What it’s about: An island community of medieval villages is plagued by an infestation of shapeshifting demons with a penchant for torment and slaughter. Opposing this threat is a mysterious mercenary organisation who recruit survivors of demon attacks willing to discard their humanity in exchange for the power to fight back. The story follows one of these hybrid “Claymores”, Clare, as she takes on missions to defend the innocent, all the while distrusted and hated even by those she saves.
Why you should watch it: Stylish, violent action with enough character development to keep you invested in what’s going on. The plot moves forward quickly, with surprisingly little fanservice for an anime with a female lead. It’s bloody, it’s compelling, and the world is pretty well-realised.
Caveats: In the first episode Clare picks up an irritating Shia LeBoeuf-esque sidekick. Thankfully he disappears for most of the plot once the story begins to delve into Clare’s origins. The finale of Claymore is pretty controversial and an obvious invitation to pick up the manga and find out what happens next.
Themes: Defining your own identity in the face of a world all-too-willing to define it for you. Corruption, both mental and physical.