Jun 7, 2020
The synopsis for Caucus Race was slightly misleading. I expected to get the same story as Pandora Hearts seen from different characters' perspectives. However, this new addition to the story was lovely as well. Story wise, there is nothing that interferes with the story in the manga, but the light novel highlights the characters very well and made me appreciate them more.
Caucus Race is a compilation of mini stories that take place with the various characters of Pandora Hearts. From Alice wanting to eat meat, to Elliot and Oz constantly bickering over their favorite characters in novels, and Gilbert being over-protective with Oz while also
being teased by Break. Surprisingly, these stories mostly contain fun twists towards the end which complements the theme of Pandora Hearts well. And some stories here actually expand on events already present in the manga. We actually learn more about Vincent and Gilbert before they were introduced to Jack, we get a whole story dedicated to Jack and Oswald which really brings out a new angle for these characters. While the author for these stories is not Mochizuki-sensei, they feel very true to the heart that made Pandora Hearts and it was a joy to be able to learn more about this world and its characters.
Pandora Hearts tries to balance between the light-hearted stuff meant to showcase the traits of its characters and the serious stuff to progress its story. In the later parts of the manga, there is a huge emphasis on the story and grand development for a lot of characters. However, there is always a longing to the antics and the banter between the characters. And this light novel provides well in that respect. With its structure of focusing on few characters in each arc, it highlights the traits of these characters and their importance and how they are not just random additions to the story, but each have a role to play. In the grand scheme, Pandora Hearts is heavily plot driven so it is easy to miss out on individual character traits and treat them as plot devices. But this light novel is here to showcase that Pandora Hearts can do both.
It is not a necessity to read this after finishing the manga but it was a joy to revisit a story I hold dear and my favorite manga. Plus Mochizuki-sensei included some manga panels here and there in the light novel so that was a sweet treat.
Reviewer’s Rating: 9
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