Pandora Hearts, vol. 1: a review

Pandora Hearts, #1Pandora Hearts, #1 by Jun Mochizuki

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I cannot begin to describe how amazing this series is. But because you probably want to know why I gave this series five stars, I’ll try.

First, the artwork is gorgeous. Whether it’s an action scene, an emotional moment, or horror and madness, the artwork always delivers. Though the comic relief isn’t as frequent as some other series, it’s well done. What could have easily been jarring flows just as well as the rest of the plot.

As for the story, I have never seen a more twisted take on Alice in Wonderland. Ever. And the beauty of it is that Jun Mochizuki does this without taking away the sense of wonder and innocence involved in discovering a world that isn’t what you thought it was. The Abyss is terrifying, but it’s also, in a way, beautiful.

(I want to clarify something though. This is not a re-telling of Alice in Wonderland or a variation on it. The plot uses elements from AiW to tell a completely original story.)

Oz is a wonderfully engaging character. On the one hand, he accepts everything, including the craziness of the Abyss, very easily. He seems happy-go-lucky and careless, but it doesn’t take long to realize he’s hiding emotional scars. Between that and his surprising intelligence, he’s a joy to watch in action.

Alice, a Chain from the Abyss also known as B-Rabbit, and Oz’s contractee, is, at various times, crazy, heartless, amazing, cunning, and surprisingly vulnerable. Even though she can kill without remorse, her time with Oz hints at a future humanity for the crazed rabbit.

The first volume, for all its greatness, is still mostly set-up. Fantastic set-up (even now I’m pretty much speechless), but still only a beginning. And with a beginning like this, reading the next volume is almost inevitable.

View all my reviews

Quick update. I’m working on transferring this blog to an actual website I can back up and otherwise play with. Not entirely sure how I want to do the transfer or when. Just thought I’d give you a heads up.



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