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Anime and Manga like Claymore

Anime family 001 Claymore - Girl Clare Sword Blood Monster Anime 14"x17" Poster

At first glance, Claymore seems like a common story in the manga and anime world. It seems like a story where sexy badass women become strong warriors fighting bad guys to save the world. However, contrary to many beliefs, Claymore is actually one of the most unique anime/manga out there. Why? Because it is in fact not about saving the world from destruction. 

Later in the manga, you’ll see what Claymore really is all about. It’s very hard to find plots that are anything remotely similar to Claymore.

Uniqueness of Claymore

Claymore has many unique characteristics that make it stand out. A few points that make Claymore a unique story:

The way women are portrayed. 

In Claymore, women warriors are physically more powerful than men because of a genetic mutation. This mutation is caused by surgical implantation of “Yoma flesh” into the girls’ bodies. 

While there are plenty of anime and manga out there that deal with body enhancements and genetic mutations, Claymore is able to utilize this concept more smoothly in the plot. Claymore has less perversion of the basic idea that anything can be done with mutation. In fact, Claymore is actually quite moderate when it comes to genetic alteration, keeping it at a level that is still very understandable. 

No “Victims”

One more thing that makes Claymore amazing is that it eliminates the concept of victimhood. In the world of Claymore, much like the real world, everyone is a victim of circumstance. What stands out in the plot is how the characters deal with their circumstances to find their own place in this world. This is something that many people in the real world can relate to.

Gender relationships

Claymore utilizes gender differences, the strengths and weaknesses, and uses them as a driving force to make the plot very interesting. Which is not to say that Claymore has any hint of anything relating to the current political climate. 

From “zero to hero”

While Claymore is a story of revenge and love, it manages to keep the story focused on character development. It is in fact a “zero to hero” story of the struggle of achieving one’s goals. Despite having such a clichéd plot, the details of how things fall into place are an absolute masterpiece. 

And please… don’t get me started on the gore and violence of the anime. It’s one of the reasons why it falls under the “Shounen” category. 

Anime and Manga Similar to Claymore

While there is no other anime or manga that replicates the intensity and uniqueness of Claymore, you can find a few characteristics of the story of Claymore in other anime/manga. Here are a few anime/manga that are somewhat similar to Claymore:

Akame Ga Kill!

Akame ga KILL!, Vol. 1 (Akame ga KILL!, 1)

Similarity rating: 3 out of 10

Akame Ga Kill is a story of Tatsumi who comes to the capital, with his childhood friends, to become part of the defence force of the empire. Along the way, they all get separated and lose their way. Only Tatsumi makes it to the empire. Later, he finds out that his childhood friends were captured by a noble and tortured to death.

He vows to avenge their deaths and joins an assassin group called “The revolutionary army”. They aim to overthrow the corrupt government running the country and kill anyone involved in the corruption.

While this anime doesn’t necessarily involve monsters eating people, the political strife, the action field scenes and the level of gore are actually somewhat similar to Claymore. Not only that, the struggle of Tatsumi and how he found a family in his journey to avenge the death of his childhood friends are also Claymore-like. 

Blood+

Similarity rating: 4.5 out of 10

Blood+ Volume 1

Blood+ is similar to Claymore in that the protagonist is a girl that fights monsters to save the world. Having a unique ability—much like Clare of Claymore, Saya travels the world using her sword to destroy monsters that prey on humans. 

Unlike Claymore, Blood+ is set in the modern world and the protagonist, Saya, starts as just an ordinary girl. Well, ordinary until she realizes that her blood has the ability to “crystalize” the bat-like monsters called Chiropteran. She uses this ability to keep her family safe, and save humankind from the monsters lurking in society. 

Later, as she journeys around the world going from mission to mission, she discovers something disturbing about her past relating to the monsters she desperately tries to rid the world of. 

While there isn’t really much deep similarity between Blood+ and Claymore, I can understand why some fans think they are somewhat similar. Both anime are led by strong independent women who use swords to fight monsters while their characters develop. 

Attack on Titan

Similarity Rating:  7 out of 10

Attack on Titan Poster Nine Titan Decorative Painting Wall Art Canvas Posters Gifts 12x18 inch No Frame

Imagine a world surrounded by humanoid beings that eat people for fun. In this world, the heroine’s family falls victim to a monster attack. The protagonist then vows to take revenge for the death and joins a mercenary group that keeps communities safe. Sound familiar? That’s because Attack on Titan has the same premise as Claymore!

However, there’s actually more than just the premise of Attack on Titan that is similar to Claymore. There’s also character development. When Eren Yeager joins the survey corps, his character starts to grow. He turns from being one of the weakest among the corps to becoming one of the most essential. His back story also gives him a special ability to use the power of the very monsters they are trying to kill. 

Still sounds a lot like Claymore, doesn’t it?

It’s not just that. The organization that the protagonist belongs to has a dark secret that he eventually finds out about. This is very similar to Claymore! In Claymore these types of backstories cause drastic changes in the story development. 

It is no surprise that many Claymore fans are also fans of Attack on titans. In fact, many otaku websites draw comparisons between Attack on Titan to Claymore because of the similarity of the plot.

Demon Slayer

Similarity Rating: 5.5 out of 10

Demon Slayer (Kimetsu no Yaiba): The Movie - Mugen Train [Blu-ray]

Another anime /manga that is comparable to both Claymore and Attack on Titan is Demon Slayer.

The premise of the demon slayer is very close to Claymore. The protagonist’s family is killed by demons, the protagonist vows to join the demon slayer corps. What makes Demon Slayer different from Claymore and Attack on Titan is the motivation of the protagonist. 

