Claymore is a show that’s hard to define. The manga is easier to define. The manga is intelligent through and through. Its emotional impact is consistent and the plots are always good.
In my opinion the anime doesn’t lose to the manga in these departments. But because some kind of closure is necessary for a TV show, it kind of hurried itself a little bit and almost takes the easy way out.
It starts out as a simple show about demons eating people and warriors paid to destroy them. But it grows into something deep and thoughtful that explores human weakness and things that people do to act strong despite the inherent weakness in human beings.
All the pain, suffering, and disappoints are necessary for growth in a world filled with evil, and these things are the essential fuel to fight against the cause of evil. The demons are just allegories of evils in the world that cause people to do things to others in order to feel better, or to have the feeling of resolution. One evil causes another, one destroyed family in term, causes the death of a loved one, a destruction of another family, a trip for a person to the insanity of soldiers’ dark side, and then finally it leads to a squire’s receiving of a precious gift.
At its best, this show even echoes themes in Lord of the Rings, at its worst, at least this show doesn’t provide an easy way out of everything, pain, hate, suffering, and all that’s wrong with its world.
Warriors come and go, but some of them leave deep marks in our hearts by their loyalty and a sense of debt and duty. These warriors never die, they just fade away into the distant underworld.
We can only hope they shall reach the Elysian Fields reserved for those who are honorable, and have fallen in battle against the dark forces so foul and strong that normal humans fall hopelessly under their flesh tearing appendixes.
The living warriors walk on, learning from their mistakes, surviving under the policy that their cruel masters make while disregarding their lives. The decisions of the organization have sent many warriors to their needless deaths.
These warriors – Claymores, fighting under extraneous circumstances, misunderstood and sometimes hurt by the very people they risk their lives to protect, and being overused and thrown away by their masters, still walk upright and proud, attacking demons encountered, supporting one another when the pain of growth and transformation frightens their tender, caring and passionate souls, and mourn over the gravestone made hastily with the large sword over the body of their fallen comrades – some of which are loved by others, and definitely will be missed by the observers (us).
But others will not be remembered at all. They will truly fade into the recesses of the dark world that we the viewers are fortunate enough to get glimpses of.
I gasped at Teresa’s death; I bit my lower lip when Ophelia finally understood her brother’s last wish; I screamed and mourned at Jeane’s sacrificial last act for Clare.
I applauded at Clare’s strength in her heart; I admired Teresa for her ease and elegance at slaying the evil ones; I saluted Irene for her offering of friendship and her remaining arm.
Although this show doesn’t have the intricacies of Lord of the Rings, but it has certainly played the chords of my emotional strings delicately and yet shockingly.
I shall be in a certain kind of despair at missing the show but also a certain kind of satisfaction as I look on with the Claymores to the future – in which they shall encounter many more trials and troubles, and fight through it all, being the better humans with stout hearts beating inside their chests and hot blood running through their veins.
“If it were possible, let not one warrior here perish.” Amen.
99% recommended for your daily anime diet because I’m biased. So sue me.