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Utsuro no Hako to Zero no Maria (Novel)  
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Utsuro no Hako to Zero no Maria, or The Empty Box and The Zeroth Maria, tells the sinister story of Kazuki Hoshino, who is almost madly attached to his everyday life, and his antagonist Aya Otonashi, who suddenly transfers into his class—for the 13,118th time. She majestically announces to “break” him, without paying heed to anyone else around them.
This is but the start of a dark roller coaster ride that turns the two against themselves, the people around them and the one who may be god. Read on as their relationship slowly changes and they go against their most basic values in their struggle against the world itself.


Related Series

Associated Names
The Empty Box and the Zeroth Maria
Zerowa Maria i puste pudełko ( Polish )

Groups Scanlating

Latest Release(s)
v.7 c.2-4 + Epilogue by Baka-Tsuki (450d ago)
v.7 c.Prologue + 1 by Baka-Tsuki (461d ago)
v.6 by Baka-Tsuki (1339d ago)
Search for all releases of this series

Status in Country of Origin
7 Volumes (Complete)

Completely Scanlated?

Anime Start/End Chapter

User Reviews


User Rating
Average: 9.3 / 10.0 (350 votes)
Bayesian Average: 9.06 / 10.0
 64% (224 votes)
 18% (64 votes)
 8% (28 votes)
 5% (16 votes)
 2% (7 votes)
 1% (4 votes)
 0% (1 votes)
 0% (0 votes)
 0% (1 votes)
 1% (5 votes)

Last Updated
August 28th 2016, 3:48pm PST



Category Recommendations





Original Publisher
MediaWorks (Dengeki Bunko)

Serialized In (magazine)

Licensed (in English)

English Publisher

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #250 increased(+9)
Monthly Pos #210 decreased(-32)
3 Month Pos #200 decreased(-17)
6 Month Pos #181 increased(+4)

List Stats
On 1038 reading lists
On 1200 wish lists
On 215 completed lists
On 31 unfinished lists
On 449 custom lists

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Forum Posts
Translations 42 days, 12 hours, 45 minutes ago

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User Comments [ Order by usefulness ]

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It has its good parts   
Rating: 5.0 / 10.0
by Hoodspirit
September 5th, 2016, 2:40pm
I don't mind the things that made the 'Horror' tag justified here, excpet for the
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
rape and fake rape scenes.
. Those were a huge turn off for me.
However that is just my personal taste and did not influence the rating, at least I am not consciously aware that it did.
Among the issues I have one is with the trio of friends that the Main Character had in the beginning. The reader gets next to zero information about them until way later in the story, they barely interact with the MC at all. Since the MC is so focused on the 'everyday life', I think it is a bad decission that we are shown close to nothing of it.
I read the LN to the end because it succeeded in tricking me within the first volume. I liked that, despite it being the authors fault for having not properly introduced the characters which made this possible, Unfortunatly that method of how the author did it becomes so overused that if he dropped a hint before one could see the outcome way before the actual scene takes plays.
The last main reason for this rather lowish rating is the pacing. There is no time up to barely any time to relax between a story arc, robbing the reader of chances to experience that 'everyday life' which is said to be so important. At the same time the third and fourth story arc were way longer than they needed to be. It was extended by so many meaningless stuff that it got boring.

But not everything was bad, so I settled for the mid-rating and not a low one.
The intereaction between the two leads gets the appropriate amount of time and it is a joy to read it.
We also get a clear ending, which is rare these days.
I also liked that it stays true to the consquences, mostly it does at least.

When I reread the story I always read up the 3rd vol.'s first chapter (called 'beginning'), then skip to the 7th vol. and continue to read from there (mostly from the last paragraph of chapter 2 till the end).. You miss nothing of importance that way and are spared the bad parts of the LN.

