Claymore – 23
Surprised at how fast Clare has become, Ligardes and the others soon realize that she has Awakened her legs. Clare quickly attacks and manages to take a small chunk out of Ligardes’ leg, but he avoids any major damage. He is able to block Clare’s swings, but since he finds it inconvenient only to have one arm, he kicks Clare into a building and goes to retrieve the arm that got chopped off. Unfortunately for him, Helen uses her arm stretching technique to get to the severed arm first, and she proceeds to dice it into tiny pieces. Ligardes doesn’t get a chance to retaliate because Clare is soon charging at him again, and in their subsequent clashes, he realizes that although Clare can speed up rapidly, her body can’t keep up. He’s thus able to just sidestep her because she can’t make small adjustments after she gets moving, and he warns of a price to pay for her unnatural Awakening. After a few more attempts during which Clare feels that she still doesn’t have what she needs to kill Ligardes, he comments on how her movements are too big. The battle proceeds with neither side gaining an advantage until Helen tries to join the fight but misses. Ligardes manages to injure Clare on her follow-up attack, and when Helen attempts to hit him again with her stretchy arm, he switches targets to her.
Anticipating that Clare is going to try to attack him before he can reach Helen, Ligardes hold back his arm and let’s her rush past. To his shock though, Clare is able to recover and appear back beside them before he can act on Helen. As he contends with Clare’s power, Ligardes notices that he’s enjoying this, and he remembers that he hasn’t had this feeling since fighting Isley all that time ago. Getting serious, Ligardes formally introduces himself and starts powering up. Clare somehow manages to keep up with him despite his strength and speed, and the two soon resemble flashes of light bouncing around the town square. As she tries to aim her arm at Ligardes, Helen suddenly notices Raki wander into town. When She brings him to the building where the other Claymores are recovering, Miria recognizes him and suggests that he leave because it’s dangerous here. Raki, however, insists on seeing Clare because of the promise he made with her, and he runs back out into the battle. It is there that he finds Clare, but he is shocked at the sight of her legs. Although devastated to find out that Clare is Awakening, he still refuses to run away and instead remembers how Priscilla had cried out for her family. As he sees more of Clare’s face and legs though, he is reminded of all the Yoma that he’s ever encountered. Helen urges him one more time to escape, but Raki just drops his sword and falls to his knees.
Clare meanwhile continues to push herself because she feels she isn’t strong or fast enough. After smacking her down, Ligardes picks up a large monolith and throws it at her with all his strength, but what Ligardes doesn’t expect is that Clare somehow avoids being hit, and she counterattacks with more power than ever. At the same time, Isley and Priscilla are approaching town, and Priscilla becomes visibly shocked at what she senses. Ligardes is now unable to fully defend himself against Clare’s power, but his last words before Clare cuts him to pieces are in awe of her.
The two biggest changes from the manga that I saw were that Clare didn’t have to awaken nearly as much in order to defeat Ligardes (though they did make it clear that she was pushing herself harder and harder), and that Raki was put on the scene. Raki, however, didn’t really do anything except be shocked and be frustrated, though he may yet play a part in turning Clare back – assuming that’s the direction the story is gonna go. Then again, Jean’s still alive, and Galatea is in the preview, so any one of them (or even all of them) could play that part, and it’s possible that Clare’s physical changes will also manifest themselves in the next episode. Priscilla and Isley still have a part to play too, so maybe Clare will get to fight one of them (maybe both) while she’s still uber-powerful. Regardless, it should be pretty much all anime-original material from here on out.