Anime Blu-ray Review: Claymore: The Complete Series

Claymore: The Complete Series was released on both DVD and Blu-ray. This review will cover the Blu-ray edition, since that is the version that I own and watched.

Claymore: The Complete Series
English Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Format: Blu-ray
Release Date: February 16, 2010

The Blu-ray edition was released on three Blu-Ray Discs. The first disc contains nine episodes and commentary for episodes four and eight. The second disc contains nine episodes and commentary for episodes 11 and 16. The third disc contains eight episodes, commentaries for episodes 19 and 26, and special features. The series was released with both an English dub and the original Japanese language track with English subtitles.

In Claymore, humans coexist with creatures called Yoma; the Yoma are sentient monsters that feed on human innards. A nameless and secretive organization was created out of half-human, half-Yoma warriors to protect the humans from the Yoma; however, this organization charges large fees for their services. The humans have called these warriors either “Claymores” due to the large, unsheathed swords they carry or “Silver Eye Witches” due to their appearance and cold demeanor toward others. The Claymores are created by the organization by implanting Yoma flesh and blood into humans.

At the beginning of the series, a small town is terrorized by a Yoma and a Claymore named Clare is assigned to take care of the Yoma in that village. Clare is a distant and quiet Claymore, and she occasionally has an impulsive side. While she is at the village, Clare meets a naïve and kind-hearted young man named Raki; his parents were murdered by a Yoma, and he lived with his brother and his uncle in the village. It turns out the Yoma who attacked Raki’s parents disguised himself as Raki’s brother, and was the Yoma attacking the village. This Yoma is killed by Clare, and soon after the Yoma’s defeat, Clare leaves the village.

After Clare leaves, Raki is exiled from the village, because the villagers suspect that Raki could also be a Yoma. While wandering in exile, Raki encounters Clare. Raki is used as bait by a Yoma, who attempts to defeat Clare. But Clare ends up defeating the Yoma, and she allows Raki to travel with her as a cook. The series follows their adventures.

Overall I enjoyed the Claymore series. Its main weakness is the fact that the ending didn’t truly “end” the series; it felt as if there was still more story to tell. What I really enjoyed about this series is seeing Clare having to adjust to having Raki as a traveling partner. I also liked getting to learn a bit about the Claymores as the series progressed.

When it comes to the Blu-ray set itself, the first extra on the third disc is labeled as “Cast Auditions.” This includes audio from the auditions for the English dub cast for Clare, Teresa, Rubel, Sid and some Yoma, and Yomi. These auditions run anywhere from 34 seconds to one minute and six seconds. Each audition is accompanied by a still image of the character that the audition is for.

Next is an interview with director Hiroyuki Tanaka. This runs for seven minutes, and the interview has Japanese audio with English subtitles. The interview with sound director Yasunori Honda runs for eight-and-a-half minutes, and it’s also in Japanese with English subtitles. The interview with art director Manabu Otsuzuki is six-and-a-half minutes long, and is also in Japanese with subtitles. The last interview included is with Nobuhito Sue, who worked on art settings. This interview runs for four minutes and 17 seconds, and is also in Japanese with English subtitles. These interviews are basically the kind one would expect for an anime bonus feature, and they were good for what they are.

The next extra is labeled as “Original TV Commercials.” This feature runs for seven minutes, and it is comprised of two lengthy commercials for the Claymore anime series. The textless opening and textless closing don’t include any of the credit text, but English subtitles for the song lyrics are included. The final extra included on the third disc are trailers for other properties released by FUNimation that were being promoted at the time this set was released.

The Blu-ray edition of this set comes packaged with an extensive booklet. It includes character sketches with descriptions of the characters, interviews with some of the staff members, and drawings of some of the settings. Some of the characters included in the booklet have an explanation for their design concepts given by Takahiro Umehara, the character designer. The staff interviews are several pages in length, and go into some detail on the animation and design process, as well as in the audio and voice acting. It was a really nice booklet and I’m glad to see that it was included with the Blu-ray pressing.

I would recommend this set to anyone who enjoys the Claymore anime series. Since I have only seen the Blu-ray edition, this is the version I would recommend if you have the ability to view Blu-rays.

I wrote this review after watching a copy of the Claymore: The Complete Series Blu-ray set that was given to me as a gift by my husband.

Additional post about Claymore:

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