Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Apr 3, 2009 to Sep 25, 2009
Duration: 24 min. per episode
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or olderL represents licensing company
Score: 8.101 (scored by 55472 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
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Jun 25, 2013
Pushed aside and left broken, do you accept death in the name of saving another's life, desperately looking for pieces of yourself to confirm your existence? Knowing nothing about yourself, wanting to find out, yet scared of finding out, how do you move on? How do you protect something you once lost, in fear of losing it again, suffocating it with your loyalty and inability to let it leave your sight?
Pandora Hearts explores the story of Oz Vessalius ( or Bezarius, as I'm used to ), a boy whose life is thrown into chaos on his fifteenth birthday, at his coming-of-ceremony. The anime, I'd say, has an overarching theme of loss and self-discovery.
The Abyss is a deep, dark place where sinners are dragged into-a place that Oz stopped believing in until he was thrown in. With the discovery of a pocket watch that sings a haunting tune, strange things begin happening and Oz meets a young girl called Alice, a Chain from the Abyss with the form of a black rabbit once her suppressed power is unleashed, who is searching for her lost memories.
I won't reveal anymore. The whole charm of the anime is found in the characters and the past shrouded in mystery. Oz, Alice, and his faithful servant, Gilbert, begin their quest to search for pieces of memory that Alice is searching for.
On the surface, it looks like a normal anime. Questing for memories while defeating enemies but that's exactly where we're misled. The pieces of Alice's memory are intertwined with others', and for the most part, the plot involves flashbacks of the characters' pasts. One fragment only leads to more questions. Pandora Hearts' strongest point is its characters. The characters are never one-sided and they are so skilfully woven that we see begin to slowly see the flaws in them. Why does Oz accept everything so light-heartedly? Nothing seems to bother him at all but as we move on, we see a darkness emerge, once layered and locked away.
Despite all that, the anime retains its timely comedy, providing a light-hearted adventure for the person watching. Alice and Gilbert are constantly fighting for Oz's attention, coming up with nicknames like "Seaweed Head" and "Stupid rabbit". Oz leaves them to their own antics, only to be unwillingly dragged in and pulled from both sides. Oz, disturbingly calm about everything, with a policy to accept everything as it is because anything can happen. He has also been shown with a tendency to flirt, much like his uncle.
Alice, while meat-loving, sarcastic, tsundere-like and shows some signs of sadism, has a sweet and vulnerable side. Gilbert, while short-tempered and sensitive, is gentle and hold a fierce loyalty to Oz. The only time Alice and Gilbert cooperate with each other is when yet another interesting character, Xerxes Break slips in ( quite literally ). Break is one of those manipulative characters who believes in using others and being used. He also likes to pop out of the strangest places, but he, too, has a larger part than simply being a "minor" character. His mistress, Sharon, is a deceptively sweet-looking character who, in punishing Break, shows no hesitance.
Vincent Nightray, a man who, at times is, sweet while other times, scarily crazed and shows an alarming obsession for his older brother. Then, although he didn't have much screen time, Eliot Nightray and his attendant, Leo. Eliot was truly a crucial character who played a large part in Oz's development. There also some undertones of hinted romance but that doesn't play a large part.
The episodes passed by too fast for me to realise that I was almost at the end. Oz, as a character, peels away the protective layers he had unconsciously wrapped around himself and slowly starts to face himself. He, Alice and Gilbert have grown undeniably closer and it's time to face past demons. The mystery behind what truly happened in the past is left as a question mark and in that aspect, I believe the anime could have ended off better.
Even then, the plot did a great job. I'd say, honestly, it didn't feel like there was "evil" like in some anime, there's pointedly evil people who do the most horrible things. But in this, you slowly start to realise that things are not as they seem and that's exactly what makes this a classic watch. The plot wasn't perfect, I admit, there were certain clichés but the idea of building something with pieces of memories and at the same time, building the characters' pasts solidly, they did a wonderful job. I did cry once, at that important part of Eliot and Oz's meeting.
Moving on to the OSTs, they were perfect. I love Kajiura Yuki's music and using the English piece "Everytime You Kissed Me" by Emily Bindiger really raised the quality of the anime. The OST is one of the things that gave me goosebumps. One thing I had a problem with, though, is that it tended to become repetitive. At some point, I realised that the same OSTs were repeating and it didn't have as much impact as it should have. Even so, the OST really did help to make this a top-notch and haunting anime. The voice acting was great. There were times when it kind of slipped and you start to wonder if Oz's voice actor is a female but I think she did a really great job of voicing Oz. It was deceiving because I always thought it was a male ( except for those few times she had to scream ). The voice actors manage to bring out the feelings and the characters they are.
The animation appealed to me, but in today's standards, it hardly stands out. The animation, however, holds this certain fluidity and childishness in young characters, showing that, perhaps, the story isn't as deep as it seems and we shouldn't look too much into it. The animation remained smooth throughout so I don't think it was much of a problem.
Pandora Hearts is worth your time and effort. But I wouldn't say that it would appeal to all fans who might be more inclined to other genres. I really enjoyed it, hence the full score. It's still a great watch so give it a try! read more
Feb 7, 2010
With each of these suggestions, I refer to a particular character in the story whose struggle with loss reflects one of these patterns. This theme of loss and the struggle to regain or find acceptance is by no means a new one to either drama or anime/manga, but in Pandora Hearts it is approached in a sensitive, original, and surprisingly light-hearted, pleasing manner. Though emotionally gripping, Pandora Hearts is rarely dark and angsty, favouring quirky, likeable characters and a humourous, tongue-in-cheek storytelling style.
The XEBEC-produced art/animation quality may be somewhat lacking, but the irresistibly charming Pandora Hearts is sure to make you fall in love with its beautifully crafted story, characters, fantasy world, and music.
- most loveable, original and well-developed cast I’ve seen in a long time
- detailed, interesting “Alice in Wonderland”-themed world
- story contains few “filler” episodes and is perfectly paced, sure to leave you gasping for more
- emotional, memorable OST by .hack//SIGN & Noir (and many more) composer Yuki Kajiura
- one of those anime that has a bit of everything: drama, action, humour, even hints of romance
- sub-par art quality, rather unacceptable by today’s standards
- weak, disappointing ending; many story threads left hanging without resolution
- some unavoidably cliché moments and a protagonist who is often ineffectual and, worse, annoying in his willingness to lay down his life
- no clear antagonist in the story, though this isn’t really a problem until the very last episodes
15-year old Oz Vessalius is the typical spoiled selfish noble kid, playing pranks all day, teasing his servant and best friend Gilbert, gaining favours from his indulgent uncle Oscar. Then, on the night of his coming-of-age-ceremony, time freezes and Oz is forced into the Abyss by mysterious strangers. Trapped in this nightmarish alternate dimension, he meets a strange, devilish young girl named Alice, who is really a Chain (a sort of “monster” of the Abyss). They form a Contract: Alice decides to help Oz return to his world, while he promises to search for her missing memories. As they find out more about her, it turns out there’s a lot he doesn’t know about the past either….
The story follows a somewhat well-worn path – disaster befalls naïve youngster, he meets mysterious girl, they discover new things, make friends and beat bad guys – but the difference is that the characters who fill all the traditional roles are so original and interesting. Alice, as the heroine of the story, is refreshingly powerful and strong-willed, with a bad mouth, a meat fetish, and a wicked laugh – and a surprising sensitivity. Oz, on the other hand, is earnest and soft-hearted, though he oddly doesn’t seem to care too strongly about anything.
