[Revenge Summer 2016] Like Claymore? Watch This!

Fallen behind on the anime scene, have you? Not sure where to start with the entire summer 2016 season now in your backlog? Well, we are here to help. You’ve probably seen and enjoyed the classic anime Claymore, right? Well, Honey’s Anime is pointing out two shows that you will definitely take a liking to if you fell in love with Claymore back in 2007. They all share a certain gritty charisma that will keep you on your toes episode by episode.

About Claymore

  • Episodes: 26
  • Aired: Apr. 2007 – Sep. 2007

In a medieval setting where demons called Yoma feast off humans, we’re introduced to a covenant of silver-eyed witches, also known as Claymores. Named after the massive swords they carry, Claymores are the only beings capable of defeating Yoma. The problem is this is possible because they themselves are half-Yoma, which causes them to be detested by society.

One such Claymore, Clare, has a particularly rough time as she is only a quarter Yoma, has taken in a young boy, and has sworn revenge against one of the strongest beings in her world. Yep, she has a lot to overcome in this world where fantasy tends to take a back seat to the dirty truths of reality.

Liked Claymore? Watch Berserk (2016)!

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: Jul. 2016 – Sep. 2016

Berserk. We’re all familiar with either the 1997 anime or the manga of this epic dark fantasy. Both are considered classics in their respective mediums and for good reason. They encapsulate a dark fantasy world unlike any other. Now, after almost two decades, Studios Millepenese and GEMBA have granted an anime adaptation that goes beyond the golden arc of the series and continues from where Studios OLM left off.

This time around Guts is being depicted wholly as the “Black Swordsman”. He’s been branded for death and is fated to be hounded by demons for as long as he draws breath. Guts, the ever defiant-type of character who’d flip the bird to the gods if he could, takes up the monstrous blade Dragonslayer and swears to revenge himself upon an old friend.

3 Major Similarities Shared by Claymore and Berserk (2016)!

1. Set and Scene

Claymore and Berserk. Did you really not see this coming? Considering Claymore was the closest thing to the original 1997 Berserk for a good long while, it’s no surprise that the 2016 Berserk sequel can be compared to Claymore just as well as to its ancestor.
Claymore and the recent Berserk both have a penchant for vast landscapes that are hauntingly beautiful as well as grand battles

Both are part of this Medieval setting that has so much natural beauty, and yet everything has a tinge of corruption. They each use these environments, whether it’s a pasture or a rundown village, perfectly to set up their dizzying battles. The pacing, the angles, the overall chaos of the fights in these shows pull you right into the action. Notice just how often you’ll find yourself being drawn into the sweeping arc of a blade, which is one of the highlighted aspects of each show, as both characters wield rather unruly great swords. Admittedly, a certain grittiness has been loss with the texture in Berserk due to CG. However, it the show does make up for that with blood splatter and it’s overall feeling of alienation.

2. Isolated Heroes

The way Clare and Guts are designed and developed is another point of similarity between the two shows. Let’s see, both of them start out hardened by certain past events in their life (which have left them branded to a certain degree) and are currently on a mission of revenge. They are dabbling in the supernatural to achieve their powers and are quite frequently facing off with monstrous creatures. Throw into this mix a certain alienation and unwillingness to socialize that makes everything they say seem curt or like a warning. Oh let’s not forget that they have a soft spot for people who are still quite young. They see their innocence and understand just how little control these youngsters have over their lives. Yep, the only real difference between these two is that one is male and one is female.

3. What is Taboo?

Neither Claymore nor Berserk is afraid to show all facets of human nature. In these shows not much is taboo. They each have zero issues showing some brutal beat downs and cringe-worthy stabs. More important than that though is how Claymore and Berserk both take the time to dive into lust. Each show merges sexual desire with violence on several occasions. It’s an aspect of both anime that is quite unsettling, because they display the self-gratifying nature of man at its worse through rape. These shows don’t try to exaggerate the act to the point of sexualizing it nor do they use such moments merely as a plot point to force audience engagement. These are scenes that are terrifying and set the tone for just how far people are willing to abuse one another.


Liked Claymore? Watch 91 Days!

  • Episodes: ?
  • Aired: Jul. 2016 – unknown.

91 Days takes place in a setting akin to the prohibition era of the early 20th century. The law has little power as mafias set their boundaries and vie with one another for the best traders on the black market. Born into the world of organized crime, Angelo witnessed the murder of his entire family due to the interests of people both within and without his father’s syndicate.

Years have passed, Angelo’s name is now Avilio, and suddenly he receives a letter revealing the people responsible for the murder of his parents and little brother. Eager for revenge, he sets about ingraining himself to the family that brought about the murder of his own.

3 Major similarities shared by Claymore and 91 Days

1. Execution of Revenge

These two both have a very similar background story for the main protagonist. Each of them had the people they loved the most taken from them. To take vengeance on the person, or people, responsible for this tragedy is about a good 90% of what each hero lives for too. That’s one reason why each character has this sort of dead, immobilizing gaze when interacting with others.

However, such a premise is not necessarily unusual in the anime world. What drives the similarity between the two is how each story of revenge is executed. Episode by episode, as we watch them get closer to their goal, it gets harder to cheer them on. There’s this feeling that their hatred and vow of vengeance is misplaced. You consistently wonder where else they could have been or what else they could be doing. To a degree, they’re both anti-heroes and you’re somewhat waiting for someone to set them straight.

2. Brutality

91 Days and Claymore take a particular joy in showing off crazy fight scenes. Even though the style of fighting and the pacing is quite different between the shows, they both don’t mind showing the blood that spurts out of someone’s body during a struggle. Many shows will include some pretty cringe-worthy moments, and yet will minimize the blood’s effect by changing its color or simply not including it. That is not the case with these. You’ll see an arm burst with blood whether it’s being shot in 91 Days or chopped off in Claymore. This is important for both shows as they are trying to reveal the daily happenings of a grittier reality. Thus blood and the sight of it are things to help reflect the rigid and harsh nature of these settings. If you can’t handle blood, then it is time to look elsewhere as these shows don’t look the other way.

3. The Crew

Squad goals matter just as much in anime as they do in real life. Admittedly, both main characters are quite the loners and these crews are the opposite of put together. However, a group dynamic does exist, which the loners are eventually brought into. What pushes this comparison along is how similar the interactions are between the main characters and the groups they join as well as how identical the organizations treat those individuals. Clare and Angelo both work within these bigger systems in order to earn their revenge. At the same time, part of their work is undermining the whole assembly. The organization has its doubts about the newcomer and yet is willing to push them along as they show a certain potential. This type of dynamic creates curious and interesting relationships that have you wondering if friendship is actually possible and if these loners will finally find a place in society.

Conclusion

Fans of the grim and brutal have a lot to see this summer 2016 season. However, if Claymore was your cup of bloody tea back in the day, then these are two shows that you should bring to the top of your watching list. Both take many cues from Claymore in terms of action, but also artfully handle the complex forces that bring certain characters together. So check out Berserk’s 2016 sequel and 91 Days. They’ll definitely keep you tied to the screen.
Yoko Dev

Writer

Author: Yoko Dev

Hello, my anime peers. I’m from the states, but have taken an indefinite leave to travel while freelancing. Outside of a deep admiration for anime that started long ago, I love to read, write, and play video games. The main issue of traveling so far has been not having a console.

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