Claymore – Series Review

One of the reasons our media section takes forever to add a review to is because of things like this.  Anime, as most of you likely are aware, typically requires a full series watch to truly understand, especially since lots of series tank about midway and you feel like an idiot for even starting, but have no choice except to complete it.  After the legendary Attack on Titan new season hoax that thoroughly pissed us off, we started searching around for similar series.  Not so long ago we reviewed Hellsing Ultimate, which just this past September started a full run on Toonami, though edited for some content and dubbed.  After this, moved on to other things with creatures and the slaying thereof, and heard among the whispers of anime forums about this series Claymore.  Claymore started as a manga, as most anime does, in 2001, and is still ongoing after some problems following the cancellation of the magazine it was initially published in.  After the popularity of the manga, the anime was created for a short stint in 2007.  Once Monthly Shonen Jump was cancelled in June of the same year, of course, this caused the series creators to scramble to figure something out, so they gave it an alternate ending, essentially anticipating it would never be completed in manga form.  It technically still isn’t completed, and hopefully it goes its full run without degrading like, blah, Bleach did, but these kinds of things depend on how smart the powers-that-be above the creators are when it comes to knowing when to let something pass away peacefully with fond memories, or when to resurrect it and continue to assault its corpse until you contract several supernatural diseases and become hated by all.  Many times manga cancellation or lack of budget has led to some totally ass cop-outs for anime, just check out the horrid second OVA series of 3×3 Eyes and you’ll be thoroughly convinced.


Thankfully, Claymore completed avoided this sort of issue in spite of the usual difficulties encountered.  The series involves a world that’s primarily medieval in nature, where humans coexist with a species of monsters called yoma.  Yoma are essentially demons, if you will, and the frightening thing is they can completely take the form of human beings, even down to memories to a certain extent, meaning that it’s virtually impossible to tell human from yoma.  That is, except, unless you call upon a Claymore.  Claymore are women who are half-yoma, and thus have the ability to track them.  Along with this, their half status enables them to call upon yoma powers in order to destroy them, and each Claymore has her own special form of attack.  Also known as “Silver Eyed Witches”, they get their primary title from the gigantic forgen swords they carry.  There’s also a hierarchy, with different Claymores considered more powerful than others because of their experience and skill.  And, as you may expect, they’re ostracized and feared by society because they’re part yoma, and those who lose the ability to control their powers become ‘awakened ones’, which are incredibly powerful yoma.  The plot centers around Raki, a young boy, who becomes friends with Clare, a Claymore.



Sorry for the dub version up there, it’s all we could properly code into the site.  Anyway, no spoilers here, so don’t worry.  Claymore slowly develops the main plot via Raki and Clare, and then progressively adds characters, primarily various Claymores, including steps back in time to explain reasons for current events.  Lots of mystery abounds, which is always good, including hints of previous attempts at using men to be Claymores, which failed, and super-powered awakened beings that are almost at God-status.  The animation is splendid for a series not as well-known, probably because it was primarily done by the company known for Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust, Madhouse.  The character development is fluid, as well as believable, and the series is primarily serious in how it approaches the story, there are very few moments of humor to be found.  We checked out the original Japanese version, with subtitles of course, and the voice acting, from what we found, was superb with great emotional expression to further give feeling to the various characters.  If interested, you can check out the entire 26-episode series run for yourself at Soul-Anime, as well as some other sites.  There’s plenty of gore, intensity, and action, so while you wait for Attack on Titan, especially if that’s basically the only anime you’ve ever seen, this is one to check out.  It’s a interesting world with a well-written storyline that has little lag.  The only real complaint is the ending, which is different from the current direction of the manga, but in consideration of what the creators did, it’s actually much better than you’d expect going in, even worth watching a second time.


Written by Stanley Stepanic

4.5 / 5