Posted on 27 September 2007 with categories: Anime Reviews, Claymore


Shounen-fighting series have never been my favourite series. As far as I can recall, I’ve seen only one of them that really managed to deliver something truly original and creative that captivated me: The Law of Ueki. While Claymore doesn’t come close to that level, it does give a nice attempt, though.

While the start of the anime is just like any other serious shounen-series, as the episodes progress, it becomes clear that Claymore knows what it’s doing. Characters have sufficient backgrounds and they get fleshed out well enough outside and sometimes even during the fighting. The setting is solid and well-explored and overall, it knows how to build up very well.

Claymore basically consists out of arcs with the length of three or four episodes, with each of these arcs being different enough for everything to remain fresh. An interesting phenomenon also showed up as I kept watching: every successive arc increases the quality of the series significantly. This series starts out mediocre, but as the episodes go on, it just gets better and better and better. Even if some introductions may be dull, the conclusions for each successive arc were impressive.

This continues up to episode 20, and then something strange happens: the creators of the anime divert from the manga this series is based on, and things immediately fall apart. After that, there are still a few good moments, but it’s clear that the writers of the anime just aren’t as good as those of the manga and the result is a string of boring and overblown battles that fail to capture interest. It’s such a shame, as this anime was heading in such a good direction.

Still, don’t let that last bit ruin your enjoyment of this series. The majority of Claymore is well-written and a compelling story. The production-values are pretty good, and the soundtrack is enough to give the fights that little extra edge they need to become exciting. It may have its flaws, it may drag on a bit too much at times, but it’s definitely one of the better shounen-fighting series out there.

33 Responses

  1. anne says:

    I disagree that things fell apart as bad as people say they did. People are just biased against nonmanga original arcs in the first place. Not to say I enjoyed the final, but I just don’t think it’s a bad as people say it was. Maybe I never saw Claymore as that great to begin with? I have read the manga and did enjoy it somewhat, but never saw it as anything that special.

  2. psgels says:

    I disagree with that statement. I myself have never read the manga, and this is one of the first times outside of Naruto and Bleach where I’ve agreed with the manga-fans about the changes that were made from the original. Usually I too appreciate some originality, but Claymore fell flat on its face for me with it.

  3. Markis says:

    It gets better and better and, if they had followed the manga, even better. They ignored Raphaela, Alicia, Beth or even why the claymores were sent to the north in the first place.
    The north campaign was hyped for a reason.

  4. David says:

    The end did ruin the enjoyment of the whole series for me. I can’t help it, because everything was set up very well. Just as you said, the characters were fleshed out to a certain extend. I especially liked Irene.

    What made the ending so bad in the first place is that Claymore is a show which has a very dark atmosphere at the beginning. This is what caught me and made me continue to watch it. However, coming towards the end it somewhat loses that tension bit after bit.

  5. Caruslira says:

    Claymore is probably one of hte best series I have ever seen I can agree to that the north campaign lost it’s meaning but all that info would just be too much for only one season. Besides manga and anime is two different things, why not enjoy not knowing what happens instead of beeing able to sit there and know what is going to happen…

  6. Chris says:

    I must say Claymore lost me a bit earlier around episode 16 or so when they are fighting the male AO in the cave. The fight was too stretched and too cheesy for my tastes. There was too much blathering during fights. I’ve only read the first chapter of the manga and compared to the anime, it felt excessively slow, so at least this part seemed to be handled way better in the anime. I’m not really a manga reader anyway, the lack of colour is usually a turn off for me because I’m a sucker for good colouring. I think that’s part of why I kept watching Claymore nonetheless. The colouring is very pleasing and watching the fights at night was almost immersive. However, especially the last two episodes felt boring. I don’t think the ending or wrap-up itself was bad just the way it was directed. I must also say that they could have done more with the voices because that was the least believable. The sound engineers could have used some effects especially for the monsters to make them sound more believable. The voice actors could have run some rounds around the block so that they sound really exhausted and not like someone obviously trying to fake it.

    Another inherent issue for me was that they greatest character “Teresa” had to die so early and there was not any character to fill this void. The rest of the Claymores was pretty exchangeable. I’d still agree that it’s one of the better shows also because there are not many similar shows. Berserk is somewhat similar at least with respect to the setting but then still very different. I’d prefer Berserk though which I watched not so long ago.

