Claymore Vol. #04 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B+

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  • Art Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 7.99
  • Pages: 200
  • ISBN: 1-4215-0621-1
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Claymore Vol. #04

By Jarred Pine     November 01, 2006
Release Date: October 03, 2006

Claymore Vol.#04
© Viz Media

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Norihiro Yagi
Translated by:Jonathan Tarbox
Adapted by:Jonathan Tarbox

What They Say
Teresa, a powerful Claymore, saves a young girl from her bandit captors and leaves the child in the care of some villagers. But triumph quickly gives way to despair when the situation takes a tragic turn, and Teresa is forced to kill a human - an act that will condemn her to death at the hands of her own kind.

The Review
For the Claymore, it is understood that once the Yoma half of their body takes over they will be executed. It�s an order which must be followed, and the Claymore do so without question or resistance like the mindless assassins they have been groomed to be. However, how will the organization react once their top Claymore, Teresa of the Faint Smile, begins to give in to her human side and executes another human in an act of sympathy and anger?

This fourth installment of Claymore is definitely the best volume yet; which is a good sign for an ongoing manga. Creator Norihiro Yagi has really scripted an interesting scenario that not only digs deeper into the inner-workings of the Claymore organization, but the characters� psyches and their relationships with the world as well. The pacing is dead on, allowing time for all the appropriate twists, turns, battles, and character development in this long background story of a young pre-Claymore Clare. How will this attack on Teresa by the other Claymore affect her given their close relationship? There are still a lot of questions surrounding the organization, but as of right now they create quite an unsettling feeling. That mixed with characters you can sympathize with creates an engaging reading experience.

Yagi�s artwork is still a mixed bag but I lean mostly to the positive aspects rather than the weaknesses. The compositions are incredible: full two-page spreads, nicely choreographed action, good backgrounds, and good suspense visuals. However, the delicate line work with minimal screen tones lacks depth and keeps those action sequences from really popping off the page; not to mention the overuse of thick speed lines. In the end though, it is the delicate artwork style that nicely matches the equally delicate nature of the characters.

I wasn't sure how I felt about Claymore up until this point, but I can now with confidence call this one a keeper; especially with the nice print reproduction and quality English script by Jonathan Tarbox. It's a unique dark fantasy that adds a fresh flavor to what has been lately a staling line of Shonen Jump manga.


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