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Pandora Hearts, vol. 5: a review

Yet another old review. But I felt like putting Vincent on my blog today. I’ve really grown to love his character, in spite of him.

Pandora Hearts, #5Pandora Hearts, #5 by Jun Mochizuki

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

You know how I said I was going to try to avoid superlatives so that I could use them later? I think I’m going to start using a few now.

This volume is stunning!! I’ll try to avoid spoilers but I’m not sure I’ll be able to do that and make this review coherent.

As I was saying, stunning!! The most mind-bending, mind-blowing, just heart-breaking—are there any other hypenated words that apply? Oh, who knows, let’s move on to the story.

We start with Oz wandering through one of Alice’s memories (this is a continuation of the previous volume). Now, keep in mind, everything in Cheshire’s Lair is twisted. The memories aren’t quite right. But still, we see Oz wandering through a massacre. And a character he knows is there, going insane. I mean, total breakdown/psychosis here. And pretty scissors.

In an earlier volume, Break hinted at the destructive nature of extreme loyalty. He warned Gil against it. The beginning of this volume brings back that theme and shows the consequences of it. (Or at least, we think it does. Does it?)

We also get a reminder of time, and that Oz doesn’t have forever to figure out what’s going on. This is compounded by the horrors he sees, one of which reaches deep into his heart (and at the same time the incuse moves forward, too).

And all this happens in the first frickin’ chapter.

In fact, time is a factor in many of the scenes in this volume. It binds Jack as much as Oz, and time is the gap they can’t seem to bridge. (It brings to mind the White Rabbit in Carroll’s Alice always exclaiming that he’s late.)

The rest of the volume is spent dealing with the consequences of what they found. That’s one of the things I love so far about this series: that there are consequences to actions taken. There’s rarely an easy way out for anything. In fact, when Oz and Alice leave Cheshire’s Lair, they end up in an even worse situation, if you can believe that. And in spite of all the revelations, it definitely doesn’t feel like Oz is getting any closer to the truth he needs to find.

However, that frustration is off-set by all the things we do learn, or think we learn. Not to mention Break. Have I mentioned him yet? I have? Well, I’ll mention him again. XD

I looooooved him in this chapter. He’s become my favorite out of the whole group so far. I think the moment I was finally won over was the moment he showed so much concern for Sharon, the young daughter of the family that took him in. He completely shifted from the crazy Hatter to a character I was hoping I’d see. In fact, I’m hoping to see a lot more of that side of Break in the future.

Vincent is also introduced more fully in this volume. The similarities between Break and him are interesting, though I very much prefer Break. Vincent seems to be missing more cards in his deck. Plus, he doesn’t seem to have any strong moral sense guiding him, whereas there are glimpses of that in the fantastic Break.

Anyway, if I say much more, I’m going to give away a large portion of the plot.

Highlights:

* Oz in a trance in the Cheshire’s Lair and how he reacted after he came out of it.

* Alice looking vulnerable in Oz’s arms.

* Break’s chain.

* Jack’s possession of Oz.

* Break’s devotion to Sharon. (I know I’ve already mentioned that, but it really made me smile.)

* Oz having tea with Break.

One final note: it was at this point in the series that I began to really examine the pictures. So, if you’re reading it for the first time, I recommend slowing down and really letting the images sink in. This is some very tight writing/drawing; a lot of information can get packed into scenes that don’t look like they’re all that important.

Next time, volume #6.

View all my reviews

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