Claymore – 13
Believing Clare to be Awakened, Ophelia chases her down in the forest and almost immediately activates her Yoma powers. To her surprise, Clare responds by suppressing her own energy, which makes Ophelia at first think that she’s giving up. When Clare is able to block all her swings, Ophelia realizes that Clare is actually reading the flow of her energy to predict movements, so she decides to try something different. All of the sudden, despite being able to still sense the attacks, Clare isn’t able to respond to them anymore because Ophelia’s sword seems to be warping a little. After one particularly devastating slash, Ophelia reveals that she doesn’t have a nickname like Phantom Miria or Windcutter Flora, but she’s trying to develop one with her rippling sword technique so that she will be known as Rippling Ophelia. Clare quickly realizes that Ophelia is vibrating her arm at incredible speeds to achieve this effect, and she decides to try to attack Ophelia from behind. Ophelia, however, barely flinches and promptly chops off Clare’s sword arm. Clare manages to grab her arm, but she then takes another huge slash across her chest that sends her tumbling down the nearby cliff.
Clare eventually drags herself out of the river below and is still alive despite her arm, but unfortunately, Ophelia has followed her down. Ophelia had figured out that Clare had tried to make it look like she was done for, though she gave it away by being concerned about her arm even at the end. She then goes on to explain how there are offensive and defensive types of Claymores, and the offensive ones like Clare can’t completely regenerate. Since she’s not going to wait for Clare to reattach her severed arm, Ophelia quickly shreds it. This leaves Clare no choice but to try to fight with her remaining arm, but she’s unable to do any damage. Seeing how hard Clare is fighting, Ophelia guesses that Clare has either a promise with the boy or revenge that she still has to carry out. She then cuts off Clare’s other hand and tauntingly suggests that not being able to die because there’s still someone to protect is a foolish delusion of the weak. Ophelia gets ready to finish Clare off, but a cloaked stranger suddenly arrives to interrupt their battle. Clare tries to warn this stranger about Ophelia, but when Ophelia attacks, it’s the stranger who is surprisingly able to block all of Ophelia’s attacks.
In one motion, this stranger hits Ophelia on almost every part of her body. This also uncloaks her, and Clare recognizes the person as none other than Quick Sword Ilena, the same person who had been sent to kill Teresa. However, Clare loses consciousness soon after and when she wakes up again, she finds herself in bed in Ilena’s cabin. After Ilena tells her that she blacked out after attaching her hand and has been asleep for a week, Clare panics because she has something she has do, but Ilena shoves her back onto the bed. Ilena knows that Ophelia isn’t dead, and without her sword arm, Clare now has to fight with only her other one. After telling Clare to think about her place, Ilena heads outside to practice her technique on a tree. Clare comes out once she’s eaten a bit, and, because Ilena asks how Clare knows her name, Clare recalls everything that happened with Teresa. This causes Ilena to question if Clare has Teresa inside of her and deduces that Clare wants to go after Priscilla. She warns Clare against it because Priscilla’s power is overwhelming, especially for someone like Clare who is only one-fourth Yoma since she took on Teresa’s blood instead of going through the normal procedure.
To prove what she means, Ilena takes off her cloak to show that she’s only got one arm left after the brief encounter with Priscilla. Having barely lived through it, Ilena had gone into hiding by suppressing her Yoma energy and now admits that she had been afraid. Clare, however, still wants to continue on and explains that she couldn’t do anything else Teresa’s death because of how Teresa was everything to her. She had to move forward because she wasn’t strong enough to forget about everything and live as a human. Hearing all this, Ilena decides that Clare is fit for battle and prepares to teach her how to use the Quick Sword technique. After a bit of training, Clare is able to somewhat imitate it, but only for a short period of time. As Ilena explains, the technique is accomplished by releasing all her Yoma energy into one arm so that just that arm awakens. Despite being exhausted from trying it, Clare isn’t ready to quit and claims that the style is most suitable for herself. Meanwhile, back in the forest, a heavily injured Ophelia cries out to her brother who she remembers had died protecting her. Her anger at Clare and towards the Yoma who killed her brother causes her to use so much of her Yoma power that she regains consciousness a little later feeling really good, but very hungry for human innards.
For those of you who might not have heard, I did indeed pick up Claymore and drop D.Gray-man.
I kept thinking about how Clare was going to recover and somehow win or escape, but that didn’t really happen. Instead, Ophelia cut off both of Clare’s arms (well, technically one arm and one hand), and in the end, Clare was still only left with one working arm. I thought that would gimp her quite a bit, but Ilena’s appearance in the teacher role means that Clare will invariably get more powerful, at least to the point where she can handle Ophelia. It happens almost a bit too conveniently, but it reminds me that this is indeed a shounen-oriented action type show. After getting watching her get beat around so much this week, I’d really like her to finally start kicking some ass again.
Speaking of which, it seemed pretty obvious to me that Ophelia was too cruel and sadistic of a Claymore not to turn fully evil by Awakening. From the very beginning in last week’s episode with how she toyed with Clare, you could tell that she wasn’t going to become an ally, and her lust to kill the Awakened has now led her to become one. In any case, I think Shinohara Emi does a fantastic job voicing her in that sickingly sweet but evil way, and I’m looking forward to next week’s episode which promises Clare fighting the Ophelia in her Awakened form along with the appearance of Rafaela.