Anime Vice News

Watch & Learn: CLAYMORE #22-23

What happens when you accidentally skip an episode?

44 minutes showing us just how that sword got so dirty.
44 minutes showing us just how that sword got so dirty.

It might shock you lunatics but, even though I seem like a super-powerful creature, I’m still only human. I’m fallible. I make mistakes on occasion. And sometimes, when the numbers start piling up on these series, I’ll take too quick a glance at the titles on Hulu and accidentally skip an episode.

Which is what happened here.

If you’ve watched enough TV, you start getting a little charge out of even the slightest happy accident in your viewing experience. I remember when Tarantino was promoting GRINDHOUSE, he explained how he was inspired to randomly cut ahead in the story at a certain point in order to reproduce the intriguing ambiguity he found while watching a film print that was missing a reel at a critical point. The “edit” changed the context of the “out point” scene in a significant way.

Fatality!
Fatality!

In this case, it came down to the fight between Clare and the Lion King. On my first go round, I went from seeing Clare chop of his arm to dicing him to pieces in a matter of only a few steps. The might sound like it was anti-climactic, but my first thought was actually, “Damn. They cut right through all the bullshit, didn’t they? Again, when you’ve watched a countless number of shows, you do get a rise out of anything that flips your expectations upside-down, even if it technically breaks the “rules” of story structure.

You might think that what I’m trying to get at is that we had an episode or two of “filler” here, but that isn’t the case. Seeing what actually happened was just as valid, but different in a way that definitely changes the flavor of the plot. The first go round made Clare’s leveling-up seem like it accelerated at an staggeringly-aggressive pace. The second go round harps on how this fight has to play it like hatchet work, and that’s something I appreciate just as much. My favorite “final bout” in FMA BROTHERHOOD’s concluding arc was between the Armstrongs and Sloth, and that was precisely because it was messier and less glamorous than the rest. You really felt like the heroes were doing everything in their power to defeat the big brute because he was that formidable of a threat, and you could then just feel their exhaustion and cathartic release when they finally just barely beat the guy.

We’re in the final thrust of this series, here. An inevitable grudge match with Priscilla is surely looming but, as far as big climatic battles go, I appreciate how this is such nasty brawl going down in the thick of the gloomiest blizzard. It’s not some grand battle happening on some lush field, nor even some honorable duel being waged above some awesome volcano mouth. It’s bitter and ugly, and that very much suits the spirit and texture of CLAYMORE.

Transformation sounds like a Star War laser.
Transformation sounds like a Star War laser.

Actually, to say a little more about the spirit and texture, it’s interesting how this show’s mythos has been revealed in such minimalistic strokes. For all the detail we’ve gotten about ranks and states of awakening, not much of anything has been said about how all this madness got started in the first place. There’s no creation myth to explain where the Yoma came from or how the Organization got together and started creating Claymores (presumably through some kind of black magic or alchemistic science.) The plot’s almost all about execution. The viewer’s got to fill in a lot of details in between the key points on his or her own.

Maybe that’s why I’ve been liking it so much. It gives me enough little morsels that I’m just writing the rest of the story in my head - - and of course that’s going to be my liking. Specifically, I feel like there’s got to be some deeper meaning to how social outcast Clare’s been able to control her awakening while goody-goody over-achiever "turned" irrevocably. I want there to be some dialog about that, but the time’s getting short enough that I feel like there’s going to be no such explanation. We’ll find out soon if that proves to be frustrating or “respectful of my intelligence” when all the cards are finally dealt.

Watch these episodes "Invasion of Pieta (Part 2)” and “Critical Point (Part 1)” below, decide for yourself and then read my comments on the previous episode here.

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

sotyfan16on Sept. 10, 2011 at 2:07 a.m.
Way to go Tom! Skipping around to see what happens next! haha Just kidding.
 
Myself and others have stated that the manga has more info about the Yoma and the Organization; even in the volumes that this series covers. But a lot more info is brought to light in the manga from where the anime ends. At that point, there is a 7 year time skip (and everyone loves those).
 
I have to agree with you that the series is more action-focused than story-based. That must have been the decision of the director.
Lurkeroon Sept. 10, 2011 at 6:32 a.m.
War and battle is rarely as glamorous as it is depicted in the media. I was very happy to see that Claire's battle wasn't some spectacle.
 
I think most fights end much faster than the ones we typically see in anime and manga. There is no 3 episode battle where the opponents spar for a bit and methodically analyze how to defeat their opponent while they stare at each other for minutes. And then when one opponent is near defeat they get a burst of energy, and the other opponent sits and watches while a new power level is being reached and finally the ultimate technique can be unleashed.
 
Yeah, that doesn't happen. Claymore is badass.
metalsnakezeroon Sept. 10, 2011 at 1:02 p.m.

The plot’s almost all about execution. The viewer’s got to fill in a lot of details in between the key points on his or her own. 
 
