Claymore (manga)

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Claymore (manga)

Cover of the first volume featuring the central character Clare
Genre Fantasy, Supernatural, Action
Author Norihiro Yagi
Publisher Flag of Japan Shueisha
English publisher Flag of the United States Flag of Canada VIZ Media
Flag of Australia Flag of New Zealand Madman Entertainment
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Flag of Japan Jump Square
Original run May 2001 – ongoing
Volumes 15
TV anime
Director Hiroyuki Tanaka
Studio Flag of Japan Madhouse Studios
Licensor Flag of the United States Flag of Canada Funimation Entertainment
Flag of Australia Flag of New Zealand Madman Entertainment
Network Flag of Japan NTV
Original run April 3, 2007September 25, 2007
Episodes 26
Anime and Manga Portal

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. When Jump Square was introduced in November 2007, the series was moved to it and is still on-going. The individual chapters are published in tankōbon volumes by Shueisha, with 15 volumes released as of December 2008.

Madhouse Studios 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, which began serializing the title in its Shonen Jump manga anthology in the April 11, 2006 issue. It released the first volume of the series on April 4, 2006 and has released 14 volumes as of March 2009. 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[1]. Madman Entertainment has licensed the anime for release in Australia and New Zealand.


[edit] Plot

In a world where humans coexist with creatures called Yoma (妖魔 ?) sentient monsters that feed on human guts, a nameless and highly secretive organization has created an order of half-human, half-yoma warriors to protect humans from the yoma, for a large fee. The people of this world have dubbed these warriors as "Claymores" based on their gargantuan, unsheathed swords. The story surrounds one Claymore warrior, Clare, and her quest for vengeance. The story begins in a small town terrorized by a yoma. There she meets a good hearted, albeit naive, young man named Raki who accompanies her travels. As the series progresses, she learns more about both the yoma and the organization along with their underlying secrets. Clare and Raki are separated when Clare is forced to battle a sadistic Claymore, Ophelia. Clare promises to find him if she survives, and after defeating Ophelia she searches for him before being recovered by the Organization, who informs her Raki was taken north by slave traders. When the Abyssal Ones, three powerful Awakened Beings, former Claymores who had transformed into yoma, declare war on each other, Clare and twenty three other Claymores, secretly deemed by the Organization to be troublemakers and expendable, are sent to delay the army of Isley, the northernmost Abyssal One, they all expected to die. Some realize what is going on and decide to survive by taking pills Clare had left over from a previous mission, these able to hide their yoki from any detection. This tactic allows seven of them to survive, Clare amongst them. In the twelfth volume of the series, the story jumps ahead seven years. Clare, who survived the purge, begins searching for Raki while trying to bring down the Organization. Raki, who was found and trained over the seven years by Isley, is also searching for her.

[edit] Characters

  • Clare (クレア Kurea?), the series' protagonist, is a distant and quiet Claymore, with an occasional impulsive side. At number 47, Clare is ranked as the lowest and weakest of all Claymores.
  • Raki (ラキ Raki?) is a young boy whose family was murdered by a Yoma, which Clare subsequently slew. Raki was exiled from his village for being suspected as a Yoma and Clare allowed him to join her on her journey as the cook. Wanting to become strong enough to protect Clare, Raki trains under Isley. When Clare disappears for seven years, Raki begins traveling along the paths they once walked (strong enough to kill weak yoma) to meet up with her again, with Priscilla joining him.
  • Priscilla (プリシラ Purishira?) was once the second ranked Claymore, who had the potential to become stronger than Teresa, ranked 1st. She was one of the four Claymores sent to execute Teresa after she deserted the organization. During the attack, Priscilla's lack of experience caused her to become an "Awakened Being". Priscilla regresses to the mindset of a child and began rampaging in the northern lands, drawing the attention of Isley, the Abyssal One who rules there. When he attacks her, Priscilla completely overwhelms him, and he surrenders, swearing fealty to her, although he lets out that he defeated her.

