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Utsuro no Hako to Zero no Maria (Novel)   
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From Yen Press:
Kazuki Hoshino treasures nothing more than his ordinary life, and March 2 should have been an ordinary day. The arrival of a transfer student, the mysterious Aya Otonashi, shouldn't have shattered the world he knows. He's never seen this girl before in his life, but she says she's met him thousands of times--and declares war on him for a crime he can't even remember... As the truth begins to unravel, nothing is as it seems, and at the heart of it all is a wish powerful enough to change everything...


Related Series

Associated Names
The Empty Box and the Zeroth Maria (Novel)
Zerowa Maria i puste pudełko ( Polish )
Пустая шкатулка и нулевая Мария (Novel)
الصندوق الفارغ وماريا الصفرية (رواية)

Groups Scanlating

Latest Release(s)
v.7 c.2-4 + Epilogue by Baka-Tsuki over 8 years ago
v.7 c.Prologue + 1 by Baka-Tsuki over 8 years ago
v.6 by Baka-Tsuki over 10 years ago
Search for all releases of this series

in Country of Origin
7 Volumes (Complete)

Completely Scanlated?

Anime Start/End Chapter

User Reviews


User Rating
Average: 8.8 / 10.0 (446 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.64 / 10.0

Last Updated
November 27th 2023, 10:05am



Category Recommendations





Original Publisher
MediaWorks (Dengeki Bunko)

Serialized In (magazine)

Licensed (in English)

English Publisher
Yen On (7 Vols - Complete)

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #711 increased(+15)
Monthly Pos #1641 increased(+98)
3 Month Pos #2734 increased(+401)
6 Month Pos #3294 increased(+845)
Year Pos #5406 increased(+46)

List Stats
On 1098 reading lists
On 1382 wish lists
On 367 completed lists
On 42 unfinished lists
On 551 custom lists

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over 7 years ago

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User Comments  [ Order by usefulness ]
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Volumes 1&2 were good, but flopped at Volume 3  
by Sypher Pol
June 2nd, 2020, 2:01am
Rating: 6.0  / 10.0
A lot of people have been saying that Volume 5 or 6 was when things finally started to get real, but no matter what I just cannot read or continue with Volume 3 & 4 without getting bored to the point where I was so pissed off by the MC. It's just like the author didn't care anymore and just wrote things that anything came to mind and threw them off the table. It was just so random, no too random how some girl just suddenly fell in love with a pathetic MC, and his pathetic backstory of his so-called first love with his weird fetish of drinking her tears and wth?! The protagonist was so interesting in Volume 1 & 2, and I was at the point where I get why Maria and O is so interested of him, but then Volume 3 broke all my hopes for the protagonist. He was so effin irritating at that killing game. He was deceived a lot of times, so wimpy and took a long time to have the resolve to even pick one of the two girls that are all over him. Tsk, he's really got the nerve lol, and he can't even remember anything at the next turn that it only turned out to be so grating, or how he suddenly has two chicks that are somehow interested in him when he's not even that great. I get that all of it is for that of a dark storyline, but unfortunately it only came out awkwardly instead of naturally.

... Last updated on June 2nd, 2020, 2:10am
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Best thing I've read yet (as of 11 Nov. 2016)  
by japespszx
November 11th, 2016, 7:45am
Rating: N/A
I have read all sorts of literature from manga to your typical novels in the bookstore. In my opinion, this is the best thing I've ever read. I wasn't expecting to get so many goosebumps while reading a light novel. 10/10.

Yeah, I suck at reviews, sorry. lol

... Last updated on November 11th, 2016, 7:47am
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It has its good parts  
by Hoodspirit
September 5th, 2016, 2:40pm
Rating: 5.0  / 10.0
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  
by red-eyed-slayer
December 3rd, 2015, 9:34pm
Rating: 9.5  / 10.0
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.  
by Shiraishi
September 10th, 2015, 10:42am
Rating: 10.0  / 10.0
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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by Infinity781
May 12th, 2015, 10:45am
Rating: 10.0  / 10.0
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  
by Kuro_Kishi
December 25th, 2014, 4:47am
Rating: 10.0  / 10.0
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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by gimeyop
November 15th, 2014, 5:01pm
Rating: 7.0  / 10.0
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  
by psycho-shocker
October 27th, 2013, 2:24am
Rating: 10.0  / 10.0
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  
by MatrixM
August 19th, 2013, 8:25am
Rating: 10.0  / 10.0
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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