Jun Mochizuki – Yen Press – 2011 – 12+ volumes
I love series published by Square-Enix, I’ve found. Whenever I pick one up, it has exactly the type of fantasy plot I want to read. Pandora Hearts is no exception, though I wasn’t able to fully appreciate it jumping in at volume six.
There were two storylines covered in this volume. The first was about a conflict between evil Vincent and the heroic Hatter. Vincent poisons the daughter of Hatter’s beneficiary, and Hatter has to do as Vincent wishes in order to get the antidote. There’s a lot about the Hatter revealed here, but as a new reader, it didn’t much matter to me. I wish it did, though.
Next, we see a boy named Oz as he goes to his sister’s school and is “kidnapped” by an organization called the Baskervilles. His life is compared to that of a popular manga character as he is rescued by a duo named Leo and Elliot. Lots of other stuff happens here, too, but again, its significance was lost on me.
I was a little worried this volume would be impenetrable. The summary doesn’t help me much:
Though Oz’s sudden appearance in the midst of Pandora wreaks havoc, the initially chilly reception to the prison-breaker runs more than warm when Jack Vessalius, hero of the tragedy of Sablier and the man from Alice’s memories, manifests in Oz’s body. Sensing Oz’s resultant inner turmoil, Uncle Oscar drags Oz and company on a “mission” to Lutwidge Academy, where Oz’s little sister, Ada, is a student. But some carefree fun and a tearful reunion ten years in the making is not all for which Oz must prepare himself: crimson-cloaked foes are lying in wait to torture him for answers about the events of a hundred years ago…
It might as well be written in another language. But it wasn’t super-hard to follow, and the stuff I didn’t understand made me desperately want to start from the beginning. There were literary references flying all over the place, and some unusual fantasy power-type stuff going on. There were a lot of unusual characters, some revenge plots, a missing eye, rich people, and a little bit of everything else. Plus, it is a period manga, with fairly elaborate costumes and nice art.
I liked what I saw here, but past that, I feel like I can’t comment since there was so much going on. I’m going to start over from the beginning though, because I’m pretty sure this is something I want to read. Hopefully volume one will be a little bit more friendly.
This was a review copy provided by Yen Press.