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Genres:Horror, Action, Fantasy, Medieval, Shounen
Publication:Originally Monthly Shounen Jump currently in Jump Square
Start Date:May 2001
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
Spoiler: Manga's images taken from earlier chapters to avoid spoiler, generally the art improves show
Last edited by Jammin; February 10, 2009 at 02:05 PM. Reason: Corrected some things Ramen4ever pointed out
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.
Last edited by zelllogan; April 01, 2008 at 11:49 AM.
Thanks for the feedback.
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.
Last edited by Jammin; April 01, 2008 at 12:03 PM.
I would go higher than 8 but very good review ..
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
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...
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 )
... and I hate the way they ended it in the anime as well X(
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...
Thanks for the review. I will definitely give this a try, even though Berserk style mangas are not a favorite.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
Last edited by Jammin; May 08, 2008 at 07:42 PM.
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
Last edited by Jammin; June 26, 2008 at 06:43 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. ^_^
Please PM me, by all means. 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.
EDIT...Thanks Ramen4ever, if you see anything else let me know.
Last edited by Jammin; May 09, 2008 at 06:39 PM.