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Tear Jerker / Pandora Hearts

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At the beginning it might not be so obvious, but those who have read through the manga (or have at least read a good amount) know that it's really freaking sad. Pandora Hearts has even earned the common nickname "Paindora Hurts" from the fandom.

Coming of Age Ceremony Arc

Retrace IV: Rendezvous
  • Oz's inability to tell Break "where he is" becomes a lot harsher in hindsight once the extent of his emotional damage comes to light.
    • To be specific: In the beginning, this is portrayed as a meaningless bit of banter between two teasingly confusing characters, accentuated by Alice's sharp reply of, "Are you blind? Oz is right there!" Thus, readers didn't really look into it, and took "Where in the world are you?" as a nonsensical and literal statement. However, it's later shown that Oz and Break are both way smarter than they seem and understand each others' problems and intelligence frighteningly well. At this point, it becomes clear to readers that "Where in the world are you?" was not a literal or pointless question from Break, and Alice, being who she is, was unable to understand the true underlying meaning. Break was asking Oz where he was mentally, because he could tell how inwardly unhinged and disillusioned Oz was behind his extreme Stepford Smiler tendencies. Oz couldn't answer Break's question not because he was trying to be strange or pretentious, but because he understood and was far too messed up emotionally to definitively say where his mental state was at.
      • On a slightly less complicated but still easily overlooked level, Break's question was also a reference to something else. Many people stated they were unable to pinpoint the true nature of Jack Vessalius, and that they had no idea where he was (sound familiar?); even while in his presence, he gave off the feeling that nobody was actually there. Break's question of "Where in the world are you?" is also a chilling parallel comparing Oz's mental state earlier in the series to Jack's far more deranged and long-lasting mental state. This reference is taken Up to Eleven when Cheshire asks Oz where he is as well, and Oz gets freaked out.

Sablier Arc

  • Alice, Gilbert, and Oz get separated within past memories, but while Gilbert and Alice get lost in relatively innocent, nostalgic ones, Oz begins to feel irrationally terrified and eventually is lost in the middle of the Tragedy of Sablier itself, surrounded by slaughtered corpses and burning buildings, all the while hearing the tortured screams of someone forced to kill others and desperate for escape. Due to the way the images are pieced together, the initial implication is that these are Jack's feelings and thoughts of terror and despair as he's trapped in the crumbling city and forced to fight his former friends the Baskervilles, the tragedy of which is especially heart-wrenching considering Jack had only been shown to be cheerful or quietly melancholic until that point. Later, these tortured screams are revealed to have been made by Oz himself, and his hearing them in the Hole was a manifestation of Oz's own heavily-implied PTSD from being used as a Living Weapon.

The Feast Arc

  • Elliot falls unconscious in the middle of an encouraging chat with his sister. He wakes up to his sister's headless body falling down some nearby stairs and Break, the person he has idolized since his childhood, accusing him of being the headhunter.
    • And then, it was revealed that not only did Elliot really kill her, but he was also the one who killed his brothers. At least, the brothers who weren't killed by the real Head Hunter, who just so happens to be one of his adopted brothers.
  • Despite (or even because of) the lack of fanfare or dwelling on Fang's death. The horrified expressions Lily and Lottie displayed really sells it.
Retrace LX: Egg Shell
  • The color page is Elliot standing in his Lutwidge uniform, smiling as if nothing's wrong.
  • The recap is replaced with a simple black page with the following words in white: dead.
  • Oz remarks that he is, for some reason, irritated and disgusted that the sky is so beautiful even after all the terrible things that happened at Yura's mansion. Alice tries to bite his cheek in order to lift his spirits, but it doesn't work. It doesn't help that Oz's mild comment of "that hurts" in response transitions into an incredibly depressing reflection:
    Oz: "It hurts. There's so much I want to do...but...I'm so desperate for something not to spill over from the gaping hole in my heart...that I can't get back up again..."
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  • Leo is absolutely devastated by Elliot's death. Screaming and sobbing on and off for three days is only the beginning of it.
  • Oz trying to reach out to Leo is both this and a Heartwarming Moment.
    Oz: "You're wrong, Leo. You don't want to destroy anything. You just want to destroy yourself."
    • If you look closely at the panel, you can see teardrops forming in the corners of Leo's eyes, making it apparent that recent events are taking their toll on him.
    • It's also a painful reminder that Oz understands very well the relation between the action of destruction towards others and the desire for inward self-destruction. The word "Destroy"—who can only destroy, who wants to destroy, who is doing the destroying, who or what is being destroyed—is a thematic buzzword that follows Oz from the beginning of his existence to the end of his life.
Retrace LXVIII: Glen
  • Lacie's execution. Especially since it's clear that Oswald does not want to go through with it.
Retrace LXIX: Alice
  • Oswald bluntly tells Jack that Lacie's dead, and he was the one who killed her.
  • Oz makes Alice vanish to keep her from suffering any further for his sake.
Retrace LXXIV: Broken Rabbit
  • Gil is ordered by an Oswald-possessed Leo to shoot Oz, which he does (although not out of his own free will).
  • As Oz lays on the ground, shot by Gilbert, of all people, he remembers the cruel words Jack spoke to him...
    Jack: "You don't have to feel like you've lost anything. Your hands have been empty from the start."
Retrace LXXV: Alone
  • After the true nature of the Tragedy of Sablier and Oz's connection to Alice and Jack are revealed, Gil betrays him and he is imprisoned by Pandora, which is now working with the Baskervilles. And Oz doesn't seem to care and doesn't try to fight back, because he knows that everything he is and was never actually his, but a fabrication that resulted from Jack's lies and manipulation. If Gilbert hadn't arrived just in the nick of time, Oz would have willingly let himself die...
Retrace LXXVI: Alice&Oz
  • Alice cries when she realizes Oz rejected her and she got sent to the Abyss.
Retrace LXXVIII: Decision
  • Gilbert feels so guilty over shooting Oz, he burns his left arm off to sever his connection with Glen.
  • Pretty much everything about Leo in this chapter screams just how far in the Despair Event Horizon he has gone, to the point that he has lost the will to fight against Oswald!Glen's take-over.
Retrace LXXXII: Wish
"Oscar Vessalius falls down here."
  • Oscar's conversation with his wife and child in the afterlife. Doubles as a Heartwarming Moment.

