Clare News

Clare is a anime/manga character in the Claymore franchise
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No fair, the heroes always get the best transformations. First Ichigo and his Bankai, then Naruto and his Biju cloak, now Teresa and that awesome abyssal form.

I have to take a minute and think…

Battle chapters do not get better than this. Chapter 153 felt like it was moving right in front of my eyes, the visuals drawn to accurately represented the dynamic battle that was ensuing on the pages.

I have to say it. THIS WAS AAAAASOMEEEEEEE!

THE PLOT:

Teresa. Priscilla. Fight.

MY THOUGHTS:

I don’t always hate battle oriented chapters. But unless I am reading more than one chapter at a go, they can get tiresome (precluding battle oriented series like Breaker), mostly because very little actually happens in terms of story progression.

Unless you are talking about Claymore. All I can say is WOW. I enjoyed this chapter so much more than any other battle oriented chapter in 2014. This is what I have been waiting for, the final clash between titans.

And it doesn’t get any better than this. I was actually slightly underwhelmed by Teresa’s initial clash with Priscilla, which felt a lot like every other claymore/awakened being battle we had seen so far.

Chapter 153 elevated the stakes however, availing to us the Priscilla/Teresa battle we have all been waiting to see for more than a hundred chapters.

Priscilla was even more of a monster this time round, spewing appendages and limbs from all over her body, further morphing her physical form until very little of her former self was left.

Teresa proved why she was number 1, reacting to every one of Priscilla’s attacks with seamless precision, her every sword stroke purposed to bring about immediate and rather accurate destruction.

This is how you initiate a fight between godlike claymore. This has to be the best fight in the series so far. Every time you thought it was done, someone pulled a new trick out of their bag.

These 25 pages of claymore felt more like 50. Norihiro Yagi, this is how you do a dream fight.

And that final panel…am I really expected to wait a WHOLE FOUR WEEKS for the next chapter?

Oh, Claymore, why do this to me? I want more, RIGHT NOW.

REVIEW: 10/10, +10 bonus points. I love chapters that leave me exhilarated and that is what Claymore did for me this week, and I am not a very excitable individual.

HIGHLIGHTS: EVERYTHING.

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Oh Claymore! Why? Why did you do this to me?

Just when this chapter was started to go crazy, it ended…so suddenly that the thought of the four weeks it would take before the next chapter would be released seemed to echo in my brain. Such a long long long long, freakin long time.

AH, CLAYMORE, WHY?

THE CHAPTER:

Teresa and Claire reunite just as her battle with Priscilla commences.

MY REVIEW:

Everything that has happened in Claymore, all the years that I have followed this manga, have been leading up to this one event; the final clash between Priscilla and Teresa.

I love strong villains. I love strong villains that retain their strength, never losing out to irrational decisions on their part or silly nakama power plot holes. I love villains that remain strong despite the advantage the main characters have by being the primary protagonists.

It’s why I love Madara from Naruto, and its why I love Priscilla. Because despite the odds she has had to come up against, rather than write some silly and somewhat easy victory against her by what still amounts to a barely visible threat in the presence of her might, Nagi has allowed the story to follow its logical route.

We knew Clare, even awakened, stood zero chances against Priscilla; and even with their formidable strength, neither did the other ghosts (maybe Miria, in her awakened state).

But Teresa? Now that is a whole other story. Part of my interest in strong villains revolves around my excitement over how they will finally lose their various battles. And knowing Claymore’s rather dynamic approach to story telling, never truly favoring its character’s for story’s sake, these last two chapters have more than satisfied my curiosity over Priscilla’s eventual demise.

My only qualm with chapter 150 is how short it felt; I wanted to see Teresa finally enter the fight. But then again that one panel of action, that one display of her power was more than enough satiate my thirst, at least for today.

Who knows what will happen tomorrow? I will probably start hounding the internet until I find a raw claymore copy of the next chapter somewhere. That is how psyched I am to read chapter 151.

RATING; 20/10, this fight is going to be quite the event. Claymore doesn’t get better than this….well, being claymore it most obviously does. Let’s all pray that this isn’t the end of the show, that we are not slowly winding down to the series finale.

Because Claymore still has so much more to do. If we are lucky we might get a shipudden styled part 2 (or 3, depending on your thoughts regarding the time skip), one that allows the series to finally cross the island’s borders into the war across the sea.

HIGHLIGHT: Clare and Teresa’s reunion, Teresa putting Priscilla down.

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But you're 8 years younger than me
But you're 8 years younger than me

I know it's Saturday, but I was busy with a business trip over at Little Tokyo, Los Angeles that took the whole day. Pretend it's Friday. I ran out of fetishes that were unisexual. I wanted to cater to both guys and gals with my past blogs.

Looking back at the blog I started, Help Me Find Anime/Manga with Older Women & Younger Men Couples, I realized it was a fetish.

Sorry, I haven't wind down lately with finals approaching.

For older women fetish in anime and manga, it's not common, but it's not too rare. Thanks to

Older Women

Let's go over why younger guys think older women are hot.

  • She's hot, sexy, and mature (especially if you're a high school guy, and the rest of the female students are pretty underdeveloped while your teachers are endowed)
  • For anime and manga series that borders with cheating fetishes, the woman, usually a house wife, has sexual frustrations. (Okay, this belongs to hentai series except for Chobits's situation where Takako's husband left her for a robot chick. Oh cool, I have a new fetish, Artificial Intelligence).

Anime/Manga Couples: Older Women Examples

See Help Me Find Anime/Manga with Older Women & Younger Men Couples. Thanks to Dream, Taichokage, and the rest of the users in the thread for their help.

1. Nike Remercier

World Is Still Beautiful

2. Livius I

World Is Still Beautiful

3. Haruko Haruhara

FLCL

4. Naota Nandaba

FLCL

5. Hiromu Shinbo

Chobits

6. Takako Shimizu

Chobits

7. Kaho Mizuki

Cardcaptor Sakura (formerly)

8. Touya Kinomoto

Cardcaptor Sakura (formerly)

9. Ayato Kamina

RahXephon

10. Haruka Shitou

RahXephon

11. Shuji

Saikano - Wiki Page: Not added Yet

12. Fuyumi

Saikano

13. The Garden of Words

Takao Akizuki and Yukari Yukino (Garden of Words)

14. Takumi Mayama

Honey and Clover

15. Rika Harada

Honey and Clover

16. Yusaku Godai

Maison Ikkoku

17. Kyoko Otonashi

Maison Ikkoku

18. Negi Springfield

Negima Neo

19. Asuna Kagurazaka

Negima Neo

20. Haruka Kasugano

(Yosuga no Sora)- Among one of the scenarios in the anime.

21. Nao Yorihime

(Yosuga no Sora)- Among one of the scenarios in the anime.

22. Hikaru Ichijou

Macross

23. Misa Hayase

Macross

24. Clare

Claymore - Taichokage: It's not an intimate relationship (yet) but their feelings for one another are known.

25. Raki

Claymore

26. Hae-Young Nah

Unbalance x2

27. Jin-Ho Myung

Unbalance x2

I forgot that this is a common trope in teacher fetishes.

Older Men

This is more common than older women fetish because most societies have guys marrying down while girls marrying up in the social and economic ladder.

  • He's dependable and mature.
  • Same with the teacher fetish. For girls, they find male teachers attractive due to their kindness and maturity.

I don't have a lot of reasons listed.

If you got more reasons or characters you like to bring up, feel free to share them.

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Is this the Claymore Chapter I have been waiting to read for all these years? Well, it is starting to feel like it; I mean here I was wondering how Nagi was planning to fill another 30 pages of ghosts vs. Priscilla without the godlike abyssal one rationally obliterating everything in her sight.

Then it happened, that last page….

THE CHAPTER: What can I say happened in this chapter without giving it all away? Priscilla proves herself to be even more of a monster. Clare takes the battle up a notch.

