Claymore 18 – Cannon fodders and a honorable warrior doesn’t necessarily make a good leader.

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This ep is very interesting as it’s packed with information about quite a few things, which I’ll list below and then discuss each (note, I have watched this three times over two days before writing this that’s why I’m slow in coming out with this review, plus I tried to get the Audio Column on ASAP, sorry):

1. Clare perfects her version of the flash/lighting blade technique upon seeing Jeane’s strong will.

2. Jeane is a great friend and an honorable warrior, but a terrible team leader.

3. the 24 Claymores are cannon fodders, even including number 6, number 8, and number 9.

4. The organization has enough people to send to the front, or the ranking difference is really vague and one number difference can mean a great chasm between two Claymores, so it doesn’t matter even if a number 6 dies, because the organization can always send numbers 4 (who is that now), 3(Galatea. We’re told that she’ll be stuck with impossible duties), 2, and perhaps as a last resort, number 1 to deal with the monsters, the awakened, and the Abyssal Ones.

5. The organization isn’t betting on Clare getting out alive, but the head of the organization has presented a trial and is having a wait and see attitude.

6. Human will can over come. It’s rather implied here but it’s talked about.

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So here we go.

Jeane is a strong exception to the supposed rule that “Once a Claymore is awaken, there’s no turning back.” In the previous ep, we learned that what Galatea did to help Clare turn back indirectly helped Jeane to turn back. In this ep, we get some expansion upon what we learned – apparently Jeane has an “abnormally strong will” which helps her to be in control of her mind even when her body transforms. That’s something even our favorite X factor Clare can’t do. It fits the classical warrior’s mold – a tough and strong mind, which can control just about everything on the body. I salute her. Jeane is rapidly turning into my favorite character, also, when Helene asked her: “You’re number 9, aren’t you? But you’re with her (Clare, who’s 47)?” she just said: “She saved my life. What does that have to do with the ranking?” I couldn’t help but applause. But what bad luck she has (sign)…but is it really bad luck?

Not according to her latest opponent. The male awakened that had a bandanna/cloth strips/bandage around his eyes flatly told her that because she doesn’t really realize who on her team can actually contribute and who can’t, and she tries to cover and help everyone anyway, that’s why her entire team was annihilated. Now, an awakened one is utterly inhuman and it’ll probably not hesitate to sacrifice someone on its team if that someone is weak, so his view is probably a little skewered, but it’s probably true that Jeane should do something to prevent some members from going for a frontal assault (I’m making guesses from this point on), and then getting their asses kicked, and having the need of Jeane helping out, which in term, probably mean (we didn’t see, and I’m speculating) that Jean has to cover them, but unfortunately neglecting others, who are probably more useful, and lets them get killed. When Jeane tries to help them, and it’s too late, she comes back only to find the people that she first try to help die, and she gets hurt running all over the place. It’s such a shame that Jeane can’t lead, because she makes a wonderful and honorable friend in need.

In contrast, Miria is smart, quite analytical, and makes a great leader, too. She has already thought about the odds (So did Clare, btw),  and Clare asks her about the odds, Miria simply said: “Zero.” Later, in the battle against the scout team/first wave of the enemies, she calmly ordered the groups to get to positions and attack. By simply doing that, she prevented a complete disaster even after the surprise attack by the awakened ones. The awakened one that Jeane’s team has the unfortunately fate (well, maybe this is a mis-assignment by Miriya, but hey, the decision is made under an extreme circumstance – a surprise attack) pointed that out.

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I read somewhere that the “advice” or “praises” given by your enemy are the best advices. However, because it’s now obvious that most if not all of these people are simply cannon fodders that the organization sends to die, this awakened one points out that some of them will be afraid, and what’s implied is that these scared Claymores won’t be much help at all.

Let me side track a little bit. So, Miria is number 6. That means she has to be pretty strong, right? But she had so much trouble dealing with the male awakened during ep 9 or 10 or whatever – just about 10 eps ago. But I thought number 6 is quite a small number, which means she has to be pretty strong, right? So, why is it that she had trouble dealing with some awakened that appeared 8 to 10 eps ago?

