Newman’s Nook: Living Tools

Claymore was a manga (and later anime) series set in a medieval fantasy world filled with monsters called Yoma. To combat the monstrous Yoma, an unnamed organization establishes a warrior program. These warriors, colloquially called claymores (matching the massive swords they wield), go where needed to kill Yoma.

The claymore warriors are all female. Through an elaborate process, the organization selects women who were literally “filled” with Yoma flesh. The process transformed these women into half-human/half-monster hybrids. The added monstrous strength made the women capable of defeating the monsters. The story of Claymore primarily follows a low ranking claymore warrior named Clare through various missions.

Guardian of the Witch is a newer Shonen Jump series with a similar premise. GotW is set in a medieval fantasy world where monsters attack local, feudal communities. In order to combat the monsters, an unnamed organization establishes a program whereby each city-state is given a witch, a young woman who is literally filled with monster power. The witches use the monster power to magically defeat monsters before they’re able harm cities. But in GotW, Manasfa, the titular witch, and her guardian, Fafner, decide in the first chapter to rebel against the established system that created the witches and treated these teenage girls as tools.

People as Tools

In both sets of stories, women are used as tools to protect the people. These women are, in most instances, filled with the power (or flesh) of a monster against their will. In both series, it also becomes very clear early on that many who were forced into these programs had not survived, and in the case of Clare, are not expected to survive long in a world of ferocious beings stronger than she is.

Many women died.

Also in both stories, if the monstrous power overwhelms the individual warrior/witch, the unnamed organization has that woman killed. Manychapters throughout Claymore demonstrate the very real possibility that a warrior will overwhelmed by her Yoma power, called yoki, and become a mountrous entity called an Awakened Being that must be killed by other claymore.

These women are not seen as unique individuals. They are pawns or tools used in their greater battle against the monstrous hordes. They’re treated not as willing helpers, but as abused things to be cast aside when they are no longer necessary (or become too dangerous to handle). Their humanity is tossed aside and they are treated as mere tools.

Image Bearers

The book of Genesis begins with a walk-through of all creation. When it arrives at humanity, the story pauses for a moment (Genesis 1:27) to inform the readers that all humans are created in the image of God. Note the highlighted text.

All.

The Bible does not tell us that merely men were created in God’s image. It never tells us that some humans are more equal than others. The Bible does not differentiate between color, race, or gender. As Paul later reminds us (Galatians 3:28), there should be no division or treatment of some as greater than the other.

Thus neither male nor female are created to be more God-like than the other. While the Bible may speak to different roles within the church or the family, this does nothing to diminish the equality we all share before God.

All people of all genders are equally worthy of life.

All people of all genders are to be treated with love and compassion.

All people of all genders are equally human.

We All Have Worth

Humans intrinsically have worth.

This statement holds true regardless of whether you are classified as useful to society or not. It remains true regardless of where you were born, what you look like, or what your gender is. The worth of the individual is a universal truth pushed forward throughout scripture.

You, me, Clare, and Manasfa do not deserve to be tossed aside when we have exceeded our usefulness. We are not merely replaceable pawns.

I am a unique person of value.

Clare is a unique person of value.

Manasfa is a unique person of value.

So are you.


You can read Claymore and Guardian of the Witch at Shonen Jump. Claymore includes scene of explicit violence, body horror, and non-sexual nudity. Reader discretion is advised.

mdmrn

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