Sunday, February 17, 2008

Claymore (anime series) and the new Indiana Jones movie trailer

Claymore is a 2007 anime series, comprising of 26 episodes, with average length of 20 minutes per one episode. Anime's setting is clearly Western European and medieval, with a few fantastical elements. Foremost of them being "Yoma" - evil monsters which feed on human intestines, and "Yoki" - monster's life energy (similar to chi in Eastern Philosophies and/or Religions). Our main protagonist is a claymore named Claire. Claymores are half-human half-yoma beings, equipped with giant swords (hence the name), with a sole purpose to their existence - seek and destroy all Yoma life. Their half-yoma nature gives them preternatural abilities enabling them to fight Yoma, whose strength, speed and overall fighting abilities are far superior to humans. Yomas and Awakened Beings (something like advanced gen Yoma) may camouflage as humans, but their true forms vary considerably - from giant godzilla-like creatures to many limbed arachnids, winged demons and insectoids. Their repulsiveness (evil) is in stark contrast with the beauty of Claymores (good), who just happen to be blonde women, one and all of them, without exception.

The story picks up fast and I held to my seat well past after the middle episodes were behind me. The story of Claire and her personal vendetta against a particular Awakened Being is quite compelling as her power progresses in a similar fashion to roleplaying games. The plot is not as pedestrian as the setting might lead one to believe, but its not as complex or depressing as is the deal with some of the more philosophical animes on the market (Neo Genesis Evangelion, Akira, Ergo Proxy, Gilgamesh etc.).

Claymore is not spotless thought. There are a few notable plot holes and some unnecessary filler content when the series crawls towards its conclusion. The Claymores are quite indistinguishable between each other, even with the different hairdos. The different fighting techniques become too numerous with progression of the series, making them lose some of their initial uniqueness. There are also a lot of unbearable cheesy moments, and that includes the ending itself. Nevertheless, all of the complaints I might have had with Claymore, I still have to admit that I absolutely loved the series and cannot remember the last anime I've enjoyed as much as this one. Highly recommended 4/5

As an aside - the new trailer for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is awesome. Check out the link to watch it in HD.

- Thrinidir -



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