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  • Abandon Shipping: Anybody who shipped Jack and Oswald (the latter being known only as Glen at the time) stopped supporting the pairing as anything other than a twisted tragedy ship upon finding out Jack is a sociopath who—as a completely condensed explanation—ruined everything.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Is Jack a Woobie whose manipulative tendencies and savagery are understandable due to his history as a victim of severe abuse at the hands of multiple people and the fact that his Sanity Slippage occurred because the only person he ever loved (Lacie) kept slipping from his fingers, eventually for good? Or is he a Manipulative Bastard and complete sociopath whose "love" for Lacie is driven by selfishness and a desire to have a reason to live? Jack himself confirms in the very last volume that he is the latter case when he reveals he actually hates Lacie and that spite is the only thing that has been successful in allowing him to feel alive, although many fans still prefer to believe the former.
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  • Awesome Art: After Art Evolution, the art becomes very clean, consistent and detailed. The official art even more so.
  • Awesome Music:
    • The anime has some seriously awesome music, particularly "Every Time You Kissed Me", which serves as Lacie's theme.
    • What were you expecting? It's composed by Yuki Kajiura after all.
    • Don't forget Bloody Rabbit. When that song comes on, you know something awesome is gonna happen.
    • Even the preview music manages to impress viewers.
    • The OP "Parallel Hearts" by Fiction Junction is gorgeous and badass simultaneously.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Jack Vessalius became one after Retrace 65's Reveal. Either everyone hates him now for having lied throughout the whole manga and, recently, for his treatment towards Oz or still (or started to) love him, because of the depth his character has gained from said Reveal.
    • Either fans find Isla Yura hilarious or just disturbing.
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    • Some fans find Vincent very sympathetic for his tragic backstory and self-hating desire to erase his own existence, others find him unlikable due to his many horrible and entirely intentional crimes and abuses throughout the series (abusing Echo, poisoning Sharon, murdering anywhere from dozens to hundreds of people), for which he, unlike others in similar circumstances, shows little to no remorse (he even trivializes the worth of the lives he's taken, something very against the moral of the manga). Due to this, his growing roll in the side plots was also met with mixed feelings from fans.
    • The fandom is very divided between people who absolutely hate Levi and people who are okay with him (nobody seems to go past being "okay" with him, though). The reason for this is because of the ambiguous nature of his "experiment." Did he rape Lacie, or did she consent? Many people on the "he raped her" side point out that she was definitely a child when he asked her if she'd be willing to participate in the experiment, but many who claim Levi didn't rape Lacie point out that she only got pregnant when she was an adult, implying Levi both waited for her to become legal and waited to see if she would still consent once she was an adult before actually doing the experiment. It's very confusing.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The demonic doll that attacks Oz when he falls into the Abyss (anime only) contributes nothing to the plot besides burning episode time and freaking us out.
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    • The chapter in which the core cast (except Oz and Break) all get drunk can be counted as one for the following reasons: it was full of randomness, it brought little to no contribution to the plot, and it is never mentioned again afterwards.
  • Cargo Ship:
    • As revealed in Chapter 71, Oz was originally a pair of stuffed rabbit dolls. Do the math. Especially since Alice owned one of his bodies.
    • Other ships include Oz x the cookies he found in the Abyss, Alice x meat, Gilbert x his hat, and the list goes on...
  • Complete Monster: Isla Yura is a man from a foreign country that manipulated members of the nobility into believing that the Abyss was a paradise. Using his connections, Yura was able to get control of an orphanage full of children sensitives to the power of the Abyss, children that were manipulated into doing a contract with an abyssal creature know as a Chain, a contract that would eventually kill them. Using those children as his soldiers, Yura sends them to slaughter dozens of persons in a party that he himself organized as a trap to get the necessary victims to recreate the ritual of the infamous Tragedy of Sablier and swallow the entire world into the Abyss. A cheerful psychopath, Yura confesses knowing the actual twisted nature of the Abyss, saying that his wish always was "to die laughing with the greatest unknown before my eyes".
  • Creepy Awesome: Break. A Badass One-Man Army who's occasionally out of his mind. And the fans love him for that.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Break's won every popularity poll taken during the series' run, consistently one or two places above main characters Oz and Gilbert
    • Vincent was also up there in the Japanese polls towards the manga's end.
    • Don't deny it, we all love Reim.
    • Elliot's a pretty popular character as well, and his death scene snagged him a lot more fans.
  • Evil Is Sexy:
    • Lottie. And the author is aware of that.
