Pandora Hearts 02, 03

This is a bit late, and its a quick review of episodes 2 and 3 together.

Pandora Heart’s plot build up is, in a word, slow. Most animes get the introduction part out of the way within the first episode, but here it actually takes 3 episodes before we get anywhere. Not to say its bad, since I’m enjoying it so far.

Almost half of episode 2 is dedicated to Oz’s coming of age ceremony, which involves something akin to the granting of knighthood. Unfortunately for Oz, the moment he recites his adulthood vow, shit happens. Robed figures descent upon him, and with a possessed Gilbert holding him down, they attempt to send him to the ‘abyss’.

Before they can accomplish this, Gil goes berserk and stabs Oz. This is where things start to get interesting. The crazy bitch from episode 1 shows up and knocks Gil away.

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enter the crazy one

It seems implied that while Oz sees the crazy one as a normal, albeit insane girl, others see her as a giant, scythe wielding rabbit. A very gothic, very dangerous looking rabbit.

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they sure don’t make rabbits like they used to

The robed shinigamis (everyone should know this term by now, thanks to Bleach) attack crazy rabbit-girl, whom they call B-rabbit. B however isn’t actually here to stop them – indeed, she stops the fight, and tells them she’s perfectly fine with Oz getting sent to the abyss, and promptly leaves.

At this point, Oz picks up a weapon and attacks one of the shinigamis, only for Gil (now freed from possession) to step in between them. Oz wounds Gil, and in his moment of shock the shinigami’s complete the ritual and sends him to the abyss. His crime? ‘Existence’.

Episode 3 starts with Oz already in the abyss. He has an over-long encouter with a murderous doll, and then gets caught by Jack from The Nightmare before Christmas.

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ok so its not Jack. its a bloody good likeness tho

Again, B-rabbit shows up and saves Oz, revealing her true name to be Alice. She also appears to have no recollection of the incident where she tried to choke Oz to death (I’m guessing time loop, oh boy plot devices). Alice tells Oz that she seeks a contract with him, but Oz refuses and runs, only to get tangled up with another nightmarish toy.

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I think this guy was in Shakugan no Shana

Who else but Alice shows up (again!). She fights the giant-baby-head, loses, and gets eaten. Instead of running away, Oz, in a moment of heroism (or was it stupidity?) rushes in with a stick, attacking the giant-baby-head and jumping right down its throat (I know its a head with no throat. Its just an expression). He finds Alice inside, and makes a pact with her. Que massive explosion and demise of giant-baby-head.

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bet giant-baby-head regretted that meal

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sealed with a kiss

After that, Alice opens a portal, and together with Oz finally escapes the abyss, ending what seems to the the introductory arc of the story. Longest introductory arc maybe? If you can think of a longer one do tell me.

There are a few things that I really love about Pandora Hearts so far. One is the setting – Victorian era, with a good dose of gothic. The insane denizens of the abyss are a bonus.

And there’s Alice, who reminds me a lot of Suiseiseki at her most insane moments. Check out these:

suiseiseki01bh0

です-chan

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Alice. check out the expression

Not to mention Alice as a psychopathic rabbit is just so damned cool.

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rawr!

Finally, the soundtrack for Pandora Hearts is by Kajiura Yuki. Her pieces are always amazing, and fits the Pandora Hearts setting very very well. The melody for the pocket watch is brilliant, and stuck in my head after episode 1, as is the opening by Fiction Junction.

Amongst friends, not many seem to be watching this show. Its a shame really. If you like dark gothic anime, you have to watch this!

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