Posted on 31 December 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews, Mouryou no Hako


The past fall season aired a lot of good and great series, but none of them was as good as this series: Mouryou no Hako, Madhouse’s latest masterpiece. This is one series that did just about everything right. Obviously it’s not for those who don’t like people talking over and over again, but it’s perfect for those who are looking for mature and complex anime. This is how mystery should be done!

I honestly can’t recall any other anime apart from a Mamoru Oshii-production that puts more emphasis on talking as this one. The series follows a string of bizarre murders, and the people who try to solve it. This whole mystery is multi-layered, it’s full of flashbacks and references, you’ll never know when something that passes the screen is important for the future. There are lots of scenes that don’t necessarily have any direct meaning, but instead are there to flesh out the setting or throw the viewer on a side-track, and yet the series itself never loses track of its goals, and everything comes together in the end in one of the best endings I’ve seen.

Another big selling-point of the series is its cast of characters. They hardly get as much screen time or background as your average anime, and yet they’re utterly amazing. The animation knows exactly what it needs to do to show their subtle movements and gestures in order to flesh them out while many other things happen, and the background that’s there is meaningful and has a huge impact. Every character has his or her own distinctive presence, with the best ones being Kanako and Akihiko, both for very, very different reasons. The entire cast is colourful and a delight to watch, despite the huge amounts of talking within this series.

Also, if you thought that shows as Code Geass is disturbing, then you haven’t seen anything yet. I refuse to spoil anything here, but like a few other Madhouse productions, this series breaks taboo after taboo. This is nothing near your average tame detective story.

Then the visuals: they look utterly incredible. Especially in the beginning episodes and episodes, the characters all look crisp and very detailed. The animators throw the most beautiful shots and visual effects at the viewer. Combine that with an awesome soundtrack, and you’ve got some amazing production values.

The only possible turn-off is, like mentioned above, the large amounts of talking: if you don’t like it, then it’s going to be hard to enjoy this series. There are two particular consecutive episodes, where nothing else happens apart from three guys, sitting in a room and talking to each other. This anime isn’t afraid to take risks, even though it might turn off some people.

So overall, this has been an amazing series. The script is fresh and creative and has a huge impact. There’s a lot of symbolism, both visual and in the storyline, and an excellent recommendation for those who look for a short mature series. The storytelling is strong yet subtle, and it’s yet another masterpiece by Madhouse.

Storytelling: 10/10
Characters: 9/10
Production-Values: 9/10
Setting: 9/10
Posted on with categories: Mouryou no Hako





Short Synopsis: It’s finally time to reveal who is the real culprit behind this series.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 9/10 (Fantastic)
What an awesome way to close off 2008! I must say, this episode was absolutely incredible. It was the best episode of Mouryou no Hako yet, it had some of the best visuals of all the series I watched in 2008, it’s the second-most disturbing episode of 2008 and it has without a doubt the best ending of 2008, and in fact one of the best endings I’ve ever seen. Oh my god, how everything came together in the end!

So in the end, the culprit was Amemiya. I’m pretty surprised that I forgot this myself, but amongst all the clues that were thrown around, two of them pointed at the real culprit really clearly: the time when Kiba saw him outside of the research institute: he was trying to get Kanako’s limbs back, though didn’t take into account that Kiba would be there. Then, later as we saw Kanako lying in bed, it was indeed he who was watching her from the peek in the door. He then met Suzaki, who just smuggled Kanako’s head outside and killed him, taking away her head. It then seems that he met Kubo in the train, and showed him Kanako’s head, JUST LIKE IN THE STORY. It turns out that the story from Sekiguchi was from Kubo! Kubo then became jealous and wanted to create something like that too, not realizing that it took some advanced science to keep her alive in that state and… ah, forget the bloody summary, Hayase does a much better job at it.
And I must say that this is one disturbing story! Mimasaka slept with his actress daughter and got her freaking pregnant! People chopping up girls’ bodies, keeping them alive and distributing their limbs all over the country.

I must say, that of the past fall season, Mouryou no Hako has definitely been the best series of all airing shows. I already was convinced of that after the previous episode, and then it came with this episode. Even though Casshern Sins, Michiko to Hatchin and Bonen no Xamdou are already amazing, they’re going to have to be really good in order to be able to top this one. I realize how much of a hassle this series is to translate, but it would be such a shame if this gem would remain unsubbed.

My only question left is: what happened to Amemiya and Kanako’s body? Were they found? Did they disappear?

Posted on 24 December 2008 with categories: Mouryou no Hako




Short Synopsis: Akihiko gathers everyone to tell them about the things he discovered.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8,5/10 (Awesome)
I don’t think that for the past year, I’ve ever been this frustrated at a climax than with this episode, apart perhaps from Kaiba. This episode was simply amazing, and then the creators stick in that damned cliffhanger just at the parts where the juicy parts really are about to begin! That final episode can’t come soon enough.

But really, with a series of this calibre, it actually has the chance of being my favourite ending of 2008, with all the building up that has basically been meant for that final episode, and the big questions still aren’t revealed, even though the huge amount of revelations in this single episodes. I’ve probably said this before, but I really have pity with the poor fansubbers who have to translate and typeset this series. This really is something else, and I’m still utterly amazed at how many open questions the creators managed to create without me even realizing it.

So, let’s see if I got everything correctly: The scientist whose name I forgot is actually Youko’s father, and one of the culprits is Suzaki, the one who died. In the last episode, we didn’t see Atsuko, but instead Youko (my mistake). When Kanako got in her accident, it was actually Yoriko who pushed her, after being inspired by reading Sekiguchi friend’s novel. The trigger was seeing Kanako crying (probably due to Youko, I think that it was then when she found out about how her sister was actually her mother). The man in black coat was Akihiko himself, who seems to have witnessed the event.

When Kanako was caught in the accident, her wounds couldn’t be treated in a regular hospital, so Youko desperately tried to search for a different address. That’s why she wound up at her father’s, and it was Suzuki who she talked to. It then seems that Suzaki was the one who chopped up Kanako and moved her out of the research institute in BOXES, in order to avoid detection. After that, something came and killed him, just like how Kubo Shunko was silenced. The question now remains: who the heck was that?

