Posts with the “yuri” tag

3 Episode Taste Test: Blue Drop

It would be easy to be confused as to just where exactly Blue Drop sits in terms of genre if one went by the first three episodes: perhaps the all-girl school histrionics would give some indication, but juxtaposed with operatic science fiction it would seem that maybe the series is trying to tell a different, as yet, hidden story touching on old Gundam favourites such as the horrors of war or its effect on children. Blue Drop actually occupies the secret third option and the hint lies in the source manga's genre: yuri.

The quiet, fringe-afflicted girl shows up in an entirely out-of-place outfit consisting of a leotard crossed with navy regalia

This divulgence is able to put a lot of the introductory material into context, and while it certainly doesn't contain anything near the raunchy material of the manga, Blue Drop still seems uncertain as to who the series is aimed at. The character design is less than stellar, it seems that clichés are born and bred in the school the central characters attend and the animation does nothing to compensate for this, instead the aesthetics feel washed out and less than enticing. Development is restricted to the protagonist only, and the revelation that her nemesis is captain of a futuristic underwater craft comes across as more underwhelming than it was perhaps meant to. So with the interpersonal relationships and sexual content that series should have inherited from its parent missing, and the other typical trappings of the yuri genre absent, the question of what exactly the series offers becomes difficult to answer.

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Claymore's hook is the presence of blonde, nubile young ladies with the titular, impossibly large swords set in a fantastical, medieval world. Being able to move past this premise is the first of many things that this series manages to do well, unfortunately it is marred by a plethora of other niggling problems which turn what could have been a great series into one that, overall, is lamentably mediocre.

Putting more than twenty slim, blonde females into a dark and snowy mountain town probably sounded a lot better on paper

Claymore goes wrong by being indecisive as to what it is trying to be and what it is trying to convey. The lithe girls with swords bait is more or less ignored from the outset with a surprising lack of fan-service and obvious lesbian undertones; this creates a problem with what is essentially a shounen series. The "monster of the week" cliché is dispatched with swiftly and a story unravels which thrusts the protagonist, Clare, from one hopeless battle to the next. Neither the story nor the characters are enough to carry this off, its one saving grace is the speed at which the story moves. Not so much adapted, but lifted straight from the manga, the series works on a "one episode, one chapter" progression which means otherwise tedious story elements and swiftly dealt with and otherwise enjoyable combat set-pieces drag on far too long.

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