Not very many action anime are as complex as “Claymore.” The female warriors are extraordinarily strong, but are emotionally fragile. This is one of the few series in which the gender roles in an anime are reversed, where the main female heroine is strong, but represses intense emotional anguish.
The plot is simple. Yoma are violent monsters who terrorize towns and cities in the world. The only way in which humans have dealt with these monsters is through the Claymore warriors, hired superhuman warriors who are half-Yoma, half-human.
Raki, a human boy, takes interest in the first Claymore who comes into his town. Her name is Clare, and at first she remains cold and unemotional. But Raki tells her that he wants her to kill the Yoma who murdered his parents.
While Clare says that she doesn’t care for his revenge plot, Raki is saved by Clare when his older brother reveals himself as a Yoma. Clare slices the Yoma in half. However, because Raki had lived with a Yoma, the villagers exile him. They are frightened that he could turn into a Yoma.
Raki passes out in a desert, but is saved by Clare. Raki befriends Clare and travels with her, learning more and more about Clare’s life as a Claymore.
The Claymores undergo some heart-wrenching moments. In episode two, Clare’s best friend Teresa sends her a black card, indicating that she is about to turn into a full Yoma. Whenever a Claymore is sent a black card, it is a request indicating that they want their best friend to kill them, so that they won’t terrorize other humans as a Yoma. Although they follow their chivalry code loyally, they clearly have a difficult time controlling themselves.
It’s almost unbelievable how much the Claymores repress their emotions, even in near-death situations. Even though Clare is extremely powerful, if she harnesses too much of her Yoma power, she suffers the potential to lose control and kill other people. Thankfully, Raki is her best friend, and acts as her emotional support, even after devastating battles. Clare’s emotional journey makes for one of the best stories I’ve ever seen in an action anime.
Very few anime are as excellent as “Claymore.” This is definitely one of the best anime of 2008 so far. It’s hard to find more drama and more emotion than this anime series.
Image courtesy of boontan.net