The way the episode ended was just filled with question marks: what is Kubo doing at the research institute if he’s supposed to be dead? Why did Akihiko say that they’re “inside Kubo”?

At this point, I can’t say whether Mouryou no Hako has been the best series of the past Fall season, since half of them aren’t over yet, but it’s definitely been the best series of the fall season that only lasted 12 or 13 episodes. At the moment, I can’t wait to see what the creators have in store for the finale.

Posted on 21 December 2008 with categories: Mouryou no Hako



Short Synopsis: Kiba’s had enough and starts going after who he thinks is the culprit.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10 (Excellent)
Whoa, to think that this series actually managed to squeeze in some romance, and manages to get away with it! At this point, it really is clear that both the limbs in boxes and Yoriko’s death were simply red herrings in order to keep the viewer busy, and distract him from the one who really is at the centre of everything: Kanako. This episode, with the announcement of the death of Kubo, finally gets back to her own story.

I’m not exactly sure whether Kiba really picked out the real culprit, but someone in the research facility at least has to be involved with the whole mess. This someone used Kubo as a way to get female bodies and cut those up and used them in his experiments to create the ultimate human being: when it dies, just replace its limbs and it’s up and running again. This guy also murdered one of his colleagues, probably because he either found out too much, or was involved with the project, but tried to chicken out at that time.

Central is also Youko. If this is the case, then it would explain why the movie director knew about the human experiments. I’m still not exactly sure why she found Kiba her biggest threat, but I guess that we’re going to find that out in one or two episodes. I also wonder, what was the point of showing that poisoning-murder case at the beginning of the episode. It didn’t seem related in anyway, or did it?

I also keep getting impressed by this series’ idea of “action”. Most of the action here lies in its subtle but very powerful emotions. Like with Kiba in this episode: the creators know exactly how to create tension, and make the viewer hope that Eno’s going to be able to stop Kiba in time.

Regarding the cliffhanger, if this was a regular anime, it’d mean that the scientist didn’t die yet. However, this is Mouryou no Hako we’re talking about. Everything can happen from this point, and I’m really anticipating to see what kind of ending the creators have chosen.

(Oh, and on a side-note: Atsuko looked scary as a teenager O.o)

Posted on 10 December 2008 with categories: Mouryou no Hako



Short Synopsis: Akihiko goes to the box maker to confront him with the things he’s done.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8,5/10 (Awesome)
Wow… just wow. This episode was simply awesome, and it shows that the creators know exactly what they’re doing with this series. The two episodes of straight talking may have been a bit weird, but of course they were an excellent means of building up, and now that we’re finally getting to see the fruits of all this, I can safely say that this is one awesome series. I definitely can put this in my top three series that have aired in the past autumn season.

This time, I don’t even care to find out what exactly was said. The non-verbal communication, along with the few key scenes that I did understand were enough to make a huge impact, although I do suspect that I’m going to have to pay a lot of attention in the next number of episodes, when it’s explained why Kubo has done all the things he did.

So in the end, the role of the box maker and his cult was that they were involved in the whole case by Kubo Shunko: at one point, he a bloodstained box ended up on their doorstep, which turned out to contain the finger of one of Kubo’s victims. Later in the episode, the police actually finds out Kubo’s hideout, and Yoriko’s body, chopped up into pieces and stuffed into boxes. He manages to escape, though, but I’m glad that apart from our four main characters, there are lots more people searching for Yoriko and Kanako, trying to find Kubo Shunko.

The big question now still remains: what the heck happened to Kanako? Kubo Shunko’s box murders was a very good side-plot of the series, but the central matter of the series has yet to be touched on, and yet we know that the two mysteries are connected somehow, as it seems that Kubo knows about Kanako, and Kanako herself has many more mysteries than simply her death and disappearance.

In any case, it’s episodes like this one that really remind me why I’ve decided to go with raws, even though my Japanese is far from perfect. The entire episode was packed with emotion, but a lot of that emotion was found in the non-verbal communication between the characters. The phrase “a picture says more than a thousand words” really fits in with this series. Every single shot seemed to contain a very powerful emotion, and that’s exactly what sets this series apart from other series that involve lots of talking, and seen to get lost in their own exposition.

Posted on 3 December 2008 with categories: Mouryou no Hako



Short Synopsis: The killer’s identity is confirmed, Yoriko’s mother is in despair and a rather big spoiler happens that you don’t want to find out before you’ve seen episode eight.
Highlights: Talk about a change of pacing!
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10 (Excellent)
Oh, how I love this series. It’s not like other series, where the emotional power of the characters is huge (Casshern Sins for example). In contrast, this is a very quiet series, even during the fast-paced parts like for example this episode. But the writing is so incredibly solid that I’m regarding this series as one of the best series of the season. The creators don’t aim attempt awkward drama that feels forced, but instead have really succeeded in creating a very subtle atmosphere. I don’t know about others, but I personally love it when anime uses subtlety. The more the better.

The big event of this episode was of course Yoriko’s death, although we never actually get to see her die, it’s more that her presence lurks over the episode like a very gloomy ghost. As it turns out, the real killer is a friend of Sekiguchi: Kubo Shunko. It was pretty interesting how Eno simply walked up to Kubo, asking him about Kanako, about an hour before he went on to take Yoriko with him. We also saw Kubo from a very different angle in this episode, when Eno showed him a picture of Kanako, suggesting that there’s much more to this mystery than just Kubo being a serial killer.

What I also like in this episode was that they showed the exact same footage as in the end of the previous episode, but this time from the perspective of Eno and Sekiguchi, where it’s Yoriko who’s acting strange. It was also awesome to see that the two of them (especially Eno) went on to raid her house right after she left, finding her mother about to commit suicide. It seems that she’s much more than just the delusional mother we saw in episode two and three: she really feels guilty of calling her a Mouryou (apparently she did this by mistake, I believe that it can all be blamed on an eye-problem of hers(?)

