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.

Posted on with categories: Claymore

And so it has finally ended. Spoilers will obviously follow, but with this series it’s not like you can’t guess what happened.

Personally, I’m not too happy with the ending. Not only did it leave even more threads open than I expected by not killing Priscilla, it also couldn’t have been more predictable. There’s an overblown fight, after which Priscilla is about to die but Raki stops Claire from killing the cute girl. Jeane then pulls back Claire from her awakened state while sacrificing herself and everyone lives happily ever after. The only one I liked here was Jeane.

By far Claymore’s biggest mistake was the behaviour of awakened beings. Not only is it never explained well (after all, we never know what’s the difference between Easley and a regular male Claymore. How does the personality of a Claymore exactly change after awakening? This anime never clearly gives an answer to that), and it mad Claire and Priscilla as personality-less as possible. Their fight could have just been replaced by a bunch of berserked monkeys.

The fact remains that I did enjoy the final fights of other anime, most importantly El Cazador, Bokura no and Seirei no Moribito. The thing that made their fights work was how the different parties all made rational decisions, and were thinking about their purposes in a clear and focused way. When the actors are mentally deluded like Claire and Priscilla, that really takes away all of the fun.

Posted on 20 September 2007 with categories: Claymore

Okay, that turned out better than expected. Claymore is still nowhere near its old level, but I liked how Claire only played a relatively small role in this episode. I didn’t like how Priscilla didn’t just kill everyone like she did with Teresa and the others, and that power-up of hers wasn’t really necessary at all (she already was the strongest, what’s the point in making her even stronger?), but Raki, Jeane, Miria, Helen and Deneve were great to watch. But yeah, you know you’ve got a problem when the side-characters turn out more interesting than the main ones.

Still, the big question remains: is the next episode really going to deliver? The episode ends with Raki screaming, which obviously is going to have some effect on both of Claire and Priscilla. Still, I do fear that the next episode is going to end with a dead Priscilla. It’s not like the current fight against Priscilla is bad or anything, but it just looks way too much like those other overblown fights in shounen-series where the two strongest X end up fighting, taking way too much episodes to do so, only for an even more powerful enemy to appear later.

This isn’t the first time I’ve been whining about Claymore, and every time I’ve been proven wrong by the climax of each respective fight. Now that the creators have deviated from the manga-storyline, will this trend continue, or do they just lack the skills to come up with a gripping storyline that the manga-writers had?

It’s just a shame that the anime is going to end in one episode. There’s so much potential in the characters who haven’t been developed yet. I actually don’t mind waiting a few years for the second season. Gunslinger Girl did it, and I’m really looking forward to its second season right now.

Posted on 13 September 2007 with categories: Claymore

Ugh… the next episode will be horribly boring: Claire vs Priscilla. I’m looking forward to episode 26, though. That’s the one where Priscila has been defeated and Claire needs to be saved. That one does hold potential, and I’m curious as to how the creators will be planning to end this series (because at this point, I am not expecting a second season for this series).

The current episode also wasn’t that bad: there was no fighting. It’s basically an aftermath, in which nearly every character gets an important bit of development. This aftermath would have been even better if the fights around it weren’t so dull, but I’m glad that at least this episode turned out good enough. Even Raki was enjoyable to watch.

Claire also was okay, when compared to the previous episode. It’s logical for her to suppress her awakening as soon as she saw Priscilla. Priscilla, however, was the only one I didn’t like. Her awakening may be explained, but it felt a bit forced if you ask me.

Posted on 6 September 2007 with categories: Claymore

Most of the times, I’m not that inclined to agree with manga-readers when company X changes the storyline of anime Y a bit. NHK ni Youkoso and Death Note, for example turned out perfectly fine, with a few flaws here and there, perhaps. xxxHolic and Bokura no also proved to be perfect adaptations, though about all these four shows, I’ve heard some (not all) manga-readers say bad things about them, but I just can’t see what was so bad about these adaptations.

With Claymore though, I’m more and more inclined to agree with them. It seems that the writers are very good at copying, but they suck when it comes with coming up with their own storylines, whereas the writers of the manga were brilliant in this. Even though I haven’t read the manga, I refuse to believe that it displayed the fight with Rigardo as dragged out and predictable as this anime did.

