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 "Oz Vessalius! Your sin... is your very existence!"

Oz Vessalius is a young boy with father issues who is about to come of age and be recognized as the heir to his family.

But during his coming of age ceremony, Oz is attacked by the mysterious Baskervilles and is sent to the Abyss for the crime of 'existing.' There he meets an amnesiac being named Alice/B-Rabbit - a monster called a 'chain' who cannot leave the Abyss without making a contract with a human. Together, Oz and Alice make it out of the Abyss only to be met in the real world by three agents of Pandora who inform Oz that he has been missing for ten years instead of just a single day.

Now a part of Pandora, Oz works with them to find illegal contractors, recover Alice's lost memories, and to unravel the mystery of who the Baskervilles are and why they sent him to the Abyss.

Pandora Hearts is a manga by Mochizuki Jun, sponsored by Square Enix. It was made into an anime series airing in 2009. Yen Press is publishing the English language version of the manga for North America, and NIS America has announced their intent to localize the anime in a bid for new ground.

WARNING: Major Alice in Wonderland allusions, ye with sanity be warned.


Pandora Hearts shows examples of:

  • A Fete Worse Than Death: Oz's second Coming-of-Age celebration turns out this way.
  • Abusive Parents:
    • Zai Vessalius, Oz's father.
    • Gilbert and Vincent's parents can be considered this since they left the children on the streets where they were abused and mistreated until Jack found them.
      • Looks like Duke Nightray was like this as well, at least to the point of pretty much allowing his son to die, even though he easily could have stopped it. Lots of abusive parents in this series, huh?
  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: Gilbert has once given Alice one. An omake shows that she liked it so much that she did things like stealing some candy from Break just so he'd give her more.
  • Alas, Poor Yorick: Retrace LXX has a moment with Gilbert cradling Glen's head in his arms.
  • Alice Allusion
  • All Crimes Are Equal: "Oz Vessalius! Your crime... is your very existence!"
  • An Arm and a Leg: Early on in the anime, a chain lops off both Alice's arms after trapping her in web-like substance.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Vincent to Gil. Though there is a reason for Vincent's clinginess.
  • Arc Words: When you hear the phrase "A darkness that swallows up everything", you know something crucial to the plot is going on. It's been used to describe the Abyss, Leo's eyes, and Jack's view of the world.
  • Art Evolution
  • The Atoner: Glen/Oswald tries to atone for killing his sister Lacie by taking care of her daughter, Alice.
  • Attractive Bent Gender:
    • When Gilbert has to crossdress to help solve the mystery in one of the drama CD stories. And how!
    • Also, in Chapter 48, Oz turns up in a maid outfit. Despite the fact that its not nearly as revealing as Gil's was in the first anime omake, it's certainly nosebleed-inducing.
    • Break appears in a fine ladies' outfit for a promo card from Animate.
    • And then there's the whole "Maid-ora Hearts" omake thing, in which everyone wears a maid outfit. Young Gil also does in at least one anime omake.
  • Author Avatar: In the form of a black cat with a mustache in the Author's Notes for each volume.
  • Ax Crazy: Chains
  • Badass Longcoat: Quite a few examples. It helps that it's the official Pandora uniform.
  • Dances and Balls: Oz's Second Coming of Age ceremony. Turns out, it was a ploy to get several people in one place for a plot to repeat the Tragedy of Sablier. The plot failed, but that doesn't stop it from not ending well.
  • Battle Butler: Gilbert, Break, and Echo so far.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: One illegal contractor did manage to get Will of the Abyss to change the past. Break asked her to prevent the betrayal of the family he was serving, as all but one of whom were killed by a rival family. She did. Instead, they were betrayed again a few years later, and no one got out alive.
  • The Beautiful Elite: Oz, Alice, Gilbert, Break, Sharon, Jack, Vincent, Elliot... it'd be easier to name the people who don't fall under this.
    • That would be Isla Yura.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Break, normally Obfuscating Stupidity, gets very serious very quickly if one of the few people close to him is in danger. Namely, Sharon and Reim.
    • Likewise with Gil when it comes to Oz, or Vincent when it comes to Gil.
    • Saying Jack's name around Will of the Abyss induces this, too, depending on the situation.
    • Just try hurting Alice or making her cry and see what Oz does.
  • Best Beer Ever: Best wine ever. Sharon, Alice, and Gil all get completely sloshed on one glass.
  • Better to Die Than Be Killed: Elliot in Retrace 59.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • Oz is rather unstable and Yandere for Alice.
    • Sharon is secretly a very scary person.
    • And then there's Ada and her... hobbies.
    • Leo actually has a terrible temper, it's just that Elliot usually loses his before him. He's also very close to turning Yandere on behalf of Elliot.
      • Then, there's the recent revelation about being the current Glen Baskerville...
    • Gil is a big wimp... that is until you hurt his master Oz in front of him.
    • Lily is adorable. She's also one of the Baskervilles.
  • Beleaguered Childhood Friend: Both Gil and Oz have aspects of this.
  • Big Eater: Alice, particularly when meat is involved.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Oscar.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Alice's battle theme, "Bloody Rabbit" is sung in Kajiura Yuki's own personal language, a mix of Spanish, Latin, Japanese, Italian, and whatnot. People refer to it as Kajiurian or Kajiurago.
  • Bishie Sparkles: Sharon. One even hits Break in the head...
