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Jammin
March 29, 2008, 11:22 PM
Title:Claymore
Genres:Horror, Action, Fantasy, Medieval, Shounen
Author:Norihiro Yagi
Artist:Norihiro Yagi
Publication:Originally Monthly Shounen Jump currently in Jump Square
Start Date:May 2001
End Date:Ongoing
Number of chapters at review:78
Number of chapters read by reviewer:78

General Overview:A manga about female superhuman warriors who are known as claymores, due to the large sword which they carry, who hunt creatures called yoma for a shadowy organization. The story revolves around one warrior in particular named Clare.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/art.jpg
Art: 8
The art in Claymore is solid. The characters, the stronger yoma, and the backgrounds are all well drawn. Though the weaker yoma and the non-story related bystanders have a tendency to feel a bit recycled because of some very similar clothing and body designs. Causing it to sometimes seem a bit like the artist threw an earlier design at you with only slight variation. I subtracted 2 points for this. Yagi also chooses not to draw the battles sword stroke by sword stroke and goes with more of a blur of action style. It's done well, but if it's a style your not a fan of you should dock 2 more points.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/plot.jpg
Plot: 8
It's about killing monsters, that remains consistent. Yagi tends to keep a lot of things in the story secret and just doesn't give you any clues until the story requires it, which makes it impossible to guess what is going to happen next. There is a dark dangerous tone and throughout the story that stays pretty constant as well, but even in it's darkest moments it somehow avoids being depressing through the strength of it's characters. It's really hard to say more than that without running the risk giving something away, so I'll just say I give it an eight.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/characters.jpg
Characters: 9
The claymores are great characters, as are the stronger of the yoma. Each claymore has a very interesting and usually tragic history. So much so that you end up wishing for more back story on them almost as much as you want to see the story progress. Quite a few of the main characters seem to feel a more quiet kind of sadness than is typical in manga, which I find to be much more piercing than it would be if the characters just cried the way manga characters normally do.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/theme.jpg
Theme: 6
Revenge, Regret, Loneliness, Courage, Sacrifice, Duty, Despair and Love(as in the love of a family, not so much the romantic kind). It never really focuses in on one theme in particular. The themes are good and not overly simplistic. Though there isn't much in the way of deviation from the established themes. Which can be a good or bad thing depending on whether or not you like them.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/originality.jpg
Originality: 7
A plot line based around monster hunting organizations is far from creative, so I have to dock some points for that, but Yagi does some rather creative things with it. (I can't go into specifics without spoilers.)

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/overall.jpg
Overall: 8
One of my current favorites. It's action packed, has a fantastic cast of characters and the story is good too. It's truly a shame that the anime decided to stop following the manga at around episode 19, because it's right after that point that things started really getting good.

If you feel like giving this a try I recommend finding and watching the early episodes of the anime to see if you'll like it.


http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k125/luckas04/Manga%20reviews%20images%20samples/Sample61.jpg

http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k125/luckas04/Manga%20reviews%20images%20samples/Sample62.jpg

http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k125/luckas04/Manga%20reviews%20images%20samples/Sample63.jpg

http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k125/luckas04/Manga%20reviews%20images%20samples/Sample64.jpg

zelllogan
April 01, 2008, 11:45 AM
The only part where I really don't agree is this:
If you feel like giving this a try i recommend finding and watching the early episodes of the anime to see if you like it.

The early episodes show us no real story line. It's CLAIRE + RAKI + NEW YOMA for episode 1 to 4. The anime go to another level when teresa is shown. And again another level when miria, helene, deneve and galatea are seen.
To add a few things, I find that claymore is an epic manga and I consider Claymore to be a light "berserk" with girls characters. For the art, it's inequal, the author can lack details by moment and can be absolutely astonishing at other moments (remember Awakened Jean).

Claymore is one of my top-5 manga ever ... and I read a lot. But don't bother with the anime because the end is not good at all.

Jammin
April 01, 2008, 11:56 AM
Thanks for the feedback.:D

The end of the anime blows, i'm with you on that. Watching past episode 20 isn't really a very good idea, in my opinion. However, i still think watching the anime is a quick and easy way for people to get a feel for the mood and overall premise of Claymore. Not to mention the fights were rather well animated. :)

weixiaobao
April 02, 2008, 11:17 PM
I would go higher than 8 but very good review :thumbs..

well at first i didn't really like claymore, since the yoma are pretty much the same... but as soon as there are diversity of yoma and claymore abilities.. I start to get interest ..

