Utsuro no Hako to Zero no Maria


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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 as they go against their most basic values in their struggle against the world itself.

Associated Names
One entry per line
The Empty Box and the Zeroth Maria
Related Series
Kamisu Reina wa Koko ni Chiru (Light Novel)
Bokura wa Mahou Shoujo no Naka (Light Novel)
F-Rank no Boukun (Light Novel)
Gekkou (2)
Zaregoto (1)
Kamisu Reina wa Koko ni Chiru (1)
Tatakau Shisho (1)
Tsukumodou Kottouten (1)
Recommendation Lists
  1. Sinzbo
  2. Novels I have read.
  3. [03] Time loop
  4. It doesn't get better than this
  5. Novels i have read- i am reading

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21 Reviews sorted by

New Kiboobs
July 26, 2020
Status: Completed
My faourite novel. I love it. The character development is sumptuous and every loose end is tied down at the end of the story. Totally recommend it.

20/10 stars
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Shio rated it
November 29, 2015
Status: --
If you could wish for anything, what would you wished for?

The premise of 'wish granting that turn into tragedy' is not something new. It has been used over and over again. What made Hakkomari different from the rest is, probably, the amount of 'concept' it absorbed and that most wish maker actually got what they are wishing for. The theme of each volumes are:

First Volume: Groundhog days/repeating days.

... more>> Second volume: taking another's body.

Third and Fourth volume = battle royale.

Fifth and Sixth = revolution

Seventh volume: the closure that ties all loose end. I was kind of disappointed with the ending (I don't really support the main pairing), but overall, it's a nice read. Great character, all important character went through some changes. Most importantly, all character finally find their "happiness" even when it's not the conventional type. <<less
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rozenmaiden rated it
July 1, 2016
Status: v7
Even the most innocent human have a its own weakness and darkness.
Yeah, that's the feel I get when I read this novel. IF, Remember IF you have a 'power' that can make your dream come true, what will you do? And remember, for your dream, you must get the consequences in exchange. It's either your loved one, your body, your feeling and many more.

Well, this is this novel's superiority in my opinion.
1. The Romance isn't something that grow in single night.
This LN's romance is growing up as... more>> the story line forward. From adoring to loving, it give you a step of loving someone. And he will sacrifice many things to protect his love. A thorny path of romance that require sacrifice to get. I LOVE IT.

2. Character Development
Character Development of Hakomari isn't just for MC and Heroine. It give a chance for other characters to grow in depth. It make this LN isn't bland and instead, give the color for this LN. Not only MC, but another characters too. I could even confidently said it, This LN isn't got just one MC, but instead, almost everyone of this novel is MC in their own right.

3. Decisive Execution
Well, this LN has a very decisive conclusion. Every single loose end is tied by author. Love this kind of novel that give you a decisive conclusion about characters.

4. Not-All-Happy-Story Type.
OK, this is a bit of rant for me. How the hell a MC get ALL things that he want to easily? Why he didn't get some problem that sheke him enough to despair? How the hell MC can do anything he want and anyone obey him? I.T'.S.U.N.R. EA.S.O.N.A.B.L.E!!!!!

Ehem, Well, I'm a sucker for Weak-to-strong MC, but not kind that trained and get strong or use nakama power to overcame everything. What I mean is His Mentality. His mentality is becoming stronger everytime problem come. And It doesn't mean he is becoming more stronger without sacrifice. He will be despairing over it. ANd he would jump and overcame. And this novel get that side. 5/5 Stars from me. <<less
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DeifiedHope rated it
February 27, 2016
Status: --
Yeah. One of the best. No argument there.

Its a horror story with great plot, almost no cliches and very good plot twists, whats there to not like?
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Garknight rated it
December 27, 2015
Status: --
One of the best light novels... And it is one of my all-time favorite novel that I have read. Some of you may think I’m over exaggerating but I can say with out most confidence that this is my all-time favorite...

Utsuro no hako is an occult story where our innocent protagonist finds himself stuck in a series of loops.