There are also plenty of mysteries to be solved and plot twists to be revealed. However, I wouldn’t say that the plot is the anime’s strongest point. Not quite. Most of the “plot” really has little to do with the present situation at hand and is more about exploring the characters’ pasts. In fact, almost all of the really interesting moments in the anime are actually revelations about the past. As you might expect, all this jumping back and forth between past and present, real and alternate dimensions, while fascinating, can leave one confused and overwhelmed. Lastly, I can’t neglect the fact that the ending is truly dismal. Like many anime (it seems), a promising beginning, middle and even climax is no guarantee of a satisfying ending. When you reach the final episode I’m sure you, too, will be thinking, “What? They can't leave it at that - there must be some mistake!!"
There’s no way Pandora Hearts gets anything less than full score on this one. The characters are simply enrapturing. It’s hard to pick a favourite because there are so many good choices! For starters, the designs are original, enticing, and complement the characters’ personalities well. Oz, despite being 15, has the vacant, vulnerable look of a younger boy, suggesting his innocence and fragility. Alice looks fiery and ferocious with her red jacket, demonically pointy hair, and long high-heeled boots; but her short stature and smooth, childlike features render her cute and approachable. Gilbert is astonishingly handsome, dark, and mysterious when he first appears as Raven in full black attire; as soon as his hat comes off, however, (so to speak) he becomes comical with his messy “seaweed” hair, his emotional tantrums, and his self-conscious cigarettes. Two other characters I feel deserve special mention: Xerxes Break, a silly yet understatedly dangerous character whose loose sleeves flop over his hands, whose smile is always shaped unnervingly into a V, and who wears a freaky rattling puppet-doll on his shoulder called Emily; and Vincent Nightray, who has two different-colored eyes, one yellow and one red, as if to represent his unpredictable, split personality (at times saccharinely sweet; at others cold-bloodedly cruel and deceptive).
Each character is quirky, with multiple sides to their personality. Oz occasionally shows a hyper-romantic, flirtatious side. Alice, as mentioned earlier, will do anything for meat. Gilbert has an incurable phobia of cats. Sharon, a girl who is older than she looks, likes young boys and seems to have a thing for Alice. Break is addicted to candy and other sweet things. Vincent is disturbingly obsessed with his brother. And so on.
The characters also have incredible chemistry together. Oz and Alice have this cute little "You're my man-servant, do what I say!" "Hahaha, of course Alice! (but not really!)" thing going on, with semi-romantic undertones. Oz and Gilbert, meanwhile, have an endearing "master and servant" relationship that's complicated by the fact that Gilbert looks (and is) much older than his "master" (and made hilarious by the fact that Oz can still get away with teasing him.) Naturally, Gil and Alice find themselves caught in a struggle for the affections of their master/man-servant Oz, hurling funny names at each other that soon become familiar ("Stupid rabbit!" "Seaweed hair!") - though when it comes to Break, they are united in their icy distrust of the slippery, duplicitous character.
The true strength of the characters lies in their multi-facetedness. No character in the main cast feels “all good” or “all bad.” For much of the story, there is even no clear antagonist, as each suspicious individual is shown one by one to be pure-hearted in some way. Somehow, the anime hardly suffers for this lack of “true evil,” which I view as a testament to the strength of the characters.
As for character development, the entire anime basically revolves around the characters’ individual backstories. There is nary a character in the main cast who we do not see some kind of flashback of. In a way, the characters’ pasts define who they are even more distinctly than the present action. Strangely, I found this worked very well, leading one to speculate fascinatingly about what must have happened before the main story.
Art & Animation (6/10)
By today’s standards, as well as the standards set by the rest of the anime, the art really sticks out like a sore thumb. And let me get this clear that I don’t in any way mean Jun Mochizuki’s original designs; I’m talking about the frame-by-frame art quality of the anime, which was produced by studio XEBEC. Compared to contemporaries in the same genre that I’ve been watching such as Kuroshitsuji and Nabari no Ou, the art and animation really has a lot of catching up to do. Unpolished, often with very unappealing colour palettes, and few extremely eye-catching or original backdrops, I wondered frequently why they could not have done this beautiful story justice with a higher budget. Without the charms of Mochizuki’s character designs, the art would nearly render this anime unwatchable. The opening of an anime should be its one greatest chance to dazzle and woo the audience with flashy, high-budget sequences; yet Pandora Hearts is one of the only good anime I’ve watched where the quality of the opening animation failed to impress me at all. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautifully conceived opening with wonderful music and fascinating visuals, but the animation itself is little beyond lacklustre.
Music & Voice Acting (9/10)
Yuki Kajiura’s work truly is beautiful. It’s hard to say anything bad about it. When it comes to emotional drama, suspenseful themes, heart-wrenching themes, and tragic themes, she is the master. Her English-language insert piece, "Everytime you kissed me," is a thorough success, and the ubiquitous "music box" theme she created for Pandora Hearts, "Lacie," is hauntingly memorable. But I can be nit-picky. The themes can get slightly repetitive and, if you’ve heard her previous work, it'll probably feel a little deja vu. The endings and opening, while excellent, are not extraordinarily exceptional. In the end, the one point I knocked off comes down to the music not being extremely original, just very good.
There is nothing really left to be desired from the Japanese voice acting. Everything is just as it should be. The boyish, suave Junko Minagawa (Ryoma Echizen , Ritsuka Aoyagi) is the perfect choice as Oz, while listening to Kosuke Toriumi (Yuri Lowell, Kiba Inuzuka)’s sexy voice as Gilbert is like eating chocolate ice cream, and Akira Ishida (Gaara, Kaworu Nagisa, Athrun Zala, many others) does a spectacular job as the eccentric, foppish Break (and Emily!), as usual. In all respects, a very strong cast.
Bottom line: Pandora Hearts has its share of flaws, and probably won't please absolutely everyone (action fans, why are you still here?!), but once immersed in its lovely, charming little world, its intoxication is a very, very pleasant experience. (9/10) read more
May 31, 2009
The synopsis doesn't do the story justice. Imagine being 15 and having everything and then being sucked into a world that is similar to a broken toy box where the dolls try to eat you. Thats just what Oz Bezarius goes through on his coming of age ceremony on his birthday. I won't say much more or else I could spoil something, but trust me that the story is up to par.
The art was brilliant. It's hard for me to watch an anime with bad artwork so I try to choose those with characters that are pleasing to look at. The fight scenes and magic are also very well played in this anime. I think my only complaint is not with the art-work itself, but with the quality. Having to wait each week you take what you get and sometimes the colors/etc. look dull in the fan-subs.
I love the music! This is one of the few anime that I just can't get enough of the opening theme. Parallel Hearts by Function Junction is awesome. If you have time look it up on YouTube...there are a lot of people who have done piano and accoustic versions of it that are just wonderful. I also really like the music box melody and just in general the music is great throughout. It presents the anime with a whimsical and yet forboding feel.
The characters are amazing. Theres something for everyone from the crazy and weird humored (Break) to the broody and mysterious (Raven) to the over-powered and short tempered girl (Alice) to the flirty kid who has a lot more pain hidden than you'd think (Oz) and even the girl that hardly talks but knows how to take down anyone (Echo).
Enjoyment and Overall both get a perfect 10. This is probably the first anime in a long time that I just can't get enough of. Though the entire series isn't out yet after you watch a few episodes you'll be sitting on your computer each Saturday waiting for the next one to come out too! read more
Jul 2, 2010
Why do I say this?
There are many interesting plot threads and ideas that are introduced at various points in the story, but they are almost never followed through with or they’re executed in a way that, frankly, makes them boring. For example, when we learn about the four dukedoms of Pandora, I get the sense that there’s a lot of history and political machinations going on in the background but it hardly ever gets explored, instead focusing on the development of our main heroes, Oz and Alice (which doesn’t sound that bad, but more on that later). Then, we are introduced to the main antagonists, the Baskervilles, who seem really cool and threatening at first, but when we meet them, are like Team Rocket without the silly speeches. In other words, they’re there just to have antagonists in the show and don't do a whole lot to further the story.
