>DVD Review: The Claymore Battle Royale

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From the first volume, “Claymore” hit the ground running with intense monster battles. Volume two heats up with flashy superhuman Dragonball Z-style sword battles.
Episode 6 opens with Claire actually speaking out her heart to Teresa, pleading to stay with her. There’s even a scene where Claire strips off her clothes to show that Teresa means everything as her only mother. It’s a saddening sight to watch Teresa leave Claire for her Claymore duties. However, when a band of thieves burns the town down, Teresa has no choice but to kill them.
A Claymore isn’t allowed to kill humans, though. However, Teresa refuses to die this easily, slaying the Claymores who planned to execute her. But her Claymore buddies don’t plan on letting her leave. The organization sends four of the top-ranked Claymores to fight her, leading to some ferocious, incredibly fast battles.
It’s an understatement to say that “Claymore” is one of the craziest action anime series ever made. Each of the Claymores has a unique special power, and some of the Claymore powers are visual astounding. For example, Irene’s quick sword technique cuts so quickly that no one can even see her arms. She can move her arms faster than the speed of light. This leads to an amazing sequence in which Teresa arm is speedily blocking Irene’s sword slashes at the speed of a Dragonball Z fight.
The fight turns to a fatal end in episode 8, with one of the Claymores, Priscilla, growing amazingly powerful as she slowly uses more and more of her Yoma powers. Many Claymores die in this volume, leaving the remaining survivor devastated. This tearjerking episode will tear viewers’ hearts out with emotion.
Volume two sets the tone for Claymore as a godlike superhuman action anime. Although it is limited in its rather formulaic Dragonball Z-style plot, the true draw of the series is the visuals. The dark colors and fierce fighting make for one of the most sinister, violent anime ever seen. However, this is a wonderful anime for its expression of raw female power.
To say the least, the battles are stunning. There’s nothing more astounding than watching Claymore jump to incredible heights, swinging their swords in a rapid-fire machine gun fashion and healing their wounds extremely quickly. Like any typical action series, it tends to rely too much on the same formulaic tearjerking action sequence, with one character dying off and another seeking revenge.
However, this series is even more earth-shattering for its horrific displays of violence, with characters getting their limbs and their heads chopped off. This series is definitely not for kids–the violence is very intense. However, it’s a beautiful series which shows the power of women, even when one of them is getting attacked by disturbing tentacle monsters in episode 10.
Although I had my misgivings for the series when it began, “Claymore” is a definite keeper for anime fans. However, be prepared to get shocked with this second DVD.
Image courtesy of amazon.com and their wallpaper downloads.
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Filed under action, Claymore, shonen, violent

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