Posted on 26 November 2008 with categories: Mouryou no Hako



Short Synopsis: Kiba continues to collect clues, and finally all of the four main characters are together.
Highlights: It was a long wait, but finally the developments continue.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10 (Excellent)
The biggest reason why I like this series so much is that even though its story is very confusing and complex, it never forget its subtlety and great characterization. The complex story combined with the down to earth storytelling is really why I consider this series to be among the best of the season. Some shows with lots of talking tend to get lost into meaningless exposition (I really need to stop using Soul Eater as a bad example for this…), but Mouryou no Hako manages to avoid this completely.

Thankfully this episode was also a bit easier to understand, although there were still plenty of tricky parts. It starts with Yoriko, as she continues to resent everyone around her, from classmates to her mother. None live up to her expectations set by Kanako. The next scene is about Sekiguchi, as he thinks back of the novel he read by Kubo Shunko, which I think inspired him to get more interested in the case of the boxed murders. He’s on his way to visit a certain doctor. When we reach the place, we make a time skip to later that day, when Kiba also got the idea to visit him.

I’m not exactly sure what the doctor is to the whole case, but Kiba too seems to have linked the boxed murder case with the disappearance of Kanako. The doctor was probably in charge of the autopsy of the girl who was found inside the boxes. He mentions that she wasn’t chopped up to be killed, but instead killed in order to be chopped up, suggesting that the killer had indeed been planning to box her right from the start, instead of thinking that it would be a strange way to cover up for his crime. The doctor seems to link this back to human experimentation again. A soldier that can’t die. We then switch to some flashbacks of Kiriko, claiming that Kanako can’t die, which I suspect have some disturbing truth in them.

The doctor then says that Sekiguchi also paid him a visit that morning, and Kiba is very surprised to see Sekiguchi investigating. He then shows him a few notes about the files that Sekiguchi was carrying, which prompt Kiba to pay Sekiguchi a visit. At the train station, Kiba recapitulates what happened back at the research institute.

The next half of the episode shows that Enokizu somehow has made contact with Akihiko. Toriguchi meanwhile has uncovered some new information about the box maker. A strange guy (probably a talented student) told him that he got a request for quite a large amount of boxes from the box maker. He seems to lead the same strange depression as Sekiguchi is (never noticed that, by the way). Toriguchi then shows an old-fashioned tape recorder. Toriguchi seems to have gotten it from his boss. The tape shows an ominous preaching by the box maker, but it seems to be faked. Next up Toriguchi shows a blueprint of the box maker’s dojo.

Enokizu then announces that he and Sekiguchi will be going to check up on a girl named Yoriko Kusumoto, Kusumoto Kimie’s daughter. Kimie, however, seems to stand in the box maker’s cult’s registry file. This isn’t something Akihiko surprised. Enokizu then comes with a surprising revelation: Yuuko isn’t Kanako’s aunt, but her mother. She got a baby on a very young age, and to avoid any scandals on her acting career at that time, it was just pretended that her mother had another baby. Wow…

Kiba then shows up from out of nowhere. I guess that he went to Sekiguchi’s house, only to find out from his wife/girlfriend that he was at Akihiko’s. He’s quite angry, but Akihiko cuts him off, wanting to hear his own story before that.

We then switch to Yoriko, as she seems to have met the mysterious man again in front of a painting store. He’s talking about eternal life. At first he seems a bit weird, but Yoriko is doubting whether to trust him or not. Sekiguchi and Enokizu then pop up. They don’t get much out of her, and she just leaves them to meet up with the mysterious man again. He invites her then in a room full of boxes… and the rest is left up to our imagination…

So the culprit is finally identified, it was indeed the mysterious man. The question now of course is where this guy ties in with the box maker and Kanako. Is he a member of the cult, and if he did push Kanako off the tracks as Yoriko said, then what did he want to accomplish with that? How did he get her out of the research institute?

I also have to say that I’m surprised that more and more anime are willing to use the Second World War as one of their themes. Last season, it was Nijuu Mensou no Musume; and okay, even though that one went wrong a bit, it’s good to see that some Japanese are willing to write stories about their darker parts in history. In the same way, you can see a lot of American-made games that do take place in this second world war, just as a lot of Dutch stories take place in our Golden Age, and you never get to hear anything about what “we” did in Indonesia. While an anime about Pearl Harbour is of course never going to happen, it’s good to see that there are at least some attempts to point at it.

The animation was a bit strange at times in this episode, but thankfully it was only the smoothness that suffered. The vivid expressions that make this series’ characters come to life are fortunately still there.

Posted on 19 November 2008 with categories: Mouryou no Hako



Short Synopsis: Sekiguchi, Toriguchi and Akihiko continue to talk about the various aspects of the boxed murders case.
Highlights: Just when I thought that the previous episode was filled with dialogue…
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10 (Excellent)
Holy crap; I can hardly believe my eyes. One episode that just takes place inside one room is one thing, but two consecutive episodes, featuring nothing more than a room with three guys in it, constantly talking. I think some record has been broken with this, because this even surpasses Seirei no Moribito. I can sort-of understand why no new subs have been released so far. This series is really something else to try and translate.

Okay, so here are my attempts to try and grasp what went on. We start the episode as usual with an example from one of the books of one of the characters of this series, I suspect that this is from Sekiguchi. It starts with a little girl who’s reading a children’s book at a local shop. We then switch to or the past of the main character of the story, and we learn that he used to be a very neat guy, sometimes taking it to extremes so that he ended up skipping his lunch. After his father(?) died, he ended up living in a large house on his own, where the loneliness drove him to insanity. I think that that scene was meant to clarify why we saw him ending up cutting up the limbs in the story blurb that we saw a few episodes back.

The rest of the episode is divided into two halves again. The first half, which takes up the longest part of the episode, is spent on our threesome as they explore the concepts of “Mouryou”. It becomes clear here that Akihiko is a real fan of calligraphy, and likes to search behind the meaning of different related words and Kanji.