Because yes, I didn’t like this episode. The reason I liked this anime was because of the time and attention it spent on building up its world, and how the battles all somehow made sense and defied the usual shounen-clichés. And then this episode comes! I originally predicted that Raki would pull Claire back from awakening, but it seems that we haven’t even reached that point yet! Claire’s fight with Rigardo took an entire friggin’ EPISODE. This was precious time that could have been used so much better, for example in developing Easley some more.

The only thing I liked about this episode was the minute that was spent on every claymore apart from Claire. It seems that Jeane survived, and everyone seems to worry in a different way about Claire. These small details are the things that make Claymore shine; not the ridiculous superpowers we saw in this episode.

Please, please, please, PLEASE: do NOT end the anime with a three-episode fight between Claire and Easley! -_-

Posted on 30 August 2007 with categories: Claymore

I’ve got mixed feelings about this episode. It’s all about one plot-twist that is loved by all kinds of shounen-series as an easy plot device. A character is about to be killed, everything sounds hopeless, but then, at the last possible moment, a character (usually the main one) unlocks some hidden powers to kick the bad guy’s ass. Especially Dragonball Z loved using them.

But on the other hand, at least Claire made sense when she awakened. The sudden power didn’t come from nowhere, and the fight that lead to it was a gripping one. But then again, this fight could have easily been moved into half an episode and it did drag on at times.

In the same way, Raki was a lot less annoying in this episode, and he was actually nice to watch. But then again, I just can’t help but think that the next episode will be incredibly predictable. Claire has finished off Rigardo with her new powers, and Raki arrives just at the right moment to pull her back from being completely awakened.

To be honest, I’m not sure what to think of Claymore at the moment. Sure, the fight was great, but I keep fearing that there won’t be a second season, and that a huge amount of questions and plot-holes will be left unanswered. I mean, there is no way for the creators to stuff enough development about Alicia, Beth, and the three dwellers of the deep in the final four episodes.

There’s one thing about this episode that I’ve been wondering about, though: what the heck happened to everyone? All Rigardo did was kill the four weakest captains. There should be enough other Claymore left without them, besides, Claire, Deneve, Helen and Miria. Why didn’t we even see one single flash of them? Have they fled the battlefield? And if they did, where did they flee to? It’s a bit disappointing, as i actually hoped to see some of the unknown Claymores to stand up and help as well, but it seems that the creators had the intention to let the final end up between the major characters. I admit that I expected something better, with the huge hype that surrounded this arc.

The best part about this episode was Deneve, though. I love her internal struggles, and the fact that she wasn’t able to do anything about Undine’s death, after speaking so confident towards her that they’ll protect each other. Now she also has been badly injured, which will probably take a while to regenerate. I’d actually love it if she ends up saving Claire in the next episode.

Posted on 22 August 2007 with categories: Claymore

Hmm, this episode wasn’t as good as the previous one. Mostly because too much time was spent on Raki, who just discovered that Priscilla is an Awakened Being and kept whining about it. The fight of 24 Claymore versus 27 Awakened Beings also disappointed. There were no twists, no new things, and all the Awakened Beings looked like each other. Was this the same for the manga, or is it because of the new route that the anime decided to take?

I’ve got nothing against changing the original storyline; heck, Bokura no is currently doing a mighty fine job, but Claymore is about to screw up in two major ways. First of all, the coming chapters in the manga were rumoured to be the best parts of it. Why the heck would you want to change that, knowing this? Second, if the creators are planning to end this at episode 26, they’ve got to work really hard to wrap things up in the end. Heck, we haven’t even seen Alicia and Beth yet. If the current arc lasts three episodes as well, there are only three more episodes left for their development. Will that be enough?

Anyway, lots of people die this episode. Most notably: Veronica, Undine, Jeane and Flora. The episode gets a lot better when the Awakened Beings retreat and the second-strongest servant of Easley decides to finish things himself. He probably was a number 2 at one point, as he easily defeats some of the strongest warriors out there. The only major characters on the battlefield left are the original half-awakened ones: Claire, Miria, Helen and Deneve. They’ll probably defeat the guy with Miria’s strength in the next episode. I know that the manga-writers could have made something interesting about this, but what about the writers of the anime? The next episode will be the time that they have to prove themselves.