The cherry on top was the notably craptastic anime-only ending. I have never even read the manga and I could tell the ending was shoddily put together at the last minute, just to have some sort of conclusion, but honestly, I’d rather have an open ending over what they did here. For fear of being too spoilery, I will just say that the writers thought to throw in a bunch of generic Chains to provide some sort of “ultimate challenge” for the protagonists, but as a result, it comes off as completely random and badly-written.
So let’s move on to the protagonists beginning with Oz. Oz is a lovely young fellow – cheerful, caring, loyal, and brave. However, he’s apathetic, taking everything in stride even when he’s faced with some terrible Chains in the Abyss. It’s completely unrealistic and makes it hard for anyone to connect with him. How can you care about a character who, well, doesn’t care? To his credit, he does get some character development but it either never follows through (e.g. his father issues) or it takes the form of someone lecturing him (this is probably more the fault of the writers than an actual character flaw, though).
Then, there’s Alice, Pandora Heart’s main tsundere. She doesn’t end up being nearly as interesting as she first presents herself to be, although her little quirks make her more endearing than Oz, such as her insistence that Oz is her manservant and her fondness for meat (LOL since when does a rabbit like meat so much?). Still, I’m afraid to say she doesn’t have much depth to her, the most being her desire to regain all the fragments of her memory. The rest of the time, she’s relegated to being a source of humour and/or romantic tension with Oz or, in her B-Rabbit form, being the series own deus ex machina.
There are some notable characters – namely Gil, Break, and Vincent – who receive some notable time and developing on top of interesting histories and colourful personalities, but they’re supporting characters who must eventually step back to let the main plot take center stage.
As for the animation, overall, it’s poor. There are some nice designs floating around, but when it comes down to making everything move, it’s lacking, especially for such a recent and (relatively) short series. I’ve seen longer and older series with equal or better animation, to be honest. I swear, I have never seen so much floating hair and clothes in anime in my life – it was like a gust of wind went by and the animators simply took a single frame from that and kept it for the entire sequence while keeping the mouths moving. Even in the opening sequence (which are nearly always of high quality), there’s a shot of Oz running that looks odd and clunky.
Most reviews will also point out the lovely music, but then it’s by Kajiura Yuki, so that’s a given. If you’ve heard Kajiura’s music before, you’ll recognize her style almost immediately, so whether that’s a positive or a negative is up to you. For me, it’s generally a positive since she pulls through with another solid soundtrack, but personally, I’d like to see her try something different from what she usually composes. For Pandora Heart’s purposes, though, it’s good listening material here, although certain tracks tend to get overplayed. Voice acting was pretty solid, so no complaints here.
So overall, Pandora Hearts began as a very promising series with a lot of great ideas that could have continued being great until the end if executed properly. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen and the series falls flat on its face by the halfway point. I would say either read the manga (which I’m told is better?) or find another fantasy series. read more
Apr 17, 2011
The show starts out incredibly strong, but its strength doesn't last long at all. The overlying problem with the show is that it doesn't seem to know what direction it wants to go in. You are initially presented with a dark and gothic horror that almost immediately makes way for super deformed art and bright, flashing colours. The show remains this way, tying together ridiculous anime tropes and scenes right next to its dark and gritty storyline. Alice quickly moves from a creepy and dangerous entity to a glutton and comic relief character. I think a bit more focus in either area would have been fantastic, but as it is Pandora Hearts can be disorientating and very dissonant.
The characters are great. Oz is a typical shounen lead, complete with a tendency to risk himself for others that borders on suicidal. It's quite stereotypical, but not to the point that I hated whenever he appeared on screen, and he at least presented himself in this honest way for the majority of the show. However the other characters are fantastic. Gilbert is written extremely well and undergoes a lot of development throughout the show, and Xerxes Break eventually ends up as a complete scene stealer as soon as he is given even a hint of his backstory. Alice, however, never quite moves past her brutal introduction and despite being the center of the entire story she quickly fades in and out of obscurity for episodes at a time.
The soundtrack from Yuki Kajiura is extremely strong, and has several pieces that match up to her great scores from Kara no Kyoukai. Some tracks are often described as repetitive, but I had no issue with this myself. I do think that a couple of times a song choice for a scene may have been less then amazing, but the music itself was very good.
This leads me to the ending - there are massive plot points that never get resolved and I wish I had known that going in. For such a great premise and beginning so many things slip away through the story that it is really kind of infuriating. The ending of the series is anime only, and like many other poor anime adaption endings you will be able to pick up the exact moment where the story veers off. Anime only ends can be done right - but this one wasn't. Nothing was answered, and the mysteries that Oz and Alice often mentioned resolving were simply ignored until the end.
What is the biggest shame is how much more could have been fit into 25 episodes, where instead the writers wasted absurd amounts of time with super deformed art and typical anime filler scenarios. There are many plot points that are deemed as important to the main characters that never go anywhere and end up being a complete waste of screen time. The most infuriating part comes towards the end of the show, where you should be spending your time getting your answers to the questions you've built up, an entire episode is instead spent on showing everybody drunk. Put simply I kind of wish the series had cut some of the bullshit, a lot of the comedy moments were poor and completely out of place.
Pandora Hearts is a fun ride and there are some FANTASTIC moments, but ultimately your destination ends up being a hole in the ground that goes straight to the Abyss of Anime-Ending-Only Hell. There are no side trips to Resolution or Answers, you just go straight into the pit. And since I've already visited, I'll try to warn you not to. read more
Jun 20, 2010
Good beginning. This series starts with really nicely developed foundations. It seems very promising; we get to know Oz Vessalius, your typical young hero-wannabe, but as soon as Alice shows up, things start getting interesting. Oz ends up in the twisted realm of “Abyss”, only to be saved by the mad rabbit, however nothing comes free of charge. And nothing is the same when he goes back to his world.
And here I ask: when and why did it go downhill? What happened to the fascinating, dark mood this show kept in the beginning? When did it become a cliché-filled shônen adventure with hardly any development overall? I had high hopes for the series and kept watching, expecting it to, I don’t know, improve? It does, actually, get better right in the middle, where we finally receive some character development, the story progresses and most importantly – some of the most important questions are answered. But then it worsens yet again. The rest feels forced and the series stops at such a moment that it leaves you with huge disappointment. Why is it over so suddenly? It desperately calls for a continuation, it does.
Setting, though, is where the series excels. True, this whole “Alice in Wonderland”-hype might be getting a tad annoying, however “Pandora Hearts” adapts the theme perfectly. It is a warped world, nevertheless it doesn’t feel that sickly abstract. The “Chains” are yet another embodiment of human fears – and so is the “Abyss” itself. It doesn’t feel like the kind of place you would want to end up in, precisely. Watching a fantasy series set in such scenery feels just refreshing. The references to the original “Alice” are subtle and often misleading, which is also accomplished very well.
Something is missing. The characters look wonderfully colourful and detailed at first, the surroundings are promising, but then the quality becomes an issue. With each episode, more and more flaws can be noticed. Even fight scenes tend to become dull, since those often follow the pattern of slashing, cutting, slashing and a little bit more of slashing. The worst thing is, though, how the vividness and energy of characters is lost through a dull palette. Who, in the world, robbed those poor guys of their colours, making them look just boring? What appears pretty – the hair does, oh, and Sharon’s dresses. Good job, but that’s it. Why does Oz look even more boring than he actually is, I ask? The series has a completely washed-out look which pains me a lot, since I was really looking forward to enjoying the graphics. (Apparently, the quality in the few special episodes outruns the TV animation a lot. Too bad it was rushed, too bad.)