What I picked up was that Mouryou aren’t just a bunch of monsters. Those are called the mountain Mouryou, but the whole term encompasses a bit more. According to the dictionary, “Mouryou” isn’t just the name of one particular monster, but the term encompasses all sorts of spirits and goblins. The “Mou”, or 魍 of the word means a monster, spectre or apparition, while “Ryou”, or 魎 means a sprite or hobgoblin. I guess that if you take the two terms combined, you get quite a broad collection of things.

For some reason, he also shows a bunch of alternative ways to write “Mouryou” in Kanji that didn’t make any sense when I looked them up. My guess is that after that, Akihiko shows them a few different creatures that can be considered as Mouryou, like a water sprite, or even a shikabane (zombie), and tells them stories in which they appeared. After that follows some weird symbolism about those Torii-shrines of the previous episode, but I really didn’t get what that was about.

Then the second half of the episode starts, end the focus gets back to the boxed-murder cases. My big trouble here is that I can’t seem to find the right translation for the word “onbaku”, which seems to be the central focus of this mystery. It seems to refer back to the concepts of faith and Buddhism, relating back to the first episode. I suspect that this “onbaku” is the guy they suspect to be the culprit of the boxed-murder case. Could he be the box-maker of the previous episode? That would explain the religious references to his cult and all.

Toriguchi then shares a theory he’s been having about the culprit of the crime, as he comes with a police report on the case. It turns out that the “onbaku” has a dead daughter. He comes up with the crazy theory that he started murdering because he believed that that will save his daughter or something, but Akihiko reckons that more information is needed to get to that conclusion. He asks Sekiguchi to show the relevant parts of the registry file that Toriguchi got from the box maker and distribute it to the police. One of the names in the document catches Sekiguchi’s attention, as it seems to be the name of another rising novelist. It seems that they met once.

The episode ends as Akihiko tells them not to go near the research institute, suggesting that he either is a very good at telling the future, or knows more than what he showed in this episode.

I must say that I’m really impressed by this series. Although it’s a lot of work to try and understand it, it’s exactly series like this one that are the reason why I watch anime: those rare unique series that simply go beyond genres and have a style of storytelling of their own.

I believe that this series is a typical alpha-series, and here’s what I mean by that: for my studies, I’ve had to read a number of papers, both written by alpha- and beta-scientists. A common trait among the beta-papers was that everything is defined up to the finest detail, and you can see the same in series as Higurashi: every action has a well-defined cause and a reaction, and it’s a great example of a beta-series. Papers that were written by alpha scientists on the other hand weren’t as straightforward, and instead just tried to look at their subject in lots of different ways and from various angles. And that‘s exactly Mouryou no Hako. It’s not trying to solve this mystery by providing clues on a silver platter, but instead it’s telling the story and background from a lot of different angles and views, explaining the background that might have something to do with it or might not. This really is the first series where this effect is so apparent.

Right now, I’m beginning to understand where Kanako’s Buddhist influences came from, and I believe that she was an influential member of the box maker’s cult. If this is true, then it does explain why she forms such a central role in this story.

Posted on 12 November 2008 with categories: Mouryou no Hako



Short Synopsis: Toriguchi shares his theories with Akihiko.
Highlights: I can’t recall having seen any episode for the past year that had more dialogue in it than this one…
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10 (Excellent)
Wow… just wow. When I thought that the previous episode was full of dialogue, this episode becomes even more extreme: the entire episode, safe for a few flashbacks and the intro, took place in one room, featuring just three characters talking. Like mentioned above, the only episode I can think of that matches the amount of dialogue here is from Seirei no Moribito, when Barsa got her spear fixed. I really love these sorts of episodes, which are really mind-boggling to try and understand. But yeah, the hard part comes in understanding them.

I think that the first half focuses a bit on a side-story, when Akihiko shares a bit of background on the spiritual roots of the series. The drawing with the four gates that Toriguchi draw reminded me a lot of the four Gods that watch over Kyoto from the four different directions, but it also seems to be a drawing of a shrine that Toriguchi once visited, which resided on a mountain and had four different-coloured shines in the different wind-directions. I originally thought that that was something only Kyoto had, but it seems that there are more shrines of this type, with a smaller scale.

I think the whole point of that first half is that they’re discussing what Akihiko’s powers might be, and they move across different possibilities, like fraud or spiritual powers (which Akihiko both denies), in order to get a good comprehension of what he can and can’t do (which will probably be of a vital importance in the series’ second half, when these guys will probably start solving the case around the boxed murders). What caught my attention is that this series fully acknowledges that most mediums are frauds, despite being a supernatural series. I’ve only seen this at Ghost Hunt before, and it’s an interesting effect, giving the real supernatural effects even more of a mysterious flavour. Especially in this series, since we still haven’t got a bloody clue what went on back there in the research facility.

In the end, it seems that Akihiko prefers to be called a medium, as that’s where his powers seem to fit in best. I don’t believe he explained how exactly how power worked, but I don’t care whether he did or not, those are just mere details. The fact remains that this series is doing more than just basing itself off a few cultural references randomly grabbed from Wikipedia, but instead tries something much more complex, that goes beyond mere customs and folklore.

In any case, I found it pretty amusing that Akihiko thought that Sekiguchi and Toriguchi were merely visiting him because they wanted that background on his powers, but of course there’s much more than that. In the second half of the episode, Toriguchi reveals that he’s discovered quite a bit about the case with the boxed limbs. A strange guy came to him with a story he wrote (it seems that Toriguchi is also some kind of editor, explaining why he knows Sekiguchi), and his story sparked a few strange parallels to the box-murder-case. The guy didn’t seem to care how much he got paid for it, as long as it gets published.

When Akihiko analyzes it, it seems that the manuscript was written by a woman, and the writer somehow stole it from her. Toriguchi also suspected this, so he paid the guy a small visit at home. He wasn’t there at the moment, but he got greeted by an middle aged woman and old man, in a house with a room full of boxes, of the same kind of those who were found earlier, but the old man then scared him away. If I understood correctly, then the woman used an excuse of how the old man still needed to drink his tea to buy a bit of time for him, but then I wonder why he didn’t hide the boxes.