  • Bishonen:
    • Of the main cast, Gil, certainly, as well as Vincent and Jack. Most other young-ish male characters also count.
    • A notable example is Reim; the fact that no male nor female pronouns were used to refer to him for some time didn't help. They fixed this in the anime however, giving him less feminine features and a decidedly male voice.
  • Blond Guys Are Evil: Vincent. Averted with Oz and Jack.
    • Retrace LXV seems to have the latter play this straight all along, though.
  • Blood-Splattered Innocents: Vincent at the Tragedy of Sablier... but possibly not so innocent.
  • Blue Blood: The four Duke Houses.
  • Body Horror: People who get lost in the illusions in that hole in Sablier for too long tend to have this happen to them because of the power of the Abyss.
    • The ultimate fate of those chosen to become the new Glen Baskerville entails this; when the soul of Glen Baskerville leaves, the body slowly begins rot away until it turns into a Chain (note that the individual is still alive throughout this). Revis, the Glen before Oswald, is shown covered in the bloody bandages that are holding his body together just before his transformation into Humpty Dumpty.
  • Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: Break and Sharon.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Gilbert, with respect to the enemies of his master (both Oz and Jack). In Chapter 38, a flashback to 100 years ago when Jack rescued him and Vincent off the streets shows a mysterious old woman implanting various compulsions in Gilbert's mind, including an intense need to kill his master's enemies. In chapter 33, Vincent happily exploits the hell out of the brainwashing in order to manipulate his dear brother into trying to kill Alice... possibly again. Gilbert is also driven to attack Oz's father, who was responsible for sending Oz into the Abyss in the first place, but Break manages to snap Gilbert out of it.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Alice.
  • Break the Cutie: Happens (or has happened) to most of the cast. Much to the point that the housecat and his killer(s) are not spared.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: All the anime omake start off with the characters thanking the viewer for buying the DVD, usually with funny results, and eventually cut to where the film crew is standing nearby.
  • Breather Episode:
    • The chapters where Oz, Alice, Gil and Oscar sneak into Lutwidge to visit Ada, Oz's sister. Subverted, as Oscar states that it was exactly his intention to let the gang have some silly fun for once, and some of the Baskervilles show up to cause trouble halfway through.
    • Episode 20 (Retrace XXVIII in the manga), right after Lutwidge, plays this straight.
    • Also played straight in Retrace XLVII: Unbirthday.
    • Retrace LXII: Repose played this straight until Leo shows up.
  • Brutal Honesty: The manga towards the readers in Retrace 60. Instead of a recap page, there was a black page with one simple statement written in white: "Elliot... he died."
  • Bunny Ears Lawyer: Break.
  • Butt Monkey: Gilbert. He is often the target of Oz's bullying, Alice's eccentricities, Break's... sadism, and even Sharon has had a few notable moments. And this is just from the core group. Even the mangaka has her own potshots at him, often describing him as "useless" or "seaweed head".
  • Calling the Old Man Out:
    • Gil tried to do this for Oz, but it doesn't work at all. At the end of the anime, Oz finally does it himself by giving Alice enough power to one-shot Gryphon.
    • Vincent did this to Duke Nightray after Elliot's death.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Almost everyone gets sloshed (apparently on one bottle of wine) in Episode 20, but Gilbert runs the gamut from misaimed belligerence to sloppy begging to a cute but slightly disturbing reversion to childhood. Then he passes out.
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys: Pandora Hearts is a textbook example of this.
  • Cataclysm Backstory: The Tragedy of Sablier.
  • Cheshire Cat Grin:
    • Literally in episode 12 of the anime (Or the end of Retrace XIV of the manga). It would be ironic for it to not be in this show.
    • Also, Duke Barma's initial illusion wears this almost permanently.
  • The Chessmaster:
    • Vincent. Incidentally, literally as well.
    • There's also Glen Baskerville, by whom it's not certain how much is still being controlled, and to some extent Zai Vessalius.
    • Jack Vessalius can be considered one, of the benevolent Mysterious Protector variety.
      • Maybe not so benevolent after all.
  • Chick Magnet:
    • Gil in the anime, who was almost attacked by a hoard of frothing horny schoolgirls while in Lutwidge Academy.
    • To a lesser extent in the manga, too. Retrace 49 has a horde of noble females swarming around him and Vincent. We already knew Vincent was this as well, but this time we see them well-dressed at a noble party. All the girls are happy, inside and outside the universe.
  • The Chosen One: Oz is said to be the key to obtaining the Will of the Abyss, which explains why so many people are interested in him. He also has part of the soul of the country's hero inside of him.
    • Actually the country's villain. It is also revealed that Oz is the original entity of B-rabbit, cementing his role as a direct connection to the Will of the Abyss, thereby justifying his role as a Chosen One.
    • The Chosen Many: Chapter LI reveals that the reason why the Baskervilles are Baskervilles in the first place is because they were chosen by the golden lights of the Abyss.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome/Martyr Without a Cause: Oz, which is viciously and awesomely deconstructed in Elliot's "The Reason You Suck" Speech after he tries to make a Stupid Sacrifice.
  • Color Coded for Your Convenience: Baskervilles wear blood red cloaks.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Poor Gilbert.
  • Comes Great Insanity:
    • Alice in B-rabbit form. Or Oz when he's playing with that scythe.
