Story & Art: Norihiro Yagi
Translation/Adaptation: John Werry
What They Say
Priscilla relentlessly pursues Clare’s destruction, while Deneve and Helen remain just as determined to protect her. But when the combined form of Luciela and Rafaela attacks, Clare and her cohorts are pulled into the twisting mass. Meanwhile, in Rabona, Miria heads east to destroy the Organization. She encounters Rubel and his secret weapons: mysterious warrior twins who may be Alicia and Beth’s successors, as well as the Organization’s number 10—a deadly fighter who can read Miria’s mind.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Clare is out of commission after her short-lived battle with Priscilla, her arch nemesis. That leaves Deneve and Helen 3 options and none of them sound very good. They can runaway and leave Clare behind, try to kill Priscilla and save Clare, or grab Clare and get the heck out. Dauf’s surprising reemergence and attack on Priscilla makes Deneve and Helen’s decision easier; grab Clare and hoof it out of there.
Dauf’s reappearance is surprising considering how badly Priscilla had maimed him and Riful. However, Dauf took some of the pieces of the combined Luciela and Rafaela awakened being and absorbed them into him. Not only does this heal him, but it makes him strong enough to force Priscilla to take him seriously. Amazingly, during all this “Priscilla” action, this is the first time she has encountered anything remotely powerful and she transforms into her Awakened form to fight him off. The question really is, how long can Dauf last because he sure can’t beat Priscilla.
As Helen and Deneve beat a hasty retreat with Clare in tow, they realize their only chance is to head toward Luciela and Rafaela’s combined form in hopes of their awakened form battling with Priscilla, giving the Claymores a chance to sneak away. With everything we’ve seen Priscilla do and Luciela and Rafaela, it is anyone’s game to win. I certainly couldn’t guess which awakened being would be stronger. But things only get more complicated after Clare is engulfed by Luciela and Rafaela. Now the three of them are not only powerful, but can Clare’s desire for revenge cause them to focus their attack on Priscilla?
If all this wasn’t enough to keep you happy, another big portion of the book returns to following Phantom Miria as she heads for the Organization’s stronghold to fulfill her revenge and destroy the Organization that created the Claymores. This creates an interesting event as the Organization has been greatly weakened with Clare’s group defecting and the Organization’s super-powered twins defeat in past volumes. Its actually satisfying to watch the men that run the Organization begin to squirm as Miria not only defeats the current Claymores, but does it without killing them. But Rubel is a sly old fox, and he has a couple final weapons and one last dirty trick up his sleeve.
Can Miria avoid defeat and finally kill the men running the Organization? What about Clare, is her consciousness still alive inside Luciella and Rafaela? Either way, who will win in the biggest Awakened Being battle yet, Luciella and Rafaela or Priscilla?
Nineteen volumes of manga takes a long time to draw, or at least a decade for Yagi, and the years have seen a nice improvement in Yagi’s style. Early in this series, I thought Yagi’s art style was rough and sketchy, but it has really cleaned up and peaked in the last few years. In fact, I would even go so far as to call it beautiful in a H.R. Giger-esque style of beauty. While the character design of some Claymores can be difficult to tell apart at times, the depictions of Awakened Beings can be deadly beautiful. No examples better represent this than Priscilla’s awakened form which is simultaneously sexy and repulsive.
The story continues to leave me yearning for the next volume. Whether it is tough battles between characters I’m cheering for or revelations about the Organization and its plans, I always want more. This volume is no different as Clare seems to finally die, or maybe not since her Yoma energy is still detectable. Plus, Miria finally attacks the Organization at its heart in an attempt to destroy it all. As usual, the outcomes of all this is left to be revealed another day, but I’ll be back, eagerly awaiting another great volume of manga from Yagi and Viz.
Highly recommended series!
Content Grade: A-
Art Grade: B+
Packaging Grade: B
Text/Translation Grade: B+
Readers Rating: [ratings]
Age Rating: 16+
Released By: Viz Media
Release Date: November 1st, 2011