Swan Song Arc

Retrace XCII: A StoryRetrace XCIII: Abyss
  • Sharon wailing over Break's dead body while Reim tries his best to keep it away from Lily (who seeks revenge on Fang). Reim himself never shed a tear and seemed pretty collected for someone who just witnessed the death of their dearest friend, but his eyes and risky, near-suicidal, actions throughout the chapter indicated the opposite
Retrace XCVII: I am
  • Noise's last words:
    "I thought I had to protect him no matter what. Because... That is what older sisters do."
Retrace XCVIII: Reverberate
  • Echo finally manages to thank Oz for all he had done for her while literally falling to pieces in front of his eyes. Oz, still teary eyed, then takes her red cloak and pulls it on in a single swift swirl, before standing up and following through on her plea for him to move forward. He wears the cloak until his own death.
  • Lottie taking one last look back at Fang when she sees a vision of him in Sablier one hundred years ago, before rushing to confront Glen.
Retrace XCIX: Shade
  • Leo's brief temptation to allow Oswald to go through with his plan if it means creating a future where Elliot doesn't die.
Retrace CI: Oswald
  • Oswald Disappears into Light after realizing he couldn't bring himself to kill his little sister. Even Jack was crying.
    • Oswald's last memory in the world is he and Lacie finding shelter together as children. Everything from him realizing that he made the right decision as he sees the love between the two as children to the last wave Lacie gives him before she leaves is heartbreaking.
Retrace CIII: Call Your Name
  • The face Gil makes, with the tears welling in his eyes, when he finally realizes what Oz's plan is and how it will cost his master his life.
Retrace CIV: Will
  • As Oz's tea party goes on, more and more deceased characters appear, until the Alice twins pull Oz out of the illusion and it's revealed that the whole thing was a dream constructed from Oz's deepest wishes.
    • Oz's dream isn't anything extravagant; it's simply a day being accepted by and spending time with the people he loves most in the world.
  • Oz reveals that he was aware since Lutwidge that his plan would most likely kill him along with the Intention of the Abyss
  • Oz and Alice both evaporate into the golden light that they returned to the world, promising to see Gilbert again somehow.
    • Oz, despite clearly trying to keep it together, sobs that he'll never go to that tea party with everyone like he promised or learn to use his uncle's camera. But at least he manages a smile when Gilbert promises to wait for his return.
  • After 100 years, Vincent leads Alice and Oz's reincarnations to Gilbert. They apparently having very limited knowledge of who they or Gilbert once were. Still they greet each other joyfully before Lacie's grave, not entirely understanding why they're crying, as Gilbert prepares to tell them their own beautiful, ridiculous fairy tale.]]
  • Jack and Oz's final conversation:
    Oz: "But...I have to wonder. Couldn't you have chosen a different path before things ended up this way?"
    Jack: "'re right. I could have prevented all of this. I—No. No, actually, you're wrong, Oz. I know if I went back, I'd do the same thing all over again. Because...I'm still mesmerized by the image of Lacie dancing in that blood rain."
    • Oz's wistful expression as he watches Jack speak makes the moment worse.
    • Jack finally admits he made a mistake, but he's aware he would still have made the same mistake had he gone back to an earlier time. This is incredibly sad because it means that all the tragedy that occurred during the series was inevitable, at least in this timeline.
  • After Barma dies, we have a small panel of Sheryl resting by his grave
  • Vincent,realizing that he and Ada can never be happy together due to his significantly longer lifespan, declares himself dead after Sablier and watches her continue her life without him
    • He then sets out on a journey to find Alice and Oz's reincarnations for Gil, passing away in aforementioned person's arms when arriving
    • The whole fact that Gilbert outlived all of his friends and had to spend a huge remainder of his life in complete loneliness
  • Oz, Alice and Gil finally reuniting again after 100 years doubles as a Heartwarming Moment
    • But addressing the elephant in the room: How long does Gil actually have left to live?
    • Word of God claims that they didn't really decide on an exact amount, but their own personal idea was that Gilbert has a few years left, and will live until Oz just about reaches adulthood.