MY THOUGHTS:

First issue though; where the hell is my Noblesse? It’s been way too long since I last feasted on this Manhwa greatness.

This chapter of Claymore was creepy, at least to me, mostly with the way Priscilla was literally consuming and assimilating her opponents; watching those vines shoot about, with giant human heads attached to their ends was just a little…disturbing for me, especially that scene with Octavia.

The stakes have never been higher and I can appreciate Nagi’s attempts to create an intense atmosphere on a battlefield where death is literally one millisecond away, where characters keep escaping by the teeth of their lives, and only ever really delaying the inevitable…

…Sorry, but none of this matters, not Miria’s speeches or Cynthia’s courage or Raki’s stupidity…THAT ENIDNG…THAT ENDING, the next chapter cannot come soon enough.

RATING: 10/10, THAT ENDING.

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CLAYMORE is the only manga i know that could possibly stand a chance of competing with Naruto for my adoration; dark, violent yet moving seinen manga series do not come as a good as this (though Ubel Blatt is pretty close).

Chapter 148 was amazing, somehow managing to generate more entertainment juices than even the last two chapters; i know, pretty difficult to believe, especially when considering what transpired in chapters 147 and 147.

But chapter 148 actually managed to bring more than chaotic action to the table (of which their was actually plenty of). We got some AMAZING Claire and Raki action-with the pair getting the best panels out of the entire chapter, an emotional death and a foreshadowing of the end.

THE CHAPTER-

Claire and Raki double team Priscilla. A dire situation begins to unfold.

MY THOUGHTS-

There is this nagging voice at the back of my mind that keeps asking me why the hell the manga is choosing to extend the Priscilla conflict across so many chapters; because it is definitely starting to feel like it’s been forever since this battle first began.

But then again that is a voice i can ignore, not when you consider the foreshadowing in that last panel. I mean, if Priscilla is completely revived and is about to go crazy, what the hell can we expect but destruction on a massive scale.

What has set the last few chapters of Priscilla’s battle with the ghosts apart is the nature of her opponents; which is why i spoke of a tiny voice, because you cannot help but appreciate what we have had the opportunity to witness on paper.

Far from a Goku Vs. Freiza scenario, Nagi made the smart decision to keep the roster of combatants dynamic, a rational outcome if you take into account Priscilla’s strength.

Her power is such that any one enemy that faced her would have come under meteoric strength, losing in the most spectacular manner. So of course it made sense to keep her opponents dynamic, throwing at her everything from awakened beings to abyssal ones to ancient male claymores and so on.

It is only because of how brutal the last few chapters have been, the sorts of enemies that she has come against, that we can believe the logic of Clare bringing Priscilla to such a low point. So, i guess, this hasn’t ran too long, just yet.

+I will admit to feeling some anxiety over the logic Nagi would use to explain Raki’s success at striking Priscilla; truth be told this wasn’t the ass pull i thought it would be.

AND WE GOT TO SEE ISLEY, quite a treat, as he could be my favourite character of the series; did anyone else find the means of his passing a little sad, if not harsh?

Speaking of which, what happened to those undead creatures we saw back during Isley’s fall; i believe the organization referred to them as abyssal hunters of some sort, so powerful that even Isley was fleeing from them…just when you think we might have come to the crux of the claymore world, a closer glance reveals how much more we still have to explore.

Anyway i loved that flash back and i could believe Priscilla casting Raki out of her mind once she cut him down, so much so that he could sneak upon her undetected; it is an interesting consideration how much planning and resolve Raki poured into his mission, that all those moves he made after the time skip were aimed not only at finding Clare but placing himself in the most opportune place to put Priscilla down.

Oh and that flash sword panel/panels…EPIC. This is why i love Claymore so much, how visceral and crisp the art feels; and in a way it makes Priscilla out to be more of a monster than we assumed.

Looking at those panels carefully, Clare clearly dissected her into several thousand tiny pieces within that instant; and what, she healed herself? Regenerated her matter? How? And to what extent can she keep it up, because one then has to wonder how anyone can stand a chance against her.

That last panel said quite a lot; with the ghosts exhausted, exactly how will ANYONE stop Priscilla. Keep in mind how crowded the battle field was a mere ten chapters ago, the anti Priscilla army now reduced to a select few fatigued Claymore, most of whom aren’t likely to master the will to fight.

+Admittedly Tabitha’s death in this chapter was better than what i thought would be a quick demise in the last chapter. Rather than fading away instantly, there was greater impact following the opportunity imputed to her to say good bye to her friends.

Nagi orchestrated the scene beautifully, making it look like she was about to heal her self, close all her wounds, rise to fight once more, only to use the last of her strength imparting some words of wisdom to Miria. Epic stuff. Epic death for a truly Epic Claymore, one who probably didn’t receive nearly enough recognition and appreciation ( i will admit to forgetting most characters outside of Clare, Miria, Deneve and Helen).

PREDICTIONS: We still have Miata standing, and everything we have seen so far suggest that she was on a path to transforming into another Priscilla type claymore, equally demented and just as unnaturally powerful.

Though we can all agree that Miata doesn’t fall anywhere within Priscilla’s range, power wise; no one does, besides Dauf and the destroyer both of whom are long dead.

And we still haven’t seen the hunters yet; minus any of these appearances, well, this is the first time we have seen Priscilla go truly crazy, actually losing her self to the monster.

All Hell is about to break loose…again.

RATING: 10/10 perfect chapter, great art, heart warming final minutes for Tabitha and of course the raging demon god (as they called her) that is Priscilla, about to be unleashed.

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You know, for a moment there i thought Claymore had began to lose its shine; chapter 146 didn’t really…inspire the first time i read it last month. Here i was thinking that maybe the series had seen better days, then Boom; Chapter 147 came smashing into my world, dissolving all such false assumptions that this awesome series could really ever lose hold of its position as one of the very best manga series out there.

THE CHAPTERS: The battle with Priscilla rages on. Clare resolves her internal struggles.

MY THOUGHTS:

Fighting, that’s what we’ve been doing for the past several chapters, and what a battle. And here i thought that, with the initial scenes of the conflict, this final Priscilla showdown would fall flat on its face.

Not so and as we have seen in the last few months, no other battle in the series has been anywhere near as dynamic as this one.

Priscilla is a monster, both figuratively and literally, and now she has a sword to play with; one has to appreciate the route the author followed in approaching this battle. Because at no point did any single claymore or group of Claymore ever stand a chance against Priscilla in fair combat.

So instead the mangaka thought it best to throw Priscilla through a series of rumbles, bringing to Miria’s side a myriad of diverse allies, both Claymore and awakened being, male and female, new and old, each throwing their hat into the ring and bringing their fists, claws, swords, teeth against the monstrous Priscilla.

And what could be a better testament to Priscilla’s superiority than her utter domination of what could be the best team of warriors ever gathered, further augmented by a pack of wild and immensely powerful creatures.

-If you didn’t read chapter 146 it might have been that much easier to dismiss its progress for its predictable elements. I mean, were we really expected to believe that one such as Priscilla could go down so easily?

Well, yes. That was the genius of 146, the realism in the tension it created, basically placing its core characters on the line, each time pulling them away from the fire just as you thought they were done for, just when Priscilla seemed completely dominant; then having the team initiate a counter attack so courageous and effective as to bring Priscilla to death’s very door.

…Oh how i wish i was watching all this in anime, because even in black and white my stomach churned as giants blades flashed against my favourite characters, as Priscilla bared her fangs only to have her form destroyed by the flash sword, each time dragging me to the edge with her as she teetered on the edge of destruction.

-And if chapter 146 was anxiety inducing, chapter 147 basically struck like a wrecking ball, dispensing with all pointless tension and allowing us a further glimpse of why Priscilla is the undisputed queen of the Claymore universe.

