Watch For: flowers, roses, mysterious hands, ribbons, pearls, chains, cages,
feathers, wings, butterflies, skulls, crowns, crosses,
chessboards, curtains, stars, rabbits, mirrors, earrings, colors.
You often find lavish curtains in
Pandora Hearts art dominating large portions of the picture.
They have a theatrical quality to them, framing the visible
characters as if they're on a stage. In the opera picture below,
they take on deep hues of green and blue, creating a turquoise
ambiance reminiscent of being underwater. Pearls,
gems of the sea, line the rim of the balcony. The blue wall in
the back is vertically striped, almost like a cage,
and in the middle is a door. A brown rabbit
with a black bow sits dead center on a red cushion between Oz
and Leo... watching.
The current Abyss is dark, filled with water and drifting golden
lights. You can see it when
condemned, and when
first heard the Lacie melody, and also whenever
interacts with Oz. The aquatic color scheme here might be
related to this. The blue/green/gold scheme is only broken by
Leo's purple attire, distinguishing him from Oz/Gil/Vince's
turquoise and matching him with the reddish purple wings
in the foreground. More on wings later.
What's the reason for singling Leo out? Isn't Vincent supposed
to be on his side? Or is this an indication that Leo alone is
not in the thrall of the Abyss' power? After all, he is the only
one of the four who wants to destroy the Will of the Abyss.
Purple is also the color of royalty, marking him as King of the
But aside from their watery associations, the curtains
are like the overhanging sky, complete with celestial symbols
such as wings and stars. Sea
and sky are not mutually exclusive symbols, since many cultures
associate the night sky with the ocean, rivers, and even milk.
Hence the expression, "sea of stars." Both the sky and the ocean
envelop us with their vastness and have omniscient qualities in
Five-pointed stars appear in other places, too,
sometimes in conjunction with Abyss lights. Or, I should say,
five pointed objects, since five-petaled flower confetti seems
to serve a similar purpose.
This is especially true around Leo, and particularly when he's
immersing himself in books in order to escape the world and
chapter 63 he was shown with a profusion of stars
and Abyss lights while reading, and these are also shown as
here and in
the picture on the right.
As such, stars seem to be linked with fun,
light-hearted, whimsical scenes involving creativity and
imagination to escape from an otherwise serious world. They also
appear with other characters, as is shown in the pictures below.
Also note that the cage-like vertical striped
background with stars behind the curtains in
the third picture is very similar to the one in the opera
Just as curtains put the featured characters on
center stage, they also shroud what's going on backstage. This
has the very literal symbolism of either obscuring or revealing
information depending on how far the curtains
are drawn back.
The owner of these mysterious hands is hidden
in the shadow of these curtains, not unlike
appeared to Oz, or when Zwei
Echo. In the opera picture above, the curtains are
pulled back to show a closed door. In the Yin Yang
Jack and Oz, the curtains are pulled back even more, opening up
a panorama of the Lacie music watch and its melody. Are these
hints of what's driving the story from behind the scenes?
The curtains are often held back by
pearls, aquatic stones sacred to sea goddesses which
may be linked to the Abyss. Sometimes they hang around as
garlands, and other times they hang down like strings, ending in
a teardrop shape - the shape of Lacie's earrings. In fact, the Victorian symbolism for
pearls is "tears,"
associating them with pain and sorrow.
But that's not the only shape that pearl
strings end in.
They end in stars, crescent moons, and also
They reach down like tentacles and sink their sharp, sickle-like
hooks into the limbs of various character dolls, literally
turning them into puppets. In this case, the pearls
have latched onto Alice and Oz.
Gilbert is face-down on
the bed wrapped up in white ribbon, probably
symbolic of Zwei having control over him with the Doldum Chain.
Perhaps pearls, ribbons, and
chains are all varying degrees of subtlety in
manipulation and control. Pearls would seem
like the gentler of the three, yet in the picture on the
right we can see them turning into metallic chains.
Not just hiding the chains like ribbons do, but
directly into chains! This suggests that pearls
are a more potent symbol of involvement by the Abyss than
The metallic hooks here look similar to the B-Rabbit scythe that
Alice is hiding behind her back. She is wearing a crown
with purple roses and blue feathers.
But back to the teardrops that hang from the pearl
strings. Jack's earrings are teardrops
wrapped in string or wire. They also change color, so he either
pairs or they act like some kind of mood ring. O.o See pictures
In happy pictures, such as on the cover of Volume 7 and
with Oz, they are
Blue. In sadder pictures, such as "drugged" Jack with dark Alice
and the color
of Volume 7 where he's in mourning, they are Red. In the
September calendar picture, they are Purple, as if transitioning from
Blue to Red or vice versa - changing attitude? When Jack
appears to Lottie and the Baskervilles in chapter 27, they are Blue at the
top and Purple or Red on the bottom.
And in the
Jack's earrings are black roses. o.O
Lottie also wears rose earrings, although
hers are probably Pink or Red.
Do earrings indicate what kind of influence
the character is listening to? This would add extra significance
to Jack's earrings being given to him by Lacie.
|Vincent's teardrop earrings are consistently Red and
Oscar also has Red teardrop earrings
Gilbert has a Gold clasp on his left ear. Gold is a
color associated with the Abyss.
Reim wears a hoop on a strap.
In this picture of a masquerade, Gilbert, Break, Vincent, and Oz
all have masks with feathers. Masks are a bit
like face curtains: symbols of
obscurement and disguise, as well as revealing certain aspects
of a character.
Gilbert's mask is a little different, since it covers the whole
face. Maybe this represents how his memory had been so sparse
that he didn't know who he really was and became a whole
different person. His mask also has a teardrop coming down from
the right eye.
The rabbit, however, doesn't have
feathers at all. Instead, she has what look like
pearls lining her mask (although maybe they're
little paper circles or something?). There is a heart in the
center - sorrow mixed with love?
This brown rabbit holding a bone appears in
Looking closer (hover your cursor over the rabbit to zoom in),
you can see that the eyeholes of the mask are shaped like meat
on a bone, so it's probably just Alice's love of meat. You can
see Alice reaching for the same kind of bone
This rabbit, with its black bows, looks a lot
like the black-bowed rabbit in the opera
picture. Both rabbits are sitting on red
chairs, and both pictures have balconies and a door.
Pandora Hearts and all the characters, story, and art therein is
copyright Jun Mochizuki. No copyright infringement is intended,
and I hope that this essay inspires more people to read/watch
Pandora Hearts! Translations are by
Syndicate. Visit the
page to see who else helped!