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PandoraHearts, Vol. 1 [Paperback]

Jun Mochizuki
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Dec 15 2009 PandoraHearts (Book 1)
The air of celebration surrounding fifteen-year-old Oz Vessalius's coming-of-age ceremony quickly turns to horror when he is condemned for a sin about which he knows nothing. He is thrown into an eternal, inescapable prison known as the Abyss from which there is no escape. There, he meets a young girl named Alice, who is not what she seems. Now that the relentless cogs of fate have begun to turn, do they lead only to crushing despair for Oz, or is there some shred of hope for him to grasp on to?

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PandoraHearts, Vol. 1 + PandoraHearts, Vol. 2 + PandoraHearts, Vol. 3
Price For All Three: CDN$ 30.33


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Product Description

About the Author

Jun Mochizuki is the New York Times bestselling creator of PandoraHearts and CRIMSON-SHELL. The success of her PandoraHearts series spawned an extremely popular anime adaptation.

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A great start to a brilliant series Feb. 15 2013
Format:Paperback
Right from the beginning, Pandora Hearts is full of twists and turns. While some of them can be guessed, what really impresses me is the number of curveballs that Ms. Mochizuki throws; the plot keeps you almost constantly in suspense, and though there are a few divergences, it never really loses focus on the central mystery of the Abyss and the Tragedy of Sablier. The nice thing, too, is that hints and reveals occur fairly regularly, so you're never wading through long pieces of filler waiting for the next plot development. The main problem with this first volume is that it takes a few chapters for things to really get started, so don't give up too quickly!

The characters are, with one notable exception, fantastic. Gil, Alice, Break, Vincent, Sharon, even Ada - everyone has hidden depths, making them much more interesting and giving them surprising psychological realism; they're not just defined by one incident or character trait. The exception is, oddly enough, Oz, the main character. I'm not sure what it is, but his development sometimes seems forced, and he's one of my least favorite characters. It's a testament to how strong the other characters are that the series is still good in spite of him.

Based on a vaguely steampunk Victorian aesthetic, the art style is gorgeous (the level of detail that goes into the costumes and settings is incredible) and really evokes a subtle sense of gothic horror. Another reviewer commented that he or she found it hard to tell the characters apart, but I think the context almost always makes it clear. It's also nice to see so many side-comics thrown in! They can really lighten the mood when the story gets to its darker places.

Finally, this series has an excellent sense of humor.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Into the abyss May 16 2010
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Take some shojo artwork, add a heavy dollop of horror, a big chunk of cracked-out Lewis Carroll...

... and voila, you've got "Pandora Hearts." The first volume of Jun Mochizuki's manga is graced with lush artwork and a great combination of horror and fantasy, but it's also incredibly confusing at times (all these characters look alike!) -- all in all it's an enjoyable experience, but it will also leave you frantically headscratching.

Oz Vessalius is being appointed the future head of his family in an ancient ceremony... only to have it turn into a battlefield between a bunch of sinister hooded figures and a "Bloody Rabbit" that turns into a young girl. The hooded men announce that his sin is "your very being" -- and he's dragged into a bizarre, surreal other dimension called the Abyss, where magical "chains" try to snare him. The only exception is the B-Rabbit, aka Alice.

Obviously, Oz wants to escape the Abyss -- and Alice wants to go hunting for the memories she has lost. So when he's attacked by an enemy chain, Oz reluctantly enters into a contract with Alice -- only to find himself in the grasp of a mysterious organization called Pandora.

I have to say one thing about "Pandora Hearts" -- it doesn't lack for plot. Secret organizations, mysterious monsters, a magical watch and a mood-swinging girl who turns into a giant black rabbit-headed humanoid. It's like a manga Lewis Carroll on crack.

It's also incredibly confusing, since the surreal incidents, mysteries and battles are strung together right up until the end.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  25 reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Manga that should be given an chance! March 23 2010
By Sayaya - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have read many manga series, viewed many anime series, and so forth, and I must say -- Pandora Hearts is one of my most favorite manga of all time. Yes, there is bound to be some confusion when you are reading the first book because a lot of things happen right away, and since it is just the beginning -- you can say that this web of the unexplained will all be cleared up as the story goes along. Don't put off the book right away. It's mysterious and wonderfully enticing in a strange way. Trust me, you will not be disappointed. There is some deep characterization involved in this series, and you are bound to get attached to some of the characters.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is and will probably always be one of my favorite series! Dec 7 2012
By zoe - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Pandora Hearts is simply amazing! The art work is enchanting the characters are easy to get attached to and the plot is always interesting and keeps getting more so through the series, if you've watched the anime I must say the manga is MUCH better (in my opinion). The one thing that I love and some people don't like is the series does make you think, some mangas don't ther set up so that you understand everything as it happens but Pandora Hearts really does make you think about it an Jun Mochizuki seems to love cliffhangers. I recommend this series to anyone who wants to read a manga that is funny and entertaining but also has lots of plot and gets somewhat dark.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is ONLY the beginning Sept. 16 2010
By Amanda - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I'm a manga/anime fan, to say the least. I'm addicted to it like some people are addicted to crack. And you could say that I have a plethora of experience on reading manga and watching anime. Maybe it's because of that that I understood this volume perfectly. Maybe, maybe not. But I understood everything, and each character looked distinctly different, or at least I could make out the different characters. I have the peculiar ability to just absorb information when I read and not make remarks or think. That means I don't really get confused until the end of something. But this didn't really confuse me, which doesn't mean that I didn't have questions. But I fully expected them to be answered, and they are -- in later chapters.

