To young Oz Vessalius, heir to the Vessalius Duke House, the perilous world called the Abyss is nothing more than a folktale used to scare misbehaving children. However, when Oz’s coming-of-age ceremony is interrupted by the malicious Baskerville Clan intent on banishing him into the depths of the Abyss, the Vessalius heir realizes that his peaceful life of luxury is at its end. Now, he must confront the world of the Abyss and its dwellers, the monstrous “Chains,” which are both not quite as fake as he once believed. Based on the supernatural fantasy manga of the same name, Pandora Hearts tells the story of fifteen-year-old Oz’s journey to discover the meaning behind the strange events that have overtaken his life. Assisted by a mysterious Chain named Alice, whose nickname is “Bloodstained Black Rabbit,” and members of a clandestine organization known as “Pandora,” Oz begins to realize his existence may have more meaning than he could have ever imagined. – My Anime List
Based on 12 review scores:
A fantastic adaptation of an awesome manga. It honestly ended too soon, without really beginning to delve into the true story. But it makes for a stunning introduction to the larger tale, with a memorable cast of unusual characters and music by the legendary Yuki Kajiura.
Nothing is what it seems, and a much darker story lurks beneath the charming exterior.
Unleash The Anime
Pandora Hearts is such a great show that is a must see for any fan of “Alice in Wonderland”. The characters are some of the best cast of characters I’ve ever seen. They just mesh so well together and are so great by themselves as well. Their voice actors do an amazing job bringing them to life as well. The soundtrack is phenomenal as well and has such a diversity of music that it should have something for everyone. There’s a little something for everyone in this show including romance, comedy, action, mystery, and supernatural. These all blend together for one fantastic story that truly needs another season. Speaking of which Pandora Hearts has only 1 season totaling 25 episodes. I highly recommend checking it out.
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.
The Anime Review
I’m having difficulty recommending this show for the reasons mentioned, but my frustrations in the first half were balanced by the storytelling improvements in the second. My rating is based on the benefit of the doubt and my genuine hope that the course correction seen about eight episodes into the series continues through to its conclusion. I am intrigued enough to keep going with Pandora Hearts, but I simply don’t know if it will end well or not.
All told, Pandora Hearts exceeds its narrative shortcomings and almost achieves greatness. Sure, it could look a lot better and the plotting is a little spotty at times, but more often than not, I reach the end of an episode satisfied and even a little excited for what comes next. With the fascinating setting and epic storyline, this anime is a must-watch for fantasy fans. Add a charismatic tsundere lead and some laugh-out-loud humor to the mix, and you have the recipe for a sleeper hit. If you thought Spring 2009 was only about K-On! and Higashi no Eden, then you you owe it to yourself to check this one out.
My Anime List
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.
At first I didn’t really like or care for this.. as the story progressed I became more attached to the characters (as in every movie, TV show, anime, book, etc). The characters were brilliant, what really made me stay was the way there were no “super weak” “helpless” characters who were utterly useless. Another great thing was the plot in general,I love the plot. I like the way there’s more than one actual goal. The characters themselves always surprised me, even during the attempt to expect the unexpected, I still was fooled most of the episodes. The story was filled with great dialogue and emotions. I really wish there was a season 2 & to be honest, I can’t say much without spoiling so I’d rather not mention anything… but I will say this anime is pretty amazing.
Ultimately I find Pandora Hearts to be a bit contrived in all it does, but it is ultimately enjoyable. However, I personally would go in favor of the manga, as it is a fully complete product that leaves nothing to be desired. It doesn’t ask much from the viewer, whereas the anime seems to struggle to keep up. With the manga finished however, you can fully get the feel of what Pandora Hearts is truly about! It isn’t a disappointment, the manga is incredibly fun to go through, and the anime just has a lot that could have been better.
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.