    • Marcus says:

      I agree with you. That fight scene pissed me off. It was very long and seemed like it would go on forever and fight scenes should never be boring. The most epic of fight scenes in Claymore was the one between Clare and Rigaldo The Silver Eyed Lion King. The love that scene down to the music in the background. I’m still looking for that song. And yea Teresa did die too quickly. So sad. She didn’t even get a chance to show but a fraction of her true power. I haven’t watched Berserk yet, but I hear good things.

  7. das says:

    Imagine if the series “Beserk” had had a ‘happy’ ending slapped on in place of the manga’s storyline.
    This is what I see in Claymore, just WHY did they do it? It was completely unnecessary and put a bad end on a good anime.

  8. Greggy says:

    “Claymore is probably one of hte best series I have ever seen I can agree to that the north campaign lost it’s meaning but all that info would just be too much for only one season. Besides manga and anime is two different things, why not enjoy not knowing what happens instead of beeing able to sit there and know what is going to happen…” I completely disagree with this. Saying the info that would have been present if they followed was to much, but what was actually ten times less than what they jammed into a 2 episode period is wrong. If they followed the manga (which I now strongly believed they didn’t because they won’t have had a “super actiony” finish lol) you wouldn’t have really learned much more about anything. I know a lot of people will disagree with what I am about to say, but thats to bad. I would have preferred they end the season with the end of the north fight leaving us (but really only the non-manga readers) in complete suspense.

    Nonetheless if they do, do a second season it’s gonna be extremely weird and well suspenseful for the ones who read the manga. Because it will be completely made up and different from the manga with Clair not searching for Raki because he is with her. Also Clair isn’t even with the others which is gonna completely change that part of the story and she has little-no reason to go after Pricilla anymore.

    My expectations they will turn it into a Clair and co versus the organization. Also they will like make them all bloodthirsty flat characters who forgot all the other claymores they will probable kill are in the same boat as them. Except the really cool crazy one who thinks its a child and enjoys suck on the new No. 47 tits because well she is already insane.

    good luck reading this
    Greggy

  9. jason says:

    i was watching this anime without reading the manga. but few days ago i read the manga and i came to find out that they arent following the manga. they did in the begining but not anymore. be it for manga or not. i liked claymore and it got more really interested in them. but its sad how they changed the series from manga. and the story outside of the maga sorta made me lose interest a bit. i still like claymore overall but not fan of the last few episodes as i was in the begining. i would like to see the full anime of the exact manga

  10. Jordan says:

    Someone please explain the satisfation of reading a manga, then taking the time to watch the anime with the exact same plot. Seriously, what’s the point? You already know what’s going to happen, so why bother? Do you have so much time on your hands?

  11. Calorro says:

    @Jordan: This might take you by surprise, but some people went to see the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter movies having already read the books. Strange, isn’t it?

    Anyways, I’m glad it finally ended. The manga is ok, but the fights get incredibly silly in motion and the *cling cling* of the armors all the time was annoying. Oh, and that opening with the effeminate singer really gets on my nerves.

    About the last episodes… everyone knows that they suck major ass, so I won’t comment on that.

  12. jt says:

    ok, while i agree that maybe things started to fall apart the last few episodes, i refuse to associate this anime with the law of ueki. how was that anything more an overglorified flame of recca (which in my opinion was also crap). but this has definitely become 1 of my all time favorite animes and perhaps my favorite of this genre.

  13. kalpacho says:

    i liked claymore, my question to anyone is what other animes are similar to it like i mean which ones have a similar vibe, if any of you are experienced anime connoisseurs then give me some recommendations, i’d appreciate it

  14. Ricard says:

    As much as I enjoyed the first half of this series…I must say, the plot is an old formula. It’s in a lot of Asian classics (say, the Water Margin with women), and other Manga/Anime/OVA as well (Bubblegum Crisis comes to mind immediately).

    Regardless, it was immensely enjoyable. The 2nd half however has enough plot to fill in two episodes…maybe three.

  15. claymore123 says:

    ……dont remember that scene in the third picture with priscilla and raki both naked

    anyone know the episode?

  16. Naruto says:

    It’s kinda sad that they ended this awesome series abruptly. It would be nice if they extended it even if it’s not following the manga. Sadly, they didn’t…it could have been a great anime of all time.

