Posted by psgels on 25 September 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews, Pandora Hearts



The past spring season was a good one for fantasy-series. Among the best ones of this genre was Pandora Hearts. It takes the air of modern-day fairy-tales, and gives them a dark and twisted… twist, resulting into quite a unique series that focuses on themes as the past and forgiveness.

What sets this show apart is its distinct and dark style of storytelling. It has a heavy emphasis on twisted dialogues that are well delivered by the voice actors, and once it gets going, it just keeps getting more and more intriguing. This series has the very interesting characteristic that whenever you think that the creators couldn’t possibly pull any more plot twists, they do. This series is delightfully unpredictable, and just about every plot twist makes the setting more intriguing.

And what an intriguing setting it is! While at first it might seem like nothing special, but soon this series evolves into a multi-layered mystery-series that only gets more and more complex as the revelations come. Combine that with a deep and varied cast of characters and you’ve got a recipe for success.

As for this series’ flaws, it’s that the lead character Oz isn’t always able to carry the series. Whenever Oz starts angsting he tends to drag the entire series along with him, and his times of inner retrospective are deep, but also tend to drag along a bit too much. And overall, the cast could have been more fleshed out. At the end of the series, I only started to feel like I was beginning to get to know the characters. Add the fact that it’s not yet sure whether a second season will come to animate the remaining manga chapters, and you’ve got an incomplete series that desperately needs more screentime.

Nevertheless, Pandora Hearts really is a gem of a series, and when it delivers it really does over and over. Xebec created a really unique graphical style that combines the art style from the 90s and the past decade, and a lot of shots really are visual feasts in terms of aesthetics. The music by Yuki Kajiura may not be her best work, but still shines in every single way. Now if only that second season would get announced.

Storytelling: 9/10
Characters: 8/10
Production-Values: 9/10
Setting: 9/10

16 Responses

  1. mds says:

    I wonder why you gave 9 for production values on this anime,whose animation just as blurry as these from 90’s ;and you give just 8 for 07-Ghost whose animation is much more clear and clean than this one…

  2. psgels psgels says:

    It’s indeed close, but what makes me favour the graphics of Pandora Hears over 07-Ghost is that 07-Ghost’s character-designs look too much like Sdutio Deen’s regular character-designs, while in Pandora Hearts they have something unique, plus Pandora Hears also has a lot more creativity in the costume and monster design.

  3. Matt says:

    to me its not how nice the design looks, it how it matches the style… Pandora Hearts was more dark and mysterious… It wasn’t as fantasy-ish as 07-ghost for me, it actually seemed it could be placed in Europe during the 1700-1800’s… So for me, i liked that rougher style..

  4. animedyum says:

    I don’t understand how you can stand this show for a very long time. I dropped at 8th or 9th episode. Animation sucks big time. First I’ve thought it was because of the release i’ve downloaded, but no! This show’s animation is an amateur style. And when i look at the images now, i still see the blurry effect. This show is a decent 7 at most.

  5. psgels psgels says:

    What exactly about the show is amateur style? I mean, it wasn’t good, but there were very few distorted faces, and I’ve seen a lot of series in which characters moved a lot less. Sure, the characters didn’t move fluidly all the time, but what series is perfectly animated? What makes this one so bad in comparison to other series?

    Oh, and as for the blurriness, that was just me taking screenshots from bad encodes. That has nothing to do with the series itself.

  6. silvija says:

    I stared watch this anime but didn’t finish.

  7. SpaceIdiot says:

    The music in this series was one of the best of this season for me; beaten only by Requiem Phantom and maybe kemono no souja erin (opening song is great)

  8. Jamie Bautista says:

    Pandora Hearts was AMAZING!! loved it ^-^ i want another season now. -_- so if they annouce it please tell me. GILBERT

  9. Nomus says:

    Very good anime (except 24 ep, witch ruined final part a little) . But, in my opinion, it is meaningless without second season.

  10. Metter says:

    The problem is, they’ve pretty much destryoed some of the key plot devices in the last episode… Well, if Kuroshitsuji still gets its second season, PH should get one too!

    Plus, you anime-viewers haven’t seen Glen’s face and certain characters’ identities…

  11. Akari says:

    using alice in the wonderland, old fairytales but makes up new intriguing story, something like dark version of alice (in the ‘abyss’) i guess^^ little disappointment is Oz takes too long to develop the characters and just we started to know the character, the anime is ended.. for me it seems like 1st season is just some fillers and 2nd season is the main story, 1st just left too much mystery unveil and curiosity will makes me stay alert for the 2nd season ^^

  12. Topspin says:

    Yeah, this feels like half an anime, but an awesome half regardless. Now it’s time for the manga to pick up the slack, because I’m not one of those people who feels the anime alone has to be the end-all of the story or provide perfect conclusion.

