Pandora Hearts Opening
This is the great open song and choreography I mentioned in my review.
I avoided plot spoilers or going into more detail because, as with all my favorite anime, I consciously restrain myself in talking about the details.
In this case, however, there wasn’t much I could describe without going into some depth. Given that it is the characters and their personality that really draws me in, I’ll write some short pieces of what I think of the people in the series.
Protagonist: Certain parts alpha lone (as in lonely) wolf, parts alpha leader, parts insecure alpha, and all around good guy. The ratio between inner strength and external physical strength in fighting anime such as Dragon Ball Z, Bleach, and Naruto is somewhere around 3 to 7 or sometimes 1 to 10 or 2 to 5 depending on the context. There are certain times when people “power up” due to simple desire to win a physical contest. There are other times when they “power up” because they hate seeing their loved ones hurt. The physical strength lasts, while the emotional part is fleeting. This makes for exciting epic stories but doesn’t really sustain the development like a romantic story would. Pandora Hearts is mostly about emotions and character experiences. The fighting scenes seem to be around 1 fighting scene every 10 inner strength scenes.
Sharon: The initial scene with her was very funny and implied a romantic connection. You’ll see more of how that went as you go through the series. Suffice to say that she is a great lady and her initial impression with me was one of surprising wisdom and calm certainty.
Alice: Your veritable tsundere. I suppose that tells it all, except for the parts that it does not tell. There was some initial confusion but if you simply go by the hair color things will be much clearer.
Sharon is blond but they put some interesting pink highlights in her hair. Along with her eyes and clothing it tends to give the impression that she is a fairy tale princess of pink. It is a very feminine, but subtle, impression. Almost hypnotic in how it insinuates its way into your unconscious assumptions. If I tried to remember her hair color it would end up as being pink. But it is blond.
Alice, on the other hand, looks like she is going riding and not with pants or an undivided skirt. She has the impression of a horsewoman, what with her white laced up boots and all.
Servant, squire, attendant: This guy has a pretty transparent character even from the initial stages. What is important here isn’t so much his personal experiences or weakness but how it relates to the protagonist. Their relationship is one of the stronger points of the story. Most teen aged anime are designed for adolescent boys either in love with feminine girls or in love with fighting/power. Thus the plot tends to go something like your regular Shonen Jump manga. But Pandora Hearts has a surprising amount of mature content. It separates love into various different and manifold variations. Romantic love, yes, but that’s not the primary issue. The primary issue is more love of friends, love of family, love of strangers even.
Vincent: You don’t know who this guy is supposed to be. Although it becomes rather apparent that he may not be an ally of the protagonist. That may be understating things, of course, but it is hard to tell because his motivations are obscured and the artwork for him along with the voice doesn’t portray him as a typical villain. Typical in the hentai, creepy, megalomaniac fashion, that is.
A couple of themes that seemed interesting to me: love of life, love of death, love of friends, being alone, trust, and amnesia. I won’t go into much detail over these as they become vital story points.
One of the more subtle art designs of Pandora Hearts concerns the hair and eye color. Whoever designed things that way surely knew how to emphasize colors with other colors. Many anime go for the extravagant hair colors or intense combinations like pink hair + pink dresses or the more understated purple hair + purple eyes. Pandora Hearts settles for much more ordinary hair colors like gray, straw blond, brilliant yellow, dark black, or black-gray. It is the Alice in Wonderland setting that brings your attention more and more to their world and the eyes they use to see it.
Part of what makes great anime is a focus on eye expressions, facial expressions, or body language. Anime that does not have a clear view of the characters’ faces tend to be dull or over reliant upon voice talent/action. Code Geass, for example, really gave a stellar performance on close up shots of people’s faces. You could really see the emotion there. Seeing someone’s face closer also brings us a closer connection with them. Just as in real life if you stared into someone’s eyes for more than 30s while being inches apart. It is very different from seeing them at 5 or 10 feet away.