Outside of maybe THE 36th CHAMBER OF SHAOLIN, this might be the first martial arts procedural I’ve ever come across. That descriptor usually only applies to cop shows, ‘cause you know the real appeal isn’t in the mystery, it’s in watching the cops breaking down all the nitty gritty details of their fingerprint tracking and their ballistics reports. Here, it’s the Claymores verbalizing their respective techniques as they put the work, sweat and thought into killing a monster.
Oddly enough, for as show as over-the-top as this, there’s actually some measure of real world basis to some of these ladies’ attacks. Coiling your muscles is several kinds of impossible, sure, but the notion does reflect the principle of strikes getting more power from centrifugal force. You know, a cross with twisting shoulders behind it’s going to have more power than a straight-on jab. I learned that in boxing and, by the same token, I see similarities between Clare’s quick-sword gimmick and the principles of Eskrima. That’s a Filipino stick fighting system that I’ve dabbled in a little, and in advocates using a barrage of small, quick attacks over big haymakers. You actually do more damage that way.
The more you know, right?
I’ve gone on such a “shop talk” tangent because, well, the majority of this episode is concerned with this stuff. I’d expect that this would be the point that’d finally turn off the viewers who’re normally alienated by shonen’s obsession with all the minute particulars of combat. Normally, I’d be right there objecting with them, but there you go - - there's another normally-egregious thing that CLAYMORE’s somehow able to make work.
Plot wise, I’m wondering if Clare and her new pal may eventually be returning to Riful about the alliance they’ve so quickly rejected here. The lil’ demon clearly seems to like them. If the king of North and Priscilla end up proving to be an unstoppable tag team, is there even going to be any downside to allying with her? It’s not like they’re got any bridges left to burn with the organization.
Watch this episode "The Witch's Maw (Part 3)" below, decide for yourself and then read my comments on the previous episode here.