Tag Archives: Claymore

Mike’s Claymore Marathon Journal: Eps. 3-7

claymore3-2.jpg

I’m going to PMX this weekend along with the rest of the US crew–and so is Claymore‘s director and character designer, Hiroyuki Tanaka and Takahiro Umehara! As a matter of journalistic research and integrity, I’ve decided to watch the rest of Claymore, which I barely started when it was being broadcast, in rapid mini-marathons until the end of the week when they are set to do their panels at PMX. And I’ve decided to blog about it too, since what is an anime blog if not a record of what has been watched?  This is for episodes 3-7.

Continue reading Mike’s Claymore Marathon Journal: Eps. 3-7

ef episode 1 – melancholy and the infinite overdoneness

snapshot20071011085950.jpgsnapshot20071011090018.jpgsnapshot20071011090038.jpgsnapshot20071011090050.jpgsnapshot20071011090129.jpgsnapshot20071011090135.jpgsnapshot20071011090144.jpgsnapshot20071011090154.jpgsnapshot20071011090212.jpgsnapshot20071011090225.jpgsnapshot20071011090436.jpgsnapshot20071011090448.jpgsnapshot20071011090459.jpgsnapshot20071011090507.jpgsnapshot20071011090520.jpg

Raki finds Rei Ayanami at an abandoned station, with texts explaining and highlighting stuff plus strange imageries with sappy piano music playing in the background to heighten the mood.

The director for Pani Poni Dash and Zetsubo Sensei is assisting this time and I frowned as I looked at some of the image switches and wondered about their meanings.

Confused? So was I.

Continue reading ef episode 1 – melancholy and the infinite overdoneness

Post-Claymore Ending Traumatic Stress Anxiety

Hi all, and pardon my anxiety filled face.

I’ve been dreading this beginning a few weeks back, but when it finally became reality I still couldn’t deal with it at all. I’ve been hugging my knees and eating bucketful of soda power added lard drenched in Yebisu beer with sides of fried chicken skins and a few kilos worth of Krispy Kream Donut fillings, but nothing seems to work.

I’m currently in rehab dealing with Post-Claymore Ending Traumatic Stress Anxiety.

One thing I have recognized is that one major factor contributing to our site’s success depends on we blogging about massively popular shows or shows that get people talking about. While none of us blogs about Naruto or Bleach, which lasts for thousands of episodes, with millions and millions of Rock fans (fine, I know that’s a quite old reference to WWF but that’s as far as I followed WWF), I blogged about Claymore and Mike blogged about School Days.

On certain posts (read: 2 posts), we each got a few hundred hits per post (I can hear the big boys like THAT and Random thunderously loud snickering when I said: few hundred hits), and each of us felt mighty good about the site overall, dousing each other with gatorade and champaign while trying unsuccessfully to jump and run into each other “in a pile of players” as if we had won the World Series or World Cup. I’ll tell ya, trying to lift up the hero of the game with one group of big and strong athletes is easy, but trying to lift up Mike by myself is incredibly hard and we both are due for some serious weight loss. Bear in mind all that took place in cyberspace or in our imaginations.

Now Claymore is over, I’m worrying about two things: 1. People who came and read and left comments may not come back to our site if the Fall season doesn’t have shows with female supermodel warriors punishing yoma with love and justice…I mean with loyalty and friendship, while slicing and dicing uncircumcised yoma for a sausage and baloney breakfast…I mean fighting for the good of the world. No more in the name of the Claymores, I’ll punish you…I mean working for the organization for a profit. No more “I’m following you around because I’ve fallen in love with you and I want to stalk you”…I mean “I owe you a life debt.” No more supermodels demonstrating the latest accessories in warrior women fashion…I mean no more demon hunting. 2. We won’t have that many visiters.

