Clare on Claymore 1 tankōbon cover
|Genre||Dark fantasy, action, drama|
|Written by||Norihiro Yagi|
|Magazine||Monthly Shōnen Jump (former)
Weekly Shōnen Jump (former)
|Original run||May 2001 – ongoing|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Hiroyuki Tanaka|
|Written by||Yasuko Kobayashi|
|Music by||Masanori Takumi|
|Original run||3 April 2007 – 25 September 2007|
|Claymore: Gingan no Majo|
|Developer||Digital Works Entertainment|
|Released||28 May 2009|
Claymore (クレイモア Kureimoa ) is a dark fantasy manga series written and illustrated by Norihiro Yagi. The series initially premiered in the now defunct Monthly Shōnen Jump in the May 2001 issue. When the magazine was canceled in June 2007, the series was temporarily moved to Weekly Shōnen Jump where it was still published monthly. When Jump Square was introduced in November 2007, the series was moved to it. The individual chapters are published in tankōbon volumes by Shueisha, with 23 volumes released as of December 2012.
Madhouse adapted the first eleven volumes of the series into a twenty-six episode anime series. Directed by Hiroyuki Tanaka the series premiered in Japan on NTV on April 3, 2007 and ran until September 25, 2007. A CD soundtrack for the anime series, and a CD of character songs using the anime voice actresses were released on July 25, 2007 and September 27, 2007, respectively.
The Claymore manga is licensed for an English language release in North America by Viz Media. It released the first volume of the series on April 4, 2006 and has released 21 volumes as of November 6, 2012. The anime adaptation is licensed for release in North America by Funimation Entertainment, which has released the first DVD for the series in Fall 2008 and released the entire series on Blu-ray in Spring 2010. Madman Entertainment has licensed the anime for release in Australia and New Zealand and the anime is sub-licenced by Manga Entertainment for UK distribution.
The series is set on a fictional medieval island where humans are plagued by Yoma (妖魔), humanoid shape-shifters that feed on humans. A mysterious group, known as The Organization, creates human-Yoma hybrids to kill Yoma for a fee. These female warriors wear armored uniforms. The public refer to them as "Claymores," alluding to their Claymore swords, or "Silver-eyed Witches," due to their silver eyes.
Yoma and Claymore warriors alike are powered by a demonic energy, Yoki, which allows shape-shifting and extreme strength. When warriors use too much Yoki, they "awaken," becoming a super-Yoma called an Awakened Being. The act of awakening is likened to the feeling of sexual climax, so while both male and female warriors existed in the past only the women proved to be successful warriors and so the creation of male Claymores stopped altogether.
The island world is divided into 47 districts, with one warrior assigned to each. Claymore warriors No. 1 through 47 are ranked on their baseline Yoki potential, strength, agility, intelligence, sensing and leadership. A warrior's rank rises and falls according to the warrior's strength in relation to other warriors. It is unclear whether the warriors strength comes from training/experience or if the potential lies within the warriors themselves.
In addition to all having different names, most warriors (usually high in rank) further their individuality by possessing a unique sword technique, fighting style, or yoki ability. The sword techniques are unique to the Claymores; yoma and awakened beings don't fight with swords and a normal human body couldn't perform them. Examples of sword techniques are: twisting the arm around and thrusting for a drill-like strike, unsheathing and re-sheathing the sword faster than the eye can see, or vibrating the sword so quickly the enemy cannot tell where the blade is coming from. A few fighting styles include: stretching the arm, fighting with two blades, and releasing a burst of yoki for a momentary burst of speed. For yoki ability, there are several Claymores who can sense yoki over vast distances and very accurately in close quarters. This appears to be, while not offensive, a very rare and valuable ability and the Claymores in the Organization with this ability are usually highly ranked. In addition, there are four Claymores that have offensive techniques that are yoki based. The first is Galatea's ability to control her opponents yoki for brief periods during battle, usually to cause the enemy's attack to miss. The second is Teresa's; her ability to sense yoki is so strong that she can sense it moving around her opponents body and can therefore sense how and when her enemy would attack next, a technique later copied by Clare. The third ability it that of Raftela who is able to manipulate the vision and movements of other Claymores. She is being employed as an anti-warrior warrior.
Story arcs 
The first arc introduces the protagonist of the series: No. 47, Clare, who saves a young boy, Raki, from a Yoma. The next arc flashes back to the time of Teresa, warrior No. 1 of her era. And the young girl she saves from Yoma—Clare. The arc ends with their tragic encounter with Priscilla.
