Comic Picks By The Glick

Claymore vol. 25

January 1, 2015

We’re in the home stretch now.  “Claymore” ended its magazine serialization back in October and the final, twenty-seventh, volume came out earlier this month in Japan.  That’s actually quite reassuring as things have been steadily building towards a climax over the past few volumes, so it’s likely things will be going out on a high note.  Well, as high a note as this series can get at any rate.  This third-to-last volume continues to demonstrate the title’s strengths and weaknesses to a fault.  You’ve got all of the fighting between the Claymores and the Abyssal Ones (as well as between Priscilla and the “One That Surpasses an Abyssal One”) and that’s about as exciting as I’ve come to expect from this series.  Lots of talking, plenty of ordinarily staged violence, no real shifting momentum before the opposing forces.  Yes, at one point Priscilla shifts into her human form and starts fighting her opponent naked.  Speaking as someone who has been reading about the adventures of a naked group of humans in “Gantz” for most of the year, this development is not as impressive as it sounds.

More impressive is the character drama from Clarice and Miata that comes from their struggle against a particularly nasty Abyssal One in the Holy City of Rabona.  Their surrogate mother/daughter relationship has been one of the more interesting ones to see unfold over the course of the series and it reaches its climax here in tragic fashion.  Whether or not you’ll find it as compelling as mangaka Norihiro Yagi clearly wants you to will depend on you can buy into the plot magic necessary for it to happen.  Memory manipulation also plays into the final surprise in the volume as the creepy scientist has a macabre final conversation with Priscilla and we find out exactly why Clarie wasn’t immediately murdered when the former Claymore turned into an Abyssal One so many volumes ago.  Really, the best parts of this volume are the expository bits from the scientist and the Organization contact/spy with the glasses as their conversations provide the most revelatory bits of plot.  They help set up what looks to be the final conflict in the series, which is good even though “Claymore” isn’t humming along with the same momentum as it has had in the past.

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