I’m really enjoying watching Claymore at the moment (as of episode 4), yet oddly, I’m finding it hard to pin down exactly what I like about it. It’s probably the setting; I just really like the European medieval period — a time when any person; strong in arm and sword in hand, could conquer and control his own patch of land. Everything from that era feels tangibly real; the swords, the armour, the clothes, even the architecture — it’s easy to imagine how life was, or felt, back in those days. I suppose that’s why I’m immediately attracted to Claymore; I understand the gravity and the colour of its environment. Indeed, I’m a part of that world rather than just observing it.
“If you stare into the Abyss long enough, the Abyss stares back at you.”
Nietzsche’s famous philosophical phrase must be carved into Clare’s heart. Half human and half demon, every time a Claymore dips into her power, the closer she lurches towards losing control; indeed, perhaps the most thrilling scenes so far have involved Clare wrestling against her demonic side, trying to retain her humanity despite an existence that’s so clearly lead devoid of whatever she is afraid of losing.
Does she willingly dye herself in blood and enjoy the thrill of the hunt? Kentaro Miura’s Berserk has obviously influenced Claymore; both stories are sprawling medieval adventures that effectively explore how one’s personality can be affected by one’s environment — just as Guts struggles against his destiny to avenge old friends, Clare struggles to retain her sane personality in a violent world, to hunt demons is to become a demon. Ambition bleeds into humanity, and like Guts has his love, Clare just needs a reason to hold on, an anchor for her spirit. That’s where Raki comes in.