Flashing forward to Clare's time, the Slashers arc introduces Miria (No. 6), Deneve (No. 15) and Helen (No. 22). The Gravestones arc introduces Ophelia (No. 4). The Witch's Maw arc introduces Jean (No. 9), Riful and Dauf. The Northern Campaign arc introduces Flora (No. 8), Undine (No. 11), Isley and Rigaldo. Raki and Priscilla reappear here.
But as warrior No. 47, Clare is rated as the weakest of all 47 warriors. This is due to Clare being 1/4 Yoma instead of 1/2, having taken on the flesh of Teresa, rather than a Yoma. However, Miria says, "It felt as if the strongest was standing before me."
Teresa (テレサ Teresa) is assigned to Teo village, where she kills six Yoma. Then she kills a seventh hiding behind a young girl. Next day, Teresa tries to leave town, but the mysterious girl proceeded to hug her, who Teresa kicks away. But the girl persists in following her.
After a run-in with bandits in the forest, Teresa adopts the young girl. Teresa decides to call the girl "Clare," after one of the twin goddesses of love, the other goddess being named Teresa.
The team is defeated by Teresa, but Priscilla releases too much Yoki and partially awakens. She beheads Teresa, then fully awakens into the "One-horned Monster," wounding Ilena, then killing Sophia and Noel. Priscilla ignores Clare, then flies away to parts unknown.
Thus begins Clare's quest for revenge.
Priscilla (プリシラ Purishira) is No. 2 of the Teresa era.
After awakening, Priscilla defeats the Creature of the Abyss of the North, Isley. But Priscilla loses her memory. Isley swears allegiance and promises to do anything. She asks to go south to find her family, which Isley agrees to. When Isley gathers an army to invade the south, this sets into motion the Witch's Maw and Northern Campaign arcs.
Raki (ラキ Raki) is a young boy whose family is killed by a Yoma disguised as his brother, who Clare finds and kills. Later, Clare rescues an exiled Raki from the desert. She allows him to accompany her as her cook.
After a 3-way battle with Ophelia and an Awakened Being, Clare and Raki become separated. Later, Raki comes under the wing of a new mentor—Isley, the Creature of the Abyss of the North. After the 7-year Timeskip, Raki is an adult, who searches for Clare, while accompanied by Priscilla, now shrunk to a pre-teen.
The Organization 
The island is a testing ground for creating monsters to fight dragons on a distant mainland. Anti-dragon forces have set up an unnamed "Organization" as a charity-front for conducting experiments. The chief scientist is Dae.
The most common of Dae's creations are "Yoma," similar in size to humans, and gargoyle-like in appearance. Despite their super-human strength and shape-shifting ability, Yoma are the weakest of Yoma-like entities. The Organization will release a number of Yoma to terrorize the general population, who will in turn hire the Organization to send Claymores to kill Yoma. Thus, Yoma provides funding and keeps the Organization running, despite being so far away from their home country.
Claymores are 1/2 Yoma, 1/2 human. They descend from a line of research trying to make a super-Yoma that can fight the dragons, yet not turn on anti-dragon forces. When Claymore warriors use too much Yoki, they lose their human mind and "awaken," turning into a super-Yoma—an Awakened Being. Male Claymores were abandoned in favor of females, due to being prone to premature awakening.
When a No. 1 Claymore warrior awakens, the result is a super-Awakened Being—a "Creature of the Abyss." In early Organization history, there are three instances: Isley of the North, Riful of the West, and Luciela of the South. In the Claymore mutiny arc, three more appear.
The most successful line of research uses identical twin sisters, with a merged mind—a two-body Claymore warrior in effect. One sister fully awakens, the other sister stays human and remote controls the other like a Predator drone. Alicia and Beth are an example.
Written and drawn by Norihiro Yagi, the individual chapters of Claymore began serialization in Shueisha's Monthly Shōnen Jump in 2001. After the magazine was discontinued, the series was moved to Weekly Shōnen Jump, where it has appeared monthly rather than weekly. On November 2, 2007, serialization was moved to Jump Square, Shueisha's replacement for the original Monthly Shōnen Jump. The individual chapters are published in tankōbon volumes by Shueisha, which released the first volume on January 5, 2002. As of December 4, 2012, 23 volumes have been released.
On July 18, 2006, Viz Media announced the serialization of the Claymore manga in North America in its Shonen Jump manga anthology. The first chapter of the English adaptation appeared in the April 11, 2006 issue and continued serialization only until the entire first volume was released. Viz released the first volume of the series on April 4, 2006, and with 21 volumes released as of November 6, 2012.