  17. Gray says:

    Its one of the best animes ever made so quit bitching about the ending, it was a decent one.
    The manga is still ongoing so it would be idiotick to push the anime in on direction and the manga in the other. As for those for who the show is ” to slow” i dont realy know what you mean the show dosnt get slow at any moment, each episode suprises with somthing, brings somthing new. And dont get to hyped about action scenes art ect , the story of the main character is a terible sad one. I watched lots of animes nge , berserk lots of clasic ones :D and moste of them… were awesome but predictable, as for claymore i wasnt realy sure if they dont replace the main character in the midle and cary one with some other protagonist, becouse the world isnt made like in dbz its easy to die there and not to come back there are no miracles.

  18. psgels says:

    Gray: my problem with the final few episodes was just that I thought that they were badly written and predictable, and moved miles away from what made the earlier episodes so enjoyable. I’m fine with just stopping your story and wrapping it up, but at least provide an interesting alternative, which is where the anime failed, in my opinion.

  19. Jambalaya says:

    I’ve been a long term fan of your reviews so I’m a little disappointed that this has happened. It’s come to light that your review of Claymore was basically stolen, and credit for it is being given to someone else.

    The copied review is on this site – http://myanimelist.net/reviews.php?uid=58731 – and is one of several that the person with username mvpmerome has copied from other reviewers, and is gaining credit for. This is dishonest in my opinion as you’ve worked hard to produce the original review, which expresses yourr honest thoughts and opinions.

    I am asking all the people who have had their reviews stolen to contact Xinil of MyAnimeList.com in order to resolve the issue.

    Thank you for your time.

  20. psgels says:

    Jambalaya: thanks for notifying me. I’ve reported the review where he’s stolen my review, so let’s hope that the moderators of myanimelist.net will take action.

  21. Jambalaya says:

    Not a problem. Yours isn’t the only review that was stolen, as he did that with every other review he claimed to have written as well.

    The site admins say his reviews will be removed a.s.a.p.

  22. someone´s best friend says:

    CLAYMORE RULES, THE MANGA EVEN MORE!!!!

  23. Kurisu says:

    This is pretty hypocritical coming from people watching and writing about fansubs everyday. At least know the difference between plagiarism and theft. Considering that neither of you have financial gain from the reviews, it’s rather harsh denouncing someone in public for something that would have been solved by giving due credit. Sure, if that guy seriously claimed he had actually written it, that’s bad and wrong but otherwise it’s pathetic.

  24. Nubitox says:

    I must say that I watched the anime, and read the manga later on. To say that I got thunder struck by this show is quite right. Love the anime, and love where the manga is heading. I just hope its beeing made a follow up. Must say that Claire captivated me completely, and that I think Raki is a lucky bastard. =)

    Anyway, now that I’m done watching, and reading (for this month). I kind of have a problem finding another anime that is just as great as Claymore. Anyone up for giving me some suggestions? Please just post here, and I’ll be greatfull.

    One more thing, Whats so great about Berserk, I watched one episode, and stopped. Don’t know how people connect Berserk, and Claymore. Do it get better as you go?

    Thank you for your time. Nubitox

  25. psgels says:

    I agree with you about Berserk: I also watched only the first episode, but didn’t like it, and yet it’s supposed to be really good. My guess is that its greatness comes from its character-development and second half, rather than its start.

    As for titles similar to Claymore… There’s Shigurui for the gore and darkness, and if you want something light and comedic, how about the Law of Ueki?

  26. Nubitox says:

    Hmm… I will check those shows out. Thanks for the help, it’s greatly appreciated.

  27. dan says:

    @ the people who only watched the 1st episode of berserk:

    lol the series actually begins on episode 2. You are supposed to watch episode 1 after you finish the series…

  28. Endless says:

    Claymore’s ending was highly disappointing.

    **Spoiler Warning***
    How could Priscilla not die. That was Claire’s only mission in life. It seems simple to me: Claire had to kill Priscilla or at least die trying. It would like the Bride in Kill Bill making it all the way to Bill, having this epic battle with the man and then shaking hands with him and walking away without killing him. That is poor poor story telling. I don’t think I’ve seen an anime with such a disappointing ending.
    *****
    You want my advise, don’t watch this anime. I’ve never read the manga so I can’t comment, but stay the hell away from this anime.