Granted, we do this for free so we’re not supposed to care if 1 folk visits or if 1000 folks visits in a day, but because I’m man and full of pride, and I have been seduced by the power of the ring, and it has become my downfall…(Sorry if I have already completely lost you few cyber seconds ago)

It’s difficult to give up the power of spreading personalized and biased-as-hell ideas and opinions, and absolutely guaranteed 100% pure and unadulterated truth all over the cyberdomains.

__________________________________________________________________

Ray Hu is currently rehabilitating in a certain famous recovery center in LA.

Mike is building his own ark in his backyard.

Fred has taken over the duty of taking over the world.

Jeremy is working on releasing his solo album.

Our future is bleak indeed.

Series Review – Claymore

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.

Claymore 26 – How to die properly and how to live properly as a warrior.

Jeane dies honorably, repaying her debt and dying while helping Clare to change back. Farewell, Jeane, we shall truly miss you this time (manly tears).

Clare learns to move on, realizing that she must, because she can’t just go to the dark side and to hell just because she wants to – there are people who want her to live on.

Raki steps up to the challenge and helps to save Clare in the process. He knows that killing and taking personal revenge is actually the worst solution – it will drive a person over to the demon side. This is something Christians have know for centuries, that hating someone for the rest of your life, plotting or at least fantasizing about revenge will only destroy you.

In Japanese tales, when someone hates another person too much, that someone literally turns into a demon with horns and can never come back. The anime version Claymore seems to use that legend for the its story.

Clare finally gets over herself on her hate for Priscilla, and move on from her vengeful ways. She travels on with Raki and lives on, fully appreciates the meaning of living on. Jeane’s death teaches her that.

Miria, Helene, and Devene part ways. All of them including Clare, will not serve the organization any more.

The story ends fully concluding and closing the Northern Arc and yet it’s not so closed that a possible second season cannot happen. I commend Madhouse for pulling this one off. Congratulations!

The warriors journey on, each grows a lot, learning a lot, and knowing that one day, they shall meet again. Knowing that “Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why.” (Samwise Gangee, while trying to encourage Frodo)

Isley and Priscilla goes away like classic anime villains, except they haven’t utterly lost the battle, it’s just that Isley simply decides to leave with Priscilla. This keeps in line with the eccentric characters of the Abyssal Ones.

I screamed like Aragorn when Jeane died. Man that sucked. But once again thanks to Mitsuishi Kotono-sama, the show is lifted up to another level of greatness.

I really have nothing much to say about this episode (I was so touch that I can’t even write anything now) except I’m completely satisfied with the how the TV series ends – it can end here, but it also leaves the possibility of a second season. Without talking too much more about it –

98% recommended for your daily anime diet.

Looking back at the last 10 years of anime in 2017

From The Diet 3 Daily (long ago known as believewhatyouhear.org news) in The Diet 3 –

Sept. 23, 2017, The Diet 3, Atlantis. As the Anime Diet web site is now literally a Cyber City with the address thediet3.atn that also has real physical infrastructure on the current continent of Atlantis (used to be known separately as California, China, India, Japan, and Taiwan) with the address atlantisempire.atn, the Diet 3 Daily will look back at the last 10 years in anime.

Lady Hirano Aya became the first “Haruhi (the rough equivalent of a high priest. Some have been calling her the Popette)” of the Religion of Haruhi. However, these days she’s looking to pass on her position to the current idol seiyuu, Tanaka “Tiffany” Sakura, because according to the Haruhi Apostles’ Creed, once “the Haruhi” becomes 30 years old, she has to give up her position to a younger woman.

We are expecting political intrigues, assassinations, poisoning and many more Otaku riots.

The Cyber Nation of Gainax has been fighting a bitter 2-front war with The Cyber Federation of I.G. Bones and the Cyber Ghibli Liberation Front. Anno Hideki lost his life in a cyber terrorism incident and lost all his capacity to be creative. These days he can be seen posing as Ultra-man in front of the physical infrastructure of Tokyo 30, the capital of the Cyber Nation of Gainax and muttering phrases like: “I mustn’t run away”, and “I alway bring trouble to everyone around me.”