…if you haven’t read this manga or this chapter then i simply cannot bring myself to spoil it; but for a 28 page chapter, 147 felt so, well, long, like i had been reading it for ages, drawing out the battle, displaying each stroke of the sword, each speed burst, each earth shattering strike with precision and dynamism.

I don’t know how i could have ever been bored with this conflict, thought that this battle was actually taking too long. With every single soldier bringing their all against the might of Priscilla these two chapters, especially when read together, will keep you at the very edge of your seat.

-And that ending, wow; i mean what are the chances. Do we really dare believe that’s its over? And why? How? PRISCILLA IS A BEAST. When you consider the nature of her ability, that she can so casually create her own mater; it wouldn’t be much of an exaggeration to call her immortal, invincible even.

-Is it possible to deny the basic facts? There is no way Clare, Miria and the rest of them are making it out of this alive; which is a shame because Clare was finally emerging from her shell, finally capable of understanding why she could no longer access her former strength, that her cowardice against Priscilla was due to her fear of leaving her friends behind, or really losing any of them to Priscilla.

Claymore is simply killing it right now.

RATING: 9/10- and yes, i thought i would change to a 10 rating star system. A 5 star system doesn’t really allow me to express my verdict on chapters. I didn’t realise until chapter 147 that it was Yuma that stuck Priscilla’s chest with her sword. Pretty impressive for the weakest Claymore among the ghosts, that she actual struck a blow against the mighty Priscilla.

HIGHLIGHTS: Tabitha.

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The first time i wrote a ‘best manga/anime of 2013 (http://katmic.blogspot.com/2013/03/top-five-anime-and-manga-of-2013-so-far.html)’ blog post, it was sometime in February, and i remember thinking that it was a little early to talk about the best anything of 2013, not when the year was just beginning. I considered postponing such a blog post until a few months later when a considerable amount of material had passed before my eyes. But i changed my mind and realized that the reason i wanted to rank the anime and manga material i had encountered so far so early in the year was because it was that early in the year. IN other words i was curious as to how that list would change with time.
Given the fact that we are at just about the half way point in the year, it seems like a good time to take stock of all the manga and anime material i have seen so far and determine which of them was the most superior. I should elucidate that by ‘best manga and anime of 2013 so far’ i am not referring to manga and anime that was released in 2013, even though it is included, merely anime and manga that i have watched since the year began as far as my slightly poor memory is concerned.
I should also point out that my list of best five manga does not include Naruto and one piece because i watch rather than read these two series and as such i could not say where exactly they fall.
Anyway, my ranking is as such:

BEST ANIME SERIES OF 2013 SO FAR---

1. Shingeki no kyojin-
Basic Premise--- Attack on titan takes place in the kind of world i would never want to live in, where giant beings called titans have for hundreds of years hunted the human race to near extinction. Naked, seemingly mindless and violent, requiring no sustenance to survive but instead feasting on humanity for no discernable purpose, humanity has had to adapt to the
threat by hiding behind mighty walls and attempting to prosper within an impregnable defense that hasn’t been broken in a century. The story starts on the day that all this changes, when two new titans emerge with power the likes of which has never been seen and breach the walls. Yeager Eren is the primary protagonist of the story, seeking to unleash the tides of vengeance he has slowly been gathering within him against the titans ever since the tragedy years ago. He will not stop until they are all destroyed even if humanity is basically helpless against them and the titans are continuously gaining ground.
I am going to call SNK a blockbuster, not in the holly wood sense though, simply referring to the fact that this anime busted my mind open when i first watched it three weeks ago. If you have not watched SNK you have not watched a
nime this year, period. There is nothing that i have seen in 2013 that has even come close to being as good as SNK. This series is pure genius, maddeningly genius. No matter how great each episode is, it will keep you lusting for the next one. There is no such thing as simply watching a bit of SNK and then deciding to give it a break. Once you start, you will not stop. I watched all nine episodes in my possession within the space of one day. THIS ANIME IS AWESOME. So intriguing, so nail bitingly exciting, literally throwing surprises at you with each and every episode. If you think you have seen it all and nothing can surprise you, watch SNK. It will blow your mind. Oh and it’s also beautifully animated. i am still speechless about episode five. if your jaw doesn’t drop after seeing this episode, then you are not human.
Rating: 10/5, i do not care what other anime comes out this year, it will not be better than this show. Exceeded expectations several times over. I am hooked. I want this anime now.

2. Suisei no Gargantia-
Basic Premise---Ensign Ledo operates as one of humanity's soldiers in the front line of the fight against the Hidiazu, vile alien beings hell bent on destroying man’s colonies scattered through out space. Ledo, as with his comrades, was manufactured in a wholly changed and evolved society for the sole purpose of fighting the Hidiazu; however an accident sends him hurtling across galaxies to the lost
planet of earth, a world humanity abandoned eons ago during a cataclysmic event and which was believed to be lost.
The world that Ledo finds is a wholly different one from his own, one where the earth is largely covered by water with all remainders of man’s old advanced civilization buried beneath and the race’s existence continuing to live upon water vessels. It is on one such vessel, Gargantia, a collection of several vessels, that Ledo finds himself stranded, unable to contact home and unable to find the meaning of his life in a world that is largely peaceful and not in need of the kind of
massively destructive power contained within his mech, Chamber.
I found this show to be peculiar in that i did not expect to enjoy it. Or rather i didn’t realize that i was enjoying it and was viewing it more casually than anything, until i got to the end and wanted more. This show makes little sense to me because i cannot really pin it down. I am never sure which direction it will take. The initial minutes of the first episode will deceive you into thinking that this is an action series, revolving around giant robots fighting aliens. That is not true. This is mostly drama. Basically imagine you have a giant robot with the power to annihilate entire countries with ease, and you had spend your entire life in constant battle against a vicious alien race. Then you found yourself in a backward villagewhere their is literally no sight of aliens, or really any enemies that could be considered a threat. It is literally one day of normal life after another, trying to catch food, dealing with the harvest and all that. That is what this series is. Ledo though human is on a planet that he no longer understands, with value systems that make no sense, with a race of man that operates with a mindset that makes little sense to him. The simple idea that they care for the disabled shocks him. Where he is from if you are of no use to society and are lacking in anyway, both physically and mentally, you are eliminated.
Rating: 5/5; another one of Gen Urobuchi’s masterpieces, this is a fun little show. The cultural topics and points it tackles are fascinating to watch, especially in the context created. I do not know why but i really liked this show, besides SNK, it is my favorite show of the year so far. I like the subtle yet intriguing character development, and the musical scores are superb, along some impressive animation sequences.

3. Shiki-
Basic Premise---A small village in the mountains is plagued by a noxious disease that, seemingly initially innocuous, soon starts reaping through the small community like death itself manifest
ed. It
takes the hard work of a young doctor and those who support him to realize the truth beneath the facade, that behind the seemingly biological virus is a force of supernatural capabilities, hell bent on consuming the village and morphing it into a new paradise for its kind, the shiki.
This anime blew my mind. The way it was paced, the constant surprises, the intriguing characters driving each mini plot within the major plot, they all contributed to make this one of best horror/mystery series i have ever come across. I watched this show over several weeks unlike SNK but that was because i wanted to savor each episode. Each and every episode of this anime felt, well, deep, never repetitive and always working to evolve the plot in one way or another. Basically impressive story telling skills and a plot that was written to be divisive in terms ripping the boundary between hero and villain apart.
Rating: 5/5, the anime looks good and the music is great; the series attempts to stand out with the design of the characters, especially the shiki. I like it

4. Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica-
Basic premise---This one is a little hard to explain because i do not remember all the details. Basically this little ferret like creature can make one girl’s wish come true but they then have to become magical
girls, girls with magical powers somewhat crafted by their fulfilled wish and who must use this power to fight witches. Making a wish though comes with a price and the life of a magical girl is not an easy one and Madoka must decide whether or not she is willing to make this ultimate sacrifice because once she becomes a magical girl their is not turning back from the hard, misery fraught life that awaits her and all those that bear the title.
Without giving too much away, i will say this; this is a magical girl series, it is also shoujo. I am not a fan of either. Yet Urobuchi took a normally fluffy genre and completely flipped it over its head, creating a series that is dark, and shows the ugly life of magical girls and the horrors they must deal with. I had some problems with it, specifically madoka herself, the primary protagonist, but in the end, it was a brilliant series, not the best i have ever seen, far from it, but most likely to go down as a classic. And unlike many people i actually liked the action scenes with the witches; they had an artistic look to them; the animation was great and the music creative.
Rating: 4/5, i recommend this to everyone, definitely worth the watch, no matter your interests with regards to the genre.