My next question. So Galatea is number 3, eh? Sure didn’t look like when dealing with Duff. I’d think being number 3 means she would have an easier time, but she didn’t. In any case, the power comparison for Claymore is rather irrelevant to this great show at this point, though it’s rather confusing. So let me move on.

Well, but I’m kind of back to that power issue on this next item. So the organization really doesn’t care how many cannon fodders they send to die. I mean, we have what, about 47 Claymores? And in this campaign, a lot of pretty high and decent ranking ones are sent to “die”, as Miria probably fears. 24 of them to be exact. If they all die (obviously that isn’t going to happen as we would be out of a protagonist and the story would have to stop and perhaps change – yes, Clare is in this group of 24 ladies), then the organization will be left with 23 Claymores. But perhaps this doesn’t matter, since number 1 to 5 will still be left. Let me recount the top 10 people – 1, 2, Galatea, 4, Lafiel, Miriya, 7 -deceased, 8 Flora, 9 Jeane, 10 (who?). So the top ten should be the most powerful. So let’s pretend the group of 24 dies. Then from the top ten will have numbers 1,2,3 (Galatea), 4 (Lafiel), and 10. But the organization will be also stuck with a lot of weak ones. So unless numbers 1,2,3, and 4 can kill a lot of awakened ones in a hurry, otherwise the organization will be in trouble. Or will it? I’m still not sure why the organization decided to make Claymores to fight demons in the first place. To use my jaded thinking, these people at the organization are probably well protected enough or at least rich enough to not have to deal with these demons. So…why did they bother to make Claymores in the first place? Just to make a profit? My speculation (and if this turns out to be a spoiler I apologize in advance) is that the organization is somehow responsible for the demons in that Claymore world and they’re trying to fix that.

Well, all these are speculation, and I think Miria isn’t going to die. As for Jeane…well, let’s say in a lot of shows the honorable warrior who isn’t the primary characters usually dies. BUT PLEASE. NO SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS SECTION!!! I DON’T NEED TO KNOW RIGHT AWAY!

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Is the organization giving Clare more trials? For sure. Lubelle gives Clare a pretty tough bargain, and Clare+Jeane probably feel that they have to accept the offer. So they get reequipped with the official uniform. In any case, in the last ep or two eps ago, we saw that the head of the organization wondering about Clare’s abilities and decides to give her a trial, and it happens that the organization is sending people to fight the Awakened and the King of the North. So it’s a great opportunity to send Clare there. If she dies, great, no more troubles from her. If she actually survives, then well, she’s still useful. Ultimately for what though? I don’t know yet.

One last point. When Clare pointed out that human will can be a powerful force, she affirmed what people have always suspected (come on, who’s 100% sure all the time) – that human will is very strong. I think I don’t need to discuss that too much as many examples in the human history have already pointed that out.

In this ep, we learn a lot about different personalities and the different ways the Claymores dealing with things. We also learn that the organization really truly don’t give a shit about any of these Claymores after all. They only care about these who are useful. The rest are stuck with tank duties. I wonder if the organization has a unlimited supply of women they can make into Claymores?

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In any case, 96% recommended for you daily anime diet. It’s another good episode that I screamed bloody murder when it’s over. I didn’t even realize that it was over until the credits rolled.

P.S. After watching this many eps, do you guys who have read the manga to the latest volume think it’s worth it to get the manga? I bought vols. 1 to 5, but I’m not sure if it was a good decision. Should I buy up to 10 (Taiwan only goes up to 10)? Or I should just stop here? I’d very much appreciated if I could hear some thoughts.

(Edit: P.S. 2 – I’m revising my daily recommendation to 98% – there are so many little details about things such as the group of claymore as a rather disconnected team at least on friendship, hints and speculations  that one can make about the situation, and the dead-pan humor that Deneve has is simply brilliant.)

9 thoughts on “Claymore 18 – Cannon fodders and a honorable warrior doesn’t necessarily make a good leader.”

