In a World plagued by demons, a shadowy organization creates an order of half-human, half-demon warriors to hunt and kill the demons. Cast out by society and cursed wherever they go, the half-demonwomen known as "Claymores" — after the gigantic Scottish-like swords they carry — lead doomed, violent, and short lives of high adventure. But only they can detect and hunt the demons, who can disguise themselves perfectly as humans.In this world, a teenage boy named Raki is cast out by his village after his family is wiped out by the demons. He is adopted by the warrior Clare, who slew the demon who killed his family, and tags along with her as her cook from village to village, as she plunges into desperate fight after desperate fight.Claymore began publication in May 2001 and ended in October 2014.There is also a character page.
Action Girl: It would honestly be easier to list the female characters who aren't. Clarice, Clare back when she was a kid, and... that's about it. And even Clarice is debatable. She looks a lot less competent than she probably could be because she's usually seen with either Miata (one of the most powerful Claymores in existence), a bunch of Awakened Beings, or both.
Affably Evil: Ophelia, Riful and Isley. Possibly Luciela too, for the little that was shown of her.
The Ageless: It was said that Claymores and Awakened Beings do not age. It appears that the source material for the Claymores, the Asarakam, can simply live for 200 years and pass this off on their 'descendents'. They do not appear to age during this time period.
Alas, Poor Villain: Pour some wine out for Isley, Riful and Dauf. Pour it twice for Dauf. Anyone who can lose whatever vestige of humanity he had left and still have a sense of purpose deserves that much.
Possibly Hysteria. Right before her death, she seemed genuinely hurt by her perceived betrayal by the organization.
In earlier chapters, Ophelia. Despite necessitating her split from Raki and causing her no small amount of terror, Clare can't seem to bring herself to be genuinely angry at the woman at the end of it all.
Octavia is beheaded and lives long enough to watch her body to devoured, to her (very short-lived) horror.
Alas, Poor Yorick: Clare cradles Teresa's head to her after Priscilla and Teresa's fight in the beginning of the series. To make it better, she takes the head with her and asks Rubel to put Teresa's flesh inside her.
Alien Blood: in the anime, Youma have Royal Purple blood.
Always Chaotic Evil: The youma. Eating people is their only reason to live. Subverted. They are just humans who became the unfortunate victims of horrific mindless parasites that mutate them and drive them insane with a hunger that only human entrails can satisfy.
Amazon Brigade: The Claymores themselves. First-generation Claymores were male, but it was soon discovered that men are much more prone to becoming Awakened Beings than women.
Amazonian Beauty: Surprisingly, most Claymores don't qualify for this trope, even when they start Hulking Out with their Yoma power (they slowly turn into Fan Disservice); Undine, however, passes with flying colors.
And I Must Scream: Implied of the process of becoming a Claymore. Also, of the civilian men forced to become Awakened.
All youma are cases of this, being humans infested with puppeteer parasites that give them a Horror Hunger while slowly breaking down their bodies.
The captured Descendant of Dragon and Asarakam are also most likely this considering they're still alive when Miria kills them.
And Then John Was a Zombie / Face Monster Turn: The result of Heroic RROD. A Claymore that taps too deeply into their powers risks becoming an Awakened Being. A special mention goes to poor, crazy Ophelia, who originally became a Claymore out of hatred for Awakened Beings. Ultimately, her rage and helplessness at her failure to destroy Clare, whom she suspected of being one, leads to her own Awakening. It takes her a while to realize it, too.
Anime Hair: the Claymores are pretty much all tall, white-blonde women in identical armor, so hairstyles are essential to telling them apart, especially in the battle scenes. They all have unique hairstyles which usually manage to never get ruined no matter what damage they undergo, and important characters have especially distinctive styles. None of the others have anything close to Clare's bob, for instance, so she can always be distinguished. Only Six Faces is not followed, however; when we can see the faces properly, some of the Claymores have very distinctive (and in some cases rather unattractive and non-human) faces.
Anyone Can Die: Given the situation in the series, this isn't too surprising. Note that Raki and the Seven Ghosts seem to have Contractual Immortality...so far. Everyone else is fair game.
The War of the North arc is a perfect example of this, suddenly introducing a large number of characters, building up a few of them character-wise, and then mercilessly killing a large number of them off in the same arc.
As of Chapter 147, this apparent Contractual Immortality has been shattered, with Tabitha being the first (and, hopefully, the last — but no one's holding their breath) of the Seven Ghosts to die.
Appendage Assimilation: Claymores are able to reattach their severed limbs. Ilena later gives Clare her own arm so Clare can replace the one she lost with it.
Art Major Physics: The ease in which the Claymores can slice up their opponents varies according to the dramatic flow of the battle.
Asexuality: Unless you read into the Les Yay Subtext and are convinced that the Claymores are homosexuals that have sex off-screen, pretty much everyone in the cast who isn't completely human isn't interested in sex at all. Probably justified in the fact that people who have Yoma flesh in them become sterile along with their superhuman abilities, not to mention becoming traumatically scarred.
One could take Clare's kissing Raki right before they separated to be indicative of her sexuality, and growing humanity. Of course, it isn't hard to imagine she just did that to get herself alone with Ophelia. Helen once also accused Raki of being Clare's 'plaything'.
Given that the surgical scars from their transformation extend all the way to their genitals, it's quite possible that Claymores simply can't have sex for fear of their guts spilling out.
Asleep for Days: Happens to Clare twice. First time it was two days after a fight against a particularly strong yoma. The second time she was asleep for a whole week after her first fight against Ophelia.
Asskicking Equals Authority: Awakened Beings, if they recognize any authority at all, usually follow one of the three Abyssal Ones due to them being the most powerful of their kind. Similarly, a Claymore's rank is determined by her combat prowess. However, the members of the Organization, who have authority over the Claymores by virtue of having created them, have not demonstrated any combat abilities so far.
Badass: Way too many of them, but Clare is worthy of special note since she's a complete badass from the very beginning... and then you realize she's ranked as the weakest warrior in the entire organization, and no, she was not an Almighty Janitor back then. Claymores in general are badasses. Many of them have esoteric abilities that enhance their fighting skills (healing, reflexes, extra sensory perception), but at the end of the day, their primary method of killing their targets is hitting them with their swords.
Badass Normal: Raki grows into this, as shown best in ch.115 and on.
... where it then becomes Raki and Priscilla (though it's more of a subversion, since she isn't an actual child).
Then there is Clarice and Miata, which turns to be an inversion since it was Miata who was the badass and Clarice took on the role of being the child, at least in the beginning.
Badass Boast: Of all people Raki busts out a good one when facing the men of the organisation in defence of the Claymore trainees while armed with a blunt training sword:
Raki: Although it can't cut, its weight is that of a real sword. If it hits you, flesh will be crushed and bones will break. If I hit you in a bad spot it may be worse than getting cut. If you're still gonna come, then come prepared for what awaits you.
Bait-and-Switch Credits: The opening sequence shows Clare fighting Teresa, but this never happens and is, in fact, completely impossible since Clare only became a warrior after Teresa's remains were implanted into her body.
Not that she would likely do that if she was able to, given that her love for Teresa borders on the worshipful. It's likely a symbolic image meant to show Clare's struggle to compare to the woman whose flesh and blood she's accepted.
Battle Aura: Youki, as used by both Claymores and Yoma. Not visible to humans.
The manga does mention that people with a particularly strong "sixth sense" will instinctively avoid stronger Claymores and Yoma.
Beauty Is Bad: Roxanne is easily the one of the most beautiful Claymores seen. She also eclipses Ophelia in being the most evil.
Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted very much. The heroines frequently lose limbs, can transform into hideous, monstrous forms when using larger extents of their power and all have a huge, unsettling scar on their front.
