Created and developed far from Europe and the Americas, and conceived in a country where less than 1% of the populace is Christian, manga could hardly be called out for inaccurately portraying Christianity. It would be silly for calling out mangaka for getting the story of Christ wrong or for presenting the Bible as “just another religion.” Still, manga is full of religious references to God and gods, which presents a great opportunity to discuss matters of spirituality. And that’s the idea behind this new series of posts, Fact Check, in which I’ll investigate some of the claims of anime and manga characters and weigh them against the truth of scripture.
Warning: Today’s post is part of a HUGE spoiler from recent chapters of Claymore.
Today’s claim comes from Teresa, Claymore extraordinaire and perhaps the greatest of all her type (until her shocking demise). In chapter 150, Teresa has returned as someone transforming from within Clare, and during these sequences, she has a conversation with former protege:
So, the claim is this: If God exists, in Teresa’s view, she has only one thing for which to be thankful.
Perhaps even more than her tremendous skill, Teresa is best defined by her honesty. She sees situations with clarity and approaches every situation as an open book, telling others precisely how she feels. And further, Teresa is almost always right.
Thus, it’s no surprise that in the archaic world of the claymore, cursed by the experiment done upon her and by her violent job, Teresa sees nothing redeemable about the world – nothing that is, except for Clare, the girl who changed Teresa (some would say for the worst) in just a short time before they were separated by death.
On a surface level, faith teaches that no, Teresa is incorrect. Even in an awful world, there’s still much to be thankful for – particularly the gospel message. The gospel tells how no matter the situation and no matter who we are – even the vilest offenders in the society – we can all be redeemed. We don’t have to pay a just penalty for what we’ve done – the penalty has already been paid by the only one rich enough to do so, and we can be freed.
But I want to dig deeper and see why Teresa said what she did. Teresa has been used by her whole life by an organization that preyed upon her as a child and uses her without care now, and by the people who fear her, even though her job is to save them. No appreciation, no love, no hugs, not thanks, no kindness. A horrible life indeed.
Clare, however, gives her all these things she didn’t receive, and further, she shows Teresa grace. Clare loves Teresa for saving her, but more than that, she continues to love Teresa even after realizing that the claymore isn’t kind, isn’t loving, and isn’t really even fully human. But Clare’s love remains steadfast and she never lets go of Teresa, even after knowing the truth about her, both from a personality standpoint and a physical one. Clare loves Teresa exactly as she is.
That’s grace, and it’s part of the story of redemption. And in fact, it’s the greatest thing for which to give thanks.
Teresa’s claim receives a 7 out of 10.
On the surface level, Teresa fails this fact check, but digging deeper, we see that Teresa is thankful for Clare, who represents the most valuable thing in life.
Check out our first post in this series, about Aldnoah.zero.
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5 thoughts on “Fact Check: Claymore Teresa’s Only Thing to Live For”
I think I’m going to enjoy this series.
I came relatively late to anime, and am barely beginning to read manga. I am 25 years old now, born again at the age of 18, and came to enjoy anime from a fascination of Japanese culture. But ever since I’ve been watching anime, I’ve always been bothered by either the incessant “fanservice”, or the oriental spirituality. I’ve come to a more mature mind regarding the spirituality (considering that much of the spirituality in the certain anime I’ve watched is weak and made-up), but I still have a great dislike for perversion and pathetic fanservice.
But the references to God, God’s existence and God’s character, in anime intrigue me more because I am a Christian, and am, so to speak, spiritually satisfied with the Lord Jesus Christ. Perhaps if I wasn’t a Christian, these little references would fly past me or even alter a swaying belief system (common in those that don’t believe in anything), but because I am a Christian I can see the who, the why and the how. The bloggers on this site can also, and that is why I really enjoy Beneath the Tangles.
So, I can’t wait to see what’s next.
Thank you so much for the kind and generous words, Art. We really appreciate you joining us, and especially interacting with our writers on Facebook.
I think we’re pretty much in agreement with you in regards to fanservice, though for better or worse, we’ve probably become desensitized to much of it. Claymore – the manga at least (I can’t remember in regards to the anime) – has a lot of fanservice. It’s artsy, but it’s there. You might want to avoid this series.
Sorry if I’m posting this a few months late (Just found the website.) but when was there ever fanservice in Claymore? the characters are beautiful yes, but I can’t remember much in the way of actual fanservice, for most of the story you never really see the Claymore’s naked since they have the horrific scar on the front of their chest, and the only others you see naked are Awakened beings, and the Abyss Eaters (Which are definitely NOT fanservice.)
I guess it would depend on your definition of “fanservice” but nudity by itself and beauty are not automatically fanservice, if you want a good example try Dears, now there was a series with a good deal of fanservice.
Thanks for the comment.
I’m definitely thinking of the awakened beings – their awakened state also provides them an awakened sexual form in a grotesque (but also beautiful) manner.
Well what I mean is that I don’t necessarily think they are supposed to invoke “fanservice” because they are beautiful and monstrous at the same time, for example with Ophelia you could see her nipples, but it didn’t seem like the mangaka designed her in a way like “Lets make her a sexy topless monster girl for the fans hehe!” it’s a bit hard to describe what I mean, but it’s not really what I would call fanservice.
And then Priscilla… well she was as attractive as a purple naked monster moth girl could be, but she didn’t really come off as being “fanservicy” to me, I mean yes she seemed to be “sexy” but I thought it was handled in a more “mature” way than just throwing naked women at the camera for the fans.
There was one Awakened Being in the manga… I’m not sure what her name was, but she was basically a gigantic platform with spider legs (If I’m remembering correctly.) and then a naked woman on top, who attacked the city and seemed to be trying to get the soldiers she captured to have sex with her before eating them, that’s the closest thing I could think of as actual fanservice, but IDK it depends on how you look at it I guess.