Anime Review — Claymore (クレイモア) First Impressions

Claymore

OP: “Rai­son D’être” by Night­mare
ED: “Dan­zai no Hana~Guilty Sky” by Riyu Kosa­ka

Sto­ry Overview (from Wikipedia because I have no free time for my own writ­ten sum­ma­ry):

The set­ting of Clay­more’s sto­ry is a fic­tion­al world with medieval tech­nol­o­gy. Polit­i­cal­ly, it appears to con­sist of a large num­ber of scat­tered, appar­ent­ly inde­pen­dent, towns. In this world, humans coex­ist with crea­tures called Yoma sen­tient mon­sters that feed on human innards. The Yoma, being shape-chang­ers, can take on human form and live in dis­guise amongst humans. By con­sum­ing the humans’ brains, Yoma can also absorb their mem­o­ries, allow­ing them to dis­guise them­selves as spe­cif­ic peo­ple with­out alert­ing any of their close friends or fam­i­ly.

A name­less and high­ly secre­tive orga­ni­za­tion has cre­at­ed an order of super­hu­man war­riors to pro­tect humans from the Yoma. These war­riors have come to be pop­u­lar­ly known as Clay­mores, after the immense clay­mores they wield. Vil­lages being attacked by Yoma hire Clay­mores to kill the Yoma for a large fee.

This orga­ni­za­tion cre­ates the Clay­mores by implant­i­ng Yoma flesh and blood into humans, cre­at­ing hybrids that are more pow­er­ful than the orig­i­nal Yoma, in addi­tion to their weapons train­ing and pos­si­bly greater intel­li­gence. A Clay­more’s stan­dard abil­i­ties include over­all enhanced phys­i­cal prowess (most notice­ably, strength), faster heal­ing, lim­it­ed shape mod­i­fi­ca­tion and the abil­i­ty to detect oth­er demons and hybrids. They all wear the same armor and use large clay­more swords that nor­mal humans lack the strength to wield, and are char­ac­ter­ized by their sil­ver eyes and hair. How­ev­er, the Yoma pow­ers of each Clay­more will increase over time until the Clay­more los­es all human­i­ty and becomes a pow­er­ful, high­ly intel­li­gent, and incred­i­bly blood­thirsty Yoma called an Awak­ened. They also con­stant­ly run the risk of speed­ing up their trans­for­ma­tions into Yomas if they overuse their pow­ers. A good Clay­more will ask a friend (usu­al­ly a fel­low Clay­more) to kill them if they sense they are “Awak­en­ing” so they would not become a Yoma.

The secret orga­ni­za­tion is con­tact­ed by the town coun­cil about Yoma killings and will then send a Clay­more to kill the demons, although not every hybrid does so will­ing­ly. Upon a suc­cess­ful kill, it then sends an agent to charge a large fee for its ser­vices. A town that fails to pay will nev­er receive fur­ther assis­tance and will be left at the mer­cy of the Yoma. It has been insin­u­at­ed that the orga­ni­za­tion them­selves send Yoma to the towns that could not pay. The orga­ni­za­tion is often strict and harsh; hybrids who break the rules (for exam­ple, by killing a human, even acci­den­tal­ly or to pro­tect oth­ers) will be hunt­ed down by their fel­low hybrids. Clay­mores who cause trou­ble or Clay­mores sus­pect­ed to be on the verge of Awak­en­ing will be sent on sui­cide mis­sions with­out their knowl­edge or con­sent. Var­i­ous char­ac­ters through­out the series sus­pect the orga­ni­za­tion of being much more sin­is­ter than it appears.

Despite sav­ing humans on a reg­u­lar basis, Clay­mores are often alien­at­ed from and feared by humans due to their incred­i­ble pow­ers, their rela­tion to Yomas, and gen­er­al­ly aloof atti­tudes. Humans will often call them “sil­ver-eyed witch­es” or “mon­sters”. Sur­viv­ing fam­i­ly mem­bers of a Yoma’s mas­quer­ade are often ban­ished from vil­lages for fear that they might be Yoma too. Females who suf­fer this fate are often forced to become Clay­mores to sur­vive. Clay­mores often live unhap­py, lone­ly lives due to their soli­tary lifestyle and the knowl­edge that they will even­tu­al­ly die or become mon­sters. Pre­sum­ably from one or more of their Yoma blood, their train­ing, and their harsh lives, many Clay­mores are gen­er­al­ly seri­ous and at least out­ward­ly cold. Oth­ers become hot-tem­pered and eas­i­ly angered, while some oth­er Clay­mores devel­op an incred­i­ble thirst for blood and become blood­thirsty killers who enjoy tak­ing life, more sav­age than the Yoma they hunt. Almost all of them avoid any sort of com­pan­ion­ship with humans.

The sto­ry of Clay­more fol­lows the adven­tures of the Clay­more war­rior Clare. The plot fol­lows her as she fights Yoma and strug­gles to hold on to her human­i­ty. Start­ing in the 3rd vol­ume, there is a flash­back to her child­hood on how she was ‘adopt­ed’ by the Clay­more Tere­sa. After Tere­sa rebels against the orga­ni­za­tion and is sub­se­quent­ly killed, Clare vol­un­teers to become a Clay­more using Tere­sa’s flesh in order to take revenge on the Awak­ened who killed her. With deter­mi­na­tion and her human friend Raki by her side, Clare over­comes her low demon­ic pow­er by hon­ing the skills she inher­it­ed from Tere­sa. As the series pro­gress­es, she becomes a stronger and stronger fight­er, grad­u­al­ly earn­ing the respect of strong allies and com­ing in con­flict with the shad­owy orga­ni­za­tion, the top Clay­mores who sup­port them, and many pow­er­ful Awak­ened.

Thoughts:

Com­bined with a seri­ous atmos­phere of women with big swords, man-eat­ing demons, mild blood, and the old “old­er sis­ter, younger broth­er” rela­tion­ship, Clay­more is a series that I would keep on watch­ing. I felt that the char­ac­ter Clare had a mys­te­ri­ous aura sur­round­ing her that would make you just want to watch to find out. The first episode seemed a lit­tle fast-paced though. Heh, I remem­ber when some­one com­pared this to Berserk… it’s nowhere near the qual­i­ty and is almost noth­ing like Berserk! >.>

I also found it messed up that the vil­lagers threw Raki out of the town just because he saw a Yoma, afraid of him turn­ing into a Yoma. But it’s in human nature, right?

Over­all; decent series.

2 thoughts on “Anime Review — Claymore (クレイモア) First Impressions

  1. I did­n’t try out Clay­more until 2 days ago but now I’m up to episode 6, and all I can say is…I want more!!~! I hope you can enjoy it too : p

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