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Utsuro No Hako To Zero No Maria Volume 6

The Empty Box and The Zeroth Maria Volume 6



The show is half over. Yet that does not seem to grant any relief for either side of this struggle. The mysterious ‘O’ has been revealed and declared themselves to be Kazuki’s enemy. After awakening to a truth that will hurt those he cares for and possibly lead to his ruin, Kazuki continues on with an unbreakable resolve. Truly, for so long as he has a goal, he will not surrender and shall pay any price.

Daiya begins to worry and weave interchanging plans as he fights to gain an informational edge and find a way to defeat Kazuki and protect his wish.

Aya has turned her back upon any possible return to humanity and accepted to accompany Daiya in the fight against Kazuki. Yuuri continues to baffle and bewilder her would be master as she plays both sides with the Undeniable intention of ‘helping’ Kazuki… She alone knows if her ‘help’ will be accepted as such or thought of as betrayal.

With only 2 screenings left and all the actors entering the stage. This final showdown will reach a conclusion.


I can understand and agree with Kazuki and his actions… But I hate him for it. I hate that he is able to so easily hurt others with the simple justification “For Maria”. It drives home that he is truly abnormal and I can’t help but wonder if there is more to why he is like this beyond what is revealed so far.

I do like how he does regain enough clarity of mind to realise just how much of a monster he is becoming. Regardless of his decision to stay the path and follow to it’s inevitable painful destructive end… The fact he is aware of and understands the pain he is inflicting, I feel without this understanding his actions and state of mind would become shallow and meaningless.

I find myself wanting Maria to wake up to herself and realise that she shouldn’t need to deny herself her own happiness for others. The fact she can easily disregard her feelings makes me pity her and allows me to side with Kazuki regardless of the suffering others may need to endure.

As we progress we find out the plots within plots. Ironically both sides intending the same result going about convoluted methods to reach it. Seeing the relationship between Kokone, Daiya & Haruaki really drives home how messed up everyone in the spotlight of this series seems to be.

I found the ending very sudden, beyond one guess I can’t fathom how the finale of the series will end. This will likely gnaw at me until it’s release and translation… One more series that will torment me in it’s incomplete state.

I’ll be scoring this an 8/10 as the rest. I personally found myself able to empathise with many of the trauma addled characters this round. It was refreshing to see a lot of what has made the characters how they are. I think I’ve worn myself out a little these past 3 days as I seem to be able to think of less to justify my reasoning.

Rating 8/10


Utsuro No Hako To Zero No Maria Volume 5

Empty Box and The Zeroth Maria Volume 5



Daiya has made his move. He plans a revolution upon the world that will shake the very core of our ethics and beliefs. However it will take time…

Meanwhile Kazuki continues to hide his new goal in life form Mariya, Keeping her distant and out of the loop as he plans to prevent Daiya from reaching his goals and bring an end to the wish of his friend.

As their inevitable clash begins, Daiya will find himself in estranged situations and Kazuki will need to find the true strength of his resolve.

Will he be able to keep Mariya from finding out his goal to ‘destroy’ Aya Otonashi? What secrets from the Rejecting classroom will come to light? What skeletons haunt Daiya and drive him to such extents as he settles upon a road of ruin?


After the last two volumes, things between Daiya and Kazuki were really ready to come to head. This volume gives us just that. Kazuki has changed because of the Game of Idleness, he no longer accepts ‘any’ everyday life as ‘his’ everyday life. He has decided that without Mariya , it does not exist.

This resolve while painful to watch from the sidelines does instil in me a level of respect for his resolve. Because it would be painful to hurt someone you don’t mean ill-will towards. Could you turn off the guiding light that someone uses to make their way safely back? Could you turn everyone into your enemies for one person? Could you continue after even that one last bastion turns against you? Because you ultimately have turned against them, even if you believe that it needed to be done.

Such dilemma’s always tickle my being.

The grey areas of “every possible choice ends in pain”. The question becomes how much pain can you stand? How much will you inflict? How many will suffer? Will there be any happiness at the end of such roads? Can that single flame of hope really justify any means?

I’m a sucker for happy endings. In a lot of Anime and Light Novels part of me always wants the “harem end” because none of the likable characters end up suffering rejections. This is not a Harem style series. (I think) but the girl friends of Kazuki… They care for him in different ways for different reasons. But he can only see one. Rather, he willingly turns his eyes away from the others so as to focus on his true goal. He knows it will cause pain, Yet he rightfully knows that some things really don’t have a “Better” time to be revealed

This novel makes it halfway (From my perspective having not read the next one yet) through this dilemma and I will focus upon the next recollections and manoeuvers to reach whatever ending is in store.

