A potential bad ending to Claymore?

If you already knew about this and are screaming bloody murder, you’re not the only one. But it seems like from the Newtype magazine Japan, that Madhouse will come up with an ending to Claymore. From what I’ve read on the “Claymore Fans” Live Journal site, I don’t know if this will turn into a bad ending (all the commenters basically said “yes it will”), but again from what I’ve read and “in my worse nightmares” that seems to be a distinctive possibility now. I’ll provide you with the link next but be warned, read from the top very slowly if you don’t want to be spoiled – the author said do not click the cut in capital letters but I didn’t see the cut button anywhere (stupid browser) and I read it. I’m just issuing a warning, that’s all. Anyway read slowly if you don’t want to know what’s coming up in episode 23. Source: http://community.livejournal.com/claymore_fans/37815.html

 

If you want to see the Japanese Newtype page where everything from episode 20 to 23 is listed in Japanese: http://pc.webnt.jp/anime/detail0023100807.html

 

So there’s a reason to read the manga and see the story unfold as the author intended. Strangely, this event kind of reminds me of Lord of the Rings – the books VS the movies.

 

HERE’S a minor SPOILER for Lord of the Rings movie 3 :

 

Gandolf’s staff gets broken by the King of Wraiths.

 

End SPOILER.

 

Let’s hope at least they know how to end the show OK.

We apologize on the behalf of our spam catcher – we have already shove 3 Gigaslaves up its ass.

Hi everyone:

It seems like our faithful spam catcher, Akismet, which is an awesome spam catcher despite its flaws, have made some mistakes and marked some good and great comments from some of our faithful readers as spam. After threatening HAL…I mean Akismet with firing at it with the Buster Rifle, the Spirit Gun, the Pirate Cutlass custom beretta, the anti-Akuma beam gun from Alan’s arm, the Gigaslave, and the Moon Gorgeous meditation (beam…energy…or whatever it is), it finally promised to do better next time.

Seriously. I’m a theta geek and I have no idea why it did that. But we apologize for the mistake. Sorry, Miina-sama!

Potemayo 6 – funny, funny but not much to review.

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After 6 episodes of mostly good timing physical humor, the best of which often makes me cackle out aloud, and the not great ones being at least cute and amusing, I’ve finally resorted to setting down and turn off my brain when watching this show.

In recent days, I’ve discovered that a good show lends itself to good reviews. Such is the case of Claymore. But then I have a problem – all of the sudden I don’t find any other shows good to review. When I review El Cazador I mostly flame it. It’s got a couple of pretty decent eps but mostly I just shook my head in disappointment. In any case, let’s just sit back and take a look at Potemayo 6.

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Just about every show of affection in this show gets turned into some kind of Love-love mode. If one person really likes another person it seems that this show never considers that they could “just be friends”, or “siblings.”

Let’s count the “cons” – no, not the anime conventions or conventional plot devices – I’m talking about the “loli-con”, “shota-con” type of”cons”. Here we go, starting with the most recent “con” discovery:

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Ane-con – Yasumi for Mikan. He’s like turned on when he sees his older sister wearing a short skirt, a cute apron and a funny cap for preventing hairs falling into food when cooking – but he can’t admit to himself and just enjoy the view (thank God!) so he palms his sister’s head like a basketball.

Mudo-con – Yep, made that name up. This one refers to when a taller, unpopular, big budda-look dude having a thing for his smaller buddy. I used to think he just cares for his small friend’s bad luck and misfortunes, but after he spew blood from his nose after seeing his friend’s naked ass (yeeeewwwww!) it all of the sudden just dawned on me.

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And here are the older ones:

loli-con – Mudo wants Potemayo bad he could almost taste it. I can’t remember but somehow that’s why he became a slave to Nana.

Meganekun-con – Mikan loves Sunao, who’s the glasses guy, but she’s deep enough to like him without the glasses.

Speaking of glasses, Sunao makes an extraordinary discovery while looking for something vital to his success in daily living in the wrong place, and that makes Yasumi feels mighty good and Mikan cry like a baby.

I like the physical timing of this show, it’s well placed and it’s funny. But there isn’t anything for me to analyze. It’s definitely a good show to watch after a long, hard day of work or when you simply need a simple laugh without thinking too much.

