Claymore Collection Blu-ray Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 9.0
Video 9.0
Audio 9.0
Special Features 7.0
Total 9.0
Distributor: Madman
Running Time: 650 minutes
Classification:
MA15+
Reviewer: James Wright

9.0


Claymore Collection

Although I’m a huge anime fan, Claymore was one of the first Manga stories that I read which thankfully was made into a truly riveting animated series. Having read the original, albeit Western version, the conversion from Manga to Anime was a lot more entertaining due the epic, larger than life battles that at times had me flabbergasted.

In other words, it left me an anime shell shock state of existence of just how bloody cool these fights were. Then you’re given the Blu-ray experience which only highlights the animation even more, making it a truly visceral experience of Claymores, giant swords and mythological monsters with a healthy gallon or so of blood. The Claymore series does parallel Berserk (still one of my favourite anime series to date) due to its elements of the Dark Ages, Knights and strange monsters. Just like Berserk, the Claymore society is also quite interesting, about this female sisterhood of deadly fighters who are shunned by humans because of their Yoma taint which makes for some interesting stories.  

So what’s it all about? Well my dear anime readers, Claymore is set in an alternate universe of female knights called Claymores who protect humanity from the monsters known as the Yoma. These Yoma also have the power to shape shift which makes things a little tricky and to compound the situation, the Claymores are not entirely trusted by the humans because they are actually half human and half Yoma.

The Claymore Collection on Blu-ray revolves around the primary protagonist known as Clare, one of the weakest of her group who has been ranked number 47. Still learning the basics, the council responsible for the Claymores keeps Clare on the fringes of society, fighting smaller Yoma battles as opposed to her more powerful sisters. As Clare has been kept at a distance, it seems that she is more in touch with her Yoma side than human, until she meets Raki, a young boy whom she rescues. Together they form a strong bond and Raki’s presence seems to be quite humanising on Clare that does open her eyes up to what is happening in these lands.  

The series may feature those clichéd larger than life anime battles of giant monsters, gore and of course stylised female characters but something about Claymore is quite dark. This is not just the world that they live in but rather the personal battle of the Claymores themselves about which of their “monster” side is predominant, human or Yoma.

For Clare, Raki has truly opened up her eyes to the broader picture and the more she calls upon her Yoma side, the more difficult it becomes in keeping this side in check and absolute power does corrupt absolutely, especially with those Yoma’s who were once Claymores. The characterisation of the series is quite impressive as well and throughout these episodes, many characters will come and go but the central tenant is the young Clare. Consider this a drama action series but with history, dialogue and plots taking a front seat as opposed to the action. However, when the action does start, it is thoroughly quite enjoyable to watch and there is some great cinematography involved in how these battles are portrayed. Just be warned that the series is quite graphical in nature and is not your standard cutesy anime tale of large eyed and large breasted women.  

I loved the Blu-ray version of Claymore, mainly because of the very impressive animation used in the production. Add in sharp images, vibrant colours and this is one of the better Blu-ray releases that I have seen for anime. The character design is great and even those crazy killers known as the Claymores have this strange sexiness to them but as opposed to clichéd anime, it’s more of a “I could kick your ass without even breaking a sweat” approach. The audio is good and the English version is professionally done with some decent voice acting by all involved. A special mention should be included about the soundtrack that mixes rock with instrumental, creating a unique hybrid which suits this medieval premise perfectly. 

Final Thoughts? 

Claymore the Collection is a must have Blu-ray for anyone who enjoyed Berserk or those that enjoy the medieval theme in anime. The characters are great, their stories engaging but best of all, it’s the amazing animation which not only pays homage to the original author of Claymore but brings the entire premise to life again. The special features also give you a backstage pass into the making of this kick ass tale about the darker side of humanity.

It’s all dark and sexy and is highly recommended!

DVD Special Features

Director interview
Sound and Art Director interviews
Commentaries
Cast auditions
Textless opening and closing






 
 



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