    As for production values, let the trolls troll. I mean, production values aren’t just about how shiny and quaint the graphics are.. it’s how well all the pieces fit together. And honestly, Pandora Hearts felt just about right to me. I also score it a little higher than 07-Ghost in that regard.

    All in all, it felt like a less childish and more focused Fullmetal Alchemist, at least until I realized that it wasn’t going to end with the anime. For such simple characters, they really managed to squeeze a lot of life out of them and it’s rare that a show satisfies me without ending properly, instead inspiring me to continue the story with the source material.

  13. Anime Lover says:

    Great anime, definitely one of a kind, I haven’t finished watching it yet but it’s got plenty of mystery, and that attracts me a lot to a show, and the animation and music are also good. I can’t wait to watch the rest of the episodes..

  14. Haley says:

    My gosh, the anime-only watchers of Pandora Hearts have no idea just how much they are missing. I don’t want to sound rude but really- it’s just amazing and the artwork, hnnngh.

    The manga is at it’s prime now with 62-3 chapters out. It is just a HUGE mindbender and questions are still left unanswered. It has just had it’s biggest plot twist involving two smaller characters leaving one of them as now the second lead of this as well as the Will of the Abyss’ wish FINALLY being told to us (found out last night.) Each chapter just gets more suspenseful as Jun has just left cliffhanger after cliffhanger in this tragic series. It’s too amazing to not read. I really advise anyone who likes the anime to read this (starting at chapter 33- which follows after episode 22 that had Break’s past@ Barma’s) at mangareader(.net).

  15. summerberries says:

    For sure, the music is on different far higher level than the animation or story line.

    The animation and story is above average 80/100 for me. I hope 2nd season will follow. I’m biased towards alice theme.

    However, the soundtrack is 95/100. It’s Kajiura we are talking here. Sure to worth checking just for the soundtrack. I love the mix of opera, classic and techno beat.

  16. Shinigami says:

    A really good anime if you’re into fantasy and alice in wonderland. One of my favouites, but may be it’s because I was starved for anime at the time…

Leave a Reply

Shoutbox

Name:
Email:
For:  
Mail will not be published
  • ninjarealist
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 06:18 PM)
    @Bam Ahhhh Burning Man. I had some friends from Indiana who were trying to get me to help them build an organ that shoots fire with each key-press for Burning Man. It sounded fun but I already feel too old for something like Burning Man.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:32 AM)
    @Ninja: no I met most of them at Burning Man.
  • ninjarealist
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:23 AM)
    @Bam I see I just figured that if you had a lot of friends in KY you must have lived in the region.
    @Friend Yeah or involved desserts like Palmiers or Croissants. I actually am pretty decent at making croissants from scratch but it’s a pain in the ass.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:21 AM)
    And that’s … The More You Know ;)
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:19 AM)
    “Iran” originally means “the land of the Aryans”. The European settlers of Aryan decent are correctly labeled Indo-European as they traveled from north of India across Iran and the Caucasus mountain range (hence the term Caucasian) and settled in pastural lands in Europe. Hence we are the original white people. Go figure.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:14 AM)
    @K-off: some good-looking corn there m8.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:13 AM)
    @Ninja: No I’m Persian since I was originally born and raised in Tehran/Iran. I am mostly of Parthian decent with a quarter of Kurd in me. I have moved around the globe since I was 16 and now live in Sacramento California.
  • Friend
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:13 AM)
    @ninja Some party foods like the brochette dijon flambe are too hard for me to prepare/mass produce at home, so it’s definitely worth eating out for things like that O.o
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:10 AM)
    I’m not sure what’s with me and demonyms tonight, but don’t be offended since, they’re more of a term of endearment for me. But if you really are offended then chances are that you deserved it in the 1st place.
  • ninjarealist
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:08 AM)
    @Bam lol, it never came up. Are you a Southerner/Midwesterner as well?

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Gugure! Kokkuri-San- 03

This show has a great cast, but some chinks in the armor are starting to appear in the comedy. So far, this anime seems to lack a consistent tone, which shows through just how hit-and-miss the comedy is. It attempts to mix elements of light and dark comedy along with slice-of-life and tries to excel in all three […]

Psycho Pass 2 – 02

Episode two continues right where episode one left off and progresses about how you might have guessed. Akane chases the mysterious villain pulling the strings, getting only cryptic responses from Kitazawa. Shimotsuki confronts Akane with her misgivings about Akane’s handling of the arrest. And we finally get some subtle hints towards Kougami’s existence and how his disappearance might […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 02

The stage is set, the actors are in place and the curtain is rising. So I can say this episode’s title was certainly apt. Unfortunately this week we have no bombastic fight scene to ogle and instead we get a heavy dose of info dumping. This is not the most exciting of episodes but the […]