However, there was one very important thing that I was looking for in this episode, which made it crucial to my enjoyment of this show as a complex and meaningful whole…

OH MY GOD! THEY DIDN’T KILL MUDO! You bastards…oh wait….

Well, that running gag got tiring in South Park. I realize that the gags here don’t get over used often and I think that’s good. So I’ll say =>

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75% recommended for your daily anime diet for what this episode and show is meant to be – just a light snack with the right ingredient mix. I’d give it 83% as a more personal biased opinion, because I can almost always laugh when I see this show, but I don’t seem to remember much about what happened in it afterwards.

P.S. Gu…gu…Guchiko beeeaaaamu is funny!

P.S. 2 Nana’s brothers are hilarious! Check them out!

Michael on Hiatus (of Sorts)–and an Opening Vault!

No, not that kind of vault. That stuff don’t taste good anyway.

The audio column I just posted, alas, will be the last new material you’ll be seeing from me for the rest of the month of August. I’m just too swamped with both schoolwork and grading (I’m a teaching assistant) for the remainder of the month to put in anything else that’s brand new and original. Ray and Fred will be holding down the fort while I’m away…

…well, not exactly. See, I actually have my own blog. It’s been around since 2001, and I’ve actually written a large number of reviews, reflections, con reports, and other anime-related posts on there! I also wrote–you may gasp–a lengthy piece of fanfiction. All that anime-related material, over the next couple of weeks, is going to rise from the ashes of obscurity and into the light of animeblogger.net publicity. I’m calling it The Vault. Vault posts will appear every other day or so, starting on Sunday. Of course, if you’re terribly interested, all the material is already there on my website. But this fulfills my desire to unify all my anime-related stuff in one place, and fulfills your desire to read more of MY writing! (bwahahahaha!) As they say on NBC: “if you haven’t read it, it’s new to you!

So, this is something of a goodbye to my new selves–but a hello to my old selves, circa 2002-2005. :) Au revoir et bonjour!

Anime Diet Audio Column – Art and Soul 1: Bokurano and the Art of Dying Well

Uninstall this!

Warning: contains major spoilers for Bokurano.

You heard Ray’s column: now it’s my turn! My column is called “Art and Soul,” which will be a biweekly audio column about anime, religion/Christianity, and ethics. It’s an attempt to integrate anime with what I spent the other 75% of my day doing–reading, studying, and praying theology. (I am a seminary student with plans to enter ministry. This particular episode is, in fact, pretty much a mini-sermon; it’s certainly the closest marriage of my love of God and love of anime yet.) It’s also an excuse to indulge in my other love, public-radio style production values. You’ll hear something much more like This American Life than what we normally do in the podcast in this episode.

This episode is about the significance of one’s last moments in Bokurano, and how it relates to how the Man that I follow also died. As such, it contains spoilers for Bokurano up to episode 7, so be warned. It’s much more serious in tone, so if you’re looking for humor, sorry, this is not the episode for it. :) It is also unabashedly, blatantly, in-your-face Christian. For that, I make no apology.

This was a cool experiment, at any rate. See you all next time!

Show Notes

  • –OP: “Uninstall,” by Chiaki Ishikawa (OP to Bokurano)
  • –ED: “The Heady Feeling of Freedom,” by Shiro Sagisu (from Neon Genesis Evangelion)
  • –BG: “Remedium” and “Take a Little Hand,” by Yoko Kanno (from Ghost in the Shell: Solid State Society OST)

Read the transcript of this episode after the cutaway, including Scripture references (when I preach, I never say the chapter and verse numbers).

Continue reading

El Cazador 20 – Well, what can I say?

Oh dear.

I’d say the dramatic level of this episode has definitely turned up. But somehow, I’m beginning to think that the writers are either running out of ideas or they’re rushing it a little. However,  from the preview of the next episode it looks very much like the next episode is going to be another filler more than anything. Let’s not get ahead of the disappointment curve here (at least for me).

 

Things I’m finally deadly sick of, and I no longer give a shit if they ever explain these ever:

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1. Nadie’s inexcusable clumsiness as a professional – she tripped over the lid of that trash can. This time, it just seems like the creators of this show wanted her to trip over it. When the lid got blown off the top of the trash can it just so happens to trip her. How the fuck does that so conveniently happen?