    • Or Gil, if it has something to do with Oz, like when he tried to kill Alice in Retrace 35 since Alice was "snatching away his beloved master", or in Retrace XIX when he pointed his gun at Jack for sending Oz to look for Alice
  • Conditioned to Accept Horror
  • Cool Gun: Gil's got some nice revolvers.
  • Cooldown Hug: Alice does this to Oz in Retrace 44.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: Vincent and Gilbert's parents are mentioned twice, and they never say if they had any other family that could have cared for them.
  • Cosmic Keystone: The literal, invisible chains that hold the world from falling into the Abyss. Remarkably solid for such, as only one Chain in existence possess the power to break them.
  • Crazy Consumption: Xerxes Break with his candy and cake.
  • Creepy Child: Vincent in flashbacks. Oz when "gathering information." The children of the House of Fianna, who have been simultaneously brainwashed into forgetting their Dark and Troubled Past and made into the contractors of Humpty Dumpty by having them drink his blood. Duke Nightray has a lot to answer for...
  • Cute and Psycho: Many characters, even without being Yandere, can still manage to be rather frightening. Notable examples are Lily and Lacie.
  • Cute Little Fangs: Elliot. Oh, Elliot.
  • Cute Shotaro Boy: If you can count Oz as one. Early Gil as well.
    • Phillipe also applies.
  • Dandere: Echo.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Pretty much the entire main cast.
  • Dark Is Not Evil and Light Is Not Good: Alice, the black rabbit, is the heroine of the story, while the Will Of Abyss, the white rabbit, isn't someone you want to stumble upon... Seriously.
  • Deal with the Devil: Making an illegal contract with a Chain will end up with the contractor eventually being sucked into the Abyss.
  • Determinator: Elliot throwing off the influence of Humpty Dumpty to find out his true memories. Pity that they're of him murdering his family. Possibly a deconstruction.
  • Demonic Dummy: The Will of the Abyss' room is filled with these.
  • Devoted to You: So much.
    • Gilbert towards Oz.
    • Oz and Jack towards Alice.
    • Glen to Lacie, which essentially fuels the plot. Or does it?
      • Or more so Jack since all the words of obsession said by "Glen" were actually Jack's words
    • Lottie towards Glen.
      • The entire Baskerville faction to Glen.
      • and also Jack towards Glen. "...My one and only best friend."
    • Leo towards Elliot, though it's not very obvious at first.
    • Break towards Sharon and her family.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Even after stabbing his best friend, being sent into the Abyss, and being attacked by Chains, Oz is able to joke around and happily eat cookies. It turns out that Oz's attitude is because his father told him he was disgusting and should never have been born when he was young.
  • Disappeared Dad: What happened to Sharon's father?
  • Dream Melody: If someone's playing "Lacie", it's a cue to pay attention to them. Just make sure you're looking at the right person.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Oz went for years at a time without seeing his father, was told he was disgusting by said father, and then got thrown into Abyss by him. Gil is a Failure Knight trying to make up for the fact that he was mind-controlled into attacking his best friend and who lived through the Tragedy of Sablier. Alice used to be human but was murdered, is amnesiac, and she has a Literal Split Personality / Evil Twin... thing. Break signed an illegal contract to try to change the fact that the family he was bound to protect was betrayed and massacred, then was dragged into the Abyss and had his eye torn out, only to have the family die off anyway. This is only touching the main cast.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Young Elliot and Leo appear in episode 11, where they both see Gilbert first entering the Nightray mansion. The latter also counts as an Adaptation-Induced Plothole due to their meeting actually taking place far later than that.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Alice, Gilbert, Glen (Or more specifically, Oswald and Leo) and Lacie.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Chains.
  • Emotionless Girl: Echo initially appears like this.
  • Estrogen Brigade Bait: One of the things this series is known for.
    • Gilbert.
    • Not to mention Elliot. Hello, handsome pianist with tragic recurring nightmares.
    • Oz also counts to an extent.
    • And Vincent. "He has such gentle eyes..."
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Both Oz and Gil apply.
  • Evil Twin: Will of the Abyss.
  • Extra Eyes: Humpty Dumpty.
  • Eye Scream:
    • Break is missing his left eye because the Will of the Abyss ripped it out.
    • Vincent also has a tendency to take scissors to eyeballs. Like that one time with pre-Chain Cheshire.
  • Eyes of Gold: Gilbert. Vincent also has one gold eye.
  • Face Framed in Shadow: The leader of the Baskervilles... for a while, anyway.
  • The Faceless: Jack (at first), the Headhunter, until Retrace 61, the Chain "Raven", of which we only get to see feathers until Retrace 55, and Lacie until Retrace 65.
  • Failure Knight: Gil and Break.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • The Will of the Abyss is called Alyss or White!Alice by many fans.
    • The author of the series, Jun Mochizuki, frequently has her name shortened to "Mochijun" by the fans.
    • Elliot was also referred to as Elly by some of the fanbase, even before Mochizuki commenced usage of the pet name herself.
    • Isla Yura will probably never be known to the English-speaking fandom as anything other than "Creeper".
    • Some fans have begun referring to post-Elliot's-death Leo as "Gleo" after it is revealed that he is the next incarnation of Glen Baskerville.
  • Fan Service:
    • Episode 20, the first and second omakes, the Doki Doki Pandora Gakuen omakes, the Maid-ora Hearts omakes, and the Gil in Wonderland manga omake.
    • The kiss Oz had with Alice at the start of the series.
    • The Oz and Gil fanservice in episode 15.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: Getting thrown into the Abyss is not a pleasant experience. Oz just handled it really, really well.
