Amanda Liu September 28, 2007
So yeah by now I’m aware that there are like 5 million of these posts out but I couldn’t access A2M yesterday ;_;. Anyways, before I continue, I’m going to posting spoilers if you couldn’t figure it out. You have been warned.
Alex: So, because I wanted to rant about just the ending, I’m inserting my blurb at the end of Amanda’s review.
Well honestly I have mixed feelings on this. This is the type of ending that you can keep on pondering about for hours and hours and switch views on. On the positive side, the techinical aspects of the ending were really well done. The art was gorgeous and the music gave off the kinda heroic and happy feel it was aiming for. The ending has enough closure for the casual viewer to be satisfied yet it is still enough open enough for that slim chance of a possible continuation. It’s also great to hear Houko Kuwashima again because I got sick of that deep Awakened voice they were using on Clare. Oh and I’m in the minority for this but I’m glad Raki was able to confess his true feelings even if his speech was kind of annoying. Which leads into the next part. You know, what everyone has been whining about.
The biggest problem with the ending is that the ending is something I’d expect in Busou Renkin. Now I love Busou Renkin, I enjoyed the series immensely started a small fanbase in my high school and blah blah blah but while Busou Renkin is also a shounen series, it’s a very happy-go-lucky and humorous one. In essential, the oppposite of Claymore. So it’s a major problem that both endings are very similar with everyone living happy ever after. Except I think those stupid homunculii probably would have just killed each other on the moon out of boredom. In Claymore, even the villans get to go off happily in the sunshine o.O. This just makes everything extremely cheesy, unrealistic, and well pointless. While this was probably the only practical solution Madhouse could think of to leave Claymore in the state they wanted, they could have made it less superficial. I first left Claymore with a “WTF” and I know I wasn’t alone. Well now on to the series review.
Final Series Review:
My “journey” with Claymore has been an interesting one. I started off staying away from this series because I was turned off by the first volume manga cover. I know I wasn’t the only one. Eventually, I decided to pick up the manga out of boredom and I got addicted to it faster than any drug I could probably try. Anyways, there has been a period of time where I was absolutely obssessed with Claymore but I believe it’s died down with the mixed bag of an ending and whatnot. I still say Claymore is a solid anime whether you are a fan of shounen or whatever.
Plotwise, Claymore takes something well used and makes it fun again. It still follows the basic structural formula you find in any shounen of power-ups and different bosses but it’s fun nevertheless. Besides, the manga was the same way. It just took everything at a slower pace. Which brings me to another point, the pace of Claymore. It goes extremely fast with no fillers and wasted time which keeps viewers on the edge. This is especially good because the beginning sucks. I personally want to give a toast to Madhouse for the pacing.
The character development in Claymore is good for the characters that actually. While Clare, the main protagonist, first seems to have absolutely no personality whatsoever, it becomes quite evident that she does have one. Fueled by revenge and hatred, she has chosen a bloodstained path for herself simply because she was too weak face the world after losing everything. A character with many strengths and faults, she certainly exceeds the typical character depth and development that many other protagonists get. Luckily she isn’t the only one. Many other “main” Claymores get this juicy character development. Even Raki, the boy that almost everyone hates, is developed out well. True, he was irritating at times (his crappy seiyuu didn’t help), he still remains as one of the best and most fleshed out characters in Claymore. On top of that, he’s well suited for Clare right ;)?
The production values of Claymore were pretty decent too. While the OST was often used at the wrong times, it was pretty decent nevertheless. Both the OP and ED are amazing though with Danzai no Hana ~Guilty Sky~ earning it the “Best ED Theme of 2007″ in my book (well so far anyways). As far as the animation goes, I know the art is Korean-made, but it’s still pretty high quality nevertheless. It had its budget cuts with some of the battles being kinda crappy in certain places but it’s still aesthetically pleasing. The character designs are unique and rather hard to get used to but once the weirdness wears off they’re pretty good. Not everything has to be moe.
Overall, Claymore was something I really enjoyed watching. It’s good at addicting to people into the series and is one of top-notch quality. I still say that Claymore is one of the best series to come out these years and I urge anyone to check it out as soon as possible.