 

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2. Ricardo and Lilio show up and save the day! Again – So they’ve been stalking Nadie and Elis? Why the hell am I not surpised?

 

3. Jody explains it all – thanks, blue eyes. It isn’t like we can’t figure out that L.A. has feelings or whatever. Please don’t treat us like we’re idiots. And please, that obvious fan serice for fan girls of naked-bishonen-being-cute-and-ooooh-so-sad junk really hurts the eyes! AH! HE’S NAKED! THAT SUCKS! Give me more of Jody’s tight butt cheeks or her cleavage!

 

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4. Dugu, Dugu, DUUUUGUUUU! DO SOMETHING! ARRRRG! OK, Dugu! Do something important or interesting already! Otherwise don’t show up again without something significant happening! We get it already! You’re in control of the situation (or at least you thinks you are) somehow! Sheesh.

 

5. Elis doesn’t ever wonder about Nadie – I mean, even if she does she just have to pant like a dog and burn someone – in this case L.A., who doesn’t have a penis! I mean, he looks ecstatic when Elis’ fire is burning in his lap – practically in his crotch!!! So that’s why he sounds so gay! Ricardo! Don’t save his lap from burning! He loves fire in his crotch! Fire, fire, fire! Heh heh heh heh heh heh! Cool! I just love it when a bishonen gets his crotch burned! I mean, just listen to his prissy voice!

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At least L.A. is finally looking more psycho like Norman Bates. Play that psycho music, witch boy! He finally hates Elis as well. Use a chef’s knife! Use a chef’s knife! Stab her like Norman Bates! Heh heh heh heh heh!

 

Wait a sec, all of the sudden Nadie’s avoidance skill is up, way up when she fights against L.A. So, let’s see…why not avoid getting tripped BEFORE gets thrown in jail? I thought the attack of an unpredictable character like L.A. is as difficult to avoid as the clumsy lid of a trash can!

 

I really don’t feel like getting into anything else. For each good element, there are 2 bad elements canceling it out. I’m sorry, I really wish I could improve my opinion on it. But,

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69% (which L.A. can’t be on one of the receiving end since it doesn’t look like he has a wee-wee) percent recommended for your daily anime diet. No I didn’t discuss all the decent parts (gosh these were rather difficult to find) because I watched Claymore yesterday, and all the good parts of this episode simply look like straw compare to that. So sue me. Feel free to point out the decent parts in this episode.

Super expensive Gundam T-shirts!

That’s right, according to “”Darkanger”, a member of the MAL news team, you can now buy an expensive T-shirt created by the team effort of Bandai and Mastermind.

This T-shirt features a gundam hand stitched with Swarovski crystals. The cost of the shirt is 200,000 ¥ or about $1,670, or about £830. A less expensive version made with glass beads will be available in U.S., France, Italy, Singapore, China and Japan at the price of 38,000 ¥ or about $320, or about £160. See this link for the news source: http://myanimelist.net/forum/?topicid=3845.

Would you go out and buy one? If yes, the expensive one or the “not so expensive” one?

Behold! Our grand plan of taking over the world is succeeding! Oh hohohohohohohoho!

It seems from Google Analytics that we really are taking over the world – with banters, ringtones, biting sarcasm, and Hirano Aya photos! Oh hohohohohohohoho! We have already taken over most of The Empire of Britannia, and our next step? The worrrrrld! MWHAHAHAHAHAHA!

See this .pdf file below for hard evidence! Our territories are represented by green!

The evidence of us taking over this world! GHAHAHA!

I shall be Emperor Animes Gluttonius Assus Kicktus the first, and Mike should be Animes Literatus Nerdius the Prime Minister!
Eat your heart out, Brain and Pinky! Be extremely jealous of us, Keroro Gunso! My condolences to you, Britannians! Oh hohohohohohohohoho!

(Just a little joke to relieve your late night boredom)

Into the Blue

Yoroshiku Onegaishimasu Minna-san! I’m Fred, and I’m proud to be a brand new addition to the Anime Diet team. I’ll be throwing out updates here and there, talking about some older series, and basically filling in the gaps wherever I’m needed. Pleased to meet you.

