In a world constantly haunted by demonic predators known as "Youma," the everyday life of humans is full of fear and suspicion, as these monsters easily blend into human society to hunt their hapless prey; however, in this world, there is also a mysterious organization, employing half-human, half-Youma warriors to effectively track down and kill the demons. Called "Silver-Eyed Witches" or "Claymore" after the huge claymore swords they carry, these female warriors are eyed with suspicion and distrust by most because of their inhuman powers.
But there are many currents flowing in the shadows, from the mysterious machinations of the Claymore Organization and the twisted ambitions of the powerful "Abyssal Ones" to the hopes and desires of each Claymore warrior. This story follows the fate of Clare, one of the Claymore operatives as she sails deeper and deeper down the currents of conspiracies and revenge.
Claymore was published in English by VIZ Media under the Shonen Jump Advanced imprint from April 4, 2006 to October 6, 2015. A complete box set of the series was released October 20, 2015. It was also published in Spanish by Glenát España since December 2006, publishing 21 volumes until Glénat went bankrupt. The series was continued by Norma Editorial until its final volume in September 2015; and in Italian by Star Comics from June 9, 2005 to June 13, 2015.
Story - well. It might be difficult to see any value in its story for the first few chapters. Initially it seems predictable and like a typical "let's watch as some badass kills monsters in this ~fantastical~ weird world" story, but with more interesting characters and concepts. It seems like it doesn't plan on doing anything special with the characters or the story. Yet it still has this weird charm to it that keeps you reading.
But it picks up quickly. Despite the predictability of these first chapters, I found myself pulled in. I typically have trouble getting into manga, since I'm more used to watching my entertainment than reading it, but I started reading the first chapter on a whim and found myself unable to stop. For all of its initial simplicity, it's still a page-turner, especially once the main character's past is touched on. It's the pivotal point where you realize that this manga really does intend to have some depth, and from that point on, it doesn't disappoint.
Its story does still have some predictability for... maybe half of the series, but it doesn't affect the enjoyment much. The reader grows an attachment to Clare, the main character, and after all she goes through you can't help but root for her and keep turning the pages.
But keep in mind that vast majority of the story is, in fact, played in battles. It's predominantly action, but the fights are far from repetitive. The fights have a clear purpose; they're not just crossing swords for the sake of LET'S GET SOME BLOODSHED IN HERE SO THE READERS STAY INTERESTED.
My only complaint is that I kind of liked the simplicity. As the story goes, it gets more complex, more confusing, and begins to lose the charm that the initial chapters had. Your mileage will almost definitely vary.
Art - difficult to say. The style is different enough to be a little eye-catching, but it's nothing spectacular. Fight scenes are coordinated well, and you seldom have trouble understanding what's going on. I'd hesitate to call it "gory" -- it doesn't go out of its way to show a lot of blood -- but it doesn't skimp on bloodshed or violence. The art has a nice balance.
Readers will appreciate that characters' facial features tend to be so different from each other's, and may be pleasantly surprised that Claymores aren't just ass-kicking beautiful waifs, as powerful female characters in other series tend to be. Some Claymores have long, large noses, some have no eyebrows, some have huge muscles, some have tiny eyes, some have absurdly pointy ears... seeing female characters with some actual variety in facial features is refreshing. Some Claymores are downright unattractive (while still being good guys! Amazing!), and it's just. Really nice to see that.
Character - Clare is a fantastic character, first of all. Her character is easy to understand, and she's a compelling character without being a tragic hero. It doesn't mean that her backstory is any less sad, but it's hardly uncommon in the setting. It's the way she handles it with her actions that sets her apart. Her character is believable, and... again, you just want to root for her. She may be stoic at times, but she's a far cry from emotionless. Don't get her angry.
Aside from her... Raki. Raki is kind of annoying in the anime, but the way he is in the manga is easy to sympathize with. He's lovable. His development, too, is believable.
