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Film Friday- Pandora Hearts

Film Friday- Pandora Hearts

An anime adaptation produced by Xebec began airing on April 2, 2009, and finished airing on September 24, 2009. On February 11, 2010, NIS America announced it would release the anime series in North America. Nine OVAs were also broadcast in Japan, airing from July 24, 2009 to March 25, 2010.

Oz Vessalius

is the fifteen-year-old protagonist. He has blond hair and green eyes. He is from the prestigious Vessalius family. His father, Zai, is the reigning lord. His mother was killed by the Nightray family; despite this, he retains a bright, optimistic, and energetic personality. The story of Pandora Hearts begins when Oz turns fifteen. During the ceremony to celebrate his legal adulthood, Oz is dragged into the Abyss for the ‘sin of his existence’. There, he meets a young girl named Alice who turns out to be a Chain – a monster born in the Abyss. Oz makes a contract with her so they can both escape the abyss. Upon returning to the real world, he discovers that 10 years have passed. In order to find out what exactly his ‘sin’ is, he decides to work under Xerxes Break as part of Pandora. During this, it is shown that when he was young, he worked hard to gain praise and recognition from his father. However, he discovered that his father hated him to the point of not wanting to touch him. After experiencing this, Oz began to think that there is no guaranteed thing in the world. He thought of himself as weak. He decided that, in order to protect people, he should at least remain an obedient child and let harm come his way. After traveling into the Cheshire Cat’s lair, Oz meets Jack Vessalius and becomes his ‘medium’. Jack eventually speaks at Pandora’s headquarters and the public hail Oz as a ‘hero’. Oz finds that he can swap control of his body with Jack if he calls hard enough and may sometimes even see snippets of Jack’s memories. According to himself he is quite skilled with the sword, particularly in self-defense. However, he has very little real experience in fighting. Oz likes cute, younger girls and flirts with them frequently. He once wished to marry Sharon when they first met. Oz, himself, thinks of Alice as his precious someone, calling her his “sun”. He believes that Alice is the reason that he can still smile.
Jack tells Oz that he has the “right” or “prerequisite” over Alice’s powers and that a seal won’t restrain Alice’s powers any longer, giving Oz the ability to use B-Rabbit’s power, even without Alice’s permission or Gil’s help. Oz proves it when he is able to stop Alice’s B-Rabbit’s power temporarily on his own; another instance is when Oz is almost kidnapped by the Baskervilles at Lutwidge, and a more recent one is when he was able to summon B-Rabbit’s scythe to fight his assailants in Sablier’s illusion, despite the fact he had never used a scythe before. According to Lotti, Oz was supposed to be the vessel for the sake of hiding the existence of Jack Vessalius and should the vessel be broken, Jack’s existence will be brought to light and the further warping of Abyss’s will, who seeks him, will most probably interfere with the real world. Later, Oz reunites with Gilbert and immediately meets with the person behind Oz’s homicidal nature: Zai Vessalius , his father. it is said that Oz had a desire to destroy everything until Alice stopped him. According to Break, Oz may not be the real Oz Vessalius, as during his birth, Oz’s father took him away: it is suspected he might have done something to him or exchanged him with another baby. This is proven true when it is revealed that his body was Jack’s all along, and that he (Oz) is the true B-rabbit.