5. Psycho pass-
Basic Premise---In future human beings are judged not for their actions but based on the word of the sybil system, an advanced system that runs the city. However a new criminal element has emerged on the scene, one that can outsmart the system. This element makes preparations to wreak havoc upon the nation and it is up the enforcers, latent criminals that have been rejected by the Sybil system to repudiate this element’s schemes and save the city that sees them as nothing more than criminal garbage. But as always their is always more going on behind the scenes than meets the eye.
Rating: 5/5, really there is nothing much about this series that i can say. You simply have to see it yourself. It can best be described as CSI in the future. Really, it’s ridiculous how many of these shows are done by Gen Urobuchi.
Notable Mentions:

--Devil survivor- The world will be destroyed in six days if the human race cannot fend of the attacks of the demonic horde executing an incursion against humanity and, more importantly, defeat six powerful creatures known as sempterion that will make an appearance within those final six days. The secret lies in an app called nicaea which endows those that download it with the ability to
summon demons of their own to fight against the invasion. There is something about the app’s ability to relay images to people of the death’ their friends are about to experience, availing one the chance to change that destiny, though i am not sure how it relates to the demonic summons acquired. It’s the first major element that happened in the first episode and i remember thinking that these three characters could summon demons because they had survived their fates. Now i am not so sure.
Anyway, this show has shown quite a lot of potential. seven episodes in, i am not really sure what i think about it. While the premise seems interesting, there are flaws that have occurred in the execution of the story, and i am not a big fan of the cliché’ main character or his friends.
The villain/hero/villain, depending on whose side you fall has proven to be more interesting than the three primary protagonist. Devil survivor so far seems like a basic ‘monster summoning’ type series, but with a little more deaths than you would expect. The action is great and i love the effects. This isn’t an endless fight against demons. They have six days to win or the world ends. It doesn’t say that the demons will win or they will destroy the world, merely that if they cannot beat the demons, the world will end. It makes the situation all the more grim.
Rating: 3/5, i am waiting to see more to make my mind up.
N:B- Okay, so i wrote this two days ago and i have just finished watching some more devil survivor, which has changed my mind. This is more like number six than a notable mention; i still have a couple of issues with it but i would give it a 5/5 rating now.

--Legend of the legendary heroes- i am ambivalent about legendary heroes. On the one hand i know it is a pretty great show, with an impressive cast of well developed characters and an interesting story. Yet it is one anime that i feel that i have been watching for a very long time, never indulging in more than one episode each time i get down to watching it. It is almost like there is nothing encouraging me to watch it. It does not excite me the way other shows do, none the less i acknowledge that it is a good show. maybe once i move past the half way point, it will finally hook me; for now though it has not. None the less it is worth recommending.

BEST MANGA OF 2013 SO FAR-

1. Claymore- Claymore, claymore….i do not even know how to describe this manga other than the fact that it blew my mind this year. I dropped claymore last year around August, the idea being that i
was tired to reading five chapters every few months and instead decided to wait till i could consume a considerable amount of claymore to satiate my hunger for it. And for a while , especially early this year, i could not figure out why i thought claymore was such a big deal, until i read it last month and…wow. i do not think i have read anything anyway nearly as good as those 20 or so chapters of claymore this year. Reading claymore this year was like being electrocuted constantly for three hours straight, which is how long it took me to wrap it up. It is the kind of excitement i crave from manga, to get so engrossed in it that i am barely aware of the fact that it is dark and i was planning to eat lunch what seems like just a few minutes ago.
Everything i wanted from claymore was delivered this year, at least as far as chapter 135 where i stopped. We finally wrapped up the battle between the reawakened former number ones and the ghosts and oh how it delivered, with several of the former number number ones awakening, not into awakened beings, but abyssal ones. The battles between these giants things was spectacular, the hair raising contest of speed between phantom Miria and the trio of awakened beings facing her was…i am getting excited just recalling these events, especially the moment when Miria realized the peril she and her friends were in, then realized that she had grown so strong that if she awakened she would become an abyssal one, long enough to rescue her friends before ending her own life lest she destroy everything. I loved the tension it created, the fact that these elite warriors were surviving second by second, barely.
The revelations came in droves, with new mysteries being woven even as the old mysteries were unwrapped and finally unpackaged. We finally understood who yoma and claymore were, their relationship with each other and even got to see the descendants of both creatures in two breathtakingly drawn pages.
But none of that, not even the battle against the former number ones can compare to what happened back in the city. The stalemate between Clare, Priscilla and the destroyer was finally resolved and i think it was done brilliantly. It was one of those situations which didn’t seem to have a solution. Here we had the two most destructive forces in existence and they had somehow taken each other out, solving a problem no one had the answers to. And yet Clare is
stuck in there with them. That is an eternity of suffering that she has been sentenced to unless she is removed from the mold; but that would mean releasing these two forces once more, forces that no one can stop. Personally i would have been happy with any solution that solved the stalemate without any plot holes, and Nagi did just that. The introduction of a slew of new creatures and characters, claymore so old that they once walked with Isley himself, male awakened beings, former number ones from the ancient era, massing to witness the birth of a new creation; i just loved the entire situation that was created, the arrogance of the new arrivals, the power they displayed, the crazy transformations that were so vile yet so beautifully drawn, the finally showdown between…everything.
I thought claymore peaked during the Priscilla destroyer incident, but it seems like with each new chapter, Nagi raises the stakes. I think i am so hyper about claymore because unlike regular single chapter readers, i read nearly 20 chapters of awesomeness in a go. We finally got to know the mystery behind the claymore’s chests, clare and raki finally met, and…just the fact that Clare finally came back into play after so long, seeing her release her yoki after 7 years, the reunion of the ghosts after what seems like forever…I LOVE THIS MANGA.
RATING: 7/5; Hands down the best manga i have read all year and i would be surprised if anything beat it. And i think i will stop before this runs on any longer than it was supposed to. Just writing about claymore has a tendency to me all excited.

2. Bleach- I am one of those people that has never been shy about disparaging Bleach. I mean, Kubo has made it a little too easy over the years to insult his work. But what bleach is doing so far, all i
will say is that if you dropped bleach for any reason, be it recently or as far back as the soul society arc, then i suggest you get back on the bandwagon with the other
fans, because this manga will amaze you. It doesn't matter if you have 400 chapters to get through to finally catch up, if it is just to finally read the thousand year blood war arc, then it is worth your time.
I am not giving Kubo all the praises i would normally give him because i believe he has it easier than naruto or one piece because this is his last arc. So of course he doesn’t have to worry about the future, such as ensuring consistency in this arc with what’s coming up next and so on. He can just go crazy, and that is what he is dong. The story so far is amazing. I reached a point in bleach where i didn’t merely dislike it, i hated Ichigo as a main character. As far as i was concerned, Kubo’s determination to make it all about him ruined the series. Now however ichigo seems to have made a comeback as far as getting back into my good graces is concerned. Bleach is finally what it was long ago and should have been all this time; we have a great story that is completely unpredictable which is something bleach has always failed at; Kubo is actually giving a lot of the characters the stage to shine, and actually developing their stories. The action is, well, bleach has always done well in the action sector.
Rating:6/5; beach is on fire,completely exceeding my expectations. I actually have faith that things will only get better.

