Claymore Anime, first impressions



Claymore, a very nice anime

I have been reading Claymore (クレイモア, Kureimoa) since the very beginning. I found that beautiful looking manga on the shelf of my trusted newsagent and I immediately believed that I would have liked it. It resembled much of Berserk (ベルセルク, Beruseruku) at first, having both a similar story and style, still insecure and disproportionate, but that it revealed a great potential. Sure Norihiro Yagi (八木 教広, Yagi Norihiro) is still way below Kentarou Miura (三浦 建太郎, Miura Kentarō)'s style, but I can recall the incredible evolution that took place throughout his creations.



Claymore, a very nice anime

It happens to every mangakas, so even Miura with time passing by had an evolution of his drawing-style, however like it happens to every "great" mangakas, there's a point where readers want this evolution to freeze, to not evolve anymore, but it hardly ever happens, given that these great mangakas, even knowing that they might relax on their successful style achieved, still want to make progress, and the outstanding Miura didn't escape from this rule. Giving an example, Caska, a random character...^^, we'll now examine the author's style evolution in details, dwelling with more attention upon 2 types of styles, that's pre-eclipse and post-eclipse.

 


From Volume 1 to first half of volume 5


This is the style of Miura in the early volumes of berserk, it's still an immature style that refers straight to the style used in Berserk previous work, Oh-Rohden. For Heaven's sake, the anatomy of characters is impeccable like always, but is really from aesthetic point of view that above-mentioned style leaves a good deal to be desired.....

 


From end of volume 5 to volume 6


This attempt of stylistic evolution must be seen as the first one in Berserk from Miura. Characters appears with lengthened necks and more prominent noses, however is a style that will not last long, no more than one Japanese volume.

 


From Volume 6 to Volume 14


Finally here it is, stylistic evolution of disagreement, the one which, for someone's opinion, it might has remained the definitive evolution of Miura's style. Characters are marvellous, Miura draws with a soft and clean stroke which is amazing to look, this style will last until the eclipse included.

 


From Volume 15 to Volume 21


New evolution of Miura's style. Stroke now is more hard, as if it wanted to underline the developing of the events of the black swordsman, and with it we also had some little anatomic innovations, like longer noses of characters. Let this be quite clear, i think this is the best style ever reached by Miura, a style capable of merging, when in need, softer-stroke drawings and more stylized ones. However i cannot even criticise who says to prefer previous style of Miura.

 


From Volume 22 to Volume 29


This is the present style of the Master. Miura, exactly from this volume, offers another extraordinary evolution of his graphic style. Stroke became once again softer, like pre-eclipse chapters, but considerably improved (before wasn't bad, let this be clear); every particular of vignette is unthinkably detailed; well, even if perfection doesn't exist, we must say that here we're really close.

[thanks to Berserkchronicles for this last part!]

And almost the same happened with Claymore. At the beginning it was almost unknown, so I decided I would make it a bit more visible by contributing in its Wikipedia entry, until I recently discovered that MADHOUSE had prepared an shot-for-shot adaptation animated series. I watched until episode 9 and I have to say it was pretty well made. The fighting scenes and animation excel if compared to the manga, whereas the sentimental ones seemed more powerful on black and white paper, although I have to admit a few tears graced my cheeks more than once.





The story is old but solid, consistent and well portrayed. What makes us monsters or humans? Is it our blood or the result of our actions? Through the eyes of half-monster lonely girls and innocent abused children Norihiro Yagi unveils in front of our eyes the dark side of humanity, the pointless sense of fear for strangers, those who are different and the inner fight in each one of us, who can become a monster. There are no bad people or good people in absolute terms, and that is the true nature of the World, like Japan always taught us.

If you'd like to try and watch it eclipse anime made an excellent work of encoding, you can find all the episodes in h264 (torrent).