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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Claymore vol. 10 & 11 Impression

Claymores, female warriors bred to fight Yoma, monsters that disguise themselves as, and feast on humans. Viz’s manga follows one particular Claymore named Clare who is actually the lowest ranked of the Claymores. These silver eyed witches as they are called consume the flesh of Yoma and they become part Yoma, despised by the very humans they protect. Volume 9 of Claymore ended with Clare being dispatched to the north along with 23 other Claymores for a showdown with an army of Awakened Beings.

Claymore Vol. 10Claymore vol. 10 – The battle with three Awakened begins and while the Claymore teams come out on top they are not with a few severed limbs. While they pass this test little do they know it just delayed the inevitable, a full assault from the armies of Isley the Silver King. Raki makes an appearance as he continues his search for Clare. He encounters are young girl, Priscilla, who is accompanied by a man name Isley. Raki is taken in by the two and trains with Isley to improve his swordsmanship. Isley is amazed by the bond Priscilla has with Raki … could it have something to do with their mutual ties to Clare, is there a tie to Clare for Priscilla? While he trains with Raki, Isley dispatches The Silver Eyed Lion, to take care of any life in the village of Pieta. Every Claymore is to be wiped out no matter what. While the Awakened beings he takes do not fare bad they are still taking losses so Rigaldo unleashes his own power showing how helpless the Claymore truly are. The volume ends as Clare faces off against the Silver Eyed Lion, being mocked as too small a fry to bother with.

Claymore Vol. 11
Claymore vol. 11 - Clare continues to fight Rigaldo going beyond her limits in order to defeat a very elite Awakened. The price for her efforts is the (spoiler) death of Helen who brings her back by syncing their powers while taking heavy damage from Clare’s extremities which have a life of their own. The victory is short lived as the final six Claymores face off against unbeatable odds. In a side story we find Galatea back at the Organization headquarters questioning the thinking in sending so may Claymore North to which she’s pretty much told questioning authority is not always a good thing. The next generation of ‘Eyes’ is revealed in the form of the twins Alicia, trained since childhood to be nothing but fighting machines. As Galatea learns these new Claymore are more formidable than even the number one as one fully awakens to fight while the other keeps the humanity grounded bringing her sister back. A truly frightening ally. Back North Raki stands with Priscilla and Isley as Priscilla talks of each of the reaming six lights being snuffed out. Meanwhile the beast from the Abyss face off as Luciela of the South battles Isley for dominion over her territory.

Volume 10 really jacks up the action as its Claymore buffet time. If this is your first exposure to Claymore then you’ll think it’s just a one-shot story of chics with swords getting sliced and diced, the slaughter is that bad. The best part about volume 10 is the introduction of Isley, his manner and civility. For a beast of the Abyss he sure seems like a hell of a nice guy with Raki, and what’s his relationship with Priscilla? The battle with the Silver Eyed Lion is great also, the speed, the power, this will look great animated. This takes us into volume 11 where battles are concluded, new ones begin, and many questions are introduced. What is the fate of Clare and the remaining six Claymore’s? How will Isley’s battle with Luciela go and what role will the new Claymore’s play in the upcoming power struggles? The stage is set and the manga is just getting rolling. The art style remains excellent, characters and their true alliances/purpose are blurred just enough to leave readers waiting for more and the action, oh the action is just getting rolling. Eleven volumes in, it’s not too late to get on board, especially with the anime coming soon. Claymore is hot, right up there with Hunter Hunter and Naruto on my favorite anime list. Good times, read up now.

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