Claymores are strong women who carry around and use over-sized swords (thus the name claymore). Claymores have their own society and pecking order and are ranked by their power level. Number one is the most powerful Claymore, and so on down to the least powerful, number 47. The Claymores travel around destroying yoma and are both welcomed and shunned by the human population.
The secret of the Claymores which you eventually find out as you watch the series is that they were once human women who chose to be artificially combined with yoma material to create a powerful human-yoma hybrid which is capable of using immense powers known as yoki. A shadowy group called the Organization does this hybridization and then sells the Claymore’s services. The Claymore’s fatal flaw is that they are partially yoma. If they lose control of that yoma aspect of themselves and use too much yoki, they become Super-Yoma, called Awakened Beings, and must be hunted down and destroyed by their sister Claymores.
The story line of this anime series follows a Claymore named Clare. Clare goes where the Organization tells her but she also has her own agenda, searching for a specific Claymore-gone-bad named Priscilla. Clare also has a different back story which again you discover throughout the series. Clare isn’t your garden-variety Claymore. Clare was created not as a yoma-hybrid, but as the hybrid of a dead Claymore named Teresa who Clare worshipped. When Teresa was killed by the rogue Priscilla, Clare asked that Teresa’s flesh be used to make Clare a Claymore, and now she hunts for Priscilla while doing her duties for the Organization.
On top of this back story, Clare’s interactions with a human boy who follows her, and with the other Claymores is interesting. Clare is so non-powerful, probably because of how she became a Claymore, that she is not even ranked, and has the last number by default. Throughout the series she levels up repeatedly as she meets yoma and Claymores far beyond her capabilities.
Another storyline that evolves during the series is that the Organization doesn’t always seem to have the Claymore’s best interests at heart and a group of the Claymores, who Clare becomes involved with, finds ways to oppose them. This group is sent by the Organization to fight an organized and unconquerable group of yoma (who mostly seem to be male) in a not so subtle attempt to get rid of them.
The premise of this series is unique and the plot is twisty enough to keep me interested. The overall sense of the series is dark and dismal though, so if you’re looking for light and entertaining, this is not the series for you. My biggest problem with the series is that they ended it with a lot of hanging story lines and unanswered questions. Although an ongoing story is a okay ending, I like a little more closure in my series endings than this one provided. I liked the interesting story, but if you watch it, don't expect a satisfying ending.