Wow. I really wasn’t expecting the mythology of this show to be so intriguing, but the scene where Clare uses her piercing gaze to stare down all the priests? That was the metaphorical hooking of the lure for me. There was real tension in that scene. I was just hanging on the reveal of who the “evil amongst us might be” and I truly thought it was going to be the priest who hired them. I was honestly surprised. That’s when you know the storyteller’s have control of the audience. I even got a charge out of how the Yoma was actually hiding in the corpse. I’ve never made it a secret how I find the inclusion classic monsters - - vampires, werewolves, zombies, Frankensteins - - to be a sure way to lose my interest in a story. This reminds me how shallow an exercise of imagination it is to use those creatures because it was exciting to discover the rules of these Yoma and Claymores on the run (so to speak) instead of knowing what they're all about well ahead of time.
Before I wax too rhapsodic, though, I’ll say that the climatic fight in the church was handled kind-of poorly. Slathered on top of the speed-line heavy “super moves” from last episode was a thick layer of murky darkness that confused what it tried to make menacing. I guess darkness really isn’t as scary as we all think it is.
Actually, the whole section was oddly representative of the whole. Even as had I issues with the staging and presentation, when I could concentrate on what was happening, the fight was actually bad ass. And that’s really the experience for the whole show. It feels like it should be some trashy OAV from the 90s, and it’s got all the elements of one, but it somehow makes it all work in a deft package. The whole relationship with Raki could be really be a saccharine eye-roller, too, but, I think by intentionally allowing him to be awkward nuisance, it actually makes the whole emotional medicine go down better. I’ll admit to actually being pretty touched when he seemed to be grasping so desperately at straws to save Clare from her nature.
Considering what a ride these four short episodes of CLAYMORE have put me on, I can’t help say that it’s doing its job better than STEINS GATE.
Watch this episode "Clare’s Awakening" below, decide for yourself and then read my comments on the previous episode here.