Pandora Hearts and I have a strained relationship. The world, the atmosphere, and the characters all strike me as interesting and leave me with a genuine sense of wonder, however the meandering pacing and overly complicated plot threatens to turn me off from the series altogether. Five volumes in, and Jun Mochizuki has made strides in speeding things up, finally delivering a revelation that readers can sink their teeth into.
The book thrusts readers into the action, with Oz still trapped in an alternate reality, trying to free Alice from her comatose state, while Xerxes and the Cheshire Cat duke it out. The images placed before Oz are frightening and threaten to unhinge him, but because of his bond with Alice, he pushes forward, picking through the tangles of her mind until he is reunited with her.
Afterward, Mochizuki espouses more clues as to what Oz’s sin is, though as usual it boils down to characters ruminating about it rather than discussing it outright. The clear star f this volume however is Vincent, whose sly personality makes it obvious he knows more than he’s letting on. His manipulation of the hatter and the rest of the cast adds to the intrigue, and finally gives us a face behind the significant events thus far.
The last two volumes of Pandora Hearts have seen significant improvement all around. The story is heading in an interesting direction and the character’s motives are finally becoming somewhat accessible. There is still a treasure trove of mysteries to be sorted through, but Mochizuki finally seems to have found her rhythm, and as a result the series is picking up steam.