Being Tortured Makes You Evil: Riful's modus operandi, although it doesn't have a huge success rate. And even when it does work, she usually just has Dauf smash the product for not being strong enough.
Raki has one too. The little guy (not-so little post-timeskip) just loses it when anyone hurts, threatens to hurt, insults, or looks funny at Clare.
Teresa has one, don't hurt Clare at all.
Hurting Clarice in front of Miata will make her charge at you regardless of what she was doing before.
BFS: Although they're not all that B as far as BFS's go — they're basically a Scottish Claidheamh da làimh but longer and wider — no ordinary human could use one. And certainly not with one hand. And that skinny hilt would snap under the strain of many of the Implausible Fencing Powers they demonstrate. Though this appears to be somewhat justified, see Thunderbolt Iron entry below.
Big Bad: The Organization itself is responsible for everything Yoma-related, but Priscilla is the most significant and personal threat.
Big Brother Is Watching: The Organization certainly seems to have this mentality in mind. They swear to protect the hapless citizens by using their elite warriors to fight the monsters that voraciously hunt them... so long as they pay up and behave themselves. If they don't, accidents will happen. Not to mention that the Organization is the body responsible for creating said monsters that rampage about the continent eating people. In fact, if a village doesn't follow the Organization's demands, what does the Organization send to destroys the village? MONSTERS.
Oh yeah. And the organization is always keeping tabs on their warriors, in order to keep them in line.
Bio-Augmentation: Claymores are created by having the flesh of Youma, or, as in Clare's case, a fallen former Claymore, implanted into their bodies. The resulting scar which doesn't ever properly close and is barely held in place by thick string is gruesome enough to scare away an entire horde of rapists. Abyss Feeders are created in a similar way, but the flesh of an Awakened Being is used instead. The results are even more horrifying.
The Youma themselves are created by infesting humans with parasites born from the flesh of the Descendants of Dragons.
Black Spot: Inverted with the black card, which is sent to by a Claymore who is on the brink of awakening to the Claymore of her choosing who she wants to be killed by.
Blood Knight: Ophelia, as far as Awakened Beings are concerned. One wonders why Organization even bothers assigning number 4, given their track record.
Bloodless Carnage: Mostly, at least. Limbs get severed cleanly and neatly without gushes of blood, for instance. Occasionally averted, such as Ilena walking through a Rain of Blood during her introduction.
Bloodier and Gorier: For the anime, which completely averts Bloodless Carnage. At least every episode has some form of insane carnage. Example: the segment introducing the Black and White Morality Claymore showed a alley riddled with blood. The other attending Claymore are shocked by the amount of Yoma and blood present.
Whatever happened to Dae, it left him with a face that would make Two-Face jealous.
Every single Claymore since the reveal of their "scar" in chapter 129
Bokukko: There is a sliding scale of masculinity of dialect for the claymores. Most use watashi and omae to foes. Noble, masculine types like Jean use watashi but omae to allies. Rude, feminine types like Helen use atashi and omae to allies. Rude, masculine types like Undine use ore and temae to allies. The rudest claymore is Rachel, who uses ore and teme, a real sailor mouth.
Break the Cutie: Claymores in general tend to have tragic backstories, but Clare gets it particularly badly. Priscilla has set the groundwork for the entire plot. "I killed my daddy while he ate my brother's innards..." Brrr.
Breaking the Fellowship: The seven survivors of the Northern Campaign were sent on their separate ways by Miria so they could finish any unfinished business they might have before the battle against the Organization.
Breast Plate: Averted. Their armor is very form-fitting though, and more like Sensual Spandex than anything... Also, it's not like Claymores really need a bunch of armor since wearing full plated armor could serve as disadvantage against the yoma, and some Claymores, such as Helena and Jean, have modified armor for their stretch attacks.
Bring My Brown Pants: Audrey wets herself with terror when Riful traps her and is about to start torturing her, largely because she's in shock from the realization of exactly how powerful Riful really is.
Broken Angel: The two dragons imprisoned by the Organization who harvested their flesh to create the youma. Until Miria finishes them off.
Brought Down to Normal: The Claymores have pills that have this effect. They suppress their yoki and conceal their silver eyes so they can pass as regular humans and avoid detection at the cost of greatly reduced combat strength.
But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Clare vividly remembers the moment of Teresa's death by Priscilla's sword. Priscilla, on the other hand, doesn't even remember Clare, let alone the name of the warrior that she's obsessed with.
By Wall That Is Holey: A variant occurs when the giant Dauf tries to bring down his hands on Galatea, but fortunately for her and unfortunately for him she's standing right where his hands are cupped. It's explained she used her yoki bending powers to open his fingers, but the expression on Dauf's face is still pretty priceless.
Call Back: Miria realizes that Hysteria's Awakened form takes the same principle that Clare used to beat Rigald.
The Cavalry: The end of chapter 121 when the rest of the Seven Ghosts return for Miria.
Cluster F-Bomb: Seen especially in the chapters featuring Cassandra and Roxanne.
— Cassandra: "You, who tastes worse than shit, can keep eating shit forever until you turn into shit yourself."
Another example from the anime adaptation, where Ophelia just lays down "fuck you" after "fuck you" after "fuck you" when she has her Superpower Meltdown. Unusual in that the anime tended to stay away from the harsher profane words.
Combat Pragmatist: Almost everyone in the series have no hesitation to fight four on one, strike without warning or play dirty. The only exceptions among the Claymores are a sadist who wanted to play with her victims and a rookie who is berated for being Too Dumb to Live.
The latter gets better. That is not as good as it might sound, though.
Combat Commentator: Clare in the first battle with an awakened one, Riful in the second. Both are justified : Clare and her companions aren't in condition to fight for the first battle, and Riful is just enjoying the spectacle with someone else.
Contract on the Hitman: Teresa. She isn't quite a hitman per se, since her assignments are only hits on Youma, but that's basically the same thing.
Contrived Coincidence: After the War in the North Campaign and the 7 year Time Skip, the seven survivors out of 24 set out south to finally get their revenge and then run headlong into Riful of the West, one of the Big Bads almost immediatly.
Clare does a magical version of this to Jean to prevent her from completely awakening; specifically, she synchronizes her Yoma power with Jean's. Jean returns the favor at the end of the Northern Arc.
Raki also does a more mundane Cooldown Hug to Clare for the same purposes
The Corruptible: Just about all Claymores are at risk of this, especially the males back in their heyday.
The Corruption: And the warriors become The Corruptible while undergoing the corruption, which is the very process that turns them into Claymores. In order to halt their seduction to their Super-Powered Evil Side, the warriors must harness their Heroic Willpower in order to pull themselves back.
Creepy Cathedral: One of Clare's earlier missions took place in the cathedral in the holy city of Rabona, where a rash of murders had been going on inside of it due to yoma sneak-in. It's made even more creepy in that the yoma was taking the form of a corpse in one of the sarcophagi.
Creepy Child: Riful, who's actually Really 700 Years Old and quite deadly. Also Priscilla, who may have regressed into the mindset of a child and looks like one, but is actually the most powerful Awakened Being to appear in the series so far, by a VERY large margin.
Creepy Monotone: Clare, though it's more of a Badass Monotone, considering her lack of emotions comes from stoicism.
Crystal Dragon Jesus: Though the faith has yet to be given a name and it appears to be polytheistic, there is a dominate religious order in the world of Claymore that takes elements from Catholicism.
Curb-Stomp Battle: Both Priscilla and Teresa are exceptionally fond of doing this to everyone they fight. So when the two wind up fighting each other, it's one of the most dangerous battles they ever had, and Teresa still curbstomps Priscilla.
Curiosity Killed the Cast: Helen and Deneve should not have ever have tried to investigate Isley in that town, though they survived.