Last Exile

As an introduction of sorts, I’d like to talk about a series most near and dear to my heart, Last Exile. A tale of airships, fantastic battles between ancient kingdoms, and all the little people caught in between. Our hero, Claus, a vanship courier and his best friend and navigator, Lavie, fly errands for wealthy clients. One such errand finds them escorting a young girl named Alvis, as she is pursued by the mysterious and all-powerful Guild. While a large scale war is waged between the nations Anatole and Disith they must get her to the rogue battleship Silvana, whose air pirate captain Alex Rowe and crew may be the only ones who can protect her.

What really draws me to the series is the steampunk/fantasy world and the epic story. I grew up on Final Fantasy and Dragonlance novels, so something like this is right up my alley. You watch Claus and Lavie go from mere couriers scraping by to getting caught up in a desperate war between nations, and the operatic heights of drama it reaches. Giant fleet battles between nations, full-throttle vanship races and dogfighting, and the cat-and-mouse airship-to-airship battles reminiscent of old naval combat. You’re really watching an epic conflict unfold.

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I often see series that try to go large miss out on the relationships between characters and the “small drama”. Lost Exile does a spends a lot time on the little people caught in these massive conflicts. Claus and Lavie meet a apoplectic footsoldier Mullen Shepard, who is tired of his comrades fighting and dying in a war in which they had no say. Tatania and her navigator, Alister, are the hot shot pilots on the Silvana that eventually warm up to the “amateurish” Claus and Lavie. We even see hints of a relationship between the cold, distant captain Alex Rowe and his first mate Sophia. While you’re paying attention to the explosions and the massive fleets of airships broadsiding each other, there’s all these little plots that play out between the main characters.Claus and LavieAlex Rowe

If all that isn’t enough to entice you, the character designs are by Range Murata, whose work on Blue Submarine No. 6 was superb. And it’s airships, people! Airships! If you haven’t seen Last Exile yet give it a shot!

Claymore 20 – There never was much hope. Just a fool’s hope.

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“There never was much hope. Just a fool’s hope. Our enemy is ready, his full strength gathered…” Gandolf, from Lord of the Rings.

I’ve never seen such a close to realistic war drama in anime. NEVER. In movies, sure. The first thing that comes to my mind is Saving Private Ryan. Even for that, I was told that if a human is shot with these machine guns he’d be charred meat (as told by my army and marine friends; this was back in States), instead of just having his guts cut open. Another “war drama” was Lord of the Rings, written by someone who’s been through 2 world wars, one he fought, the other one he witnessed.

The odds are so stacked against these claymores, so much so that it looks like even Miria’s command ability will not matter in the least bit. 3 awakened defeated? So what! Try to defeat 27 of these including one Priscilla and one Abyssal.

However, is there hope after all? I really don’ know.

One very strange event greatly puzzled me (PLEASE, I know everyone who has kindly left comments are pretty restrained but once again I will ask please NO SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS SECTION) : The reaction of Priscilla and (obviously) Isley toward Raki.

I thought the same way with probably most people, Raki is now food for the Awakened/Abyssal One. But very strangely, Priscilla hasn’t even tried to eat Raki at all (neither did Isley). She…almost seems to really like him similar to the way a character from peanuts likes his blankie. Why? Priscilla’s behavior kind of reminds me of when she first became an awakened. She skipped past Clare without so much as to acknowledging Clare’s existence. There was Clare, having fresh and young guts. But Priscilla didn’t even bother to look at her. And here’s Raki, having fresh and young guts, and Priscilla isn’t treating him as food at all. But her feelings toward Raki is stronger. Isley’s explanation is that Raki smells like the south, where Priscilla comes from. I just can’t quite buy it.

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There’s something about Priscilla…

I read in the manga that Clare thought (we don’t know what went through Priscilla’s mind except perhaps – “want…guts…now”) that she was so insignificant and worthless that Priscilla probably couldn’t be bothered with her. OK, I don’t know if that’s true, but this time around, Raki, who looks like a healthy boy, should be a decent meal for her.

