Review: Claymore, Vol. 1

Claymore, Vol. 1 (Claymore) (v. 1)Claymore, Vol. 1
by Norihiro Yagi

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Claymore, Vol. 1 / 9781421506180

I've actually watched the complete Claymore anime first before getting into the manga; when I started deconstructing the incredible anime series on my blog, a kind reader was nice enough to mail me the first five manga volumes as supplemental material. I wasn't sure how closely the anime followed the source material, but so far it's been a very close match, with some extra (and delightful) details available in the manga.

I really love the artwork in this volume -- the drawings are black-and-white, and manage to be very detailed but with a consistently 'clean' simplicity that I find really appealing. The original formatting of the Japanese book was maintained instead of flipped, so you do have to read right-to-left and back-to-front with this volume. The right-to-left reading is a fairly simple adjustment for my eyes (though I do sometimes forget when I drop down a panel), but the back-to-front reading was a bit harder for my hands to get used to -- it's hard to shake years of muscle memory at the drop of a hat, but in this case it's worth it.

Volume 1 provides the following scenes:

Scene 1: Silver-eyed Slayer
Scene 2: Claws in the Sky
Scene 3: Memory of a Witch
Scene 4: The Black Card

For those following along with the anime series, this volume corresponds to:

Episode 1: The Great Sword (An adaptation of Scene 1 and Scene 3 from the manga.)
Episode 2: The Black Card (An adaptation of Scene 4 with an opening shot illusion to Scene 2.)

This volume follows the introduction of Clare and Raki, their meeting one another, a decision to journey together, and the receipt by Clare of Elena's black card. If you liked the anime series, I am certain you'll like this manga volume; I recommend it for extra detail and backstory on the Claymores and their organization.

~ Ana Mardoll

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