Deconstruction: A fun exercise to perform while reading Claymore is to see how many Hentai tropes appear in the plot but played with such seriousness that most of the time you don't even realize they would be considered as such until you give it some thought. There's the whole torture rape of Miria by the Voracious Eater, Priscilla harassing Raki, Raki becoming the BFF of a beautiful woman that even makes out with him, Psycho Lesbians galore, childplay between Clarice and Miata, undying complete loyalty from Jean to Clare, the girl-on-girl crushes between Deneve and Helen and one-sided from Tabitha for Miria...Even the premise itself sounds like dumb hentai "Chicks with Swords in skin-tight suits!" And yet it all is completely serious and you don't even see the Fanservice because you are so distracted by the drama, the trauma, and the epicness.
Deadly Hug: How Raphaela killed Luciela (though the latter isn't exactly dead).
Death Glare : Yeah, I just got monster blood all over your clothes. Got a problem with that? No? That's what I thought.
Detect Evil: The main reason of the creation of Claymore is that they are the only one able to sense the Youma.
Determinator: Mainly Clare, although Jean, Deneve (Not that we're forgetting the rest of the Seven Ghosts or anything, but ripping off your own arm to stop yourself from getting infected is kind of hard to top), Raphaela and Teresa should all count under this trope. Atleast...
The Dog Bites Back: the Rebellion is a very good instance of this, as is Cassandra dealing with Roxanne.
Doomed Hometown / Ghost Town: The fate of any village that either a) got infested with yoma or, related to "a", b) defied the organization.
The Dreaded: Each Abyssal One, and Priscilla. Bonus point for Priscilla for being able to scare the other dreaded.
If you are a Number One, you are automatically a Dreaded.
Dropped A Bridge On Her: Half of the series' most awesome characters had that happen. Isley gets eaten after having been in a near-constant state of combat for months that we never saw, Alicia and Beth get taken out over the course of a few pages, and, as mentioned above, Riful and Dauf, though Dauf goes out with a bang.
Dual Wielding: Undine, and later on, Deneve. When you consider that the swords in question are BFSes, it starts sounding OTT.
Chimeras: The defenseless denizens are presented as combination of lambs, ostriches, and reindeer. Justified in the case of being lambs, as normal humans cannot detect the presence of yoma and therefore cannot see what is coming until it is too late. Played straight with being ostriches and reindeer though, since villagers are willing to completely ignore and even expel kids who have become orphaned because of yoma attacks in order to protect their own asses, and also the fact that they shun the Claymores who are the only ones capable of detecting and fighting yoma.
Earn Your Title: Just about all the Claymores are given a title when they become single digits, sometimes even before that.
Teresa of the Faint Smile, because she was so absurdly overpowered that she didn't need a signature attack, and so had only her ever-present faint smile to name her by.
Quick Sword Ilena, for her Quick Sword ability.
Muscular Sophia, for her strength.
Stormwind Noel, for her agility.
God-Eye Galatea, because with her sense she can see across absurdly long distances and right into the depths of a person's heart.
Alicia and Beth, the Black Ones, as they both wear black suits unlike all the other Claymores.
Ophelia has "blood-soaked evil warrior", because of her sadism. Envious of those Claymores who had nicknames based on their unique combat styles, she developed a signature attack of her own to name her by, the Ripple Blade. The name Ophelia of the Ripples didn't really stick, however, since almost nobody who witnessed the technique survived to tell any stories about it.
Phantom Miria, known for her ability to Flash Step out of the way right when an enemy strikes so that it's like trying to hit a phantom.
It should be noted that, as of now, Clare possesses the signature abilities of Ilena (along with her sword arm), Flora and Teresa, but has not yet earned any nickname for herself. Maybe "Clare of the Many Souls" could only be applied to her if she still belonged to the organization at all. "Patchwork Clare?"
As of chapter 131, Clare has also gained Rafaela's fighting style of surrounding herself with a thin film of youki to use as a 360 degree sensor.
The new Number 7, Winged Anastasia, who fights while seeming to float in midair.
Of the resurrected warriors, we now have Cassandra the Dust Eater and Roxanne of Love and Hate. The former is named due to her fighting style of swaying like a pendulum so that her face touches the ground and the latter due to her tendency of idolizing higher-ranked warriors and copying their fighting styles, and her idols' tendency to "disappear" once she'd mastered their techniques. There's also Hysteria the Elegant.
Former warriors includes former number 2's, Agatha of the Fresh Blood or Bloody Agatha and Wild Horse Octavia
And, in stark contrast to the badass titles seen before, we now have Europa the Idle.
Awakened beings have them too - Silver-eyed King of the North Isley and Silver-eyed Lion King Rigaldo.
Earn Your Happy Ending:Priscilla gets to die more or less as herself, Teresa disappears after a few final words with Clare, some of the remaining warriors take up residence in Rabona and become nuns, the others decide to finish up the Awakened Being hunts, Rubel is told to piss off and never come back or face the consequences and Clare returns with Raki to return Ilena's arm only to find that she's already mostly grown it back. This comes at the expense of 150 generations of warriors and an untold number of innocent human beings.
The Descendants of Dragons are more this than they are typical fantasy dragons. Their flesh is the true source of the youma (and by extension the Claymores). And unlike the other monsters in the series so far, they were never human.
Priscilla, after losing control of her power of re-creation during her showdown with Teresa, mutates into a horrifying, mountain-size pile of guts, organs, and other body parts.
Enemy Mine: When heroines are fighting a revived former Number 1 Cassandra in her Abyssal form who arrives to give them aide? The remaining Awakened Beings who came from generations before the current one. It's even Lampshaded with the phrase "The most evil reinforcements."
Teresa gets a good one as well. She effortlessly slaughters a Yoma and then proceeds to scare the villagers she saved by splattering blood on them and implying that if they don't pay, the Organization would send yomas to destroy the village. This fully establishes her as The Ace and the Ice Queen.
Evil Versus Evil: Post-time skip the North is a barren wasteland and the rest of the country is becoming a power-struggle free-for-all game of Eviler than Thou one-upmanship between the Organization, Riful, Priscilla, Isley, & Rafaela/Luciela with everyone else caught up in the middle.
At one point, the survivors of the Northern campaign encounter an Awakened one fighting Claymores, and a half-serious joke is made about which side they should help.
Faking the Dead: Done by Ilena, failed once by Clare, and done by seven warriors at Pieta.
Fallen Hero: Each of the Awakened Ones is one of them. A great moment of fun is to discover that you just slaughtered your former best friend.
Fantastic Racism: Even though humans depend on Claymores to kill monsters that eat them, they still really despise and fear them - up to the point of banning them from entering certain cities, most famously Rabona.
Fan Disservice: Most of the nudity in the series, though it's at Take Our Word for It levels when it comes to the scars on the Claymore's bodies from their transformation. For example, we have Miata run away from taking a bath while in the buff, and we see the priest's eyes go wide when he sees the scar. Ophelia's transformation also shows off her breasts very clearly, but considering that she's both psychotic and the rest of her body is a snake's, it loses most of the sexiness pretty fast. The Abyss Feeders from later in the manga are even better examples, seeing as they have beautiful nude bodies, but stitched shut mouths and eyes and are completely insane. Then there is Teresa, who may have been the first woman in history to dissuade a roving pack of rapists by taking off her clothes.
Awakened Cassandra takes it up to 11.
Deneve's naked torso must have been this to Raki.
We see Clare's naked body in 129. We then see her nearly split in half. Same chapter, by the way.
Fate Worse than Death: Claymores generally consider Awakening to be this. Which turns out to be entirely relative when being infected by spikes shot by the Eldritch Abomination is show to be far worse. Awakened Beings were at least lucid. The infected were driven by only a desire to destroy and... well, infect.
Feminist Fantasy: The series treats its titular female fighters respectfully, focusing on them as proud warriors first and foremost. The story focuses on their friendships, rivalries, and driving goals with a minimal amount of attention paid to romance or fanservice.
