Posted by psgels on 4 September 2009 with categories: Pandora Hearts



Well, since the manga is going on way beyond the end of this series, which is going to come in three more episodes, I’m not expecting too much from this series’ finale. Sure, the final episode may end up to become awesome, but the story isn’t going to come together like with most endings, and it’s probably going to keep me hungry for more until that second season gets announced. If it ever gets.

Nevertheless though, this show just keeps surprising me. Some of the flashback parts in this episode were utterly demented, not to mention that just about the entire episode was dedicated to Break’s past. We also learn about how Alice and the Will of the Abyss used to be twins, somehow strangely connected through each other in the Abyss. When Alice got killed, I assume that the Will of the Abyss remained in the deepest parts of the abyss, while Alice herself was just cast into the regular Abyss, where Oz ran into her.

Thinking back though, this series did miss out on being a classic. Now that this series has nearly ended, I’m beginning to understand why: compared to the other series this season, the cast of Pandora Hearts didn’t grow on me as much. This series has always excelled at two points: the complex storyline and back-story behind everything, and the demented style of storytelling that just keeps the surprises going. But it also excelled at these points incredibly well.

In the end, Oz ended up as a bit of a flawed character: he works when the focus isn’t on him, but when this show focuses on him it starts focusing a bit too much on his cheesy self-retrospection. As for the rest of the characters: the thing that made them awesome was this series’ style of storytelling: the people from Xebec did a great thing of translating the style from the manga to the anime, and give it as much impact as possible. But in the end, the cast members on their own just aren’t as interesting as the cast of Guin Saga, Phantom, Shangri-la, Full Metal Alchemist, Cross Game, the New Mazinger and some other shows.

Nevertheless, where as the spring season of 2008 brought some truly inspiring science fiction premises and the autumn of 2008 brought lots of new things to the table for the horror-series, the spring of 2009 excelled at the fantasy-premises. The new Full Metal Alchemist, Guin Saga, Pandora Hearts and Shangri-La (which walks a bit in between fantasy and science fiction) and if you include the winter-season Kemono no Souja Erin all came with great and inventive premises that really contributed to the fantasy genre.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

13 Responses

  1. Shirachi says:

    While I would disagree with many of your points, they are fair. I’m very much aware of my biased opinion regarding Pandora, as it’s currently my favorite manga, so I won’t argue with you about them.

    My biggest disappointment with the anime in general is that 1.) the animation stuido, more often than not, wasn’t very good; and 2.) they should have waited for the manga to be completed first.

    Pandora is very plot-driven, so for people who only watched the anime to get cut off just when we get to the central mysteiesy – Oz’s “sin,” Gilbert’s past, Glen Baskerville himself, Lacie, the connection between Glen and Elliot, what happened to Echo and Oz’s father, the Will of the Abyss’ “wish,” and of course, Alice. They’re left hanging.

    It’s a shame, but I’ve enjoyed the ride.

  2. crooked7 says:

    I hope they don’t pull a Claymore where the ending of the anime felt like it was thrown together and really lacked any sort of resolution.

  3. Perrin4869 says:

    You pretty much summarized all the problems I have with this series. Although I think you could add extremely lame enemies to the list.
    Only for me those problems were enough for me to not enjoy watching the series most of the time, although the plot was so promising. If the characters are not credible, then the show was not meant for me…
    I guess I expected too much after watching the first 3 episodes. I hoped that Gil really died in episode 2, and that Oz would grow up after the incident, and that the dark atmosphere of those episodes would remain. But of course that was not going to happen, I should have known not to expect that…
    BTW, if I ever feel like finishing the story, where should I pick up on the manga?

  4. crooked7 says:

    @Perrin4869

    You can read the translated scans online here.
    http://www.onemanga.com/Pandora_Hearts/

  5. Denizen says:

    I think I have to disagree. I would consider the characters of Pandora Hearts the strongest part of the show, or at least my favourite part of it, and I would consider them particularly memorable – they’re original, likeable, diverse and come alive.

  6. Perrin4869 says:

    @crooked7: My question is at what chapter should I start?

  7. astrocurrent says:

    I agree with your comments on Pandora’s characters. And not like most series, you don’t see much growing up during the process. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the characteristic. This could be a charm when it works. When it doesn’t, um… They have depth, but feels underdeveloped.

    This may because of how the mangaga plot the series, although I have to say the story is awesome when it gets to the center of the mystery, along with the characters. You would be amazed what a story that is flawed yet have potential could turn into. But these all happen a little bit after, so you couldn’t see much in the anime… And I have to disagree with Perrin4869’s comments on the enemies. They are not lame, especially not Lotti. It’s a shame that the anime adaption weakened her fascination.

    I actually very glad with the animation studio. If it is not for Xebec, I wouldn’t notice this series. And because of Xebec’s “subtle” production value, the anime was focused more on the story and the characters themselves, rather than busy turning into another MOE serires. And the DVD is always there to fix the cutting corners. I just finished watching the second DVD and impressed of the work they have put into.

  8. BlandUserGsEf says:

    @Perrin4869: You should start on (as of after Ep.22) chapter 33 on the Pandora Hearts Manga. Just don’t mind the introductions of almost every chapter you read, cause Jun Mochizuki just likes to poke fun at the characters before the chapter begins.

  9. Asa says:

    I’d advise not to read the scanlations if possible since the two main groups working on them have major translation issues. I’ve seen several cases of major plot points being missed, other plot points not correctly conveyed, etc… Just a couple chapters and I couldn’t even bear to look at those scanlations anymore. But eh, whatever works for you.