  29. Thomas says:

    Just a little note for the people above who commented that they only watched the first episode of Berserk: the rest of Berserk is in an almost completely different style.

    To get a feel for the style of Berserk, you really have to watch the first 3-4 episodes at the very least.

  30. Perrin4869 says:

    This series got higher than Gundam 00… Something’s just TERRIBLY wrong with that, in my opinion. Seriously, the only thing this anime had to offer were 2 great first episodes, the rest sucked very badly.
    Of course, both animes are completely different, but if one’s superior, it’s Gundam…

  31. emily says:

    One thing I would have to say about claymore is if they gave it a proper ending and finished the series instead of cutting it off like they did it would have been really good. The problem is that they ran out of funding and decided to stop the anime while you could take it as an ending it wasn’t really proper it left many things unanswered.

  32. Arno says:

    I was more or less forced to watch this by a teenage girl who considered it “the best anime ever”. What a disappointment, what a wreck !

    The animation doesn’t qualify as animation. It’s more like still images moving over still backgrounds. No colour either. The faces are interchangeable.

    The monsters made me chuckle. Not in a good way, because I was wondering what stupid ridiculous and ugly creature they could pull out of their ashes next.

    The boy Raki is unbearable, enough in himself to consider the anime dead on arrival. His voice is the real nightmare monster of the show.

    The fights are boring, as others said over-blathering and I would add totally predictable or disappointing in the end.

    As other noted there is no coherent ending.

    The politics of that stupid Claymores organization left me indifferent. It’s a good thing there are monsters to fight because otherwise all Claymores would be dead from boredom.

    Actually the only interesting aspect in this is the phenomenal support it receives from teenagers.

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  • Raggers
    (Saturday, Apr 19. 2014 06:16 PM)
    @JaK: Thing is, I’ve already read up about the world and characters abilities (no plot) from the wikia. So at this stage, I expect I’ve already taken the “good stuff” from Mahouka and expect nothing good from the adaptation.
    Which leaves me open to being pleasantly surprised, should it become entertaining at some point.
  • JaK
    (Saturday, Apr 19. 2014 06:02 PM)
    you’d have to make it through the really boring enrollment arc for the hype to be justified though raggers :( ( also the arc manga covered hence the bad publicity)
  • Raggers
    (Saturday, Apr 19. 2014 04:09 PM)
    Oh, and have a look at http://www.overclock.net/t/1480764/oopsie-its-a-program-that-reopens-folders-or-programs-with-customizable-keyboard-shortcuts
    A very useful program that’ll make you wonder why M$ didn’t incorporate it into Windows ages ago.
  • Raggers
    (Saturday, Apr 19. 2014 04:08 PM)
    My bad, instead of “must watch” I meant “truly great”.
    I’m watching Mahouka partly because the hype demands it, and partly because the universe, and it’s rules, are very, very interesting. The hype reason is why I watched SAO, and the first half of GC (though I couldn’t handle more than that). Need to watch enough of it to have a valid opinion on it after all.
  • lohengramm
    (Saturday, Apr 19. 2014 03:45 PM)
    Ah, and Mekakucity, because of Kagepro.
  • lohengramm
    (Saturday, Apr 19. 2014 03:44 PM)
    i’ve read the mahouka manga and tbh i didn’t really like it … have yet to try the anime, though! for me so far the only shows i’ll definitely be following are captain earth and sidonia no kishi, most probably no game no life, and maybe hitsugi no chaika … (sorry for randomly inserting myself in here)
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Saturday, Apr 19. 2014 03:42 PM)
    whatever people say, that’s going to be one of the most talked-about shows of the next two seasons, need to watch at least a little bit of it.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Saturday, Apr 19. 2014 03:42 PM)
    Raggers, you’re missing Mahouka.
  • Raggers
    (Saturday, Apr 19. 2014 03:04 PM)
    @moshokosho: There are 5 “must watches” this season IMO. In no particular order:
    Mushishi S2
    JoJo S2
    Baby Steps
    Isshuukan Friends.
    Ping Pong
  • moshokosho
    (Saturday, Apr 19. 2014 02:03 PM)
    still feeling bitter about captain earth, had been hoping for a Eureka 7, Bounen no Xamd style anime richly told

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