Claymore – Review

Claymore\'s Title Screen

Title: Claymore
Episodes: 26
Company: Madhouse
Genre(s): Adventure, Fantasy
Air Dates: 4 Apr 2007 – 26 Sep 2007

Synopsis: In a world filled with demons called Yoma who enjoy feeding on human flesh, the only thing getting between them and their prey are the Claymores. Claymores are a group of elite warrior women who are half-human, half-Yoma, a hybrid result which gives them the strength and speed of a Yoma while retaining the moral judgment of a human. This particular story follows Clare, a Claymore who saves a human named Raki from being attacked by a Yoma. The two eventually pair up to roam the world and follow the missions the mysterious Organization gives to Clare to rid the world of Yoma.

Clare and Raki Clare vs. Yoma Back attack!

Pros:

  • Plenty of plot twists to keep viewers on their toes
  • Dark, gritty visuals complement the plot really well
  • Madhouse’s animation continues to impress during the action scenes
  • Each individual Claymore and their personalities are fleshed out decently

Cons:

  • The last eight episodes are terrible
  • The ending was a downright travesty
  • Raki is among the most pathetic of all the anime male leads I’ve seen

Review: Claymore’s execution was highly flawed, but it did not start out that way. Throughout the first seventeen episodes, the series builds up a cohesive and engaging plot full of twists and turns. However, the buildup unravels in the remaining episodes as the series takes a solid turn into mediocrity.

Claymore starts off strongly by giving the main character Clare a solid introduction. Her past is revealed slowly, starting with her fateful encounter with the Claymore Teresa and how tragedy strikes, forcing her to take up Teresa’s mantle. Although that introduction doesn’t create a compelling, unique protagonist, it does its job thoroughly. It’s really the middle third of the series in which events make the series much more engaging. At that point, the viewer will be introduced to more of the Claymores, each with their unique personality to create some good interactions which gives the audience a better idea into each Claymore’s temperament.

In addition to the Claymores, the Organization is also explored further in depth as we watch it play the dual role of the benevolent association dedicated to eradicating Yoma and see its darker, more sinister side by getting a peek at its hidden agenda. The amount of intrigue resulting from this dual nature will keep the viewer on the edge of their seat to find out what exactly the Organization is planning and what dark secrets remain to be uncovered.

Unfortunately, just when the plot twists and conspiracies hit a high point, the series takes a plunge in the quality of its narrative and never recovers. A show that started off with such excellent characters and a well-written plot seemingly abandons it in favor of generic action sequences that neither resolve any ongoing conflicts between the Claymores and the Organization nor reveals any of the intrinsic motivation behind the group of Yoma that Clare and the others are sent to kill. The events that follow become nothing more than a series of nonsensical fight scenes that could have been stolen directly from a generic DBZ episode (complete with powering up sequences). It is at this point that the producer tries to come up with an ending, but ends up getting Claymore to fall flat on its face.

Furthermore, this series does not make any attempt to develop Raki’s character any further than leaving him as a plot device to get Clare out of berserk mode or to act as the helpless princess-type character who must be rescued from time to time. In addition to being a weakling, he also manages to irritate me by obnoxiously yelling Clare’s name and harping on ideals that are not only impractical, they are downright dangerous. It’s a fair shot to say that Raki was a complete waste of a character.

In the end, Claymore had a lot of promise that was just completely undone by the attempt at making an ending to fit within the 26-episode framework. This is just a shame because of the potential it had to be much more than just a generic action flick; it had a promising narrative and an interesting cast. Although Claymore didn’t really add anything new or innovative to the fantasy genre, the manner in which it handled its plot and characters (save for Raki) is definitely laudable and very solidly implemented, making it definitely worth pursuing until you come close to the end. Unfortunately, if you want to watch beyond episode seventeen, prepare for the ending that will leave you with a rather sour aftertaste.

Score: Decent

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Anime Instrumentality's Founder and Editor-in-Chief. As you can probably guess, I'm a big anime music junkie with a special love for composers who've put out some beautiful melodies to accompany some of my favorite anime series. I tend to gravitate towards music in the classical style with Joe Hisaishi and Yoko Kanno being a few of my favorite composers, but I've come to appreciate jazz and rock as anime music has widened my tastes.

2 thoughts on “Claymore – Review

  • May 11, 2013 at 9:41 am
    Permalink

    Frankly speaking, I suppose your rating score is too low for such real thing as Claymore.

    I agree, the ending is balled, cause the correspondent manga is in progress, but this anime need to be finished somehow…
    But the characters and human relations are brilliant. It’s the only anime which I can view again and again.

    P.S. I am a demanding spectator and have seen a lot…

    Reply
    • May 12, 2013 at 3:46 pm
      Permalink

      @John Smith
      Well, seeing as the only thing I have to work with is what the anime showed me (since I’m not a manga reader), I could only judge what I’ve seen and nothing else, which means that the way the ending was handled really hurt the viewing experience. Raki in particular really made the series unenjoyable. Sure, he might turn into a badass later, but again, that’s not what occurred in the anime.

      Reply

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