  • Feuding Families: Nightray and Vessalius.
  • Foreshadowing: That official picture of Jack, dressed in black and kissing the hand of an unknown person, has gained LAYERS of meaning since the traumatic revelations of Retrace 65. The mangaka, when asked, stated that who the hand belongs to "is of no consequence". Also, the official art of Gilbert obsessively cradling a skull has become a lot more sinister in light of recent chapters.
    • There happens to be a website dedicated to the symbolism in the official pictures.
  • Future Badass: Gilbert.
    • Slightly subverted, as he is usually just good at putting up a tough front, while his real personality is basically the opposite of that.
  • Generation Xerox:
    • Oz will probably look exactly like Jack in a few years, and Sharon looks like a shrunken version of her mother.
    • Probably justified in Oz's case in that apparently, his body IS Jack's body. The existence known as "Oz" is actually the chain B-Rabbit.
    • Alice resembles Lacie, who turns out to be her mother.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: You're not allowed to show minors drinking alcohol on Japanese TV, so they got around this by cheekily pointing out that, due to messed up aging and so forth, all of the are old enough to drink even though they don't look it. Or not human in the case of Alice and the doll.
  • Girl in the Tower: Alice 100 years ago, so much. Before her was Lacie.
  • Ghost Lights
  • Grand Theft Me: Retrace XXXIX shows that Glen has no permanent body of his own and must possess others to continue ruling the Baskerville household. Gilbet was lucky enough to evade this fate 100 years ago.
    • Subverted in Retrace LXVIII. Turns out that "Glen" is merely a title given to the leader of the Baskerville family, contracted to all the necessary Chains, and thus has the authority and power to meet with the Will of the Abyss personally. Potential "Glens" are determined by an unknown set of criteria, but it appears that there's a direct correlation between being related to a potential "Glen" by blood and being a "Child of Misfortune".
    • As of chapter 65, Jack has taken complete control of Oz's body and used it to stab Leo with one of B-Rabbit's chains.
      • Also strangely averted in chapter 70 in that, apparently, it was Jack's body all along.
  • Green Eyes: Oz, Ada, and Jack.
  • Hair of Gold: Oz, Ada, and Jack, although Jack doesn't think he is a hero at all. Because he isn't.
  • Hair-Raising Hare: The Blood-Stained Black Rabbit will mess you up. The White Rabbit is worse.
  • Handicapped Badass: Xerxes Break after he goes blind.
  • Happiness in Slavery: Echo. Subverted once you get her talking about her "beloved master." Gil's devotion to his bullying master Oz approaches this as well.
  • Harmful Healing: Played with, in a way. The reason why Elliot is a Humpty Dumpty contractor is that Leo made him drink its blood to 'forget' (read: erase) the mortal wounds Elliot received while they were looking for the children in Sablier. When Elliot remembered those forgotten memories, the wounds came back.
  • Hartman Hips: Disturbingly enough, Isla Yura.
  • He Who Must Not Be Seen: Jack right about up until the end of the Cheshire Arc. Had heavy elements of Face Framed in Shadow.
    • Also, Zai Vessalius, Oz's father. We still have yet to get a good look at his face.
  • Hellish Pupils:
    • Lottie's pupils make it easy to tell that she's creepy.
    • Zwei seems to have similar pupils. As does Leo.
  • Healing Potion: Vincent bribes Break with an antidote after he poisons both Sharon and Echo... and then, to prove the antidote works, Vincent gives Echo said potion by frenching her.
  • Heroic Albino: Break.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Jack went through a particularly horrifying sacrifice to seal away Glen in order to keep the peace, which involved Jack being physically separated into five pieces. At the end of Retrace XLII, one of Jack's dismembered arms is shown.
    • Retrace LXV reveals that it's not Jack's, but Glen's body that got split (his head was in one of the Sealing Stones).
    • Elliot rejecting Humpty Dumpty despite his Incuse being one quarter from completion comes to mind, as well.
  • Hidden Weapons: Break's cane is a concealed sword. Echo and Lottie both have hidden knives up their sleeves. Alice also uses some utensils to good advantage when possessing Oz in the beginning.
  • Hot for Student: Heavily implied throughout the Pandora Academy Omakes, though YMMV.
  • Hot Mom: Lacie.
  • How We Got Here: Episode 12 explains to us how Oz, Gil and Alice ended up in line for a three-round arm-wrestling match for Gil's hat. Of course, since it's Oz talking, we learn that Gil is a useless moron and Oz is The Hero. It's true.
  • I Have the High Ground: Alice goes out of her way to provide examples for this trope.
  • I Will Find You: Jack spends eight years trying to find Lacie before he finally reunites with her.
  • Idiot Hair: Rufus Barma.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Break's reason for becoming an illegal contractor is a desire to undo this.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Jack, through Oz, stabs Leo with one of B-Rabbit's chains in Retrace LXV.
  • Important Haircut: Leo gets one in Retrace LXI.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes:
    • Alice's dress/coat/thing comes to mind. Also, obviously, all the noble suits and dresses.
    • The Lutwidge school uniforms are nice enough to make James Bond jealous.
  • Innocent Flower Girl: Oz meets one. It doesn't end well.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Break, when he was still Kevin Regnard, asked the Intention of the Abyss to prevent the massacre that killed the family. However, they still die later on due to his absence.