Posted on 16 August 2007 with categories: Claymore

So, basically because Eclipse took so long with their release for this week, I got impatient and checked out the raws. At times like these, I’m glad that I can understand them. :)

Anyway, this is one of the few Claymore-episodes without fighting, but it’s definitely one to look forward to, as there’s a really high emphasis on character-development, and this episode may have been one f the best ones of Claymore yet, especially not considering the fights.

There’s only one part I didn’t like, so I’ll start with that one: Raki. We still don’t know how the heck he ended up in the north in the first place. If I heard correctly, he’s supposed to have been victim of slave-trading in the manga, which is a perfectly good explanation, though I never heard any of the sorts in this episode. Either that or I must have missed it.

Okay, now the good stuff: Raki is getting closer to Priscilla and Isley than I thought. I’m eager to learn of the background of the two of them, as they’re definitely behaving unlike other awakened beings I’ve seen so far. Priscilla also is entirely different from the Priscilla we saw in episode eight. The creators will definitely be using this for when Claire runs into Priscilla. I wonder if Priscilla still recognizes Claire, by the way.

The biggest focus of the episode was on Deneve and Undine, though, and I both loved them. Undine proves yet again that she’s more than just a cocky muscle-machine. It seems that she has learned to always activate a small piece of her youma-powers in order to keep her muscles tense at all times. She’s just someone who likes to act tough, afraid that people will find out her true nature. That second sword of hers, it also seems to be from a good friend of hers.

Deneve was the one who found this out, and she acts really mature at this. I think I finally begin to understand why she chose to be a defensive type: unlike Claire, whose loved one was killed by an identifiable enemy (Priscilla), her loved ones (most likely her family) were killed by unknown Youma. Instead of swearing to kill off all youma, like Priscilla did, Deneve swore to protect as much as possible. That’s why she demands perfection from both herself and others.

Flora, meanwhile, shows that she’s been around since Claire’s youth, because she recognized Irene’s arm. That’s not something you do easily, since Miria, who’s a lot stronger than Flora (I assume, at least) couldn’t recognize it. Because of this, she and Jeane become some of the few to hear Claire’s raison d’Être of killing Priscilla. Flora should be getting character-development in the next few episodes.

To add to that, the fina minutes of the episode show Helen, trying to encourage a minor Claymore, who looks surprisingly unique, and it ends as the second wave of Isley’s henchmen are coming. Look forward to the next episode!

Posted on 9 August 2007 with categories: Claymore

Heh, I couldn’t help but find the second half of this episode amusing. I never thought that the writers would be stupid enough to pull such a cheesy twist as that one. Ah well, the next part of the manga is supposed to be the best part of the entire series, so it’ll be interesting to see where the creators can take it. Still, letting Raki literally fall into Priscilla? It feels a bit like a bad soap, to suddenly bring Claire’s best friend and worst enemy together.

Still, the first half was pure win. Both fights against the awakened beings were really good, and especially Undine got a great dose of character-development. Right now, we know that she isn’t a bad character. She cares for casualties, and she often likes to head into things alone, to not be indebted to anyone. She’s just like Helen, that she doesn’t really show any politeness. I also liked how Claire and Deneve stole the show with their unusual skills.

Veronica and Cynthia also get more development than I originally thought. They both seem to be defensive types, and they sure proved a great help for Jeane, who needed time to charge her drill-sword (how did she call it again?). I really hope to see more of the two of them, as they really seem like interesting characters. This fight was definitely meant to bring the entire group of Claymore closer together (surprisingly, there were no casualties). Helen, and the more useless claymores all were awesome as well. The only two who disappointed were Flora and Miria, simply because Flora hasn’t really shown any of her trump cards yet, and we didn’t get to see how Miria slaughtered her opponent.

It’s also interesting. I never really thought about it, but awakened beings can adjust their appearances to their will. Riful obviously wasn’t a little kid when she awakened, and Priscilla has now also taken on a new form. It’s interesting how they al chose cute and innocent forms. We’ve seen two awakened beings who go as little girls, Priscilla turned into a teenager and Isley is a pretty bishounen. I wonder what the one from the South chose for her appearance. Will we see her as well, by the way?

