Claymore User Reviews

Claymore is an anime series in the Claymore franchise
Write a Review 3 user reviews Average score of 8.4 / 10 for Claymore
Crusader Reviews: Claymore Reviewed by crusader8463 on Dec. 5, 2009. crusader8463 has written 4 reviews. His/her last review was for Memories. 10 out of 10 users recommend his reviews. 4 out of 4 users found this review helpful.

Note: The review processes for this series consisted of watching the English dubbed version from start to finish in three separate sittings over four days, without skipping any episodes or skipping ahead in the episodes themselves. 

 

Setting:

 

Yomas:

The story takes place in a very old medieval style fantasy setting, where humans are in constant terror of ferocious monsters called Yomas (Yo-mas). Yomas are sadistic beings that take the form of humans so that they can lure people to a secluded area to then transform back into its original form to torture and eat them alive. Many of the Yomas like to attack groups of families in their homes, forcing the various members to watch them torture and eat the others one at a time. The humans of this world are all but helpless against the Yomas, as even the strongest human warriors are no match for the weakest of Yomas, that is unless the human happens to be a Claymore. 
 

Claymores:

Claymores are the name the humans have given to a group of women that undergo a secret form of bonding where in they actually become half Yoma, half humans in order to gain the Yomas special abilities, as a way to combat the Yoma threat to humanity. Only the women of this world can withstand the procedure to become Claymores, but once the procedure is complete they gain powers that can vary from being able to regenerate limbs, reattach lost limbs, super human speed/strength and some even gain the ability to contort and stretch their limbs to great lengths. While what powers they receive and which ones they train to use varies, one thing they all get  are silver eyes, a distinguishing mark that lets everyone who looks at them know what they are. Once they undergo this procedure Claymores are in a constant battle within themselves to keep the Yoma side of them under control, or it will take over what remains of their human side completely transforming them into the very monsters they fight. 

The Men Behind the Curtain:

Claymores are lead by a secretive organization that receives requests from villages that believe they have a Yoma problem, and then send out various Claymores depending on how big of a threat the organization believes is in the village. Once the Claymore has found and killed the Yomas in the village they leave immediately for their next assignment, while a mysterious man dressed in black comes to the village a few days later to collect a fee for their services. If a village refuses to pay the stranger in black then their village becomes black listed, and no matter how many Yoma attack the village they will never get help from a Claymore again. Despite what the Claymores do for people most of them still refuse to trust Claymores and are generally afraid of them, as they believe they are just as evil as the Yomas and that they are simply pretending to help people to gain their trust only to turn into Yomas themselves and kill them. 


Plot:

 

 Claire and Raki having a discussion.
 Claire and Raki having a discussion.

The plot of the anime revolves around one Claymore in particular by the name of Claire, and a young boy named Raki (Rock-e) that tags along with her after she kills the Yoma that slaughtered his family. The story unfolds initially around the development of these two characters as they try to understand why the other is doing what they are doing, and how they really feel about each other. About half way through the series though the story takes a bit of a turn, when you learn the origin of Claire, and how/why she became a claymore. After these episodes the story about Claire and Raki becomes more of a side note until near the end of the series, which becomes a story about revenge, justification and redemption for events that happened in Claire’s past. 
 
 

Review:

 
This is one of those shows that would do better from being reviewed on its first half and its last half separately, as the two halves vary greatly in quality. I found the series could change drastically from episode to episode, with many of them having me on the edge of my seat wanting to know what’s going to happen next, to please god just end it all ready. 
 
The show starts off very nicely introducing the main characters of Claire and Raki, with a good couple episodes before they meet to familiarize the viewers to the world of the anime, and explaining why Yomas are such a great threat to humanity that they need Claymores.   After the first four to five episodes I was hooked on the series and wanted to know more about the interesting characters, the Yomas and what it really meant to be a Claymore.   Unfortunately by the end of the series most of the answers I got, while not necessarily bad, did come off as ether cliché or unfulfilling as revelations to what started out as an interesting and deep world.   Another of the big problems I found is about half way through the show took a complete left turn and essentially forgot about most of what the whole start of the story was about, Claire and Rakis’s relationship with each other. Instead they started to explore Claire’s past and explained how she became a Claymore, and set up her motivations for the turn the series takes in the middle and what the last half of the series becomes.
 

 Hey Claire ... wait which one are you again?
 Hey Claire ... wait which one are you again?

Sadly this is where the show started to fall apart for me. They begin to introduce a plethora of characters that are near impossible to tell apart from each other that fill a generic and stereotypical role; the hot head, the wise teacher, the quiet one, the one that just wants to fight etc. The worst part is that as a viewer you are suddenly bombarded with all of these characters that essentially all look and sound the same, and whose only purpose to being there appears to be to overwhelm you with new characters to learn about as filler for episodes, only to have them die a few later. 
 
While the review does sound very harsh towards the series I do want to point out that it certainly had a lot of good qualities going for it as well.

  • With a few exceptions near the end, it was draw and animated very well throughout its entirety.
  • Generally speaking the whole show was well voice acted throughout, with an exception to a couple characters introduced near the shows conclusion.
  • The show handles nudity in a very realistic and tasteful way. While a lot of shows tend go one of two ways—soft core porn or less nudity then a nunnery—this show strikes a good balance of showing nudity when it makes sense to be there, and not just have it there for the sake of fan service.
  • Some of the battle scenes can be very beautiful to just watch as the characters counter one anothers sword fighting styles.
  • There are some very graphic and cringe worthy moments in the show when body parts become separated from their original owners.

 
In the end I would say Claymore is an Anime in the Fantasy genre that had the potential to be a must watch classic series, with its great acting, great animation and a great premise. Sadly it fell short of itself by trying to extend what should have been a fifteen to eighteen episode series into twenty six episodes with far too much filler. It is a shame that the show went in the direction that it did, with one over the top fight after another that was constantly trying to one up the big fight before it. By the end of the show when Claire finally gets to her big final battle it has been cheapened by the stream of episodes before it consisting of nothing but one unbeatable bad guy fight after another. This lead up sadly finishes the series on a very anticlimactic and bland ending that comes off as having no real feeling of a conclusion to the characters that you had invested so much time into, and what the series began as.

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