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Claymore Vol. 1-2
Distributor Viz Media
Author/Artist Norihiro Yagi
After much poking and prodding from people about trying Claymore, I took the plunge and picked up the first two volumes of the series. Usually you can pick up a feel for a story in about the first two volumes and Claymore is certainly no different. It’s just not what I was expecting.
Yoma are creatures that roam the Earth and feed upon humans. The only defence against the Yoma is the organisation the populace have dubbed ‘Claymore’. An army of warrior women with silver eyes who are the only ones that sniff out Yoma and defeat them. Claymores are generally feared, but one Claymore by the name of Clare saves a village and gets more than she bargains for.
Claymore is a very odd manga. While the general plot is quite standard for an action series of this type, the art direction is anything but typical. While it retains a distinct "manga" feel, some of the characters are drawn with misshapen heads (such as overly pronounced foreheads). Whether this was intentional is open to debate, but it can make the artwork very off-putting at times.
Not only that, but the characters in general feel very one dimensional. Clare herself is the usual quiet and unemotional strong type, who takes things in her stride and has to keep reminding her companion that she won’t hesitate to cut him down if he gets in the way. Raki on the other hand is the complete opposite; always quick to speak about emotions and how much Clare has helped and generally being annoying and getting in the way… constantly.
The main problem I have with Claymore is that it is all very generic so far. It has nothing that hasn’t been done before and the characters are so uninteresting at times it makes you wonder why you should give a damn. If it wasn’t for the unusual art style there would be little here to discuss.
If you are looking for something that is not too cerebral and you can look past the odd design decisions in the artwork, then you may find something here to enjoy. It might seem I’m being overly harsh, but with the amount of manga that is out there with high volume numbers, you really have to pick and choose what you want to invest in. I can’t recommend this wholeheartedly, there's just too much competition that, ultimately, defeats Claymore.