In the first volume Zaki was killed and Raki has been exiled. Now compare it to Raki living in peace with ABs, lol. Or with Raki being in the midst of the biggest battle in Claymore world history where he could easily stab Priscilla and where he survived her attack later. Utterly ridiculous.
In the same volume we've also seen the consequences of going over the limit which were quickly nullified by half-awakening. But it wasn't that bad since the premise of HA was very interesting and opened many possibilities. If other convenient plot twists were as interesting I wouldn't mind everyone surviving everything since volume 14 but sadly it wasn't so.
I could go with this list further (Clare barely surviving her encounter with Ophelia and losing her arm, Irene dying, Riful killing Claymores, etc.) but I'll skip to Pieta - it was expected that in a battle Claymores would die and Yagi did just that. Now compare it to the fight with AEs (abyssal eaters) and with ZAOs (zombie abyssal ones). In this madness no one died AFAWK. And when only ZAOs remained everyone were hit except for 7 ghosts (and Deneve who could regenerate practically everything). How ridiculous was that? It got even more ridiculous when Hysteria got hit by Roxanne but Miria wasn't even scratched, etc.
So yeah, the problem isn't that characters do not die. The problem is that Yagi is creating difficult situations and doesn't have the guts to go through with it to the end. Instead he creates an asspull and saves everyone. That was not the case in the first 12-13 volumes. If he wanted everything to be all funny and nice he shouldn't have created guts eating monsters in the first place. Past volume 14 Claymore has changed and become worse and only after Teresa returned we have been reminded why we loved this manga so much.
Hmmm. . . I like the second half but that's because I see Claymore as a story about how a bad situation is made better. The shift from dark to light is a commentary on the change that's been brought about in their world by the actions of the characters. the first half did a great job of building up a world of loss, struggle and empty, nameless death; the second showed how this was overcome. I think Yagi did a good job telling such a story, the theme and character are consistent even if the mood changed, and I really, really liked it but I can see how someone who wanted something a little rougher around the edges might feel disappointed.
If you're looking for something that's a little more in-world, there are a few reasons why everyone's stopped dying since the time-skip. First off, Cynthia, Yuma, and the girl Yuma taught the basics of healing. Jean's death in Pieta set up the idea that the time between a warrior being mortally wounded and actually dying can be rather long. Now they've got three people who, if they get there in time, can save them. Healers can also assist with limb regeneration so wounds that used to be crippling are now not. There's no way this wouldn't slash morbidity and mortality both. Also, the teamwork skills of the warriors have gotten better since the time-skip. The Ghosts are the obvious example but it's worth remembering that Organisation started actively targeting Awakened. A lot more warriors have a lot more experience fighting strong opponents together. They're collectively stronger now so it follows that less of them die. Lastly, and I appreciate that this might not hold water with you, management has changed :P Miria's in charge now and her first priority is not killing people. Taken in aggregate I find this is enough for me to suspend my disbelief.
Last edited by Number A; September 21, 2014 at 08:16 AM.
While I will abstain from taking part in the poll, because I really like the series as a whole, as well as not minding the less accountable later half of the story, I think I agree with the main premise presented here.
Now Goral, you may know this better than I do, perhaps I'm even talking hogwash, but I think more rigid midia legislations having taken place in Japan over the years impacted all sorts of imagery, including to some extent the liberty of mangakas to depict them in some of their works depending on the genre and demographic they write stories for.
We also used to have this talk when placing Claymore into a suitable genre when the series was still in this early half and sufficiently new to us, and if I recall it well most of us tended to lean towards Claymore being a more seinen manga at the time. Nowadays there is no contest in the demographics to which Claymore belongs and has belonged in a long time.
Some events that come to mind and I think might have impacted this series shift of tone were the end of the periodic Monthly Shonen Jump where Claymore used to serialize, and the next 4 issues would have been temporarily serialized on the popular Weekly Shonen Jump, those were the Extra Scenes 1 to 4 back then after scene 73. Then the series resumed its periodic serialization in the newly created Jump Square, that has been serializing Claymore to this day (those were exciting but anxious times to me btw, I basically had to wait that untypical situation to resolve to finally get my much awaited Galatea comeback in the story).