    Personally I love the cast of PH. I’m also very biased, but I think they’re an amazingly strong part of the series. But then again the anime failed to include a few key points about Oz’s character, so I can see why the anime watchers are underwhelmed. I’ll go back to enjoying my yandere Oz in the manga now. c: (alright, now I’m just being blatantly biased for no reason)

    Now we’ll be going into anime original territory… I won’t be prejudging at all. Let’s see what Xebec can do with this.

  10. Snowolf says:

    I’m with Asa. I have grown to adore the PH cast, despite their flaws. And I think I know why everyone is so frustrated with them- there are SO MANY mysteries surrounding them and their different personalities, and then there’s the somewhat confusing dialogue/plot which kind of scatters around, so it’s a bit annoying to catch up with and be like “Well, what’s going on here? And this is related to this, which is related to this, which IN TURN is related to this?” It’s a VERY complex storyline, which has managed to do very well at this point, (which is why I love it so much). And the demented part of it just is like a cherry on a lovely cake. No matter what the flaws though, PH remains my favorite manga ever. As for the anime, it’s followed the manga to heart, but the other competitors out there have just beaten it, sad to say. If it had come out with last year’s boring series…I’m sure it would have made a great(er) anime.

    But let’s see what will happen. :D

  11. Snowolf says:

    @Perrin4869

    Chapter 30/31 should do it. That’s where we meet Rufus Barma and all. :D

  12. Asa says:

    Snowolf// All the mysteries surrounding the characters are all the more reason to like them, IMO. I guess I can see why people are frustrated with the characters for those reasons, but eh, some people like them for the same reason others hate them. =P
    Although I have to say, Break is the perfect character. He’s not my favorite, but as a character, he’s just… perfect.

    While Xebec did manage to adapt the plot far better than I imagined, there were a few key points left out of the anime that were “deciding factors” in the character personalities for me:
    1. Oz shooting the white rabbit – Showed that Oz can be badass and has an unmerciful side too. Of all the scenes left out in the anime, this remains as my #1 dissapointment.
    2. Vincent’s Sablier rampage – Showed how dark and twisted the manga could really be. (but then chapter 39 came along…)
    3. Sheryl – Showed that even if Rufus acts like a jerk, he has an adorable side too. Now in the anime he’s just a jerk.

    I noticed that Xebec has been making quite a few OVAs of their past series lately… DO IT XEBEC DO IT.

  13. Snowolf says:

    Asa- I totally agree- but it also is kind of a weak point in that you get TOTALLY confused at times. But I don’t disagree. Personally, I love the mysteries surrounding the characters.

    Break is just fabulous. He’s humorous, sadistic, and very subtle. How awesome can you get with a character?

    And Oz not shooting the rabbit in the anime really ruined that episode for me. It was the biggest awesome scene ever, and they totally missed out on it. Which to me, doesn’t make any sense, because you can’t count it as too violent- this whole show is dark, so that’s not an excuse…

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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Feb 6. 2016 08:38 AM)
    Jesus I never expected that doing a myanimelist/letterboxd account thing would be so hard. I’ve seen a scarily higher amount than I thought, its insanely hard to remember everything to add.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Feb 6. 2016 06:17 AM)
    It seems then that the future of the franchise’s anime adaptations rests a bit on Schwarzesmarken’s success, which looking at the buzz doesn’t seem favourable at all. I doubt it can regain the lost audiences.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Feb 6. 2016 06:14 AM)
    That would suggest that the author(s) had the foresight of including seemingly useless stuff that will come into play later. That’d be impressive if they did, as these kinda series are make-it-as-you-go.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Feb 6. 2016 01:59 AM)
    It’s difficult to put into words but essentially while the first game isn’t good, it does work as a tool for introducing and endearing you to the characters. Then Unlimited sets down the rules of the new world. And finally alternative proceeds to kick your ass into next Tuesday.
    That’s sort of why I don’t think it would have the same effect if it was an anime. VNs allow you to get a more personal connection with the characters.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Feb 6. 2016 01:55 AM)
    It’s not quite the same. It’s more like there are things in extra which seem insignificant but turn out to play an important role later. It wouldn’t really work the same if you did it in reverse order. Character history is a bit different too as each game is essentially an alternate universe. The character histories in extra are different from those in alternative.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:38 PM)
    And also remember how Darker Than Black had a big jump between the main series and Gemini of the Meteor. They later made a 4 episode OVA that covered the gap, and although you knew the outcome it was still entertaining; or at least more than the Gemini one. There’s merit to non-linear chronology and storytelling, but it is usually very hard to pull. The audience is intrigued by secrets that can later be uncovered, although in anime the pay-off is not always substantial.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:32 PM)
    I don’t know, the audience usually only needs very limited information to figure out dynamics and histories between the characters.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:27 PM)
    A 13 episode series would work for the second title unlimited. But Alternative is a pretty long visual novel. You need at least two cours to give it justice. Making extra an OVA could work but you do need it for alternative. But it’s not an optional part of the trilogy. It needs to be read first, so that events later have a greater impact. Personally I am not even sure Muv Luv can even work in another medium.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:12 PM)
    That might compress things, but I think a good screen-writer can fit pretty much any VN in 12-14 episodes (covering just the main route).
  • Bam
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:07 PM)
    @Aidan: then the best solution would’ve been to make a two cour season covering the 2nd and the 3rd book. Have the cours air two anime seasons apart, and in the middle have an offshoot short OVA that covers the 1st book, but has a more harem comedy feel to it. Think Full Metal Panic and Fumuffu.

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