  • Intimate Healing: In order to prove to Break that the antidote for Sharon really works, Vincent administers the antidote to a poisoned Echo by kissing her. Lottie pulls the same trick on Ada in the anime.
  • Intrinsic Vow: Invoked.
  • It's All My Fault:
    • Usually when Gil is angsting about not being able to protect Oz, even though he was only a kid at the time and there was really no way he could have stopped the Big Bad without getting himself killed.
    • Leo seems to feel this way with Elliot's death, as well as other things, as of recent chapters.
  • I Work Alone: Sharon calls Break "Mr. One-Man-Show" because of this.
  • Japanese Pronouns: When Gilbert was young, Break convinced him that he had to start using 'Ore' in order to be more like his idols, Oscar and Oz. When Gil is older, he gets drunk and forgets which form of "I" to use. While he's going "Ore? Boku?," Break starts making hilarious suggestions like "washi," "ora," and "gil-gil."
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Elliot. Some might say he's just a Tsundere though. By Retrace XL or so it's fair to say that Elliot is a much nicer guy than he wants to show.
    • Arguably, Break. It's not always obvious that he does have a heart, but he's got his moments.
    • Oz himself, particularly in that scene where he made Gil sign a contract making him officially his servant for life... the purpose of which was to cement the fact that Oz must always protect him, since a master's task is to take care of his servants. Oz was still a jerk about it.
  • Kidanova: Oz really likes younger girls.
  • Kid with the Leash: Several contractors, Oz and the little girl they meet early on.
  • Killer Rabbit: Most notably literal rabbits, and in black and white varieties.
  • Knight Templar Younger Brother: Vincent.
  • Knowledge Broker: Rufus Barma.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Conversely, Trauma-Induced Amnesia.
  • Laughing Mad: The Head Hunter, after killing Rytas, Marie and Glooner.
  • Lecherous Licking: Several examples; see the trope page for details.
  • Let's Get Dangerous: Break. He even says "time to get serious" at one point in the anime, which Alice takes as her cue to GTFO without needing further instruction. Every time he puts on his game face (usually by whipping out the Mad Hatter, though revealing the concealed sword does the trick too), everyone craps their pants, but the sudden air of panic is no damper whatsoever to his flamboyant attitude. He still snarfs candy and talks with hearts in his speech bubbles as he watches his opponents slowly bleed to death.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Alice (physical appearance, falling for a Vessalius, being locked in a tower) and the Will of the Abyss (physical appearance, psychotic tendencies) to their mother Lacie.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Save for a few special circumstances.
  • Little Miss Badass: Alice, Echo, The Will of Abyss, Sharon (biologically 23, but physically 13), Lily...
  • Lolicon:
    • Kinda. Oz never misses a chance to flirt with younger girls. In appearance, he looks 15, but after escaping the abyss, he's technically 25. Then there's Jack and Alice. Although Alice's real age is not fully confirmed, she is hinted to have been 13 before her death and transformation into a chain (she appears to be 13 mentally and physically, but is technically 113), Jack refers to her as "a sweet, cute little girl" and "very precious person."
      • It's eventually revealed Oz is technically over a hundred years old, having originally been a sentient stuffed rabbit owned by Lacie and later Alice. On the other hand, he doesn't remember any of it.
    • Glen/Revis probably counts. Lacie was a young adult when he impregnated her, but in flashbacks, she still appeared to be a prepubescent when he asked for her participation in his "experiment."
  • Lonely Rich Kid: The whole story pretty much starts as Oz being this.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Quite a few, most noticeably Vincent and Jack, with his braid. Leo and Rufus Barma also count, along with Break, who had a ponytail right after being spit out of the Abyss, and Gilbert, whose hair is at least long enough to tie back.
  • Love Makes You Evil:
    • Most prominent examples are Glen who apparently lost it when his love, Lacie, died as a sacrifice to the abyss, and Vincent, although that's supposedly brotherly love. (Except this is Vincent.) Lottie also obeys Glen's every order out of love, and many other characters go through such a phase when a person they care about is in danger, often with scary results. See Oz in Cheshire's dimension, Break's past, Gil's issues with his Master, etc, etc. Oz seems to also be heading this way with Alice and Leo with Elliot as of recent chapters.
    • As of Chapter 65 this may be subverted with Glen, and played straight for Jack.
  • Lover Tug of War:
    • Episode 17. "My master!" "No, my servant!"
    • And then again in Episode 20, this time with all parties involved drunk out of their minds.
  • The Mad Hatter
  • Magic Pants: When Alice turns into her rabbit form, not only do her clothes grow with her, but her miniskirt turns into a pair of pants! (Probably justified by magic.)
  • Manipulative Bastard:
    • Rufus Barma, Vincent, and Break.
    • Oz, most notably in Retrace XLVIII.
    • Retrace LXV: Jack.
  • Marshmallow Hell: Done to Oz by Lottie, notably.
  • Meido: The Maidora Hearts omake. Young Gilbert also wore a maid outfit in the first anime omake.
  • Mind Screw: The series as a whole. With Alice in Wonderland as its template, this isn't all too surprising.
  • Mismatched Eyes: Vincent has one red eye and one gold eye.
  • Mood Whiplash: There's quite a lot in this manga.
    • Retrace XLVI: Vincent having sinister thoughts about tainting Ada, whom he hates for her alleged purity. Cue Ada showing off her collection to him.
    • Oz reaching out to Leo ends with the latter being impaled by the former (Or, to be specific, Jack) with B-Rabbit's chain.