Flawed Prototype: Related to Gone Horribly Wrong below, a lot of warriors who were created for a specific purpose usually end up as these. Special mention goes to Raphaela and moreover Clare since it's been speculated and suggested in the Gecko Ending of the TV series that the organization took Clare in because she would have served as a new experiment of making Claymores from the flesh of other Claymores. Apparently, the organization saw some sort of flaw in Clare and that was probably why she was ranked dead last in the organization. But they seemed to have miscalculated....
The Force Is Strong with This One: Claymores and Awakened beings can sense each others presence and the amount of yoki. However, some of the most powerful ones can mask their aura to appear far weaker than they are (Riful) or even completely suppress it so only direct contact with their body will reveal that they are anything other than human (Priscilla). The Claymores have a pill with a similar effect. This is the only reason anyone survived the Northern Campaign.
Forced to Watch: In episode 8 of the anime, Priscilla, who is in the middle of her Super Power Meltdown uttered that her father, who was taken over by a yoma, forced young Priscilla to look on as he ate the rest of her family. Given this horrific detail - and at the mention that she was particularly close to her father - it's no wonder Priscilla was too emotionally unstable to be a warrior.
Four Is Death: Claymores work in fours when participating in group demon-exterminating missions. In addition, when Number 6 (Claymores are ranked by power) lists the top five for her companions to watch out for, the only one to warrant emphasis and additional description is not Number 1 (by definition the strongest) but rather Number 4, who "cares nothing for the lives of her comrades or the lives of humans in general... A woman who lusts for battle and the blood spilled." Noel, the Number 4 of Teresa's generation merely has a pathological rivalry with Number 3 Sophia and a violent temper... as for her known successors, see below.
After the Time Skip, this trend continues with the current #4, Miata. A feral child of enormous power, she could easily become #1 if not for her highly unstable nature. She is barely brought under control by providing her with a surrogate mother, but she is capable of terrifying violence — tearing Youma to pieces with her bare hands or continuing to attack a deserter Claymore while a powerful Awakened Being attacks them both.
From Bad to Worse: It was already pretty bad before, but in Chapters 95 and 96 it turns from simply being "near-impossible" to "worse than the Northern Campaign".
Once the series got to the Northern Campaign, it pretty much became "It Got Worse: The Series."
Applies to all the female Awakened Ones who manage to maintain an at least vaguely human-ish form after awakening, such as Priscilla and Ophelia. Especially notable is Agatha, a female Awakened One who basically takes the shape of a beautiful naked woman sitting on top of a body like a giant monstrous flower which she is attached to by the hair. The naked woman is a decoy — her real core is inside the giant body.
A heroic variant is Jean, who for the duration of her battle with Clare and Galatea against Dauf is naked under the open cloak Clare loaned her.
Glass Cannon: Elite Claymore tend to be this, since they can die if they receive a blow in the wrong place. The most powerful monster of the series is this trope Up to Eleven compared to the monster of the same category (who are more like a Lightning Bruiser) : she can die in one good hit, but is very fast and can OneHitKill almost anything.
Gone Horribly Wrong: The Organization seems to have a track record with having a lot of botched experiments that all ended horribly. The most obvious example would be the awakened beings themselves. Also:
Making males into Claymores? Bad idea.
Soul-linking between two siblings who aren't twins? An even WORSE idea.
Gone Horribly Right: The Organization orders their resident Mad Scientist to resurrect powerful Claymores using Priscilla's arm in order to protect the Organization. Dae does but the Claymores almost immediately Awaken, creating new Abyssal Ones. When asked why, Dae responds with a You Didn't Ask.
Good Thing You Can Heal: Claymores have extremely powerful regenerative abilities, so chances are any battle will results in at least one character losing a limb or getting impaled. Defensive-type Claymores are even better at this, able to regenerate whole body parts in short order.
Gorn: Not as bad as some examples out there, but volume seven of the manga in particular seems to have an unhealthy fixation with limbs and the amputation thereof. The amputations are bloodless, however, and in most cases repairable thanks to the Claymores' Healing Factor. The anime adaptation, on the other hand, has blood all over the place.
That's in addition to the ludicrous amounts of dismemberment. Quite a few youma aren't killed until they've lost at least one arm.
Hard Work Hardly Works : Deconstructed with Priscilla. She ascends without difficulty to her position, but she is lacking experience, which was fatal when she faced a real challenge.
Harmful to Minors: Kids in the Claymore-verse have to put up with some immense shit in their childhood if they're unfortunate enough to run into either a youma or the organization itself.
He Who Fights Monsters: The more a Claymore uses her Yoma powers, the greater the risk of becoming a literal monster, and having a Claymore or three sent after her. In the series, it's a great sign of respect when a Claymore who has gone too far asks another Claymore to kill her. See also, Heroic RROD.
Healing Factor: For most of the Claymores being stabbed repeatedly in the chest is just an inconvenience, and dismemberment a temporary setback, provided you have a spare limb or two lying around... and then there are the ones that heal well, the Defensive Type Warriors.
Heel-Face Turn: In a very last minute manner, Isley is revealed to have done one during the Time Skip thanks to Priscilla and Raki. Then he dies.
Heroic Albino: Claymores are all essentially albino, since the transformation from a human to a half-yoma mutes their eye, hair, and presumably skin tones. Their primary objective is to protect humans from yoma, so they fight the good fight in the long run. Or so they think.
Heroic Sacrifice: When Miata starts going off the deep-end and begins giving in to her instincts as an Awakened Being, Clarice releases her Yoma energy in order to bring her back; an act that would eventually kill a "colored" warrior like herself. While saying goodbye to her adopted daughter, Clarice's body disintegrates.
Heroic Willpower: Contrary to the popular belief, it is possible for a Claymore to revert back to her human self when her body fully awakens - but they have to have a helluva lot of willpower to maintain their spirit through it all. It was lampshaded once but deconstructed when Clare faces off against Priscilla for the first time.
Priscilla, while a Claymore, exercised an unfortunately small shade of this. Although her willpower wasn't great enough to completely prevent her transformation, Dae theorizes that it was the human heart of Priscilla that "cursed" her Awakened form such that young girls would be "invisible" to her. In other words, recognizing the horrow that would be released, she ensured and entrusted that a future generation of Claymores, like Clare, would rise and potentially kill her Awakened form.
Hope Spot: Aw man did that Teresa vs. Priscilla fight shut us down...
Tabitha appears behind Priscilla, blade drawn, and it's been established that Priscilla's one weakness is that she's unable to accurately track weak Yoma auras in a chaotic battles when much greater ones are about. And guess who is the only one who hasn't yet released her yoki? Sure, we weren't expecting Priscilla to die, but maybe Tabitha could have inflicted a serious, battle-changing wound. Nope. Priscilla slices her into pieces.
This is immediately followed by another, crueller Hope Spot when Cynthia and Yuma collect Tabitha's severed body parts — including the lower half of her torso — and place them back together, using their considerable skill to accelerate her healing. Surely, surely, after all of the miraculous healings they've done before (hell, Yuma single-handedly regrew all of Cynthia's limbs once) they'll be able to stave off her death long enough for her to use her yoki to heal herself! ...No. She's a goner.
Horror Hunger: Favorite food of Yoma and and Awakened beings is pure human entrails. Everything else tastes horrible to them.
How We Got Here: The first two volumes introduce Clare as a warrior for the Organization and how she picks up Raki. A few chapters into the third volume takes us back years prior and reveals Clare's origins before she became a Claymore.
Dauf and Riful, inverted whenever she bothers to fully transform.
Also Raki and Priscilla after the time skip.
Also Isley and Priscilla, especially in their Awakened forms.