3. The Breaker: New waves- Breaker follows the story of Li shion and his attempt to not only survive and thrive in the ferocious world of Murim after his fortuitous encounter with the legen
dary nine
arts dragon. At a casual glance, breaker sounds like basic shonen marital arts stuff, till you give it a read and realize that it is indeed just another basic marital arts story, but one that is executed brilliantly. Shion is the kind of primary action protagonist that you do not encounter in other shonen manga, the underdog of underdogs, the one for whom things never come easily and usually if anything can go wrong it will go wrong several times over.
This year breaker continued to prove why it is such a monster, with the story continuously taking twists and turns in the most unexpected ways. Here is what i will say about Breaker, if you think you know what is coming, you will most likely be wrong. The art is great, and the action is unparalleled. more surprising is how much story is injected into what should be mindless fighting.
Rating: 5/5; at 121 chapters, this manga is showing no signs of slowing down. Every time i think there isn’t much story left to tell, the manhwa does something new that i didn’t expect.

4. Witch hunter- In the story told in this manhwa, witches have declared war against humanity. More than two thirds of the world have fallen into chaos and destruction as a result. The witch hunter
organization exists to eradicate these witches and their hats using witch hunters, humans engineered with great abilities. Tasha god spell is a witch hunter known as the
magic marks man because of his use of two handguns as his primary weaponry against witches. Tasha stands out even among witch hinters because he was trained by a witch, the great white witch. His sister is also a witch which means that while other witch hunter are trained to brutally eliminate witches, Tasha does not kill them, this compassion causing him many problems among his comrades, especially his determination to find, defeat and save his sister, a feat he has attempted and failed at several times over.
The fact that i loved this manhwa this year has to do with the fact that i haven’t read it in ages. It has been on a break for a few years now, and only returned last year. And after reading 20 or so chapters a few weeks ago, i was reminded of how much i loved it. Few other works have art as unique as witch hunter. I just love how the people are drawn and the inventiveness with which each action is drawn, the imaginative characters and abilities…it is difficult to read this manhwa and not be blown away.
The manga this year was even more phenomenal mostly because we began digging into the mysteries surrounding the world. We finally began to understand who Guinevere (or Halloween as she was called), Tasha’s servant, was and why the round table knights and Merlin, a dubious member of witch hunter, wanted her so badly. Though this time Tasha was merely the side dish; Xing took these 20 chapters with the conclusion of his back story, the final collision with his two brothers Lee and Yue (wait, i am still confused about whether xing the witch hunter is actually xing or Yue, especially since its been a while since i read the back story chapters). The final chapter in the Bai long empire saga was refreshing. The four witches of the North south east and west have finally began to move with epic consequences, and Tasha seems to have made his decision between his loyal servant Guinevere and the witch hunter organization that is working with England to get him to relinquish her. I am impressed by how this manga gives equal attention to every character. Witch hunter reminds of one piece in that even if Tasha wasn’t the primary protagonist, anyone of several characters could feel the spot perfectly. Each is endowed with intriguing back stories, enough to run a manga plot successfully.
Rating: 6/5 unparalleled in story telling, brilliant action scenes and the art is simply breath taking and unique like few other series.
N:B: at this point i thought i will stop to point out that number 2, 3 and 4 were all so ridiculously brilliant this year that i couldn’t really tell which of them was superior to the other. I thought that bleach clearly dominated them all, till i read breaker and realized that the manhwa still had more fuel in it to create more outrageously brilliant stories. Then i read witch hunter and for a while bleach and breaker paled in comparison to its madness. Now i realize that at least in my mind, they might all as well be number 2, which is why i am doing a best 8 manga rather than best five.

5. Monster- In this manga, doctor Tenma must face the fact that in using his skills to save the life of a little boy, he unleashed an evil the likes of which Europe has never faced. Now he tasks himself
with the objective of finding and ending the life of a killer before more bodies begin to amass and Europe runs red with blood.
It has taken me ages to finish 160 chapters of monsters and that is not because of a general lack of quality on Monster’s part but because this manga was more a novel than a comic with each chapter somehow packing more content within its 30 something pages than any other manga i have read. None the less calling Monster brilliant doesn’t do it justice. Having finished it a month ago, i can safely say that this is a story that anyone that calls themselves an anime and manga fan should read. It is exciting and hilarious (sometimes) but mostly sad, yet manifesting a spirit of courage and heroism and showing to the reader what the common man can do to confront great evil in their life if only they choose not to look away and bury there heads in the sand. Tenma was just a doctor, a foreigner in fact a time at a time in Europe when race was a divisive issue; he could have looked away and determined that someone more qualified would do something to stop Johan. But he didn’t. He used his meager resources and skills to track down a killer that could have sneezed and eliminated him in the process.
Rating:5/5, i seriously recommend that EVERYONE read this manga. Despite the fact that the story is one of killers and psychopaths, well, killing, there is surprisingly very little unnecessary blood and gore, hence basically a safe story for any age (maybe).

6. The God of high School- This manhwa’s premise is ridiculously simple; a group of high school kids with incredible martial arts skills are fighting in a tournament in which the winner will have
their
greatest wishes fulfilled. What makes it work in the beginning is the wishes of those in the tournament. Characters with sick friends and family members make it very easy for you to cheer them on in battle, but as always something else is going on in the back ground. Forces are moving and it soon becomes clear that the fate of the world is at play.
GOH isn’t particularly deep, but it has actually has a compelling story.It is primarily character driven and has the best action i have ever seen drawn in a comic, even, as far as i am concerned, better than breaker. The artist seems to think in a way that other artists do not, and approaches action scenes with a unique set of angles.
Rating: 5/5, this manhwa is all about fighting. it is none the less far from mindless and highly entertaining.

7.Break Blade- Rygart is a young man that cannot use magic in a world where everyone can. He must negotiate peace between friends that have gone to war in a world where nations tend to rely on golems, giant robots controlled by magic, to deal with their grievances. The situation is worsened by his relationship with one of his best friends’ wife and queen of Krishna.
This manga is unique for me because i have never read mecha before. The art is great, exceptionally detailed; the story is one of love and loss and war and the consequences of greed, when those in power choose to reach for their own interests above the lives and safety of those citizens they swore to protect.
Rating: 4/5, i had trouble distinguishing characters and golems in battle. That made it a more difficult process to read this manga.

8. Nabara no Ou- The world of nabari, basically the shinobi world and the normal world have lived along side each other for centuries, never interacting outside of the shadows. The different villages have evolved over the years to meet the new challenges of the world, some transforming from actually villages into corporations but still
keeping with their traditions and each continuing to safe guard their kinjutsu-sho. special techniques, the most powerful in each clan and which is mastered by the clan head.
The story resolves around the hijustu, a powerful form of Kinjustu-sho, known as a powerful form of wisdom, containing all knowledge and so powerful that i can fulfill any wish and change the very shape of the world if asked to. To both protect the world from its destructive power once it was determined that they could no longer control it, as well as attempt to control it, the Hijustu was sealed off in human flesh. At the start of the story five of the former Hijustu hosts have died. some gave in to its temptations, asked for a wish, which they got but in the process unleashed the hijustu. Others were killed by rogue clans who wanted the hijustu,
which only escaped to a new host.
Now the seventh host of the Hijustu finds himself in the midst of a great clash for the power held within his body. A rogue off shoot of another clan known as Kairoushou wishes to gain the Hijustu for its president, a charismatic international personality who believes he can contain its power within his body and use it to change the world for the better.
The fuuma clan will stop him while searching for a way to safely remove the Hijustu, which involves collecting all other clans' Kinjustu-shos. A select few will stop at nothing to make this fellow the king of Nabarai. This young man will either give into the Hijustu’s temptation, allow it to be removed or take the third option, master the use of the Hijutsu by mastering a new form of Kinjustu within which he can harness its powers.
I only picked this manga up because someone commented that while its starts off lazily, it becomes brilliant after 20 or so chapters. So far at chapter 22, i am impressed with what i see. The story has potential and is more than basic shinobi fights. It isn’t merely a matter of good vs. evil because there are technically no villains, merely differences of opinions with one high school teen stuck in the middle. The decisions he makes shape the story.
Rating: 3/5; great potential. I still do not know where it is going and i am still on the fence about whether it is as good as it is proclaimed to be. None the less i have been convinced to continue reading. And the art, which by the way can be considered to be rather unimpressive at the start gets better after 20 chapters, almost like the mangaka was still finding her bearings but has now found a comfortable position.
This one i recommend.