  1. Well, seeing as we MIGHT get a slightly askewed ending in the anime in a few weeks, you probably should plan on reading it at least. :D Little tibits are left out here and there in translation but that’s to be expected. The manga will also explain a little more than the anime can since they are two different mediums.

    I think that the ORG is just trying to deal with its own mistakes dating back to the first ever Male Claymore Class. All they had to fight against in the beginning were just petty youma. Only reason there are Awakeneds running around is because they are a youma/human hybrid that went a wee bit too far.

    Miria IS pretty strong as we’ll see more later on. She was off guard against a Male Awakened that she had no prior knowledge of being the actual target. It’s like being told you’re going to go shoot a cow and it ends up being a freaking Cape Buffulo. You need a completely different set of weapons, guns, and ammo for those things trust me.

    If Miria had known before-hand that it was a Male Claymore, she would have strongly requested single-digit and teen ranks instead. Deneve would have been the weakest member on the team if Miria had anything to say about it. It’s like Ophelia said – the better her team, the better Miria’s overall performance. And it makes me wonder just how powerful Hilda (Miria’s friend who she killed as an Awakened) was to warrant the presence of not only Miria, but OPHELIA as well.

    Which makes the case of the Org trying to kill them off by (1) giving Miria a purposefully weak team to begin with (2) not telling her that it was a Male Awakened all the more stronger.

    Splitting up her Fab 4 amongst all the teams was pretty cool of her, especially since she could have opted to have them back together. Have partial Awakeneds in each group to balance out the fact that only 3 of the 5 teams have single digits in them. If you notice, she sent those three (hers included) out first to battle the ABs. I could forever extol the virtues of the Phantom but I’m hungry now. ^^;

  2. I think you should buy the manga because after all, you have the first 5 volumes. There is more emotional impact, better artwork, more dialogue, and skipped scenes on the following volumes after 6 that the anime does not cover. Of course, depending on your taste, you can watch all the anime and then buy the manga to appreciate the full work of the author, or you can spoil yourself and read the manga first (not recommended, because the fun and EMOTIONAL impact is not the same once you watch the anime after reading it)

  3. “Let me side track a little bit. So, Miriya is number 6. That means she has to be pretty strong, right? But she had so much trouble dealing with the male awakened during ep 9 or 10 or whatever – just about 10 eps ago. But I thought number 6 is quite a small number, which means she has to be pretty strong, right? So, why is it that she had trouble dealing with some awakened that appeared 8 to 10 eps ago?”

    Just like Claire, who has been getting stronger and developing her abilities, so has Miria.

    “My next question. So Galatea is number 3, eh? Sure didn’t look like when dealing with Duff. I’d think being number 3 means she would have an easier time, but she didn’t. In any case, the power comparison for Claymore is rather irrelevant to this great show at this point, though it’s rather confusing.”

    Something that was left out of the anime but mentioned in the manga, is the fact that Duph was ranked #3 when he was a Claymore. Considering that he once had the same rank as Galatea and is an Awakened Being, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be a lot stronger than Galatea. Another left out fact is that Galatea is a defensive-type Claymore, her offensive abilities are on the weak side compared to characters like Jean.

    Once you’re done watching the anime, it’s definitely worth reading the manga because it’s includes more minor details that are left out of the anime.

  4. Za_Paper – ah! That’s why I got confused! Well, the anime keeps the most important parts and skips some details. But wow, now I have more incentives buying the manga.

    This may be against popular opinion, but I like the art work in the anime better – the faces aren’t as rounded (I kind of skimmed through the scanlations of vol.1 of the manga), and because I studied art in college, I rather like the more sculptural faces that the anime characters have – not to mention some of them now look like supermodels.

    Arakan7 – what you said reminded me a point that I negelected to talk about – team work in Claymore.

