Is this the end of House Nightray?
Story/Art: Jun Mochizuki
Translation/Adaptation: Tomo Kimura
What They Say
Just when it seems the tragedy of Sablier is on the verge of recurring at Isla Yura’s residence, the sinister blade of the Headhunter swings once more. From the darkness where the mysteries of Fianna’s House and Humpty Dumpty converge, one truth will come to light: an unmoving reality that is itself so shocking, it seems like an illusion…Will Oz and his allies ever recover?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
After all hell broke loose in the previous volume of Pandora Hearts, the good guys manage to regroup at the start of this volume. It’s a good thing too, as there are some bleak happenings that need Oz and his companion’s attention.
Once again Oz’s sister Ada proves to be awesome in her own way as the book opens. It turns out Vincent suffers some lingering trauma from the slaughters he witnessed in his youth. It’s wonderful to see Ada unintentionally and continuously get the better of him. It’s also strange to see Vincent working alongside Oz’s friends, just don’t go mistaking his intentions as anything altruistic. He’s still a conniving asshole through and through.
Raise your hand if you guessed what Reim’s March Hare power might have been. I had an inkling that the outcome of Break and Lilly’s fight would circle back around to Reim’s final moments in the last volume, and it’s satisfying to see it actually occur. Even if Gil rushing to Break’s assistance is a bit sappy, it had to be done to make Break realize that he’s not really strong enough to keep up his lone wolf routine. It also is one of the few moments where Oz’s group manage a small victory over the Baskervilles, and we find out that they aren’t as invincible as they seem.
It’s not just during Break’s battle with the Baskerville’s where we learn more about them. Oz’s confrontation of Yura forces Jack to briefly step forward once again and in his memories we discover Glen’s strange destiny. Perhaps Glen was trying to change his fate when he caused the original tragedy of Sablier. We still don’t know yet. Also, Oz still doesn’t seem to be in control of the B-Rabbit’s powers, something that Alice reminds him of in typical fashion.
Although Eliot is featured on the cover art of this volume, and it’s lovely art at that, his actual time on the page is low. Despite all that, the focus of the volume eventually falls on him in a huge way. Eliot’s mother shows just how far his family has fallen while under Yura’s Rasputin-like grasp. Sadly, it looks like Eliot discovered the truth about his family and himself too late for it to matter. The last few pages are a jumbled mix of flashbacks and current events, leaving the ultimate fate of the Nightray family hanging until the next volume.
This is proving to be an excellent story arc for Pandora Hearts. Minus some confusingly quick scene transitions, this series doesn’t get much better than this. The machinations of Isla Yura are laid bare as Oz and his friends fight off an impending disaster. In the middle of that we get some insight on just what Glen Baskerville was, and the hints of some larger cycle taking place. Perhaps the Abyss wasn’t always a dimension of chaos and darkness. There’s plenty of switchbacks and fake-outs as swords clash and the mansion burns down around everyone. The next volume should finish off the action for the time being, but it’s now clear that some folks won’t be coming home.
Content Grade: A –
Art Grade: A
Packaging Grade: B +
Text/Translation Grade: B +
Age Rating: 16+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: February 26th, 2013