  • Oz wrote a short letter to Gilbert after upsetting the latter...and the last part of the letter was just this single sentence written repeatedly:
    Oz: "I really just deserve to die."
    • It's played off like a joke or some kind of mocking harassment Oz uses to get Gilbert to pay attention to him again, but once you begin to understand how Oz really is later in the manga, it no longer reads as funny...
  • In Oz and Gilbert's younger years, Gilbert makes a vow to stay by the former for eternity. This serves as a Heartwarming Moment...until Oz replies and makes it a Tear Jerker instead.
    Gilbert: "I will never betray you. I will never abandon you. I will never let anyone hurt you. I wish to be your loyal servant forever."
    Oz: "...I don't believe in forever."
  • Then we have this:
    Elliot: "I'm sorry, Leo."
  • Retrace XLVII: Unbirthday, in hindsight, as well as the Drama CD about it, considering someone's recent death and the Face Heel Turns of a few others...
    • "Hey Elliot, wouldn’t it… be nice to have fun with everyone again… like Oz said?" As said by Leo after the Unbirthday party. This never happens, because almost every attendee of the tea party Leo was talking about is dead by the end of the manga.
  • Elliot and Leo are the closest people to one another, by far. They can even be considered the only people for one another in spite of their constant arguments, and reading about the deterioration of their relationship's foundation as they begin to lose understanding of one another, develop violently scrambled mentalities, and recall drastically different memories of the same events is extremely depressing.
  • March 2012 of the official Pandora Hearts calendar has Baskerville!Leo surrounded by marigolds. It gets depressing when you learn that among the meanings of marigolds in the flower language are grief, sorrow and despair.
    • The official guidebook also gleefully reminds us that "having no outlets, his sadness and despair transformed into destructive impulses, and he has applied the death of his friend to himself, personally."
  • Becoming the host of Glen's soul doesn't seem like a happy fate. On top of having to bring more bad luck to others than usual, you have a chance of making a close relative a Child of Ill Omen, as well as having to throw them into the Abyss one day. Poor Oswald. The worse part is that everything about the Baskervilles and the Children of Ill Omen were lies by the Jurors as they wanted to get rid of the latter for being out of their control and used the former for their stories.
  • The treatment Oz gets from his father is downright heartless, what with being called "filthy" in a flashback and being referred to with the pronoun "it". In the same flashback, as the "filthy" line, Oz's father says in reference to Oz, "A child like that should never have been born." Later on we find out Xai's hatred for Oz is even more extreme than we thought, as he is actively trying to murder him (mostly indirectly) in the ways that would cause him the most pain.
  • After the Baskervilles take over Pandora Oz asks about Break and we just see a panel of his limp hand and Lottie saying "The Mad Hatter isn't a threat to us anymore."
  • When Lacie says goodbye to Jack for the last time. Oswald's face really brings the Tear Jerker home.
  • Lacie's last words:
    Lacie: I'm sorry.
  • When Oswald finds out that the Tragedy of Sablier is Jack's fault. Not only does he flip out, but the betrayal is evident.
    • Both of their reactions to Lacie's death. Jack totally lost any shred of sanity he regained when he found her. Oswald is clearly traumatized, having killed his younger sister, and when he thinks he glimpses her when walking through the mansion...
  • Gil, when he remembers his master and Parental Substitute, Oswald, and what Jack did to him and Oz.
  • Oswald actually wishing to travel back in time to kill his own sister if it meant preventing the Tragedy of Sablier from ever happening, which shows just how far off the deep end he has been. There's also him using Elliot's sword to kill Oz.
  • Jack huddled amidst the ruins of Sablier while cradling Oswald's severed head. Also, when he comes to the realization that he murdered his best friend, there are tears in his eyes and evident remorse despite his Sanity Slippage.
  • Oz explaining to Echo that he is actually the chain B-rabbit causes her to break out of her Emotionless Girl persona and hug him.


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