Why Claymore is starting to disappoint / why was I stupid enough to compare it with Berserk!

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Ah, Claymore. Women with huge swords cutting demons in half. Medevil (yep, I know I spelled it wrong) times, Kuwashima Houko using the harsh version of her voice. Madhouse animation. Great action, great seiyuus, great animation. So, what could go wrong?

Having a Japanese little boy’s wet dream come come true. That’s what could go wrong.

boy hugs supermodel girl

Wait a minute, you say. I thought you loved this show!

Yeah, well, I’m not a little Japanese boy who wishes for a lean and model-figured girl with huge ass sword to take me with her.

Ok, yeah, actually, for the boy in me, I would. And for the Otaku man in me, I would…

Let’s not go there.

Why is it nothing compared with Berserk? Well, Berserk took a classic anti-hero, gave him a deep and solid background, alone side other solid casts, and told an well plotted back story/history on the characters, with the focus on Gutsu. Sure, with a lot of blood and gore, and violence. But it told of a great tale of how the world Gutsu lives in goes wrong, and how did he and everyone else get there, oh and how Griffin (who steals the show every time he shows up) crumbles into evil and gets swallowed by his ambition, sadly, I never got to see the end.

I know I’ve only seen 4 eps of Claymore, but as soon as Crea (the main blond woman) took that kid with her, I went: “Uh, oh.”

That boy praises how kind and soft hearted and pretty she is every time someone says something nasty about her. How he loved his big sister!

Japanese boys, and after growing up, Japanese men, love to have a mother-like women around. Since their dads are workaholics by the nature of their society.

But actually, you know, now I looked it over again, even though this “superhero and sidekick” thing is an old idea, it doesn’t look so bad. The story here is kinda like how a young man and a young adult woman get over their awkwardness (not toward each other in that way), and how people are different often gets treated like freaks – believe or not, the second concept isn’t examined that often in Japanese society, because a lot of them believe that they’re homogeneous. When I talked with my Japanese students most of them thought they were no different from any other Japanese, and I mean, they thought they were no different at all.

They were even thinking about the facts that you have Kansai-ban (accent) and Kanto-ban, Ainus, normal salarymen and strange people that comes out at night – makes me think about the demons in Claymore (There are strange people that eat livers and they come out at night! So don’t go out at night, OK Ken-kun?)

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But you know, perhaps this tale is purposely simple, and it really tells something that’s been told often – loneliness and difficulty with today’s society. But with great animation and wonderful seiyuu for the main character to spice it up. Put it in a middle age time (the housing and customs aren’t as well researched as Berserk, but nice enough), and add a boy who was kicked out of his town because he’s now different (the manga was published on manga magazines that mostly kids read – I wonder if that have something to do with it?) , and we have a simple but powerful story. Oh, and it helps that all the ladies in the show look like supermodels with swords. Oh and just like supermodels, they don’t eat.

I often say, “Women, take thy food!” stickily-thin supermodels just aren’t my taste. In the case of Claymore, however, Crea is rather cute, and Kuwasima Houko is really cute. Both helps.

The cheesy-looking mummy demon which I couldn’t see clearly doesn’t help, however.

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Music-wise, great action music, though nothing memorable.

On a separate note, Cazador is starting to look much better, but still not enough long action scenes, except in the opening theme – I wonder if Beetrain’s trying to trick people into staying with it by showing all the action in the opening theme. Because the plot is nothing fresh, after all.

19 thoughts on “Why Claymore is starting to disappoint / why was I stupid enough to compare it with Berserk!”

  1. yeah claymore is not on a scale with berserk…it’s worse (berserk is one of the best storys ever told in anime history)
    i had high expectations of this show as well (because of the berserk feeling) but it’s totally different! The show’s still not that bad but i’m thinking about dropping it as i’m losing interest…

  2. Definitely no where near the level as Berserk. Berserk also has so much more depth in story and with all the characters but in Claymore, having Raku follow Clare around doesn’t make it any better. He’s simply the boy who keeps Clare from going all Yoma mode and that is what I find really annoying in some shows. Like Hokuto no Ken is all pure manliness but then you have the two bitch kids (this is what I call them) following Ken around.

    I said this in my post about the first episode and that the Berserk anime should have been what Claymore is. The old anime didn’t do Berserk any justice but then Claymore has only the animation going for it so far. But then I also hate the character designs as they look ugly. However I’ll still continue to watch it but I think it may bore me soon.

  3. I’m on eps 4 and there’s a hint that it may get better – it seems like Clare is opening up a bit – however, that may very well be the downfall – Raku (thanks for clearing it up, Adun) really is just an annoying kid that doesn’t seem to do much. The character designs for the ladies are certainly weird – especially these shiny and big foreheads of some of the long-haired blonds! For some reason the faces of the women reminded me of Gilgamesh – it’s a bit of a stretch, I know.
    It’s nice to have great fighting animation, but now I think about it, the fighting animation isn’t the best in this show compared with other Madhouse animation master pieces like Ninja Scroll, that Animatrix short, and so on. Eps 4 was too dark and I couldn’t see half of the animation during the fight scenes. I wonder if the darkness could helped a little cop out in animation there?