Yuki Kajiura does an outstanding job capturing the magic of the setting in “Pandora Hearts”. The music itself is simply excellent and stands out in the series’ overall look. It is charming, at other times has a mysterious tone to it, or dramatic, fitting well with what is going on the screen. Never exaggerated. Although the score might not appear anything exceptional in the beginning, the viewer soon begins to realise that it without it, the Victorian atmosphere couldn’t be captured as good. The soundtrack is equally pleasant to the ear while not watching the show, too.
Voice-acting is quite well-done. Junko Minagawa does a good job playing the part of Oz, Ayako Kawasumi is a fine Alice, and Ishida Akira excels as always in his role (even though the character himself is not very likable). The seiyû operate their voices perfectly, creating very emotionally-convincing cast and pretty much making up for the flaws of the characters themselves. Here, I can’t complain.
The opening and ending sequences are nothing special in this case. Cute songs go along with the animation (the first ending, in particular, is full of annoying spoilers, so watch out), however they are not notable enough to make one feel like spending that additional time watching both OP and ED. They simply don’t get in the way.
This is exactly where the series’ biggest weakness lies – its character cast which is particularly weak, boring and cliché. Starting from the main character, aforementioned Oz, it becomes extremely tiresome and the characters don’t develop much. Oz is a good definition of a typical shônen main lead. He is brave, adventurous, protective of his friends and clumsy when it comes to love. He also has family issues to make him more of a dramatic rebel, and a whiner for a side-kick. Oz’s actions throughout the series are easily predictable and more than often he falls into banal traumas, being the kind of person who wants to save the day, become a hero and protect his princess. Sorry, this might be going well with the story, but as a character Oz is a failure.
Gilbert is, fortunately, a different story. He changes a lot – his personality becomes completely unlike, save for a few specific features that are necessary for some progress in the story (no, his loyalty to Oz is NOT a plot device for fangirl issues). Contrary to the first male lead, he keeps calm and generally stays rather dependable, when it comes to satisfying the fans. His actions certainly aren’t very surprising, as it all revolves around Oz anyway; but at least he did not make me want to murder someone whenever he appeared on the screen. Alas, one more thing must be brought up here as well, namely – Gilbert being a magnet for fans. No-one can deny his typically attractive traits (cold and introverted chain-smoker, sorry), but hey, haven’t I already said something about stereotypes in this series?
The creation of Alice turns out to be a disappointment after a few episodes. She starts off as a madwoman, a crazy sadist who cares little about who or what she might destroy while immersing herself in bloody, vicious fights. But Alice is a tsundere character – and being a genuine tsundere in “Pandora Hearts”, she can’t possibly stay this way throughout the series. An attractive, moody glutton - which she ends as – obviously arouses the interest of others, and soon the relationship between her and Oz becomes a major problem in the story. Yes. Alice, the wild Chain who only has any regard for herself, is a crying little girl inside. I can’t deny the charm of tsundere characters, but this just doesn’t seem right.
No other character really deserves any special words of praise here, sadly. There’s the hyped “Mad Hatter” Break, a particularly annoying it’s-a-secret type of pretty boy; a cast of supposedly evil manifestations of malevolence; and others who exist merely for the purpose of creating a background for the main leads. There are also Sharon and Jack who have the potential to make great characters, but are mostly neglected or idealised; there is a representative of the rare male tsundere specimen, Elliot. And there’s Vincent who is much creepier than he would normally be supposed to. They all might seem colourful at first, however inside they are not as interesting as they appear.
To be honest, this series is quite boring. All the big talk about how different and remarkable it is, and what I see is an average fantasy adventure with mediocre art and particularly annoying character cast. But it has potential – which had been wasted, unfortunately. If only the series developed in a different manner, maybe I would have been able to enjoy it more. For now, I can’t say anything special about it. Felt as if I was rewatching something else, just another episode of already known series, and it really does not bring much into the genre. It certainly isn’t bad, not at all, yet it’s still nothing extraordinary.
Having complained a lot about the flaws in “Pandora Hearts”, I still can’t criticise the series as a whole. It has its drawbacks, just like any other show, and pluses; most notably the incredible atmosphere of a well-designed, interesting world. The one thing I simply don’t understand is how overrated it is becoming – all because of the fuss made over new adaptations of “Alice in Wonderland” which are now apparently inspiring people all over the world, while years ago it was still an eerie fairytale, more of a madman’s dream. The new versions, however, go well with the tastes of nowadays’ viewers who know what they want to see, but expect the shows to demonstrate a certain level of creativity and innovation as well. It kills those shows. “Pandora Hearts” is such a series with much power and weak realisation - a great concept trapped in a mediocre, cliché-filled box.
May 30, 2009
Pandora Hearts is a anime/manga that is completely unique, seriously I've read over 200 manga's (i haven't added them all to my list on this site btw) and searched through hundreds more to find one similar to this and I can't find one that matches the suspence, mystery, action, and down right awesomeness this anime offers.
I have to admit that the first episode is kind of confusing. So many things are introduced that some people i guess, can't handle the new world that this anime introduces. But as the anime goes on you start wanting more, so many questions so little clues, and the answers you slowly get not only make your jaw drop to the floor, but add so many more questions that need to be answered. (seriously it makes you want to learn Japanese so you can watch the next episode that much sooner) This anime really sparks your curousity. The very characters in this anime seem to be a mystery all themselves, I mean the first line of the anime is "Oz Bezarius, your sin is, your very existence" and then you at home watching this think "What the heck? That's just a kid, what could be so horrible about his existence that he is thrown into a prison for the worst criminals out there?" And the questions don't end there.
The art is, just like in the manga, so beautifully done it's like looking into a window of our own past. This world resembles one from the Victorian era in europe or later, with dukes, and kings, and parties more like balls, with castles and mansions so wonderous it makes you feel like you've gone make in time. The charaters of this story are also drawn fabulously with their very characteristics drawn into their beings. It doesn't take you long to remeber who's who in this anime. (which is a problem i've had in the past with other animes, and also having more characters with western names also helps!)
The music in this anime is just great! Not only are the opening and closing themes catchy and memorable, the battle music and just any time music gives this anime a more present time sound and feel. The characters voices match the characters themselves perfectly and are not annoying in anyway,(i hate when characters have annoying voices they are a total turn off) even the chains (creatures of the Abyss/monsters) voices sound match them perfectly.
I'm trying my best not to spoil anything about the characters so I'm only saying their charateeristics, but if you feel like I spoiled something for you I deeply apologize.
Oz Bezarius- fifteen years old and future duke of the Bezarius household. He's kind of childish, for a boy who is now having his coming-of-age ceremony. He trust others easily and cares about others a bit to much and maybe doesn't care enough for himself. He loves his little sister Ada and loves to tease his servant/friend gil who is one year younger than him. He is very kind but his mysterious past gives him a bit of a dark side. He is a character who you easily love and is the "hero" of this story.
Gil- Oz's most loyal servant and friend. He tries his best in all things he does and is deeply ashamed of his failures. His biggest fear is cats and helps Oz get away from his duties and play around and explore.
Alice- the mysterious chain whose true form looks so human that you tend to forget that she isn't. Her other names include: Bea Rabbit, black rabbit, and most famously The Blood stained Black Rabbit. Her power is unlike any other chain. She is a girl who speaks her mind and doesn't let Oz forget that he is her servant and should feel honoured that he is contracted with her. Her favourite foods include meat, meat and more meat and to her the world is her playground. Her past in one of the main points and mystery of this story and what her memories hold are the answers to many questions.
Sharon- a seemingly young girl who Oz meets at his coming of age ceremony. Her cute mannerism and charming smile make you believe she is no one of importance, but her warning she leaves Oz with makes you wonder who in the world is she?