Hulking Out: Claymore who push themselves often start to bulge and become more muscular. One Claymore in particular is huge and rippling, but it's revealed she's actually a poseur and is using her transformation skill to be that big.
Human All Along: Turns out all youma are merely unfortunate humans infested by Asarakam-born parasites created by the Organization. The Claymores have been killing humans all along.
Played straight with Awakened Beings in their human(oid) form, in which they are indistinguishable from their past human selves (unless they use their severely diminished, but still massive, powers), even regaining their natural eye/hair colouring. Priscilla is a borderline example in awakened form also.
Humans Are the Real Monsters: Although humans are not the focus of the story, it's made clear that a lot of them are poor excuses for humanity. Cases in point:
The banishing of children who were orphaned as a result of yoma attacks is a common practice in most villages just to save their own hides. In fact, this is how the Organization happens upon most of the girls who will become their warriors.
At one point, Teresa is confronted by a bandit whom she took the hand of, and he decides to settle the score not by killing her, but by trying to rape her. Although she doesn't see this as the worst possible fate and allows him to do so, Teresa can't help but ponder why her kind bothers to sacrifice everything for the sake of humanity.
The same bandit returned again when his group decided to pillage the village that Teresea left Clare in. The bandit planned to make little Clare the group's child sex slave. This time, the bandit didn't get to escape with his other hand. Or his life.
Hypocritical Humor: When 24 Claymores including Undine gather at Pieta, things soon devolve into challenges flying around. Who's the first to complain? Helen, of course: the only troublemaker worse than Undine, and the first one to have drawn her sword, as a way of greeting Clare and a Call Back to their first interation. Given her posture and face, this is almost certainly deliberate on the Wakamoto's part.
I Am A Humanitarian: Between the yoma and awakened beings, regular humans are at the bottom of the food chain. They especially like eating human guts. And as Isley demonstrates, and maybe Riful and Dauf, being an awakened being isn't equal to being an apex predator.
I Cannot Self-Terminate: Claymores who over-use their yoma powers and begin to transform into an Awakened Being have to be killed by another Claymore. Those who have sufficient advance notice that their control is slipping send a Black Card with their symbol on it to the individual Claymore they would prefer to take their life; being so chosen is a mark of great respect. Clare and Miria, among others, discover that it is, in fact, possible in many cases to turn back even after the transformation begins.
I'm a Man, I Can't Help It: Played with. It's commented that Awakening is similar to an orgasm, and female Claymores supposedly have the ability to prevent this better than men. On the other hand, we later learn that the only reason Isley Awakened is because he eventually chose to do so, having resisted it utterly up to that point.
I Was Just Passing Through: What the Ghosts inevitably claim whenever they help out other Claymores. Lampshaded in chapter 112 by Dietrich, who tells the other Claymores that the Ghosts actually went pretty far out of their way specifically to help Anastasia's group, yet they will still try to claim that they were just passing through.
If We Get Through This: A variant happens during the Northern Campaign arc, where after their first battle with the Awakened Beings, the survivors (which remarkably, all twenty-four warriors do) spend the rest of the night conversing with each other and giving each other emotional support and pep talks. Touching though these scenes were, just by saying this,you know what happens the next day.
In the End, You Are on Your Own: Deconstructed when Miria decided to take on the organization by herself, and the rest of the team - Deneve in particular - saw this as a betrayal, but nonetheless went to the headquarters to take on the organization as well.
Implausible Fencing Powers: A speciality of the Offensive-Type Warriors. These include turning their entire arm into a drill, throwing dozens of slashes in a blink of an eye, or granting their claymores the qualities of a Vibroweapon.
Important Haircut: In one of the omake chapters, it's shown that Clare cut off her hair to use as a lure during her first battle.
Improbably Female Cast: Every Claymore is a female, and many of the monsters they fight are technically female too. However, the lack of male Claymores is justified later.
Innocent Bystanders: The denizens of the continent whom the Claymores are charged with protecting from the yoma.
Inspector Javert: During their first battle, Priscilla does this to Teresa, completely unable to understand why "the bad guy" is winning, and then loses it after she is defeated but spared by her.
Instant Awesome, Just Add Dragons: You have to admit, Claymore did get a lot more interesting at the reveal that all of the warriors are essentially being trained up to become fucking dragon slayers. Chapter 126 takes it even further with the reveal that youma (and by extension Claymores) are humans augmented with parasites born from the flesh of dragons. The Claymores are half-dragon dragon slayers.
Hysteria: What an awful fighting style. It's so disgusting I might throw up.
Miria: To hear that from you, the warrior with the most elegant technique, is the greatest honor.
Interface Screw: The new number 10, Raftela, can do this by synching up Yokis with other warriors and blurring their vision and screwing with their depth perception. This isn't entirely useful all by itself, but Raftela has other tricks up her sleeve as well.
Japanese Spirit: Made explicitly clear during Teresa'sKirk Summation in Chapter 154. Her own raw talent and phenomenal power becomes combined with Clare's heart, forged with pure determination to form a power that dwarfs everything else seen thus far in the setting.
After the time skip, Raki holds Priscilla's. Subverted, it turns out that Raki was just used by Priscilla.
Not exactly a kid, but since Clarice is #47 and Miata is currently #4 with the potential to be ranked higher, not to mention Ax-Crazy, she definitely counts.
La Résistance: Miria pretty much made this happen by rounding up any claymore, mostly the ones that were causing the organization trouble, and convincing them to join her cause or to at least not let the organization dictate their fate. She first started this trend when she teamed up with Clare, Deneve, and Helen. Eventually, just about every warrior in the organization rebels.
Laser-Guided Amnesia: Clarice does this to Miata after the successful defense of Rabona. Knowing that she would die and that Miata could lose her mind to grief, Clarice erases any memory of her from her adopted daughter's mind. A side-effect of this is that it restores Miata's sanity, and she begins speaking normally for the first time afterwards. However, in spite of forgetting who she was, their powerful bond remained, and Miata becomes confused by the tears she's shedding for a mother long gone.
Lensman Arms Race: This turns out to be the entire reason behind the existence of Yoma and Claymores. The Organization's experiments with Yoma and Claymores are attempts to create an army of Super Soldiers for one side in a war. The other side of the war has dragons.
Life or Limb Decision: In one instance, Deneve didn't hesitate to rip off her own arm when it got infected by previously unseen parasites. Another case is when Clare had to make such decision for Yuma when the Nigh Invulnerable Dauf got ahold of the latter's leg. Thankfully both of them were defensive warriors and could regenerate lost limbs.
Little Miss Badass: Riful... and how! Miata has elements of it too, though she's more Ax-Crazy than badass. Not that that anyone's forgetting Priscilla or anything. You know what, if you see a cute little girl in this series just assume she's going to kill something in graphic fashion.
Loners Are Freaks: Played for a rare laugh in volume 8. When Clare meets with Helen, Miria, and Deneve in the cave in Pieta for their secret meeting, Helen comments on how none of them were followed to that location because they were seen as the weirdos of the organization, so nobody bothered to care where they were going. Funny that.
Million to One Chance: The odds of the Northern Campaign succeeding are defined by Miria and Clare as being zero. They're right. It doesn't succeed. Seven of the warriors survive the Northern Campaign, and that's it.
The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: The transformation from Claymore to Awakened Being is stated as warping the ideals of anyone, so that someone like Isley or Priscilla who despised Yoma are completely different when they turn.
Mook Horror Show: Those bandits messed with Teresa and Clare once too many for their own good.
Morality Pet: Clare started off as Teresa's morality pet, Raki started off as Clare's morality pet, and Raki is now Priscilla and (until his death) Isley's morality pet.
More Expendable Than You: Miria injures and leaves Tabitha in Rabona with Galatea so that she a) won't have to kill a human or her former fellow soldiers and b) so that if it all goes to pot, only Miria will be the one they go after.
