Awakening

subject — Claymore
medium — Manga
creation date — 26 August 2015
participated inBAB Metamorphosis Challenge; One Page, One Month Marathon
We joined the Organization at the same time. We comforted each other in our darkest hours. When our bodies were transforming and we were wracked with pain, we'd hold each other at night so we could sleep.
  • female warriors
  • feared and shunned
  • bleak world
  • solitary lifestyle
  • constant inner battle
  • limits
  • holding on to your humanity
  • cravings
  • identity
  • breaking free
  • solidarity
  • female sexuality

Favourite Parts

  • The World
  • Character Gallery (revamp)
  • Themes
  • Links

Milestones

  • writing a series shrine without talking about its plot and cast at all
  • extensively drawing from fandom impressions and integrating them
  • revamp: colouring patterns in Photoshop
  • revamp: clone stamp tool in Photoshop
  • revamp: mini-galleries utilizing slick
  • revamp: figcaption
  • revamp: PHP variables (gallery)

Making of

  • This shrine draws from my previous experience with Prisoner's Dilemma. If you look at the two side by side, you'll see which minor elements I decided to carry over, such as commentary on the art style.
  • Knowing that I only had one page to introduce something I have as much to say about as Claymore due to its themes, development and scope, I decided not to introduce it via its characters and constantly changing story at all. It's a bold choice because those are the things potential readers are most interested in – the tangible things, the immediate things. Not to mention how Claymore's cast is made up of a variety of great women who I like very much. But any plot and story can be written to sound interesting; that's why we are constantly lured into checking out new things all the time, even when they turn out to be a waste of time afterwards.

    Instead, I focused on the things that drew me into the series: the worldbuilding, the mood, the video game-like "parameters" of the warriors. I wanted to show the series' depth in its constitutive elements.
  • Another challenge was that several of those descriptive elements are, well, lies. (I won't say which in the following to avoid further spoilers.) Discovering the truth, however, is an important element of the story, and I didn't want to spoil that. Instead, I withheld information and intentionally mislead visitors. It's a difficult thing to do, considering how shrines used to be primarily a source of reliable information, but I think it was the right choice in this case. I made up for it by dropping hints that things may not be as they seem.
  • Unlike my previous shrines (with perhaps the exception of Prisoner's Dilemma as far as its protagonist is concerned), Claymore is a series with a fandom I've observed for quite a while – via Tumblr in this case. I've read what people have written about the series and how much the series meant to them, and that shared experience, along with other things I have extracted from the Tumblr experience, have influenced my opinions quite a bit. I tried to weave some of that into the shrine, and the link list to recommended essays on Awakening is my favourite link list out of all of my shrines to date, as it represents my interaction with the subject's fandom and offers different views by different people.
  • This shrine was revamped on 30 January 2017. The revamp notably added a good amount of big images to enhance the experience and showcase Claymore's mood and art, without the need for further info or going into the characters. I think I've come a long way where the use of images is concerned: On Valkyrie, images were used to complement the text, either as direct context-specific companions to it, to emphasize or showcase a message, or to fill out certain scenes with more words due to the captions. On Waterbound, I used mini-galleries as "evidence" for the points I was making. In the notable instance of the character introduction page, I let the images speak for themselves, as a way to avoid talking about Haru's personality, seeing how personality and mannerisms were going to be the bulk of the shrine, not just an introduction. I followed that up with In Another Dream, where the the fashion section is not just the site's main gallery, but allows the reader to get a glimpse of the character's personality too (as the images were manga panels with speech bubbles left intact). Now, for Awakening, I let pictures talk for themselves once again.

Retrospect

There isn't much to say about this shrine. It was written as compensation for In Control, as a participant in the One Page, One Month Marathon. For the Metamorphosis Challenge, I wanted to pick a subject with a vastly different interpretation of "metamorphosis" compared to In Control. Whereas that one focused on a character's growth and changed perception, this one is about the warriors' cut-up bodies and half monster nature.

I also used this opportunity to write a non-spoilery introduction to a series I have every intention to revisit as part of my shrining projects in the future. There is... so much more to be said about Claymore and the reasons fans associate it with feminism (perhaps my favourite thing about it), but I couldn't address any of it on the shrine itself due to that being heavy spoiler territory. Knowing that I would have future shrines as an outlet to write about those events, however, made me not worry about omitting that important aspect. I set slightly different thematic focal points instead, and wrote about the general mood and elements in the series without linking them to any particular elements.

In the end, I think I've managed to paint an accurate picture of the series and its allure – plenty of strong points, and that without even having brought up the story and the characters yet.

Addendum, 30 January 2017: This shrine was enjoyable to write because a lot of it was free writing, but I didn't feel as though I learned much when creating it, whether it comes to writing, coding, designing or graphic-making. (That's why I didn't have much to say on it on this very page.) Speaking strictly of writing, I have always thought of it as a good shrine. Its overall impression, however, left a lot to be desired; as a result, I didn't feel as though it had much of an identity of its own next to my other shrines. There wasn't anything that made it unique in my network's line-up, and, as it is very important to me that each of my shrines has something unique to offer, I sadly just... didn't care about this shrine much. (Then again, it is one of my early shrines.)

For this revamp, I picked up so many more things – from many different people around the community! Elysa had explained to me how to colour patterns many months ago, and it is something I had been wondering about for many, many years, but it still took me until this day to actually do it. (Now I can have visually striking backgrounds like Crystal's!) One of dubiousdisc's shrines utilized the figcaption tag; I tried it out and couldn't manage to set it up the way I wanted to, so Andrea passed me her code. Aside from explaining to me how to use PHP variables, which comes in handy for specific kinds of content, Larissa also looked at one of the double spreads I had pieced together, and introduced me to Photoshop's clone stamp tool, which... is going to significantly impact the amount and kinds of pictures I can work with. Just thinking about it makes me very excited for future graphics and layouts! (I had no idea this is what people use to redraw things.)

When I got into shrining, I never thought I'd learn and improve this much, or, as mentioned under Strength of Heart, that I'd find my own style. I also never thought revamping could be enjoyable, especially since I was initially averse to making layouts. Revamping a shrine from over a year ago, however, made it clear just how much I've learned, on so many different fronts. Revamping Joker's Wild and creating In Another Dream before this really made me find a way to make designing my own one page shrines enjoyable, and be content with the shrines in their one page format. It's so, so rewarding to revisit a shrine and implement all the new things – it's quite the powerful way to be made conscious of your growth. The realization that every single shrine you have created contributes to your repertoire that flows into future creations is such a tremendous motivation to keep creating.