I have 2 possible suspects for the Box owner. But frankly… I have given up on trying to guess what’s going to happen next. I believe that Kazuki will ultimately succeed. Because ‘good’ usually wins. But really… Is Kazuki ‘good’?

8/10 Some pacing was slower, although it needed to prepare the scene. There was a wonderful “Oh *$#&” moment which just had me /facepalming with dread as I could tell the outcome from it at once. But yes… GIVE ME MOAR! I shall likely rate the rest of the series the same in this case <_<

Rating 8/10


Utsuro No Hako To Zero No Maria Volume 4

The Empty Box and The Zeroth Maria Volume 4


Following the declaration of hope, by Daiya in his remark that should Kazuki manage to keep all contestants alive on the 8th day. The final battle of the Idle Game takes place.

Kazuki chooses his piece to be the Knight. A thing reserved for those who are playing for real and denied the NPC replacements.
He has come to terms with the fact that to win he must become King of the game. Though not in the literal Class sense. He finds his greatest opponent in this to be the President who instantly sees him and his attempts at showing knowledge as some ploy or sign as his involvement with the instigator.

In order to break this stalemate he uses the information of his previous attempts and gives it out to those he thinks he can trust.

Success relies on breaking the ‘team’ formed by the president and controlling the greatest time bomb in the group, Koudai Kamiuchi.

After every attempt to rely on Maria ending in failure. Kazuki begins to avoid her, in order to achieve victory through his own merits. But unfortunately his resolve will only form an irreparable rift.


Things kick off with new information and a tense atmosphere from the start. We believe we now have a certain culprit and see Kazuki as he tries to reach out to people’s desire for peace. Unfortunately with so many strong willed and strong minded ‘companions’ things will not go so easily as others will always try to be in control for that added measure of safety.

This really adds a new dynamic to the play when we as the read3ers are able to see that Kazuki is laying down a lot of his possible aces and details to people only for them to doubt him.

Just as things start to be working out though, .. In typical fashion the plot grows thick with blood and suffering. For a game built upon betrayal will always result in betrayal. The greatest hint from the start “it’s impossible”

We get to really see Kazuki grow as a person and firm his resolve. He starts to see what he really desires from his ‘everyday life’ and even confronts the girl who has caused so much change in him about it. Of course she will not remember this confrontation, yet because of this it is a little easier as she is not just a Box in this world but the Maria without one.

Towards the end we get many heavy hints and as we learn a little about another past we left with a feeling of dread. But that seems unfounded… Only for the very last words of ‘O’ to haunt us.

All in all. I only have 2 hours of sleep left before work now… So I guess that’s how I’ll justify the 8/10 I’m giving this volume. Though I WILL NOT READ THE NEXT ONE!….

Until I get home today <_< Ugh I really want things to just be known to me NOW!

Rating 8/10


Utsuro No Hako To Zero No Maria Volume 3

The Empty Box and The Zeroth Maria Volume 3



In a game of death featuring 6 contestants. The 3 superheros and other ‘abnormal’ students find themselves in a grim survival game which only a maximum of 3 can possibly survive.

The “Game Of The Idle King” begins.

The King, who can order Murder by the hands of the Sorcerer & Knight; Switching places with his Double to survive a turn. He wins only if the Prince & Revolutionary are killed.

The Double, Able to use Murder if the King has used substitution or been killed. Victory achieved if the Prince & Revolutionary die.

The Prince, who is immune to sorcery; may only order execution once both the King & Double have died. To win the King, Revolutionary and Double must die.

The Knight, able to choose whether to deliver the deathblow ordered by Murder; only usable if Sorcerer has died. He must take revenge upon the royal family through the deaths of the King & Prince to survive.

The Sorcerer, can choose whether to commit the Murder via his Sorcery. He need only survive.

The Revolutionary, able to Assassinate any target once per day. Victory through the deaths of the Prince, The Double, The King.

When deceit and trickery seem the only way to stay ahead and survive. How will Maria & Kazuki break free of this newest Box threat? Will they be able to reason with those who are fearful for their own lives while time reaches ever closer to the deadline of complete game over?


The setup of this game is something that likely exists in other media. However for me personally it is new and I found it most interesting and believe it suited the feel of intrigue and conspiracy that seems to run prevail ant for the volume.

From the beginning we’re positive of the culprit, yet over time (as is now the norm) we lost our certainty. Things that run completely contradictory to what should be throw us into tailspins and we find ourselves worried for the mental wellbeing and emotional stability of our characters.

In this volume we see a little bit of how Kazuki has become so focused upon “Everyday Living” We see Maria relegated to the sidelines as this situation disables any who would be incapable of violence.

One may think it a bit repetitive once they realise that the game doesn’t end after it’s completion. However so far the ‘repeats’ have been different and shown unique insights into each character as they find themselves in different roles.

