6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Very good but with some flaws,
This review is from: Claymore Collection [DVD] (DVD)I should probably confess that I read a fair amount of the manga (it's an ongoing series which does not appear to be approaching it's conclusion quite yet) before watching the anime. As I enjoyed the manga, I was pleasantly surprised just how loyal the series was to it, the only major difference being the final couple of episodes, but this likely also coloured my opinion of the series as a whole.
There are a lot of almost too positive reviews (in my opinion) on this page, so apologies but this one will likely be rather more critical than most.
The series is based quite closely on the first eleven books in the series and, but for a few changes (presumably enacted to bring the anime towards its alternative conclusion), pretty much everything is just as in the books. It is the contrived and rather too sudden ending which I dislike most about the series. The series is quite gritty, obviously violent, with a tendency towards the bitter-sweet. Without giving too much away, the author was not averse to developing some characters before sacrificing them in the passage of the story. On this basis the ending felt too hasty, leaving too many threads unresolved and, in my opinion, out of kilter with the rest of the series.
My second complaint relates to the English language dub (I'm not a great fan of the Japanese dub with subtitles for anime). Whilst the voice work for Clare and several other significant characters (Theresa, Riful etc) is generally excellent, Raki in particular just grates. There are a few other, less major characters where I think the voice work could be better - Flora and Miria spring to mind, but Raki is a pretty good reason to want to flip the mute button. The use of voiceovers/monologues and over-dramatic music at inopportune moments does not help either.
My only other whinge about the series is common to both the books and the anime, in that it begins to feel like the storyline just descends into a series of "boss battles" which begin to drag. The confrontation with Dauf is one I'm not particularly fond off.
Yet despite these grumbles, I would still heartily recommend the series. It's well animated, has an engaging storyline and has some very likeable main characters (Raki aside, who just isn't!). I have to say that I haven't seen too many anime series I would rate higher than this one (Black Lagoon and Ergo Proxy being the only two that come to mind) and I consider it well worth a watch even to people not used to the genre. At least there are no giant robots attacking each other!