My Name Is Not Shazam: Claymores do not actually refer to themselves as such, instead they refer to themselves as "Warriors (of the Organization)". This became a plot point early on as elaborated in Spotting the Thread.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Renee chooses to run for her life from Riful rather than take the chance of awakening Rafaela and Luciela, even though it would almost certainly mean her death. Then after she leaves Clare blunders in and wakes them accidentally, unleashing the series' first true Eldritch Abomination. Smooth.
Miria's failed attack on the Organization put the humans (civilians and soldiers) in Rabona in danger when the Organization decided to retaliate.
The second one succeed, even on the reader. Miria was hacked by her fellow warrior so that she would be a bloody piece of meat (even the black coat is horrified), but they consciously choose not to kill her, as a reward for not killing them.
The third was against Cassandra in the same manner as Miria, but was both averted and technically subverted.
No Periods, Period: Claymores are physically incapable of having periods or getting pregnant.
Nothing Is the Same Anymore: The Northern Campaign changed the entire series, with many of the then-current generation of Claymores dying, and the survivors defecting from the Organization and eventually turning against it.
The Organization makes no exceptions when it comes to killing humans—Claymores are not allowed to kill in self-defense or protect innocent people from human criminals. If a Claymore kills any human, no matter the reason, they are marked for death. Teresa breaking the rule to protect Clare and a town from murderous bandits is what sets up the event explained above.
Ophelia claims that it could be done — so long as the Claymore wiped out all witnesses, the Organization won't get wind of it (unless the Claymore reported it herself).
Offhand Backhand: Riful does this to Rachel. with four spikes, which mysteriously become five in a later scene.
Clare when she realizes that she has gone too far and will awaken if not killed.
Miria has one when she saw that their opponent is male.
Ophelia is very good at provoking them.
The normally calm and playfully evil Riful has one in chapter 98, when she senses Priscilla's youki as she casually kills both of the Organisation's strongest fighters, Alicia and Beth in an instant, when just one had nearly annihilated Riful without really trying. "My god.... you've got to be kidding... to have such a thing exist in this world...."
Everyone who discovers firsthand how awesomely over-powered Priscilla or Teresa are has this reaction. It's also usually their last reaction.
Miria discovering that the Organization has trained new twins.
The black coat during the massive defection.
Priscilla has one when Raki, an ordinary human that she already curbstomped and left for dead, gets up and shoves his sword right through her neck.
One-Gender Race: Subverted. The Organization used to make male Claymores, but they found out real quick that that wasn't a good idea...
One-Handed Zweihänder: Every Claymore does this. Granted, their swords are only moderately large by anime standards, but no normal person could use them like they do. Lampshaded by Clare in the first chapter.
Undine's special technique is that she dual-wields them.
One Super, One Power Set: Most Claymores tend to develop their Signature Move early in their careers and continue to use it in more or less the same form for the rest of their lives. Averted entirely by Clare, who continues to pick up new techniques as the series goes on, letting her punch well above her weight despite having at most half the yoki of normal Claymores.
One-Winged Angel: Most of the stronger Awakened Ones, especially Abyssal Ones. Technically ALL Awakened Ones, but many of them don't have a human form anymore.
Only a Flesh Wound: Subverted and played straight, depending on context. When a Claymore gets a leg chopped off, she will, unsurprisingly, fall to the ground and scream in pain while bleeding heavily. When she gets an arm chopped off, she will...have an Oh, Crap moment and then keep fighting. note Makes a bit of sense; Claymores are tough enough to fight with one arm, but you kind of need both legs to run or fight.
The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Priscilla is rather disappointed when she learns that Clare has been "killed" by the swirling mass that was once Raciella, and makes it her new target.
The Ophelia: Ophelia, obviously, though she's a far more violent than most.
Origins Arc: Clare gets one in "Teresa of the Faint Smile" arc, both in the manga and in the anime.
Orphanage of Love: It is implied that Galatea works for one as a nun in Rabona, or that she made it possible with her presence there. This would be a big turn around in a world where being in a Orphanage of Fear would be an actual good thing for orphans (unless the Organization counts as one).
Our Dragons Are Different: The dragons, or the Asarakam, are bizzare looking creatures who can awaken, like Claymores, into the "Descendents of Dragons" and are about as monstrous as any Awakened being. Both are positively Geigerian. These Asarakam are hermaphroditic and can live up to 200 years, growing stronger as they age. When slain, they decay at a rapid rate.
Painful Transformation: Subverted. It's implied that transforming into an awakened being starts out painful, but gets more pleasurable near the end. A huge reason why men aren't made into claymores anymore since it's like an orgasm to them.
Panty Shot: Mostly averted because of the way the Claymore's uniforms are designed, but then we get a blatant one on Clare in Chapter 100. And even then, it's not of sexual nature.
Paying for the Action Scene: The group of Claymores sent to hunt down Teresa find the inn she is staying at, and hand the innkeeper a bag of money. The innkeeper protests that it's too much - for that amount of money, you could buy the entire inn. You can probably guess that it ends up being fair compensation.
People Puppets: Galatea's 'Yoki Manipulation' lets her do this to other Claymores (Clarice), Awakened Beings (Dauf) and even the projectiles he shoots.
Personality Powers : The Offensive Type Claymore (who tries to kill their opponent as fast as possible) and the Defensive type claymore (who just try to survive each encounter) regenerating at different rates—the Offensive type is unable to regrow limbs, but is stronger and more aggressive. Personality Powers become more prominent when they awaken: Revenge obsessed Claymores tend towards massive lethal implements, loyal ones tend towards wings, etc.
Picky People Eater: Youma and Awakened Beings are implied to eat human flesh in general, but they are absolutely nuts for "innards" — that is, stomaches, intestines, kidneys, livers and the other sundry organs that make up the entrails. Most of the times that Youma feeding habits are brought up, people specifically talk about the Youma eating innards, or the Youma itself rants that it wants to feast on innards.
Poor Communication Kills: Clare and Ophelia both want to kill Priscilla. If Clare would've tried to explain herself to Ophelia they could've figured out they both wanted the same thing, maybe even worked together. But Clare kept her lips shut and they didn't figure out until after Ophelia awakened. Ophelia's bloodthirsty insanity didn't help that much either; she may have just killed Clare anyway for kicks.
But why would Clare have ever brought it up? It had no bearing on the mission and Ophelia said absolutely nothing to indicate in any way that she had any connection to Priscilla at all. Clare met Ophelia, Ophelia cut off her legs, and then Ophelia threw Raki to an Awakened Being. Then things started going badly. Not much chance for backstory comparisons there. Bringing up Priscilla would have been utterly random and absurd.
Post Rape Taunt: Roxanne tells Cassandra that the reason she didn't interfere with Cassandra's friend's torture and implied rape at the hands of an Awakened Being was because Cassandra's friend looked like she was having fun. Cue (unfortunately) quite stoppable rage.
Power Copying: Clare's specialty, though some other claymores get in on the action as well, copying a technique or two from their fallen comrades (Roxanne in particular is a very twisted version of this.)
Power of Friendship: When you really get down to it, this is what Claymore is all about (or, it's at least one of the themes). All claymores have gone through a great deal of trauma in their lives, from being divided from their families, having half of their humanity stripped away from them, and becoming pariahs in normal human society. The "benevolent" organization are no surrogate parents, since they only see the women as expendable tools for their own mission. As a possible defense mechanism, most claymores put up a wall of indifference and cynicism around them, to avoid enduring more trauma on their part, but in reality, all that the claymores have are each other, so strong bonds still manage to form between them, be it a pair of two,a team of four,a mini squad,or the whole damn army.