With all that said, I wonder if during this temporary change from one periodic to another, including a rare opportunity to temporarilly star in the same popular periodic magazine where high profile series such as Naruto, One Piece and Bleach also serialize, if at some point Yagi and his editors stopped and started thinking more about the tone of the series and what benefits a shift in tone to fall in place with more popular demographics could bring. He must have enjoyed some feedback during his temporary star at WSJ, and that mixed with the progression of a more rigid legislation context could have made him choose to change the tone of the series a bit, making it less accountable to some of its extreme events but still holding its same essence and also giving him chances to explore new themes and story lines (not everything is necessarily negative in change after all, or so I think).
With the more contextual things out of the way, there are some events that were so foreshadowed and hinted, that honestly it undermines a bit getting all worked up when they do happen though to be fair I'm using hindsight. Ones such as "Raki's strongest blow".
This was highly foreshadowed ever since chapter 132 "Those free to loiter". This scene in particular. It's later more explained 16 chapter later, but I'm sure you have your reasons to diverge.
We could say that even much earlier, Raki was already planning to do something about it whenever the time comes.
Now even I think the execution of this turn of events is not the best, there's still some very interesting questions to Isley's character, and how he and Chronos think so much alike in the context of strategic and tactical execution. There would need to be a short storyline or flashback to show some experience that led to these warriors insight to bridge this shared knowledge, otherwise it's just plain and obvious author foreshadow left completely at the mercy of the reader's imagination.
It makes sense for no one to have been killed or maimed by the zombie strippers because they have a primal target and don't veer anywhere else, unless you are talking the ones they just released before the ZAOs in the Org. Even then, though dangerous they didn't have time to gather experience and become a much greater nuisance like they were to Isley. It's how they were explained to operate, they are very dangerous initially but only after enough time and battle experience do they become a huge threat. Some warriors did get maimed but where fixed by the medical talents of Cynthia, Yuma and many others who learned yoki synchro on the spot to help accelerate regeneration and mend cut-off members.
I don't mind the end of Hysteria's fight against Miria, it reminds me in the same way how things were developing in the Destroyer's arc, if anything it shows how much Yagi re-uses themes and events in his own storyline. But Hystria was indeed constantly dumbed down. It was incredibly obvious, he made so her personality constantly prevented her from blowing to pieces several powerless people who were around her.
First she's very considerate and keeps her promises for the one who took the Claymore sword that was awkwardly assimilated in her neck (eyebrown Nike I think?).
Which reminds me of Riful. Oh those nice and considerate AB's, Abyssal Ones at that. They won't devour your guts to their hearts contents of course, but only if you ask them kindly so. Maybe make a favour here or there and make them make a promise just in case.
Then she's proud so she will only take on Miria and accept her duel of speed. And then I'm missing some more that I don't remember right now because it's been a while since I've read those scenes.
Hysteria was by far the one most affected by plot induced stupidity out of all the ressurrecting abyssals.
^^^ I dont think its fair to put down Hysteria while Riful was the same; another monster who put honor before instinct. Might as well criticize both tbh
As for the second half being less severe, I accept it because I think it compliments the shift in tone/story. Part 1 Claire was more alone and revenge driven accompanied with a dark background and Part 2 Claire/Plot was more about sisterhood and finding reasons to live other than revenge, accompanied by a more "shounen" background. The few deaths that did happen in Part 2 were still pretty powerful to me (RIP Clarice ).
When comparing the Organization raid with the Pieta war, I think the Pieta war's tone fit the grim expectations reader expected more. Being outnumbered, vets mixed in with rookies, dark skies and cold winds, obvious Organization setup; its perfect for a slaughter! As for the Organization raid, its more like warriors uniting standing up for a future and a evil corporation on its last legs sending out abominations to do its dirty work as it always has. I honestly wasnt expecting a slaughter because that wasnt what the setup conveyed to me. Would have I mind a few Claymores dying? No, but I dont think the overall message of that arc needed it. Miria standing on the cliff with Rimuto's head in front of her fellow sisters was the center; whether some of them died or not wouldn't have mattered in my opinion.
I will say this though, I do think Hysteria could've been better developed. Maybe Yagi should've made all 3 zombie Claymores interconnected instead of 2, because I really enjoyed Roxxane + Cass.