Love the fact taht Norihiro Yagi can create some unique cool individuals before killing them off XD

crazy_horse1989
April 28, 2008, 01:20 AM
what zellogan and weixiaobao said there... i would give it a 10 if it were possible, `cuz to consider Claymore "a light Berserk with girls" is like a title of honor, since Berserk is the best out there... and about the art... i would give it a 9,5 because it is very detailed... FMA is also a monthly, but it can`t be compared to Claymore in terms of art...

those who aren`t reading this don`t know what they`re missing...

ako
May 06, 2008, 11:58 PM
I love this series as well, the author's artwork got much better since angel densetsu (I was actually surprised when I found out the mangaka was the same :D )

... and I hate the way they ended it in the anime as well X(

crazy_horse1989
May 07, 2008, 03:19 AM
I love this series as well, the author's artwork got much better since angel densetsu (I was actually surprised when I found out the mangaka was the same :D )

... and I hate the way they ended it in the anime as well X(
yeah, about "Angel Densetsu", i knew from the start that it was the same mangaka, but i was surprised when i read the first chapters of it... the artwork for AD was something my eye wasn`t used to, just too crappy... that is UNTIL the 8th or 9th volume, when his art got considerably better... :)

all in all, i`m happy that i got to see a mangaka coming a LONG way from something like AD to something like Claymore and constantly evolving... :amuse

CupofDice
May 08, 2008, 01:55 PM
Thanks for the review. I will definitely give this a try, even though Berserk style mangas are not a favorite.

Jammin
May 08, 2008, 04:25 PM
I don't really see Claymore as having all that much in common with Berserk. They're both bloody but in my opinion that's were the similarities end. I think the artwork of the two series is particularly different.

In the case of Berserk the artist uses intricate detail to make things look far more dark and gritty than they would otherwise. Facial detail seems to be given special attention in Berserk, but it's usually used to make people and monsters look a very special kind of ugly. One that is only possible with a very skilled artist.:D

The artist in Claymore generally chooses to use far less detail in order to give everything a smooth and pretty look. Which creates a weird contrast when things get gory because the injuries receive a very high level of detail. Making the frequent horrible injuries seem even more horrible because they are happening to characters that are so pretty.:amuse

CupofDice
May 08, 2008, 05:33 PM
:) My fault. I didn't mean art style. I meant war middle agey type mangas like berserk. Which is weird because I like fantasy books with war middle agey type settings.:tem

Jammin
May 08, 2008, 07:38 PM
Oh, i see what you mean:). It may seem funny for me to say this, considering i put medieval in my list of genres above, but i completely forgot they both took place in a medieval like era:p. I guess it's because horses, castles, knights, etc... are so rarely seen in Claymore.

Anyway my little post was more meant to make sure someone reading this thread about Claymore doesn't get the wrong impression of the manga.:D

crazy_horse1989
May 09, 2008, 04:49 AM
I don't really see Claymore as having all that much in common with Berserk. They're both bloody but in my opinion that's were the similarities end. I think the artwork of the two series is particularly different.

In the case of Berserk the artist uses intricate detail to make things look far more dark and gritty than they would otherwise. Facial detail seems to be given special attention in Berserk, but it's usually used to make people and monsters look a very special kind of ugly. One that is only possible with a very skilled artist.:D

The artist in Claymore generally chooses to use far less detail in order to give everything a smooth and pretty look. Which creates a weird contrast when things get gory because the injuries receive a very high level of detail. Making the frequent horrible injuries seem even more horrible because they are happening to characters that are so pretty.:amuse
well, yeah, i wasn`t talking about the art, but don`t forget that Miura has been at it for more than 20 years, his art is god-like and cannot be compared to Yagi, but his art is also amazing... :)

Jammin
May 09, 2008, 03:06 PM
well, yeah, i wasn`t talking about the art, but don`t forget that Miura has been at it for more than 20 years, his art is god-like and cannot be compared to Yagi, but his art is also amazing... :)I didn't mean that the art was the only difference, just the most striking one. I don't see many similarities between the two series in terms of plot, style, themes, or characters either. It's not my intention to say one is better than the other just that they are very different.:)

The main reason i made sure to clarify the differences between Claymore's art and Berserk's, is because i'm not really a big fan of Berserk's art style but i'm a huge fan of Claymore's. I sort of feel that Berserk generally goes a little overboard with the fine details, causing panels to look a bit to cluttered and overcrowded for my taste.