Grisaia no Kajitsu – 02

The grisaia visual novel was by no means perfect. In fact if I was to summarize it as concisely as possible I would deem it a mixed bag. Some great moments but quite a number of bad storytelling decisions. Still there was hope for this anime adaption. After all the Steins Gate adaption managed to […]

Parasyte-the Maxim- 02

Before I continue reviewing this anime, let me put up a disclaimer: I will be discussing the anime of Parasyte, not the manga. If you want to talk about spoilers, I recommend you go to a site that will talk about those things. Don’t be an ass and discuss spoilers down in the comments, because […]

Some Quick First Impressions: Grisaia no Kajitsu, Trinity Seven and Inou Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de

Grisaia no Kajitsu Short Synopsis: Our protagonist joins a school that has five troubled girls in attendance. AidanAK47’s impression: Grisaia has all the elements to cause many to write it off as a typical harem anime. Protagonist who only wants a ordinary life? Check. Joins school with several female beauties? Check. Panty shots? Sigh…check. The […]

Akatsuki no Yona – 02

In the first impression I said I didn’t expect Akatsuki no Yona to succeed if it went down the serious drama route. However, after watching the second episode, I’m starting to think I might have been wrong about that. There were still a lot of moments that felt corny or derivative to me, such as the stand-off between Hak […]

Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis- 02

This episode devotes its entirety setting up the characters as well as the journey coming ahead, and it does so very well. Here’s the thing-this season, we have a ton of shows packed with great style, animation, and direction, but none are as stylistic as Shingeki no Bahamut. I remember a few months ago when I watched […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 01

First things first. To those of you coming into this anime from the prequel anime Fate/zero I suggest that you do not expect another fate/zero. Fate/zero and fate/stay night are two different beasts. If I was truly pushed I would say that Fate/zero is the more mature series whereas Fate/stay night was the more shounen […]

Latest Reviews

Clipboard06

Nerawareta Gakuen Review – 84/100

Let me talk a bit about Ryousuke Nakamura. For a long time, this guy was my hero. He started off as an assistant director to Monster, in my opinion a big reason why that series got such a ridiculously solid adaptation, and then in 2008 he came with the groundbreaking Mouryou no Hako. No TV-series […]

Clipboard03

Kick Heart

Okay, so I didn’t want to exit 2013 without having seen Masaaki Yuasa’s Kick Heart. It’s only twelve minutes anyway, and I consider him to be one of the best anime directors out there. The story here is pretty silly and mostly serves as a backdrop, so I mostly want to talk about the nature […]

Clipboard01

Kyousogiga Review – 90/100

Everyone’s taste is different, and that’s a wonderful thing because that allows us to have so many different forms of media that all aim toward their own niche. My blog is obviously written from the perspective of my own taste, and even when a show doesn’t cater to it (which is nearly always), I love […]

Clipboard04

Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Lovecome o Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru Review – 80/100

Noucome! You do not want to know how long I have been waiting for a series like this. More than half a decade, at the very least. Finally a series comes along and puts the incredibly overused harem genre in its place. And it actually does it well. Thank you! So to elaborate: the harem […]

Clipboard01

Pokemon: The Origin Review – 75/100

Normally I try to avoid spoilers with these reviews, but screw it, it’s Pokemon. Pokemon The Origin is a bomb of nostalgia. If you haven’t played Pokemon Red, Blue or Green, then you will not enjoy this one slight bit. This really is made as pure undilluted fanservice for the fans of the first games. […]

Clipboard08

Tamayura – More Aggressive Review – 75/100

I’m not going to dedicate a post for my impression for the final three episodes of this series. It was just too boring to write much about. I guess that that gives a pretty accurate indication of what I think about this series. Right at the start of Tamayura’s second season, I asked one question: […]

Clipboard04

Silver Spoon Review – 86/100

When Noitamina started airing two series per season, it was amazing. It’s a timeslot that on average tends to be aimed at a much older audience than usual, and having two series with the same mentality definitely helped to bring more diversity to anime overall. Unfortunately it’s a schedule that could not be kept up […]

Clipboard07

Yondemasuyo, Azazel-San Z Review – 82,5/100

Reviewing a comedy sequel usually is quite simple: in most cases it just drops the bomb and runs out of inspiration, and in rare cases it actually manages to stay hilarious. The tricky thing with these kinds of series is that you need to remain funny, and you need to have the inspiration for that. […]

Clipboard05

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet Review – 81/100

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet tells the storyline of a planet that is completely submerged, with only giant ships residing on the surface, while one of those ships gets visited by this guy and his AI-mecha from this very technologically advanced civilization. Yes, this show is about world building. What this show managed to do […]