Claymore: The Souls of the Fallen, Vol. 12
by Norihiro Yagi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Claymore, Vol. 12 / 978-1421519364
I'm a very devoted fan of both the Claymore anime and the manga. I love the crisp black-and-white artwork, and while I realize it's not for everyone I personally think it's a perfect style for graphic novels. I find the action easy to follow, and the faces and body language to be surprisingly emotive. The story is complex and compelling, and I'm all in until the series finally finishes. I own this volume as a Nook Book e-book, and I assume it will shortly be ported to other online stores for sale.
Volume 12 provides the following scenes:
Scene 64: Kindred of Paradise, Part 3
Scene 65: The Souls of the Fallen, Part 1
Scene 66: The Souls of the Fallen, Part 2
Scene 67: The Souls of the Fallen, Part 3
Scene 68: The Defiant Ones, Part 1
Scene 69: The Defiant Ones, Part 2
This volume starts with background on Luciela and Rafaela, and how the two sisters were cultivated by the Organization to have a soul bond. The idea was that one sister would fight in an awakened form, while the other sister held her awareness and humanity back from the brink so that the awakening would not be permanent. However, the bond between the two sisters didn't hold and Luciela was left permanently awakened and Rafaela was left scarred, both emotionally and physically. After the flashback, we return to the battle between Isley and Luciela -- Luciela flees, badly wounded, and Rafaela catches up with her and stops her for good.
After this, we get a time skip of 7 years. We follow the new Number 47, Clarice, as she travels to a rendezvous in the ruined north, in search of an Awakened Being. It is revealed that the Organization has revised their policy towards Awakened Beings and now hunts them aggressively, in light of the devastation caused 7 years ago when they moved in a coordinated attack. Clarice's group is overpowered, but they are saved at the last minute by seven mysterious warriors: survivors of the Northern Campaign.
It is revealed that Miria, Deneve, Helen, Tabitha, Cynthia, Clare, and Yuma/Uma (her name varies depending on the volume) survived the campaign seven years ago. Prior to the battle, Miria revealed a plan where all the warriors would take half a yoma-suppressant beforehand, ensuring that if they were knocked unconscious they would appear dead to their attackers. The plan hinged entirely on chance: there was no way of knowing who would be knocked unconscious and who would be so severely wounded that death was unavoidable. The seven who survived -- the Seven Ghosts of Pieta -- have been hiding in the north, suppressing their aura and training for the day when they moved south to take vengeance on the Organization.
Clare finds evidence that Raki was in the north but that he may have moved south to safety. She decides it is time to move south, and the rest of the Ghosts accompany her. Almost as soon as they leave the northern region, the Ghosts sense a hunting party of Claymore about to clash with the Abyssal Being Riful of the West; the Ghosts hurry to intervene. In an unrelated development, Number 47 Clarice is assigned to assist the extremely young and worryingly unstable Number 4 Miata, who warms to Clarice once she unilaterally decides that Clarice is her new surrogate mother.
~ Ana Mardoll