Sunday, March 7, 2010

Claymore manga

Last week I spent reading Claymore. It is manga that had an anime version which I watched quite early in my anime history (I think it was one of first 5 anime I watched; I should be able to tell it precisely, but AniDB is in maintenance while I'm writing this). I liked it very much and decided that once I will read it, since I found out that anime adapted only first eleven volumes (currently there are seventeen release volumes) and had an alternate ending. And story was really interesting (I especially liked Abyssal Ones).

Main characters are female warriors called Claymores, named for big swords they carry (technically, I think they are to wide for real claymores). They are actually half-monsters, created by inserting yoma flesh to young females. And yoma are monsters that attack humans and eat their flesh; they are capable of taking humans forms, so they can live between them and slowly feed from communities. Weaker yoma have mostly human shape, while stronger have more bestial characteristics and tend to be much bigger (sometimes, much, much bigger!!).

And Claymores have a duty to wander solitary from town to town and fight yoma for fee. That fee is collected by mysterious Organization, who is responsible for creating Claymores and their training. They are raised to be emotionless and mostly they are remnants of families attacked by yoma, so they usually have no ties to other people.

Claire is main character; she is weakest (47th of 47) Claymore. At the beginning of story, she saves a boy, Raki, from yoma and he ends following her (since his family is dead). Claire at first tries to get rid of him, but later gets attached to him. Then later, she is separated from him and that becomes one of her driving forces (second one being revenge for death of her own savior).

Most yoma are senseless, but stronger ones - "awakened beings" (who are actually ex-Claymores that were unable to suppress their yoma side) have "normal" personalities. I especially liked Riful and Isley, who are among the strongest yoma.

There are a great number of characters, and most of them are blond, young women, so sometimes it's get difficult to follow who is who and where. Thankfully, their faces are mostly unique, and names also. Creator of this anime, Yagi Norihiro, "suffers" from George R. R. Martin's syndrome, meaning that many characters die. Although I was a bit sad after some of them, this is not over-exaggerated.

I think that can be observed from my review that I mostly appreciated this manga for it complex story. Characters are imagined well, most have their personal traumas and problems, but I didn't feel any special connection or admiration for them. Nevertheless, I really liked this manga and would like to recommend it to everyone who like good shounen action and fighting stories, but done in high fantasy setting and consistent manner. So, if you liked Berserk, you will like this!

At least, you can watch anime. It has 26 episodes, that 24 of them follow manga and ending, although is different from manga, it feels natural.

Next, I will be watching "Haruhi Suzumiya no Juuutsu" (the 28 episodes version).

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