    • Glen Baskerville also has his fangirls. Specifically, all the Glens have his own fangirls.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • Sharon is almost always paired up with Break even though their relationship had always been portrayed as Like Brother and Sister, and also in spite of the fact that Jun Mochizuki seemed to repeatedly imply that Break was in love with Sharon's mother, Shelly. The epilogue, which occurs two volumes after Break's death, reveals that Sharon ends up marrying Reim. Readers were notably confused, although no more due to Sharon and Break being the Fan-Preferred Couple than the fact that Sharon and Reim barely interacted throughout the manga and had no important moments together.
    • Oz x Alice was definitely one of these. The amount of supposed Ship Tease even convinced a lot of fans who didn't like the ship that it was canon or going to be canon in the future. It never became canon, and Word of God stated Oz and Alice were never romantically involved and never would be in an interview after the release of the last volume, as well as that Oz would have been much more likely to get together with Echo if things had gone differently.
    • In a very mild and (possibly) nearly unnoticeable way, Fang x Lottie is one of these. It has actually been confirmed (albeit vaguely) one-sided since Word of God said she thought Fang had fallen "slightly in love with Lottie." However, mutually it never happened, not only because Fang died but because Lottie is eternally in love with Oswald.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • The series is not uncommonly referred to as "Paindora Hurts"note  by fans.
    • The Will of the Abyss is frequently referred to as "Alyss" note .
  • Foe Yay:
    • Break and Lottie had some before and during the Isla Yura Mansion arc, but as they haven't interacted since, we can't say for sure where this is going.
    • Vincent also seems to have some sort of fixation on Break, having once told him, "I like you the most." Hell, an official guidebook had Break in both Vincent's "likes" list and in his dislikes list. For his part, Break despises Vincent and wants nothing more than to kill him for poisoning Sharon.
  • Genius Bonus: This series has a plenty of references to old fairy tales and mythologies riddled through it, some obvious and some obscure.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • In Retrace IX, Break comments to Oz about not being able to see him (referencing his strangeness). Alice responds to this by mocking him, asking if his eyes have rotted out. Fast forward to Retrace XLII, where the decaying of Break's body causes him to go blind.
    • Early on in the manga, Break also tells Oz that neither of them have long to live: Oz has a chance if he manages to get out of his Contract before it ends, but Break's body is dying under the strain of his Contract with Mad Hatter. Break wonders whether he himself will outlive Oz, or whether Oz will outlive him. At the end of the manga, Oz does manage to outlive Break. But only by a few hours.
  • Ho Yay: Has its own page.
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient: Ever since Retrace 57, chapters that invoke exponentially high levels of this have gotten much too common for the fandom to handle, but special mention goes to...
    • Retrace 65, from page 51 on. Whoa nelly, make sure your grandmother's not in the room when you read this one. It's the Plot Twist to end all plot twists.
    • As of Retrace 70, Oz is apparently B-Rabbit, and his body is actually Jack's body. Raise your hand if you saw that coming. The fandom sure didn't, because they all simultaneously went insane.
    • After several chapters of important plot exposition and build-up, Retrace 74 gives us Echo showing up, the multiple revelations of what really happened during the Tragedy of Sablier, Jack effectively beginning the countdown to the end of the world, Oz apparently getting his body back only to hit a Heroic BSoD, and Leo is alive, appears to have been taken over by Glen, and has poor Oz shot in the chest in the middle of said Heroic BSoD. By Gilbert. Feeling breathless? We don't blame you.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: On a much lighter (and more meta note), this is not the first show that Yuuki Kaijura has worked on involving tragedy striking on the protagonist's birthday, contracts with creatures of the underworld, plenty of Ho Yay, lots of gorgeous Bishonen, strange organizations with deep ties to the main characters, and a distinctly Gothic aesthetic. What makes it even funnier is the fact that the anime adaptations of both franchises premiered within less than six months of each other!
    • The ties between both franchises extend to the music itself: just compare this section of "Kagayaku Sora no Shijima ni wa" (the ED to season two of Black Butler) and the middle section of "Every Time You Kissed Me" from Pandora. The resemblance between them is uncanny, and would certainly be considered plagiarism if it weren't for the fact that Kaijura wrote them both.
  • Inherently Funny Words: How Jack pronounces his name in the original Japanese voicing. Like "Ja-CQKKK".
  • Jerkass Woobie: Vincent, Break, but especially Jack.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Oz and Gilbert. Mainly Gilbert.
  • Les Yay:
    • Sharon likes to dress Alice up and even got her to call her big sister.
      • The first novel also had a moment involving Sharon, Alice and some lesbian porn. Granted, Break was the one who initiated the moment and Alice didn't know exactly what she was doing, but still!
