Pandora Hearts

Title:Pandora Hearts
Keywords: , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - Xebec
Music - KAJIURA Yuki
R1 License - NIS America
Oz Bezarius, heir to one of the duke houses, has just turned fifteen. His life is rich and carefree, darkened only by the constant absence of his father. At his coming-of-age ceremony, however, everything changes. For no reason that he can discern, he's cast into the prison known as the "Abyss", only to be saved by a "chain" known as Alice, the bloodstained black rabbit. Why was he cast into Abyss, how does Alice factor into it all, and what does the organization known as "Pandora" want with him...?

Based on a manga series authored by MOCHIZUKI Jun, first released in 2006.

[sourced from ANN]

Read the translated manga online at MangaFox

Series first aired on April 4th 2009.
?? TV Episodes (~23min)
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Watch 9 8 8 9 8 8 Dreamer [series:1995#2279]
I never thought about picking this one up until I accidently stumbled upon "Yuki Kajiura" and her amazing, breathtaking songs. One of them "Preparation", just blew my musical mind and left me jaw-dropped in awe. This song happened to be in this anime, thus I picked this one up hoping to see what makes this good enough to showcase her amazing songs.

Art, Animation & Character Designs
Artwork and animation was good. Had lots of details and rich colors. The overall feel was on the darker side. At times however, the animation seemed a bit choppy... as if it lost a few frames. Character designs were done well, especially some of the "Chains", grotesquely done. One thing that freaked me out was the dolls. I never liked dolls, and there's plenty of evil looking dolls with their eyes rolling around, laughing morbidly and grinning like little devils. Brrrrrr!!!

The OP was great. Loved every minute of it. As mentioned above, the soundtrack is what lead me to pick this series up. The soundtrack had some amazingly beautiful, riveting and inspiring compositions. I would almost say it comes close to the soundtrack found on .hack//Sign in goodness.... ok, not even close but you get the picture. The ED was equally as good.

Series and Episode Story
First off, the soundtrack turned out far better than this series. This isn't to say this series isn't good, but just didn't quite do it for me... especially near the end. The story started off great, cool first episode and dramatic... and it pretty much stays that way for the most of the episodes, up until about 3/4 of the way through.... or rather the last several episodes.... it somehow just fizzled out.... at least I felt it did. It seemed like the writers didn't know how to finish off the plot or got lost along the way.

What initially made the plot good was how it kept you guessing and withheld curious information, only to feed you snippets of it here and there. That, coupled with great characters, intriguing story telling, and a building momentum. However, as mentioned above, nearing the end, things start to get a bit confusing, with some WTF here and there. For example, we finally get to learn why "Gil" all of a sudden tries to stop Oz from swinging his sword at one of the Baskervilles during his ceremony (near the beginning). And after learning that, I literally yelled "WFT!!" Gil was apparently hiding this from the beginning, which if he had mentioned it then or at least much sooner in the series, it would have changed the outcome of the plot.... which would have made things more believable. But what actually did it for me was the very end. Oz confronts his father, says a few words and walks away. Another WTF.

Overall, it was an excellent and promising series but seriously fell apart at the end. I almost wish I hadn't watched it cause it left me feeling a bit cheated. But nevertheless, it's still "not bad" and still worth a watch.

Last updated Sunday, June 20 2010. Created Sunday, June 20 2010.
Watch 8 9 7 9 6 7 Silence [series:1995#2939]
All episodes watched. And pissed off big time.

Ok. Here goes. All the way up to episode 24, things were actually going well. We start off with a mystery of why Oz was sent into the abyss by the Baskervilles. We see him finding his way out with the help of a Chain call Alice/B. Rabbit. In the short time in abyss, ten years have passed, and his servant Gilbert is now an adult. Together they start to find the truth of the Tragedy of Sabrie 100 years ago, as well as the scattered memories of Alice. Up to here it was cool, with nice action and a good mystery story.

Later, we find out that Alice was a girl from the Baskerville house a hundred years ago, who can somehow connect to the Will of Abyss, and Gilbert and his brother Vincent also lived at that time. Alice was killed, presumably by Vincent, who practically caused the Tragedy to happen. The brothers were plunged into the abyss, and got out almost immediately (though into the future) when the masses of people started flowing into the abyss.

We see some fragments of Alice's memories, but the one which holds all of them, gotten from the Chesire Cat (Alice's pet, now a chain too) was destroyed. Also, Jack Bezarius was able to possess Oz's body and talk through him, warning of another tragedy happennig.

Soon, unexplained things start happening, like massive numbers of chains start appearing without any summoners, and started wrecking the city. Oz was suddenly able to connect to the Will of Abyss, and commanded her to destroy all the chains. (By this time, the plot was already starting to get loose and hard to follow. But nothing like what comes next)

Now comes the last episode. Finally, Oz went home, only to find that his father held the Chain, Gryphon, which sent him into the abyss 10 years ago. He went to confront his father and the Baskervilles (Gil and Break found out the location from some pandora information, makes you wonder what pandora has been doing all these years). Gryphon tied everyone down, but Oz, with his new-found power, did not eliminate Gryphon himself, but instead unlocked the power of Alice, and gave her a hell lot of power to destroy gryphon with 1 hit. Wow. Then, to the father he has been looking for, he spouted some nonsense of him no longer being affected by how others viewed him and walked off. End of story.

An excellent example of a promising anime falling to crumbs. If the anime had sticked to discovering the truth of the tragedy, with the personal struggles of Oz as a (unostentatious) side theme, then things could go pretty well. But did they? No, instead, they chose the very bad way of TELLING people how Oz has changed, instead of SHOWING. Very convenient for the makers, and very unconvincing to the audience. The ending was simply too rushed. There was no climax, there was no resolution to most problems posed. Vincent was still at large, Alice still does not remember much. The wrecking to the city by chains are simply ignored in the last episode, as if nothing had happened.

To conclude the paragraph, bad. Half of a story is in the conclusion and resolution. Since that is non-existent, a watch is all I can give.

Last updated Saturday, October 03 2009. Created Sunday, May 17 2009.
Unevaluated Stretch [series:1995#628]
(Two episodes watched):

Something bizarre and creepy is going on--and that's about all I can say about Pandora Hearts at this point. Master Oz has every reason to be terrified after a strange experience in which a ghostly girl vowed that she would kill him. This show seems to have some style to it, and some humor, too. The premise of a young nobleman tormented by the supernatural reminds me of Kuroshitsuji, but this is looking much better. I think I'll be watching some more to see if this really goes anywhere.

At least three factions have plans for Oz, whose crime, for which he is liable to be cast into the "Abyss", is his "very existence". This is still not making a whole lot of sense, but manages to remain intriguing nevertheless (which must be saying something for the staff). Still, it can't go on like this indefinitely; I'm going to need some answers.

Since this show seems fairly good, but I currently have more new series on my hands than I can handle, I've decided to save it and hopefully watch it at some point in the future.

Last updated Thursday, May 21 2009. Created Thursday, April 16 2009.
Unevaluated Xenoknight [series:1995#2967]

Last updated Thursday, November 20 2008. Created Thursday, November 20 2008.

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