Claymore (クレイモア, Kureimoa) is a dark fantasy manga series written and illustrated by Norihiro Yagi. The series initially premiered in the now defunct Monthly Shōnen Jump in the May 2001 issue. When the magazine was canceled in June 2007, the series was temporarily moved to Weekly Shōnen Jump. When Jump Square was introduced in November 2007, the series was moved to it and is still on-going. The individual chapters are published in tankōbon volumes by Shueisha, with 16 volumes released as of December 2008.
Madhouse adapted the first eleven volumes of the series into a twenty-six episode anime series. Directed by Hiroyuki Tanaka the series premiered in Japan on NTV on April 3, 2007 and ran until September 25, 2007. A CD soundtrack for the anime series, and a CD of character songs using the anime voice actresses were released on July 25, 2007 and September 27, 2007, respectively.
The Claymore manga is licensed for an English language release in North America by Viz Media, which began serializing the title in its Shonen Jump manga anthology in the April 11, 2006 issue. It released the first volume of the series on April 4, 2006 and has released 14 volumes as of March 2009. The anime adaptation is licensed for release in North America by Funimation Entertainment, which has released the first DVD for the series in fall 2008. Madman Entertainment has licensed the anime for release in Australia and New Zealand.
In a world where humans coexist with creatures called Yoma sentient monsters that feed on human innards, a nameless and highly secretive organization has created an order of half-human, half-yoma warriors to protect humans from the yoma, for a large fee. The people of this world have dubbed these warriors as "Claymores" based on their gargantuan, unsheathed swords, or the "Silver Eye Witches", based on their appearance and seemingly cold nature toward others.
After the death of her motherly figure, Teresa, at the hand of Priscilla, Clare voluntarily joins the Organization to seek vengeance. In a small town terrorized by a yoma, she meets and befriends a kind-hearted, albeit naive, young man named Raki. The two travel together until they are separated when Clare is forced to battle a sadistic Claymore named Ophelia. Before parting, Clare promises to find him if she survives. After defeating Ophelia with the help of Irene, her plan of reuniting with Raki is disrupted by the agents of the Organization, who inform her that Isley, Abyssal One of the North, is amassing an army of Awakened Beings. Unwillingly, she is sent to the north along with twenty-three other Claymores. Knowing full well that they have been ordered on a suicide mission, Clare and her comrades come up with a plan to feign their own deaths and go into hiding with the help of Yoki suppression pills. Despite their efforts, only seven Claymores, including Clare, survive the brutal battle.
After hiding seven years with the other six survivors, Clare finds evidence Raki survived and convinces her comrades to travel south with her to look for him. However the other survivors' main aim, under the command of former #6, Miria, is to overthrow the Organization that betrayed them. After rescuing the fortified city of Rabona from an awakened being, the group hears about the true nature of the Organization and the world from Miria. She reveals that the Organization's goal to protect humans from yoma is a sham to cover up their experiments to create controllable awakened beings. These, she reveals, will be used to fight the Organization's off-island enemies, who have as their allies monstrous creatures called "Dragon-kin". The purpose of the Organization is nothing less than developing controllable awakened beings to fight the Dragon-kin, for which purpose the island serves as their "lab". However Miria knows little of the outer world, revealing that it consists of lands outside the island where two sides are battling for supremacy.
- VIZ site of English language version
- Shueisha site of Japanese language version
- FUNimation site for English anime