Character: Teresa of the Faint Smile
Bible Twin: John the Baptist
The manga and anime series, Claymore, has enjoyed recent popularity due to its beautiful heroines, dark storyline, and stylistic violence. It also has a very real warmth behind it, and much of that emotion is provided through a character named Teresa.
Before the present time, Teresa was the number one claymore, a female warrior who dispatches yoma, or demons. She is seemingly uncaring, as most claymore are, until she begins to grow attached to a girl, Clare, whom she saved and who follows her from place to place, even at the risk of the young girl’s own life. A grown-up Clare is the heroine of the series.
Eventually, Teresa kills a group of human bandits who hurt Clare, breaking a claymore rule. Other powerful claymores are dispatched to kill Teresa, resulting in one of the most dramatic scenes in recent anime, and one which fatefully affects the entire storyline.
Teresa, beautiful, violent and cool, seems to be quite different, at first, from the peaceful, locust and honey-eating John the Baptist. However, the two share several important commonalities. None is more important than their roles in relation to more important characters/people. John is born to “prepare the way” for the Christ. Teresa, meanwhile, prepares the way, unwittingly, for Clare. Christ is the ultimate fulfillment of the law and the central figure of the Bible. Clare, certainly, is the heroine of Claymore, and as her power and abilities grow (or rather unveil themselves), the manga is setting the stage for her possible role as the claymore that will change everything.
Teresa is clearly the most powerful claymore of her time, and even in the present time, there may be none, claymore or otherwise, to match her power. The Bible states that John the Baptist was the most important prophet; in fact, he is the most important person ever born until Christ. Their roles as forerunners and the significance of their roles is weighty.
Finally, a more physical and less analytical commonality connects the two. [Spoilers begin here]. Teresa and John share very similar deaths, both by decapitation. Teresa’s is sudden and shocking, as she opens herself up to a death that should’ve never happened at the hands of Priscilla, who becomes a main antagonist of the series. John is killed by one of the Bible’s most vile men, Herod. [Spoilers end here].
Claymore is abound in characters, settings and ideas that aren’t Christian, but which can evoke symbols and themes of Christianity. Perhaps none is more prevalent than the similarities between the greatest claymore and the greatest man born to earthly parents.
Update: Teresa isn’t the only Claymore figure representative of a major Biblical individual; the enigmatic Phantom Miria is comparable to the Bible’s most famous person of all:
Finding the Invisible God in…Claymore: Phantom Miria