  • More Teeth Than the Osmond Family: Humpty Dumpty.
  • More Than Mind Control: What Vincent pulled off with Gilbert in Retrace XXXIII has elements of this.
  • Multiple Demographic Appeal: The fandom has both female and male readers of varying ages.
  • Must Have Nicotine: Gilbert has tried to quit smoking eight times but to no avail. A special manga omake even chronicled his ninth time trying to quit.
  • Nakama: In volume eight, Alice uses this to refer to Oz, Gil, Break, and herself, while Oz and Gil snatch Break into a pseudo-group hug.
  • My Death Is Just the Beginning: With both Jack Vessalius and Glen Baskerville.
  • My Greatest Failure: Both Break and Gil's backstories.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: Echo. It is revealed that she thinks Vincent is annoying, but (usually) obediently follows his orders.
  • Necromantic: The goal of many an illegal contract, which usually fail to work and backfire horribly on the contractor.
  • Nice Hat:
    • Gilbert's hat is very becoming on him.
    • There's also Break's chain, The Mad Hatter. However, although it is a nice looking hat, seeing it is not a good sign. Break himself sometimes sports one.
  • Nostalgic Music Box: "Lacie," the song played by the watch Oz finds at the beginning of the series.
  • Not So Stoic:
    • Vincent, during Retrace XLVI, as can be seen here.
    • Happens again in Retrace LXI. He even comments that "It's not like me... to get carried away like this."
  • Number One Dime: Gilbert treasures his hat. When it gets lost in an early chapter, Gilbert forces Oz and Alice to help him and is desperate to find it. In Retrace 24, it's revealed Ada gave it to him.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Break.
  • Off-Model: The anime. There's a blog dedicated to collecting these.
  • The Ojou: Sharon is a prime example of this, along with her mother and grandmother.
  • Older Than They Look:
    • Break and Sharon don't age during the ten year timeskip.
    • Rufus Barma is a man in his seventies, but you wouldn't know by looking at him.
    • Lottie and the rest of the Baskervilles seemed to apply, but Chapter LXI clarified that the Baskervilles fell into the Abyss 100 years ago and popped out in the present time - making them a normal age after all.
      • Something like this also happened to Vincent and Gil, who were around eight and nine years old at the time of the Tragedy of Sablier.
    • This seems to apply to Zwei/Echo as well.
    • Alice was alive and visually the same age a hundred years ago, too.
    • Oz can technically be considered twenty-five years old. Except that he was originally a pair of stuffed rabbits owned by Lacie. If you count his age from the time he was given sentience by the Abyss, he's over a hundred years old.
    • If you consider this by year of birth, the only major characters who aren't in some way Older Than They Look are Oscar, Reim, Zai, Ada, and Lady Rainsworth.
      • As of Chapter 49, with the reveal that Reim is a contractor, it seems likely that he is this, too.
  • Once More, with Clarity: Quite a lot, but most notorious is the end of Retrace LXV.
  • One-Sided Arm Wrestling
  • Omake: Each limited version of manga and anime volumes have at least one omake.
  • Orphanage of Love: The House of Fianna seems to be quite a pleasant place. It isn't. See Creepy Child above.
  • Our Demons Are Different: Chains are from the Abyss.
  • Overprotective Dad: Oscar, who may not be Ada's real father but treats Ada like his own daughter. In Retrace 24, he is outraged that Ada is "in love with someone," and drags Oz, Gilbert, and Alice to help look for Ada in her school in Lutwidge and find out just who she has a crush on. Though hints point to either Gil (treasuring the hat that Ada gave him) or Elliot (as she was disappointed that she couldn't return his school bag to him), it later seemingly turns out to be Vincent.
  • Paper Fan of Doom: Sharon, her mother and her grandmother. Don't even think about messing with the Rainsworth women. Hell, Sharon has dozens of them hidden in her dress all the time! In two colors, white and yellow!
  • Parental Abandonment:
    • Oz's dad sucks. A lot.
    • Not to mention Gil and Vincent's parents, who abandoned them on the streets because of Vincent's red eye.
      • Worse than that, it seems like their mother sold them to a circus.
  • Peek-a-Bangs: Break's bangs cover the left side of his face because his left eye socket is empty. Cheshire's bangs cover the right side of his face. This is not a coincidence. He has Break's left eye.
  • Pimped-Out Dress
  • Poisonous Friend: Gil isn't a very efficient one (yet), but he's terrified that he seems about to become one for Oz. What with those overprotective murderous urges, attempt to kill Alice and all... Oz had a moment when he wanted to be this for Alice and stop her suffering by killing her. Vince, though, is a very effective one for Gilbert, very much against Gil's will. Vince caused the Tragedy of Sablier in order to protect his brother.
  • Posthumous Character: Jack, Lacie, and Glen. Well, not quite...
  • Power Trio: Oz, Alice, and Gilbert. Jack, Alice (or Lacie), and Glen/Oswald. Glen/Revis, Lacie, and Oswald
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: Lottie, Fang and Dug.
  • Rapunzel Hair:
    • Jack. A braid that long... fluttering in the wind?
    • Alice too.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Elliot gave a nice, lengthy, angry one to Oz.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning:
    • Vincent, Break, and Cheshire all have... well, one red eye each. Vincent was discriminated one hundred years ago because of it. Break was known as "The Red-Eyed Ghost" during his time as an illegal contractor. Cheshire is a villain, and his eye was originally Break's.
