Claymore sword
Claymore Sword.jpg
Elena's sword as grave-mark

VIZ Media name

Claymore[1] (en-us Speaker.svg)


Name: Claymore[2][3][4] (de Speaker.svg, es-es Speaker.svg, fr Speaker.svg, it Speaker.svg), Клеймор[5] Klyeĭmor Speaker.svg (ru)
Synonym: schwertern[6] Speaker.svg (sword de), sword[7] (en-us), espada[8] Speaker.svg (sword es-es), grande épée[9] Speaker.svg (big sword fr), spada Scozzese[10] Speaker.svg(Scottish sword it), 剣[11] ken Speaker.svg (sword ja), 刀 katana Speaker.svg (sword ja), 大劍[12] Dà Jiàn Speaker.svg (Big sword zh-hk)

Original name

クレイモア[13] Kureimoa Speaker.svg


Defensive, offensive, special


Unbreakable, double-edge broadsword allegedly from mainland (Miria's theory)

Current status



Claymore warriors

Associated technique



They look frail, but they carry huge swords.[14]

First appearance

Scene 1, Anime Scene 1

Charts ↓

  • Sword Chart.jpg Sword chart: speed versus strength of attack
  • Yoma Power Chart link.jpg Yoma power chart: power and mental control needed for abilities and techniques

Etymology[edit | edit source]

Claymore[edit | edit source]

Claymore, not クレイモア (Kureimoa), is the official and original title to the graphic novel series.[15]

クレイモア is transliterated from the English "claymore," itself an anglicized transcription of the Scottish Gaelic claidheamh mór[16] Speaker.svg (great sword).

According to The Gaelic Etymology of the Languages of Western Europe by Charles Mackay, claidheamh can also be pronounced claive or glaive. The "v" in claive in the MacKay book has been misread as an "r," giving the misconception that claidheamh is pronounced "claire."

Claidheamh derives from gladius, Latin for "sword," gladius itself deriving from "Gaul," which is Gaulish for "sword."

Sword[edit | edit source]

剣 and 刀 are the most common synonyms for "sword" in the Shueisha edition of Claymore. The Star Comics edition calls it a "Scottish sword."[17]

Description[edit | edit source]

Design[edit | edit source]

Art style[edit | edit source]

Large fantasy Art Deco interpretation of medieval German big swords, developed in late 13th century in response to plate armor replacing mail or chain armor.

Medieval history[edit | edit source]

During the 14–16th centuries, Scottish sword-makers use unhilted blade stock from German metal-shops. The resulting product is called a claidheamh dà làimh Speaker.svg. Typical weight: 1.6 kg (3.5 lbs). See example below:[18]

Scottish claymore.jpg

The proper-named "Claymore" is actually a basket-hilted, double-edge sword, an 18th century transition design between medieval German big swords and single-edge, French sabres of the Napoleonic era.

Pre-18th century rules of English spelling permitted capitalization of all nouns, regardless if they were proper names or not. Pre-18th century references to "Claymores" spelled with an uppercase "c" were simply any large sword. Old Scottish writings make references to Asian "Claymores."

Literary origins[edit | edit source]

The Claymore rune-like marking, as well as indestructibility, resembles Stormbringer, the sword of Elric of Melniboné. Stormbringer and similar magic swords are a standard trope of countless franchises in graphic novels, animation and video games.

Claymore[edit | edit source]

Organization[edit | edit source]

The Organization version of the sword is closer in concept to the medieval than 18th the century version. Of unknown weight and composition. Each sword has unique Claymore warrior's symbol on base of forte. A black card is kept rolled-up inside the hilt.[19]

Sword details.jpg
Sword details

swords used by trainees have no symbol[20] or sharp edge.[21]

Color[edit | edit source]

In the anime, different colored hilts—blue, green and red—appear. Two hypotheses have been proposed regarding hilt color:

  • It indicates type for double-digit warriors. Green is said to be defensive, based on the hilts of Deneve, Veronica and Cynthia. But Elena has a red hilt.[22]
  • It indicates rank. Blue is said to indicate single-digit status. Queenie, No. 20, has a blue hilt.[23] Wendy, No. 30, also has a blue hilt.[24]

Hilts change color in the anime. The red hilt of Yuliana and red and green hilts of Undine change to blue in later scenes.[25]

In colored illustrations by Yagi, all hilts are blue, regardless of rank or personality type.[26]

Technique[edit | edit source]

New and old[edit | edit source]

Series depicts both medieval "dodge and deflect," as well as modern block techniques. For specialized sword techniques, see War.

Also, see sword chart.

Three basic strokes[edit | edit source]

Regardless of ability and specialized technique, all Claymore warriors use the three basic strokes as a starting point. One warrior, Teresa, never appears to go beyond these strokes.[27]

Thrust[edit | edit source]

Scene 022.jpg

  • Technique: Blade point stabs directly at target[28]
  • Power of stroke: Weak unless supplemented by further motion, such as rotation
  • Defense: "Parry"—turning the flat of the blade toward the oncoming thrust and sweeping outward to brush aside the thrust either left or right, or dodge[29]
  • Variant: Drill Sword, Thrown sword
Slash[edit | edit source]

Scene 032.jpg

  • Technique: sword starts high and slashes diagonally downward toward target, usually aiming at an extremity such as the sword arm[30]
  • Power of stroke: Medium, unless supplemented by high strength baseline
  • Defense: "Block"—raising the flat of the blade upward till contact[31]
  • Variant: Destructive Force, Quicksword, Rippling Sword, Windcutter
Strike[edit | edit source]

Scene 070.jpg

  • Technique: sword starts high—above head-level—and is brought down at 90 degrees, usually aiming at the target's shoulder, neck or head.[32]
  • Power of stroke: Under same conditions, strongest of three
  • Defense: Dodge[33]
  • Variant: Sky sword, Strong Sword

History[edit | edit source]

Teresa arc[edit | edit source]

Teresa is the antipode of specialized technique, given her Versatility, which enhances the three basic strokes above. But specialized techniques first appear in her arc.

