Hello everyone, I'm Taka who is here with Katmic who is our one of our best reviewers in Anime Vice. He reviews Claymore chapters on a monthly basis. Check out his last review on Claymore, here. Originally, it was a roundtable with a few more folks, but it became a one-on-one interview due to time constraints. One of our friends, Taichokage, wrote his insight on Claymore, here. Here's a summary written by our wiki editors.
Summary: In a world where monsters called Yoma prey on humans and live among them in disguise, humanity's only hope is a new breed of warrior known as Claymores, half human, half monster. These silver-eyed slayers possess supernatural strength, but are condemned to fight their savage impulses or lose their humanity.
Please enjoy the interview. We wanted to commemorate the end of the manga series which was on October 4, 2014. Thank you.
- How did you get into Claymore?
When I first started watching anime seriously in 2008, I wasn't quite certain about what to start with; I had a friend providing me with anime at that time, specifically those series he thought I should check out based on his own tastes; I remember watching Katekyo Hitman Reborn, failing to connect with it, and then choosing to give the only other option of anime I had a try, that being Claymore. I had watched Blood+ a week earlier and Claymore met that thirst for dark and bloody series I suddenly had. I started watching the series casually, not very interested in the beginning. But by episode five, I was hooked.
- What are things you enjoy and didn't like about Claymore?
The thing that initially drew me to the anime was the primary protagonist, Clare; having just started watching Naruto a month earlier, I was looking for heroes in the same vein as Naruto, characters that were weak, flawed and bullied by superior peers and foes, and who would eventually rise to become the best, or among the best. That is what Clare represented and that is what i initially liked, watching her grow.
By the time I started reading the manga, my focus had changed somewhat:
- The fairly large and quickly growing cast.
- The focus that each character was afforded, enough for most of them to play essential roles to the story.
- The antagonists (Yoma, awakened beings, Abyssal ones) and just how insidious they were.
- The high stakes, specifically the fact that no character was safe, and that the manga could make me anxious for even Clare's safety.
- The superb art.
- The great action scenes.
- The spirit of the story with regards to Clare starting out alone and slowly making connections during her travels.
There isn't much about the series that I can say I hated; the fact that it was monthly meant that I was so excited for each new chapter that even those elements of a shonen series that I would normally consider to have dragged on for too long where acceptable with Claymore. Not that it was perfect as a manga but nothing negative really stands out, short of the fact that I had to wait four whole weeks for each new chapter.
- With the rising awareness of gender equality, do you believe Claymore is a positive example for both gender?
I don't know if there is any statement to be made about gender equality with Claymore, at least not one that I can see. Well, when it comes to shonen, it is worth pointing out the series' unique position in presenting strong and stable female characters outside the typical Damsel in Distress trope. Females in shonen more or less do the same thing. They get kidnapped, cry for the protagonists, complain about their helplessness, and maybe commit the odd sacrifice. With Claymore, it was nice to get a heavy dose of the very opposite.
- What are your final thoughts on the ending? Were there any loose ends?
Surprisingly enough, there weren't as many loose endings as I thought there would be; sure it would have been nice to travel to the mainland, but as one claymore put it, the war beyond the sea wasn't their fight. That being said I wasn't satisfied with the ending. One chapter wasn't enough to settle everything satisfactorily and the manga could have done with an additional two chapters to provide a more concrete end. But that is with regards to the very last chapter.
The end of the story as a whole was...not what I expected but it played out in an entertaining manner, with the return of some great characters and a final showdown between the strongest elements of each side.
All in all, an ending worth the material that came before.
Now that I think about it, there was one loose end; the chapter than ended Isley's life also introduced a new breed of zombie like creatures that were never heard of again.
- With so many manga series ending this year, how does Claymore distinguish itself from Shonen manga these days?
Claymore is different from typical shonen primarily because of its blood and gore, and the fact that it is more than willing to make hard decisions and kill its characters when its necessary. And then there is the fact that it features such a strong cast of female characters, with a number of the male characters often finding themselves in difficult positions where they must turn to their female companions for salvation.
Claymore is one of few series that straddle that gap between Seinen and Shonen; it is an enjoyable read, fast paced, exciting in its progression, with visceral action, superb art and great characters. I would most definitely recommend it.
About the Author
Katmic is a (hopeful) computer expert, loves his anime and manga, with an interest in writing and a mild abhorrence for sportsFollow him at his blog: katmic.blogspot.com