Pandora Hearts was unique. The manga had a world of its own and as reader, we get to enjoy how the story unfolds in an interesting way. I picked up this manga when I was browsing for amazing manga(s) with not so justified anime adaptation. I hesitated at first because I didn't really heard any from my acquaintances and peers, but I like the sense of adventure and reading works that are not so popular among my circle. I wholeheartedly advice you to read this series if you haven't yet.
For my specific review,
The story is fantastic. Imagine a complex jigsaw puzzle written in a manga. The plot unfolds at every angle and more information are given to the readers on what really is the answer to the mystery of the world. As I've mentioned before, one of the beauty in this series is getting to know more about the world and its story. Some of you might not be used in this kind of writing, as most of the popular stories tend to be linear and follow a specific path. In Pandora Hearts, the story is written in unique way and you can really say that a lot of thinking was made to complete the story and make it amazing. However, I couldn't give myself to score the story 10/10, the main reason for this is the pacing. As I've mentioned, this story does not follow a linear style of writing; therefore, you shouldn't read this manga with a narrow mind, it requires you to at least remember specific details presented before as it might get relevant later on. Still, the manga suffers just like many others in terms of making a diverse story line. There might be surprise revelations here and there, but if you really focus on the details, they won't be surprising as you've expected such event to happen. Even in the final twist, if you really pay attention to the dialogues and try to connect the puzzle, the answer will become very obvious. I think i ruined my own enjoyment because I focused on tiny details and connected every pieces of puzzle, but it might be different from your experience.
I like how the panel changes from black to white and vise versa depending on the situation. It gives diverse emotions that correlates with the respective events. The character designs were also great, and became even greater as you'll realize the hidden meanings of these character designs. It also featured comedic versions of each character that could ease up the tense a little bit and it's really fantastic. Although, when compared to other manga, you might not be surprised with the designs of the characters and the environment as you might have seen better. Maybe it's because of the age of the manga, but when compared to the later ones, the art style might just be average for some.
This was the point where my enjoyment really dropped. Don't get me wrong, there are great characters in the series that have unique personalities and quirks, and they are very likable. However, there are also poorly written ones. Some with very weak resolves but seemed very relevant, some with complex personalities but changed with just a simple advise, and some with typical and boring personalities that became very complex all of sudden. Their growths were also inconsistent as some changed for A to B, then B to C, then C to A again. Still, there are some with fruitful growths and proud resolves. But the main problem is, I got too attached with the characters and little did I know, they weren't given justice by the author. I know tragedy is one of the themes in this manga, but I don't think the ones that the author gave were really justifiable and I don't think they deserved them (you'll agree with me once you've read). There weren't even hints for such tragedy and yet they were given for the plot's sake and I pity these characters because as a reader, they didn't deserve these hardships, but were given just for the sake. Piece of advise, don't get too attached with the characters (even though the author is so good at making you get attached with them).
Most of my enjoyment fell because of my over the top analysis on the story and attachment to the characters, but the plot is so good that I can't give it below that 8. Maybe with cleaner pacing and better timing in revelations, it might have been 9/10. It was a great read, and I'm really happy that I pick up this manga. I had a fun ride, I hope you'll too.