Notable mention:

1. Assassination classroom- an alien creature arrives on the world stage, not only possessing the power to destroy the world but promising to do so in one year. This creature is also a teacher of a particularity troublesome classroom in a certain high school. The students in this class are tasked with killing this teacher within
a period of one year using specially developed weapons, the only ones capable of harming the creature. The rules follow that the students can attack the creature but it cannot attack them. So the games begin.
It is because of manga like this that i am an anime and manga fan. Manga will take the dumbest ideas and morph them into gold. Assassination classroom i began reading last year and i can admit that it is indeed an incredible series, mostly because, based on that premise, you do not expect to find much in the manga. yet it is so entertaining, with a large cast of characters that the plot will slowly peal back with each passing arc. This is how i would describe this manga: think back to that old movie where Samuel L. Jackson goes into a chaotic class of delinquents and transforms them into model students, basically saving these young troubled minds from themselves. This is what Assassination classroom is.
Rating: 5/5; brilliant stuff, i recommend it highly, though i rarely grant it the kind of time i do other manga. I am not actually hooked by it yet.

2. One punch man- I am shocked by the fact that i am actually interested in this manga. I kept coming across the title on several anime sites this year and each time determined that it simply sounded like one of the most asinine manga i might ever come across. After coming across it most recently at [http://matbmangafreaks.blogspot.com/2013/06/new-manga-bookmark-list.html], i decided to finally give it a go, and for the first ten chapters, my original thoughts were
confirmed. One punch man was simply stupid as they come, a story with not particular purpose and a collection of extremely generic characters (except for the lead). At 24 chapters, i can without a doubt say that i am a fan of one punch man.
And i am not sure why. You have an eccentric hero that is so strong that he defeats all opponents with one punch. He at one point in his life decided to become a hero and fight evil. SO he trained so hard that he lost all his hair and became a great hero that no one actually knows of. He saves the world from the greater threats out their but because he doesn’t stand out, really the most basic hero you have ever seen, the credit goes to the other flashier personalities.
This manga can only be described as entertaining. And i am disturbed by how ridiculously drawn some of the chapters are. I have read four chapters so far that are basically anime waiting to be animated. The managaka has a way of wasting an entire chapter on a ten second portion of a fight, making it look so good and dynamic that the images in the comic look like they are moving. If you read this manga and think it is a little too silly, that is because the mangaka wants it to look like that, not because of any particular lack of talent.
Rating: 5/5; one punch man is one of those manga that shouldn’t be worth your time but it turns out to be entertaining.
--I have also began catching up on Beelzebub. I will admit that i am one of those fans that was still hoping that the anime would return. Now however i have finally given up hope, instead deciding to continue the story in the manga. And i must say, Beelzebub is just as good, and funny, in manga form as it was in anime. It feels good to finally return to the world of crazy delinquents and electrocuting babies.
--I am surprised by how much easier it was for me to do this ranking. The first time i tried to compile the best manga and anime i had watched in 2013, i had to first scribble everything down on paper and stare at it for a while, before figuring out what i thought was better.
This time however, things were obvious, almost like their was no question which was superior. Attack on Titan was obviously superior to anything and everything that i had come across anywhere. I had some problems with Madoka magica during its 12 episode run; psycho pass on the other hand was completely consistent, delivering a quality story from beginning to the end without, as far as i am concerned, slipping up unlike Madoka which, i believe, had a few misses. However when i thought of both shows in my head, it was clear that Magica was the superior show, without a doubt.
And in my mind Suisei no Gargantia dominated the rest of them, not in anyone field though, but simply being the kind of charming show i rarely come across.
As far as manga was concerned, when i thought about manga, claymore flashed in my mind. When i thought of best manga, claymore flashed even brighter. There was never any contest here. Same thing goes for bleach, breaker and witch hunter. They were all so brilliant and if claymore wasn’t, well, claymore, they might all share the number one spot. On a weekly basis, i have definitely enjoyed god of high school, but i was looking at Monster as a whole series, already completed and in that case, it was a clearly superior manga in terms of depth and quality to GOH.
Basically manga and anime so far has fallen into place without much resistance. What was good was clearly good and what was bad was bad. There was no jostling for places. And i can safely say that this year is turning out to be a great year for anime and manga. Now i just have to wait for Naruto to return on the 18th and improve my anime viewing experience.
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http://katmic.blogspot.com- in case this post seems a little bit messy, check it out at that address, it should be better,

It wouldn’t be a stretch to claim that in writing that title and posting this blog, I am expressing an extreme sense of bias. It is true, sort of. I love claymore, that’s a biased argument. But claymore is good, no…not just good, unbelievably good, and there is no bias in that.

If you want to know how good claymore is, this is how I will explain it. Claymore fails terribly because of its one weakness, the claymore manga is released monthly in the magazine jump square.

That makes it slow as heck, Seriously, this manga debuted in 2006, and as of 2012, it had produced 21 volumes, approximately 135 chapters. Fairy tail, released around that same time, has over 320 chapters out. So that gives you an idea of what’s missing with claymore. If it could transform into a weekly manga, and hence pick up the pace with the story, I am not merely saying that it would be more popular, I am boldly stating that it would replace bleach in the big 3. Claymore is that good and I was lucky enough to start reading it (last September) when it had 113 chapters out. That way I was able to enjoy its arcs in completion.

But it is difficult to fault Norihiro Yagi. Anyone that has had the opportunity to read his work knows that claymore could be one of the best aristic works out their, and I am saying that objectively(I hope). Whenever I make this claim, most people are quick to point out all sorts of manga but especially Manhwa with what they believe to be brilliant art, that surpasses claymore, and usually I always conclude that either they have no idea what they are talking about or they simply have no perspective.

Being that curious, I will usually look into these different Manhwa and while I will manage to appreciate the impressive detail in the work, it is never on par with claymore.

Think back to that day you watched the hobbit or the lord of the rings in cinema, specifically to the mind blowing bits were you were immediately convinced that paying for that ticket was worth it. I am talking about the landscapes, as the cameras would fly over rolling hills, jagged mountains and beautiful valleys, and it was all just too breath taking.

That is what claymore does in most of its scenes. Claymore is set in a backward uncivilized country with more open forests and lands than buildings. As such most of claymore will occur in the open wild of nature and Yagi has a way of pulling off that feeling of a camera sweeping over a real life land. He will put painstaking detail into each and every scenario, highlighting the environment in all its beauty and majesty. One forest will almost always be different from another and every open landscape will literally take you to a different place from the one before

And of course I am not saying that claymore is amazing just because the mangaka can draw a couple of trees. Even in these frequently suggested Manhwa, you will find lush woods and forests drawn in detailed fashion. But that is always done in a ‘Mortal kombat-ish’ kind of manner. If you have played motor combat or any other fighting game, you will realize that all the fighting settings are just the same ring with different decorations. Sure they will introduce it with fancy animations just to let you know that you are fighting in a volcano but other than that, once the fighting begins, it all becomes generic.

