Full series review - No Spoilers.
, 26 Aug 2010
Only having so far read 3 of the Claymore graphic novels my ability to compare this anime to them is limited, but I can say that up to the point I have read Claymore is shockingly accurate. It is amongst the most faithful anime adaptions I have yet to see, and as accuracy is a blessing of Manga I consider that a huge compliment to the series.
So for the basic plot line: In a world plagued by Yoma (demons who take the form of humans to hide amongst the very people they slaughter and feed on) mankinds' only hope are Claymores, human women who have sacrificed their humanity to gain the strength of the monsters they live to hunt.
Now amongst my top 5 animes Claymore is a series I can not recommend highly enough. The story is rich and, though not completely origional, it manages to remain unique. Each episode leaves you hungering for the next with cliff hanger after cliff hanger leading you to the satisfying and promising ending.
The animation is superb and seems to gain more detail as the series progresses, the faces in particular develop much more depth over time. It's almost as if the animation evolves with the plot. Initially the Yoma designs become more creative and frightening as time goes by but unfortunately some of the monster designs do become a little derivitive towards the end, at one point I even thought a dead demon had somehow returned, but it was just a very similar design.
The diologue is obviously corny at times and the music is often a little over the top, but these are trademark flaws of anime, and flaws I have come to love. The voice casting for both the Japanese and English language dubs are fantastic, Clare in particular (as our main protagonist) is spoken in a soft and distant manner that hints at an inner strength which perfectly suits her character. And the typically annoying side kick, Raki, doesn't even manage to irritate too much despite his constant whinging. Almost all of the supporting characters are well voiced with just the odd daft sounding one thrown in.
The characters themselves are easy to like/hate as appropriate with overstated arrogant bad guys and typically honourable good guys. There are many twists to several characters personalities which adds emotional depth to the story.
The fights occasionally go a little over the top with the win seeming definate only to be taken away a few too many times, but rather than causing irritaion this builds a solid suspense which carries itself through the entire series. The fights are well animated with some excellent moves included, though there are a few too many flourishes every now and then.
Over all as a Manga Claymore is superb though not flawless. But it's faults don't warrant even the deduction of half a star, not even a quarter. Very highly recommended to fans of monster manga. Just excellent.
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