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.

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  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Apr 16. 2014 10:27 AM)
    @Friend, heard of it. No real interest in playing it.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Apr 16. 2014 10:27 AM)
    @Mikey, I know apocalypse now was based on heart of darkness. It’s just that the man who made spec ops said it was based on Heart of darkness but he took way more from apocalypse now than he did from Heart of darkness.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Apr 16. 2014 10:25 AM)
    @Ninjarealist, I had a peak at the congo free state. Damn. You gotta wonder how someone pulls shit like this off and look in the mirrior and not think “Man, I am such an asshole.” Surprising that you hear bitching about 9/11 all the time and yet barely anything about this.
    It’s surprising the kind of unbelievable stuff that went down in history. For one I never knew Columbus was such a monster.
  • ninjarealist
    (Wednesday, Apr 16. 2014 10:11 AM)
    @Friend That’s why I have to make a good impression now. Once you become famous you’ll have scores of people competing for your acquaintance.
  • xxyy Jiban
    (Wednesday, Apr 16. 2014 09:23 AM)
    I am really fan of Kekkaishi, almost 6 years then I rewatched it.. then I asked sunrise company if they continue http://www.sunrise-inc.co.jp/contact/work.html here where you can ask them for a sequel
  • Friend
    (Wednesday, Apr 16. 2014 07:48 AM)
    @ninja thanks. but my breakthrough probably won’t happen till years and years. XD
  • ninjarealist
    (Wednesday, Apr 16. 2014 07:28 AM)
    @Friend I think it will be a valuable asset to you. Remember this conversation when you’re famous ~o)
  • Friend
    (Wednesday, Apr 16. 2014 06:57 AM)
    K, I’ll take up your advice soon :3
  • ninjarealist
    (Wednesday, Apr 16. 2014 06:49 AM)
    @Friend Tumblr is a great way to promote your art though. Even if you don’t have a personal Tumblr you should DEFINITELY make one for your comic.
  • Deadlight
    (Wednesday, Apr 16. 2014 06:34 AM)
    @Friend: Once Deviant Art stops screwing up on my end I’ll be sure to add you to my watchlist too :D

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