This is what all these so called brilliantly drawn Manhwa do. They will take the time to display an impressive looking location in the introductory page merely to let you know where you are, but after that, it is all just flashing trees and shots so close to the objects that you can’t help but ignore everything else. And I am not saying this is bad, most artists will prefer to focus on the important bits rather than wasting panels on wasteful scenes.

I am just saying that Claymore takes it to another level. In most panels you will almost always know where you are, and that’s because Yagi puts his characters into their environment. He puts as much detail into the surroundings as he does the characters, and even as the characters a running about, engaged in battle, it is easy to differentiate between locations.

And that matters with claymore, because it also produces some of the best battles I have ever read. I once read an interview by Tite Kubo who explained that in creating bleach, he wanted to create a new experience of reading manga that was even better than an anime. Now as far as I am concerned, Kubo did do something major, but he didn’t achieve his goal, and that’s not just because he is lazy and rather than show us background, he chooses to fill entire panels with walls of black or white.

His dream is something claymore has achieved, because if claymore isn’t as good as watching anime, it will be even better. The battles are so…fluid; Each panel is drawn in such a way that it blends in perfectly with another. Each character is drawn in such a way that you can literally see the motion in the action. The result is that as I read page after page, I can feel the comic move…its hard to explain.The current Bleach arc is so good that I can’t wait to see it animated. I couldn’t care less if claymore was animated, because reading the comic is as good as watching the anime. You will not be confusing a speed based attack for wind, or a jump for descending force or pressure as it often seen in bleach.

And with such eye popping battle, it is a miracle that Yagi can keep the characters grounded in their environment. It doesn’t matter how awesome or epic an action being executed by a character is, if he doesn’t have to do extremely close shots that blur out the background, he won’t. it’s…ahhh crap, this isn't about claymore, back to my point…

Claymore takes place inside a region on a large island. The region consists of 47 divisions each of which is ravaged by the scourge of Yoma, supernatural shape shifting demonic beings that feast on human flesh. And that’s not a Yoma to the right, that’s something entirely more sinister called Dauf.

Here enter the Claymore, female warriors that have been infused with the flesh of yoma, endowing them with superhuman speed, strength and skills through a mystical ebergy known as Yoki. When unleashing their power, their silver eyes will turn golden while their faces and bodies under go some kind of grotesque transformation. (That, on the side would be Irene of the flash sword, a previous generation number 2 claymore)

But with the power to fight Yoma comes a steep price. Claymore can only release so much of their power before losing themselves to it. At 100% power release, Claymore will gain immense power, beyond that of any yoma, or even a hundred yoma, but they will lose their humanity, transforming into awakened beings that seek only to deed on human flesh.

The idea of awakened beings is introduced rather early in the series but only compounded upon later on. Initially the organization terms the creatures as voracious eaters, powerful yoma that have lived hundreds of years and thus gained great power. Their power is such that not one or two or even five claymore can be sent to take out one Voracious eater, but rather it requires a squad, as displayed in earlier chapters were Clare and her gang, even with the help of Phantom Miria, ranked number 6, find themselves at the mercy of the creature, that tears at them from within and without (pretty grotesque stuff if you haven’t read it).

Of course they eventually discover the truth that the organization doesn’t want them to know, that these super powerful yoma are actually their former comrades. As such most claymore have chosen to adhere by a self proclaimed rule: if any of them feels that that are at the brink of losing themselves and transforming (the awakening process can happen over a period of time), they will send out a black to a claymore that they feel particularly close to, who they will then request to kill them while they still possess their humanity.

Claymore also suffer stigma from the very population they protect, who see them as no different from the monsters that they fight (though it might also have something to do with the mountains of gold the towns are charged to hire a claymore, and the destruction they face if a claymore completes the hired task and they don’t pay)

What makes this situation so interesting is that claymore are prohibited from taking human lives and a claymore that kills a human will herself be killed. And as such it becomes quite interesting to watch these elite warriors fighting to protect humanity while at the same time having to watch out for the same ‘innocent’ entities that they must protect.

There are approximately 47 claymore, ranking from number 1 to 47, each of which is assigned one of the 47 regions on the island (the chart above displays the symbols of the claymore that have so far been introduced and have played major roles). In the claymore system, rankings are more than numbers as the single digit claymores are the most powerful of the lot, with numbers 1 and 2 usually proving to be monsters of warriors in each generation. These will possess a special ability that sets them apart, which no other claymore possess. They are also the most dangerous threat to humanity.

Because of their monster level yoki, when claymores ranked number 1 and 2 awaken, they become creatures termed as ‘The Abyssal ones’ (or dwellers of the deep, depending on the translation.) If Awakened beings are super yoma, then Abyssal ones are super super super super awakened beings (actually add about ten more supers to that), and that doesn’t even begin to describe their power. (I am thought Dauf, the big guy pictured higher up in the document was an abyssal one, but it turns out he is just an awakened being)

it has been posited that a single abyssal one is worth more than all 47 claymore combined, or at least 45 claymore, minus numbers 1 and 2. Because of their power, numbers 1 and 2 claymore will be eliminated the moment they display signs of awakening. But this decision is rarely taken casually, as these two numbers are the organization’s greatest weapon.

There are four known Abyssal ones (if you read claymore, then you know that is no longer the case), termed as the kings of the north, south, east and west. As far as the anime is concerned, we are only introduced to Isley, Priscilla’s guardian, and Riful, a little girl with a giant companion of metal (that would be Dauf, Riful is that plant like thing in her awakened form). These beings rule their respective territories, based on agreements to stay clear of each other’s territories, but that doesn’t last.

Clare is ranked number 47, the lowest ranked claymore in the organization. She comes off as cold,calm and expressionless, but as Miria pointed out, she hides a raging and frenetic personality that subconsciously makes her brash and capricious.

Claymore began her journey as a young traumatized girl that saw her entire family brutally murdered by a yoma. But rather than kill her, the demon took a human body and dragged her around from town to town as its pet, even as it killed and maimed.

Clare would be saved by the strongest claymore ever (I don’t care what anyone says about Rafaela), Teresa of the faint smile, a claymore so powerful that she never has to release more than 10% of her yoki to defeat her opponent, be it yoma, awakened being, or even claymore. Rather than keep to the family assigned to her, Clare desperately clung to Teresa along her journey, eventually melting her cold heart over the months.

The story is a tragic one though, as Teresa must kill a horde of bandits to save Clare in a town she had abandoned her in. Now branded a criminal that must be destroyed, Teresa initially seemed ready to accept her punishment, then on seeing Clare’s face, defeated the four claymore sent to her and goes on the ran with her surrogate daughter.

There is no denying that this origin arc had to be one of the best in claymore. Even when Teresa finally fell, you knew she was unbeatable and only lost because of a weakness developed during her time with Clare in the mercy that she chose to show to Priscilla, the unstable prodigy number 2 claymore, and thus regretted it when Priscilla awakened and beheaded her.

We had seen so many of these characters before prior to this event, claymore once of great repute and power, only spoke of or seen in flashbacks; here in this arc we got to see them in all their glory in a battle royale against Teresa, it was amazing.

Anyway, Clare swears vengeance (pretty stupid if you know who Priscilla is), takes Teresa;s head back to the organization and had them infuse the revered claymore’s flesh into her, making her, not half yoma, but one fourth yoma, a weak incomplete hybrid.

The story of claymore follows Clare on her path to avenge Teressa, which if you have read claymore, know that it is actually in vain-Priscilla is ridiculously strong.

On the way she, like Teresa, undergoes a transformation through her meeting of Raki,. a young boy who liker her saw his family brutalized by yoma. She learns to communicate and form bonds, not only with Raki, but with other claymore that, like her, have been branded rebels. The term rebel here refers to claymore that the organization is watching because of their increased recklessness and disobedience and in whom the organization has lost trust.