Not at all. Priscilla is glad to hold on to him and be comforted like a little girl next to her older brother or even her father. Because of that reason, even Isley, the demon king of north, is willing to teach Raki how to fight with a sword. Not that it will matter at all – since it takes a lot of yoki in the claymore world to be effective against anyone. Unless the author pulls off a classic shonen stunt – that the weakest character in the show often has the greatest hidden powers. But, somehow I don’t think Norihiro Yagi (the author of the manga) and studio Madhouse’s director for this show would be that conventional. Anyway, Clare is kind of like that character already. So in the end I suspect that it won’t matter how strong Raki’s sword technique will become. But at that moment, I almost wish it would.

So what’s the significance here? I guess I’ll find out soon. My theory is that somehow, Raki’s encounter with Isley and Priscilla will save at least Clare. Although that may not be the case at all.

Let’s go back to “the close to realistic war drama in anime bit.”

Everyone’s scared, just in different ways, no surprises here. What is surprising is why different people got scared. The people who seemed most daring or indifferent (stoic) or have it all together, turn out to be the most scared or worried about (gasp) death! Some of the rest, however, are more afraid of something people in real world aren’t afraid of – having more power and turn to mindlessly violent…wait, I take that back. I’m sure some soldiers in Vietnam, Iwajima/other Pacific fronts in WWII, and even Iraq were or are afraid of turning into killing machines without conscience.

Mike will probably do a better analysis about powers and God and other stuff in the future. Here, I offer my observations and thoughts.

I was simply shocked (though I suspect a lot of other people saw this one coming) at what Deneve discovers in the back of the supply house – that Undine is really scared of death, and she has a really frail and feminine body just like most other Claymore ladies!!! Holy Shit I was just shocked!!!

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To me, Deneve plays 2 roles: 1. The role of the curious audience – who wants to see what’s wrong with Undine. 2. The person who truly understands and knows that Undine has to be confronted and talked exactly at her weakest moment. I never thought I’d say this, but (blush) the real, vulnerable Undine is kind of…cute! No, I’m not strange. You have seen the episode, you know. As part of the curious audience, Deneve barged into the backroom, and she found Undine sitting on the floor crying and shivering, without her bulging muscles. She’s just a scared young woman, ooooh (just kidding).

I was so shocked that I almost fell out of my chair. Undine acts so fearless in the last episode that I didn’t think anything would faze her. Not true. There are two reasons why she seems so brave. Reason 1 has something to do with her past. But, let’s look at the second role that Deneve plays.

Deneve knows a scared person when she hears one. In a war, it’s very important to help a comrade, especially if that comrade happens to be your captain. Deneve goes to the store house. Inside, she hears Undine yelling at her and commanding her to get out.

Knowing what a person sounds like when she pretends to be commanding and tough but in reality needs a lot of comfort and help, Deneve takes a chance and walks into the backroom, with the other sword that Undine has in hand.

Undine has two swords. However, one of these isn’t hers. Deneve figures out why.

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In this sequence, I learned why Claymore is such a good drama. It portrays fear realistically. No some guys with their jaw dropped and utters “uh…uh…uh…” for 50 seconds. No “OH MY GOD HE’S IMPOSSIBLE! I MUST FIGHT HARDER, LET MY BLOOD BOIL!” crap. Just some realistic fears against impossible odds and an almost certain death.

Without a God or any other deities to help out. Not at all. You’re on your own and no amount of good luck is likely to get you out of this one alive.

In short, Deneve shares her story with Undine with a somewhat flat voice. Half of the story involves the death of her family, the other half involves her best friend, Helene, who’s very realistic about fear.

Oh god (or Mr. Yagi) please don’t kill Helene or Deneve!

What Undine says in some way mirrors the sentiment of an older soldier who lived through WWI, even though it’s not quite the same. The old soldier said (about his experience about the death of his friend): “Yes, we were war buddies. But when the shell blew up my buddy and not me, my first thought, as disgusting to me as it’ll be later, was that I was glad that it wasn’t me.”

Deneve, after the death of her family, specifically her sister, who used her own life to protect her, decided to become a defensive Claymore and not an offensive one. Those who know the show enough just think about it and you will realize her cowardice.

Or maybe she’s not a coward. She’s just human. Just like Helene said.

Let talk about our protagonist next.

Here’s another good scene that I just have to talk about – Flora confronting Clare. The character I want to talk about isn’t actually Clare or Flora. It’s Jean.

