Claymore (Shounen) by Norihiro Yagi – Rating 8/10
Synopsis: This manga gives meaning to the words “dark fantasy.” Set in an unnamed world where humans are hunted by relatively intelligent monsters called Yoma, Claymore tells the story of the “Organization,” an unnamed group that creates and commands the Claymore, the titular characters of the series. A Claymore is a female warrior, a hybrid, superhuman who battles the dangerous pests. Claymore are able to access their Yoma powers (known from here on in as Yoki) at will in order to up their combat abilities in battle. The Organization dispatches a Claymore to a town that is infested by Yoma at the town’s request, and is paid high fee or the clean up…
Claymore particularly focuses on the story of Clare, a young warrior who is seemingly quiet and cold at first, but is also very hotheaded and impulsive. While saving a small town by killing a Yoma who was living there preying on the people, Clare meets Raki, a younger boy whose parents were killed by the very same Yoma. Raki ends up following Clare on her journey exterminating Yoma from different towns before they are cruelly separated. Clare promises to find Raki once more, but on the way she is taunted by the demons of her past and by the spectres of her present. Now, Revenge is the name of the game.
Mood/Artwork: Like most manga, the initial artwork is a tad bit rough and sketchy, but as the manga progresses the lines become smoother and sleeker, and there is an added depth that makes everything leap off of the page. Norihiro-sensei pays great attention to detail, especially in the expressiveness of his characters and to his battle scenes. Granted, some argue that the earlier battle scenes are better drawn and pop off of the page more than the later ones. To a certain extent, I would have to agree, although I think in some, more “important” battles, the detailing is once again at a higher level. The backgrounds, however, are not always the busiest. Often fairly empty or with special effects.
Consensus: Claymore is not (by a long shot) a comedy, though, if you have a dark enough sense of humour you will be able to get a few laughs. However, the suspense, action, battles and drama will have you at the edge of your seats asking for more as you are transported to a world filled with a darkness like no other. It is rather sombre, pensive, suspenseful and in general isn’t a happy manga. If you like your manga cheerful, this isn’t the story for you. Moreover, as it progresses there are a lot of things to follow and a lot of things that you need to remember, so don’t skimp on the chapters, read carefully and thoroughly, or else you will get lost and have to read over. There is a lot of content, a lot of mind games going on and theories going on as you dig deeper into the story. However, despite all these elements, I personally find it enjoyable in a melancholy, foreboding way. You’re probably saying by now “this sounds like a real damper on my mood,” but don’t think of it that way. It is just different from say Bleach or Naruto. It has a distinct feeling of its own. And rather than being a downer it is truly epic in its own right. I cannot stress how amazing the battles are, especially Clare’s. There are many fights that will leave you head spinning and your jaw unhinged. It is also not a particularly slow paced manga, and is a fairly easy read.
*Warning*: This manga does contain a bit of blood and gore.
Status: Ongoing. 114 chapters to date. Normally updated monthly.
Age Rating: 16+
Remember, if you like this manga, please purchase a volume of your own in support of the mangaka, Norihiro Yagi
DISCLAIMER: The image displayed does NOT belong to anyone of us here at Super Manga Fighters GO! The character is the property of ©Norihiro Yagi. Art/Edit was done by Almighty-Baka