Petros's Reviews > Claymore, Vol. 1: Silver-eyed Slayer

Claymore, Vol. 1 by Norihiro Yagi
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Dec 02, 2011

liked it

Claymore is like Berserk, with more boobs and less context. That is how I see this series.

Claymore’s strong point is not its story, which to be frank is linear and straight-forward to the most part. The basic premise is about fighting fire with fire and thus the monsters that plague humanity in this series are to be dealt by humans possessing monster abilities. It sounds interesting to build something around it but that only happens in terms of characterization amongst the cast and not in terms of world-building. So yeah, we have monsters and monster hunters and a Medieval-like world. If you expect anything more to it, you won’t get much other than vague explanations of “there is this organization here and that band there”. There will be very little info about why the world is as such until late in the story where it simply changes most of the main characters instead of filling up the blanks. The pacing of the story can easily be divided into short arcs with each one having its own set of monsters and settings. Each one adds something to the whole, but as I said, it only does it in terms of characterization and not much world-building.

In all, the story is average and goes nowhere in specific thus it gets less than the base (4).

Characters on the other hand are the meat of the series, as most of the selling point is their psychoanalysis and interaction with one another. Claire, the main heroine, begins as a heatless killing machine and along the way we get to see a lot about her which make her far more than a robot without will, following orders and going around killing things just because she was ordered to do it. The same can be said about most other main characters, such as the rest of the Claymores and that annoying sidekick Raki.

A thing to notice is that this series reverses gender roles. The Claymores are all women yet behave as brute males, while Raki is a guy and is a spineless idiot who is better fit as a daddy’s girl. Feels weird but it is not negative.
What does feel negative is the adversaries, the Yoma, who to the most part are just mooks that exist to be killed or generic bosses. And as I said we get very little about where do they come from. Not only that, but they don’t really feel like monsters most of the time. Rather they are shape shifting cannibals with too human behavior for the gruesome creatures they are supposed to be. Makes them look stupid.

But who cares about them, the story is about the Claymores, whose worst enemy ends up being their own selves, as they slowly all turn to Yoma themselves. Yes, nice idea to build something around it but since the story is loose, it kinda ruins it. Plus Raki is an extremely annoying character, unable to be sympathetic to anyone. He is supposed to be the guy who reminds Claire that she is still human and make her have cozy feelings and such but ends up being a burden who the only thing he does is nagging, making unrealistic remarks, standing in the way, and generally causing more trouble than help. Supposed, that is what it means to be human but come on; monsters are eating people alive everyday and he wanted everybody to be a big happy family. This stops being humane and ends up being utter bullshit. If humans are so naive, then hail to the cunning cannibalistic Yoma.

In all, the main cast is interesting and gets lots of immersion but at the same time it is left without complete catharsis, the enemies outside the frenzied Claymores are cardboards, and Raki is an ass. Thus, they are a bit above average (6).

The art is very good as far as shapes and backgrounds go. High on detail with lots of visual effects and dark palette colors to transmit the feeling of a grim world overrun with dread and death.

I found the character figures rather unappealing, as the way the faces were drawn felt weird. Plus, all Claymores look too much alike because of their identical uniforms, weapons, hair color and eye color. Also the common Yoma are drawn too simplistic and human-like and it’s easy to see them just like brawn-skinned bandits with fangs.

Action scenes are ok but not that great. Although there is a lot of gore going around, most of it is limbs flying and fountains of blood gushing all over the place. Internal organ anatomy is way off. Most battles don’t last much either.

In all, the aesthetics are great but character figures are kinda identical and simple and there is very little actual battle duration for such a heavy on action series. Art gets a rather good mark (7). [/b]

I don’t find much reread value in this series, since the story is too linear, simple, and has Raki in it. (3)
My enjoyment is also low (4), as the negatives outnumber the positives.

If this series had more variety in faces, more duration in battle, a more complete world-building, and Raki would be dead from the first chapter, then I would give it a 10.
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