Break- a strange man with a doll on hisleft shoulder named Emily. He is Sharon's servant, who's odd manner makes him more than meets the eye.
This is just a few of the character's in this story but they are the ones I feel are most necessary to know about before watching the show.
I know this review is pretty long (not inteaded) but I hope I have given you a better idea about how amazing and unique this anime is. (i mean i like unique things right?) And if you are not satisfied or this review doesn't help you i deeply apologize. But if you want more and are not satified with the 8 (soon 9) episodes available. I highly recommend the manga and if you want more then just the 17 chapters available in english, message me about the next twenty chapters where I can tell you where the raws and their english translations are. Again I highly recommend this anime I know the more popular it is the sooner an english dub will be made. read more
Jun 4, 2011
I feel like something is still missing after 25 episodes. If I was to delete the few last episode from my mind and write this review, I would have been able put a way better score. I often say : When the Ending is bad the whole thing becomes bad. This 'rule' apply to Pandora Hearts. In fact... it's like it is made for this show.
Pandora Hearts had a lot of potential !
The First Episodes were mysterious and I had a lot of question on my mind. I have to say many of them are still unanswered or I feel like the given answer is lame. [WATCH OUT FOR POSSIBLE SPOILER!] Oz sins was his very existence ? Why ?... Because his father never wanted him ? So he send him into Abyss ? And Also, he send him into Abyss because The Will wanted him ? Is that me or that's a lot of Coincidence !?![END OF POSSIBLE SPOILER] I was really disappointed and that's only one example of the Weird Answer. Somehow I feel like the 'Tragedy of Sabrie' is also REALLY Lacking. It was mysterious and interesting and that's a good thing but as a writer you have to answer the questions in the End. Pandora Hearts didn't.
I get the main idea... I think but I had to 'Guess' many of them from what we see. I would have like to know more in details what happened and more importantly, the WHY of those event. The Baskerville killed all those people following Glen's order but why ? Why did he order that in the first place ?
Maybe I should read the Manga but, seriously... Do I want to reach the same ending ?
The Ending was ridiculous. Was it the lack of a real enemy the whole time ? In the End, you reach a point where there's no real enemy and maybe that was the problem with the whole story. They couldn't find a way to end it so they ended it this lame way by making Oz's Father and his chain the 'Temporary' Bad Guy.
I still would 'recommend' it for the interesting plot but sadly it was rushed and the ending solve nothing at all. Oz say it, in the end. He said he would still search to 'solve' the mysteries. That's why I said, I would believe if someone told me there was another season. Sadly, there is no such thing and this... This was the Real Ending !
Moving on to the Art. This looked like some of the First Naruto Episode. I remember them... Do you ? They were 'OK' and it was years ago ! Pandora Hearts isn't that old and the Graphic are horrible. Some scene were good but other... they were horrible. I'm thinking of the Scene at the End where he sees 'Griffon' his father's Chains painting or something on the wall. He's all shocked staring at it. Seriously... His eyes are juste getting 'BIG - SMALL - BIG - SMALL' and his hair darker on his forehead. But Still, I can deal with a Style that look more 'Old' or 'Out of date'. That really isn't the thing that screw thing us for the Show.
I have nothing to say against the Music. The Intro was good. The second ending felt a Little out of place but it was Ok. The show wasn't all dark either so it's ok. The Soundtrack were good. Kajiura Yuki's music is always good and was going great with the show. However, the song were nothing new. I remember the song from 'Mai-Hime' and they sound really similar. I feel like I can hear 'Mezame' everywhere in those almost. I think the only song from her that are slightly different are those in Xenosaga. But this review isn't about her music ! Eh-eh.
How can you make people love character they don't know and don't understand. I love Break and... Hey, that's the only Character we were given real answer with ! Oz is annoying. Nothing to say about him really. He's the main Character. He keeps saying that he doesn't care if he dies. Then why should I care ? Is he really important ? He doesn't get anything at all. To me he was just a selfish young boy. And, Good News everyone ! His Fate is still unsure cuz, he still have the Symbol on his chest and he will surely dies when it's full even if Gil helps him slowing the process down. Maybe, that something would have been something good to add in the ending or something...
Alice was a good character... until they made her do some totally random stuff. I get it she's suppose to be the Tsundere character but, seriously ?... Her character became ridiculous at time and then it's hard to take her seriously. Also, I wish her background would have been put to light more than that with Jack and eventually, leading to the whole Tragedy thing and then... To Oz. The pieces are still messed up for the story it's no different for the Character. Vincent and Gilbert are also totally in the darkness for me. To me, Vincent is still a murder. He killed Alice and asked the Will to save Gil and him and Gilbert doesn't care about what happened ? How did he get hurt like that anyway ? I wish we knew more about them. I felt like they were somehow important.
And the character that really needed more airtime... Glen ? and probably, The Will. They tried to make us think.. 'those are the bad guys' without giving us any real answer as 'Why ?' and then.. 'Why not ?' Glen is the Bad guy. He made the Tragedy happen. We barely know why we barely know what happened between Jack and him. Why calling Jack a Hero ? He died without doing nothing... no ?
I've read somewhere someone saying the Pandora Hearts has the best character development and all. Makes my day. I would have believe it but... The Ending rushed thing for the Character also and makes me still wonder stuff about them so no... The Character are incomplete as well.
Did I enjoy Pandora Hearts ?... I did. Yes. I did. I was hooked. Every episode, I told myself that's the Last One for today and I still watched another one after ! Yes, I enjoyed it but as I was reaching the End, somehow... I wasn't that interested in it anymore. I would still recommend it... and I will probably add the Manga to my 'I want to read that..' List for some other time.
However... The Rushed and Lame ending force me to throw...
Maybe I had expectation too high on the ending and got disappointed by my own fault...
Who knows ! read more
Jul 12, 2009
I rated the Story of Pandora Hearts a full 10 because the series simply has one of the most amazing stories i've seen so far in anime. The story is well written with multiple twists and the cliffhangers at the end of each episode really get you on the edge of your seat waiting for the next episode. The story also has some elements from Alice in Wonderland but they are all modified to fit the anime story.
Pandora Hearts is drawn and animated quite well and i quite like the Victorian style of buildings and clothing. Still the animation is not even nearly perfect but has improved a bit from the first episode. Overall the art is good but nothing special.
The voice actors and soundtrack to this anime are well picked and fit very well. I would've given it a 10 as well but the new ending theme let me down a bit, it does not fit the quite dark theme of the anime.
If you like Alice in Wonderland you will find some familiar characters in Pandora Hearts such as the Mad Hatter and Cheshire Cat. Even though they are not like in the original book, they still share some personality traits with their original counterparts. The main characters and their relationships have been well designed as well, i'm sure there's pretty much all character types in this anime from tsundere to the silent, emotionless type.
Because of mystery surrounding this series and the exciting twists i really enjoy Pandora Hearts very much. I've not been disappointed with any of the episodes so far and it just seems to get better all the time.
Despite a few minor mistakes, this anime is one of the best, if not THE best anime series this year. Not all people are going to enjoy Pandora Hearts but i sure do, and i recommend checking it out. It gets better after the few first confusing episodes :) read more
Jan 4, 2010
I am getting ahead of myself.
Story: If you like good story and very little fillers, you might enjoy this one too.
The setting is gloomy and sometimes alot more horrifying than the characters' reactions indicate. Still the characters try to have fun and take it the best they can, which mostly works out, luckily.
There is not much else to say without spoilers. Moving on.
Characters: Xerxes Break and Gilbert Nightray are well-done and evolve throughout the series. Alot of background story gets revealed bit by bit, making it incredibly fun to watch those two grow. Break spices up the series with his appearance and behaviour, causing some laughs and headshaking, but definitely not in a bad way.
