July 17, 2012
Norihiro Yagi – Viz – 2006 – 22+ volumes
I love this series way more with every volume I read. I think I might have… 20 or 21 to pick up, and I’m sure I’ll like that, but I’m really loving these early volumes. The story is pretty intense, and I’m able to root for the fights here, unlike the more complex character-driven ones in the later volumes. Perhaps I’ll like those more once I figure out who all the characters are, though.
This volume is all about Teresa of the Faint Smile, though. She has a traveling companion in the young human Clare, and her desire to protect her brings her against the Claymore organization. She breaks one of their most important rules, and we are introduced to the Claymore rank system as she is marked for execution.
But Teresa is the rank 1 Claymore, and not so easily taken down. We meet four of the other Claymore women, and learn a bit about them, and also what makes Teresa so strong.
Mostly, though, we learn about Teresa. It’s hard to explain, but this story manages to put a lot of character development in its fights, rather than through more shallow talking heads, and it benefits the characters quite a bit. I finished this volume loving Teresa, and knowing a lot more about her, and she has hardly any dialogue. To be fair, some of that was because of the Claymores that weren’t fighting her talking about her during their off-time, but the discussion gets put to use when the fight really begins, and it carries over into the next volume.
There’s a lot of action here, so I don’t have that much to say, but I feel like I’m really not doing this series justice. There’s an awful lot of action series, and Shounen Jump-esque fantasy series, but this is one of the better ones I’ve read. So far, it’s been worth the effort of tracking down the older volumes. I’m loving every page.