It’s also ironic that Priscilla finds that Raki smells good, as the scent basically indirectly comes from Teresa. I assume that she’s grateful to her now, because she caused her to awaken.

Posted on 2 August 2007 with categories: Claymore

Heh, and here I thought that this episode would disappoint. I was proven totally wrong when this episode comes and brings no less than twenty-four Claymore in one place, in order to fight the awakened beings in the north. It’s clear that this is just a way for the organization to buy time. They’re quite predictable once you figure them out. First, they sent out the worst possible party to Riful of the West, to show her that she isn’t going to get anything good that easily and now they send out an entire army of Claymore, but with the best four of them missing.

This is understandable, though, It seems that the little incident of Priscilla made a huge impact on them as well, and they now know that they shouldn’t waste their top-Claymore that easily. That does raise an interesting question, though: are Alicia and Beth really as good as their numbers seem to suggest? The two of them may have special powers and all, but because they’re so protected by the organization, they do lack the battle experience in really dangerous situations. I may be wrong, but I think it’s safe to assume that number five, Rafaela, is the real strongest Claymore.

Anyway, about the episode, many interesting new characters were introduced. We see Helen, Deneve and Miria return. Number eight, Flora, seems to have the fastest ability to draw her sword and attack. I assume that she’ll be a major character for this arc, due to the huge amount of screentime she already has. Same goes for number eleven, Undine. Interestingly enough, they all ended up fighting alongside Claire at the end of the episode.

Number 13 seems to be Veronica, though I don’t think she’ll get much of development, unfortunately. I do wish that some more unknown Claymore show their personalities in the next couple of episodes. I also hope for these male awakened beings to get fleshed out a bit more. Right now, only the spider one that Jeane was up against looked interesting and I hope that they turn into more than just random goons. But then again, Claymore has showed that it can make some pretty interesting antagonists. I’m looking forward to the next episode.


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  • Masky
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 12:16 AM)
    @Bam: Usually people complain about realism in games in situations where it wouldn’t make sense and in games were realism is actually important they somehow seem to not notice it when they are unrealistic :’D Or maybe I have bad luck
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 12:06 AM)
    @Kaiser, Haven’t we suffered enough with three seasons?
  • Bam
    (Friday, Nov 27. 2015 07:59 PM)
    @Masky: no definitely not every game, but you made it sound as if the whole idea of realism in videogames is ludicrous. Now I haven’t played Undertake myself, but looking at the Steam pics in looks like a humorous retro pixelart indie project, in which case it doesn’t need to be realistic but it still should respect it’s own internal logic. Unless it’s meant to be all bonkers like an Xavier: Renegade Angel episode, but again very few things are like that.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Friday, Nov 27. 2015 07:30 PM)
    Oh lol the Symphogear guy teased the idea of a fourth season for it, you mad mad bastard.
  • Masky
    (Friday, Nov 27. 2015 08:03 AM)
    @Bam: Yeah, but simulating reality applies to certain types of games. Judging EVERY game by how realistic it is is silly xD
  • Bam
    (Friday, Nov 27. 2015 02:36 AM)
    @Masky: lots of game designers aspire for realism. Now this can be done for cosmetic purposes like face textures and lighting, practical with physic engines and movement, or contextual like believable character reactions and dialogue. Now some games thrive in being ridiculous and fantastic, but some want to create a realistic setting to further the emotional impact. Nothing wrong with that.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Nov 27. 2015 02:32 AM)
    @ratsgnoF: and happy Thanksgiving to you as well.
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:43 PM)
    Anyway seriously though, I’d say it does actually make sense in context xD Since none of monsters are actually that threatening.
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:42 PM)
    .-. I have no words, mainly because whenever anyone uses word “Realism” in context of video game, I want to say rude words xD
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:40 PM)
    I think he gave it a passing glance and felt it wasn’t his thing, I remember he also felt that he thought the idea of sparing the monsters wasn’t believable or realistic given that he felt if you were realistically placed in that situation yourself, the real thing to do would be to fight back out of fear.

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