. On the plus side, Brina Palencia turns out a fantastic performance as Priscilla, able to capture all her childlike purity and twist it into something hideous. Priscilla is a more interesting character than Raki, so I'll take it.
Setting aside its shonen trappings for a moment, Claymore is not an entirely brainless story. This series is at its very best when it is portraying the most basic, carnal side of humanity: fear of the unknown. Humans don't know or understand the Claymores that protect them any better than the Yoma that hunt them, and they're understandably afraid to get close enough to find out. The Claymores do nothing to discourage this attitude toward them, they're cold and often intimidating toward their charges, and as we find out more about them it becomes clearer and clearer that even if they tried to be accepted among humans, what they are would make that more or less impossible. Priscilla's origin story (which also covers Clare's backstory) is a definite high point of the show, clearly showing just how dangerous being "too human" can be when you're constantly battling monsters both within and without. Unfortunately, said flashback takes place from episodes five to nine out of twenty-six, and it's generally not a good sign when a series reaches its high point so early on.
Not that the rest of the show is in complete nowhere land, there are still some good bits here and there, but after unloading its guns far too early the show has to keep its audience entertained almost purely on action sequences, so it's a good thing the action is still fun to watch. This is how a shonen action title needs to be done: lots of cool heroes and scary villains with weird and memorable powers, a simple (rather stupid) plot, maybe a little conspiracy thrown in somewhere, and none of that waxing philosophical nonsense. Most of the characters can be boiled down to "how they fight" and "why they fight", but who cares as long as they're still entertaining? It's a little darker and bloodier than its classmates from the school of Jump, which lends it a distinct flavor and a bit more of an edge. The darker and more twisted this show gets, the more wicked the villains and the more intense the battles, the better. Seriously, forget the heroes, forget the ordinary rank-and-file Yoma, the major villains like Ophelia, Riful and of course Priscilla are the real reason to watch this show. That, and all the creative ways the show finds to cut its characters to tiny bits.
The low point of the show is undoubtedly Raki, and not just because of the voice acting. Make no mistake, he could have been a very important character to help Clare rediscover what it means to be human and given her the companionship she needed to let her past go, but for the most part his role borders on that of her pet (she even gets called out on this at one point). As the first human to ever view her as a person rather than a monster I get why he's so important to her, but throughout the series he constantly needs to be protected by Clare while offering very little in return. He tries to learn how to fight, but he's only human and never really gets a chance to be useful, and as far as good company goes his relationship with her is underdeveloped. If they spent more time talking to one another and had more of a natural chemistry things might be different, but most of their conversations are just generic fare along the lines of: "I'll definitely protect you, you're really important to me, blah, blah, blah", which is a shame. He's a tag-along character done wrong.
Even so, the show remains consistently entertaining from start to... well, not quite to finish. Continuing to rub salt on the wounds, Claymore ends with a "read the manga" conclusion, and a pretty poor one at that. The final arc of the TV series concludes a little too easily while ignoring all the hanging plot threads you could've sworn were leading to something much bigger and signing off with a hokey declaration that "the adventure continues" (okay, they don't actually say that). The possibility of a second season covering subsequent events is looking a little slimmer with every passing year, so you'll have to read the manga if you want answers.
For what it is, Claymore offers a slightly atypical, fairly engaging take on the tired Shonen Jump formula. It doesn't really live up to its potential of being a dark and mature fantasy, but it's still fun to watch and as far as shonen goes that's really all that matters. It doesn't have much to offer anyone aside from the usual action fans, but if you want to see badass ladies fighting monsters with swords, give this the time of day and see if it sates your craving.