    • Oz gets these in Retrace LVI when he used B-Rabbit's power.
    • Lacie, according to Retrace LXVI.
  • Relax-O-Vision: In the sixth DVD special, the intro to the Omake does this.
  • Rip Van Winkle: The Abyss tends to do this to whoever is able to escape it.
  • Room Full of Crazy: Alice is in one when she first appears.
  • Rules of Orphan Economics:
    • Jack pretty much randomly decides to adopt Vincent and Gilbert, making them his "servants" and just being incredibly kind and awesome and takes care of them until something goes horribly, horribly wrong: The Tragedy of Sablier.
    • And then in Retrace LXV Gil is revealed to be Glen's servant.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections:
    • How Oz and the gang manage to get away with most of the stuff they do.
    • Oz exploits his connection to Jack when he needs to.
  • Serious Business: Gil is very attached to his hat. Epic arm-wrestling ensues.
  • She Is All Grown Up: Ada's older appearance throws Oz off when they meet for the first time after his return. Ditto Gilbert.
  • Ship Sinking:
    • The revelation that Lacie and Glen (the black-haired one we know whose name is Oswald, that is) are actually brother and sister has debunked quite a lot of fics that pair the two as lovers.
    • Ada/Gilbert was sunk when it was revealed that the person the former was dating was Vincent, of all people.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Oz/Alice are the prominent example. They are also the closest to an Official Couple. And there's Oz/Sharon which is more of a fleeting crush and Oz/Echo. Worth noting that most if not all Oz ships aside from Oz/Alice constitutes of Oz putting on his flirty disposition.
    • Also, Sharon/Break, Elliot/Leo, Ada/Vincent although that treads into Official Couple, Gilbert/Oz, Jack/Alice, Break/Alice, Gilbert/Alice, and Reim/Lily with a side of Squick.
    • Jack/Lacie has been teased since Retrace LXV. It is one-sided on the former's part and ambiguous on whether the latter reciprocates or not. Retrace LXXI implies and Retrace LXXII confirms that Lacie reciprocated Jack's feelings.
  • Shotacon: Break constantly teases Sharon about how she likes "younger boys," much to her protest.
  • Shoot the Dog: In Retrace LXIX, it is revealed that Oswald, upon becoming the next Glen Baskerville, was forced to do this to his younger sister Lacie by tossing her into the abyss. It was mentioned that all the other Glens with Children of Misfortune as siblings were forced to do this as well.
  • Shout-Out: Alice of Chains? Alice in Chains!
  • Show Within a Show: Well, Book Within A Book, but there's Holy Knight.
  • Significant Anagram:
    • Rearrange the name "Alice" and you'd get the name "Lacie", the one who drove Jack out of his Despair Event Horizon and the Dead Little Sister of Glen/Oswald Baskerville. It's also worth noting that the name Lacie was used by Lewis Carrol to refer to the original Alice in his books, it can't be a coincidence.
      • In Retrace LVII, another character named Celia is mentioned.
      • It turns out that Lacie is Alice's mother.
  • Sinister Scythe: B-Rabbit uses a scythe. Later on, so does Oz himself, who offhandedly lampshades how, strangely, his body knows exactly how to use it.
  • Slasher Smile: Lotta people. Especially the Baskervilles and Will of the Abyss. Break sometimes pulls these, too.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Oz is a lot more clever than he likes to let on.
  • Smart People Play Chess: Vincent has one particular scene where he shows his badass-ness in a game of chess.
  • Smoking Is Cool: Gil, who can often be seen with a cigarette in his mouth in angsty situations.
  • Sniff Sniff Nom: Alice. She ate flowers.
  • Snow Means Love: Lacie and Jack's meeting was on a winter day.
  • Spell My Name with an "S":
    • Was it Bezalius or Vessalius? Bezarius?
    • And is it Reo or Leo? Sharon, or Shalon? Elliot with double 'l's or with a single?
    • Don't forget Sabrié, actually Sablier (meaning 'Hourglass' in French)
    • Or Liam vs Reim...
      • The official guidebook confirms each these as "Vessalius," "Leo," "Sharon," "Elliot," and "Reim," though subs and scanlations still do whatever suits the weather that day.
  • Spot of Tea: Break and Sharon are almost always drinking tea.
  • Split At Birth: Alice and Will of the Abyss.
  • Stealth Hi Bye: One of the many, many reasons some characters dislike Break, often complaining that he should enter rooms like a normal person.
  • Stepford Smiler: Oz.
  • Stoic Spectacles: Heavily subverted with Reim, who in his constant flailing and panicking is anything but stoic.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Alice greatly resembles her mother Lacie.
  • Sweet Tooth: Break and Sharon, but especially Break.
  • Sword Cane: Break again.
  • Third Person Person: Echo.
  • Those Two Guys: Elliot and Leo start out as this, with their usually being in the same place at the same time justified by Leo being Elliot's servant; in later chapters, they completely break out of it by 1) gaining large scenaristic importance, and 2) one of them getting Killed Off for Real.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Elliot. Obsessed with finding the killer of his siblings, until he finds out that it was HIM, courtesy of Humpty Dumpty manipulating his memory.
    • Gilbert turns out to be Glen's servant. He does not take this well at all after seeing his former master's head.
    • Retrace LXX, titled Oz, with the subtitle Reality, reveals that all this time, Oz's body is actually Jack's and Oz himself is actually B-Rabbit.