    It seems to me, at least that the team work in Claymore, or at least the team dynamics among these ladies aren’t there, except for the last team with Miriya as lead, and any team with Clare in. What Clare said: “It looks like all the claymores are only caring about their own business” struck me – in ep 18 we got a really short but clear scene that each claymore lady is sitting alone, leaning on a wall alone, sitting in a corner alone, lying down alone, and so on. They’re mercenaries who don’t necessarily know well how to really fight as a team – Jeane’s a very good example, her opponent tells her flatly that she can’t lead. Miriya, on the other hand, is very smart and she knows how to deal with that.

    In contrast to Jeane(wow I just thought of this), Clare probably makes a good leader because even back in the days of her travels with Teresa, she reached out to Teresa first. Clare seems to have the ability of having people come to her, despite being such a loner wanna be – Teresa came into her life, and years later, Raki, and some eps later, Jeane. She meet friends that get very impressed with her “guts” – Helene and Deneve. She gains great allies – Miriya and Jeane; Intelligence and loyalty. Last but definitely not the least, Clare gains a mentor that sacrifices everything for her (Irene). Clare is not the strongest, fastest, most intelligent/analytical, most powerful; she doesn’t have high rankings and she’s not very good at a lot of other things, but she sure knows how to make good friends.

    Toonleap – thanks for the recommendation. I think I’ll try reading the first 5. I got a feeling I’ll be running out and get the other 5 (that’s how many’s out in Taiwan) right after, but only read up to 6 then. :P

  5. We’ll finally get to meet Claymores number 1 and 2, Alicia and Beth, in a few episodes.

    Like Raymond speculates, the Organization is placing placing a big bet on Dark Alicia’s success–she’s the reason they are willing to write off more than half the other living Claymores.

    Actually, I’m hoping that we get to see Raki again, next episode. He sure does know how to make interesting friends.

  6. HOLD ON!!!
    http://manga.bleachexile.com/claymore/0/0/
    That site lets you read mostly all of the Claymore manga. Save ur money =)

    Za_Paper explained this but let me add something: When Miria was fighting the male awakened being from a couple of episodes ago, the male awakened one got off a surprise attack from the start. Also, Miria also just found out that the organization may have sent them on a suicide mission and considering her team mates were dying, Miria must have been really worried and distracted from the fight. When she started to fight with Clare, it must have helped her confidence because they won soon after that.

    Since these 24 Claymore are just a road block, the organization must be preparing something (otherwise why would they need to stall?).

    OK. You said
    “So unless numbers 1,2,3, and 4 can kill a lot of awakened ones in a hurry, otherwise the organization will be in trouble. Or will it? I’m still not sure why the organization decided to make Claymores to fight demons in the first place. To use my jaded thinking, these people at the organization are probably well protected enough or at least rich enough to not have to deal with these demons. So…why did they bother to make Claymores in the first place? Just to make a profit? My speculation (and if this turns out to be a spoiler I apologize in advance) is that the organization is somehow responsible for the demons in that Claymore world and they’re trying to fix that”

    So here’s my theory: Yoma were killing humans. The organization was made as the only way to stop yoma. They got money from each village to kill yoma so they got rich enough to make more Claymore. Male Claymore became awakened ones so they used females now. The Abyssal Ones were created and had enough power to destroy the organization (probably even now). However, awakened ones come ONLY from CLaymores and since the the Abyssal ones dont wanna be lonely, they let the organization pump out more Claymores, which thus creates more awakened buddies.
    Since the organization knows they messed up creating awakened ones, they constantly try to make Claymores strong enough to kill all awakened ones. Thats why they save humans in order to get money, to make more Claymores. Thats why they dont give a shit about weak claymores or trouble makers (unless they’re strong like Galetea).

    use that site to read the manga!!! remember =/

  7. Charles – well, because I read that the Japanese manga artists practically work themselves to death and they actually don’t get paid that much (and there’s always news that some manga artist dies young), and in Taiwan, manga are so cheap anyways, I’m considering supporting the artist. However, I appreciate that great link. Thank you for the link!

  8. It’s a great theory. Because everything kind of comes in circles, which means the loop is endless. One thing we know is that the organization truly don’t care for the lives of these women – they’re just tools to them. The claymores are necessary evil but the organization is increasingly looking like the merchant of death to me.

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