Though I do agree that the change of tone is a bit disappointing in many cases, I find it hard to say which half is "better." I for one, often say that my favorite volumes are probably 17-20. There were consequences in those for sure. Look at what happened to Isley, Riful, Alicia, Beth, Renee, and Dauf. I suppose the only thing that seems cheap is the fact that Helen, Deneve, Yuma, and Cynthia all made it out of their trials for free, without anything even gained from them. And please, don't make me even think of Deneve...it's a joke whenever she even gets scratched. Yes, the miraculous healer is always the attack magnet, I get it Yagi.
But anyway, those volumes I mentioned are probably what sealed the deal for me when calling Claymore my favorite manga (not the best I've read, but I enjoy it the most so far). The Ghost's growth was really shown well. I liked the encounter with Dauf proceeding into when Rafaela+Luciela were awakened. I liked seeing Riful pushed to her limit. I enjoyed the first encounter of Clare and Priscilla, which could only be resolved through the Blob's interference. While I don't like that the main character was kept away from us for years on end, there is nothing wrong with what led to that. Clare ran in to Priscilla before she was ready...that's cool to me.
Also, I'd just like to think Yagi was showing the impact of Claymores banding together in the second half more. The first half was primarily Clare with Raki as her support. The whole friendship element was pushed in a way as we got closer to the end. If most of Clare's friends were killed, that wouldn't give the ending Yagi wanted for Clare.
I really don't know what to vote for on the poll. I wouldn't say I like one half more than the other since I really pick and choose what I like from both. But they are by no means the same.
1st half of CM = a flawless diamond.
2nd half = a 2-week old cow flop in hot, dusty field.
i consider about half of the Destroyer arc to be in "the good half" of CM. everything went straight down once Yagi f'ed up and made Priscilla a god, at the end of Destroyer. he created an impossible dilemma, stopped drawing well and/or had students or something draw for him, and also stopped writing, basically.
Can't really vote I prefer both parts equally. Sure it has its flaws but compare to other mangas or other fictional works it is very well written and the parts that are no good are easily tolerable. Definitely one of my favorite mangas that I have read.
Honestly I don't mind the Ghost or even the Claymore surviving. Heck I was surprise when Tabitha died. Mostly because it wouldn't affect the story in a major way unless you kill the entire supporting cast. Plus it wouldn't be fair to the manga or the protagonist either since one of the main plot problems aside from Priscilla and the Org/AOs is to assert, fix, and progress Clare's relationships with those close to her(Raki & Ghost). The only reason to do that would be to appease the fans who like a major/main characters from the cast to die per arc. This isn't Supernatural guys or American Tv lol.
The only thing I probably dislike about the manga would be the final arc. Aside from the fact that it is the ending arc, not only was it underwhelming compare to the other arcs but it was also predictable(aside from Teresa revival & Riful-doll appearance that came out of nowhere, but IDC cause! Riful ). It also felt a little bit rush, ass-pully and random(Ex: introducing new characters like Rauf/Riful doll and the single digit ABs only to be kill with little to no importance, some w/o any kind of background/foreshadowing info). Finally the fights felt like a rinse and repeat from Hysteria Vs Ghost. Rauf Vs Priscilla, everyone vs Priscilla , Cassandra Vs everyone. Like "Time to fight the Big boss, Oh no we are struggling, oh yay we are winning, oh no wait she just wasn't seriously fighting yet, ~insert hidden tactic plan to win~" The only fight that was original from that arc was Miata Vs Europa and Teresa Vs Priscilla but in that final fight I would have prefer kinda of an struggle even if it was fake since I felt it was disrespectful to the FV and I don't think everyone likes a One-sided Mary Sue style kind of fight as the Final fight. But I'll take it either way since it stills keep Teresa hype, awesomeness, and badassery as the Most Powerful Character in her verse
Last edited by Sheepo; September 23, 2014 at 04:20 PM.
Yeah, I found the final fight underwhelming as well. It didn't actively ruin anything, but it wasn't the fist-pumping epic showdown I was hoping for. Maybe it's a good thing, though, it's making it a little easier to let go. There were a few twists, though. I didn't see Teresa coming so that was a nice OH NO THEY DIDN'T.
