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Watch & Learn: CLAYMORE #1

So this stuff isn't rotting my brain, after all!

More realistic and practical than the breastplate in SACRED BLACKSMITH?    
More realistic and practical than the breastplate in SACRED BLACKSMITH?    

Talk about peculiar breeds of nostalgia. This show brings me back to wild days of the American anime video market in the early-to-mid 90s; a time when every VHS had a “WARNING! 18+ ONLY” sticker on it and tape sets were advertised in late night, long form commercials that went on about how “Japananimation” was not those lame kiddy cartoons I grew up. This was the time of M.D. GEIST and, as I learned later, it grew out of schlocky OVAs been easier to import. The real head game, here, is that while CLAYMORE invokes the milieu to me, it actually presents the ultraviolence with some - - GASP! - - quality.

This show’s been recommended to me for a long time, particularly by a friend who’s a pro comics penciler. Of course, the only venue he offered to me was a torrent and Tommy’s not going to dip his vestal C Drive into that nest of vipers. So you can imagine that I’m pretty glad that I can watch CLAYMORE now through such a clean and legal avenue like Hulu.

Simplicity isn’t always a mark of unsophistication. In fact, well-done simplicity might actually be the hardest thing to execute. I can’t quite articulate what precise details made me enjoy this so much more over similarly-themed fare like GUIN SAGA and BERSERK, but maybe that’s the invisible magic. Regardless of the particulars, I got into this mean mythology of shape-shifting Yomas almost immediately and I was pumping my fist when Clare got to slicing and dicing these rat bastards. Kid sidekicks can be get really annoying, really quickly, but the tender and tenuous relationship that forms between her and Raki felt credible. Maybe it’s because he was so bluntly exiled by the superstitious town elders; maybe it’s because she obviously needs some kind of companion and it it’s going to be a cry baby, then so be it.

This show’s definitely on my consideration list. Hell, it’s already educated me. All this time, I thought claymore was just some kind of mud or soil - - hence the famous mines. However, upon researching this show, I discovered it’s a specific kind of Scottish broad sword. A “great sword” even, as this episode’s title spells out. So this stuff isn't rotting my brain, after all.

Watch this episode "Great Sword" below and decide for yourself...  

  

Check out my thoughts on the other shows I've sampled below...

Tom Pinchuk’s the writer of  HYBRID BASTARDS!  &  UNIMAGINABLE . Order them on Amazon   here  &   here .  Follow him on Twitter: @tompinchuk

sotyfan16on May 8, 2011 at 10:20 p.m.
Ah ha! I had no idea this was on your list to check out. I own the series on Blu-ray and already did a blog about it in Dunce Cap. You can check that out here. I do my best to not spoil too much while making the videos but in general they are encompassing reviews.

Claymore is a fun series and it's very action packed. There isn't much for language as I remember but there is some nudity here and there. Also, the ending of the series is completely made up. The manga was not far enough when the anime was being made so the creators made up an ending. I've read the manga from where the anime ends and, Tom, it gets a lot more badass. I've heard tell of a possible second season or remake of the anime to better keep with the manga but no solid word as of yet.
ComicMan24on May 8, 2011 at 11:29 p.m.
It was a very nice series. You should check it.

@sotyfan16:
I would love to see a second season of it.
Lurkeroon May 9, 2011 at 12:27 a.m.
Its about time you got to Claymore. I can see some good discussion coming from this show.

Also, when there is a hard-boiled protagonist that want's to be alone you always gotta have a talkative and possibly annoying sidekick. That's just how it works.
WarlordPayneon May 9, 2011 at 1:39 a.m.
The ending was kind of a let down, which is generally the case with animes that overrun their manga sources, but for the most part the show was very good.

Out of all the shows you've checked out so far this would be my pick, though I'm still pulling for a Durarara Watch and Learn.
zaldaron May 9, 2011 at 5:38 a.m.
Not sure how discussion could come out of this show from the little bit I have seen baccanno this is not.  But yes a claymore is a rather LARGE sword.  Honestly the picture above is two small.  Think like the sword in Berserk.  Usually used with two hands the sword was used to literally slice through horses.  The mines slice through tanks, thus the connection to the sword and the name of the mines.
TopographicOceanon May 9, 2011 at 10:55 a.m.
I have to say, I'm a fan of this series. The anime ending is a bit of a let down, but the manga continues to provide good solid action in my opinion.

There are two swords attributed to the name Claymore actually. The first is the broadsword you mentioned, though I'd argue the swords in the show are closer to Zweihanders in sheer size. The other sword dubbed 'Claymore', or at least referenced as such, is a singlehanded basketed long sword. Both are of Scottish origin, the basketed long sword just came later. And was long by longsword standards if I remember correctly...
darfox8on May 9, 2011 at 6:10 p.m.
Yeah like most people in this thread say the ending was meh. It was, somehow, the two worst kind of vanilla endings(nothing being resolved and everything being tied up nicely) cramed together which might be an accomplishment in it's own right but it still sucks.

The show is still very cool and has some serious tragic and fucked up moments. It has a pretty good lore too, and they ease you into it really well, so they don't drown you right off the bat with all these details. The last story arc(The War up North) is absolutely epic and it has a real melancholy tone. So watching the series just to get to that is probably worth it, even if it wraps up poorly.
nasubznaon May 10, 2011 at 11:24 p.m.

 
I like anime very much , nomatter what time I would to see them

 
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darkjester74on May 12, 2011 at 1:54 p.m.
Great show, really enjoyed it, except the ending was a bummer.  Otherwise a great series!
vergiliuson May 12, 2011 at 10:02 p.m.
The last 1/4 of this show was so bad that it ruined the series for me. Like, seriously, it is an off-the-track, twisted-metal, flames-everywhere, passengers-begging-for-death trainwreck at the end. There are way better things on your list of candidates.

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