Toriguchi then tells about a how he spoke to a guy who lives next to the house f the old man who scared him away. People seem to call him Hyouei (or something that sounds like that). It turns out that he once was a famous box maker (hence the boxes, I guess). He seems to have become that because his father was also one, and it also seems that his grandmother had some sort of spiritual ability. He was quite famous, but at a certain point he became unable to create his boxes. He seems to have a wife and son, but Toriguchi couldn’t find out where they went.

The episode ends as Toriguchi tells how he found an old letter that Houei’s grandmother seemed to have written. It talks about a piece of paper, if I understood correctly. This piece of paper contained the word “Mouryou”.

So lately, I’ve seen some discussion about why we watch raws. I do so for a bunch of reasons: it’s consistent, I’m impatient, it’s the only way to watch unpopular shows as Les Miserables and Porfy no Nagai Tabi, and without subs and I can focus more at the visual expressions and effects instead of trying to keep up with the subtitles. This episode was obviously an extreme case of an episode that’s very hard to watch raw, but at the same time I love a bit of convolution once in a while. In this episode, when I watched it for the first time, a lot went over my head, but at the second watch, when I grabbed myself a dictionary, things suddenly started to make sense. And I can also rely on some of the commenters for filling in some of the gaps or mistakes I made (especially many thanks to Zerozaki for his patience to continue pointing out the things I missed or misunderstood for every episode. ^^;)

Posted on 5 November 2008 with categories: Mouryou no Hako



Short Synopsis: The fourth main character turns out to be a detective/psychic who gets hired to find Kanako.
Highlights: Too. Much. Dialogue!
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7,5/10 (Good)
This episode was an absolute nightmare for an inexperienced raw watcher as myself. During the previous episodes, I still was able to follow the general gist of things due to the visual drawings and stuff, but this episode’s different. For once, it focused on completely different characters (half of them new ones, as if the series hadn’t already enough of them), and nearly the entire episode, save for the few minutes in the beginning, consisted out of talking, talking and more talking.

So, let me see if I got this part correctly: the first part, before the OP, is always a scene from the novel from Sekiguchi? That makes sense in a way: he created his novels based on the boxed head he saw in the train (or was that part of his books as well?), rather than him, being the murderer.

The next scene was the most mind-boggling of all, since none of its characters had appeared in the series before. It centres around a professor called Fukurai Tomokichi and Mifune Chizuko. It seems to be Tomokichi’s duty to find out whether Chizuko is a psychic or not as she claims. At first, this seems to be the case, but the professor wants to do another experiment before believing this. In charge of the contents of the box that need to be guessed is a young guy called Fuji. Somehow he screws up, and lets someone break into his suitcase and take the note out of the box that was supposed to be read. Then something happens with a bit of film that I didn’t pick up, and Fuji somehow humiliates Chizuko in front of the media. This distresses Chizuko so much that she dies of an illness. Now… why would the creators bother showing such a seemingly irrelevant case?

The next scene finally introduces the final main character: Reijiro Enokizu, again a self-proclaimed psychic. There’s one guy, Noriyuki Masuoka who attempts to contact him, I’m not sure whether we’ve seen this guy before in the series, but he seems to be in charge of the case of finding Kanako. There was a lot of random chatter in this part because Reijiro refused to take Masuoka seriously, but the gist seems to be that there is another person looking out for Kanako’s body.

The final part of the episode goes back to Sekiguchi. At this point, I’m still not sure how exactly the guy is involved in the whole case, and how he (and Akihiko for that matter) can become a major characters when they’re primarily novel-writers. This episode shows how he gets visited by his friend Toriguchi, who tell him that Atsuko (apparently, Akihiko has a sister) did a bit of research into the building they ran into in episode 2, and found out that it was a medical research institute. Toriguchi seems to have come to Sekiguchi for a strange rumour he found out, and Sekiguchi introduces Toriguchi to a person who might be of more help than him: Akihiko. Akihiko ends the episode, pretending to be another psychic.

So yeah, this series was already very complex with subs, but it becomes an entire puzzle without them. I hope I got everything right, but a big theme of this episode seemed to be psychics, and whether or not they exist. It’s never confirmed nor denied, but I think that with everything that happened to Kanako, there definitely is some sort of psychic aspect about this series.