It seems like Flora have been wondering about Clare, specifically Clare’s right arm for some time, and she isn’t going to trust Clare without some good explanation, or at least a good fight. She thought Clare got the arm of Irene using dirty methods.

I can’t blame her. Clare never bothered to explain how she got Irene’s only remaining arm to anyone. I’m sure since Irene had only one arm left, that arm must be precious to her. Yet Clare has that arm now. Therefore I can’t blame Flora being very suspicious about why Clare has that arm.

Thinking that Clare used an improper method to obtain that arm, Flora decides to challenge her.

Jean steps in. Her reason for stopping Flora from challenging Clare is simple.

“Clare saved my life and therefore I can’t forgive anyone who pulls a sword on her.”

I don’t know what to say except old fashion values still touches my heart, even though I’m the demon king (Ma-oh) of cynicism and jadedness. Jean is the perfect portrayal of a classic warrior. I applauded again.

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Knowing that trusting and working in harmony with the others is important in this war, Clare tells the whole story – It seems obvious to me that Clare still thinks that Irene is still alive, and Clare is trying to hide that fact as long as possible. Clare has no intension of telling the story until Flora tells Jean and her that she simply can’t fight with a person who she can’t trust, and that she is going to get Clare kicked off the team.

After Clare tells her story and her intension, which is to make sure she doesn’t lose what she wants to protect and for making up for what she has lost, and she wants to cut off Priscilla’s head. She gained the trust of Flora. Whew! That’s a relief. The three (Clare, Jean, and Flora) crosses their swords a swears an oath that they will survive. This scene happens thanks to no small part of Jean stepping in. Clare probably didn’t want to get Jean involved in a senseless fight. Although here, Clare is definitely not the best character.

This moment is so touching in a warrior kind of way that I can’t help but be touched. I also can’t help but wonder if Yagi-sensei have read novels like Lord of the Rings or some kind of samurai stories after all.

Even someone as jaded as I am is a sucker for these types of stories. In LotR, when they send Boromir’s body away by the boat I shed silent tears. There, I said it.

Next, after Undine surly forgives and purposely forgets what her team members have said, we get to see Helene and her seemingly silly way of comforting a scared Claymore (I feel bad I don’t even know who this one is). Helene talks about food.

But you know what? Sometimes you just have to cheer someone up with seemingly really silly things. In a war where death lurks very near in every corner, even simple things can be so encouraging. Even if it’s just an apple.

Just as Helene says, “Of course, we’re human, too!” While trying not so obviously to comfort that scared Claymore.

Again, the author somehow knows something about war. Next, we come to Miria.

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she doesn’t show much emotions after all. But she whispered a silent prayer, to…nobody? She prayed “If possible, let not one soldier here perish.”

(I cried again. There, I said it again.)

It’d be nice if God were real. Alas, at least in the Claymore world, there is no God. Only the fighting spirit of the warriors are keeping them alive. Their only hope is their own strength.

Miria is a little embarrassed and self conscious about her prayer, and saying something about that even though there is no God to pray to.

So why bother then?

Miria discusses the bleak possibility, which is coming into truth, that these claymores have no chance if Isley gets serious.

He does.

With Raki passed out, Isley meets with the scout who reports back, and then he issues an order to utterly destroy the town of Pieta.

Leave nothing alive. To sum up what he says. Nothing living is allowed to be left behind.

The future is looking impossibly bleak indeed. I know this is only an anime but I’d pray for these Claymores if they were real people.

But prayers won’t save them.

This episode is 100% recommended for your daily anime diet even though the only action is Isley demonstrating his sword fighting skills and Raki practicing his useless sword technique. I can’t be more impressed with this episode even if I tried.

P.S. one issue that a lot of recent shonen anime talk about – one person tries to do everything on his (in this case her) own, because someone he (she) really cared died because he (she) was powerless. The solution? Deneve said it the best: “Your comrades are here. what you can’t achieve by yourself, we’ll help you achieve it. So don’t force yourself too much, Captain Undine.” (tears again for me. There, I’ve said it for the 3rd time.)

P.S. 2 I really hate to predict this (DON’T read if you don’t want to feel I gave you the spoiler) but Jean, Miria, Helene, and probably Deneve is probably not going to come out alive. I’ll probably scream like Shinji when Jean dies…Man, that will suck so bad…

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