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Claymore 13 – AHHH!!! NOOO!!! Clair lost something on her…


Her right arm, that is. That makes her kinda look like that Venus statue – OK, that’s weird. But anyway, this eps proves that the creator of the show and the writer of the manga (I was told the show pretty much follows the manga), aren’t afraid to make the main character looking real bad – I was appalled to see her arm gets destroyed worse than ground meat in a juicer on high spin (yeww…), good thing we didn’t get to see that happen realistically, otherwise we’d be seeing ground beef before getting made into hamburgers. Do you want fries with that? (NO, and I know I’m not funny) But yeah, let’s just say that it is possible in Claymore world that Ophelia’s sword can vibrate so fast that anything gets in the way become tiny little bits of meat…OK! STOP THAT! I still want that burger! And yes, I want the goddamn fries!

Anyhow, I’m not turning to vegetarian any time soon. But I was sad, I guess that a beautiful, short-haired supermodel warrior with nice feet, lost part of her body. It is indeed a devastating defeat for Clare, not to mention it’s her sword using arm that got lost.

We got to learn a little about difference between the Claymores. Some are defensive types that can regenerate, some are offensive types that can’t. But that brings out this question: Doesn’t Clare do better when she’s on the defensive? I mean she has trouble switching from defense to offense when she uses her powers. So technically doesn’t that make her a defensive Claymore? I’m a little bit confused here. Or maybe that doesn’t matter it just means that she somehow learned to use defense better but she’s technically not a defensive type. In any case this spells trouble, because she can only reattach limbs but not regrow them.

Ophelia is smart, deadly, fast and absolutely ruthless, that, plus being almost psychotic, makes her a formidable if not impossible to defeat warrior. I think she’s number 4 on the list. Wow. Only number 4? It seems like to me some Claymores can’t quite contain their rage, and you know what they say in the Force, anger, fear, and aggression, the dark side of the force are they (no, I don’t love George Lucas’ franchise, but in this case this kinda works). At any rate, anger and super hostile aggression and then the frustration of being defeated by the former number 2, Irene, ultimately drove Ophelia to the dark side. She becomes the very thing she loved to hunt – the awakened. It’s a bit of an irony there.

Let’s back up a little. Clare, in the second time of her life, sees despair up close, threatening to destroy her. She has no way to defeat Ophelia, who is insurmountably powerful and very cunning. Clare thinks she got out of the situation but Ophelia is too smart for her. She loses her sword using arm for good. What to do? Well, since Clare is the main character she isn’t going to be killed. So the former number 2, Irene is sent by the author to help her… I mean Irene shows up at the right time and at the right place to save Clare’s ass from death.

The conflict continues. Ophelia isn’t going to quit hunting for Clare, and for Irene probably, who prevented Ophelia from completing her hunt. It isn’t going to matter if Ophelia turned into something she hates. What will be interesting is how Ophelia’s going to explain “reason for being” (I forgot the French) when she and Clare confront each other.

I thought I saw in the preview that Clare gets her arm back (Yay). Well, more power ups are in order. She’s learning to use the lighting sword from Irene, but how’s she going to get out of this jam?

The only thing about this eps I wanted to pick on is the impossibly strong Ophelia. She’s number 4, sure, but she’s way too strong for our protagonist. However, at least this show takes care of the “power ranking” problem by having clear distinctions – Ophelia is number 4, she has no trouble beating the crap out of Clare, who’s only 47, but Ophelia can’t defeat Irene, who is the former number 2. To me at the present stage, it all looks very strictly number based (not that anyone watching really cares about such a system). In DBZ (Ugh), the previous super villains become insignificantly weak when the next strong character shows up, but somehow when our heroes fight them, they always seem so indestructible. Doesn’t matter if half of a villain’s body gets blown off, he always look surprised and a little scared, but in a minute or two he laughs like nothing ever happened and completely recover without any damage at all. I think that’s a problem with shonen manga with the formula: character wins a few bouts, meets stronger enemy, gets broken, upgrades his (or in the case of Claymore, her) power, or grows some weapon/modifies his weapon (like Allan from D-Grayman. D-Grayman is an excellent manga but the show drags a little) and beats the enemy, then he encounters an upgraded enemy, and then the process repeats. It’s the shonen formula but also the RPG formula.

In the case of Claymore, however, I think they have a great though not perfect solution for handling the opponents’ and the main characters’ strengths and how they would fight in battles against each other basing on their assigned strengths. I don’t know any show that has a perfect solution for this, if anyone knows, please do tell. I’d be very interested to check out a show that has done this perfectly and I would love to see how they handle it.

So far, the best characters of this show have to be Teresa and Ophelia, if only because these two characters are allowed more emotional range. Miriya the Mirage, played by Kikuko-sama, also did a good job in the eps she appeared. But Teresa made a strong impression on me, and her sudden death left me unsatisfied – she didn’t get any lines before she got her head cut off. No lines before dying, but I guess that’s the point – it strikes all too sudden. That seems to be the device they love to use in anime – it strikes all too sudden. In Kenshin OAV (not the later one, but the 2 OAV eps when we got to see him in his former assassin days), the tragedy strikes when the woman he loves steps in and tries to block her father, but ultimately Kenshin’s sword deals the mortal damage on her, by pure accident. If she stays out of the way, Kenshin may win the battle and take her home alive. In any case, it just strikes so sudden. I know that was quite a stretch but my point here is that a lot of anime deaths seem to be complete surprises. But that’s a rather minor point. Romi Paku played a great Teresa. I don’t know the name of the seiyuu for Ophelia but she’s clearly a character I love to hate. Now she’ll have to deal with she being the thing she hates. I’m looking forward to the voice acting.

I’m also looking for what solution they’ll come up to get Clare out of this jam.

95% recommended for your daily anime diet.

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