In Claymore and Attack on Titan, the protagonists are driven by revenge. On the other hand, Tanjiro Kamado’s (Demon Slayer protagonist) motivation to fight man-eating demons is derived from the fact that his sister has been turned into a demon herself. To find the cure for her demonification, Tanjiro joins the mercenary group.

While the basic premise of falling victim to the monsters, and joining the fight against said monsters, is the same, the plot is actually very different from Claymore. 

The level of gore and violence in Demon Slayer is on the same level as Attack on Titan and Claymore, which attracts a similar anime fan base.

Hellsing/ Hellsing Ultimate

Similarity rating: 5 out of 10

Hellsing: Impure Souls Anime Manga

Hellsing Ultimate is another manga adapted to anime (Hellsing) that has been compared to Claymore by several Otaku sites. The title of the anime, Hellsing, is named after the organization that the protagonist operates. Claymore also has the same concept, but instead of The Organization, the anime/manga is named after what the warriors are called. 

Both Hellsing and Claymore have their fair share of gore and violence. But the manga, Hellsing Ultimate, is a lot darker and more violent than Claymore. 

The story of Hellsing/Hellsing Ultimate revolves around the character named Alucard, the strongest vampire in this world. He joins the group called “Hellsing” to kill his own kind and prevent them from devastating human civilizations.

What makes this interesting is that Alucard struggles to fight two fronts: his kind that are killing humans, and the people in the organization he is working with who hate all supernatural beings. 

The action scenes are totally phenomenal in this one. This is one of the main reasons Claymore fans tend to enjoy this anime.  

While this anime and manga focus on crusades and the fight against supernatural beings, the plot is actually pretty decent for a story bombarded with action scenes and gore. 

You can’t go wrong with this one!

Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Similarity Rating: 8/10

Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie: Rebellion [Blu-Ray]

While Puella Magi Madoka Magica is a Shoujo anime that targets young girls as the audience, this anime has a lot more similarities with Claymore than you think.

The premise of the story is of young girls who wish to acquire powers and are forced to fight witches of an alien organization in order to survive. The main function of the magical girls is to keep the humans safe from becoming victims of the witches.

Later, everyone finds out that the witches are actually magical girls who transformed because they couldn’t contain the darkness within themselves. The witch transformation is likened to becoming insane because of severe depression and despair. 

The concept of magical girls being manipulated by the aliens to fight witches until they become one themselves or get killed is 100% similar to Claymore.  While Puella Magi Madoka Magica is not violent and gory ( it’s a shoujo anime) the darkness and the flow of the story are very similar to claymore. This is something not many Otaku notice. 

Watching this one will make you realize how disturbing an anime can be while still being cute and innocent. 

Tokyo Ghoul

Similarity rating: 4 out of 10

Tokyo Ghoul, Vol. 1 (1)

Like many other anime involving monsters and demons, Tokyo Ghoul is a story of a young boy who finds out in a harsh way that the world is full of crazy creatures that eat humans. The creatures called “Ghouls” disguise themselves as ordinary humans while secretly preying on them. This is very similar to what Yomas in Claymore do. 

When Ken Kaneki is attacked by his date who turns out to be a ghoul, he sustains a fatal injury. He is taken to the hospital but his wounds are too great. The hospital decides to patch his injuries with Ghoul flesh, which turns him into a half-ghoul. Because of his transformation, Kaneki is forced to eat human flesh in order to survive. 

His struggle revolves around trying to fit in with the ghoul society while hiding his current state from his human friends.

This anime is similar to Claymore in that it deals with supernatural creatures that prey on humans. While Kaneki is not involved in any organization nor hunts ghouls to save humans, his struggle to control his ghoul instincts is very similar to the situation of the Claymores. 

Kaneki’s character development is also similar to Clare (Claymore) as he learns to control his power to survive a world full of danger.  

Berserk

Similarity rating: 8.5 out of 10

Berserk, Vol. 1

Berserk is one of the most beloved manga of all time, and has always been compared to Claymore. 

The story of Guts is as tragic as Clare’s. Gut’s character development is also very similar, if not identical to Clare’s. Both characters have a tragic childhood that forces them to fight their way to exist. For both Guts and Clare, fighting and the way of the sword are the only solutions to achieving the happiness they are looking for. 

It all starts when Guts falls out of his mom’s corpse that had been hung from a tree. It is said that children being born from corpses is a bad omen. Despite this, Gambino, a leader of a mercenary group, picks him up and raises Guts as one of the mercenaries. Gambino becomes the only father figure that the boy knows. 

One day, Gambino’s luck runs out and he faces several losses, including one of his arms. He blames it all on Guts and starts abusing him. At night, when Guts is asleep, Gambino decides to kill the boy. But Guts wakes up, before Gambino can strike him. Guts kills Gambino with his own hand and runs away from the mercenary group. 

A few years later, Guts encounters the Band of the Hawk. He fights them head-on and kills one of the commanders of the group. Griffith, the leader of the Hawks, sees Guts’ potential and recruits Guts by defeating him in a duel. 

From being a boy born from a hanged corpse, Guts becomes one of the strongest fighters of the series. His struggles lead to several despair and life-threatening situations. However, his growth helps him cope with every situation in order to survive another day.

Conclusion

While Claymore is such a unique masterpiece, many of its characteristics can be found in other anime and manga. The premise of the story, the concept of fighting monsters to save humanity, the struggle of being weak, and the everyday hurdles that people overcome to survive. These are just some of the most important aspects of Claymore that you can see crossover into other anime and manga.

Contributor

Article by John Salinas.

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