Oz and Alice sometimes feel like a lost couple and other episodes just remind me of Ai Yori Aoshi, as sick as that might sound. Alice's character development is deep and, like most other things in the series, pieced together in a giant mosaic. Oz on the other hand seems like an immature brat, there to fill the role of the protagonist, because no one else would take it.
The villains in general pose a good change in pace and add to a great plot, and you got many, the Baskervilles, the Will of the Abyss and even some from the heroes' own ranks, each with their own goals.
Now why did I give the characters a 5, I seem to be praising them too much for that.... well, so many characters want to be told in painful detail, that leads to confusion and for a 25 episode anime you should set a limit somewhere. I only pointed out some good parts, but there are just as many bad, if not more.
Artwork and Animation: The animations were pretty and reminded of Get Backers at times, especially with the characters getting small and chubby, which adds alot to the comedy. Apart from that, at times the scenes were a little static, but beautiful still. Artwork was really good and made the watch worthwhile.
Sound and Music: Especially the music felt a little like .hack//sign, and was powerful and beautiful. There is nothing to moan about here, I can only say, it fit the show very well.
Summarizing and last complaints: Does Pandora Hearts really fit a 7? Or the Characters really a 5? I guess you have to see for yourself.
I loved all of it up to about episode 22. Then it quickly came to an end, leaving me unsatisfied and with the lack of a showdown that fit the tension buildup from the past dozen episodes. I truly believe, if someone had thought about what they were doing there, and extended Pandora Hearts to 30 episodes, they could have concluded with a -bam- instead of a tiny bell, finishing many of the little plotlines that seem to be continued in the manga at least. I was just very disappointed, because I liked the plot, I liked the humor and even most characters, but the ending did not live up to the first two thirds of the show. read more
Oct 8, 2013
Plus some things are a bit unclear to me.
But fine. My opinion; Pandora Heart is a good anime, with a sense of humor and it makes you curious. I recommand the anime, but I also recommend the makers of it to make a second season with some more explaining, Alice and Oz's faith. If Alice finds all her memories back and such. It's just.. unfinished.
I hope people agree with me. read more
Jul 3, 2009
Pandora hearts is one of the most ORIGINAL animes i've seen so far and i have seen many. The attention to detail is very sharp like the clothing and plot. If you haven't read the manga then i suggest you do, it tells u everything from episodes so far with a few spoilers. But the anime itself follows the manga very very closely and giving the same manga titles as the anime titles. The story of Alice and Oz's adventuress outbreak of discovery, pain and realisation is immense and addictive leaving me curious at the end of each episode. Even though several things like memory loss and contractors were seen in a couple of animes, but adding the originality and mystery is definately what makes this anime worth watching. And this is definately a anime for everyone who likes, a bit of comedy, mystery and adventure but even if you dont atleast read the manga since this series is what i think the best anime released at spring fall 09. read more
Dec 27, 2009
Jul 9, 2011
Technically speaking the artwork for the first few issues of the manga is amateur with irregular proportions, awkward facial expressions, and relatively simple backgrounds and designs; however, since Jun Mochizuki (the creator) was just starting out as a mangaka that is to be expected. By issue 15 (around a year after the manga’s release) her artwork is equal to her contemporaries. Her ability to convey emotion, use of continuity and character designs is where her strength as an artist and a writer truly shines. Characters in the series often say one thing, but think or mean something completely different and Mochgizuki-sensei is able to effectively show what the character might be feeling rather then what he or she might be saying through various gestures and facial expressions which creates a beautiful sense of atmosphere, personality and emotion. Also bear in mind that Mochizuki-sensei, like many female mangaka of shonen series, draws many of her characters in a very bishonen style (as a female reader I cannot complain), so just be wary if you are the kind of reader who is bothered by bishonen men in a shonen series.
Another potential flaw of the series for some viewers/readers is the fact that, like Death Note, no one ever stops talking. Pandora Hearts is not a series that you can just pick-up and start reading or watching at random; it has a progressive, complex storyline that is riveted with dialogue and I would recommend reading/watching the series more then once in order to fully understand and appreciate the story. However, I caution the anime only watchers that due to the intriguingly developed plot and characters the 25 episode anime series barely reaches the surface of the story only covering the first 32 issues of the manga before catching-up to the manga thus forcing the anime series to end just as its starting. Because of this the anime suffers and is barely even able to enter truly compelling aspects of the series making the anime more of an introduction or trailer to the series rather then full series, Pandora Hearts is a series that absolutely requires you to read the manga in order to fully enjoy. Luckily, aside from the final three episodes which come off as pointless, lazy and barely watchable, the anime remains relatively faithful to the manga and free of fillers (thankfully), which makes it quite easy to get into the manga afterwards.
The animation itself is nothing special. It is rather mediocre for an anime series made in 2009 especially in comparison to series such as Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood (2009) or Black Butler (2008) which were released roughly around the same time (then again comparing Xebec to anything by Aniplex is like comparing cheese to the Holy Grail, so the cheaper animation style is to be expected). Aside from a few instances of stuff characters and backgrounds with nothing more then moving mouths or frames, the anime doesn’t fail to capture the more subtle expressions and gestures of the characters that Mochigizuki-sensei so skilfully produced in the manga. Despite being a Shonen series Pandora Hearts (both manga and anime) doesn’t have the usual amount of action you would expect from its genre, especially in the earlier episodes/issues. Nevertheless the action portions of the series of both the anime and manga are interesting and engaging. The manga scenes are drawn so the reader can understand the situation and can occasionally produce some truly astonishing imagery, while creating a dramatic atmosphere that can evoke an emotional response when desired which is successfully recreated in the anime series.
Despite the low production value of the anime series, the addition of voice actors and dramatic music is used effectively to feelings of action, humour and drama in many ways the manga cannot. As of yet, a dub of Pandora Hearts has not been released so I have no comments regarding the English voice actors however, most of the seiyu are top notch at portraying their respective characters in an effective manner. Junko Minagawa successfully conveys the childlike innocence, and damaged disposition of Oz Vessalius. Ayako Kawasumi is able to capture the tomboyish, brash, yet fragile nature of Alice. Toriumi Kousuke is able to successful portray Gilbert’s overly protective, anxious attitude while still maintaining the sullen, attractive, loyal personality that makes the fan girls squeal with glee. Hanazawa Kana is able to capture both the sweet and terrifying aspects of Sharon’s character, and the legendary seiyu Ishida Akira masterfully portrays the humorous, carefree, sly, dangerous nature of Xerxes Break. There is also a wide range of secondary characters such as Elliot, Leo, Echo, Vincent and the Baskervilles whose voice actors tend to be hit or miss. Some voice actors such as renowned Jun Fukuyama (most famous for playing Lelouch from Code Geass) brilliantly portrays the chilling, emotional disturbed character of Vincent Nightray. However, some voice actors such as Hirofumi Nojima as Elliot Nightray and Akeno Watanabe as Leo fail to effectively convey the personality and quirks that make the characters so enjoyable to read in the manga.
