This is exactly what I've been dying to find for ages: a shounen manga with all the shounen tropes I love - martial arts, personal growth and pain written on the body, "I will get stronger," the truest expression of love being "if I go berserk, I want you to be the one who kills me," warrior camaraderie, character development expressed via fight scenes, training sequences, and heartbreaking flasbacks - but with female protagonists.

Claymore, I love you and hug you and squeeze you!

In a generic European medivaloid world, monsters called yoma impersonate and infect humans, sometimes taking over one member of a family, only to transform into monsters and eat everyone's guts. Only one force can stop them - the warriors called Claymores for the huge swords they carry. All Claymores are female, and have gained their powers at a dreadful price: they are part yoma themselves, and must constantly fight their own demon side. Eventually, they lose the battle, and must be killed by one of their own.

This is a story in which women and girls get all the fighting and angst and "am I becoming a monster" and same-sex soldierly bonding usually reserved for men. There's a moment late in the series when they're reading the roll call of Claymores, and it's something like "Alicia... Pamela... Kathy... Rafaela... Dorothy..." Just seeing all those women's names made my heart grow several sizes.

The women are not objectified in any way: no panty shots, no peek-down-the-cleavage - there are even some non-sexual nude scenes which are not fan service-y.

It's pure awesomesauce with a side of swordplay-induced limb loss. See tags to get a sense of all the parts that go flying. I probably missed some, even.

Click here to buy it from Amazon: Claymore, Vol. 1 (Claymore) (v. 1)

Spoilers!



Clare cradling Teresa's head was possibly the only case of head-cuddling that was tragic rather than hilarious.

I love that Clare had Teresa's flesh and Ilena's arm! What parts will be next?!

The creepy, apparently male-controlled organization is creepy. I hope they get their comeuppance. Rebel, Claymores!

I cracked up at Ophelia saying how bummed she was that everyone had a cool nickname except her - so she developed a bad-ass sword move just to justify giving herself a cool nickname.
octopedingenue: (metamorphosis defines the fairy tale)

From: [personal profile] octopedingenue


YES YES YES!

Teresa of the Faint Smile is voiced by Paku Romi in the anime. I FANGASMED.

From: [identity profile] daedala.livejournal.com


How is the anime?

I have tried and tried and tried to read manga, but it does nothing for me. It's very sad. But I could try to watch the anime. (I am ridiculously short-attention-spanned regarding tv/movies/etc., but I can make it work sometimes.)

From: [identity profile] woodburner.livejournal.com

random driveby comment


The anime follows the manga very closely up until the late teens (where it veers off in an odd direction). You might like it better than the manga, though, if you're at all a Japanese VA geek - there are so many great actresses in it. (Also, it goes without saying that the action scenes are rather more exciting. *g*)
octopedingenue: Surely at this moment the Demon King is watching some interesting TV program in a daze. (demon king tv)

From: [personal profile] octopedingenue


For what it's worth, I bounced hard off the first volume of the manga a few years ago, due to the mentioned story lag and the mangaka's weird skinny-line art. I picked up the series again for the hell of it last year because the library had the first 5 volumes--read them all in two days, ran to Borders to read what else had been published in English, started waving my hands and squeaking, the rest is history.

Anyway, ditto the above comment, especially the voice actress geeking. The anime also rearranges the timing of a couple of early storylines so they don't create a weird story lag as in the manga's first volumes, where they were awkwardly paced.

Here is the anime's opening, chock full of Dangeorous Ladies. And I adore the ending, which has A)bagpipe-y whistling! B)EPIC ANGST! C)yuri upon yuri, complete with symbolic lilies!
octopedingenue: (blah blah blah!)

From: [personal profile] octopedingenue


Also: here. 4:12-7:04. Teresa of the Faint Smile, aka MY WIFE ON THE ASTRAL PLANE.

From: [identity profile] jmatonak.livejournal.com


Teresa is awesome.

I would love to see a second season of the anime.

From: [identity profile] magicnoire.livejournal.com


YAY! You're reading Claymore! Keep reading, keep reading, keep reading! It gets so so so awesome later!

(Clare's backstory with Teresa was the point at which I was completely doomed and read through the rest of the manga in an entire day!)

From: [identity profile] meganbmoore.livejournal.com


OMG MY SHOUNEN TRUE LOVE CANNOT BE COHERENT EXCHANGES COHERENCY FOR ICON OF CLAYMORE GIRLFRIEND!!!

Clare has the BEST MANGA ORIGIN EVER! Forget just shounen.

Except...uhm...coming off of this series tends to make one a bit cranky when one reads other shounen after bingeing.

From: [identity profile] magicnoire.livejournal.com


coming off of this series tends to make one a bit cranky when one reads other shounen after bingeing.

So sadly true.

From: [identity profile] elfiepike.livejournal.com


this sounds awesome. i will have to look it up. :D

From: [identity profile] b-writes.livejournal.com


Is this sort of a 'Witch Hunter Robin' thing, where someone might break the cycle someday, or are they inevitably doomed? Or is that too spoilery?
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)

From: [personal profile] oyceter


WHOO! Isn't it awesome? I sometimes get bogged down in endless fight scenes (I think vols. 7-10 were rather boring with the dungeon-fighting), but I love Clare and Teresa and all the awesome backstory and worldbuilding. And I love that it's a darker version of Buffy, in which the Slayers have always been a multitude.

Cannot wait until you get to the later volumes!
ext_6446: (Utena sword)

From: [identity profile] mystickeeper.livejournal.com


BWAHAHAHAHAHAA!!! Claymore is so amazing. And it only gets more awesome!
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Wardings)

From: [personal profile] roadrunnertwice


HEYO, that sounds great. Thanks!

From: [identity profile] woodburner.livejournal.com


AND HARTZ SEMICOLON.

I love Claymore so much. And I am totally waiting for the day when someone starts beating the crap out of someone else with their own severed arm.
octopedingenue: (Default)

From: [personal profile] octopedingenue


Only for that someone else to steal the arm and use it to replace her own! And then ram it through the first person's stomach!

From: [identity profile] meganbmoore.livejournal.com


My money is on Helen. She'll be out boozing it up and then there will be a brawl and someone will decide that hacking off the drunk Claymore's swordarm will take care of things and she'll be all "Oh, is THAT how you think it going to go down?" and she'll pick up her arm and start using it as a club.

And then Deneve will declare that she can't take Helen anywhere anymore and literally drag her off.
octopedingenue: (toph CAPSLOCK OF TRIUMPH)

From: [personal profile] octopedingenue


How much booze does it take to overload a Claymore's system, man? Or alternately, does their slow metabolism mean all the Claymores should be TOTAL ALCOHOL LIGHTWEIGHTS?

I feel this should be addressed at length within the series itself. Preferably with secretly spiked punch. (Phantom Miria phantoming + alcoholic double vision = HILARITY)

From: [identity profile] meganbmoore.livejournal.com


(Does whether or not Claymores get drunk count as a spoiler?) Spoilerish for around vol 15-16~. Thanks to Helen, we know Claymores CAN get drunk. I'm too lazy to look for the exact scene, but it apparently takes a lot, and I think they have to let it affect them, but if Helen wants to, Helen can *bleep* well get good and drunk.
octopedingenue: (Default)

From: [personal profile] octopedingenue


YOU are a font of knowledge and a joy forever!
ext_6355: (Default)

From: [identity profile] nenena.livejournal.com


CLAYMORE HELL YEAH

This series is so ridiculously awesome. My only complaint is that when I first started reading it, it was a weekly thing, but then it was moved to Jump Square and now I have to wait a whole month between chapters. :(
.

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