[edit] Species

In the fictional world of Claymore, yoma (妖魔 yōma?) are a species of humanoid monsters that coexist with humans, feeding on their guts. Most are similar in size to humans, though some are noticeably larger and more heavily muscled. Most have rows of stubby spikes growing from their upper backs, with elongated limbs that end in clawed digits, large fang-filled jaws and pointed ears, giving them a bestial appearance. Yoma have greater strength, speed, and durability compared to humans, being capable of extending their limbs and digits, and are capable of both regenerating after being wounded and shape-shifting to appear completely human. Taken a step further, they can eat a human's brain to absorb their memories and completely replace them. Yoma are identified by their 'yoki' (妖気 ?), or life energy, which can be sensed by other yoma and by claymores.

Claymores are created by the organization to fight the yoma. By implanting Yoma flesh and blood into humans, they are able to create a hybrid that is faster than the source Yoma with their original human combat training and intelligence. It is unknown why Claymores are so overpoweringly powerful in comparison to Yoma despite only being half-Yoma. This hybridization process changes the human's hair to a light-blond or white, their eyes to silver, and sometimes they develop elf-like ears. Claymores are stronger than typical humans, have an enhanced healing ability, and some limited shape-shifting abilities. In battle, Claymores wield large claymore swords, hence their name. Claymores are in danger of losing control of their powers if they activate more than 80% of their demon strength, changing them into a form of yoma called an "awakened being". The majority of claymores are female, as human males who are changed to hybrids tend to lose control of their powers faster. In an attempt to avoid this fate, claymores will ask a friend, usually another claymore, to kill them if they begin to awaken. Some rare claymores have been able to pass the 80% mark but avoid awakening, permanently increasing their strength. Such claymores are regarded with suspicion by the organization as they can't be sure if the claymore will be able to retain their control.

Awakened beings retain their original memories and intelligence that they had as a Claymore, but gaining the most basic bloodthirsty nature of a yoma. The "great shame" of the organization, the true nature of awakened beings is kept from the public. Instead, they are called "voracious eaters" and are proclaimed to be particularly old yoma who have gained greater experience due to their age. As they were originally human then claymores, the awakened beings are as varied as their sources, with differing personalities and appearances. As awakened beings are more powerful than regular yoma, and generally as strong as or stronger than many claymores, a team of at least four claymores is necessary to deal with them, led by a top level claymore. It is originally believed that all awakened beings have lost their humanity, but as the series progresses, it is revealed that they do not always. The organization publicly denies this, while making use of such awakened beings. After the time skip, the organization begins using the sudden overabundance of awakened beings to attempt to dispose of troublesome claymore, beginning with Clare and the other half-awakened claymore. Outside the island where the main events of the series take place, a war is waged between Awakened Beings controlled by the organization and another, dragon-like species.

Recently in the series, another 'species' has appeared, called Abyss Feeders, though they are often referred to as 'Demons'. The Abyss Feeders are females with light-blond or white hair, resembling Claymores, except that their mouths and eyes are sewn shut. It has been revealed that these 'demons' were created by the Organization seven years ago, shortly after the Northern Campaign. Unlike Claymores which are hybrids created by combining Yoma flesh with a human, Abyss Feeders are hybrids created by using the corpses of Awakened Being and giving them human characteristics. Abyss Feeders have been stripped of all emotion or conscious thought and are driven by a single insatiable desire, to consume the flesh of blood of the Abyssal One Isley. Like Awakened Beings, Abyss Feeders can generate weapons from their own bodies and regenerate at an even staggering rate. While they are driven to seek out Isley, they will also attack anything that makes a sudden movement and according to Dietrich, whole towns have been wiped out by the 'demons'.

In volume 16 a race was brefly introduced known as the "decendent of the dragons" known for their tough hides. This race fights against the orginization in the war on the mainland. They are also the reason the organization is performing experiments to create an awakened who they can control and still posses absolute power of their mind.