The series is an excellent balance between tragedy and light heartedness which makes it all the more enjoyable and I was personally surprised I enjoyed the series as much as I did. The characters are the highlight of the series for me, every character has some sort of personal flaw or past issue that influences and impacts their current actions and assists in their development. For fear of spoilers I will not reveal too much, however I will say that the first impressions you get of the characters will either be wrong or they will change later on in the series. I find that the characters react to situations and develop more like real people then regular manga/anime characters do which makes them all the more relatable and enjoyable. I also enjoy the Alice in Wonderland motif present throughout the series. Mochigizuki-sensei integrates characters, plots and themes from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland into her own story thus creating personalities, plot points, and weapons in ways that are neither absurdly surreal like the in Dragon’s Lair II (apologises to fans of the series) nor overly whimsical like the Disney adaptation of the story but clever, innovative and sometimes dark ways. Overall Pandora Hearts is well developed, emotional satisfying series that has a progressive, complex plot with surprising innovative characters and some dark, violent turns and interesting twists that do not seem forced or contrived. Despite the flaws in the anime series, I feel that it is a great introduction to the series and well worth checking out. Nevertheless, the true heart of the story lies in the manga and is definitely one underrated series worth checking out. I give the anime series a 6/10 for providing a great introduction to the series, great voice actors, no fillers, mediocre animation, and a terrible ending. I give the manga and series as a whole 8.5/10 for outstanding character development, attractive artwork, emotional response, and complex storyline.
Feb 10, 2011
The curse of the unfinished manga may be in it.
To be quite honest, if the only mistake of Pandora Hearts was having an open ending due to the manga not being finished I wouldn't have given such a low rating to it. Let's just say that the open (and bad) ending was the cherry on the top.
Oz Bezarius, son of a nobleman is about to come of age and thus, a ceremony to celebrate this fact will be held in a mansion that hides many secrets behind it. While exploring outside the place, Oz starts to see, in his mind, a disturbed girl who is in a room full of toys. Still confused about what he saw, the young man returns to the mansion and the ritual starts. When the ceremony is about to finish, Oz finds himself surrounded by mysterious people who want to send him to the Abyss, a place said to be a prison in where creatures called Chains will take the bad guys to places from which they can't escape.
The boy ends up being sent to the Abyss and there he meets with the girl he saw before. He finds out that her name is Alice, a Chain and she tells him she is the only way for him to get out of that cursed place. In order to do that he needs to seal a contract which consists on lending his body to the Chain. Oz agrees to it and together with Alice, the Black Rabbit, they leave the Abyss only to find themselves 10 years in the future in front of three people who were just about to go rescue him.
Sharon, Xerxes Break and Raven work for Pandora, a group of people who hunts wild Chains and Chains that have signed a contract with humans (called Illegal Contractors). Upon finding out that Oz made a deal with B-Rabbit they decide to take them to Pandora's Headquarters. Before they can do that, however, they are attacked by a Chain and are saved by Alice. The girl then, reveals that she only wants to find her lost memories that are shattered throughout the world. Believing that these memories might be related to a tragedy that took place 100 years ago, Alice and Oz are sent in a journey to find out more about Alice's past.
While this sounds promising, as far as story goes, very little happens after this. And this basically summarizes the 4 first episodes. After that we have very little development overall. Lots of episodes are filled with information, that in the end turns up useless. If the story wouldn't be finished in the anime anyway then it might as well have been compressed into 12 or 13 episodes. Watching 25 episodes only to get nothing in the end gave out a feeling of a huge waste of time.
There are some good points to the series, however. The problem is that they walk hand in hand with counterpoints. The main characters are well developed, even though the feeling I had was that they were developed to no purpose in the end. The soundtrack is from Kajiura Yuki, which is enough to know that we aren't dealing with crappy stuff here. Unfortunately, Kajiura's excellence was put to a bad use. The songs are repetitive and used in wrong moments, showing that more important than a good composition is a good sound direction. The art ranges from beautiful to average and even the many references to Alice in the Wonderland present in the show add up for nothing.
Up to a point it was enjoyable watching Pandora Hearts, but as the end drew closer and nothing happened to help clarify the main points I felt kinda annoyed for having watched it at all. The lack of respect from the studios is becoming chronic and Pandora Hearts ends up being another anime on an already overcrowded list with shows that could have been something but turns out average due to bad production. read more
Jun 16, 2010
And with this story, it spans motion media: like notably Disney 1951 color animation film and later this year 2010 Tim Burton version of Alice (here we call Alice in Horrorland! LOL)
Speaking of childhood and movie experience, time for my review on my experience with Xebec anime adaption of Pandore Hearts.
For short intro, Pandora Hearts is create by mangaka Mochizuki Jun; and the manga is base on Alice in Wonderland with the only thing is that: Alice is not the main lead, though she is the main female lead.
The story is about Oz Vessalius, the heir of the Vessalius Dukedom who going to become 15 and is undergo a ceremony to celebrate his coming age. Unfortunately, his little party was crash by the Basketville Dukedom. So he was send to the Abyss (something like the deepest level in hell) for his 'so-call sins' for out of no reason. Down there, he got out with the help of Black Rabbit Alice. As she also want to got out to find the fragment of her past memory.
Just as i start watching it, i happen to compare another anime/manga which somehow similar to Pandora: That's Nabari no Ou. Here's why:
-The main character is a helpless whimp, a plot device
-They are searching something together with the other main lead
-Supporting character are powerful character, the main character is a weakling
And luckily, Pandora is not another Nabari.
The story plot in Pandora is not device driven, but character driven. At the start of the series, you were introduce mostly the basic in Pandora: the Abyss, the 4 Noble Dukedom, Chain. But as the series goes, you were introduce even more of the character. Plus, you find out that mostly the character that Oz come across are some how tie in to the most important event that was set way back ago. Means you will get fragment by fragment, pieces by pieces from the character back stories and put them together in your head. It can be annoying and confusing, but you will start questioning what is going on. That's Pandora strong point but also one of their weakness, because mostly these character you seen are involved and then later come and gone. You might forget the last character you seen and focusing the new one. So pay attention if you don't want to get mess up.
The character in Pandora were a least better than Nabari, actually the main lead. Oz from start was a happy go lucky fellow, accept what was here now; with a fake smile. He was a useless whimp from start but starting a least episode 19, 20 that's where FINALLY he become a real main character, changing from motion less device to a moving device. Of course he couldn't done it alone to get here, you also get other like Gil, Sharon, Break and other. But for Break, though he just a supporting character, but he play out being a very fun making but yet wise with some past agenda character. I also like seiyuu Ishida Akira how he make Break a fun looking man. One of my favorite character in Pandora. Other i find completely annoying and needless like Oz uncle, and Alice; the character i though is gonna be cool but yet annoy. Though Kawasumi Ayako put a good work on Alice voice role but her character felt like only knows how to bitch around that she is great and powerful (Sorry, no offense), but she is powerful and cool too. Mostly when you come across the series; you find some of the character from the classic Alice in Wonderland are being stylize by the hand of Mochizuki-sensei. The Rabbit, Alice, Mad Hatter, Cheshire Cat, by so far is the character i know from the classic Alice that are related or appear in a different form.
And overall on the character, only i see Oz who have good change on his personalty while the rest are just taking a few step for change.
Visual presentation for Pandora should be vital because we talk about 'English Gothic Visual', something like Kuroshisuji. Mochizuki-sensei was able pull up the 'light version' of Kuroshisuji in the manga, but Xebec was able to pull those pretty visual in it. From the character clothes, Chain, even the house was good enough presented here. Is like 'Alice in Fantasy-Manga-land' unlike Tim Burton version.
Visually disappointed was the action scene, to watch the whole series with poorly animated action is like torment in my boring-ness. Xebec, maybe not the type of studio that's is well animated action; is watching Naruto: they cross blade for 10 sec. then later enter a whole minute of needless talk (in Naruto, WORST! the whole god-damm 10,15 minute) and they fight for a few sec. or enter another desperate talk scene or whatever annoying stuff they can put. But luckily to say a least is that normal character animation was decent enough to watch and some of the gimmick in show was good and funny. Enough to keep you entertaining.