CHANGE USERNAME
AidanAK47
Taken on it's own, Nisekoi is harmless. But it is undeniably proof that you need not be creative or innovative to succeed in the industry. In fact declaring creative bankruptcy could turn more fruitful than genuine effort.
AidanAK47
And I said how can you decide you don't like something if you haven't read it?
Of course you are likely mean that if you don't like something then give up on reading it further which of course does not mean that someone cannot complain about it regardless.
Anonymous1198985
No, Im said if you dont like nisekoi dont read it
AidanAK47
@Anon, How do you know you don't like it if you don't read it?
Anonymous1196967
Don't like it don't read it.
AidanAK47
I went and read Double Arts. This really was a great manga with tons of potentail and truly didn't deserve the axe. It's so depressing that this was cut off so soon and the author went on to make the most generic Harem ever Nisekoi, and that got over 200 chapters.
Lenlo
All of the important dance scenes for Yuri were fantastic, its just some minor one off characters and some reused ones that were an issue, so no they are better than the CGI
Anonymous1190387
Is it worse than those CGI dance scenes in some anime?
AidanAK47
@Puran, It is pretty surprising how well that story turns out. I say IG might do the job even if there animation isn't the most consistent. The one thing I am worried about is those necks though. In the PV those things were ridiculously long.
Puran
Fair enough, recycling the animation was bad, agreed. But the animation itself was really good.
Lenlo
See, I found the repeated dances in Yuri one of the worse parts. Alot of it was recycled animation and certain characters were obviously rushed/not done. Some were amazing, cause they took their time, but others looked terrible.
Puran
I kinda wish Mappa was doing the anime though. Yuri on Ice had really nicely animated dances (and was more or less the only actually good quality of that show :P )
Puran
Reading the Ballroom e Youkoso manga has made me really excited about the Anime.
Kaiser_Eoghan
@Aidan: I'm particularly turned off by bully/bullying cliches these days. I've only read the first two volumes to see how awful she was but I ended up simply losing track of the series and stopped reading.
Kaiser_Eoghan
@Mario: Actually that has changed, I had to pick a different day to see it given changes in schedule, I've booked it for NEXT Wednesday now. I've watched Akira about four times.
AidanAK47
Oh, Rising of the Shield Hero is getting an anime adaption. Hmmm...honestly after finishing the series and looking over it as a whole I am not sure I even want that. Plus seeing Bitch Animated...would fill me with rage.
SuperMario
I intend to re-watch Akira soon, probably this weekend. It has been almost 10 years since my first watch and now I don't remember much about that one. Thought it was intriguing and complex but not as acclaimed as people hyped it to be (I'll pick Ghost in the Shell anytime). Wonder how I'd feel now after re-watching it.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I remember you mentioned that you were going to watch In this Corner of the World today right? How was the movie Kaiser?
Lenlo
Oh cool, food wars is getting a 3rd season
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ballroom youkoso appears to be leading the polls.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Fumiko is a female mangaka yes. Also I found bokura no hentai worth reading.
SuperMario
yep, I finished that manga too and I have conflicted feeling about it. Yuri(!) part and fanservice are to blatant but they have a purpose. This mangaka (not sure but I think she's a girl) has some unique voice.
AidanAK47
....well I skimmed that manga. And it was weird
SuperMario
By all appearances,Sakura is normal,albeit sheltered junior high school girl who enjoy talking about love and walking home from school together.However,they also happen to inhabit a strange and supernatural world populated by mysterious,gigantic beings and unusual plant and animal life.Amid their peaceful lives,Sakura becomes very interested in something only alluded to exist in old books: dicks
SuperMario
Here's a synopsis of other manga from the same author, I think you'll have a better idea of his theme -
Sakura no Sono
AidanAK47
Pretty much what Masky said. I am not really praising it. Anyway I plan to read one or two more chapters to see where it's going. But if it's going in the direction I think it's going then I am dropping this one fast.
Kaiser_Eoghan
There is of course the underlying concern that it will go a very ugly route with that development or it could become edgy/horribly minipulative, but for now it is as mario said, a hook.
SuperMario
Well. overall I don't dislike what I read there. It has good hook and I'm intrigued to know more what the hell will happen. Good set-up for me. I'm in
SuperMario
@Masky: it's fine Masky, since I will chec itk out any way and see it for myself ^^
Masky
So since you guys started being interested, I checked it out and uh.. Yeah, not reading. I think ye guys misunderstood Aidans warnings since that was just fucked up and not in the interesting way.
Lenlo
@Aidan: Berserk will never again go more than 3-4 months without a hiatus.
SuperMario
Hmmm, that manga Cutie Mutie sounds good to me. I might check it out later today
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: But had you not alluded to that scene, I may have seen the cover of that manga and skipped over it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I had a feeling, sort of, sad, I am intrigued to read more.
AidanAK47
Hyping and warning are not the same thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Well with Aidan hyping up the horrors of cutie mutie I may as well glance at it to see what he' on about.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There are three manga with the name rec.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I am familiar with the artist for cutie mutie, she did that manga about the three kids dealing with gender/orientation issues.
AidanAK47
Oh look Berserk is on Haitus again....
.....the sad thing is that it comes as expected now.
AidanAK47
For reference the two I read were Cutie Mutie and Rec. Be warned, the first one goes to a rather uncomfortable level.
AidanAK47
@Masky, Read two manga. One started lighthearted and then went to really dark territory. The other one looks like it's about a really dark subject but turned out to be something more lighthearted.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Alright. Tested it now so it such be fixed. Try again.
Masky
@Aidan: Huh? What you read that turned dark/didn't turn dark? .-.
SuperMario
"too many answers selected for question 1! only 3 answers allowed!"
SuperMario
@Aidan: I still have the same issues. Weird
AidanAK47
@Mario, Wasn't my intent. Try it now and you should be able to pick as many as you want.
SuperMario
@Aidan: I'm not allowed to vote more than 3 votes. Is it your intention Aidan?
AidanAK47
Well that was weird. I read something that looked innocent but turned out to be really dark. Then something that looked really dark only to become innocent.
Masky
Yeah, nothing that interests me I see :D Like my strongest reaction to season preview was "Someone made isekai with smartphone? Really? REALLY? Thats best idea you had"
Masky
Ah Knighs and Magic, found that manga. It was boring enough for me to forget its name. Also besides being boring, I kinda find MC unlikeable since their only personality is that they like mechas and were a programmer before renicarnating as short bishie kid
Masky
Woo, time to vote stuff
SuperMario
@Kaiser: that movie In this Corner just getting more and more acclaimed huh? Thou I think it'a a type of movie that if you have high expectation for it you will likely be disappointed. It works best as a sleeper hit
SuperMario
As for cute monster girls, most of the time I don't find them cute at all. I know I'm being racist, but...
SuperMario
@Lenlo: I'm guilty with that cute girls genre, as i enjoyed K-On tremedously for example. Or If I have more time I'd follow Hinako Note this season ^^
Kaiser-Eoghan
They don't always adapt all that well or work as well outside of manga format, especially 4-komas.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*three
Kaiser-Eoghan
The only two of any interest were hidamari sketch, azumanga daioh and yuru yuri and that was largely down to being in the mood for them a few years ago.
Lenlo
@Mario: Personally, I have 0 interest in this Monster girls doing cute things subgenre, just like I have very little interest in the cute girls doing cute things major genre.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: As it turns out I DID read in this corner of the world. I'll also be seeing it next thursday.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: at this moment I'm very skeptical with the whole Monster girls doing cute girl subgenre, so I'm approachig Centaur with a caution. Of course, it all depends on how I feel after the first episode
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Happy End isn't as bleak aa his other works. But it's certainly Hanake's films, as it explores many of his favorite themes: the voyeurist of camera in his Benny's video, the detachment to the world and the underlying violence. Not his best thou but it's still very good
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think I'd be up for watching jigoku shojo, its been a long time since I watched the original two seasons and this one won't be as long, so it won't get as repetitive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I voted centaur no nanami on the poll, think Mario could cover it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: How did did you get on with Happy end? I heard its like a mix of his best works. Is it as dark and depressing?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have vague memories of in the corner of the worlds manga, unless I'm mixing it up with something else.
SuperMario
Some news, Lu Over the Wall won the best prize at this year's Annecy (the 1st anime won the award since 1995's Pom Poko), with In the Corner of the World took the Jury Prize. Quite a good showing for anime this year.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Hello.
SuperMario
Really, still no vote for Kakegurui?? I thought it would take the top poll for sure
SuperMario
That 18if, even the poster doesn't make much sense, but it looks dazzling ^^
Lenlo
go-go licensed products!
SuperMario
@Lenlo: and Madhouse is the studio behind that Marvel rip-off. Are they really going that low for profits?
Lenlo
Lookin forward to Kakeguri next season, but thats the only thing thats really caught my eye
Lenlo
Well, you have to watch Marvel next season right?
AidanAK47
And done. I swear these previews take a lot out of me.
AidanAK47
Almost done....almost done...
KT
Attack of Titan, ended ok. But man the production values had gone down.