    Definitely going down in my recommendation list.

  4. Comparing it to Berserk is just setting Claymore up for disappointment. I’m no fan of the show either, it’s in my middle list. It’s like comparing Major with Slam Dunk, or even GitS: SAC with Witch Hunter Robin. Similar in setting , gulf in quality. But all the lesser versions are still very watchable.

  5. Hmm.
    I don’t know where this BERSERK comparison comes from, but its true: they are nothing alike. nothing. I do want say that the series CLAYMORE is not just about clare and the boy, I don’t know how many of you have read the books, but the series is about the organization, not really clare alone; teresa’s story should be coming soon, seeing as how the anime is following the manga–and without me giving anything away– I want to encourage you guys to keep watching, trust me, it gets better.

  6. Ooh, really? I’ve never read the manga before. If the manga is great, and the TV series follows the manga, then I really do want to keep going.

    It was stupid of me to compare it with Berserk – it’s the accurate middle age settings and huge swords that got to me, but yeah, otherwise the story is quite different. Actually, are there manga books or novels? If you meant novels, then I’d be even more encouraged, because a few good anime come from novels, an excellent example: Banner of the Stars.

  7. Ooh, really? I’ve never read the manga before. If the manga is great, and the TV series follows the manga, then I really do want to keep going.

    It was stupid of me to compare it with Berserk – it’s the accurate middle age settings and huge swords that got to me, but yeah, otherwise the story is quite different.

  8. Banner of the stars? don’t think I’ve seen it, i’ll have to check it out/look for it.
    And you like fighting anime? Hm, I don’t think there is anything like NINJA SCROLL in anime series format, as far as action sequences are concerned, the only recommendations I have is Airmaster, Fighting Beauty Wulong, Basilisk annnnd….that’s about it as far as fast paced martial arts anime in a series go. Oh. wait. there’s Shadow Skill as well, almost forgot.

    hope that helps in the search.

  9. dang ur posts are real helpful. already saw some NHK, they have got to make more anime like it + genshiken.

    u watch School Rumble? i didn’t like it very much until i saw the fifth episode

  10. A great choice in Welcome to the NHK; In our little anime circle down here in town, most of us have named NHK anime of the year last year, with Muteki Kanban Musume coming in a close second(but i do believe an anime blogger named the series his choice for fav of the year in his comedy catagory).
    Genshiken, what the hell happened to it?? My god, someone please tell me they’re making new episodes at some point? Oh, well, I guess the manga will do.
    School Rumble is really cool, I downloaded the first (only?) twenty-odd episodes, and I’m ashamed to admit that I only made it as far as the teens. Not because it’s not good, there’s just so much anime to watch it’s just hard sometimes.

  11. There’s a Genshiken OVA, but it’s included with the TV series Kujibiki Unbalance DVDs – that’s right, they actually made an anime with that. There are 3 eps and two of them were already released and I saw the Chinese fan sub – it follows the manga exactly. Don’t know if any English fansubbers picked it up.
    I love school rumble and I think overall first season was better, but the second season was very good also.
    BTW, I deserve to be kicked in the ass since I’ve never seen an eps of NHK :P But I’m proud to say that I’ve seen all of Genshiken and is caught up on the manga.
    Try Azumanga Daioh for another school comedy, and perhaps Lucky Star as well.

  12. Agreed. School Rumble takes time to warm up; it doesn’t show its uniqueness until later.

    Also, if you like the kind of humor in School Rumble, you’ll love the new show Hayate no Gotoku (Hayate the Combat Butler). It’s the funniest thing this season, and it was a big hit at the anime club the other night.

  13. >Why Claymore is starting to disappoint

    Because you’re basing your opinion on by far the worst four episodes of the series. Understandably, perhaps, but you have managed to draw a line in the sand just before its major turning point.

  14. In that case, I’d better watch eps 5, which I just finished downloadin, ASAP. I still have high hopes for it.

  15. Berserk is the best anime i ever seen, do u guys known somethink like it ???
    Claymore is more like blood+ maybe litle beter…
    I like anime where main character is a MAN, not a cry baby :P

  16. For some reason I all of a sudden wondered why I did not read your earlier reviews…

    The purpose of these first 4 eps: The obvious reasons (to introduce the show etc etc) and to prove Raki’s character.

    (plz read my next comment…it seems as if the site does not accept the entire comment…sry)

  17. For most shows, the audience does not always know what the characters are thinking. Sometimes a “good” character will all of a sudden reveal he was acting the entire show, and all of a sudden turns evil and reveals his ulterior motives. For Raki, it is possible he could have been acting nice to Clare because
    1. When he was kicked out of the village, he followed her and acted nice because he had no where else to go
    or
    2. Just felt grateful to her for killing the yoma in episode 1 who killed his family

    However…but when he said “if you kill her, then kill me too”, that would eliminate #2. When told he could get a job at the church and was asked “do you want to go with me”, he still decided to go with her so that would eliminate choice #1 and also eliminate any chances of ulterior motives and prove that he does like her and that he is not evil.

  18. My analysis makes me sad because it eliminates the chances of Raki being an evil mastermind/surprising us later in the show and makes him seem extremely useless later in the show o.O

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