The plot is very well made. The characters are very well proportioned. And the back stories of the side characters are pretty well laid. The story is written in a... more>> journal-like description in the first volume. So, sometimes it goes to the 1st loop then time skip then goes 22nd loop.

It is very thrilling to read! <<less
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Bloodraven2k15 rated it
October 27, 2015
Status: --
Probably the best completely translated light novel you can find.
Read it. I can't recommend it enough.
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Rwings rated it
July 6, 2016
Status: v4
The story and plot are interesting, but I've never hated a main character more then I did while reading this. I'm not saying the main character is poorly written or that the book series is bad. Just that every chapter I read I wished the main character would be killed off.

My rating of the story is based off my own enjoyment of the series. Not of the series itself.
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arrogantyoungmaster rated it
August 17, 2017
Status: v7
Why is this not adapted to an anime there a lot of garbage typical animes out there and still this masterpiece not animated yet. It have everything you want mystery. Psychologic. Action. Drama. School life. Mind blow time loop. Romance and not any romance an actual good romance bunch of characters whit different personalities and not bland and a happy ending and still waiting for an anime
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Mizura rated it
October 7, 2016
Status: v7
I found the first arc and parts of the last arc to be quite exciting, but the middle portions to be extremely cheesy.

In particular, the MC (and some other characters) are textbook cases of Chuunibyou, first falling dramatically into despair (... repeatedly. It gets Real old), then making grand speeches about his own ideals, and somehow triumphing magnificently at the end by crushing the opponent one way or another (usually in a not-too-convincing manner, sadly). All this time, there's this creepy guy in the background that's absolutely obsessed over the... more>> MC, even when he's being a whiny kid. There's also this face-palming moment where the MC thinks how much better he'd have handled things instead of a another character, except he spent most of said event moping in self-pity.

Maria? A bland robot who needs some sense slapped into her.

Characters: 4/5 for the first arc, 2/5 for the rest because of regression and chuunibyou.
Mystery: 2/5. The mysteries in the series aren't particularly good. Half of the time the culprit is quite easy to guess, and even when you don't guess it, the answer doesn't feel particularly clever and is within guessable ranges.
Concept: 4/5. In the first arc in particular, the way the time loop is used is quite impressive, and the ensuing arcs at least gain points for originality and complexity of setup.

Overall, I rather wish I'd read the first arc and left it at that. <<less
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LuqKim rated it
September 18, 2016
Status: --
My favourite LN so far. The description may not seem that appealing but trust me and just read it.

There are 5 different arcs and every ones of them link perfectly to each other. You might be wondering some questions but as the story progress, the questions are revealed one by one. Characters are unique and not your common LN troupes. Their backstory is well proportioned and they developed through the series and doesn't get "forgotten" by the author.
For example

... more>>

We got to know more about Daiya past. Then, we learn more about Aya Otonashi and "O". The conclusion is well made and leave us with an happy ever after kind of ending.

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Jackson100000 rated it
December 8, 2017
Status: Completed
First off Hats off to u author Eiji Mikage-sensei. I really did have a whole lot of fun reading this whole series. It was dark, it was thrilling, it was enlightening, it was really a piece which was an epiphany to me. The story moves forward in a way that ties up all the loose ends in a very satisfactory manner save for one or 2 points which aren't really points to be considered on a whole truly speaking. Humans truly are a mass of emotions as is depicted perfectly... more>> in this novel. Fueled by our egos we even deny that common sense of ours and justify our selfish/inhumane acts by spouting petty words such as justice, welfare, for the sake of the world etc etc.

I believe this novel was for the sake of enjoying a good time while broadening our horizons above our own petty views (at least I think so). Well I did have fun so I can justify my defense for this novel. A must-read!!! <<less
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Anikiman rated it
April 28, 2017
Status: --
A story about wishes, desires, and boxes.

