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


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.

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?)

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.

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.

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