Alex’s Ending Rant
First off, I just wanted to comment and say that the premise of Claymore is by no means unique or spectacularly intriguing. Killing demons, undesired transformations, girls with swords, main character who’s “mother” figure gets offed early on and is set out for revenge, tag-a-long kid who may or may not be a romantic pawn, etc. These are all very typical anime tropes and in writing a story with a lot of them, it’s hard to keep things animated (no pun). In general, as far as the anime goes (I do not read manga and thus there will be no bashing in terms of comparison) - it does a good job of setting up the characters and giving them distinct personalities. I didn’t quite like it as much as I had thought I would, especially during the last few episodes or so. I think it’s because the ending wasn’t sophisticated enough to logically satisfy my mind. What does that mean?
Well, in a very typical fashion - the one who saves the protagonist throws himself into her path and whines about various things. The kind that a million movies and TV shows have enough of. It’s not really a bad thing per se, I mean…it’s kind of built into story structures that follow this kind of genre. You know, revenge and killing only brings pain - save yourself before it’s too late. But it’s just not terribly gratifying. I wouldn’t say the ending was horrible, it does its job just so and gives room for a possible second season. I can’t decide though, whether or not the writers sacrificed a better ending in order to plaster an obvious “we want to continue this” hint at audiences. I would be interested in a sequel, of course, but Raki has to really develop. Think about it this way, for most of the series, Clare has braved many hardships for Teresa (losing an arm) and has accomplished a lot of things based on her desire to kill Priscilla. But even then, she was a very independent character who helped Jeane and wasn’t beaten down when the others made fun of her for being the weakest in rank. However, the crux of Clare’s admirable qualities gets subverted by Raki’s whiny speech which has so many illogical and idiotic infallacies, I would have bitch slapped him to the moon.
First of all, Raki was whining and crying in his corner the whole time Clare fought Ricardo in Pieta. He uses the opportunity when the battle’s done to say to Clare “I’ll protect you” and he did once, when he stopped Ophelia’s sword but I’m going to say that she was just surprised he dared to do that. She could have cut him down if she wanted to. But when all is said and done, he’s mostly all talk and no action AND has stayed that way for all of the show. Having the desire to change is all fine and good, but not making the transition makes a stale character. In terms of strength, how is he going to protect her in the future without becoming a Claymore? What, wave his sword feeblely while crying in the corner? He doesn’t really have the right to say that Clare shouldn’t be fighting Priscilla. He was THERE when she ate that person’s guts in the cave. So that gets to my second point, after having seen Priscilla’s awakened form - he should have known that she’s basically a crazy confused psycho-bitch who doesn’t know that she herself is the yoma and would kill everyone without a doubt. So, stating an empty cliched thing like “people who’ve lost loved ones shouldn’t fighting each other” makes sense? What about “while someone still has the power to, kill the very strong, if not strongest monster and help save some lives”. I don’t see lawyers defending their criminal clients saying “Oh, well he was molested by his uncle when he was small and he started serial killing little boys in order to repress his memories but I’m sure all of us has faced hard circumstances. Let’s just forget and move on and not be cold-hearted killers.” In fact, it just leads into how selfish Raki is, because he loves Clare and doesn’t want her to turn into a crazy yoma and forget him and go do crazy yoma things. So by choosing the former, he wants cities to get wasted by Priscilla if she awakens again. He wants more poor travelers Isley and Priscilla mets in the woods to get their guts eaten. It’s not even JUST that Priscilla is a crazy psycho, it’s the fact that she’s unstable and has her memories mixed up. Third, Raki doesn’t know Priscilla’s history with Clare and just says, very lightly, “I know she killed someone close to you…” - but it’s not JUST that. The way, Priscilla killed Teresa and the other two were sneaky, underhanded bastard yoma tactics. Yes, if Clare killed Priscilla, it would be for revenge - but also for the better good. Lastly, it’s really lame how Isley came out AT THE LAST MINUTE saying “Oh…I need her.” Right, guess he was just watching from the background to see whether or not Clare would kill her because having him take Priscilla away is JUST the open-ended finale the studio and producers need if they wanted to make a sequel.
From what I’ve seen of other shows with a similar slant, when someone prevents an avenger from his/her goal - they usually get really pissed at that someone. If I were Clare, and Raki did that to me, the magnitude of my anger would be infinite. Plus, as a side note, the way they arranged the ending, (someone already mentioned this) - Jeane was the one who actually did something to save Clare. So in the end, Raki was basically useless, whiny and well…better off crying and sniveling in his corner because really, his words are all empty. All words and no action makes for a very poor character indeed and unfortunately for Clare, it looks like she’s stuck with him.
Category: Rants & Raves
I believe myself~