Alice

is heroine of the story with a height of 150 cm. Alice first appears as a chain that persuades Oz to form a contract with her in the Abyss. In fact, she is actually the infamous B-Rabbit (Blood-stained Black Rabbit), the most powerful chain in the Abyss. Alice’s goal is to find her lost memories, which plays a major role in the story. In human form, Alice has long dark brown hair with two side plaits. She has a huge appetite and loves meat especially. She is hotheaded and loud-spoken and says what she thinks without regard to the consequences. Despite this, she has a soft side, especially when Oz is involved. She hates when Oz leaves her alone, but to hide it she usually says, “I’m in a contract with you. You are my manservant, and as a manservant, what were you thinking, leaving me behind!?” or she just hits Oz and says, “Shut up”.
It also appears that she cares for Oz’s well-being, that she considers his health when using her powers. She bites his cheeks to make him feel better, copying a picture Sharon showed her thinking it was biting instead of a kiss. Also, in episode 20, she tells Sharon, who threatens her to tell her what she has on her mind, that she felt left out and ignored when Oz went to talk with Break without her and when he was happy to see his sister. Alice senses Oz is upset. Thinking that the biting was still a kiss (sort of), she bites him several times, pushing him to the floor to bite his ear that begins to bleed.
She was in Sablier when the city was dragged into the Abyss. Alice wanted to forget about that event, because it was a very painful one. In her memories we see Jack Vessalius, the hero of 100 years ago. It is revealed that she’s actually Lacie’s daughter. Lacie was impregnated by Levi Baskerville before being cast into the Abyss as a sacrifice for the ceremony of the new ‘Glen’ and Levi’s experiment, to gain the power of the Abyss through a vessel, Lacie’s child. While in the Abyss, Lacie gave birth to ‘twins’, Alice and Alice (Also referred to Alyss by fans to avoid confusion, though it is not official) who would be merged with the Core of the Abyss and called The Will of the Abyss by Levi. Alice is not the real B-Rabbit; Oz is the true B-Rabbit and was originally a stuffed animal that Alice was very close to and kept when imprisoned. After Jack began the Tragedy of Sablier he came to Alice’s tower to ask the Intention of the Abyss for more power. Alice refuses to allow Jack and the Intention to destroy the world and sever the chains and thus commits suicide stabbing herself with a pair of scissors. She only is “alive” in the present timeline because her body fused with B-Rabbit’s power, thus “becoming” B-Rabbit.

Gilbert Nightray

also known as Gil or Raven. He is Oz’s best friend and loyal servant. Oz is his most important person, for whom he is willing to sacrifice anything; this protectiveness is compounded by the fact that he was brainwashed by Miranda Barma to protect Jack Vessalius (and therefore Oz, who is his medium) even if it means killing. When Gil is drunk, he reverts to his fourteen-year-old self, an insecure crybaby. He cares deeply about the hat that Ada gave him. He is a great cook, terrified of cats, unable to quit smoking in eight attempts, and constantly afraid that as Oz grows, he will be left behind.
Gil is shown to have become close to Alice, despite his constant arguing with her. Though at first wanting to kill her. Gil saves Alice when she falls down in a small rockslide later.
Gil was Glen’s servant 100 years ago in order to fulfill his duty of being the next Glen after Oswald, and he is also a Baskerville, due to his ability to be greatly wounded, but not killed. He was nearly killed by Jack and in order to save him, his brother Vincent opened a path to the Abyss. (It is later revealed that Gil was killed in order to serve as Glen’s new vessel, and when Vincent interrupted the ceremony the Tragedy occurred.) He was taken in as a servant by the current Vessalius family fifteen years ago, after he was discovered injured and amnesiac in the Vessalius gardens. He came to be Oz’s closest friend, and was invited to be a part of the boy’s coming-of-age ceremony. During the ceremony, Zwei uses her chain Doldum to control his body and forces him to attack Oz. After he regains consciousness, he recognizes one of the Baskervilles as Oz’s father and when Oz attacks the man with a sword, Gilbert takes the wound and falls unconscious.
Gil remains loyal to Oz during his time in the Abyss. Shortly after the ceremony, he is approached by Xerxes Break who arranges his adoption into the Nightray family in exchange for inside information on the family’s doings. He views this as a betrayal, since the Nightrays are the prime suspects in the assassination of Oz’s mother, but he agrees to join the family when he learns that contracting their chain ‘Raven’ might give him the power to rescue Oz. He trains in gunmanship and eventually kills the Nightray family before the chain deems him worthy to contract with it.
Once he obtains the chain, he takes the name Raven and goes to work for Break as a member of Pandora. When Oz returns from the Abyss, Gil is the first one at his side. Initially, Oz is unaware that ‘Raven’ is Gil, but during the second battle with Zwei his true identity is revealed. Gilbert uses his chain’s power to bind B-Rabbit, keeping Alice in her human form and preventing Oz’s seal from moving when they are not in battle.
It is shown in Retrace 45 that he has always had the right to make the contract with Raven, which leads him to gaining the chain. It is also said that Gilbert had been poisoned on a targeted attack against the Nightrays by a mysterious headhunter. Gil has gotten all of his memories back of Sablier and the Tragedy from 100 years ago, his true master is Glen, whose soul lies within Leo, and Gilbert shot Oz by Glen’s commands, however he broke free and burn down his own arm.