    • And in the anime, there's also Lottie, Ada, and the poison. Not that I'm complaining, Heavens no!
  • Magnificent Bastard: In a dark world with a complex plot involving many master manipulators, the Big-Bad Ensemble manage to stand out:
    • Glen Baskerville, real name Oswald, is the mysterious leader of the Baskerville family. Having ordered the slaughter of the population of Sablier to spare them the horrifying fate within the Abyss centuries in the past, Glen returns in the present time by taking over the body of his reincarnation and assumes direct leadership over the Baskerville clan once again. Able to force skilled schemers like Rufus Barma and even fellow Magnificent Bastard Jack Vessalius to the limits of their wits, Glen ultimately almost attains his goal of altering the timeline by killing his own sister to prevent the events of the series from occurring, only stopping when he realizes his own hypocrisies and hollowness of his goals hidden behind good intentions.
    • The aforementioned Jack Vessalius is the true mastermind behind the events of the work. The illegitimate son of a noble, Jack fled from his home, living on the streets until he met a girl from the Baskerville family. Wanting to meet her again, Jack uses his noble family's name to be able to see her. When the Baskerville girl was sacrificed to the Abyss, Jack obsesses over seeing her again, deciding to throw the whole world into the corrupted Abyss to bring it to her. Causing the catastrophic Tragedy of Sablier, Jack blames the Baskerville and Nightray families while painting himself as the hero, going on to seek a chance to recreate it. Manipulating Oz's entire life to fulfill what Jack believes is the wish of his beloved, he is an ultimately Tragic Villain, even finally redeeming himself after accepting the errors of his own acts.
  • Memetic Molester: Break will appear under your bed without warning! The fact that he's fond of giving younger characters candy doesn't help.
    • Vincent and Lottie, the king and queen of badtouch.
    • Glen/Levi became this ever since it turned out that he impregnated Lacie. He'd definitely like to have an "experiment" with you as well.
  • Memetic Mutation: After the painful revelations of the Jack's Intention arc, it became a reoccurring joke by fans to advertise the series by promising that it was about the sweet adventures of a family and their stuffed animal rabbit. Usually including a Moe gif and/or descriptions of how "cute" and "innocent" and "totally not mind-scrambling" the series is.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Very little of what appears to be evil in this series is actually as bad as it seems, but some things still stand out:
    • Isla Yura trying to start a second Tragedy of Sablier and brainwashing innocent children to do so.
    • Xai Vessalius was never a likable guy, but immediately after his actions get slightly more understandable later (though still Jerkass in nature), he proceeds to murder his own brother, Oscar, in cold blood so that none of us mistake him for a sympathetic character.
    • Jack Vessalius instigating the Tragedy of Sablier that started this mess in the first place. Bonus points for using Vincent's desire to protect his brother to attain his murder weapon and using the innocent, sheltered plush!Oz as said murder weapon of choice (and not caring when he was screaming and begging Jack to stop).
  • Moe: Little Gilbert. And then Oz puts him in situations that only increase his moe-ness. Also, Oz in a maid dress.
    • There's Lily, too. That is, whenever she's not busy being a Creepy Child.
    • Alice is also this whenever she's excited, like in one omake which showcases just how much she liked getting pat on by Gilbert.
  • Relationship Writing Fumble:
    • A very large part of the fandom shipped Break and Sharon in spite of the fact that Sharon sometimes refers to Break as "big brother" and how Break is heavily implied to have been in love with Sharon's mother Shelly before her death. Although the intention is quite clear on Jun Mochizuki's part, their relationship isn't depicted as particularly sibling-like, and it certainly doesn't seem like a father-daughter relationship. Sharon and Break care about each other above all else, which could be a platonic thing, but they frequently blush around each other, occasionally fight Like an Old Married Couple, and usually don't act, through displaying their maturity and understanding of one another, as though there is as large an age gap between them as there is in reality.
    • Oz and Alice's relationship has a bit more of a Broken Base regarding whether it is this or not. A large amount of the fandom shipped them, particularly in the series' early days, but even those who didn't still assumed they would be the Official Couple of the series because many of their early interactions involved a lot of elements usually reserved for romantic couples. They kiss at the beginning of the manga (though admittedly, for non-romantic reasons) and dance together at Oz's second Coming of Age ceremony; Oz frequently proclaims Alice to be as dear as the sun to him and has Yandere tendencies for Alice in the earlier parts of the manga; Alice is possessive and jealous when Oz pays attention to others more than her and proclaims Oz to be her "property"; and though they develop out of their more obsessively devoted behaviors, it is clear at the end of the series that they still care for each other beyond measure. However,many of their obsessive or possessive tendencies work largely as foreshadowing for the fact that Oz was once quite literally her property, whom she killed herself to protect, and these shippy moments went down in frequency as Oz developed out of a flirt and were much more focused on in the anime than in the manga to begin with. But as so many people interpreted this relationship differently, Jun Mochizuki's unambiguous sinking of the ship during an interview took much of the fandom by surprise, as MochiJun had previously been very subtle and ambiguous regarding possible romantic tensions. Yet, she directly stated that Oz and Alice do care for each other beyond measure, but that their relationship is "on another level" and that they never were and will never be in romantic love with each other. Some of the fandom grew to appreciate their relationship even more because its implications posit non-romantic relationships as being as important and central as romantic ones—or, cynically, because it freed up Oz and Alice for other possible ships—but others in the fandom were left either confused or pissed.