Played straight in chapter 124, where all of the warriors present at Miria's battle with Awakened Hysteria must combine their yoki into Anastasia's strands of hair (which are suspending Miria in midair so that she can fight with Hysteria), so that she may have enough lift in order to reach and defeat her. Miria even says, "Spun by my eight comrades, these are my wings!"
The Power of Hate: Dae surmises that this is the true source of a Claymore's power. The contradiction of their hatred for Yoma and the Yoma flesh in their bodies is what makes Claymores so powerful. This is the reason the Organization chose children who had suffered Yoma related trauma (or in some cases, created such situations) for their experiments. Dae believes that Priscilla is so powerful because she somehow figured out that the Yoma she killed in her backstory wasn't a monster who looked like her father but rather was her father, mutated by the Yoma parasite. Priscilla lost her memories of the incident, but the burning hatred and self-loathing she carried for killing her own father eventually turned her into the most powerful Awakened Being ever.
Power High: The reason the modern Claymores are exclusively female is because release of yoki acts like this to men. Male Claymores (produced long ago) experienced the power-up as sexual pleasure and Awakened almost immediately.
Power Levels: In a manner of speaking. Claymores are assigned to a territory based on their perceived competence at killing Yoma. Claymores that are inexperienced or incompetent are assigned to territories with relatively few Yoma, while the most experienced and powerful Claymores are sent to territories overflowing with powerful Yoma. As such, each Claymore is assigned a number that corresponds to the territory they protect: the lower the number, the more powerful the Claymore is. By this point in the story, anybody with a double digit ranking is basically an expendable Mook, while single digit Claymores veer dangerously close to being One Woman Armies.
Punch Clock Hero: The Claymores officially claim to be like this. It's not usually true though.
Puppeteer Parasite: This is what the Youma REALLY are. They're artificially created parasitic organisms born from mixing an "awakened" Asarakam with a regular Asarakam. This parasite creates a craving for human intestines in the host and thanks to over-working their bodies with their energies (which they use to activate their various Youma powers), has to change hosts frequently. This creates the idea that the Youma devour people and absorb their personalities. In truth, its just the parasite jumping hosts. The parasite is never seen, but only referred to as a "wriggling thing" that doesn't decay. Since this parasite hides in the brain, the decapitation technique used by the Claymores to kill the Youma doesn't stop the parasites—it just forces them to move to a new host.
The Purge: The Northern Campaign was designed, in part, to get rid of some of the more rebellious Claymores. The decision was basically, "Since we're going to have a redshirt army, we might as well use it for a purge."
Rape as Drama: Subverted. Claymores already experience some physical disassociation from having their bodies painfully transformed into something not-quite-recognizable as human, but after experiencing physical mutilation up to and including dismemberment and impalement, rape isn't quite an ordeal. When faced with the threat of rape, Teresa indicates what she's been through by baring her body, and invites the raiders to do their worst. The would-be assailants are too repulsed to follow through.
It has also been implied that male Awakened Beings "toy" with their female victims.
Red Oni, Blue Oni: Claymore loves this trope. Deneve and Helen, Audrey and Rachel, Sophia and Noel, Luciela and Rafaela might have been this trope. It seems that every generation there is at least one of Those Two Girls
Redshirt Army: All but seven of the Claymores in the Northern Campaign.
Subverted with Europa, whose special technique is "fake death". After her supposed awakened form is decapitated, her head transforms and sprouts bladed tentacles.
Also subverted with Priscilla — who else? — who manages to somehow survive being chopped up into bite-sized pieces from head to toe.
Resist The Beast: Most Claymores who start to Awaken gradually, until they get a Mercy Kill. If they're really lucky, they can suppress their yoki even more, and draw more heavily on their powers before shit hits the fan.
Revenge: Lots of claymores' personal motivation to hunting yoma is to avenge their families. Clare took it to the extreme by being the only person to approach the organization and demand that she be made into a claymore.
Rock Beats Laser: Priscilla, in her awakened form, is weakest against attacks without any youki intent behind them, which is why Raki is able to pierce her neck from behind, while she's concentrating on the rest of the actual warriors.
Running Gag: Clare getting her face smashed into the dirt by whoever thinks she's being irrational.
Say My Name: Just before Awakening, Cassandra speaks her tormentor's name.
Science Is Bad: Using science to win a bloody war in the mainland by using a smaller continent and its populace as guinea pigs by creating unholy creatures that devour said populace while at the same time doing immoral experiments on little orphans in order to transform them into almost unholy creatures through an array of trail-and-error experiments that tend to flop while keeping the citizens AND bio-augmented warriors in the dark about all of this, thus making them kneel in mercy to the organization that is behind all of this... You don't see anything bad about this?
Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: Coinciding with her Mama Bear moment, this is essentially what gets Teresa in trouble with the Organization. Her refusal to accept her punishment may count as well. Teresa had just inquired about Clare's well-being, and her Handler had stated that her fate was now with the Organization. Teresa probably had a strong suspicion that this meant they would either kill her outright, or convert her into a Claymore, and she wanted Clare to have a normal life.
Secret Test of Character: After Riful is gone, Galatea say that that she will resume her mission to take Clare back to the Organization, alive or not. After making sure that Clare and Jean don't want to go back and are willing to put their lives on the line for that, she let them go while telling them that she will cover their escape.
Self-Destructive Charge: Cassandra dies in the manga backstory trying to cut her way through a crowd of Claymores trying to reach Roxanne. In exchange for all the damage she does to them along the way, she doesn't even try to evade their attacks, and she doesn't quite make it. Her last memory is a smirking Roxanne striking her down with the hilt of her sword.
Semi-Divine: All of the Claymores are half-human and half-youmaexcept for Clare, who is only one-quarter youma. They're born human and become half-youma by taking youma flesh into their bodies.
Sensor Character: There are several characters whose uncanny abilities at sensing the yoki (demonic energy) have led to them being mainly used for remote observation of other Claymores and yoma. Case in point: "God Eye" Galatea and "Tracker" Dietrich. Also, Roxanne.
Serial Escalation: Priscilla's power, just look at her fight with Alicia and Beth! She wasn't even freakin trying, and still completely tore them a new one.
Teresa's too. She fought the 4 most powerful Claymores in the Organization (after her, of course, since she was Number 1) — which included Priscilla, as Number 2 — all at the same time without so much as releasing the first 10% of her Youma power, which is what most other Claymores have to do to fight any regular Youma, and she curbstomped them without even breaking a sweat. The only reason that Priscilla was able to kill her was because Teresa let her guard down.
The anime asks the question: "How much blood can we fill in one episode?"
Set Swords to Stun: When a heroic Claymore rebel fights loyal Organization Claymores, they will typically refuse to kill them, but still have to beat them to go on, and since Claymores use, well, claymores, the enemy will still end up with a few solid cutting injuries at least. Justified in that Claymores can take and survive far more damage than an average human.
Sex Slave: Unlike a lot of Dark Fantasy series, Claymore doesn't shout at the top of its lungs that rape happens, but it's certainly implied that it does, and sexual slavery is no different. Actually, Claymore is a bit more disturbing in that when such implications arise, it usually involves pedophilia, and both monsters AND humans partake in it. Poor little Clare had to go through both ordeals, first when she was held captive by that yoma that was molesting her, and then when the bandits planned on making her their child sex toy. Luckily, Teresa saved her from both fates.
Shameless Fanservice Girl: Not that claymores strut around nude all the time, but they don't seem to really care about exposing themselves in that manner, partially or fully.
Shapeshifter Guilt Trip: Raftela can delve into your mind, and bring out deep sleeping thoughts. This results in Miria thinking that her opponent is actually Hilda. She nearly dies as a result.
Shoot the Shaggy Dog: In the anime version, since it cuts out right after the northern war, pretty much nothing was ever accomplished but the deaths of most of the heroes, followed by all the major villains and the few remaining good guys returning to status quo.