  • Took a Level In Badass:
    • Gilbert, it seems, after Oz has been gone for 10 years. But we quickly find out that he's not so much a badass as he is incredibly good at putting up a tough front. But still miles more badass than the timid little kid we start out with.
    • Oz as of Retrace XXXVII.
    • And Leo, now a Baskerville as of Retrace LXII.
  • Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Several characters.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behaviour: As a kid, Vincent like to chop dolls up with scissors, and he stabbed out the eyes of human!Alice's cat.
  • Tsundere: Alice and Elliot are type A; Sharon and Echo seem to be more of type B.
  • Uke: GILBERT. 'Nuff said.
  • Unmoving Plaid: Sharon's dresses.
  • Unreliable Expositor Jack. Jack, Jack, Jack
  • Unsound Effect: All over the place. The very first page of the manga has "taking off glove" as a sound effect, for example.
  • Voices Are Mental: When Oz is being possessed by Jack, he speaks with an adult voice.
  • Was Once a Man:
    • The Abyss' power can turn even humans into chains. Results include the aforementioned example on Body Horror and Alice, who used to be human before somehow becoming B-Rabbit.
    • Humpty Dumpty, who used to be one of the previous Glens before having that body abandoned in order to take over Oswald.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Oz.
  • We Would Have Told You But: Retrace VI and Episode 8. Break and the rest of Pandora use Oz, Gil, and Alice as bait to see what the Baskervilles would/could/are capable of doing.
  • Wham! Episode:
    • Pop out here and there, especially as of late, but most notable is Retrace LXV: Collapse. Or, more appropriately, seventy pages of the status quo getting ground to itsy bitsy pieces.
    • Oh, that doesn't even begin to cover it. This is the sort of WHAM that literally invalidates everything we thought we knew.
    • Then we have Retrace LXX: Oz. Poor Oz faces the Tomato in the Mirror problem. Or, more specifically, the Rabbit In The Mirror...
  • When She Smiles: In which Alice smiles and does cute things, Oz blushes and/or laughs, and Oz's feelings towards Alice grow.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?:
    • Despite the heavy Victorian Era themes and the fact that a Big Ben replica appeared in the manga and the fact that "Sablier" means "hourglass" and "Reveille" could mean "clock" or "to wake" (depending on the spelling/accent) in French, it is never explicitly stated where the hell all these characters are from.
    • It's made even more confusing when Gil has a conundrum about which version of "I" to use.
  • White-Haired Pretty Boy: Break.
  • White-Haired Pretty Girl: Will of the Abyss, Echo.
  • Whole-Episode Flashback: More like a Whole Arc Flashback, starting from Retrace 66, though Retraces 70 and 72 do take some time to look at the present for some moments.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Gil fears cats. With a passion.
  • With Friends Like These...: Applies to a lot of cast in different ways, but the most for Reim, who is stuck with dubious pleasure of being Break's closest friend (or, at least, they seem to know the most about each other, what with Reim working out Break had gone blind pretty quickly.) Apparently that means he gets to do Break's paperwork, chase him around to attempt to make him DO said paperwork in the first place, be the butt of a number of Break's schemes and jokes, and, on a more sombre note, gets to watch him waste away and die. Lucky him.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds:
    • The Will of the Abyss. After reading her Backstory, it's pretty hard not to feel sorry for her.
    • Vincent as of Retrace XXXVIII and XXXIX (though it doesn't make him less of a jerk).
    • Lily as of Retrace L.
    • Glen Baskerville. Or more specifically, Oswald.
      • And Leo looks pretty damn determined to follow in his footsteps.
      • All of "Glen's" actions, and his obsession with Lacie, turn out to be Jack's instead, as of Retrace LVXI.
  • World of Chaos: The Abyss.
  • Yandere:
    • Lottie, Will of the Abyss definitely. Probably Oz as well. And Vincent.
    • Gil's devotion has a pretty dark edge. Hinted early in; outright shown in chapter 33, where Vincent goads him into saying/resolving to kill anyone who hurts or snatches his master away from him - no matter who it is.
    • As of Retrace L, Leo is also one. Stating that "If Elliot has an enemy, no matter who he may be, I'll kill him! Even, for example, if it is you [Oz] or even myself."
    • Oz (The Subverted Genki Boy) for Alice.
      • "Alice, don't cry. Whoever makes you sad, whoever hurts you, I will destroy them. All of them...With my own hands!" Said with an unsettling smile meant to reassure little Alice.
      • He was already Yandere for her from back when he almost tore apart the Abyss in order to get rid of everything that hurts Alice and causes fear within her, including Alice herself. He even calls Alice his sun.
    • Jack to Lacie: "Lacie, whoever you are, I don't care... Because your presence here right now... is the only thing that ties me, Jack Vessalius, to the world." As of Retrace LXXII, he plans to bring the world to Lacie because she loves the world so much.
  • You Said You Would Let Them Go: Vincent promises Break an antidote to cure Sharon if he destroy Alice's memories. When Break obeys, Vincent drops it off the balcony.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: Break. Although he still looks young, he's essentially rotting on the inside and his two chains put an extremely heavy strain on him.
  • Zettai Ryouiki:
    • Echo and Lotti.
    • Also Gil in one of the anime omakes.
    • The Lutwidge uniform for girls have these. Alice, wearing the uniform in the Lutwidge episode, along with matching pigtails, reached Grade S.
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