[edit] Media

[edit] Manga

Written and drawn by Norihiro Yagi, the individual chapters of Claymore began serialization in Shueisha's Monthly Shōnen Jump in 2001.[2] After the magazine was discontinued, the series moved to Weekly Shōnen Jump where it is appeared monthly rather than weekly. On November 2, 2007, it moved to Jump Square, Shueisha's replacement for the original Monthly Shōnen Jump, where it continues serialization.[3][4] The individual chapters are published in tankōbon volumes by Shueisha, which released the first volume on January 5, 2002. As of May 2, 2008, 14 volumes have been released.[5]

On July 18, 2006, Viz Media announced the serialization of the Claymore manga in North America in its Shonen Jump manga anthology.[6] 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.[2] Viz released the first volume of the series on April 4, 2006,[7] and as of March 3, 2009 has released 14 volumes.[8][9]

The series is also being released in English in Australia and New Zealand by Madman Entertainment. It is licensed for regional language releases in France and Spain by Glenat, in Mexico by Grupo Editorial Vid, in Italy by Star Comics and in Germany by Tokyopop Germany.[2]

[edit] Anime

Madhouse Studios produced a twenty-six episode anime series based on the manga series.[10][11] Directed by Hiroyuki Tanaka, the series aired between April 2007 and September 2007 in Japan on Nippon Television.[12] The series adapts the first eleven volumes of its source material over the first 24 episodes, then uses an original storyline 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.[13] 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.[14] 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.[13] On February 15, 2008, Funimation announced that it has acquired the Region 1 DVD and broadcast licenses for the anime,[15] and released the first DVD in North America on October 14, 2008;[16] as of February 2009, three volumes have been released. Madman Entertainment has licensed the series and Volume 1 will be release early 2009. [17]

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 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.[11]

[edit] CDs

Two CDs have been released for the Claymore. Claymore TV Animation O.S.T., the soundtrack for the anime series, was released on July 25, 2007 with instrumental compositions by Masanori Takumi. Spanning 32 tracks, the soundtrack includes the television versions of the opening and ending themes.[18]

A CD of character songs, Claymore Intimate Persona: Character Song Shuu (CLAYMORE INTIMATE PERSONA~キャラクターソング集~ ?) was released on September 27, 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.[19]

[edit] Reception

In ICv2's list of "Top 50 Manga - Summer 2008", Claymore placed 42nd.[20]

[edit] References

  1. ^ rightstuf
  2. ^ a b c "Claymore (manga) - Anime News Network". Anime News Network. Retrieved on 2007-10-10. 
  3. ^ "月刊少年ジャンプ休刊のお知らせ" (in Japan). Shueisha. 2007-06-30. Retrieved on 2007-10-10. 
  4. ^ "Shueisha to Launch New Monthly Magazine". Anime News Network. 2007-04-06. Retrieved on 2008-09-21. 
  5. ^ "CLAYMORE -月ジャンネット-" (in Japanese). Shueisha. Retrieved on 2007-10-09. 
  6. ^ "New Viz Manga - Anime News Network". Anime News Network. 2005-07-18. Retrieved on 2007-10-10. 
  7. ^ "VIZ Media . products - Claymore, Vol. 1". Viz Media. Retrieved on 2007-10-09. 
  8. ^ "VIZ Media . products". Viz Media. Retrieved on 2007-10-10. 
  9. ^ "VIZ Media . products - Claymore, Vol. 12". Viz Media. Retrieved on 2008-09-10. 
  10. ^ "Nippon Television Licensing Catalogue for Animation". Nippon Television Network. Retrieved on 2007-10-02. 
  11. ^ a b "Claymore (TV)". Anime News Network. Retrieved on 2007-12-29. 
  12. ^ "Claymore (TV) - Episode List". Anime News Network. Retrieved on 2007-10-08. 
  13. ^ a b "CLAYMORE クレイモア" (in Japanese). Avex Trax. Retrieved on 2007-10-08. 
  14. ^ "クレイモア" (in Japanese). Nippon Television. Retrieved on 2007-10-08. 
  15. ^ "Funimation Licenses Claymore Anime Series". Anime News Network. 2008-02-15. Retrieved on 2008-02-15. 
  16. ^ (2008-02-18). FUNimation Entertainment Acquires Claymore from NTV. Press release. Retrieved on 2008-02-18. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Claymore CD" (in Japanese). NTV. Retrieved on 2008-09-21. 
  19. ^ "Claymore CD/Character" (in Japanese). NTV. Retrieved on 2008-09-21. 
  20. ^ "ICv2 Top 50 Manga - Summer 2008". ICv2. 2008-09-29. Retrieved on 2009-03-05. 

[edit] External links

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