Monday, June 4, 2018

Manga Review: Pandora Hearts Series (1-24) (Jun Mochizuki)

Pandora Hearts, Volume 1Pandora Hearts, Volume 24

Title: Pandora Hearts
Author: Jun Mochizuki
Volume(s) Reviewed: 1-24 (complete)
Publisher: Yen Press
Release Date: December 15, 2009 - March 22, 2016
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Horror Fantasy
Content Rating: Older Teen (heavy violence and disturbing images, monster violence, some child abuse and neglect, mental instability, murder, some minor language)
Format Read: Paperback (own & library)
Find OnGoodreads
Purchase OnAmazon | B&N | Book Depository

Volume 1 Summary:

The air of celebration surrounding fifteen-year-old Oz Vessalius' coming-of-age ceremony quickly turns to horror when he is condemned for a sin about which he knows nothing. Thrown into the Abyss - an eternal prison from which there is no escape - Oz meets a young girl named Alice who is not what she seems. Now that the relentless cogs of fate have begun to turn, will they lead only to crushing despair for Oz, or will Alice provide him with some shred of hope?

*          *          *

Pandora Hearts is an extremely convoluted series with a multi-layered plot and extensive cast that hurt my brain more often than not. The paranormal fantasy story was an interesting one with many heart-stealing characters (darn you, Break *sniffles*) and intriguing twists, but with every volume the plot complicated more and more until I was less interested in the reveals and more in just finishing the series and being done with it. Despite my story frustration I really enjoyed following the character progression for most of the cast, especially my favorites - Break, Gil, Echo (although her climax still doesn't fully make sense to me) - but prepare your feels because with a violent and tragic story such as this one no one emerges unscathed, and many don't emerge alive.

Ultimately Pandora Hearts is a story of self-acceptance, grief, and forgiveness of yourself, your past, and the selfish and misguided actions of others. With seriously creepy monsters and several mentally unbalanced characters running about a twisted Alice-themed nightmare setting, it's a chilling tale of the darkness within us all, but ultimately ends in redemption. It's definitely not a read for the faint of heart, but if you enjoy epic, convoluted alternate dark/ horror fantasy stories then I recommend a Pandora Hearts binge.

Scribble Rating
3 of 5 Scribbles

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