That said, recycling tactics from other fights didn't bother me too much. It makes perfect sense to me that the ghosts would try things that worked against a powerful opponent in the past.
How is the very first chapter "Part 1" and like 50 chapters after not part of "part 1" when there's like 155 chaps?
You're also EXTREMELY biased and seem to have some nice rose tinted glasses. If anything, Teresa coming back is a problem.
Let's say you got the parts right, though. So in the first 70 or so chapters, it was more or less episodic with the arcs. Die, move on, kill yoma, meet friends, live. Since chapter 1, the story has been about surviving the horror of living in the world infested by yoma, relationship/bonds, etc. There's just no more needless death. How could a ZAO kill a group of Claymores when they didn't even come for the Claymores? He killed off some great villians, too, in a pretty gruesome fashion.
You addressed Raki surviving and living with Awakened beings, but why? That's part 1. Why, of all the crap about resurrection, did you single out that? I don't get it.
It's the same as before.
I think it may be a bit more fair to separate Claymore into thirds. The times skip signifies the start of the second part, and Clare's fate with the blob ends the second part. If that were the case, that entire part of the manga would be my favorite. The beginning of part 3, rebellion arc, would be my least favorite section of the manga.
I don't know how to vote here as I like the overall story of Claymore. Though there may be bits and pieces of the plot that I have felt insufficient in terms of elaboration in details (such as the ultimate motives, goals or objectives of the Organisation and its final "fate"), but in general the story did unfold in a smooth manner.
The only thing that I wish for would be a sequel of the series.
I kind of agree with Project Spirit and splitting it in thirds. I definitely like the first 2/3 the best, though I can't say for sure since I'm only half way through the final third. But decided to cast my vote as about the same. It wasn't until fairly recently this has come up as an issue that I've read. I always thought I was the odd ball that liked the first half better since everyone was saying how much better the manga got after the anime arc ended. But even still, some of my favorite scenes are rarely talked about. Going way back here... to Rabona the first time. When Clare was fighting the Voracious Eater. We didn't even know what an AB was at that point, but its what really hooked me initially (I'd elaborate further but don't want to write a book tonight!). Then skipping the Teresa arc, I really liked 'The Slashers' / 'Those Who Rend Asunder' (anime). The emotional rollercoaster there really hit me. After learning how Clare came to be in the Teresa arc, we start over again with Clare feeling empowered and full of revenge. This was one scene I think the anime did better. The flashback at the beginning of the final days with Teresa and then Clare appearing and the majestic music. And she was acting all tough and kick ass at first. Then everything got turned upside down when she went on the first AB hunt and we found out she was the lowest ranked weakling. Getting laughed at and made fun of by her comrades... I swear I was screaming what the F at the TV. Ahh good times.
But like Number A pointed out, the second half was a change from dark to light. Some may not like this change, so its perfectly fine to like the first half better. I may lean that way myself, but certainly enjoyed the second half, very much so the middle section from the time skip to the Destroyer. It was nice finally seeing Clare and her comrades actually kicking butt. Heck they trained for 7 years. Miria was a single digit before going through 7 years of serious training after all... and the others were much stronger than there ranks indicated too. And all that time together they learned to work as a team more so than probably any Claymore 'team' prior. So it was nice to finally see them actually skilled and powerful. I've got a few dislikes about some of the later battles, namely the ZAO's but its late and I've had a few beers so going to cut this short. Though I'll add I really enjoyed some of the flashbacks and character building that was seen through the middle of the manga. Seemed like it went a long time without any of those closer to the end. I think he could have really put more of those in there and elaborated more on Helen, Deneve, etc. (of course this is with me only being read up to Clare/Raki reunion...) though tonight feels like I should break out my Claymore box 'o books and read a few chapters.
Last edited by TStew; September 27, 2014 at 10:31 PM.
Yeah going with what Project Spirit, ProGoddess, and T Stew says. I can see why a time-skip would naturally promote a 'split,' but of course each 'half' does have its glorious moments and it'll be kinda unfair to bundle it together with the not so outstanding parts Not saying the latter half is better or worse, but the fact the former half of the series is what got me into Claymore, it can't be bad whether better or worse, if you get what I mean
I think I prefer the first half of Claymore because all of my favorite scenes happened earlier on in the story. The latter arcs weren't quite as good.