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DVD Review

DVD cover

Volumes 1 and 2


Starring (voice): Houko Kuwashima, Aya Hisakawa, Hana Takeda and Hiroaki Hirata
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 18
Available 08 June 2009

Throughout the land stalks a brutal scourge of evil known as Yoma, a terrifying breed of monster with an insatiable appetite for human flesh and the ability to take on the form of those on which they have fed. Their only foes are the Claymores or "silver eyed witches", female human-Yoma hybrids possessing extraordinary strength and sword-wielding prowess. The Claymores roam the land, offering their Yoma destroying services to those in need... but there is always a price to pay...

Claymore is based on the manga by Norihiro Yagi. It is produced by Madhouse Studios and directed by Hiroyuki Tanaka. Claymore: Volumes 1 and 2 includes chapter 1: 'The Burden of the Blade' and chapter 2: 'The Point of no Return'. This 2-disc DVD collection features the first 10 episodes of the 26-episode series.

The series centres around a Claymore called Clare who has a painful past and whose path toward vengeance is marked by violence, solitude and scorn. That is until she meets and rescues a young boy, Raki, who helps revive the spirit and compassion of his half-human, half-monster saviour, even as she recalls the fateful events that led to her becoming the thing that many - humans and monsters, alike - have come to fear.

Chapter 1: 'The Burden of the Blade' contains the episodes 'Great Sword'; 'The Black Card'; 'The Darkness In Paradise'; 'Clare's Awakening'; and 'Teresa Of The Faint Smile'.

Chapter 2: 'The Point of no Return' includes the episodes 'Teresa And Clare'; 'Marked For Death'; 'Awakening'; 'Those Who Rend Asunder - Part 1'; and 'Those Who Rend Asunder - Part 2'.

Claymore is a very eerie anime that gives you the chills from the start; which is set in a gloomy swamp, with creepy music in a blood filled area.

The world of Claymore is infested with monsters called Yoma, which feed on humans. Claymores are a half-breed of Yoma and human, created in order to kill Yoma.

The adventure starts off with the Claymore Clare on her ongoing quest to hunt down and kill all Yoma. She travels from town to town slaughtering every single one that gets in her way. When she runs into a young boy called Raki, who takes a shine towards Clare, she agrees to take him with her as her cook. But Clare seems to have a hidden agenda.

The series really starts to pick up once Teresa of the Faint Smile, the top ranked Claymore of her time, is introduced. She has a story similar to Clare’s. However, her story is a lot shorter than Clare’s - lasting only a couple of episodes - but sparks up an extremely exciting plot and takes Claymore to a whole new level.

After Teresa's story is told, we jump back to Clare for another two episodes before this collection comes to a close.

Claymore is an exciting anime that has a lot of potential. The characters are well constructed and the producers have managed to create an eerie atmosphere that not many animes manage to pull off. This is mostly achieved with the use of the incredibly spooky soundtrack that is capable of making you feel on edge. If the quality continues for the remaining episodes, this could be one of the best animes to come along in a long time.

Extras include audio commentaries on two episodes; interview with director Hiroyuki Tanaka (7 min); Cast Auditions (a selection of interviews with the American cast - the longest of which is just over 1 minute); and textless opening and closing titles.


Carl Simpson

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