Sophia's Destructive Force and Noel's High Fluid Movement make their appearance after the Rokut incident.

Doga[edit | edit source]

Zaki tells Raki that the Organization is named "Claymore."[34] Clare later contradicts this.[35]

Mount Shire[edit | edit source]

After Clare euthanizes her friend, Elena, she uses Elena's sword as a grave-mark.[36]

Battle of the North[edit | edit source]

Flora's version of Windcutter appears, Yoma power usage 1–36%.[37] Contrary to popular fan-opinion, Flora's Windcutter always used some Yoma power. After the Battle of the North, Clare develops a true Yoma power-less version.[38]

7-year timeskip[edit | edit source]

From another world[edit | edit source]

After battle with Agatha, Miria has meeting with Ghosts, Galatea, Clarice and Miata. Miria reveals results of her investigation into Organization.[39]

Miria emphasizes that the Claymore swords are over-built for Yoma and appear designed for "awakened beings or something even greater."[40] And despite extensive travel on their island world, she cannot find the source material for the swords. She concludes the swords do not originate on the island.[41]

Overseas war[edit | edit source]

The warriors hear Miria's theory. On "an even greater land than this one," a war is taking place, among 多くの人種と多くの国[42] (many races and many countries). One side is the parent power behind Organization. The other side is allied with Dragons' Descendents, which have "extremely tough skin,"[43] the original target of the Claymore sword.

References[edit | edit source]

Tankōbon Claymore volumes cited are VIZ Media (en-us) editions, unless otherwise noted. Manga scenes (chapters) not yet translated cite Shueisha tankōbon (ja) editions. Manga scenes not yet published in tankōbon form cite Jump SQ (ja) editions. Fragments of Silver Omnibus (総集編 銀の断章 Gin no Danshou) 1–3, Shueisha, are only available in Japanese. Anime scenes (episodes) cited are FUNimation (en-us) editions, unless otherwise noted.

  1. Claymore 1, Scene 1, p. 15
  2. Claymore 1, Tokyopop, Scene 1, p. 20
  3. Claymore 1, Ediciones Glénat España, Scene 1, p. 15
  4. Claymore 1, Glénat Édition Française, Scene 1, p. 15
  5. Claymore 1, Comix-ART, Scene 1, p. 15
  6. Claymore 1, Tokyopop, Scene 1, p. 20
  7. Claymore 1, Scene 1, p. 20
  8. Claymore 1, Ediciones Glénat España, Scene 1, p. 20
  9. Claymore 1, Glénat Édition Française, Scene 1, p. 20
  10. Claymore 1, Star Comics, Scene 1, p. 18
  11. Claymore 1, Shueisha, Scene 1, p. 20
  12. Claymore 1, Culturecom, Scene 1, p. 15
  13. Claymore 1, Shueisha, Scene 1, p. 15
  14. Claymore 1, Scene 1, p. 20
  15. Claymore 1, copyright page, p. 189
  16. Online Etymology Dictionary on "claymore"
  17. Claymore 1, Star Comics, Scene 1, p. 18
  18. Footsteps of Dr. Johnson, by George Birkbeck Hill, p. 196
  19. Claymore 1, Scene 4, p. 171; Claymore, Anime Scene 2
  20. Claymore 14, Extra Scene 4, p. 160
  21. Claymore 21, Shueisha, Scene 115, p. 47
  22. Claymore, Anime Scene 2
  23. Claymore, Anime Scene 9
  24. Claymore, Anime Scene 19
  25. Claymore, Anime Scene 2
  26. Memorabilia, Scene 100, p. 068
  27. Claymore 4, Scene 19Scene 21, pp. 124–189; Claymore, Anime Scene 7Anime Scene 8
  28. Claymore 5, Scene 22, p. 32
  29. Claymore 4, Scene 21, p. 167
  30. Claymore 1, Scene 1, p. 28; Claymore, Anime Scene 1
  31. Claymore 4, Scene 19, p. 125; Claymore, Anime Scene 7
  32. Claymore 1, Scene 1, pp. 42–43; Claymore, Anime Scene 1
  33. Claymore 1, Scene 1, p. 43; Claymore, Anime Scene 1
  34. Claymore 1, Scene 1, p. 15; Claymore, Anime Scene 1
  35. Claymore 1, Scene 1, p. 29; Claymore, Anime Scene 1
  36. Claymore 1, Scene 4, p. 184; Claymore, Anime Scene 2
  37. Yoma_power_chart
  38. Claymore 12, Scene 67, p. 122
  39. Claymore 15, Scene 79, p. 51
  40. Claymore 15, Scene 79, p. 61
  41. Claymore 15, Scene 79, p. 62
  42. Claymore 15, Shueisha, Scene 79, p. 64
  43. Claymore 15, Scene 79–Scene 80, pp. 52–76
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