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Claymore: Chapter 6 - The Awakening

1 rating: 3.0
Anime & Manga movie

A brutal scourge stalks the land. Yoma, monsters driven by a hunger satisfied by only one quarry – Humanity. The dark breed knows but a singular foe: Claymore. Human-Yoma hybrids of extraordinary strength and cunning, the Claymores roam from skirmish … see full wiki

Genre: Animation
1 review about Claymore: Chapter 6 - The Awakening

Claymore's Conclusion Comes Sharp and Swift

  • Jul 8, 2009
Rating:
+3
We've all heard the tired-expression that all good things must come to an end. In the case of Claymore, the sixth chapter (titled "The Awakening") is charged with the task of closing up the epic goth shonen series.

Coming in at a runtime of 95 minutes, the Chapter 6 Funimation release contains 4 episodes (# 23 through 26) on a single disc housed in a standard DVD case. The show wears a very appropriate TV MA (17+) rating due to some rough language, topless female nudity (or maybe topless monster nudity is more appropriate), and a near-endless succession of violent/gory sequences.

Extras are surprisingly robust and include a nice 24 page full color book highlighting key characters from the series, a commentary track from some of the English voice actresses over Episode 26, original TV commercials, textless songs, and a crop of Funimation trailers.

Language options are standard fair sub and dub, which of course means dialog presented in either original Japanese (Stereo) or an English dub in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround. And, like always, the choice to run English subtitles exists for either spoken language option.

The show, for those who are unaware, concludes the tense setup Chapter 5 went out of its way to establish. In fact the first episode of this set (# 23) literally opens in the middle of a heated battle between the half-Awakened Claire and Rigaldo, the Silver-Eyed Lion King in the snowy, lifeless town of Pieta. There is no recapping, no flashbacking, and no reestablishing of any kind so latecomers to the series would be wise not to pick this set as a starting point.

Once the bloody confrontation between the Claymores and Rigaldo comes to its bloody conclusion, the show wastes very little time setting up the next (and final) battle with the Awakened creature Pricilla. At the risk of sparing you spoilers, let's just say that the pacing is mind-numbingly swift in this pair of two-parters and the inevitable grand conclusion comes pretty quickly.

The artistry and ambiance established within the show have always been particularly noteworthy and this volume is no exception. The first two episodes maintain the dark, cloudy skies and gentle snowfall that was established in Chapter 5 while the remaining two episodes introduce bursts of background color in the form of flowing lava and showering sparks (ala Star Wars Episode III's final battle on Mustafar).

Like before many of the subtle effects (falling snowflakes, creeping shadows, tongues of flame from campfires and so on) are computer generated while the character models are internationally drab and bleak. This all adds up to spectacular attention to detail through minor contrasts.

Fancy combat moves and lightening-quick sword slashing still dazzle in the heat of battle but (thankfully) the show's creative teams made certain to display the results from several perspectives so as not to bore the viewer with mere blurry character models.

The soundtrack, which has always been solid and eerily appropriate, continues to work its near subliminal magic here. Of course the battles introduce a sharp spike in tempo and guitar wailing but it works nearly as effectively as the hauntingly quiet melodies that lace the more tension-filled segments.

The English dub has received mixed reviews in the past but seems to have come together quite well for the final quartet of episodes. Chalk it up either to the fact that the actors must really have known the character personalities by this stage in the game or simply the emotionally driven script that fuels the grand finale. Either way the dub works as well as the original Japanese dialog work, which seemed to have picked up on the grand scheme of things much earlier on.

In all, purists and fans of the show are likely waiting impatiently for this July 14th release and neophytes may want to use this opportunity to begin the entire saga from the first chapter onward. Hopefully now that this, the final chapter has been completed and released; Funimation will consider packaging up the entire saga into a single collection. This is definitely a title that deserves such treatment.

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