|“||Don't ever say you don't care when you die.||„|
|~ Clare to Raki|
Clare is the main protagonist of the manga/anime series Claymore. She is a Claymore, the only known one to have taken the flesh and blood of a fellow Claymore (namely, her adoptive mother, Teresa) rather than that of a Yoma, making her 1/4 Yoma, as opposed to 1/2 human like the other warriors. This was allowed to happen as an experiment to attempt to create a stronger warrior. This experiment was considered a failure, as she was considered weak and was given the last rank of No. 47 in the 150th generation. Her ultimate goal is to hunt down and kill Teresa's murderer, the Awakened Being Priscilla.
She is voiced by Houko Kuwashima in the Japanese version of the anime, and by Stephanie Young in the English version of the anime.
As a child, Clare appears thin and frail. She has straight, light brown hair in a long "hime" (princess) style, much like Galatea's, though shorter, and green eyes. Her scarred body reveals abuse from the Yoma that used her as a cover and a toy.
Her hair is cut in a pageboy and is now light blond. As a trainee, she wears it in the same style as when she was a child. When ambushed by a Yoma during her final test, she cuts off 2/3 of her hair to hang out a window as a decoy, (Extra Scene 4). It has remained short ever since. Her eyes are silver and her body scars are gone, except for the stigmata on the front of her torso. Her body appears wispy, disguising her supernatural strength. She is considered to be quite attractive, as commented by both Sid and a knight passing by her at an inn in Rabona.
When Clare loses her right arm in a fight with Ophelia, Irene gives her her own arm as a gift so that Clare can use the Quicksword more proficiently. Although Yoki-suppressants are supposed to return a Claymore's eyes to their natural color, Clare's eyes appear brown in the anime, not green, when she takes these pills in Rabona (possibly a directional continuity issue). She is right-handed and stands at 170 cm tall.
When first introduced, Clare was a very cold warrior who prioritized her duties over everything else; this is shown when after saving Raki from a Yoma, she told him that she had to get it into a position in which she could kill it easily, implying that she cared more about killing the Yoma than saving his life. Despite this, she was still willing to take Raki with her until they found a new village for him to settle in, largely because he reminded her of herself when she was a child. She insisted to Raki that she was not a kind person and that, if he tried to find kindness in her, he would only find disappointment. However, he refused to believe that due to all that she had done for him and, in time, she defrosted due to his influence- ironically, she had previously done the same thing to her mother figure, Teresa.
Even from childhood, Clare's enormous willpower was apparent when she would persistently follow Teresa despite the dangers. While with Teresa, she was initially mute, but later on was able to speak again. Her determination to kill Priscilla made her take Teresa's flesh and blood into her body and become a Claymore. She had an immense desire to kill Priscilla, to her claim, it was the reason for her being alive. Hence she was an Offensive type Claymore. Killing Priscilla became her sole reason for existing, hence her initially cold, calculating attitude.
Although she may look composed on the surface, her emotions can break out very easily, such as when she immediately rushed to Rigardo in anger when her companions were killed. Her burning passion is one of the reasons why she wasn't able to master the Quick Sword in her condition and repeatedly risks her life to save others. Because she often lets her emotions get the better of her, Clare will tend to ignore all warnings, rushing into any situation, regardless of danger. She can also be rather blunt as shown in the first episodes in the anime.
Clare is also a master actor, being able to act like a more cheerful version of herself effortlessly, which she demonstrates when she and Raki are staying at an inn. When questioned by Raki about it, she explains that it is one of the rudimentary aspects of Claymore training, and that she can act like a noble lady one minute and a flirtatious prostitute the next.
Following seeing Raki wounded by Priscilla, Clare became ashamed that she no longer wished to throw her life or her humanity away in order to vanquish Priscilla. Conflicted at the desire to live, Clare's turmoil was only settled by Helen's remarks and she then decided to win to see life ahead with her friends.