Virgin Soul had a okish episde

Re:Creators continues to rock for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I liked the 70s version ending, it was mean spirited =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The original used its one room location quite well and dim lighting in parts, very closed in/claustrophobic.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: just finished the Beguiled and it was much better than I expected. Like, I didn't expect it to be that well shot. The guy was put in a passive role than active here, which help the theme imo. Also, the ending admitedly isn't for everyone but I liked it just fine
SuperMario
@Kaiser: using a black girl? The girls in this one are all white :(
AidanAK47
Sato in Re:Creators isn't doing himself any favors is he? Honestly the more I learn about him, the less likable he becomes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It was a good film though, one of scarjos better moments.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: As for Sofia, I'm only familiar with lost in translation, which I haven't seen since it originally came out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Everyone goes on about Francis' for the Godfather, the conversation is massively underated and apocalypse now is better, but it has to be the theatrical cut.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I guess it was probably seen as progressive in its day by way of using the black girl.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Very very cynically 70s of course.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Actually just happened to finish it there, I felt it stood out for its somewhat successful gothic feel and aesthetic and Eastwood's performance which shows how well he can command the audiences attention even when he isn't shooting people. Kind of liked how it got slightly grisly later on. It makes a small effort in giving one line backstories .
SuperMario
@Kaiser: the original movie isn't that well-received. It's more like an exotica film where the main guy (Clint Eastwood) hooks up girls of all ages. This one I heard has a good spin on feminist angle. I'm sure is intrigued but Sofia Coppola's filmography has been mixed for me
Kaiser-Eoghan
....I doubt any one has ever heard of this....I know I didn't, I haven't read it either but I came across some weird old Blacksploitation manga, probably from the 90s, Blast knuckle or something...
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Still remaking the beguiled might be good, we need more modern westerns.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I suppose I can busy myself with the original 70s version of beguiled. At the moment I've been focusing on old Japanese films, they had such a good film industry, it makes it hurt so much more now knowing that all they do now is shit live action adaptations.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: gonna be a long day for me with the screenings of The Beguiled, Wind River, The Other Side of Hope and Happy End
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now I need to re-watch 08th ms team.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I watched 4 hours straight of Gundam the origin, hit me with a hard punch of nostalgia, actually seeing his backstory rather than hearing about it is a good thing, I enjoyed the action scenes, it was high-melodrama but well used and more Char is always a good thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think I'll just put Kado on hold for now and see whats being said about future episodes of it, I'm too unsure of it being worth it or not at the moment.
Vonter
I want to comment on a humble indie game called Sakuna of Rice and Ruin. Is a simple hack and slash similar to Muramasa and Dust: Elysian Trail. The game has a scarf mechanic that is very fun to use to evade attacks and throwing stuff. It kind of reminded me of those Mickey games from the Snes and the visuals reminded me of Pocky and Rocky. Its a game to play on a sunday, simple, fun and relaxing.
Vonter
From the stuff I played Dragon Ball FigtherZ seems legit at capturing the speed of the battle and feel of the action.
Vonter
Back from E3. Nintendo is still my main jam. The Rabbids game seems better than I think anyone could imagine. Odyssey seems like a good time. Xenoblade and Metroid 2 remake look like hype.
KT
On Gundam OG, the new Origin Manga, and the movies based on it are very good. Recommended.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember reading the first chapter of that manga, but it was a long time ago and the updates were slow.
AidanAK47
A manga about Ballroom dancing? Yeah there's no way I am into this.
(Starts reading)
(Reads ten chapters)
Crap...I am into this.
Anonymous1166615
Feel I need to re-visit gundam again through 08th MS team, unicorn and Origin as I'd enjoyed the 70s series, its sequel and chars counterattack. Seed turned me off the franchise for ridiculously long and 00s movie and second season wern't as good as the first .
Anonymous1166615
Looks like I have another Yuasa work to look forward to, he's doing his own take off on Nagai's devilman , hopefully he can reign in Valvraves writer though.
Masky
*first manga in couple last weeks I've seen
Masky
Da fuq. Found manga called Kemono Jihen, but it somehow already has tv tropes page(I tend to check randomly whether works have tv tropes page to see how notable they are) O_o I mean this is first manga with 1-3 chapters that has that, so I guess author is really popular or something in some circles?
Lenlo
Huh. Guess they figured out rewriting a story for Re:Creators.
Masky
Ya know, even if i hadn't heard that Suka Suka is based on one of more tragic light novels, the death flags, all of the death flags :D
HelghastKillzone
I'm a patron of someone who is writing mass effect fanfiction at 2 million+ words. It combines games, writing and fan creativity. So there is that....
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, while I listened to some Lovecraft audiobooked, I felt as if I was copping out by listening instead of reading.
Kaiser-Eoghan
A horror manga often works well episodically in a short story format.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Had a flick through Shibito, of what I read I liked how ridiculously camp and gleefully, proudfully nutso it was combined with the silliness of the violence. While not my favourite chapter, the one about the actress stood out for me because she was clearly a reference to Setsuko Hara, one of Japans most famous actresses lol
AidanAK47
I try out a number of things from time to time. Books, movies, music, comics and the like. But I always come back to anime.
AidanAK47
