September 28, 2011
Norihiro Yagi – Viz – 2011 – 21+ volumes
Unfortunately, I skipped a volume. I didn’t realize this until after I had finished this one. This may account for my slight disorientation.
I’ve liked this series pretty well so far, despite jumping in about five volumes ago. This volume gave me a little trouble, though, but I think it’s only partially because I skipped the last one.
The action jumps between three different groups here. In one, a man named “Lord Dae,” who is probably a bad guy, is admiring a terrible creature (apparently “The Destroyer”) that seems to be annihilating all life in the vicinity. He’s very interested in getting a sample for himself. Nearby, Claire is with Helen and Deneve, fighting things coming from “The Destroyer.” During this fight, a character that appears to be rooted very firmly in Claire’s past shows up. In fact, this seems to be the character she’s been trying to fight all series, and the battle is pretty epic. Elsewhere, Cynthia and Uma are fooled by a monster, and are engaged in a battle where each tries to sacrifice themselves for the other. Both get holes blown in them, but keep fighting. Another battle somewhere else covers Riful and Dauf, a doomed couple that appear to be engaging yet another Claymore. Parallel to this is a battle where a dark-haired girl is fighting a monster rather successfully. These two battles merge, and the dark-haired girl fights two monsters while the victims from the Claymore fight only watch. Later, the dark-haired girl finds Clare.
To be fair, the Lord Dae scene is brief. But my main problem with this volume was that there was so much fighting going on, jumping from scene to scene, and little in the way of story. I had trouble telling the characters and fights apart, and the fights meant very little to me, save for the final one with Clare, which was explained. And yes, part of this is my ignorance of most of the series, but I also tend to hate these types of volumes in fighting manga, with lots of fights with many different characters that don’t really mean anything.
All the same, I suspect the Dauf/Riful fight was some sort of climax, and I did wind up enjoying the fight with Clare at the very end. I can’t really appreciate all the story behind it (there’s obviously at least two former storylines that have a direct bearing on this fight), but I loved Clare’s character transformation here, and the fight itself was very good.
Even with this volume not playing as well for me as the others, I still want to pick up past volumes of the series. I need to finish up at least a couple of my current series, but I do intend to go back for this. It seems very much worth it.
I’m not sure why, but I really love the cover to this volume, too.
This was a review copy provided by Viz.