Goro Miyazaki, the leader of Cyber Ghibli Liberation Front, has been churning out stick figure anime with exceptional quality music and gorgeous scenery; he insists on these being hand drawn without the use of any CG. Many critics hailed these as “facinating art pieces commenting the mockery of the truly classic of animation”.

Ishii Mamoru started a cult named Shirow Savior, which also happens to be the name of a mecha anime that features Ultranet-ready mecha that features only bishonen pilots and only moe girls that simply can’t be killed outright. The believers of “Shirow Savior” and the believers of “Haruhiism” have been in constant cyber paper fan battles since 2014.

The giant robot “Rahxephon” has been installed as the Guardian of I.G. Bones and it has been almost completely invincible in battles against The Cyber Nation of Gainax. In its last battle is slayed 15000 Eva Unit 13 mass-production types. Miraculously, a pilot only known as Ikari S., piloting Eva Unit X1, actually successfully defeated Rahxephon using the Lance of Longeness and what is now known to the Cyber domains as AT attack Field.

KyoAni remained an animation studio in Japan. However, it’s now also known as the “Underground Diet (Parliament)” of Japan. Because Cyber Gainax took over Tokyo and made it into Tokyo 30 and became separated from the rest of what once was Japan, Kyoto became the capital of what once was Japan once again. KyoAni’s AIR defense force series became one of the best sellers in anime all time. Rumor has it that KyoAni is actually run by Lady Hirano Aya, but our sources couldn’t confirm that.

the Otaku is now the 1st class citizens on the entire continent of Atlantis. Instead of the New Year’s Day, January 1st was change to “Otaku shopping Day”, on the day no anime-related stores would close and Otaku can shop 24 hours straight on that day and on January 2nd, which is now known as the Cosplayer’s Day, by law, everyone on the continent of Atlantis is required to cosplay as an anime character.

Common crimes include: whacking someone with a cyber paper fan and steal his or her memory while screaming: “nandeyanen!” Stealing priceless artifacts (figurines) of Kanon, Air, Haruhi, Akane (from Ranma) and others, Gigaslaving people up their asses and almost destroying the world in the process, disrespecting Lady Hirano Aya, dressing up as Zetsubo Sensei without screaming “I’m in despair” every 5 minutes, riding giant robots, mechas, Tachikomas and the like without a pilot’s license (a special license is required for piloting transformable robots). conducting mecha combat without applying for combat permits, carrying Claymores without symbols, using anti-Akuma weapons without registering with the Black Society of Jesus, dating yaoi vampires without drawing doujinshi of them, sexually harassing mecha musume (military mecha girls) and/or using them for prostitution purposes, hacking people’s cyber brains and play the OP song for Potemayo 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 or 366 days per year in their heads, disrespecting your mother and Inoue Kikuko-sama(Belldandy, Mizuho, Miria) in the same sentence, and many other crimes, all of which are punishable by death with “Full Cavity Synchronization Capacity” probes, in groups inside special death agencies.

We here at The Diet 3 Daily is now fearing for our lives.

Claymore 25 – Powering up and fighting for your own reasons.

No, it’s not a bad episode by a long stretch. It really isn’t.

It’s just that finally, Madhouse caves in and used the shonen cliche.

mount-doom.jpgsnapshot20070920130900.jpgsnapshot20070920130945.jpg

The boss transforms into a super powered monster, and the main character, seeing all her friends are down, finally gets very angry and transforms into Super Seiyan 3.

Or the main character remembering why she was fighting in the first place – her first love, and her sadness and grief for the loss of that love allows her to transform.

Didn’t they do that in Sailor Moon when she was fighting Nehelenia?

Or didn’t Goku do that when his bald headed friend got slaughtered?

My, how refreshing!

I can see why people are complaining about the show drifting from the manga. Also I can see why the show will end here, but thankfully the manga will go on.

