Published by VIZ Media on January 5, 2002
Genres: Fantasy, Horror, Manga
A Claymore - a female warrior named for the sword she carries - travels from medieval village to village to destroy Yoma, monsters who disguise themselves as humans and who are almost impossible to kill. Claymores are half-humans, half-demons who willingly transformed themselves by mixing their blood with monster's blood. Claire, nicknamed silver-eyed killer, is such a powerful Claymore, she can slay a Yoma using only one hand. But she must constantly struggle to keep from becoming a monster herself.
Hey, look, it’s Fry. I’m technically back into the reviewing groove after taking some time off. I hope you’ve missed me, or, you know, at least noticed I was gone. I’m going to take over our Manga Monday feature for the time being from our lovely friend Carol, who had to leave blogging for the time being due to some personal reasons. I hope at some point she can come back!
With that, I am going to do things a little different than Carol did. She reviewed a whole series. I’m going to review a volume at a time, relishing in the journey. It might not always be manga, but it’s sure going to be a graphic novel of some sort. With that said, I’d like to start with a manga that’s been suggested to me several times over the course of being peripherally into Anime and Manga, Claymore.
I somehow knew next to nothing about this series going into it. Despite being one of the “classics”, it’s not one readily discussed or spoiled. I basically knew that there were some chicks in armor and they had big swords and sometimes those big swords went into enemies and those enemies were vanquished.
Honestly, the first volume of this doesn’t really add much to that assumption. I know that Claymores are paid by towns to come in and eradicate monsters that are killing the local peasants. The monster generally takes on the visage of someone in the town before going about it’s murder spree. Usually there’s a string of murders before the Claymore is even called in, and then there’s the whole issue of slow postal service and then travel time. So, usually the Claymore gets there before the entire town is wiped out, but not before plenty of people have lost their lives.
Claymores are half monster themselves. The first volume doesn’t super get into how they were made half monster. Were they born that way? Were they infused in some sort of horrific trial by fire and magical genetic modification? I don’t know yet. It points to the latter. The Claymore we are currently following, whom I’m going to assume is the main character, Claire, was recruited after a monster tore through her family. She finds a kid with a similar situation who follows along after her like a lost puppy and cooks dinner to be useful. He cries a lot and is mostly there to move the plot forward and be a hostage, at least so far. Maybe he’ll come into his own. Who knows.
Overall, not much actually happened. There were a lot of fights, plenty of gore. At one point Claire get’s punched through the gut and heals(?) the hole in her body. I don’t know if she healed it, it seemed like it was still pretty raw and her, I guess he’s a handler, warned her against getting hit there.
Before the close of the manga, we learn that in being half monster, that eventually the monster fully takes over the Claymore and the Claymore themselves will have to be eradicated. Generally, they choose someone with whom they trust and Claire is forced to kill what she coldly refers to as her best friend in all the world. This prompts far more tears from the kid than from Claire, who kind of nonchalantly murders the chick and then buries her.
I’ll have to totally read more, but in true manga fashion, it’s kind of a slow plod to the source and an actual overarching plot. I’ll have to deal with this monster of the week nonsense for a bit. That in and of itself is interesting enough for me to keep going.