Title: Claymore Vol 16
Author: Norihiro Yagi
Reading Level – Older Teens
May Contain Spoilers
THE LAMENTATION OF THE EART: After Miria’s incredible revelations about the origins of the Yoma, the seven warriors split up to settle their affairs and say their goodbyes in preparation for the final battle against the Organization. Helen and Deneve fall in with a spirited young warrior of the current generation and soon find themselves confronting the Organization’s latest, most terrible weapons.
I have been in a bit of a reading slump before I read the 16th volume of Claymore. I don’t know why – I have read some fantastic graphic novels this year, but suddenly, nothing looked good. Nothing could hold my attention. After learning that Tokyopop was giving up and calling it quits, all of my manga mojo took a beating. Here were another dozen titles I had invested in, both financially and emotionally, and I wasn’t going to be to see them to the end. Silver Diamond, Qwan, Demon Sacred, Deadman Wonderland- there are so many TP titles that I had been so excited over, all suddenly silenced. After having experienced this with CMX, Broccoli, Go! Comi, and DramaQueen, just to name a few, I was kind of fed up with sequential art. It no longer held an alluring promise of wonderful stories and characters, and instead promised only heartbreak and disappointment.
My excitement has been restored, though my faith may take a while to recover from the bruising it has received. Claymore is such a fantastic series, and it would be difficult for any fantasy loving reader to remain indifferent to the frantic escalation of tension and suspense that is trampling through the world of Clare and her fellow comrades in arms. The action is on an uptick, and the urgency of the renegade Claymores’ mission is sounding an alarm, not unlike all of the tornado warnings we have had to endure this spring. I could not put this book down, and I am so happy I still have two more volumes, unread, before I have the agonizing wait for new releases.
This time, the focus is on Helen and Deneve. They are heading south to find their hometowns and to set aside any lingering doubts they may have about joining in on the war against the Organization. What they find both humbles and terrifies them. There are evil and vile forces underfoot, and they are far more frightening than the Creatures of the Abyss. Monsters in human form, the Organization does not hesitate to unleash these frightening weapons that destroy everything in their path. Humans and yoma alike. They have no regard for life, because every last shred of humanity has been removed from them. This story arc had me on the edge of my seat! For the entire length of this volume! The love for manga is back!
I was also gratified to finally get some answers from Rubel. All of the unanswered questions were starting to drive me batty, so when Clare gets at least a shred of truth from her old contact, it made the rest of the mysteries fun again. It gets frustrating when question after question is piled one after another, and to finally get some answers, well, what a wonderful feeling it is to start to understand, at least a little, the depth of the corruption and disregard for life that Clare and her sisters in arms are up against.
I was also forced to reassess my opinion of Riful’s part in the story. I still hate her and her cruelness, but now I see that there might be some justification, at least a teeny tiny bit, to her attempts to revive an unimaginably powerful horror. I wonder if Renee’s desperation to escape from her captor is going to make a miracle for her, because she is up a creek without a paddle.
I am so glad that I read this – now I have my manga mojo back!
Review copy purchased from Right Stuf