Creator: CLAMP

The four women who make up the manga group CLAMP (Ohkawa Nanase, the scriptwriter; Mokona Apapa, the lead artist; Igarashi Satsuki, the layout designer; and Nekoi Tsubaki, the character artist) are to manga (and manga turned into anime) what Megumi Hayashibara is to voice acting. They began as doujinshi artists but went pro in 1989 with RG Veda. The original doujinka group was actually ten members (one of whom was a guy), but six of them left (one in 1990, two in 1992, and three in 1993), resulting in the four-woman team we know today. That Other Wiki has a little more information on their contributions and accomplishments since in CLAMP's article.

Since RG Veda, nearly all of their work has been animated, a list which includes many of the staple series of anime.

A theme that runs through CLAMP's works is that love transcends everything, particularly that pesky little thing called gender. Note that this is not a "love conquers all" kind of thing, as gender/age/being a robot/being a ruthless assassin/etc can be insurmountable barriers to having a functional relationship. No barrier can stop people from falling in love but it may very well prevent that love from reaching a happy resolution. (See the relationship between Tomoyo and Sakura in Cardcaptor Sakura, or the one between Sakurazuka Seishirou and Sumeragi Subaru in Tokyo Babylon and X, or between Kazuhiko and Suu (or Ora) in Clover as prime examples.)

Their manga work is characterized by a highly-detailed Shōjo art style, though for budget reasons the designs are often simplified for animation. Their style underwent a noticeable change in the late 1990s when Mokona starting ceding more design responsibility to Igarashi and Nekoi. Nekoi's distinctive character designs are responsible for the "noodle people" description common in fandom. CLAMP also errs on the shojo side thematically (despite being published in an unusually wide range of magazines, including Shounen and Seinen), and thus are very prone to drama and painful family unfriendly or broken aesops. Their work also runs the spectrum with some being extraordinarily cutesy and lighthearted, others being horrifically gory and violent, and others still being a mix of the two or everything in between. Being former doujinka, their work is also notable for a deliberately high degree of Fanservice and Fetish Fuel. Aside from that, Clamp loves inserting alternate versions of previous characters into other works, a concept somewhat connected to the fact that their works take place in a large, interconnected multiverse.

A quick note about the members of CLAMP: In July of 2004, they all changed their pen names slightly. Mokona Apapa became simply Mokona, Ohkawa Nanase became Ohkawa Ageha, Nekoi Mikku became Nekoi Tsubaki. Igarashi Satsuki simply switched her family name into hiragana, and her given name into kanji. Nekoi and Mokona had been wanting to change their pen names for awhile; Ohkawa and Igarashi just went along for the hell of it. Ohkawa has since reverted to Ohkawa Nanase for attributions. At least three of them have used their names (partially or entirely) for characters in series: Satsuki as Yatouji Satsuki in X, Nekoi as Nekoi Yuzuriha in X, and Mokona as Mokona in Magic Knight Rayearth, Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle, and Xxx Holic.

Some of their works:

Tropes common across most of their works:

  • Bishounen and Bishoujo
  • Costume Porn: With long, lacy ribbons being a particular hallmark in their promotional art. Oddly, it only occasionally shows up in the actual stories themselves (and almost never in animated versions due to the cost of animating all that billowing ribbon properly).
  • Chastity Couple: Only a very small minority of Official Couple's have ever been given a kiss scene, much less anything beyond that. Affection between individuals tends to instead be expressed through gentle gazes, hand-holding, hugging, and kisses given in places that aren't the lips (such as the forehead or cheek).
  • Cultural Cross-Reference: When you see terms such as RG Veda, Ashura and even Samsaara, you know they've been studying Hinduism.
  • Eye Scream: Because it's all fun and games until someone loses an eye.
  • One of Us: They're are rather notorious for their fangirling of, of all things, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. Apart from their roots as shounen-ai doujinshi artists for the series (to say nothing about the rumors of Wish's originsnote ), the crew are said to have single handedly pushed Jotaro Kujo to the top of a fanart-based magazine poll in 1994. And, yes, they still draw fanart of him.They also made yaoi doujinshi of Captain Tsubasa and Saint Seiya before they began doing original works.
  • Only Six Faces: They are masters of this trope.
  • Phrase Catcher: "It's CLAMP." is often used when describing why certain aspects are present in most works.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Especially in the omake art.
  • Recurring Element: Mokona is frequently seen in several works. And now, Watanuki is present in their most recent works, even beating his predecessor, Yuko, to boot.