Claymore (Kureimoa) is a mangathat is written, and illustrated, by Norihiro Yagi. Yagi has become a popular manga artist, getting a cult following due to his dark manga series. Claymore follows along those lines. Claymore is considered to be a dark fantasy manga, and was first released in Monthly Shonen Jump, a popular manga magazine. An anime series started airing in 2007 which follows the story exactly, and still conveys the dark feeling that the manga has.
Claymore is set in a medieval world, which has a lot of strange technology. Monsters abound and feed themselves by eating human flesh. These monsters are known as Yoma. They are able to change shape and can live secretively amongst the human population. When they eat the brain of a human, they automatically get their memories as well, which allows them to interact with close friends and family members of the deceased without them catching on that the person is an imposter. Warriors exist for the sole purpose of protecting humans from the Yoma. They are called Claymores, after the weapon that they use to destroy the creatures.
These warriors have been created by a secret organization. They are made by taking flesh and blood from a Yoma and putting it into the body of a human being. This creates a super powerful human that is even stronger than the original Yoma was. They receive weapon training and are capable of healing at an accelerated rate. Like the Yoma, the super human can change shape and have the ability to know when other demons or Yoma are around. The bad thing is that the parts of a Yoma that are within the human eventually overcome the human and they end up becoming a bloodthirsty creature known as an Awakened. The more they use their powers, the faster they turn into an Awakened. Most Claymore warriors ask another close Claymore to kill them if it looks as if they are turning into an Awakening.
The organization that creates Claymores is alerted by a village that there are Yoma in the area. A Claymore is then sent out to kill the Yoma. They charge the village a high fee in order to dispose of the Yoma, and if the village can not pay, they leave and allow the Yoma to run rampant in the village. Claymores are feared by other humans, even though they save them, because of how powerful they are. Any family members the survive a Yoma attack are shunned by the other members of the village. Often young women become Claymores willingly in order to avoid the fate of being banished and of having to do bad things in order to survive. Claymores are solitary people, living alone and knowing that, eventually, they will become a monster.
The manga follows Clare, a claymore warrior who was adopted by a Claymore when she was a child. Her adoptive mother, Teresa, was killed because she rebelled against the organization that created her. Clare uses Teresa’s flesh in order to become a Claymore. She becomes extremely powerful and ends up earning respect from other Claymores and from some Awakened.