Powers and Abilities
In the beginning, Clare was quite weak, having trouble with even regular Yoma. After Raki stopped her from awakening, however, her strength increased significantly, allowing her to take on and kill multiple Yoma with minimal effort. After the 7 years of hiding she became able to stand on equal ground with Miria.
Acute Yoki Sensing
- From inheriting Teresa's flesh and blood, Clare has the ability to read the flow of Yoki in opponents and predict their movement. Clare unlocked this when she became a half awakened. This ability has helped Clare to easily slay Yoma and battle Awakened Beings.
- Intelligence: even when she was a trainee Claire was shown to be quite cunning. Like when she was battling her rival during the final exam she managed to use a stone on the ground to distract her. The best example though would be when she was escaping from Ophelia. She faked her death on a cliff to escape and almost succeeded.
- Awakened Limbs
- The awakened limbs were first seen during the Northern Campaign, during the battle of Rigardo. Clare's legs become hock-jointed—a cross between a horse and pterosaur. Her left arm becomes a giant claw, which awakens further into blades sprouting out of scaly, muscular limbs, losing the human - like form of the arm, and her right arm sprouts several blades. Her awakened limbs allow her to move at lightning speed. Clare's awakening stops with Jean dying, as she brings Clare back to normal. Clare's next awakening attempt fails against Priscilla, due to a mental block caused by Jean's death.
- By releasing all yoki into her sword arm, and controlling the berserking arm through sheer will, Clare attacks at superhuman speed. Irene tries teaching Clare the Quicksword, but soon realizing Clare could never master the technique, Irene cuts off her remaining arm and gives it to Clare as a "parting gift", and a way for her to master the Quicksword. Clare later learns to control the berserk nature of this sword swinging technique through willpower and reacting to yoki. According to Priscilla Clare's version has the same power as Irene but has a shorter amount of time per usage.
Rafaela's Fighting Style
- After having absorbed Rafaela's memories, Clare learns the former's fighting style, which involves creating a very faint field of yoki around the body, allowing for extremely precise movements even when reacting to stimuli beyond the field of vision, and also allowing her to fight with the rest of her body with kicks and punches. According to Teresa, Rafaela's fighting style is reckless and mildly clumsy.
- Flora's signature move, Windcutter, is similar to the Quicksword in many ways. Like the Quicksword, it attacks at superhuman speed, but is somewhat slower. The Windcutter, however, is superior to the Quicksword in terms of accuracy. During the Seven Year Time-Skip, Clare masters Windcutter in replacement of the Quicksword, as Yoki is required for the use of the technique. With the Windcutter, Clare has managed to survive through the Seven Year-Time Skip and hide successfully from the Organization's purge. The physical improvement and sheer strength gained from mastering the Windcutter made Clare's Quicksword on par with Irene's.
- Clare faintly used this to pull Jean back from her awakened state.
- During the Seven Year Time-Skip in Alphonse, Clare, along with the other "Seven Ghosts", has learned to hide one's Yoki aura, while retaining Yoki sensing and fighting ability. This ability was acquired by consuming "half" of the Yoki Suppression Pill to minimize side-effects and over time they've learnt to re-emulate the effect without the need of the pills.
- Clare is frequently considered by fans to be the female equivalent of Guts. Sure enough, both have unshakeable wills (which they had even when they were children), both have similar jobs (Clare is a Claymore, who are essentially bounty hunters, while Guts is a mercenary), both have a dark side that keeps attempting to take them over and both lose an arm and later replace it with a new one.
- Clare is also similar to Shana from Shakugan no Shana. Both are members of an organisation of warriors (the Claymores and Flame Hazes, respectively) who fight a hostile species of monsters prone to preying on humans (Yoma and Crimson Denizens). Additionally, both are introduced as cold warriors who prioritize their duties over protecting the innocent but gradually defrost through continued interactions with Raki and Yuji Sakai, respectively. In both cases, they fall in love with the ones who defrost them. Coincidentally, Cherami Leigh, who voices Clare as a child, voices Shana in seasons 2 & 3.