Friday, March 27, 2009

Claymore manga vol. 12-13 Impression

The mystery of what transpired in Pieta seven years prior is revealed in Claymore volume 12 and 13 from Viz.

 Claymore volume 12 mangaClaymore volume 12
Two sisters, one the fighter the other the anchor. Luciela and Rafaela were supposed to be the ultimate weapon for the organization, one sister keeping the other rooted in her humanity while she awakens more power within, but the lure of the awakening is too much as Luciela awakens. Rafaela survives but is a shell of her former self. Given the opportunity to find and confront her sister, atone for her past failure, Rafaela does so but will one sisters pleas change the course of death? Seven years since Pieta a group of new Claymore are sent north to handle an awakened, but are ambushed by a group of three organized awakened. 24 warriors died, but only 17 graves are found by #47 Clarice. Someone saves these ambushed Claymore but just who are they? Miria’s plan from seven years prior is revealed as the surviving members of the 24 reveal themselves, to an extent, before Clare decides to re-enter the fight after hiding. Her search for Raki continues and she is followed by her fellow survivors only to encounter Riful of the West in their first battle.

Confusing, volume 12 is confusing as the timelines do not really flesh out neatly. Is it seven years ago, seven years since, in-between? Who’s awakened, who’s not, which alliances have the Abyss creatures formed, so many questions. If reader can get by this confusion, or better yet make sense of it by a few re-reads what we get is a story much larger than just Clare, one that is carried out with excellent, unique art. The twins were introduced as just tools before with only one fate given to readers. Now the others path is revealed and their ultimate fate set before the reader. This story telling, while confusing at times, shows a deeper and darker side to the organization not just for what they did to the Claymore in Pieta but how they view these ladies as just tools. They may not eat human flesh but the Organization seems just as evil at times. Once we get to Clare and gang learning about their survival, training and how just badass they seem really offers a new wrinkle to Claymore as a manga. No longer bound to the Organization our group of survivors has their own agenda(s) and their anticipated encounter with Riful.

 Claymore volume 13 mangaClaymore volume 13
The battle with Riful of the West is not going so well for two new hunters, Audrey and Rachel, who believe their new strategy is enough to defeat a creature of the abyss. They are quickly proven wrong after Riful dissects their attack. As Clare and her group step in to rescue these fighters it’s Clare who questions Riful about the events of the past seven years. Presented with an offer to join Riful, Clare considers in order to gain the information she desires. The history of Priscilla and Isley is revealed leaving to new revelations for our survivors. As she turns down the offer she was considering it’s an angry Riful who is left with no victory and no new allies. Even with their aura suppressed the Organization sends out Clarice with the current number 4 Miata, who is just a child with incredible power. Their mission, to find a certain, long thought dead Claymore and end her life. Seven years later, new players, a new game is about to begin.

So besides the face the Organization is show in even more horrid light with their use of Miata the lines between good and evil become very blurred when Riful throws in her arguments. Here is a group, the Organization, who wants to save humanity but has shown time and again a willingness to throw away Claymore lives and work with awakened ones. Keep the conflict going without any one side making too much of a push or any foot solider becoming too independent. The survivors from Pieta should be embraced for their abilities but instead will be hunted. Seeing the faces of the Organization heads also does not scream human … just who are they. While the story began with a focus on Clare, and her search for Raki continues, the introduction of more Claymore and awakened ones with their backgrounds being fleshed out is making Claymore much more than a one woman show.

Overall these two volumes help to expand on my comment above that this is a more than one person series. Who is right, wrong and what about all the gray in-between? There is still much to be determined and readers can start to see the coming conflict, after all if Miata is number 4 who is above her?

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