Music, no need to say: KAIJURA YUKI-SAMA!!!!!!!!! FICTION JUNCTION!!!!!!! SAVAGE GENIUS!!!!!!! need review on that?......OK, maybe some commented:
Needless to say Kaijura-sama who knows doing Kara no Kyoukai OST is here being the main composer for Pandora. You get nostalgic feel from hearing Kaijura-sama trademark symphony music with modern music fusion and of course a perfect music to fit one of the gentle/sadden/other good moment in Pandora. The opening by FICTION, though i admit is not my favorite but i applaud their vocal. So i skip that every time is start. (Sorry...^^) The 2 ending by Savage Genius was enough to put a ring on my ear. The 1st ending was a bit rush but with with the keyboard in the music makes it catching in my hearing; the 2nd ending was smooth and sentimental, makes a perfect ending to the whole show.
The enjoyment of the show is like time machine ride where you travel to the past and present and the unthinkable. As you gone through those time you collect piece of the puzzle and you put them together into picture. Unfortunately, that picture is incompletely. Pandora anime left out some of mysteries that are yet to uncover. But thankfully no, as to follow and respect the original manga story line (I don't know Xebec are following that). And a least Xebec is a smart ass to wrap the whole anime with their own anime conclusion.
Pandora Heart anime was not a great anime, but a good anime that should decent to watch and enjoy. Though the boring action scene, Alice bitching around, or some left out conclusion. But the story about the boy who fell and meet 'Alice in the Abyss' was something you might find it fantasize and don't forget the pretty visual that are shown through the series. read more
Jul 1, 2013
The story began with fifteen year old Oz Vessalius (Bezarius) being thrown into this dark other dimension of the Abyss full of broken toys and monsters known as "chains." He contracts a deal with one of these chains called Alice and together, they escape back to their world only to find themselves in a whole new adventure of mystery and shattered memories. From then on his whole reality takes a downfall.
The characters were amazing. Oz takes on all the typical characteristics of the main protagonist - loyal, brave, charming, cheery, etc. However, he also has a darker side and doesn't hesistate to sacrifice his life for the sake of others. The rest of the cast was also quite stereotypical but still enjoyable. From the meat loving, almost tsundere-type Alice, to the cool, mysterious (but secretly afraid of cats) Gilbert, and even the crazy (or shall I say "mad?") Xerxes Break, I loved them all. I love them so much that I still can't pick a favorite. They added a perfect blend of quirkiness and humor to lighten up the otherwise heavy atmosphere.
Moving on, the story. It had so much... potential. It introduced intriguing plotlines and created suspense right from the beginning, unveiling the truth of each mystery bit by bit, and then... nothing. *poof* Gone. The story builds and builds beautifully and leaves you with absolutely no answers. It felt incomplete. This was the most frustrating part. I can't even begin to explain how infuriated I was. It's like waiting in line, hoping for something brilliant to happen and when you finally reach the end, it just brings you right back to the start. You see, the manga it was based off of was not yet complete. The producers had to end it sometime and they couldn't keep putting in fillers, so of course this was an original ending. And as you probably already know, original endings are usually not all that great. Last minute, they throw in a whole new situation, put in the weakest, lamest battle, and then it's over. It's not as simple as a little plot hole here and there or some strings left untied, there was literally nothing.
I'm not really a review kind of person, so I will leave it at that. Overall, it had great characters and a great storyline to only fall flat (sadly). Honestly, I suggest you read the manga instead and save this anime until after.
Oct 30, 2010
Story: When you first read abou this anime you might be thinking "Oh great, just another remake of Alice in Wonderland." This anime has many simularities to Alice in Wonderland and has the same feeling but it has a very unique story. The story is mysterious, beautiful, and kept me interested the whole way through.
Art: The art in both the anime and manga is amazing. It is not too shounen or shoujo and is very pleasant to look at.
Sound: The music in this anime isn't the best quality to the anime but I found the soundtrack to be beautiful and worth listening to when not watching the anime. Another part to sound that I find very important is the voice actors. The voice actors in Pandora Hearts do a wonderful job of portraying the characters personalities. No character was too high pitched. (which I find very annoying.)
Character: The characters in Pandora Hearts have amazing backround stories that unravel throughout the anime. They have unique personalities and character design. If you are like me, and like to cosplay, this anime is very good because the characters have beautiful, unique outfits.
Enjoyment: This anime was dramatic but it had its funny moments, and by "funny" I mean "laugh out loud funny" I found myself laughing outloud (unexpextedly) at some of the episodes of this anime. As for the fanservice in this anime it is mostly BL (boy love) moments between Oz and Gil. But it isn't overboard like some anime.
So overall I give this anime a 10. The ONLY problem I found with this anime was the ending. If you could even call it that. The anime left many mysteries unanswered but fortunately the anime follows the manga very well and the manga answers everything for you in the end. I recommend watching the anime AND reading the manga if you want to fully complete this series.
Hope you watch and enjoy this anime! ^^ read more
Jun 3, 2010
Oz Vessalius, 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. It is unknown why was he cast into Abyss, how does Alice factor into it all, and what does the organization known as "Pandora" want with him. [Source: Anime News Network]
Excellent story. It has many multiple twists, cliffhangers, etc with some elements from Alice in Wonderland, but it all fits into the story. It has very little fillers, which I like VERY much.
Compared to the anime of today, it isn't anything. The animation isn't anything better.
Some of the music is memorable, some of the music (actually, one of the EDs is one of them) isn't. Some of the ending themes do not fit for the dark theme of the anime. That ending theme is Watashi wo Mitsukete, but even that is quite catchy for me. There really should be some background noise, e.g. birds singing, cicadas, etc.
On the subject of voice acting, (watched Japanese dubbed, English subs) everything is done well. I disliked very few of the voice actors, like Oz's sister, but it was very fitting for the character (Ada being very girlish).
Each and every character is lovable. Alice is a meat-loving, hotheaded Chain with a soft side. Gilbert is a loyal gunner. Xerxes is a Chain with good skill, carefree and dangerous at times. Oz is energetic, optimistic, and puts himself before others. There are so much lovable ones and a few that I dislike.
Because of its mysteries, characters, and much much more, I enjoyed this anime a lot.
It's an anime with its share of flaws, but still watchable. read more
Sep 4, 2011
Let me give you a overview of my ratings:
Story (7): At first the story was good. Noble houses, hell-like dimension, mysterious clocks, everything seemed good. Then, however, the things started piling up and interest became confusion. And the end just screamed for "we don't have a lot of time, let's finish this anime quickly!" and then there were these parts and episodes which I can only classify as fillers because they just messed with the characters and whatever they tried, it ended up being boring istead.
Art (8): Nice Victorian era Europe, my personal favourite style. All the characters were beautifully made too. Artists obviously thought they were funny because they used some kind of strange shaders(?) on the girls heads and what's even stranger, they changed their colours during the anime. So often girls would have blue stripes across their hair. Can't really say more because I watched a fansub release with really shitty raws claiming to be 720p.
Sound (6): I liked the pocketwatch song and the violin part in the OP. Everything else was boring.
Character (6): At first they were worth a 8 but then as with everything else in the anime, it became confusing. Who is who? Why are they hiding it? In the end, every character remained a mystery (not in the good way) and in addition all of them changed their attitudes many times. For example Alice was torn between being a bitch and being a "companion".
Enjoyment (8): Well I watched it till the end and it got my fantasy working. That's all I need from an anime.
Add it together and you have 7.
I alsa love how they introduced the cool idea of the contractor getting hurt when the chain does and then just forgot about it for the rest of the show. Also, how an illegal contractor would die when the chain is slain but later in the show an illegal contractor just fainted after his chain was defeated. There were probably a lot of other bad things I didn't mention but I'll let you find them out yourself.
In conclusion, the first half of the show was good, sometimes even very good but at one time the series just degenerated and it makes me question if the whole team making Pandora Hearts was replaced. A good anime but had potential to be better. read more