Clare goes to super seiyan 3 and her powers are probably just below Priscilla’s super Freeza 2. To be fair, I’m told that Clare does transform in the manga, just somewhat earlier (I don’t know the details and I don’t need to know for now, thanks).

snapshot20070920131310.jpgsnapshot20070920131405.jpgsnapshot20070920131601.jpg

But here’s what saved this episode – the loyalty of Jeane. Oh Jeane. She has to be the best character (next to Teresa, of course) in this show, besides the villains.

These days, only the stoic character who will die touches my heart. Jeane knows she won’t make it (why not just power up and heal, dammit!!!), but she tries her best to get there. Why?

Because “she [Clare] saved my life, I’m just repaying her.”

Who the hell cares about that these days? Besides, humans who save your life often have some purpose for it, be it mere self gratification or some other more practical purposes.

Clare saved Jeane because she wanted to. Sure it helps to have another fighter, but Clare did it because she wanted to (how Sailor Moon like that was, anyway!).

Jeane responds by giving up her life to the last to Clare (sob, sob).

Raki, you really suck. You don’t even realize that Jeane isn’t going to make it. You dumb fucker.

In this arc in the anime, Jeane is easily the best character on the Claymore team. With Kotono-san playing her, this grim warrior comes alive. Her performance easily blows everyone else out of water, except Inoue Kikuko-san’s. Her Miria has brilliant moments in episode 20 when she commands over the Claymore force and also tries to pray for everyone even though she knows it’s probably useless.

Episode 20 is the best episode for me for the entire series. But back to this episode.

snapshot20070920131750.jpgsnapshot20070920131902.jpgsnapshot20070920132032.jpg

I’m probably just a really cynical bastard (duh to myself). Watching Clare sitting there wondering why she was even there wasn’t a touching experience, and thankfully the moment was short. But even being a cynic, I can still relate to that. Because like I said before in one of my previous reviews, one of the biggest questions that just about everyone faces is probably this: “What can I do when it just seems that I’m so powerless against it all?” I don’t know, maybe some of you have never come to ask that question because you always knew exactly what to do, or you just went ahead and did whatever. But I’ve often ask that question to myself.

Yet, we fight on, against the power of it all, against the never ending tyranny that is fate, against the oppressions and oppositions that life throws at us. Each of us has his or her own motivation, for one person, vengeance; for another, love and justice; for yet still others, desire for power, fame, and status. Nevertheless, we fight on in this environment branded “humanity”.

snapshot20070920131024.jpgsnapshot20070920131100.jpgsnapshot20070920131153.jpg

I’m cutting this review short (mercifully). This episode is 90% recommended for your daily anime diet.

P.S. Again, to be fair and not completely sell Raki short, he helps and supports Jeane for some time before Jeane decides to use the “super speed” and carry him at the same time. So Raki isn’t a dumb fuck, he’s just finally completely concentrates his mind on Clare and not on himself. Raki is doing his best.

Claymore 24 – pulling a short shinji and the battle on Mount Doom.

snapshot20070913011414.jpgsnapshot20070913011432.jpgsnapshot20070913011441.jpgsnapshot20070913011516.jpgsnapshot20070913011530.jpgsnapshot20070913011539.jpgsnapshot20070913011550.jpgsnapshot20070913011645.jpgsnapshot20070913011708.jpgsnapshot20070913011724.jpgsnapshot20070913011752.jpgsnapshot20070913011805.jpgsnapshot20070913011819.jpgsnapshot20070913011850.jpgsnapshot20070913011906.jpgsnapshot20070913011922.jpgsnapshot20070913011936.jpgsnapshot20070913011953.jpg

Well, it’s a slow episode. But I guess it’s necessary.

Congratulations on Clare cutting the Lion King into little pieces!

Congratulations on Jeane not dying and decides to follow Clare even though she’s like, a couple of miles away!

