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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
Пустая шкатулка и нулевая Мария (Novel)
The Empty Box and the Zeroth Maria (Novel)
Zerowa Maria i puste pudełko ( Polish )

Groups Scanlating

Latest Release(s)
v.7 c.2-4 + Epilogue by Baka-Tsuki over 2 years ago
v.7 c.Prologue + 1 by Baka-Tsuki over 2 years ago
v.6 by Baka-Tsuki over 5 years 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: 9.2 / 10.0 (376 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.98 / 10.0
 63% (236 votes)
 19% (70 votes)
 8% (29 votes)
 5% (18 votes)
 3% (10 votes)
 1% (4 votes)
 1% (2 votes)
 0% (0 votes)
 0% (1 votes)
 2% (6 votes)

Last Updated
October 31st 2017, 3:23pm PST



Category Recommendations





Original Publisher
MediaWorks (Dengeki Bunko)

Serialized In (magazine)

Licensed (in English)

English Publisher
Yen Press (1 Volumes - Ongoing)

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #413 increased(+64)
Monthly Pos #556 increased(+57)
3 Month Pos #620 decreased(-28)
6 Month Pos #532 decreased(-23)
Year Pos #521 decreased(-155)

List Stats
On 1065 reading lists
On 1255 wish lists
On 265 completed lists
On 34 unfinished lists
On 480 custom lists

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Forum Posts
Translations about 1 year ago

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User Comments [ Order by time added ]

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Definitely unique and worth reading!   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by DuckTales
May 29th, 2011, 1:56am
This light novel is unique and entertaining, but requires a patient reader especially when you start reading volume 1. The novel becomes lot easier to read after the end of volume 1 and you'll feel rewarded for your efforts as a reader. The increased readability can be attributed to the understanding of the concept of the 'box' and stable list of characters that appear in all subsequent volumes.

This light novel series has a lot of potential. The author, Eiji Mikage is highly skilled and his love and dedication for his work is clearly visible throughout the novel.

The character development is top-notch and the plot development is excellent. There's enough romance, humor, sadness, joy, fiction, jealousy and psychology in this series. Some of these feelings are fleeting and others last longer - All in all this is an archetypal slice of life series. You'll find yourself smiling, thinking about the story and relish the feel-good aspects of the storyline and you'll definitely respect the efforts of the author. You'll also find yourself rooting for the 'flawed' protagonist who tries to find a humanist solution to undo the effects caused by the 'box'.

I want to thank Baka-Tsuki and their project contributors who have done a great service to the English speaking manga community by translating this wonderful modern work by Eiji Mikage. I hope that this author gains more popularity and gains respect for his original work. I also want to convey my thanks to all voters and reviewers who commented on this title and made me read.

If you're reading this review, I hope you give this series a chance and enjoy this novel!

... Last updated on May 29th, 2011, 2:39am
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Can't put it down   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by Skull_Leader
July 7th, 2010, 9:17pm
I think any attempt to describe the story would not do the novel justice, so I won't try. Instead, I'll go over what the novel represents.

This series is a "supernatural" psychological mystery, with minor touches of unvocalized love/romance.
(Note: I put supernatural in quotes as it is not the typical concept of supernatural.)

The first volume is more supernatural mystery. It's also a bit of a mindf*ck at first. Because of this initial confusion, the beginning of the first volume may be a bit difficult to get through. However, once you start getting a grip on the situation and understand what's going on, it will becoming much more enjoyable and become interesting quickly. Personally, I ended up reading to the end non-stop. The supernatural environment and circumstances of the first volume make it truly epic.

After the first volume, there's a rather severe shift in the nature of the series. As a result of the resolution of volume 1, the epicness ends and a bit more normality returns to the series. This isn't necessarily a bad thing as it opens up new situations and interactions not possible in the first volume. At the same time, it retains its can't-put-it-down awesomeness.

Starting from volume 2, the series gets heavier on the psychological mystery components. The mysteries are never simple and attempting to figure out what's going on yourself can be quite challenging and mindbending. Regardless, it remains interesting, especially with the character interactions of the two main characters.

All of in all, I give this series a 10/10. I can't wait for volume 4 to be translated.

... Last updated on July 7th, 2010, 9:28pm
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Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by amc9988
September 21st, 2012, 3:16am
If there's a light novel series that I must call a masterpiece it's definitely going to be this one.

I really love supernatural, mystery and romance as a genre. And this novel have everything that I wish for. Firstly, let's talk about the characters, at first the characters looks like your everyday cliched anime characters. There's your naive male protagonist, happy go lucky girl, smart boy and of course an easygoing male friend. But as you read further you learn that there is more than meets the eye to these characters. I wouldn't tell you what it is since it's gonna take all the fun from the novel so if you want to know you have to read it yourself, but believe me, you're gonna be in a world of shock to learn the truth about these characters. Next, the development. The character development is absolutely fantastic, this is actually one of the main reason I love this novel. Kazuki (the male lead) is different from any of the usual male characters that you found in an anime. He can ACTUALLY decide WHAT he want to do and for WHOM. And once he made his decision there's nothing that can change his mind. And as for Maria (the female lead)... again I will not say anything about her since she's the center of the story, but I can say this that she's definitely one of the greatest and the most "flawed" character. And I really like the development between those two. The story.... it's epic, mind blowing, and crazy. If you read Bungaku shoujo you will know what I mean. It shows the dark nature of humans and it can be a little bit extreme at some time. And this one takes it even further...

I guess that's it for now, there's no better word to describe this epic novel. So You should give it a try, if you are confused and don't understand the story, it's find since you will definitely understand near the end. The story is always engaging and the always unexpected plot twist makes it even better.
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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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Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by Thangpro23
August 16th, 2012, 4:17pm
This is truly a masterpiece , i have always hate to read and i perfer manga than light novel but this one is truly stunning me.I have this first volume of this light novel since 2 years ago and completely hocked for the series for years , i have re-read the first 4 voloumes like 10 time . Because of my bad english so i dont want to write a comment in english but after read the 5 volume i have to.This is the first time that a fiction series have this much impact to me , it literally change my view to life and other people forever . The character of this story are completely fantastic , this is the point i enjoy the
most in hakomari no bunch of shitty sub,filler character that just being mascot or mc harem we all see in every typical story, every character that appear has great interact on each other and impact deeply to the story . The story is outstanding and this is the important piece of the hakomari epicness , it first seem kinda cliché but is very intertaining as the author said , and not just that is has gave me the massive among of enjoyment that will never make you feel bored of the story.And finnaly the illustration very beatiful and is express the character detailed.Every thing about this novel is a masterpiece . Read it the most epic light novel ever await you .

... Last updated on August 16th, 2012, 4:19pm
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Read it.   
Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
by Wanderer11
August 3rd, 2011, 9:43pm
A mystery with some horror contents, add little bit of comedy and a dash of romance is what this novel is about. The first arc is the best story I ever. It's very intriguing and keeps you on the edge, turning the next pages. I want to learn Japanese for the sole reason of able to to read these.

... Last updated on November 8th, 2011, 2:16pm
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Stop and read   
Rating: N/A
by intemango
May 26th, 2011, 2:40am
No, seriously. Stop everything you're doing (apart from work, of course), and read this. I scowled at first, seeing how unoriginal it probably would be. But slowly and surely I became hooked. I could try giving it a long description and praising its focus upon human ethics (yeah unlike every other novel on earth) or whatever that usually piques the interest of your inner intellectual, but in the author's own words, the book was written simply to be 'entertaining'. For me indeed it was, and more than that.

... Last updated on May 26th, 2011, 2:42am
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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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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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