Claymore – 21
Unaware of what’s really going on, Raki heads with Isley and Priscilla towards Pieta, and he doesn’t understand what Isley means when he says that everything will be over by the time they get there. At that moment, the small army of Awakened Beings is approaching the town, led by Ligardes – the Silver-eyed Lion King – who had earlier told Isley about what happened to the three who were supposed to do reconnaissance. Isley didn’t minded that they hadn’t returned and after concluding that there was a force in Pieta with the power to defeat those three, he decided to send his troops to wipe out the town. With this threat now coming, Miria and the others rally around the idea of surviving, but when the fighting begins, several Claymores are immediately cut to pieces. The power of the five team leaders, however, helps the Claymores strike back and kill a few of the Awakened Beings. Outside town, Ligardes notes that it’s taking too long and assesses that three Awakened Beings are down at the cost of five Claymores. He is surprised at what he considers to be a miraculous outcome for the other side, and after counting five strong Claymores, he heads into Pieta.
Meanwhile, Raki notices that Priscilla is missing, and goes looking for her when he hears a scream from nearby. He sees a woman running away yelling about a monster, and after finding Priscilla’s cloak on the ground, he follows the footprints in the snow to a nearby cave. Inside, he discovers a naked Priscilla beside a campfire, and he soon realizes that she’s eating a man’s body. He quickly figures out that she’s a Yoma, but as he raises his sword to kill her, he hears her crying out to her parents and siblings. Unable to kill her, Raki starts to back away and bumps into Isley who had just arrived in the cave. After covering Priscilla with her cloak, Isley reveals to Raki that she’s not a Yoma but rather an Awakened Being. Raki then tries desperately to stop her and hugs her from behind, but she continues eating and crying. Back in Pieta, the Claymores have gotten surrounded in the town square by the Awakened Beings, but a sudden roar causes them all to leave. Appearing in the snowstorm soon after is Ligardes, and he compliments them for trying to cut a path to survival in this hopeless situation. Declaring that they can’t lose any more of their forces, Ligardes then changes into his Awakened form.
Miria immediately recognizes him, but before she or any of the other Claymores can react, Ligardes slices Veronica in half. His second target is Undine, and although she puts up a little resistance, he chops off her arms and then cleaves her in half too. Still wasting no time, Ligardes appears beside Jean who has figured out that he’s going after the leaders and instructs Clare to protect Flora. Jean manages to wind up her arm and flies at Ligardes, but he simply sidesteps her attack and impales her with his arm. This is enough to get Clare to get angry and charge at him, but he easily pushes her aside and heads for Flora, cutting her in half lengthwise with his claw. Having killed four of the Claymore leaders now, Ligardes roars with power and eyes Miria next.
Aside from the part with Raki discovering that Priscilla was an Awakened Being, this followed the manga’s battle at Pieta pretty well, expanding on a few parts to make the fight longer and perhaps a bit gorier. Last week, I had wondered if the change of not having Flora fight Clare would lead to Jean and/or Flora living, but since they ended up staying with manga in that regard, I still question what that change was all about. The only thing I can think of now is that they really wanted to emphasize how Clare wants to kill Priscilla, which will probably come in conflict with how Raki seems to want to protect her, even though he knows what she is now. Perhaps the better question is, if the anime intends for Clare to fight Priscilla, how Clare will get strong enough to challenge either Priscilla or Isley – each of whom is probably more powerful than Ligardes – in a short amount of time. Maybe they’ll cop out and just not have her directly fight the emotionally unstable Priscilla. For the time being though, next week looks like it’ll be about Miria’s battle and Clare getting involved.