Yoma, flesh-eating horrors hiding in human form, infest the villages and cities of the world, feeding on the human population, leaving only terror and blood in their wake. Female warriors, called “Claymores” or “Silver-Eyed Witches” by the people they protect, who are infused with the flesh of the Yoma in order that they may possess the monsters’ strength, speed and durability, are humanity’s only defense against the Yoma menace...for a price. Armed with indestructible great-swords, which they wield one handed, and possessing amazing and monstrous techniques, every Claymore also wages an internal battle as the contamination of the Yoma flesh that gives them their power also threatens to eventually strip them of their humanity and turn them into the most powerful and dangerous Yoma of all—Awakened Beings.
For 20 volumes of Claymore, we have followed Clare and other warriors through this world of dark fantasy horror as the Organization, the group which created and governs the actions of their warriors, waged its secret war against the three most powerful Awakened Ones, the Creatures of the Abyss, from the first, disastrous battles seven years ago, to their final destruction with the Battle of the Destroyer in the West. Now the Abyssal Ones and the Destroyer are no more, and the Claymores' rebellion against the Organization has begun!
With the terrible secret of the Organization revealed, Miria, shockingly alive after her supposed defeat at the hands of an army of Claymore warriors, now marches on the Organization’s headquarters at the head of that same Claymore army, all intent on seeing the Organization’s destruction.
Desperate, the Organization unleashes three resurrected Claymore’s of unrivaled power, infused with the flesh of Priscilla, the most powerful Awakened One ever known, against the rebel army. As the battle rages at the Organization’s doorstep, we are told the tales of these three warriors: Hysteria the Elegant, Cassandra the Dusteater and Roxanne of Love and Hate, each from their own broken, scarred or psychotic minds, and discover their terrifying and powerful secret techniques!
For the majority of the series, Claymore focuses on the unique characters of the Organization’s warrior culture, their amazing battles and their own personal struggles and inner demons, never getting too focused on any one character, but always grounding the reader by coming back to a core group of protagonists. Reading Claymore, one gets a real sense of what it is like for these characters to live as they do in the world they inhabit, full of combat, fear, death, and danger not just from their enemies, the Yoma and Awakened Ones, but from their own leaders and comrades as well.
Claymore is a battle manga in the extreme, with intensely violent and bloody action woven seamlessly into a dynamic, fast-paced story. The writing also doesn’t pull any punches, and it keeps you guessing as to whether or not a given protagonist will win or die in any given battle. With the stakes and dangers continually being raised, the story leaves you tensely turning the page to see what happens next.
By Eric Rekow