Along with their gang leader, Phantom miria, Clare tries to face the increasing onslaught of powerful enemies while trying to stay off the radar of the organization and keeping their greatest secret, that they have all awakened and returned from the edge, a feat that not only made them more powerful but would completely blacken their reputation in the eyes of the organization that would see them as too unstable a risk to let loose.

Through their chosen rebellion Clare and Miria work to uncover the secrets of the organization, such as why there are villages that have never heard of yoma and claymore, and the true purpose of the claymore. The discovery of the true nature of the organization, that the island is their personal laboratory in creating weapons to fight against a great foe of dragon like creatures in a war that has spanned centuries on the main land, changes the game and puts Clare in the cross hairs of the organization.

This only complicates her search for Priscilla, whom she had discovered in the hands of Isley (the guy in white), an Abyssal one who, it turns out, along with his pal Rigardo the silver lion king, was once a claymore several hundred years ago, taking the number one spot along side his number two, Rigardo. It is here that it comes to light that claymore were once male and female; but because of the high rate at which male claymore awakened (awakening here is said to manifest as a sexual high), there line was discontinued, with Isley being among the last.

Claymore is rich with characters, and yagi isn’t afraid to introduce to us as many claymore as we would want to see, each with a unique name, claymore symbol and some possessing special names for the special techniques they have developed, such as phantom Miria who is the fastest claymore around, and can accelrate to a point where she is no more than a phantom, then wind cutter flora who…never mind that. Each claymore has her own story, a tragedy that led them to join the organization (being a claymore is voluntary),and how their past lives affect their duties as claymores.

Pause a moment, I thought I would stop to point out that the guy above is isley awakened. Why do I have to point that out? Because the first time I saw it, especially that ‘organic bow and arrow’ I was blown away. This guy is single handedly the coolest looking thing claymore.

The battles are insane and clever, and the action is brutal but not so over the top that it is simply designed to shock you (well, there is that one scene where Clare has her legs sliced off her body at the very beginning of the fight, and has to reattach before Riku falls in his attempts to hold out against a crazed claymore). And nothing beats the intensity of the stakes at hand. Everyone and I mean everyone here (except probably Clare, I can’t be sure) is fair game. There is no incident were a character wins a fight they simply can’t win, even by a fluke.

Characters will die when they are forced to the edge, and find themselves spent; this is a battle they are facing, a war even, against a demonic horde. There are casualties left and right, and claymore doesn’t hold back in displaying the tragedies involved. Basically it will not cheat for the characters, and neither does it drag out deaths. Most characters will die faster than you can blink and any weeping usually has to be postponed until the battle is over, because as claymore, these women know that losing control and raging in battle for bloodlust and vengeance is a sure way to get killed.

There is no special ‘nakama power ups’. It doesn’t matter how angry or grieved a character is, they will lose in the face of a greater power, so basically expect greater realism.

Clare plays the part of the odd man out; Miria once commented that when she first saw Clare she felt like she was standing in front of the most powerful claymore alive (probably sensing Teresa's essence), but Clare was number 47, the weakest claymore. More than that, Clare doesn’t really have an impressive amount of Yoki or even skill. what she does possess and what impresses Miria is Clare’s adaptability and her ability to use her little skills to create methods and mechanisms with which to defeat greater opponents.

And as we watch Clare's power actually grow over the time skip, these skills become more pronounced. She learns to let the other claymore in, and to operate in sync with her new team. She, like the rest, works to recruit claymore to the ghosts, the name of their group, formed after the epic and tragic events of the ‘campaign in the north’ arc.

Her relationship to Priscilla is what drives her; in that she lives only to avenge Teresa and has no qualms about losing her life. In fact she once intimated that she saw no life beyond killing Priscilla, basically indirectly stating that when she faces Priscilla she will intentionally awaken and lose her humanity to gain the immense power with which to kill Priscilla.

This showdown drives the entire series, in some places, because as the story builds, its creates so much potential for what could happen during the events of the final battle. And if you watched the anime and think you already had a chance to see this showdown, the awakening of clare and Priscilla unleashed power, you have no idea what you are talking about. The final episodes of the anime change things around the time when Rigardo attacks.

The anime has Clare having to transform her legs to gain the (uncontrollable) speed to match and take down Rigardo, then she faces Priscilla, awakens and uses the hundred of blades forming her wings to do a flash sword, tearing Priscilla apart.

IN the manga, Clare has to awaken to beat Rigardo, while Priscilla is off scaring the crazies out of Riful who thought she could catch Isley tired and off guard and possibly kill him.

The true showdown between these two occurs a hundred chapters later, and while the show down actually began last year, around the chapter released in October, up to now, February 2013, it is still ongoing, that is how epic it is.

If you are suddenly envisaging images of dragon ball’s frieza arc, where the Goku vs Frieza battle exceeded 15 episodes, do not worry. This situation is much cooler and less tiresome, as it was spiced up with the arrival and inclusion of a being known as the destroyer (fusion of Rafaela, former claymore 2 and her sister, who awakened decades ago while Teresa was still a child warrior in training).

To truly understand why the showdown between Clare and Priscilla would be so epic, you would have to understand just how monstrous Priscilla is. As the most powerful being in claymore, the term overpowered doesn’t even begin to describe her. And she is crazy as hell. First of all, she doesn’t even know of her current status as an awakened being, and actually still believes that she is a claymore fighting to destroy evil. As such she is the only yoma related creature that will actually use her large sword in battle, rather than depend on her claws and wings (the fact that she has kept it all this time is quite telling).

It is funny watching her interact with other claymore, acting as if nothing is wrong, and going so far as to wonder why they are looking at her with such fearsome expressions. Then she will go on to eat them and wonder why she is so hungry, not even bothering to register her recent inhuman actions.

Secondly, you would think Priscilla too powerful to even notice Clare and her petty vengeance. But Priscilla is actually hell bent on destroying Clare at all costs, the reason being that she is scared to hell of her. Once a child prodigy, deemed to be the most powerful claymore the organization had ever acquired, Priscilla had her power and beliefs tested when she came up against Priscilla years back, along with her other team mates. She learnt to fear who Teresa was, but more than that, her childhood mind was unable to compute the ridiculous might that was Teresa.

Priscilla can sense Teresa’s essence in Clare, and whenever she is within a few kilometers, Priscilla goes crazy, feigning anger initially then revealing her fear. She determines that to destroy Teresa is to destroy evil, but actually she needs to destroy Teresa to confirm her own might and release herself of her fear, except that Teresa is dead and Priscilla is crazy as hell.

This character, Clare, was once described as gats from berserk (supposedly the most badass male character in anime, don’t agree) as a girl. She is far from the strongest or most powerful, but her ambitions are greater than her abilities and she is willing to mix it up to win. It is difficult to describe what it is that makes Clare so bad ass, especially after the time skip. There is no doubt that without her, claymore would be a less interesting creature than it is now, even with the myriad of interesting characters more than capable of taking her place.

I haven’t read claymore for a while now, I am hoping to let the it grow to at least seven chapters such that I can read them at a go, but the thought of opening that first page, to continue the epic story of claymore, finding out the conclusion to Phantom Miria single handedly storming the organization and its new set of 47 claymores, the show down between Priscilla, the Destroyer and Clare, Riku’s story after Priscilla seemingly betrayed him after regaining her memories, only to save him for old times sake (the time she spent with him and Isley as a family) by sticking her right her hand into him, and leaving it in, to restrain the infection from….this story just keeps getting so much better with each chapter that it leaves me shivering in excitement at the prospect of wrapping these stories up.

If you haven’t yet, read claymore and check out why Clare is such a beast. Better yet, read Claymore and find out why it is better than most Manga you have ever read. Then maybe we can all gang up and send a deluge of emails to Norihiro Yagi, petitioning his to pick up the pace.

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