WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
Written by Norihro Yagi, the creator of Angel Densetsu, Claymore is a seriously brutal manga, full of death, monsters, and badass women that die in the hoards to protect humans. There is no question as to why this is considered a ‘dark fantasy manga.’ The main protagonist is Clare, who watched her family get eaten by the beginner monsters in the manga, Yoma. Yoma, and all the monsters in Claymore, love to eat guts, absolutely nothing is more appealing to them. Clare goes on to be beaten and abused by Yoma until she is saved by a Claymore, Teresa. Claymore’s are essentially great, powerful women who, as children, had Yoma placed inside of themselves to become ultimate warriors! Only women can take on this role and I have to say, that is one of the main reasons I was so interested in reading this manga.
It’s as if this manga took my love for Sailor Moon‘s strong characters and cut out a lot of the touchy-feely, this is appropriate for kids too vibe. It is just amazing. These women aren’t searching for love or for thanks or anything of that nature. They just go out, kill monsters, and move on. It is wonderful. Almost the entire manga is propelled forward by strong female characters. There is a bit of fan servicing, but most of the time these women are just out there wrecking it! And dying. They die quite a bit. This is not the manga for you if you just want a gooey love story. These women are not interested. To be completely fair, this some kind of love thing between the main character and her ‘sidekick’ Raki, but don’t expect any real lovey scenes.
A tip for anyone interested in reading this manga- get attached to NO ONE. They either die in awesomely gruesome ways or they become a more powerful form of monster called Awakened or the more powerful form, Abyssal Ones. And then they kill their fellow Claymore’s and eat them. Seriously. Guts = delicious in this manga. I won’t pretend like this is not a high action, highly gruesome manga. It is. But it also has a great story line, which so many other manga’s with a high gruesome factor just completely fail at. It flows well from beginning to end, with quite a few nice surprises through out. The ending is satisfying, though a bit debatable.
For twenty-seven volumes worth of story, there was never really a time where I was upset in the direction the story was going. The story never stopped to explore something off topic or interrupted combat to show something less interesting. There was little to no filler here, and that is awesome and something we as fans of manga need to support.
I am so happy they finished this manga last year! There is a Claymore anime, it was a complete disappointment and under no circumstances do I recommend it. It ends after twenty six episodes in 2007. The manga finished in 2014. I think you get what I am saying. The anime has a forced ending that leaves you extremely disappointed. If you have watched the anime and liked it, I still recommend finishing the manga. It completes the story line and just ties the entire thing together. Also, way more epic fights if you read the manga and they are worth it. This manga feels so underrated to me and I want to spread the word about just how great it is. It was fantastic to read, and as of right now I could not rate it higher.
Go read it and tell me what you think about it in the comments!