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Claymore Manga Volume 02
Friday, June 02, 2006
My last post on the subject of Claymore, was pretty much a rant about my view that Shounen Jump as a franchise was crap, but oddly enough Claymore (which most people seem to deem as one of the worst SJ titles) was the first one I'd actually found at all entertaining. Judging by the angry e-mails I got from a few fuming Naruto fans after I "dare" criticize the bestest magazine on the planet, I ruffled a few feathers by my comments. 2 months later my opinions of the franchise in general haven't changed, but I still find Claymore oddly entertaining.

This volume is pretty much all the same storyline, the "arc" being so long that it doesn't even fit into the entire volume ending it on a cliffhanger as events come to a head. Clare and the mildly irritating human kid who has attatched himself to her are summoned to the city of Rabona to hunt for a Yoma, which to begin with seems pretty much exactly the same kind of story that every chapter in volume one followed. However this time there is a twist (I know, I was surprised too!), Rabona is a holy city and "unnatural" beings like Clare are forbidden there. So Clare has to take these handy magic pills which make her look human (get rid of her silver eyes you see) so she can blend in. However at the price of blending in the pills also stunt her abilities, making the job more difficult and dangerous. So while the twist is fairly standard stuff it makes for a much longer bout of beastie hunting than those stories found in the first volume. I won't spoil exactly what happens in this volume, but the Yoma is a bit more of a handful than the "one hit and their arms missing" ones of the past and it happens to be hiding out in a cathedral.

Any character development? Well.. the presence of the young boy following her around all the time certainly gives Clare more personality. In volume one she had the personality of a lump of wood on an off day but was still quite cool with all her sword slashing antics, in this volume she actually demonstrates that she cares for the boy and wants to protect him. Seeing her trying to "blend in" with the humans incognito style was fairly interesting too. In general she had a lot more life and feeling to her this volume, not the cold blooded killer of before quite so much.

The artwork in the manga is growing on me a fair bit as well, the medieval atmosphere and locations making the world a lot more vivid than I previously felt it was. The character designs of the humans are likeable and realistic too, with the Yoma's still looking spectacularly un-scary though, the one this volume being more a blob with arms and legs than anything else.

I'm still not entirely sure why I like this manga, it's still fairly mindless, it's still not developed a proper plot (although it's still early days) but it manages to be mindless fun. The medieval setting, nice artwork and a SJ character who isn't some adolescent male I want to strangle all help raise its likeability too. Oh and I still stick by my claim there was a glimmer of yuri in volume one!

Contents: 7
Artwork: 8
Characters: 7
Overall: 7.5

Oh and Clare's eyes on the cover are shiney and stand out!
posted by Mangaminx On Friday, June 02, 2006  
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