Claymore is a dark fantasy manga series written and illustrated by Norihiro Yagi. In 2007, Madhouse adapted the first eleven volumes of the series into a twenty-six episode anime series, which was directed by Hiroyuki Tanaka. The series premiered in Japan on NTV on April 3, 2007 and ran until September 25, 2007. A CD soundtrack for the anime series, and a CD of character songs using the anime voice actresses were released on July 25, 2007 and September 27, 2007, respectively.
The manga is still on-going and is being published by Jump Square and has a total of 16 volumes released as of December 2008.
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 to skirmish delivering salvation by the edge of a blade. Thus begins the twisting tale of Clare, one such sister of the sword driven by pain in both victory and defeat. A child silent and suffering hidden in her past, Clare’s march toward vengeance unfolds along a path marked by violence, solitude and scorn. In a land where even the predator is prey, the haunted hearts of hunter and hunted alike wear the scars of the age.
Claymore - The name which Humans have given the silver-eyed warriors. Claymores are half Human, half Yoma creations of a special unnamed organization for the purpose of hunting down and killing Yoma. In the past, there were both male and female Claymores, however, due to the male Claymores giving into their power and losing control, only female Claymores continue to be created. Claymores begin as normal Human girls at various ages, though most begin at a fairly young age (possibly just before puberty at around 10 or so). The process of becoming a Claymore is long and painful, and involves the flesh and blood of a Yoma to be merged with the young girl's own. If the girl survives the process, her hair changes from its natural color to a pale blonde and her eyes become silver. Whenever she uses her Yoma power, her eyes will turn gold and the pupils slit (similar to a Yoma's eyes).
Silver-eyed Witch - A derogatory name which Claymores are referred to as well.
Yoma - Demon-like creatures with Humanoid characteristics. The Yoma prey on Humans and eat their entrails. They take great pleasure in causing pain and suffering and they can easily hide among Humans by assuming a Human form. They can also absorb the memories and speech patterns of Humans they have killed in order to even hide among a family without their knowledge. The Yoma have feasted upon Humans for centuries and exactly how many might exist in the world is unknown.
Yoki - The name Claymores use when referring to their Yoma powers. The greater a Claymore's Yoki is, the more powerful she is.
Awakened Being - When a Claymore has reached her Yoki limit, she is unable to revert back to her Human form. If she is not quickly killed before her transformation is complete (for some Claymores, this transformation is a slow process, though it can occur quickly as well), her Human side will vanish and her inner Yoma will unleash her full power and transform her into an Awakened Being. A Voracious Eater is the codename the organization gives to Awakened Beings to hide their true origins. Each Awakened Being is unique from other Awakened Beings in their appearance and they also vary from normal Yomas in their appearance as well as their power. Awakened Beings are far stronger than normal Yomas and Claymores, however, the Awakened Being's strength is dependent on how strong they were as a Claymore. An Awakened Being that was ranked 10 will still be more powerful than an Awakened Being that was ranked 15. Though there are no longer any male Claymores, there are several male Awakened Beings in the world. This is due to the fact that male Claymores reached their limits much faster than female Claymores and since the transformation into an Awakened Being is equivalent to sexual pleasure, it was more difficult for the male Claymores to fight against their urges and return to their Human forms.
Creatures of the Abyss - The name given to the three most powerful Awakened Beings. They were the first and only rank 1 Claymores to awaken. These three have been Awakened Beings for a very long time and have taken up territories in the North, South and West of the continent. Priscilla is found and taken in by Easley (also spelled Isley) of the North, also known as The Silver King. He was the first rank 1 male Claymore to awaken. He and Riful of the West, the first rank 1 female Claymore to awaken, are at war with each other - each gathering as many Awakened Beings to their side as they can in hopes to destroy the other. Unlike Easley, Riful's plan to gather the Awakened Beings involves luring powerful Claymores to her lair and having her lover, Dauf - another fairly powerful Awakened Being, torture the Claymores physically, while Riful taunts and tortures them mentally, until they either die or awaken. If the new Awakened Being does not meet Riful's standards of strength, she has Dauf dispose of them. Luciela of the South is the third Creature of the Abyss and ultimately the weakest of the three. The two female Abyssal Creatures take on a Human form that resemble young girls, as does Priscilla. This is possibly due to the fact that they were still young girls when they became Awakened Beings, and it might also be possible that they use the innocent form to lure unsuspecting victims.