The Empty Box and Zeroth Maria (Light Novel) - Reviews

Alt title: Utsuro no Hako to Zero no Maria (Light Novel)

The Empty Box and Zeroth Maria (Light Novel)
Tirasangue's avatar
Jul 23, 2014

This is most definetely the best book i've read in my life, and i'm still reading through it, i felt the need to review this as it is definetely something worth reading and extremely addicting.

Story - 10/10

The story unfolds itself in a way that gets you addicted to it.

Utsuro no hako to zero no Maria tells the story of Kazuki Hoshino, a boy almost madly attached to his everyday life, and his supposed to be antagonist, Aya Otonashi, who transfers into his class - for the 13,118th time, when she decides to do something different, and announces to Kazuki that "she will break him", on the following events their relationship changes more and more, up until the point that it is *almost* romantic. However they find themselves that their true enemy is a being that could be god.

It's genres are: Action, Mystery, Drama, Horror, School, Supernatural, Psychological, Thriller and a romance, which is a major spot in the Novel.

Art - 8/10

The art itself is pretty good, however, there is not alot of art, remember this is NOT a Manga it is a Light Novel, so you can expect only 10-15 images to actually appear, and this includes the volume's cover.

Characters - 9/10

The characters in this light novel are one of its best points, every single character that enters the story will have its own explanation of life, it gives a big spot to their backgrounds, so much that even the story of a dead and only mentioned character could make you sad. I myself found me like that during several parts of the story.

Kazuki Hoshino - 9/10

Kazuki is indeed a very good character, like many other japanese fictional characters, he is kind-hearted and very oblivious to his and other peoples feelings, however, he is different from any and all other characters you'll see.

Kazuki is a teenage boy almost madly attached to his everyday life, so much, that he can't live a life without it, he is kind-hearted and is against any kind of violence, however, once he declares even if only in his mind that someone is his enemy, he will use any means to stop that person, even if it means having them experience a "Emotional Breakdown" such as using the persons most trusted one to betray him and experience something more than traumatic. After the events of the first volume he is more than 76 years old, however, he himself does not change, and the time also doesn't pass.

Aya "Maria" Otonashi - 10/10

Maria, is without doubt my female character. She shows signs of a "Tsundere" Personality sometimes, and even a really small dose of "Yandere"

Maria Otonashi, is the female heroine, she cares more about other people than her ALWAYS, not minding to lose the memories of his loved ones or life not to hurt others, for that reason she changed her name, to not care about herself, have no attachments to anyone and just help other people, however, Kazuki being the most important existence for Maria makes her want to stay with him and be attached to Kazuki, however, she will still help others when needed.

Those two are the most important characters, however, they are not the only main characters, if i told about them, it'd lead to BIG spoilers, so i will refrain from telling about and let you guys read it and know for yourselves.

Overall - 10/10

This story is the best one i've read so far, not only as a book but better than the story of any other anime, manga or visual novel i've read so far, i myself, was against reading it, since i do not like Light Novels because they have only letters, like a book, but this story was worth it, i got completely addicted to it and it only gets better, if you do read the story you will love it, it is most definetely a masterwork of Mikage Eiji

10/10 story
8/10 art
9/10 characters
10/10 overall
ShinjiMakoto's avatar
Jul 13, 2023

This is a masterpiece. It is truly unbelievable what the author has managed to do with so very little. If you are looking for a good story, one that gives you something that makes you want to keep reading, read this.

10/10 story
8/10 art
8/10 characters
9/10 overall
Chrophin's avatar
Sep 12, 2021

So, coming in to this Ln, I had high hopes. The cover art were enchanting, I loved the array of genre it seemengly covered, and it got really high scores in the site I looked at. So I made it the first light novel title I ever bought.

So it's a big shame that it became the worse type of story. Not because of some overused troped or anything, but because it had really high ambitions (and promises), but it almost completely failed on them. And that's not to say it was horrible, because it was at least better than a uninspired story that also has poor execution. But at least it's easy to give low scores to a story like that. To something like Empty Box, my instinct would be to give it a 1 ou 2 based on how I felt when I finnished it. But I can not in good conscience do it because, under the awful writing and dialogue, self paroding characters, generous amounts of edge, and the ridiculous logic that the characters used to uncover the mysteries, there were great things to the story as well. The mysteries, and backgrounds of the characters, and the situations the characters were put in were, for the most part, pretty interesting, inspired and well thought out. Does these things make up for it's flaws though? No, not by a long shot.

In the end, this was just a story with premise and poor execution, but sometimes it has decent enough execution to make you believe it might get good, which somehow made it even worse. The worse offender was the last volume, because at first it looked like it was going to at least be able to stick its landing. But alas, it became an increadibly boring edgefest. Yes. Edge, but boring. It funnily enough ended in a pretty similiar way as a an equally terrible anime that came out in the same year as the japanese release of the last volume, but the anime in question wasted way less of your time.

Even still, I can't ignore the efforts of the author, and the genuinelly decent parts, and for that, I'll give it a 4/10, for e4t, but I couldn't disagree if you gave it anything below 5/10.

Coming into this, I couldn't quite understand why this series, which seemingly was so popular and well regarded among light novel readers, was basically uknown for the more general anime community. But now I understand. I do not mean to offend anyone, but you can't really rely on LN readers' for opinions on light novels, because they'll consider good even the most amateurish attempt of a book (not to say there aren't genuinally good LN out there). I still don't quite undestand what makes a LN viewed as good by the LN community, but I'm guessing lots of cute or hot girls flirting with the MC is a big part of it.

2/10 story
8/10 art
6/10 characters
4/10 overall