And all of the other characters are interesting as well. Claymores in general tend to be cold, stoic, businesslike, and asocial, at least when around humans -- humans fear the very warriors protecting them, even calling them "silver-eyed witches" and "half-monster." This would (understandably) make them bitter, especially since no one becomes a Claymore voluntarily. The manga takes these things into consideration. Being outcasted from your village and from humans in general -- against your will, no less -- and then being forced to protect the people who fear and reject you in the first place? It would make most people somewhat bitter, yeah.
The ridiculous amount of characters can make some things confusing (a few times I had to think to myself, "-character-? Who's -character- again? Is that the one who..."), but other characters do have some distinctive personality traits. The other characters become more and more important as the story progresses, and though they don't develop noticeably, they're still interesting, subtle characters who don't (usually) get pushed into standard archetypes. Even the villains are quirky and understandable.
Enjoyment - I love this series. I read 96 chapters in one sitting, which... has never happened to me before. I've tried to read countless manga, but I seldom got beyond four or five chapters before getting bored and never picking it up again. But Claymore? I just couldn't stop. Again, it's a page-turner. I can't really explain why, but this series sucked me in like few series have ever managed to. The characters are compelling, the art is fairly enough, the setting is fascinating, the story is paced well, the action scenes -- scenes which I usually dread in other series -- are every bit as entertaining as the rest.
Overall - go for it. Claymore's far from perfect, but if nothing else, it's refreshing. The feel that Claymore has is unique. It puts an interesting spin on action/adventure.read more
Okay Claymore is one of the best if not the best in terms of balancing action and plot development. The story takes place in a country where monsters called 'Youma' feed on humans and that is where the introduction to the main character Clare is made. There is an organization that recruits and trains young female warriors (half-human, half-youma) in order to fend off the population of Youma, however they do this service for a fee. Clare is one of the so-called 'Claymores' (nicknamed by the villagers because of the weapon they carry) and simply enough she carries out orders from the organization. However like I said, Claymore is an excellent example of a manga that excels in plot development, so the storyline splits into different perspectives as sub-plots begin to emerge.
The story is definitely the highlight of this series and in my opinion it just gets better and better. The first couple of chapters introduce you to the scenario and then details of the organization are revealed as well as new characters. You can never really anticipate the events in the next chapter, its really a captivating story. I'm not saying its far fetched even though it is shounen, but the logic behind the plot itself is amazing.
Nohiro Yagi is an amazing artist as well as a writer. He portrays the Youma as one would imagine them to be, but he does not spare the details. Each one is different and the creativity speaks for itself. The Claymores themselves are female warriors and they fit a certain description, so they all have similarities. The amount of artwork put into each chapter makes it really easy to follow the events so its not only captivating but also helpful.
This is the only section where Claymore does not get a 10/10 from me. The characters themselves are introduced, but not much about them is known, save a few like Clare and those close to her. For the most part, character development is lacking to some degree and I would like to see more personality from some of the Claymores. Some would argue that they are partially human, but they do have a human conscious and share the same emotions. Even though this is something that could be improved upon, its just a small kink in the overall aspect of the manga.
As you read the manga, you will find that the character development shadows the story and art so that they are closely related. Everything in this series is perfectly intertwined and its definitely one of a kind. I might be biased because Claymore is the best manga I've ever read, but I assure you that it will not disappoint. It never gets repetitive and each chapter leaves you waiting for the next. Even though the chapters are monthly, its so worth the wait because there's nothing like it out there. I would recommend this for anyone who likes to follow a deep plot accompanied by some intense action..oh yeah and female warriors (did I mention that?) :)read more
This is the best manga by far. The story is about girls with big swords (called Claymores by others) hunting down Yomas (demons who plague the world). It's incredibly violent and bloody which is awesome. The story only gets more interesting once it reaches the Teresa Arc, which talks about Teresa, the strongest Claymore ever, and how she meets Clare (the main character). This story is interesting because of the many conflicts and plot twists that will keep you reading it over and over. There's mild nudity too, not bad.
Plot development and storyline :
The storyline of Claymore is set up on a medieval island world, infested with monsters called “Youma”. Youmas can shift their shape, disguise and live as humans within society. They retain the memories and knowledge of the human body they reside in, so normal humans can’t recognize them in their perfect disguise. Youmas eat human innards to live and can’t resist the urge to eat innards more than two weeks. So eventually they end up murdering humans brutally, to eat their guts.