The series is also being released in English in Australia and New Zealand by Madman Entertainment. It is licensed for regional language releases in Russia by Comix-ART, in France and Spain by Glenat, in Mexico by Grupo Editorial Vid, in Italy by Star Comics, in Brazil by Panini Comics and in Germany by Tokyopop Germany.
Madhouse produced a twenty-six episode anime series based on the manga series. Directed by Hiroyuki Tanaka, the series aired between April 2007 and September 2007 in Japan on Nippon Television. The series adapts the first eleven volumes of its source material over the first 24 episodes, then uses an alternate ending for its final two episodes.
As of February 2008, seven DVD volumes, each containing three episodes of the anime, have been released in Japan by Avex Trax. In addition, four limited edition sets have been released. The first limited edition set contains the first DVD volume, while the other three sets each contain two DVD volumes. The latest limited edition set and volumes were released on January 30, 2008. Two more DVD volumes and one more limited edition set are planned for release on March 26, 2008. On February 15, 2008, Funimation announced that it has acquired the Region 1 DVD and broadcast licenses for the anime, and released the first DVD in North America on October 14, 2008; as of February 2009, three volumes have been released. On February 16, 2010, Funimation released a boxed set containing the complete series in Blu-ray format. Madman Entertainment has licensed the series and Volume 1 released early 2009. All 26 episodes are available on Hulu via streaming video and DVD.
The series made its North American television debut when it started airing on the FUNimation Channel September 6, 2010. Netflix also made Claymore available for streaming, but the series has been removed as of April 2012.
Two pieces of theme music are used for the episodes: one opening theme and one ending theme. The opening theme is "Raison d'être" (レゾンデートル, lit. Reason for being) by visual kei rock band Nightmare. The ending theme is J-pop singer Riyu Kosaka's single, "Danzai no Hana~Guilty Sky" (断罪の花 ~Guilty Sky~, lit. Flower of Conviction~Guilty Sky). These two themes are used in all twenty-six episodes.
Two CDs have been released for the Claymore. The first soundtrack entitled Claymore TV Animation O.S.T. contained tracks from the anime series and was released on July 25, 2007 with instrumental compositions by Masanori Takumi. Spanning 32 tracks, the soundtrack includes the television-sized versions of the opening and ending themes.
A second soundtrack entitled Claymore Intimate Persona: Character Song Shuu (CLAYMORE INTIMATE PERSONA~キャラクターソング集~) was released on 27 September 2007. It contains ten tracks, one each for ten characters from the series, featuring songs performed by the character voice actresses from the anime adaptation. These songs do not appear in anime.
Video game 
Claymore: Gingan no Majo ( CLAYMORE ～銀眼の魔女～ lit. Claymore: The Witch of the Silver Eyes ) was released by Digital Works Entertainment, 28 May 2009, in Japan. In this Nintendo DS game, the player controls Clare in a similar fashion to side-scrolling Castlevania and Metroid games. Player can alter the strength of Clare's Yoki by using the touch screen and stylus.
In his review of volume 7, Carlo Santos of Anime News Network says about Clare's action scenes that "Clare's fights are nothing short of eye-popping, with page layouts designed for maximum dramatic effect." About the drama, he says that "even the occasional attempts at drama feel oddly distant." About the part in the story where Raki and Clare are separated, he states that it's more like "leave now because that's the obvious next step in the plot." The art of volume 7 is rated A, story C+, and overall B.
Theron Martin, also of Anime News Network, says in his review of volume 14 that "the series has lost some of its luster, and it seems like less and less is actually happening with each volume." About the action scenes, he says that "the actual fights lack some of the dynamism seen in earlier volumes." As for the art, he states that "as has been true in the past, Yagi's artistry lacks for nothing." He rates the art A- in his reviews for volume eleven, twelve and fourteen. However, in his review of volume sixteen, Theron Marton says that "Yagi is back on track," and that "he provides a good mix of old friends popping back up, new allies, startling revelations, dire threats, and of course good-ol' beatdown action, in the process returning the series to arguably its strongest level since volume 12."
Theron Martin also gave his thoughts on the first five episodes of the anime. He stated that "while not without some flaws, the first five episodes generally get the series off to a strong start, practically assuring that Funimation has a solid hit on their hands." The rating he gave for the anime is: story A-, animation B+, art A-, music A, and overall A-. In ICv2's list of "Top 50 Manga - Summer 2008", which subjectively ranks manga based on sales and perceived popularity, Claymore placed 42nd.
- "Claymore DVD 1 (Hyb) + Artbox". Rightstuf. Retrieved 2009-05-17.