 

Manga Monday- Pandora Hearts

Manga Monday- Pandora Hearts

Pandora Hearts is a shōnen manga series written and illustrated by Jun Mochizuki. Individual chapters were serialized in Monthly GFantasy between May 2006 and March 2015, with bound volumes published by Square Enix. The series ended with twenty-four volumes having been released in Japan. It was originally licensed for an English language release by Broccoli Books, but was later dropped. It was relicensed by Yen Press. The eighth volume of Pandora Hearts was ranked 21st on the Tohan charts between March 24 and 30, 2009, and 19th between March 31 and April 6, 2009. Volume nine was ranked number one between July 27 and August 2.

Plot

Oz is the heir to the Vessalius house, one of the Four Great Dukedoms given excessive power by the country’s royalty. He lives a luxurious life alongside his younger sister Ada and valet and best friend Gilbert. This extravagant lifestyle is only diminished by the constant absence of Oz’s father Xai, who decided Oz and Ada should be raised by their uncle Oscar when they were still babies. When Oz goes to his Coming-of-Age Ceremony, he meets Sharon Rainsworth and her ominous servant Xerxes Break. Everything appears normal until the Coming-of-Age Ceremony rituals are completed and the giant clock that hasn’t worked in a century moves. Suddenly, a group of people in red cloaks known as the Baskervilles proceed to reveal themselves. The Baskervilles say Oz must be dragged into a supernatural prison called Abyss where monsters called Chains live, a place previously believed to have only existed in fairy tales. The Baskervilles then force Oz into the Abyss, claiming his existence to be a sin, although Oz is clueless as to the true meaning behind these words and the desire to acquire it becomes a driving force for the rest of the series.

Trapped in the Abyss, Oz finds out he can make contracts with Chains by drinking their blood. He does so with a Chain named Alice, infamously known as the Bloody Black Rabbit (or B-Rabbit for short), in order to escape the prison. By the time they escape from the Abyss, ten years have already passed. He is taken under the care of Sharon and Break, who he discovers are members of a Chain-research organization called Pandora that was established a century ago after a disaster known as the Tragedy of Sablier (in which the entire city of Sablier fell into the Abyss) by the Four Great Dukedoms. Wanting to understand why his existence is supposedly a sin, Oz helps Sharon and Break in their investigation in regards to the Intention of the Abyss, the ruler of the Abyss. They have the help of Alice and adult Gilbert, who has now been adopted into the Nightray dukedom and made a contract with the family’s chain, Raven. As they investigate, they learn that Alice, Gilbert, and Gilbert’s odd younger brother Vincent were involved with the Tragedy of Sablier. Additionally, they come into contact with the soul of Jack Vessalius, the legendary hero of the Tragedy of Sablier who prevented the entire world from being dragged into the Abyss after such a thing happened to Sablier. Jack was also the one who established Pandora. In the current time, he lay dormant in Oz’s body. Jack reveals that the one behind the Tragedy of Sablier was Glen Baskerville, the head of Baskervilles and his best friend.

