Mania Grade: B+
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- Art Rating: A-
- Packaging Rating: B+
- Text/Translation Rating: B
- Age Rating: 16 and Up
- Released By: Yen Press
- MSRP: 11.99
- Pages: 192
- ISBN: 9780316076128
- Size: B6
- Orientation: Right to Left
Pandora Hearts Vol. #05
Pandora Hearts Vol. #05 Manga Review
By Kate O'Neil
April 20, 2011
Release Date: April 26, 2011
Revelations abound, but the challenge is just beginning for Oz and Alice.
Writer/Artist: Jun Mochizuki
Translation/Adaptation: Tomo Kimura
What They Say
Guided by Jack Vessalius, the man from Alice’s memories, Oz wanders back into the world of lost remembrances in search of Alice. There he stumbles upon the devastating tragedy of Sablier, the century-old disaster that sent the old capital into the Abyss, an incident of which no one has any recollection…except Alice — who was there?! When Oz discovers the truth of the memories Alice so desperately wants to forget, the powers of the B-Rabbit spiral out of control and threaten the lives of all who are trapped within the dreamlike dimension, including Alice herself…
Oz, Alice, Gil and Break remain trapped in the Cheshire Cat’s dimension. Oz has stepped back into a memory of a past time, which happens to be the lost capital one hundred years ago. Amid a scene of mass slaughter Oz wanders in search of Alice. He finds a strange and disturbed young boy instead, who happens to bare a resemblance to the character on this volume’s cover, Vincent Nightray.
If that wasn’t disturbing enough, when Oz finally does find Alice, it’s her dead body he discovers. Alice, Gil and Vincent once lived in the world of one hundred years ago, and when the city was dropped into the Abyss they were thrown in as well. Gil and Vincent had escaped somehow and landed in Oz’s time. Exactly how Alice went from a dead human girl to a formidable chain remains a mystery.
Despite all of the questions answered in this volume even more mysteries remain. Break manages to defeat the Cheshire Cat and retrieve Alice’s memories of one hundred years ago. Unfortunately, as soon as the group manages to escape the Cheshire’s dimension, Break is confronted by Vincent and forced to trade the memories for Sharon’s life. The fact that Break goes through with it firmly puts him on the side of the good guys. When Oz questions Break later, the older man continues to remain silent on his motives but offers some words of encouragement to Oz.
Alice wasn’t the only thing Oz brought back from the alternate dimension. The awakened spirit of Jack Vessalius possesses Oz on his return, and speaks through Oz to the angry agents of Pandora. Gil and Alice remain shocked as the spirit of someone from both of their barely remembered pasts hijacks their master. Pandora is equally shocked, and when Oz awakes after the ordeal he finds that he’s now deeply involved in Pandora’s war against the Baskerville Clan.
Pandora Hearts continues to be a pleasure to look at with it’s fantastic costumes and dialog regularly punctuated with theatrics. We still don’t know the why, but now we at least know who might be partially responsible for Alice being the way she is. The revelation of the antagonist lacks a dramatic punch though, maybe because it all seemed so obvious. Or, maybe it’s just the result of the pacing moving the plot along without dragging it out further. Having the ‘who’ solved isn’t going to make things easier on Oz or Break, and matters are made more complicated by Jack’s request to Oz about Glen Baskerville. The stage is now set for the larger conflict with Baskerville Clan.
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