Claymore is based on a dark fantasy manga series written and illustrated by Norihiro Yagi. The anime adapts the first 11 volumes of the manga for the first 24 episodes of the series, and then uses an original storyline for the last two episodes.
The anime was produced by Madhouse, and was directed by Hiroyuki Tanaka. The series aired on Japanese television from April 3-September 25, 2007.
As of this writing, FUNimation Entertainment holds the North American distribution license for Claymore.
In the series, 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 turned 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. But what ultimately sold me on the series was the fact that there was a very interesting concept and story being presented.
Claymore is an enjoyable fantasy anime series, even though it can be a little on the violent side at times. Viewers with an interest in fantasy anime stories should try to give Claymore a shot.