Home > anime, impressions > [Impressions] Pandora Hearts Episode 01

[Impressions] Pandora Hearts Episode 01

To be honest, I’ve never touched Pandora Hearts‘ manga until I heard that it’s going to become an anime. I’m usually an anime person when it comes to such genre (shounen, seinen, psycho, etc.) so I usually watch the anime first then read the manga or sometimes, not read it at all. My first impression with Pandora Hearts is that it reminds me of Kuroshitsuji (not that they’re the same o.o). I guess it’s because of the dark, shadowy backdrop, the main character, and the premise of evil and sorcery. Anyway, enough of my guessing game with Pandora Hearts. This is my unadulterated impression of the first episode.

The first episode named “Innocent Calm” starts at a rather startling scene (quite the same in the manga, but since I haven’t read it properly…) that involves Oz, the main character, seemingly tortured by unknown men. However, the scene was cut off by the opening song, “Parallel Hearts” by Fiction Junction. It’s an amazing opening as expected from FJ, but the visuals accompanying the song are wonderful, too. The song gives off an eerie feeling, the usual fantasy-thriller vibes you get from Kajiura-inspired music, beautifully foreshadowing the plot barely shown yet in the anime.

After the opening, there’s no clue whatsoever of what happened at the start. Instead of scared tortured Oz, there’s mischievous Oz who’s hiding from the maids so he could creep out of the mansion and play, using his sister and his friend Gilbert as pawns for his escape.

Chasing, hiding and running ensued, with the three kids exploring places which led them to open a path to clearing where a cross was planted. From the cross hangs a pocket watch, which captivated Oz. The moment he held it, however, visions of what happened at the start of the anime ran in his head, reminding the viewers of that time again and its importance later on. As Oz turned the dial to start the music box in the stop watch, he was spiraled into another time and place, of a place he seemed to frequent even though he had no memory of such.

The following scenes are scary. Talking and laughing dolls with glowing eyes. Ghost Hunt had forever scarred me when it comes to dolls and I was particulary horrified at the scenes ;_;. Of course, my shudders were both punctuated and continued by the appearance of Alice, who is both adorable and scary. Oz, who has now idea of what’s going on, enrages Alice who proceeds to try to stab him in the eye. Fortunately, Gilbert woke him up from his stupor and he ends up standing in front of the cross again, wondering what the hell happened.

After much ado, Oz leaves Gilbert and runs with his sister to the manor to prepare for his birthday party. Unknown to him, Gilbert is attacked by strangers, who possessed Gilbert’s body. All he knew was the memory of the girl who attacked him, the memory of a certain night, and the mysterious things that happen when he listens to the watch’s tune.

The series ends with a promise of impending doom as people who attacked Gilbert approach the manor and as the girl Oz saw before seemingly awakened by the music of the pocket watch. The ending song, “Maze” by savage genius, is also hauntingly beautiful. It’s rare to find a series with a wonderful OP and ED, and I’m glad Pandora Hearts did not disappoint me.

The scenery in this anime is beautiful. There are lots of shots outside the house and of facades of buildings, all of them very nice. It gives the anime a wide breadth, implying that the series doesn’t only extend as far as the manor or its garden, but reaches out to so much more. I wish they had put as much effort in doing the character designs, though. The faces aren’t good, somewhat crude, even. The facial expressions aren’t brought out well. The exaggerated scenes are funny but in serious situations, the faces sometimes do not match, especially Gilbert’s. I’m especially disappointed at Oz’s eyes … actually, everyone’s eyes. I’m confident that they’ll get used to the designs and make them better, though.

Minagawa Junko is perfect as Oz, although it can’t be helped that I keep thinking rowdy!Echizen whenever I hear her voice XD;. The rest of the voices aren’t spectacular, even Alice’s, but I have learned to love Gilbert’s voice. He’s so cute (now if only his face is, too…).

Hm. So far, I think this is a good series. While the character designs are a little…bad, the scenery and the random surprises that leave me ogling at the screen are enough to make me anticipate the second episode. I do not dig horror much, since well, it’s obvious that I get scared easily, but I know that this series promises more than that. I hope the next episodes will be just as suspenseful, mysteriously engaging and yet showing off a funny side just as this one.

PS: Adding in a point for this series because Oz reminds me of Kagamine Len. So there? XD /shallow.

  1. May 23, 2013 at 5:07 pm

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