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Pandora Hearts, vol. 8: a review

Pandora Hearts, #8Pandora Hearts, #8 by Jun Mochizuki
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Then people become stronger by ‘living for somebody else’. Then how to go about it rightly? What should one keep in mind…? It must be never using ‘for somebody else’ as an ‘excuse’…”

I know Cheshire’s on the cover, but he’s not in here a whole lot. However, the points that are made are an exploration of the same kind of devotion Cheshire felt for Alice (before he died of course).

First, Break. Remember how much he hated Cheshire’s blind devotion? Well, here you get to see the full story of how he ended up at the Rainsworth mansion. By the end you wonder how he really feels about the Intention of the Abyss. His hatred of Vincent also becomes a teeny-bit ambiguous, probably because he sees the similarities between them himself.

We also realize the enormity of the burden he’s been carrying all this time right under everyone’s nose, all from the same blind “devotion” as Cheshire. And we learn just why he hates that kind of devotion so much. You thought the sins of the previous chapter were bad? It’s nothing compared to what he felt was his ultimate sin.

By the end of his story, we see that the past is better left alone and that people are better not. We strengthen each other, or should.

We also see that Break is still very much the person he once was. But maybe a little wiser for the wear (to loosely quote the esteemed Willy Wonka).

Then, we move on to the other side of things and watch Vincent’s insanity, all due to choices he made, like Break, for somebody else. But Vincent, like all of us, doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and those choices ripple outward to warp everyone they touch. Gil, for example. Because, you see, Vincent loves his brother beyond reason. And that terrifies Gil. In the process of getting freaked out by his brother’s words, he gets a few flashbacks that increase that freaked out feeling and make Vincent even more creepy than before (if that’s possible).

Highlights:

* Barma’s attempt at blackmailing Break.

* The page where Alice says Gil, Break and Oz are comrades. Break’s reaction was hilarious!

* Echo-chan! She is absolutely adorable! Her diary is fascinating, her view of Vincent is definitely unexpected, and her approach to life in general is like watching an animated doll who wants nothing more than to be real. I’m a sucker for those kind of characters.

* Oz and Echo-chan at the festival.

* Jack and Alice. Seriously, that scene creeped me out almost as much as the scene between Gil and Vincent.

* All the pictures of Break. As much as I’ve been fangirling over Jack, my heart really warmed at all the pictures of Break in this issue. Some of them are almost as gorgeous as the ones of Jack, though not nearly as, um, clean.

Also, this volume contains the original one-shot that got this series started. It’s interesting seeing how the idea originally formed in Jun Mochizuki’s head. From a writing standpoint, it’s also interesting to see what changed, and what didn’t.

Volume 9 is up next after this brief intermission.

View all my reviews

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