My preference is the more moderate level of detail found in Claymore, which makes things feel much more smooth and pretty with very little crowding in the panels. I don't mean to say that one is better than the other, just that i personally perfer Yagi's style:amuse

Ramen4ever
May 09, 2008, 06:02 PM
Pretty solid review. If you don't mind I will Pm you about some grammar/spelling that should take about 10 seconds to correct. ^_^

Jammin
May 09, 2008, 06:21 PM
Please PM me, by all means.:D I welcome any and all feedback that can help improve my reviews. Especially by people who are good with spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Trust me, i can use all the help i can get in those areas.:p

EDIT...Thanks Ramen4ever, if you see anything else let me know.

Ramen4ever
May 09, 2008, 07:14 PM
It looks good, having text in brackets tends to take away that "professional" feel but I think it's just fine in this case. Of course I'm by no means the Grammar police. :darn

Anyway to get in on the discussion. I wouldn't compare Berserk to Claymore,
seinen manga's are difficult to compare with shonen works. I personally prefer Berserk despite the extreme gore and a few rather disturbing scenes. My reason mainly being the characters. While Claymore does present a rather large cast of characters, they aren't as unique and complex as some of the ones in Berserk. I'm by no means saying that the Claymore cast is shallow. They usually do have well written back stories but imo they're missing contrast. Most of the characters in Claymore are, in some shape or form, related to the organization. They have similar backgrounds and goals, mostly revenge... actually. They also look quite alike, which can be confusing to new readers. What Claymore needs is time, to develop its story and characters. Given that it should become a fine series.

Definitely a manga I recommend reading.

zelllogan
May 13, 2008, 12:45 PM
When I said "light berserk with girls", it was for revenge, epic, war, monsters, ... and there are not so much epic quality manga.

nat
February 07, 2009, 06:31 PM
Awesome review...Thanks Jammin, one of my top five mangas for now. Though it was pushed down when vinland Saga came :)

rukori
February 10, 2009, 12:58 PM
@Jammin:
You don't know what you're talking about... The plot and theme worth much more and so does the originallity. You should think about your reviewing again.

Jammin
February 10, 2009, 02:09 PM
I reread it and here's my answer.

I don't feel it has deviated from the original themes all that much nor has it really focused in on one in particular. Hence the score of 6. It's not that the themes are bad just that they haven't been much of a focal point. If it doesn't focus in on them or in some way incorporate them into the plot more i can't in good conscience make the score higher. Sorry, but i think that score is fair.:)

My originality score i can understand your disagreement with, recent events in the manga have been pretty original. However, the basic plot centering things around shadowy organizations and monsters isn't anything all that creative. So the most i feel i can alter it is to raise it from 6 to 7. Which i did.:amuse

As for plot, an 8 is a great score score, which Claymore certainly deserves. The only way i give something a 9-10 is if i think it stands out as being one of the very best at that aspect.

I love Claymore and I think it's a great manga, as my final score indicates. I did my best to rate it in a fair and unbiased fashion on it's merits alone. If you still feel my review is incorrect or unfair i strongly encourage you to post your own.:D

londonmoon
June 06, 2009, 02:45 PM
Claymore is good. More of an fantasy than horror to me.

Jetstorm
June 20, 2009, 06:47 PM
This Series is one of the best in the moment! the only thing that haves against is the rhythm in which is release! other than that is awesome! the art is great, the plot and the character development is amazing. this guy is one of the best story tellers in comics!

Kusachu
December 27, 2009, 06:20 PM
Loved the manga emphatically and thought the anime was okay, though the end of it sucked for the most part. The part that really really gets me compelled by the story is the treatment of the women. I'm really impressed by it. Every one of them is strong and each has their own personality and I don't get the feeling that they are all just stereotypical personalities either. True, there is some generalization about their personalities, but it isn't the representation that woman commonly get in many other manga. There's a tough chick, and a mouthy chick, and smart chick and so on and so on, but they aren't just recycled weak man -dependent women, so I actually really like a few of them.

Miria is my favorite of them all, and I also really like/liked Teresa and Irene. Claire is a good main character and her relationship with Raki adds a lot to the story.

I would rec this to anyone who likes a good action story. It's in my top. :)