Congratulations on a successful Shinjism from Raki! But at least he recovers!

Congratulations on Miria, Helene, and Denve’s recovery! Let’s all go and help Sailor Moon, I mean Clare!

Congratulations on Denve becoming Undine the 2nd and take up 2 swords! Do remember to bulk up!

Congratulations on Priscilla recovering her memory, but still remains psycho enough to blame the dead Teresa!

Congratulations on Clare’s power reminds Priscilla of Teresa’s power!

Congratulations on Clare finally loses her mind and breaks the Iron Law of the Claymores, but hey! It’s the anime and not the manga!

snapshot20070913012011.jpgsnapshot20070913012057.jpgsnapshot20070913012110.jpg

Remember the LotR references I’ve been pulling? Well, guess what! Maybe these guys (or Yagi sensei) has been reading LotR, and now Clare and Priscilla is going to fight on Mount Doom! I mean just look at all these lava! I wonder if one of them is going to become Gollum and fall into the lava pit?

Well, at least Raki pulls himself out of the depression funk after Jeane’s talk. Congratulations indeed! XD

There’s just something not quite right about this episode, but it’s not that awful, just the animation and everything else seem to have gone a little bit south, so…

snapshot20070913012136.jpgsnapshot20070913012143.jpgsnapshot20070913012159.jpgsnapshot20070913012223.jpgsnapshot20070913012239.jpgsnapshot20070913012310.jpgsnapshot20070913012351.jpgsnapshot20070913012359.jpgsnapshot20070913012452.jpgsnapshot20070913012505.jpgsnapshot20070913012542.jpgsnapshot20070913012614.jpgsnapshot20070913012701.jpgsnapshot20070913012714.jpgsnapshot20070913012726.jpgsnapshot20070913012757.jpgsnapshot20070913012829.jpgsnapshot20070913012840.jpgsnapshot20070913012912.jpgsnapshot20070913015742.jpgsnapshot20070913012940.jpg

87% recommended for your daily anime diet. I could pretty much skip this episode and not miss much. Hence the short and acidic sarcastic review.

P.S. I’m very happy that Jean is alive, but this episode just doesn’t cut it.

Claymore 23 review pt. 2- the Defining and the application of the Shonen Thesis

(Continued from pt.1)

snapshot20070905230127.jpgsnapshot20070905230212.jpgsnapshot20070905230257.jpg

One more shonen convention for your reference: an angry protagonist becomes stronger and will overcome his opponent by the end.

Goku gets angry at the “death” of his friends; he becomes super saiyan 3. Seiya gets angry at the death of his comrade, he bust through his power limit and uses the comet punch. Other shonen shows generally follow this convention. It’s used to the satisfaction of the audience, who probably feels the anger and the sadness the protagonists feel. This parallels the anger the members of the audience feel when they face some kind of tragedy individually or collectively, but in real life, besides being angry, sometimes no one can do a thing.

In shonen anime, there is something one can do; something to fight against, to get back at for all the pain, hurt, suffering caused – a boss character.

Continue reading Claymore 23 review pt. 2- the Defining and the application of the Shonen Thesis

Claymore 23 review pt. 1- the Shonen Thesis

snapshot20070905223223.jpgsnapshot20070905223410.jpgsnapshot20070905223455.jpg

Where is hope? Where’s the miracle? Why are they even here?

“I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were.

Sometimes you just have to go over your highest mental barrier. You just have to fight. To hold on and not giving up.

“Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why.

Even if you can’t seem to do anything, you have to be there. You just have to…

“Folks in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.”;

However,

“What are we holding on to Sam?”;

– Sam talking to Frodo, at Osgiliath

Why me? Why us? Why all the hurt?

snapshot20070905223619.jpgsnapshot20070905223801.jpgsnapshot20070905223842.jpg

Well, dare I say it (and I being the one of the last people on this earth that deserves the right to say so), why not? In the world of Claymore, that’s the only way to deal with the bigger challenges that come later.