A mysterious group called “The Organization” creates half human-half youma hybrid female warriors who kill youmas in exchange of money, that is collected by The Organization.
These hybrid warriors are called “Claymores” because they fight youmas using large and heavy “Claymore” swords that they always carry on their backs. People also refer to them as “Silver eyed witches” as all of the Claymores have silver colored eyes.
Youmas and Claymores are powered by a demonic energy called “Youki”. Youki grants them extreme strength and shape-shifting ability. Only Claymores can sense Youmas disguised as humans and kill them because they bear Youki, the same power as youmas.
People despise Claymores, as they are also half monsters. So the claymores are quite anti-social, cold natured and sometimes maniac. Killing people is a taboo for Claymores as proof of them being allies of humans, despite being half monsters. Claymore warriors don’t require much food and sleep as normal humans and they don’t age. So they are very effective weapons against youmas.
The island world of “Claymore manga” is divided into 47 regions. There are warriors ranked from 1 to 47 based on their overall abilities and each one of them are assigned to a specific region.
Claymore has pretty interesting character development. It starts with the protagonist, organization’s weakest warrior, no.47 ‘Clare’ completing her missions as a claymore. As the story progresses, Clare’s tragic past, her reason ‘to live’ and ‘become a claymore’ gets revealed. She gains comrades, experiences deadly battles and life-turning events. As time passes, characters grow stronger and experienced, new mysteries pop up.
The origin of youmas, the actual identity of the organization and its secrets and lots of exciting stuff happen throughout the whole manga. The most powerful of Awakened beings, “The Abyssal Ones” and the one above them, ‘Priscilla’... the manga continues as the story gets more and more intense, revolving all those characters.
It starts as a simple action-supernatural manga, but slowly it draws in the reader. It’s true beauty unfolds with heart-breaking tragedy and intense battle scenes. There’s no useless part in Claymore. All of the battles declare “Survival of the fittest”. A little gory, as the whole manga involves a lot of bloodshed and death. The swordfighting styles and techniques used in Claymore are ‘Real’, just a little modified and made compatible with the supernatural stuff.
Claymore’s art is as good as it’s storyline. All of the action scenes are drawn perfectly clear. Then comes the eye-catching background art. In some pages, backgrounds are drawn so perfectly that it’d seem like photographic sketch.
At first, people won’t notice Claymore’s character designs particularly. There are a lot of Claymores (Characters) in the manga, who may look almost same as one-another. You may think bad of Claymore’s character designs, but i assure you that it’s exactly the opposite of what you think.
According to the theory, all of the claymores have silvery eyes, hair and they wear a specific type of dress provided by the organization. With these restriction in characters’ features, there remains a very little room to make changes for each Claymore character. Yet the mangaka, YAGI NORIHIRO Sensei fully utilized this limited range of development. With slightest of differences in their hairstyle, shape of face, facial arrangements and unique personailities, he created every single claymore character significantly different from another, with those restricted features as handicap. And he successfully continued the ‘nearly impossible’ task of drawing all those characters with their minimal differences unchanged through all the chapters of Claymore. Due to the storyline, Claymore has some gory scenes in it. But NORIHIRO Sensei pulled it off so perfectly that it won’t creep people out much, even though it’s gore.
Why people should read Claymore:
Extreme display of swordfight, splendidly drawn actions scenes. It’s captivating storyline would make you glue up with it until you finish (though it’s ongoing). Alongside excellent art, Claymore’s plot is better than many popular/famous works of literature.
So dig in as fast as you can, and enjoy it’s awesomeness!read more
People that dream of a land where knights, castles, dragons and dark sorcery exist are easy prey for Claymore, which is full of all of the above. Let's take a closer look at this epic battle anime as well as its most famous weapon.
Claymore, the popular anime and manga series, has a lot to say about life, death, friendship, and humanity. Here are 20 of its most unforgettable quotes, which will inspire you to trust in your friends, fight for justice, and live with honor.