I think that this volume is meant to be a mystery, meant to have a lot of questions that set the groundwork for the rest. This is one of my favorite series that I've reread multiple times. And considering how much manga I've read, that says something.

The first volume might confuse you a bit, but just continue. Read the second volume. And you'll slowly see the mystery unfold, which is one of the best parts of this series. The art is amazing, character development phenomenal, and plot astounding. Basically, I love this and demand you read it. It's really something you fall in love with as it goes on. I fell in love with all the characters.

If you're looking for an extremely lighthearted, fun, fluffy read that doesn't really mean much (such as K-On or Onidere), then this series is not for you. But if you're looking for a darker story, mystery, thrills, with glimpses of laugh out loud humor and amazing characters, then this is what you've been looking for. Actually, no matter what you're looking for, just pick it up and read it, kay? I swear you won't regret it. Well, you won't regret it after finishing the series, or even getting halfway through, I promise you.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When two words collide, what side will you choose? Oct. 24 2011
By Carolina Padilha - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Pandora Hearts is the kind of manga that will make you say: "Damn, that's original!". It's a mystery story, but not the typical crime-solving right way story. It's about a boy named Oz, who's trying to find why his existence is considered a sin, and a girl known as Alice, who's trying to find the place she belongs in the world.

Everything revolves around the Abyss, a place where the sinners and criminals go. You know how to come in, but you don't know how to come out. Oz will find answers, even if it means that he will be even more confused about it.
In his fifteen-year-old ceremony, the clock will tick, everything will freeze and strangers will put the boy in the spotlight, making him ask himself why he exists. "Your sin is your very being" the stranger said.

He'll be swallowed by the abyss, a dark, scary and dangerous "world" where he will be deceived by weird creatures until he finds Alice. Alice is Alice. That's all she knows - Where she comes from, why she's in that place and why she feels a connection with Oz is not known. She wants to find her memories, but first she needs to make a contract with the human boy to get out the abyss. Will Oz help the hopeful girl or will he turns his back on her, leaving that place by himself?
12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Into the Abyss Feb. 3 2010
By E. A Solinas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Take some shojo artwork, add a heavy dollop of horror, a big chunk of cracked-out Lewis Carroll...

... and voila, you've got "Pandora Hearts." The first volume of Jun Mochizuki's manga is graced with lush artwork and a great combination of horror and fantasy, but it's also incredibly confusing at times (all these characters look alike!) -- all in all it's an enjoyable experience, but it will also leave you frantically headscratching.

Oz Vessalius is being appointed the future head of his family in an ancient ceremony... only to have it turn into a battlefield between a bunch of sinister hooded figures and a "Bloody Rabbit" that turns into a young girl. The hooded men announce that his sin is "your very being" -- and he's dragged into a bizarre, surreal other dimension called the Abyss, where magical "chains" try to snare him. The only exception is the B-Rabbit, aka Alice.

Obviously, Oz wants to escape the Abyss -- and Alice wants to go hunting for the memories she has lost. So when he's attacked by an enemy chain, Oz reluctantly enters into a contract with Alice -- only to find himself in the grasp of a mysterious organization called Pandora.

I have to say one thing about "Pandora Hearts" -- it doesn't lack for plot. Secret organizations, mysterious monsters, a magical watch and a mood-swinging girl who turns into a giant black rabbit-headed humanoid. It's like a manga Lewis Carroll on crack.

It's also incredibly confusing, since the surreal incidents, mysteries and battles are strung together right up until the end. It took a few repeat readings to figure out what was going on, especially since Mochizuki's artwork often makes the characters look rather similar (f'rinstance, it's hard to tell Sharon apart from Oz's little sister, and either Alice has a split personality -- or there are two Alices).

However, Mochizuki does an excellent job setting up a fascinating world and premise: a sort of 19th-century fantasyland, with an alternate-dimension prison filled with powerful "chains" that want to unite with a human. The first volume is pretty much about setting up that premise, and Mochizuki does it with plenty of humor and horror (creepy-grinning children, the Mad Baby, and other horrors of the Abyss).

He also produces some likable characters -- Oz is a likably mischievous, rather bored boy who seems to be neglected by his absentee father. Not exactly the sort of person you'd expect to be thrown into Abyss. Alice seems to have massive mood swings (tomboyish -> shy -> angry -> gleeful), but she's an intriguing character as well -- and it remains to be seen how she and Oz will mesh.

"Pandora Hearts" is a confusing muddle of beautiful art and intriguing ideas, which doesn't really gel into a story until the second half. Not bad, but a rather rough start.
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