  • Rewatch Bonus: The manga can be quite the Mind Screw, especially if you read it the chapters as they come out at a rate of once per month. Reading it again won't be as suspenseful, but it'll make a lot more sense. It's also typically a good idea to read the previous five or so chapters before you read each new chapter so that you remember exactly what's happened, cause this manga loves to use some really subtle Chekhov's Guns.
  • Slow-Paced Beginning: While Pandora Hearts is usually considered a brilliant piece of literature by those who've read it from beginning to end, it's not uncommon for newer readers have a hard time with the earlier chapters because of their Kudzu Plot characteristics and tendency for confusing events to occur that go dozens of chapters without being explained, as well as the general tone of "off-ness" present throughout much of the first half of the series. The story begins to hit its stride after the Cheshire Cat arc and Elliot's introduction, which is when the protagonists' character development begins and more depth is given to different plot threads, and becomes vastly more interesting towards the half-way mark, when the story gains clarity, concrete answers begin to be supplied, and the twists begin.
  • Ship Sinking: Nearly every pairing got sunk by the time the epilogue came out. Some examples are Oz and Alice dying after separating the Core of the Abyss and White Alice, Break died in Sharon's arms and same with Echo dying in Oz's arms, Rufus Barma dying 3 years after the fiasco in Sablier without getting together with Cheryl, and Vincent cut off his ties to Ada due to being a Baskerville. The only ones that got together are Sharon and Reim.
    • Word of God says Oz and Alice were not meant to be together romantically, because their relationship is "in another level". However, she says they are both each other's most important person and will stay like this as long as they are Oz and Alice.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: Although the shippers of this fandom are unusually tame and don't tend to enjoy ship wars, there are occasional clashes between those who ship Oz with Alice and those who ship Oz with Gilbert. Oddly enough, the people who ship Oz with Gilbert and the people who ship Oz with Echo don't seem to fight, though nobody can exactly say why. However, the people who ship Oz and Alice and the people who ship Oz and Echo have been known to fight.
  • Ugly Cute: Rufus Barma. Specifically, the first form Oz and the gang meet him with.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Jack. About half of the fandom pities him due to his history as an abuse victim, a nihilistic homeless man, and, finally, a guy who keeps losing the only person he loves (although The Reveal eliminated that last one as a source of sympathy for Jack, since it turned out he never loved her and just wanted a reason to feel alive). Word of God herself has never explicitly said the fandom wasn't supposed to like Jack, but she has given hints (such as when Yuki Kajiura said she loved Jack and Jun Mochizuki laughed awkwardly and answered, "W...Why?!" in an interview).
  • The Woobie:
    • Elliot.
    • Oz. Oz. Oz.
    • Gilbert and Vince too. Say what you will, but those two have gone to hell and back.
    • Leo too. His best friend is now dead, and he feels like everything that's gone wrong is all his fault. That's not getting to the many orphan children (who he cares for enough to consider his siblings) dying.
    • Alice, Break, Echo... it's actually easier to count who isn't a Woobie.
    • Elliot deserves repeating. It's pretty clear the author loves to torture her characters, but Elliot gets the brunt of it by far.
  • Woolseyism: Most English translations of Pandora Hearts are surprisingly one-to-one—even leaving the "ore" and "boku" differentiation, which can be difficult for English readers as English doesn't have such a variety of personal pronouns. However, there is a notable aversion of this in the Yen Press translation regarding the full name of B-Rabbit. Most translate the B-Rabbit's full Japanese title, "Chizome no Kuro Usagi" (literally "Black Rabbit of Blood-dye"), into English as "Bloodstained Black Rabbit," with "dye" switched with its rough synonym "stain" and used as an adjective. The Yen Press translation, however, translates this title to "Bloody Black Rabbit," which aside from being technically less accurate, has some connotation issues depending on the English-speaking audience in question.


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