The very ending makes me shake my head and think to myself “You got me again you crafty author you! *tut tuts and waves finger*” I can’t decide if I’ll be responsible and try to get 6 hours sleep before work tomorrow or start the next volume and make an absolute stop at 3 hours till work <_< Curse you evil author 😉

As such I’d give this another 8/10. This may seem boring as all the others also received it. But I say instead “Consistency” I’m enjoying that each of these volumes leaves me wanting to voraciously tear into the next and absorb it’s information.

 Rating 8/10


Utsuro No Hako To Zero No Maria Volume 2

The Empty Box & The Zeroth Maria Volume 2



Following the events of the “Rejecting Classroom” It is now The last days of April and Golden Week is around the corner.

Kazuki Hoshino, A second year student now on good terms with Maria Otonoshi as they continue to search for “O” and clues.

Maria Otonoshi, Now a Junior at his highschool after the previous incidents.

This time we deal with inexplicable happenings in the real world where things cannot be simply reset. What transpires will be etched within the memories of all.

Kazuki finds himself accused of actions he has no memory of committing, his “Everyday Ordinary Life” seems to be collapsing all around him as he loses track of greater stretches of time.

Undoubtedly there is a new Box at work. How will Maria and Kazuki deal with this when Kazuki himself can’t be trusted?


As with the second volume I found this gripping for the entirety and confusing at the beginning as we are unsure of what ‘method’ is being employed. As a miner spoiler, Although technically one could argue the first volume shared part of this theme… The key theme to the second volume is Time & Identity.

It doesn’t take long to figure out the causes for Kazuki’s behaviour, yet we are not so easily enlightened as to the rules governing it or the people behind it.

Once more the beginning gives us a roster of suspects, as we gain more information we are quickly able to strike some entirely from the list and others will continue to be “IT”S THEM OH MY GOD SEE THE TRUTH!” followed by the not so distant “Oh crap I guess not… OH WAIT IT MUST BE STILL!”

I thoroughly enjoy how the information is handled and that the author is able to so reliably make us shift our focus on different suspects, each time niggling that the new Prime suspect is the true culprit.

Yet towards the end a plot twist reveal allows us to put someone who was unable to be a Prime Suspect in that light occurs. The niggling feeling from the very beginning proved to be true (with complications and twists of course)

I can only imagine how much more satisfying it would have been if our language had the terms and words to identify people like the original language did. That small flaw does allow some of the ingenuity to fall short, however knowing just enough about the language I can fully envision how it would of read in retrospect and I find myself shivering.

I realise I didn’t touch upon the character development and relationship paradigms this time round. Lets just say that while there was progress in development, I’m unsure how I feel about it as a whole. Beyond knowledge that there is a battlefield brewing.

Once more I give this an 8/10, It didn’t take long to realise what all the clock symbolism and timestamps represented. It did take longer to understand the full depth and extent of the mechanism. There was also no problem in assessing from whom we shared the Point of View at any given time.

Final Score: 8/10


Utsuro No Hako To Zero no Maria Volume 1

The Empty Box & The Zeroth Maria Volume 1



Kazuki Hoshino, a typical everyday boy who is madly attached to everyday life.

Aya Otonashi, A strange transfer student who declares war upon entering the classroom for her 13, 118th time.

In this bedlam of repeated March 2nd & intrigue Kazuki tried to find out the source of intense déjà vu and the secrets of the “Box” Aya wishes to retrieve from him.

What is the truth behind the Rejecting Classroom. How does one operate the box? Who is the owner? What does the person who so calmly oversees corpses by trucks want?

Oh, don’t forget the confessions and confusion of overwritten and amplified feelings through the thousands of loops to add a spin.


I found the First Volume to be quite gripping. Though at first it was a little confusing with the perspective going backwards & forwards, adding PoV switches for different parts. After getting used to that element I found myself becoming hooked!

It’s the sort of story which gives you lampshades and foreshadows such that once you actually see what happened one of the first instincts is to go back to that lamp and go over it again looking for anything you missed and trying to guess what will happen next.

Some stories can become so predictable. But this one gives you enough information to make conclusions but leaves out enough to give them room to tear your predictions to pieces as you and the protagonist realise they missed something very critical.

I personally convinced myself out of the right answer multiple times only to revisit it and discard it again. But once the blindfold was fully removed, things simply made sense.

Long story short: I was in suspense for more than 3/4 of the book. I will be reading the next one NOW!

As far as a score goes, I’ll give it an 8/10 because like I said, Though some parts take a little to make sense and the incongruous time line provides a small hurdle; I feel the absolute need to find out what happens next 😉

Final Score: 8/10