Claymore, The Complete Series – Blu-ray Review

Review by: Eduardo Zacarias

Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
MSRP: $69.98 US
Running Time: 625 minutes
Genre: Action/Fantasy
Rating: TV MA
Release Date: Available Now

Sisterhood of the traveling blade.

Having been a huge fan of the manga series by Norihiro Yagi, the anime version of Claymore was a dream come true and an artistic achievement that was loyal to the manga. It’s a story that is as heartbreakingly touching as it is viciously bloody and riveting enough that it was no surprise that The Complete Series of Claymore finds itself released on Blu-ray. You better believe that the Silver Eyed Witches never looked this good, Claymore fans.

Packaged with all the extras found on the original individually released DVDs plus a nifty 48-page booklet, the Blu-ray set brings us the entire series for those who like their anime in high-def. Featuring all 26 episodes on 3 discs, the series is an exciting fantasy story that takes place in a world where monsters called Yoma roam and the only ones capable of fighting them are statuesque women warriors known as Claymores that are half monsters themselves.

The story revolves around one particular Claymore by the name of Clare who travels to a village rumored to contain a dangerous Yoma is said to be terrorizing the people. Unfortunately, Yoma have the nasty habit of “infecting” humans they attack and what is once a human is now a disfigured creature that only thinks about feasting on flesh and blood. In this particular case, the victim is the brother of a boy named Raki who is intrigued by Clare when he first meets her and is grateful to her when Clare slays the creature that was once his brother.

With nowhere else to go after he is shunned by his village, Raki finds himself joining Clare on her mission as a Claymore. What he discovers about this beautiful tall blonde is that she has an agenda of her own that is tied to her mysterious past. You see, Clare – much like Raki – was once a human child whose fate is tied to a Claymore that decided to take Clare with her on her missions. During one mission with other fellow Claymores, though, Teresa is struck down by a Claymore named Priscilla who has pushed her Claymore abilities to the breaking point that turns them into a full-fledged Yoma. Determined to find Priscilla, the young girl becomes a Claymore in hopes that her path would cross with the one that killed her mentor/mother-figure.

Clare and Raki go on a long journey that has them both getting involved in a number of Claymore battles against Yoma. While Raki himself doesn’t participate in the battles, his presence changes Clare in ways she never thought was possible. Claymores are emotionless, follow a strict code they rarely break and are known as Silver Eyed Witches by humans that both fear and respect them. Yet here is Clare who becomes protect a human who comes to have feeling for her.

Joining a number of Claymores on missions, we come to learn more about these sisters of the blade including the fact that they are marked with a number linked to their skill level and Clare is considered low ranked and thus not as strong as the others. Yet during their battles with Yoma-hybrids called Awakened Beings like Priscilla), Clare is able to show the others that she is more than capable of keeping up with them in battle.

Clare’s newfound friendship with a few Claymores has Clare joining them in a massive battles against Awakened Being that seem to be coming out of the woodwork. As various other Claymores find themselves in one spot to fight a hidden foe who seems to be pulling the strings of the powerful Awakened Being, Clare comes closer to her quest as she finally confronts Priscilla.

Claymore is a dark and gritty story with plenty of action and blood but there’s more to the series than just tall, pretty girls swinging swords. This is the story of girl who learns about the things that really matter such as loyalty and love are what makes even a half-Yoma hybrid all the more human. The Complete Series set deserves to be among your collection and even more so on Blu-ray.

DVD REVIEW BREAKDOWN

MOVIE/EPISODES: A+
In a world where humans live in fear of the horrible plague known as the Yoma, a group of warrior women known as Claymores are the protectors of the innocent. One of them, Clare, is on a mission to find a Claymore that has crossed to the Yoma side with the aid of a human boy named Raki. It’s a long journey and the Claymore joins her sisters of the blade against other enemies as she grows closer to the one she has been hunting.

VIDEO QUALITY: A
From the stunning art direction to the fluid animation that makes each battle truly a visual feast, Claymore always looked good from start to finish. I have to say that the series looks really good on Blu-ray but at the same time it isn’t as crisp as the DVD version. This isn’t a complaint, mind you, because it still looks really good in HD.

AUDIO QUALITY: A
The voice acting in the series has always been quite a highlight whether it’s the original Japanese voices (amazing) or the English dub (utterly impressive). Even more, there’s a rich score that is simply unforgettable and opening and closing theme songs that made me a fan of Nightmare.

EXTRAS: A+
Now this is what we like to see in our Complete series box sets because the Claymore box set has more than enough extras to make Claymore fans smile. There six episode commentary tracks on each of the discs and they’re all fun to listen to while watching the episodes. Then there’s the Japanese staff commentary with each of the series’ creators from art design to a brief interview with the director. Add some cast audition footage plus the original Japanese commercial and 48-page booklet and we have ourselves some juicy extras.

OVERALL: A+
Claymore is certainly a series worthy of being transferred to a Blu-ray format and this makes it a set you really shouldn’t be without. If you’re a fan of the manga then you already know what to expect from this series that is unapologetically bloody, filled with plenty of action and a deep emotional core that makes this a story with a lot of heart.

Review copy provided by FUNimation Entertainment

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