Claymore – 14
Having learned the basics of the Quick Sword technique, Clare continues her training with Ilena, wanting to push herself more than Ilena will allow her. When they take a rest for the night, Clare notes how Ilena hasn’t changed in all these years, so the older warrior explains that Claymores don’t age, meaning that even Teresa would look the same if she were still alive. On the topic of Teresa, Ilena then confronts Clare about feeling at fault for the former Number 1′s death. Ilena believes that it was, to an extent, Clare’s fault since Teresa grown weaker as a warrior after meeting her. Still, Ilena thinks that Teresa was happy because Clare was with her, and the time they were together was peaceful and full of humanity. The next day, their training draws close to a finish as Clare learns to get a feel for her limits. Ilena, however, feels that Clare isn’t suited for the technique because of the passion in her heart. After telling Clare that she’ll never really be able to use the technique, Ilena suddenly slices off the stub that remained of Clare’s right arm. To Clare’s surprise, Ilena also cuts off her own remaining arm and presents it to Clare as a gift.
Clare attempts to protest this gift, but Ilena remains firm about Clare not being able to use the Quick Sword without this arm. This arm has been relatively useless for Ilena since she stopped fighting, and she wants Clare to have it so that Clare can live as proof that Teresa existed. Clare ultimately decides to take the arm and leaves, but she promises to come back to return it. Shortly after Clare is gone, an armless Ilena is approached by another Claymore who finally tracked her down: Rafaela, the current Number 5. She is here to kill Ilena and refuses to answer any questions about her scar or why she’s kept herself at that rank despite her strength. In the nearby forest, Clare suddenly senses something concerning Ilena, but before she can react, something else emerges in front of her. That something is none other than Ophelia in Awakened form, though it seems that she hasn’t realized she’s Awakened yet despite her hunger for innards. When she goes after Clare so that she can eat her, Ophelia notices how much stronger and faster her prey is now, but she still manages to take a bite out of Clare’s left arm. Not finding it tasty, Ophelia nevertheless knocks Clare into a nearby lake and then attempts to drown her.
It is not until Ophelia sees her reflection in the water that she finally realizes that she’s Awakened. In tears, she questions why she became the same kind of monster that she wanted to kill, and she blames the one-horned monster that murdered her brother. She’s brought back to reality when Clare suddenly slices Ophelia’s arm into pieces, and she proceeds to blame Clare for what happened to her. With her borrowed right arm, Clare is able to easily cut apart Ophelia’s other arm too, and she declares that she’ll be the one to kill the one-horned monster Priscilla. Clare then goes on the offensive and starts destroying every part of Ophelia, but she suddenly drops her sword. She suspects that the reason is because she hasn’t gotten used to Ilena’s arm yet, and this has allowed Ophelia to figure out the Quick Sword technique and Clare’s limitations. However, instead of directly attacking Clare, Ophelia decides to reform herself so that her human head and body become the end of her tail. Ophelia’s challenge for Clare is to cut up the length of her snake-like body without Awakening. If she succeeds, then Ophelia will entrust her purpose to Clare.
As Clare starts cutting up Ophelia’s body, Ophelia thinks to herself that Clare is an idiot for not just going directly for the tail. The way Clare is destroying herself without thinking about how the people left behind would feel reminds Ophelia of how her brother sacrificed himself to protect her from Priscilla. After remembering how she doesn’t like it when people fight outmatched and die on their own accord, Ophelia impales Clare multiple times. Seeing Clare unable to respond with her arm, Ophelia suddenly starts to yell at Clare about dying here alone and the people she’ll be leaving behind. This jars Clare into being able to use the Quick Sword technique again, and Ophelia starts questioning why she did that right as Clare cuts through the rest of her body. Left with only her human torso, Ophelia clings onto Clare and entrusts Clare with everything as promised. Clare then stabs her in the gut, and Ophelia’s final words to her say that she forgive her if Clare loses. As she falls into the water and her hair unfurls, Ophelia recalls her brother’s last smile and wonders why she’s remembering it now. In her final thoughts, Ophelia wishes to play together with her brother on the other side.
So I guess Ophelia had some redeeming features after all – or at least she didn’t seem quite as bad as in the two previous episodes. Once she stopped lopping off Clare’s body parts and once we learned more about her past, she actually showed some human qualities. Given what she had done though, it’s too little too late, but at least her death made her seem somewhat honorable. Actually, I hadn’t realized that she was talking about Priscilla last week when she mentioned the one-horned monster, so I liked how that tied things together with her entrusting Clare with revenge against Priscilla. And Clare’s now finally more powerful with this new arm, so maybe she won’t have to experience such a humiliating defeat again. The question for me now is if Priscilla is going to be the final boss or the Organization itself. The Organization seems to grow more sinister with every arc, and the mysterious Rafaela killing Ilena doesn’t help any. The preview shows that the next arc will have plenty of new characters, including some Claymores, but there’s no sign of Raki.