I have dabbled in quite a few mediums myself. My recent experiment is audiobooks which I am currently using to get through Moby Dick. And Jesus H Christ is this book padded to hell and back. It may be well written but it is an awful story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But what this film venture has shown me is that while I've gotten much out of it, it shows just how STRONGER the connection I have to anime/manga is.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: And definately, I don't get the "people focus on only one media thing". One of the reasons I started branching out was because I felt "Fuck, I'm in my 30s and I've neglected a whole medium by being too focused on cartoons"
Kaiser-Eoghan
The sign you're at something too long is when the suspense of waiting for the next part to come out isn't there or when you find yourself not picking up on whats going on!
Kaiser-Eoghan
Manga/visual novels/anime I've noticed especially now are much much easier to stay awake during when you're wrecked tired.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: And to be honest, I've gotten busier and more tired lately, getting home on a weekday later after a new job, I'm not alert enough to watch art films, just started leaving them till the weekend.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I know exactly what you mean. That is one of the reason why I like to mix up what I watch: sometimes books, other time manga and even music to get me away from burning out from 1 medium
Kaiser-Eoghan
*eventually get back
Kaiser-Eoghan
The short of that is, I think a good scale back with ANY hobby is a good thing because it can feel special all over again when you get back on it more mainly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But now that after three years of mainly focusing on films moreso than anime/manga as much, because I'm now incredibly burnt out from watching films 4 times a day, I feel now I can watch ANY anime or read any manga and get that fresh feeling/some of that old passion back.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Remember that feeling you got when you first really got into anime/manga and pretty much excitedly/panic watched EVERYTHING and almost everything felt great? I've been thinking how a few years back now, I sort of re-lived that feeling again...however for films.
AidanAK47
(Finished watching SukaSuka 10)
Awwww...that was a sweet episode end....
.....
.....They are all gonna die.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Kids off school pressumably in Japan with more time to watch stuff and more shows.
AidanAK47
God why is there so many anime during the summer season.
AidanAK47
Of course there are the really obvious recommendations of Grand Blue and Kaguya wants to be confessed to.
AidanAK47
I say the only other recommendations I got are Jagaaaaaan, Maou no Hisho, Ore wo Suki Nano wa Omae Dake ka yo and Yuuutsu-kun to Succubus-san. Though I still think Shibito no Koe o Kiku ga Yoi would be up your alley.
Kaiser-Eoghan
By all means keep posting random manga you've all come across, I will read them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I thought route end did a good job on the protagonist's feelings regarding his mothers death.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though my interest in Route is largely due to it was the most lurid of the selection.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I felt route end holds the most interest of that selection of recommendations, although before reading it I thought it would be an episodic manga, similar to a series called death sweeper.
Lenlo
@K-Off, well I think both the manga got handed down to the assistant, and the anime got handed down as well. The original author/director for both arnt working on Boruto
K-Off
@Lenlo Probably, haven't checked. But the manga and anime are completely different so I don't know.
AidanAK47
The Streisand effect in full force.
SuperMario
*Now the media...
SuperMario
No the media storms over it and eventually want to check out this film. It has gain more publicity after this shameless incident
SuperMario
oh god, really? Chinese government tried their best to force Annecy (Animation film Fest) to remove a Chinese animated film name Have A Nice Day from screening there because of its "sensitive content"
AidanAK47
Still think Sawano needs to lay off the vocals. It can get really distracting in Re:Creators.
KT
oh my the RE:Creators OST is all I wanted.
Lenlo
Well, Boruto isnt being run by the original manga author is it? I thought he handed the series off after Naruto to his chief assistant.
K-Off
The contrast between wanting to do something different yet using the same character traits is just too jarring.
K-Off
Gave Boruto a shot, and while it isn't bad, it's so detached from the original series that it might as well have been unrelated. I appreciate that the plot is different, but the modern setting, and lack of any clear character motivations (for now) makes it such a chore to watch. If they were going for something different, why did they use the same character designs and archetypes?
SuperMario
Sorry guys for the delay of Eccentric Family post, just can't bring myself to finish the post. Not that many of you following the show but Yeah, I will plget it done later today. Also, hell yeah for Pluto. Urasawa is my God
SuperMario
@Aidan: I kinda imagine Isekai Shokudou would be like Time of Eve upon reading the synopsis. Like each week about some peculiar customers. Well, if they focus more on food, then... *heartbroken*
AidanAK47
Two Metroid Game announcements and an anime of Pluto.
Today was a good day.
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Demi-chan is one of the newest addition to the monster girl subgenre, which usually feature a human helpless male lead get stuck in a harem of mythical creatures, in form of oversized boob girls of course (why usually those monsters are in female forms anyways? Aren’t they sexless?). In this case, we have monster girls […]

Seiren (Winter 2017) Review – 51/100

Let me say this out front, Seiren is NOT a good show, it’s a highly uneven one. Throughout its run, I can see some solid moments and fresh ideas that could potentially raise it above the bar, but ultimately, view it as a whole, Seiren is a show that isn’t worth recommending. At first, I’m […]

Flip Flappers (Fall 2016) Review – 93/100

What makes Flip Flappers stand out from the rest of the anime field? I found a lot of people asking that question along the way. Well, first off, Flip Flappers isn’t your ordinary anime offering, that’s for sure. Its visual styles are too much and too incoherent for one thing, the narrative never really reveal […]