Shout-Out : to one to his previous work, Angel Densetsu. Ikuno and Teresa compare having a little blonde girl to owning a pet...
Also, the towns and regions of Alphonse, Mucha, Lautrec, and Toulouse are all named after early twentieth-century artists (Alphonse Mucha and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec). Both artists were well known for their depiction of women in their art.
"Shut Up" Kiss: Clare does this to Raki in manga. Anime subverts this by making it clear that Raki was done talking before Clare kissed him.
Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Even though there are times when the enemy is defeated and people are saved and Everybody Lives, those instances are pretty few and far between. Needless to say, Claymore is on the more cynical side of the scale, making it a rather rare example among Shōnen series, which tend to side with idealism.
Sliding Scale of Gender Inequality: Huh? Guys? What guys? Oh yeah - those guys. You can't even give male awakened beings too much credit, since much if not all of their actions are being dictated by a much more powerful female awakened being (oh yeah, there are some ordinary guys around here somewhere...).
The Destroyer (Raphaela/Luciela merged being) shoots spikes in all directions that turn into mindless monsters, which shoot even more spikes to infect anyone they hit and turn them into monsters as well.
Spotting the Thread: Raki does this in the first episode when he points out that a Claymore never refers to themselves as such; turns out it was a Yoma in disguise.
Stupid Sacrifice: Averted twice with the same sentence : "if you want to die that much, I will do it for you right now."
Suicide Mission: The organization in charge of Claymores sends them on suicide missions whenever they become too dangerous. Possibly justified to avoid Super Power Meltdowns, but later revealed that they do this to take care of claymores who are weak, rebellious, or are digging too deep into the organization's secrets.
Any mission with Ophelia is this. It wouldn't be surprising if the organization is responsible for pairing off whatever unfortunate soul with her in order to eliminate them.
Super Soldier: Manufacturing Claymores amounts to: hack open some poor kid and graft Youma meat into her. Clare was meant to be a next-generation claymore, being made with another Claymore's flesh and blood and retaining the normal implantation process (incidentally, the organization's #1); she is considered a failed experiment by the Organization. With The Reveal that Clare's handler (and the guy responsible for keeping tabs on the experiment and who reported that it was a failure) in the Organization is actually The Mole for the Organization's enemies whose goal is to sabotage the project, it's possible that Clare may not be a failure after all.
Surprisingly Elite Cannon Fodder: The organization tried this on Clare, Miria, Deneve, and Helene during their first mission together, but they all survived. The organization tried to pull this on a bigger scale during the Pieta mission, where almost every warrior died EXCEPT for Clare, Miria, Deneve, and Helene (with Yuma, Tabitha, and Cynthia as bonus survivors).
Sword Plant: Claymores often stab their swords in the ground to lean against when they're sitting or sleeping.
Take Our Word for It: Those scars from the transformation procedure were this for most of the series. Though they weren't shown at the time, they were hideous enough to turn off an entire horde of rapists.
The "scar" is revealed in chapter 129. It really is THAT horrible, since it's actually "one clean cut from their genitals to their necks". A cut that never entirely heals.
Thou Shalt Not Kill Muggles: The Claymores are forbidden from killing a single human under pain of death. As a result, Teresa gets in terrible troubles after slaughtering a bunch of bandits. Though as Ophelia points out, it's not too hard to to get around this rule, and those who do it usually get caught because they turn themselves in. She herself takes the opposite approach of making sure to slaughter all potential witnesses if she happens to kill a human.
This rule was always meaningless, since youma were infected humans all along. The rule was just an excuse for the Organization to remove Claymores.
Throw the Dog a Bone: Strangely enough, Cassandra's fight with Teresa is this. She finally gets to go all-out against an opponent who doesn't mock her fighting style, and she is allowed to die as herself, with her memories of her friend.
Took a Level in Badass: Raki after the Time Skip. Fandom is divided after whether this is good or bad. And pretty much all of the Seven Ghosts have undergone this, most noticeably Yuma, though some were badass before the skip.
Trash Talk: Generally averted. Claymores tend to take out standard youma in a quick and businesslike fashion, while most fights between Claymores, or Claymores and Awakened Beings, are done with respect. Notable exceptions are the second part of the fight with Agatha, and Cassandra vs Roxanne.
True Companions: It takes off with the Awakened Being kill squad containing Clare, Deneve, Helen and Miria. They do part ways for some time, however, so it might be that the seven survivors of the Northern Campaign are the first true example.
To a degree, all of the warriors. Only the well and truly psychotic would leave their companions to their own devices and sometimes, even THEY change their minds.
24-Hour Armor: Claymores are rarely seen out of uniform, unless they're on a special assignment where they have to blend in with normal humans. However, when they're resting they will take off their metallic armor.
Tyke Bomb: Although the Claymores don't go into field duty until they're grown up, they're chosen for the job as young children. And out of 47 Claymores each generation and numerous generations of Claymores, only one volunteered to be turned into a half-monster killing machine - Clare. All the other girls the Organization used were slaves, orphans or foundlings.
Miata and the unnamed new awakened twins are more direct examples, being massively powerful Claymore fielded while still young.
Unholy Matrimony: Riful and Dauf, Priscilla and Isley. Both couples are genuinely loving. Riful is unwilling to abandon Dauf to die even dragging him along with her when she's escaping from the fight with Alicia, despite being crippled and his protestations that she should abandon him because he's slowing her down and he doesn't care if he dies as long she lives. She does, in fact, die for him. Isley starts off just wanting to use Priscilla as a weapon but during his dying Internal Monologue admits he truly cared about her and their Morality Pet Raki as a family.
Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Readers don't find out about Miria's plan to survive the Northern war until after it was over.
We Have Reserves: Organization's treatment of Claymores and Isley's treatment of his subordinates.
Weapon Tombstone: It's a tradition among the Claymores to plant the swords of their fallen comrades into the ground over their graves. Even a newbie like Clarice can recognize a Field of Blades as a makeshift graveyard.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: Rimuto argues that the Organization's horrific actions were necessary because the Asarakam are just that fearsome. Miria kills him anyway.
Where It All Began: Raki returns to the village that kicked him out seven years ago as a badass who ends up saving their asses from the same circumstance (Yoma attack!) that led to Raki's expulsion in the first place. And yet they still talk shit about him. But he sets them straight.
Partially subverted since the most powerful of Awakened Beings (mainly the Abyssal Ones) are generally the most mentally stable. Similarly, the most powerful Claymore, Teresa, was also calm and composed.
Priscilla plays with this. At some point, she lost most of her memories and assumed a simple, child-like personality but when she assumes her awakened form she is frighteningly composed, methodical and calm.
Wound That Will Not Heal: All Claymores were cut open by the Organization in order to implant Yoma flesh in every part of their bodies. That huge cut is the one wound their regeneration cannot heal since their altered bodies consider that cut part of their "default" state. The Organization's work-around is to crudely stitch the wound together to keep the Claymores' guts from falling out.
You Are Number Six: Every exchange between two Claymores lasting more than five seconds inevitably results in somebody bragging about their number. Needless to say, both Claire and Clarice found themselves bullied more than a bit.
You Are Not Alone: Most of the time, the warriors will band together when the chips are down. Some characters have to be reminded about this several times.
You Can't Go Home Again: Played straight whenever a child is unfortunate enough to lose their family in a yoma attack. The other villagers are so concerned about protecting their own asses that they don't hesitate to throw kids out of town to fend for themselves.
You Didn't Ask: What Rafutella answers to the organization leader when he asks why she didn't tell critical information. Unsurprisingly, she falls in the category of warrior mentioned just below.
You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: If the Organization considers you too wild, too useless or if you just know too much, you will be sent on suicide missions until you finally bite it. This is because warriors get stronger and more capable the older they get and the only threat to a seasoned warrior is an Abyssal One or Priscilla.