But that was the whole point of Darker than black plot and yet you complained about it. 
Anyway for most of the good animes fights usually do last for one if they aren't impacting enough and would only need to be lengthen if it comes down to some end game. 

No_name_here staff on Sept. 11, 2011 at 10:38 p.m.

@sotyfan16 said:

Way to go Tom! Skipping around to see what happens next! haha Just kidding.

Myself and others have stated that the manga has more info about the Yoma and the Organization; even in the volumes that this series covers. But a lot more info is brought to light in the manga from where the anime ends. At that point, there is a 7 year time skip (and everyone loves those). I have to agree with you that the series is more action-focused than story-based. That must have been the decision of the director.

Hnnnnnn... if this does well enough, maybe we'll eventually see CLAYMORE: SISTERHOOD to re-do everything so it's closer to the comics.

No_name_here staff on Sept. 11, 2011 at 10:43 p.m.

@Lurkero said:

War and battle is rarely as glamorous as it is depicted in the media. I was very happy to see that Claire's battle wasn't some spectacle. I think most fights end much faster than the ones we typically see in anime and manga. There is no 3 episode battle where the opponents spar for a bit and methodically analyze how to defeat their opponent while they stare at each other for minutes. And then when one opponent is near defeat they get a burst of energy, and the other opponent sits and watches while a new power level is being reached and finally the ultimate technique can be unleashed. Yeah, that doesn't happen. Claymore is badass.

It's been an interesting contrast to watch this at the same time as TIGER AND BUNNY. The heroes in that show could afford to be a little more aggro like this girls.

No_name_here staff on Sept. 11, 2011 at 10:49 p.m.

@metalsnakezero said:

The plot’s almost all about execution. The viewer’s got to fill in a lot of details in between the key points on his or her own.

But that was the whole point of Darker than black plot and yet you complained about it.
Anyway for most of the good animes fights usually do last for one if they aren't impacting enough and would only need to be lengthen if it comes down to some end game.

I liked DARKER THAN BLACK. However, I'd break down the difference here is that this is more operatic and visceral - - like a spaghetti western - - while DTB was trying to be like a hard sci-fi. I actually remember the first episode being exposition heavy, so if it was missing details, it was more like lost pieces.

sotyfan16on Sept. 12, 2011 at 12:41 a.m.
@Tom_Pinchuk:
I'd rather they not go the Brotherhood route and just go ahead and make a second season. Claymore isn't super popular like other series that are getting remakes, either.

Dig Deeper into Claymore

Based on manga of same name, Claymore tells story of Claymores, female warriors with sad fate to hunt the beings known as Yoma.

Edit/View the Wiki
Hit the Forums (13 Posts)
Add/View Images (889 Images)
Watch Some Videos (3 Videos)
Pokemon Black and White Looks Delicious in Motion

First video of a Pokemon battle in Black and White.

Comment & Win: One Piece Vol. 52, 53

Time for a giveaway folks! Now, act civil, we don't want anyone to get hurt in the mad rush to win.

Beginner's Guide to FLCL

Gainax's madcap, surrealist anime, broken down for new viewers.

Ballz Deep

Steve gets intimately close to Dragon Ball Z, for science!

Top 3 Awful Anime Dubs

Grit your teeth and get your ear plugs ready cause this week we're taking on the three most amazingly bad dubs of all time!

The Worst DRAGON BALL Villain?

DRAGON BALL #21-- Retro Review

Anime Caption Contest! -- 9/29/14

With Summer 2014 season ending, here are the shows that are still trucking today.

ONE PIECE #663 -- Special Review

Do you feel as emotional as Luffy does?!?!

AKIRA and the Best Format for Anime?

Viewer mail! Would this classic have been much better as a mini-series?

Fall 2014 Anime Guide

Here are our quick impressions of shows that have caught our eyes.

Unboxing ATTACK ON TITAN - Part 2 Limited Edition Blu Ray

The Vice Pit. Does the set deserve deluxe accolades?

Most Frustrating Anime Hiatus?

Whatever will we do without HUNTER X HUNTER and JOJO'S BIZARRE ADVENTURE?

Community Spotlight 9/26/2014

There's plenty to enjoy in the last spotlight of September.

Anime Caption Contest! -- 9/29/14

With Summer 2014 season ending, here are the shows that are still trucking today.

ONE PIECE #663 -- Special Review

Do you feel as emotional as Luffy does?!?!

The Worst DRAGON BALL Villain?

DRAGON BALL #21-- Retro Review

Revisiting RANMA 1/2 After Too Long

Episode #2 -- Retro Review

Fall 2014 Anime Guide

Here are our quick impressions of shows that have caught our eyes.

NARUTO Ch. 693 Review

Apparently, no one ever taught Sasuke that it's rude threaten to kill someone after asking them for a favor.

Community Spotlight 9/26/2014

There's plenty to enjoy in the last spotlight of September.

AKIRA and the Best Format for Anime?

Viewer mail! Would this classic have been much better as a mini-series?

Mandatory Network

Submissions can take several hours to be approved.

Save ChangesCancel