Anyways, despite my issues on this LN I hope you can enjoy the read.
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An inventive and creative novel experience   
Rating: 9.5 / 10.0
by red-eyed-slayer
December 3rd, 2015, 10:34pm
This author seems to be very experienced in storytelling and writing literature itself. As he created compelling storylines and unique story arcs that were very enjoyable yet they are related in terms of not story but for the purpose of character development. This has been inventive due to how it develops its characters in a way that is different from many authors especially Daiya

My minor complaint was how the Kazuki and maria were love each other, I thought they were more loyal friends who look out for each other due to their friendship and obligations. But other than that fans of novels itself will have a unique and enjoyable experience you won't regret it
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A Must Read.   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by Shiraishi
September 10th, 2015, 10:42am
This is worth every single second.
It just keep getting better every volume till the end.
i'd love to rate it more than 10.
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Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by Infinity781
May 12th, 2015, 10:45am
There is not really much I can say on the matter. This series sweeps you off your feet. I did not expect much going into it, but by now it is (BY FAR!) in my top 5 series of all time, if not my favorite ever written. Read this series!
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Well written and definitely worth reading   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by Kuro_Kishi
December 25th, 2014, 5:47am
While there are still several flaws, like anti-climatic ending (vol 2 and 4), and the change in some characters are a bit too fast, this novel is still a great read. It's well written, with carefully thought out twist. The author sure knows how to plan his story

9/10, but I'm still overrating to to 10/10
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Rating: 7.0 / 10.0
by gimeyop
November 15th, 2014, 6:01pm
Fantasy - 7.8
Mystery - 5

First of all: This is not a slice of life, it`s mystery-fantasy hybrid. I thought umineko was an amazing mystery-fantasy hybrid. This was mediocre in comparison.
A mysterious being grants wishes of people but the wishes are incomplete which results in mostly disasters. MC and co. tries to find out what the original wish was and who made the wish so they can stop these disasters. Little and little, you get to know the back stories of characters from these wishes and their "real" personality. The premises is fine and all but the execution is terrible. Sometimes people you trust lie, sometimes ones you don't trust tell the truth, sometimes they're not even them self and the worst part is you DON'T EVEN KNOW WHY. Only after the author reveal the truth that you can look back and piece things together. Basically: there aren't enough clues to deduce the answers which basically gives it a failing score as a mystery.
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If only I can rate higher than 10   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by psycho-shocker
October 27th, 2013, 2:24am
The only flaw this series has is too awesome. I have to adjust my previous rating for other series in order to make this series the top among them all. Well, I am too lazy to do it tough.
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Freaking awesome   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by MatrixM
August 19th, 2013, 8:25am
I rarely ever read tled LNs as most of the time the flow of language soujnds awkward. So I'll start with praising the editing done with this series. It's great. But not all of it has been thoroughly edited (vol 2 was a bit painful to read so I helped out a little).
I stopped reading midway through the 5th book a couple of months ago because I'm pretty sure the arc won't be resolved until the 7th book (might be wrong, considering what timdhong said below) and the wait would kinda kill me if I knew there was no more for me to go back to bigrazz

This series opens (when I say 'opens' I mean it's central thoughout the first novel) with one of my favourite tropes of all time.
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
the time loop.

Each arc has a challenge that kind of makes this series escape classification.
The writing is FANTASTIC!
The characterisation is brilliant, even when it seems to take small leaps (which sounds contradictory, I know)
This author knows how to vary chapter lengths to superb effect with some literally being a few words long and others being pages and pages. The story and pacing just pulls you along, I literally spent at least 12 hours, I think, reading this series.

EDIT: Since reading this, I've read Kokoro Connect. The two are similar, but this is definitely superior all round, especially with the language (which is partially due to the editor's but not entirely as I read some of another novel by this author and the language was just as beautiful).

... Last updated on March 17th, 2014, 10:51pm
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The Best   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by Phiiyrael
March 5th, 2013, 2:05pm
I've read a long list of manga and a few light novels now, and this is honestly the best work of fiction i've read... ever. At the very least it is certainly my FAVORITE work of fiction. It is absolutely masterful, the characters are incredible and the story is deep and complex, If you read anything at all that is on read this.

... Last updated on April 2nd, 2013, 11:44pm
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The second best light novel I ever read after Haruhi   
Rating: 9.5 / 10.0
by ahmsab
January 1st, 2013, 4:56pm
I read a fair deal of light novels , and this one utterly blew my mind , the first novel's setting can you make think they simply copied it from Haruhi but that's not true at all . The battle royal arc is a masterpiece .I just hope the last volumes will be as good as the ones already out bigrazz
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