Review by: Sophie Stevens
Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
MSRP: $29.98 US
Running Time: 95 minutes
Rating: TV MA
Release Date: Available Now
Clare on the razor’s edge.
What began as a story about an emotionless member of an organization filled with sword-wielding warrior women searching for a monster that killed the only woman that cared for her like a mother has turned into a deep love story and a newly awakened emotion that has this sister of the sword finally realizing that there are things really worth fighting for in this world. Clare has come a long way since the first episode of this series as the final chapter closes on the saga that is Claymore.
In Chapter 5, having joined by an impressive army of fellow Claymores in the village of Pieta, Clare finds herself struggling to survive the onslaught of savagely powerful Awakened Beings that are unlike anything either one of these Claymores have faced before. To top it all off, the legendary Silver-eyed Lion King, more appropriately known as Rigaldo, has dropped into the fight to slaughter the remaining Claymores only to find a challenge in Clare.
As Chapter 6 opens, Clare attempts to keep up with Rigaldo’s mighty blows and eerie swiftness. For an Awakened Being as big and lion-like as Rigaldo, the monster can certainly move and it becomes clear to Clare that in order to defeat the beast she must call upon the Yoma power within her. As her injured friends watch from afar, they witness Clare Awakening just a little right before their eyes … yet it still isn’t enough.
“I need more,” Clare says to herself as she manages to keep up with Rigaldo. “More strength and more speed!”
When she does, it becomes clear to the other sisters that Clare has pushed herself closer to the point of no return. Somewhere in the nearby forest, the frail young girl named Priscilla and her ward stop worrying about Raki’s wellbeing and concentrate on the raw Yoma power that is flowing as Clare comes to Awaken parts of her body to continue fighting her dangerous foe. Priscilla freaks out to the point that she runs off to the very source of the power flow.
Meanwhile, Raki finally reaches Pieta only to find the streets littered with dead or badly injured Claymores and the damage their battle had caused the village. He is recognized by Clare’s friends such as Jean and Deneve but when Raki sees Clare in her nearly Awakened form it frightens him to the point that the kid isn’t able to move. When Clare does push herself once again, it is only then that the battle does finally end.
Unfortunately, even with the enemy no longer a threat, Clare cannot hold back the power that threatens to turn her into an Awakened Being. Afraid of turning on her own friends, she begs Helen to end her life before its too late and she finally changes. Unable to revert back, Clare begins her slow transformation but she senses something nearby that is far too familiar to ignore. As Clare takes off to find this person, a badly injured Jean sets off with Raki to help save Clare as do the last remaining three Claymores. What they find is Clare battling against the Awakened Being that had beheaded Teresa so long ago. We also come to discover a secret about Clare in these final moments during one of the more intense battles in this series.
I won’t go into the details about the outcome of the fight or what is discovered during this fight but it is surprising. It’s also endearing to see Clare, even in her monstrous nearly-Awakened state that she recognizes Raki who pours his heart out to her in the end during a crucial moment in the battle. What I will say is that Claymore as a whole has managed to remain just as intense as these last episodes of this chapter and that’s saying a lot right there.
The final four episodes that make up Chapter 6 of Claymore is nothing short of brilliant and highly energetic just like the source material. The two massive battles will not easily be shaken from your memory as Clare not only comes to the end of her journey but also discovers something about her that’s more important than the mission or the organization and that is humanity. Now this is a great ending.
DVD REVIEW BREAKDOWN
In the village of Pieta, the other Claymores fall at the feet of Rigaldo so it is up to Clare to go up against the powerful Awakened Being. As she calls upon more power and pushing herself to her very limits, Clare finds herself in a dangerous situation she may recover from and even more so when the person she was looking for finally shows up.
VIDEO QUALITY: A
This final chapter features even more stunning visual effects such as the scene where Clare and Priscilla display their full power that literally lights up the night sky. The series has always been visually pleasing and filled with unforgettable visceral moments throughout.
AUDIO QUALITY: A+
The strength of the original Japanese as well as the English dub has always been the emotional impact of each performance as far as the Claymores are concerned. Personally, I think Raki sounded better in Japanese but then again I can’t imagine anyone else doing the voice in English than Todd Haberkorn. There’s good music in this series (and better opening and closing theme songs) but sometimes it’s the silence of a key scene that makes it more memorable.
There’s an audio commentary track for Episode 26 with Brina Palencia and Stephanie Young that’s fun to listen to and there’s the original Japanese TV commercials on the DVD as well. Aside from the collection of trailers and the textless songs, the 24-page book with art and production notes is the real treat.
Chapter 6 of Claymore reaches its climax as Clare battles the Silver-Eyed Lion King and she isn’t able to contain the Awakening power that begins to eat away at her soul. In these final moments of the series, a lot is revealed to us and thus makes this a chapter that will not fail to shock and surprise.
COMPLETE SERIES GRADE: A
True to the source material, the anime version of Claymore is dark, bloody and downright haunting. It’s one of those stories that feels epic in scope thanks to its bigger-than-life characters and story that goes beyond a typical revenge story. Beautifully directed and featuring amazing animation, Claymore is one of those anime series that is truly unique and amazing.