Following a meeting with Duke Rufus Barma, Break reveals he became an illegal contractor thirty years prior and has met the Intention of the Abyss, who is in fact Alice’s twin sister. Duke Barma reveals that, according to his ancestor Arthur Barma’s memoirs, Jack has sealed Glen’s soul by placing it within his own mutilated body, split into five sealing stones. Following the destruction of two of the five sealing stones, Oz and Duke Barma trick foreign noble Isla Yura into conducting a second Coming-of-Age Ceremony for the former in his mansion, wherein one of the sealing stones is located. However, in the middle of the party, Yura and his sect start killing the guests in an attempt to reenact the Tragedy of Sablier. Although Oz and his friends manage to stop Yura’s cult from succeeding in their efforts, the sealing stone is destroyed by the Baskervilles and Gilbert’s adoptive younger brother, Elliot Nightray, is killed. This leads to Elliot’s valet Leo being taken away by Vincent, who reveals that Leo holds Glen Baskerville’s soul within him, and thus is the next successor of Baskerville clan. Blaming himself for Elliot’s death, Leo accepts his role as Glen Baskerville in order to destroy the Intention of the Abyss.

The Baskervilles and Pandora clash as Leo attacks the latter. Upon destroying the fourth sealing stone, the fourth seal is revealed to contain Glen’s head rather than Jack’s. Duke Barma then declares he has deciphered an entire code within Arthur Barma’s memoirs, which, once decoded, reveal Jack is actually the one who caused the Tragedy of Sablier. Oz then witnesses Jack’s memories. It is revealed from such that Jack’s motivation for instigating the Tragedy was to merge the world with the Abyss and be reunited with Lacie, who was the younger sister of the previous Glen (originally known as Oswald), as well as Alice and the Intention of the Abyss’s mother. Gilbert is also revealed to be a Baskerville who was originally chosen to be the next Glen a century ago. Following this revelation, Oz learns that he is actually the real B-Rabbit and used to be a sentient but still lifeless black rabbit doll that belonged to Lacie until she left him in the care of the Core of the Abyss, of whom gave him life. During the Tragedy of Sablier, Oz was turned into the most powerful Chain in existence, capable of destroying the world, by the Intention of the Abyss in order to help Jack fulfill his goal of plunging the entire world into the Abyss. Meanwhile, Oswald takes over Leo’s body and decides to go back into the past to kill Lacie before she met Jack, which would prevent the birth of the Intention of the Abyss, Oz, and Jack’s complete slippage of sanity following Lacie’s death, thus averting the Tragedy.

Accepting his real origin, Oz decides to prevent Oswald from changing the past with the help of his friends. They come up with a plan to stop the world from falling into the Abyss without changing the past by destroying the Intention of the Abyss’ body. Oz’s uncle Oscar Vessalius dies on their quest, as well as Break. Traveling back one hundred years into the past during the Tragedy, Alice tries to convince the Core of the Abyss to cut her ties with her twin sister while Oz tries to convince Oswald to reconsider altering the past and focus on helping them stop Jack instead. Alice’s words causes the Core to go berserk out of fear of being left alone, which results with the dimensions distorting even more and Oz and the rest being sent further back into the past, before Oswald and Lacie became Baskervilles. In the end, Oswald can’t bring himself to kill his sister and passes on, returning control to Leo. Using Oz’s illegal contractor seal, they reach the Core of the Abyss and manage to convince the Core to cut her ties with the Intention of the Abyss and restore the world back to normal. Oz and Alice pass away with hopeful dispositions to ensure the safety and security of the world, Gilbert promising them that he will wait for them until they are reincarnated and he can see them again. After the incident, Pandora is disbanded, the Baskervilles establish a new bond with the Core of the Abyss, and Sharon and the rest who have survived move on with their lives. Approximately a century later, Vincent brings the reincarnated Oz and Alice to Gilbert before dying in his brother’s arms. Gilbert and Oz both begin crying upon seeing each other for the first time in a hundred years, and Gilbert happily welcomes him and Alice back.