Japanese Title: Kureimoa
Director/Author: Hiroyuki Tanaka/ Norihiro Yagi
Release Date: (Japan) Aired April 3, 2007 – September 25, 2007
In this world Yoma are the terror of humanity, they are physically superior to humans and feed on human guts. Yoma also possess the ability to shapeshift and can obtain the memories of a human by devouring their brains, as a result they can blend seamlessly into society. The only way for villages to fight back against a Yoma infestation is to summon a Claymore, although they must be prepared to pay a fee. A Claymore is a female warrior that was born human and was later merged with the flesh of Yoma to become a half-Yoma. This merging causes the warriors to have silver eyes and light hair giving them an ethereal look. However, as they release more of their Yoma powers their eyes become gold, and their faces will distort. Although humans need Claymores to fight back against Yoma they fear these warriors almost as much as the Yoma themselves.
Clare is a very calm, distant, and serious Claymore. Yet despite her cold demeanor Clare has shown time and time again just how gentle and caring her true nature really is. Clare fights for revenge for her sufferings in the past.
Raki was exiled from his town because his entire family was slaughtered by Yoma. Clare killed the Yoma that murdered Raki’s family while on a mission, and decided to look after Raki until she is able to find a suitable town for him. Raki serves as Clare’s cook.
As a child Clare admired Teresa very much despite the fact that Teresa was a Claymore. Clare followed Teresa until she reluctantly agreed to be her traveling companion.
The Japanese voice acting is really good; there were no voices that seem misplaced for the characters. I was particularly in love with Teresa’s voice, it seemed especially well matched. I was VERY fond of both the opening and closing songs. I watched this series marathon style and DESPITE the fact that I had seen and heard the opening sequence just 20 minutes earlier, I found that I wanted to hear it again every time. Also I really liked the music during the battle sequences, it sort of sounded like a crazy Irish jig at some points. I think it matched the pace of battle really well and was a unique choice.
I also enjoyed the art/animation style in Claymore a lot. The non-Claymore characters and surrounding scenery are drawn realistically. This creates a nice contrast to the Claymores that look like gods of war standing out brilliantly against their bland surroundings. Throughout the series I never got tired of seeing the odd beauty that the Claymores possessed (Clare and Teresa especially).
The battles are thrilling and bloody. Since Claymores possess limited regenerative abilities the battles can be intense without it feeling unbelievable that they could have survived. However, with regard to the ending of this series, keep in mind that the manga is still ongoing in Japan. So don’t expect to walk away knowing every shred of information that would be in the completed manga. In fact if you watch this series and feel the last episode wasn’t quite right….just go ahead and read the manga. Ultimately I do prefer the manga over the anime. The manga is well arranged so that the flow of battles is smooth from panel to panel, it’s just as good as watching it animated in my opinion.