There is always a first time for everything, huh?
Throughout the years of running this blog, even before I got a domain name, I have mainly been focusing on anime that has been dubbed and the only anime that I covered in the sub format were simulcasts (e.g. Another in 2012, which was when the domain name was first registered, and A Certain Scientific Railgun S in 2013).
I still plan to mostly cover dubbed material. However, seeing as a show that I got from iTunes never did receive a dub, at least where I live, I decided to make an exception just this once.
Today, I am going to review Pandora Hearts.
As I have given a series synopsis in an earlier post, I will not go over it again.
I am not too sure about this show. While I am pretty much a fan of Pandora Hearts, especially considering that I have caught up to the releases from Yen Press, I cannot say that I entirely hated this show. On the other hand, I cannot say that I liked it either. I did like how things seemed to be paced pretty for many of the episodes. I did not have a hard time figuring out what was going on and I felt like I got to know most of the characters. Of course, the pacing could because the events in those episodes came from the manga. Speaking of the manga, when I took a quick glance through the first eight volumes, the anime was fairly faithful to its manga counterpart. Everything that I saw in the anime also happened in the manga, with little, if any, changes. Compared to how Detective Conan starts out, this is definitely a much better way to handle an anime to manga adaption. After all, many of the things revealed in manga are also revealed in anime, such as the fact that the one everyone calls The Intention of the Abyss is also called Alice and some hints that suggest that Oz is the true B-Rabbit, making it somewhat easier to transition over to the manga, whereas the Detective Conan anime did things that caused plot holes or delays in introducing important characters, which I have complained about numerous times on this blog. Another nice thing about much of the show being faithful to its manga counterpart is that many of the mysteries from the manga are present as well, making me want to continue watching the series, even though I already know most of the answers because of the manga. I also liked how I seemed to feel a bit more emotion in the events that came from the manga, such as facing Grim and Elliot chastising Oz at Lutwidge. However, it is still nothing when compared to the Railgun S adaption of the Sisters arc. The things that I liked most though were the funny scenes. The funniest was when pretty much everyone got drunk. Now, it was pretty funny in the manga, but I actually felt like laughing when I saw in animated. I guess that is because the whole thing just needs to be animated to see the humor in it. Besides, having only still panels, it can be somewhat hard to see what makes it funny. Outside of those things, I cannot think of much else that I liked. The fact that it started out more faithful to its source than another series that I like and stayed faithful for most of the episodes and that the pacing in them did not seem to be rushed, as well as the fact that one scene seemed to be much funnier in the anime than the manga, made this series pretty entertaining.
Although there were things that I liked, there are some issues. Even though it did follow the manga faithfully, it stopped covering material from the manga and became just another average show, if not worse. True, there are shows that did not exactly follow the manga all the way through and were still fairly enjoyable (e.g. FMA). Here, however, we just are not lucky enough to have a satisfying ending. There is all of this mystery and so many unanswered questions, like why does Jack say that Oz has the right use B-Rabbit’s power and even why Oz’s father does not even want to acknowledge Oz as a human being. Yes, these are answered in the manga, but it would have been nice to have some answers right in the show. Why can Xebec not give fans that much? Then again, that is kind of a difficult thing to do in only 25 episodes. As such, this show should have definitely been longer to allow for those answers to crop up. The thing that bugs me the most though is the monster invasion. This felt very out-of-place with the whole feel of the show up to that point. In fact, it seemed to have just been made to stretch out the length of the show, much like the Fairy Dance arc of Sword Art Online felt like an attempt to make the show longer. However, this much was worse than that, because there was at least something that connected the Fairy Dance arc to the rest of Sword Art Online. Oz and his friends are minding their own business and then Reveil, the current capital, is suddenly attacked. Since this does not happened in the manga, the only one that can be blamed is Xebec. Why do they think that this series needs a monster invasion, when there are so many mysteries that they could have decided to deal with, or even just end it with everyone finding out about Break’s past, thus making future seasons more likely? What makes the whole thing worse is that they do not even attempt to take advantages of the hints dropped that Oz may actually be the true B-Rabbit. Besides, after the Lutwidge incident, I hardly remember Oz using Alice to fight for him in the manga, instead wielding the B-Rabbit’s scythe himself. Then, we have the Baskervilles helping because they were ordered to do so. Why does this involve them? I thought that they were looking for their leader, Glen. If I had to guess, they must have somebody else leading them, though Glen Baskerville is the only one that should be able to give out orders and neither of the two successors to Glen have been revealed, even though they have both been introduced to the viewer. Not only did the monster arc seem dumb, but the anime version of the visit to Sablier was also pointless. Yes, they were going there to see Oz’s father, but going there to tell him that Oz does not care if he denies Oz’s existence and leave is not interesting. For somebody that did not show love to his son, I highly doubt that he would just sit there and let his son say that, and right after taking out his best weapon too. He would have had the other Baskervilles take care of Oz in his stead. I guess the reason they did not was because Oz’s father was the only one with Black-winged chain, which is necessary to send people to the abyss. At least Oz and his friend learned things from their visit to Sablier in the manga. Other than that, the only other things I noticed were issuses that were very minor, compared to what has been mentioned. The fact that mysteries remained unexplained and one event felt like it was just made to extended the length of the show utterly ruins what should be a great series.
Despite the good things about the show, such as being faithful to the manga for most of the episodes, the negatives outweighs it and makes the show as a whole a waste of time. I recommend avoiding this show and reading the manga instead, especially since it does answer many mysteries revealed here. However, if you must watch the anime, do not watch any episodes past episode 22.
What are your thoughts on Pandora Hearts? Do you agree or disagree with my views? Do you have anything to add? Feel free to comment.
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