- Claymore 1, Scene 1, p. 20
- Claymore 1, Scene 1, p. 17
- Claymore 5, Scene 25, pp. 130–131
- Claymore 7, Scene 38, p. 138
- Claymore 7, Scene 39 pp. 183–185
- Claymore 7, Scene 37 pp. 104–105
- Claymore 5, Scene 26, p. 145
- Claymore 3, Scene 12, pp. 85–95
- Claymore 3, Scene 14, pp. 156–157
- Claymore 4, Scene 18, p. 69
- Claymore 5, Scene 24, p. 91
- Claymore 14, Extra Scene 3, p. 159
- Claymore 1, Scene 1, pp. 54–55
- Claymore 1, Scene 3, p. 147
- Claymore 7, Scene 34, p. 31
- Claymore 10, Scene 55, p. 128
- Claymore 15, Scene 80, p. 90
- Claymore 15, Scene 79, pp. 68–69
- Fragments of Silver Omnibus 1, "Yoma War Record I," p. 498
- Claymore 18, Scene 96, pp. 7–17
- Claymore 20, Shueisha edition, Scene 109, pp. 64–66
- Claymore 3, Scene 12, pp. 78–80
- Claymore 15, Scene 80, pp. 71–75
- Claymore 5, Scene 27, pp. 183–184
- Claymore 8, Scene 45, pp. 180–181
- Claymore 21, Shueisha edition, Scene 115, pp. 68–69
- Claymore 16, Scene 88, pp. 152–157
- Fragments of Silver Omnibus 3, "Yoma War Record III," p. 722
- "月刊少年ジャンプ休刊のお知らせ" (in Japan). Shueisha. 2007-06-30. Retrieved 2007-10-10.
- "Shueisha to Launch New Monthly Magazine". Anime News Network. 2007-04-06. Retrieved 2008-09-21.
- "CLAYMORE -月ジャンネット-" (in Japanese). Shueisha. Retrieved 2007-10-09.
- "New Viz Manga - Anime News Network". Anime News Network. 2005-07-18. Retrieved 2007-10-10.
- "VIZ Media . products - Claymore, Vol. 1". Viz Media. Retrieved 2007-10-09.
- "VIZ Media . products". Viz Media. Retrieved 2007-10-10.
- "VIZ Media . products - Claymore, Vol. 16". Viz Media. Retrieved 2010-06-05.
- "Клеймор". Comix-art. Retrieved 2009-11-14.
- "Nippon Television Licensing Catalogue for Animation". Nippon Television Network. Retrieved 2007-10-02.
- "CLAYMORE クレイモア" (in Japanese). Avex Trax. Archived from the original on 2007-10-06. Retrieved 2007-10-08.
- "クレイモア" (in Japanese). Nippon Television. Retrieved 2007-10-08.
- "Funimation Licenses Claymore Anime Series". Anime News Network. 2008-02-15. Retrieved 2008-02-15.
- "FUNimation Entertainment Acquires Claymore from NTV" (Press release). AnimeOnDVD.com. 2008-02-18. Retrieved 2008-02-18.
- "Claymore (TV) V01 & Limited Collector's Box". Madman. Retrieved 2009-05-17.
- "Claymore CD" (in Japanese). NTV. Retrieved 2008-09-21.
- "Claymore CD/Character" (in Japanese). NTV. Retrieved 2008-09-21.
- "Claymore Ginme no Majo". National Console Support, Inc. Retrieved 2009-05-17.
- "Claymore GN 7". Anime News Network, Carlo Santos. 2007-09-13. Retrieved 2010-01-08.
- "Claymore GN 7". Anime News Network, Carlo Santos. 2007-09-13. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
- "Claymore GN 14". Anime News Network, Theron Martin. 2009-03-23. Retrieved 2010-01-28.
- "Claymore GN 11". Anime News Network, Theron Martin. 2008-03-15. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
- "Claymore GN 12". Anime News Network, Theron Martin. 2008-07-05. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
- "Claymore GN 14". Anime News Network, Theron Martin. 2009-03-23. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
- "Claymore GN 16". Anime News Network, Theron Martin. 2010-06-27. Retrieved 2011-02-10.
- "Claymore + Artbox DVD 1". Anime News Network, Theron Martin. 2008-08-19. Retrieved 2010-01-28.
- "ICv2 Top 50 Manga - Summer 2008". ICv2. 2008-09-29. Retrieved 2009-03-05.
- Official Shueisha Claymore manga website (ja)
- Official Shueisha Claymore anime website (ja)
- Official NTV Claymore anime website (ja)
- Official FUNimation Claymore anime website (en-us)
- Claymore (manga) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia (en-us)
- Claymore (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia (en-us)
- TV Tropes on Claymore (en-us)