Continue reading Claymore 23 review pt. 1- the Shonen Thesis

Claymore 22 – the movement VS the contemplation and add some shonen convention to the mix.

After watching this episode, honestly, I felt a little disappointed.

clare-is-pissed.jpgsnapshot20070829234732.jpgsnapshot20070829234921.jpg

After reading various comments, some spoilers, additional info, and the manga, I wasn’t impressed with this episode as I was with 20 or 21. That being said, this episode definitely isn’t bad by a long stretch; it’s just a little bit…cliched?

Things that I felt were consistent with regular shonen convention that appear during this episode:

1. Clare keeps on muttering how slow she is, and how she has to get faster – Check. I think Goku says that while fighting Freeza. Or just fighting just about anyone in DBZ for that matter.

2. Powering up beyond your previous limit after the enemy is too super strong and he beats the crap out of ya for the gadzillionth time – Check. I think Seiya did that against one of the 12 Golden Constellation Saint Fighters. Or against all his powerful opponents.

3. Ultra strong god-like enemy that doesn’t suspect a thing whatsoever that our hero (in this case heroine) could do any damage at all, and when he (she) does, the enemy looks briefly surprised but not much reaction (like, I don’t know, pain) beyond that – check. I think Cell did that when Vegeta blows half of his body off, and that’s more damage than what Clare gives to Ligardes.

4. Keeps on switching back and forth between the action scenes and talking scenes – A definite check. Not that it’s pointlessly abused in this episode like they do in Initial D and Dragon Ball Z. What happens in the non-action scene here actually serves a purpose. But the switching here happened so often that it got a little distracting for me.

snapshot20070829235532.jpgsnapshot20070829235836.jpgsnapshot20070830000041.jpg

So, let’s dissect this episode.

Ligardes proves to be impossible to beat. Nothing’s new here. This episode constantly switches back and forth between action and contemplation. The music helps in that regard by being urgent in the fighting scenes but not too terribly fast paced, and slower and more thoughtful in the non-action scenes. It’s the “move” VS the “still” that gives us the contrast here. To what end? I’m not sure.

What I’m sure here are two things: 1. Raki finally decides that he has to do something. His resolves becomes firmer after he sees Priscilla having her full course dinner minus the dessert, and after a push from Isley.

2. To show the audience how his decision is made under urgent conditions, though he’s not quite aware of that, and to let him lead us into the next phase of the battle.

(Also to make his hesitations and indecisiveness less boring to watch.)

I think what Madhouse does here is successfully making a not so popular character having enough weight and making enough impression on all of us. Some people hate him, some don’t. I’m rather touched by his determination, his bravery and guts after he begin to travel with Clare. I mean, dare I say it? He is MAN! Hear him ROAR! Among a bunch of super strong women!

Or hear him scream like a boy, but a brave boy nonetheless.

However, once again I question the plot involving him. Why is Isley helping him out with sword techniques? Why is it Isley telling him things that he finds helpful in living? When Isley says: “Being weak is a sin.” Raki strengthens his resolve and rides toward Pieta. So I guess in this case, what Isley says is helpful? Perhaps he wants Raki to see the cruel truth for himself and then laugh at him? But Isley doesn’t seem like that kind of character.

What I do know is that so far, whatever Raki can do and does do, doesn’t matter at this point.

snapshot20070830000736.jpgsnapshot20070830000825.jpgsnapshot20070830000910.jpg

Few reviews ago I talked about how similar this show is with some elements of LotR. Now I’m not so sure anymore. One of the things LotR emphasize is companionship; another is what seems small and weak can actually affect the greater whole. However, in the case of Claymore, there aren’t too much displays of companionship until recent episodes. In LotR, each companion contributes to something; in Claymore, Raki is pretty useless. As for “what seems small and weak can actually affect the greater whole”, well, Raki is small and weak, but here, I don’t see he has a real chance helping anyone. Clare, on the other hand, is seeming small and weak, but she may have a chance.

I finally figured out why in the manga, Clare and Flore actually fought without Jean coming out to stop them – It’s to tell the readers that Clare’s power is now as good as some people in the single digits, maybe not as good as people from 6 and above, but at least as good as number 8 Flora. In the manga, during the time Miria led Clare, Deneve, and Helene fought against that male awakened, Miria had already stated that the group including Clare but other than herself has the capability of single digit Claymores, save the top 4. This time, after Flora and Clare fought, Flora told Clare flat out that Clare’s skills are comparable with her own. However, in the anime, we never get to see that. What we do see is Clare keep on getting frustrated that she’s not strong enough, or she hasn’t grown enough, and in this episode, she mutters about not being fast enough.

What happens to Clare in the anime seems to build up her frustration about lack of strength, and it seems to build her frustration up to the end of this episode, where she finally snaps. Clare looks like she just broke through another level during an impossible battle.

This part definitely falls into the stereotypical shonen trope. This even happens in Sailor Moon – Sailor Stars.

Had I not read the manga, I’d be sitting here wondering how exactly Clare’s power raised so much that she can actually deal a significant damage to Ligardes.

snapshot20070830000322.jpgsnapshot20070830000412.jpgsnapshot20070830000519.jpg

But you know, if Ligardes grows his arm back like Cell does, or losing an arm doesn’t matter to him at all, and everyone looks stupefied with their mouths open and trembling while he flexes his new arm, then I could complete the “regular shonen convention” list I have above with entry number 5 – Our hero/heros perform a seemingly devastating attack that should work against the opponent, or at least works agains the scenery/surroundings (see DBZ), but besides some dust and scratches on the opponent’s body (and no need to photoshop that one out), the opponent is unscathed.

Even with my sarcasm, I’m still giving Claymore more points than other shonen shows, because it doesn’t fall helplessly into the mud puddle that we know as “typical shonen conventions”, and when it does fall near the puddle, it uses the mud to make something, and then get itself away from the puddle – I’m talking about the anime. As for the manga, I don’t have too much problem with it on using the typical shonen conventions, because it’s so tight and gritty that whatever happens just make so much sense to me. The anime does that well enough but it cuts out bits and piece of information that would make some perhaps minor things make more sense to the more discretionary viewers.

I’m currently wondering about one thing, will they be able to end the Northern Campaign conclusively on episode 26? In any case,

snapshot20070829235122.jpgsnapshot20070829235204.jpgsnapshot20070829235257.jpg

94% recommended for your daily anime diet. I’m not quite sure if the switching back and forth is a smart way of doing this episode or is simply being too conventional, and I did find this episode just a tiny bit flat for me.

My tribute to a character in Claymore after ep. 21.

Once she was just a friend;
Now a worthy comrade.
Once she was steadfastly strong;
Now brutally slain.
Disregarding rank and class,
She followed me onward.
Not caring for common principles,
She protected me from harm.
I now weep, for she is gone.
I could not do a thing, and she is no more.
I only pray that she rests at the side,
Of the one and only comfort,
That a noble warrior deserves.
May her soul rest well,
And may her spirit live to guide me,
As I trudge forth,
Through endless paths,
Endless days of agony,
And go on without you, my friend.
May you rest well.
Your journey is at an end.
But I shall celebrate our time together
On this land,
With a strong drink that will not make me forget,
But to remind me,
How you were like a tonic to a hurting soul,
And a comfort,
To a journey-wearied mind.
Let not a thousand warriors stop their wailing,
Let not a hundred noble men stop their cries.
For one of the bravest soldiers,
Has been slain and left us.
Only
Her tales shall remain in our malnourished hearts.

[EDIT: Thank you so much, Mitsuishi Kotono sama, for doing a great job playing Jean – ジーンを演じるすばらしい仕事をするために、三石琴乃様、そんなにありがとう.]