A "Box", an strange system that grants wishes, has appeared in possession of a certain person. Our protagonist Kazuki Hoshino meets a mysterious girl named Aya Otonashi, who asks him to help her find the person who activated the "Box". In a cyclic world where everyday is the same day, this pair must find the one in charge and take them down.

Volume one: Day repeats again and again. The story goes back and forth, telling things that happened before the story started in order... more>> to explain what is going on (not that it helps). Confusing.

Volume two: Body stealing... Very confusing if you focus on the details or the culprit's motive.

Volume three/four: The protagonists get caught in a deadly battle royale arcade video game. A simple story arc with a ominous ending.

Volume five: People start behaving like dogs because of some unknown phenomena. Megalomania at its finest. Revolution.

Volume six: The megalomaniac gets trapped in a cinema. Someone gets stabbed in order to stop the revolution. Novel's Title finally makes sense.

Volume seven: The darker version of volume one. Is there a better place to end everything than the place were it al started? Every missing information is given. Everyone is going crazy. Spoilers:

A dog is murdered!


Loved the ending. Enjoyed the story. Felt a desire to punch the author more than once. <<less
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LongT rated it
June 8, 2020
Status: Completed
The story is incredible. There might be some parts that do not make sense, but the plot is 10/10. Characters' emotions and development are clear and interesting. Some mysteries of the stories are not perfect at some part of the story, but they are still thrilling for the readers.

Totally Recommend HakoMari
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Touch Me
Touch Me rated it
May 15, 2018
Status: --
Yeah, like Shio said I also don't like the main pairing, but I also don't dislike it to the marrow of my bones, but I'd rather prefer the pair of Kazuki Hoshino and Kasumi Mogi that's all I want from this story= ((
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November 18, 2017
Status: Completed
Amazing series, my absolute favorite. I saw someone posting 'new' chapters, so I comment. This is already a completed series done by bakatsuki, it was later licensed so... bakatsuki took the translation down. I'm not sure if the person posting these is simply hosting or retranslating the series. Either way, it is fully translated and you could probably find a download somewhere online.

Again, amazing series! 11/10
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1darling rated it
June 2, 2020
Status: Completed
My very first Novel and I absolutely love it... Kazuki, he is the MC here but trust me he will give you show you different emotions from happiness to madness. The journey from the beginning (when Maria enters his daily life) to the ending (when it feels like everything is going apart), I loved every arc there. Except the 2 and 3rd novel. but later it got interesting.. and I really loved the last volume. An abnormal madness, just to protect his daily life.. just to save his daily life..... more>> wow.

Daily life? It really sounds too much interesting (atleast to me).

And it is my heartfelt wish for this novel to get an anime adaptation.

P.S don't mind my english here, because it sucks! Jut give it a try. <<less
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SifaV6 rated it
September 21, 2019
Status: Completed
One of the best supernatural horror/mystery novels out there. If you could wish for anything, what would it be?

This novel is in essence, a cautionary tale about the twisted outcomes that might happen when one isn't careful of what they're wishing for.

The plot of this novel, especially volume 1, was very well thought out and delivered in a manner which immediately drew the readers' attention. The characters were well developed and the writing itself was especially good. Definitely a novel that I would recommend for those looking for something that... more>> is a bit different to the other novels on NU. <<less
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VictusNoctus rated it
July 17, 2019
Status: Completed
Disclaimer: I was searching for 'dark' novels, not mystery novels so personally feels like a 3 but I feel I should give at least a 4.
Was really hyped to read this after seeing the reviews. While the first few volumes were mind-blowingly interesting and I wouldn't hesitate recommending it with a 5/5 review. It just felt dragged out with same old mystery solving stuff by around halfway in and then things got weird in the final volume, as in weirder than usual. At the very least the conclusion wrapped... more>> things up nicely though. <<less
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Fulminata rated it
February 22, 2019
Status: v1
I'm basing this review on the first volume. My opinion might change as I progressed more into the novel.

It's not everyday that you'd find a webnovel that keeps you constantly on your toes with suspense, thrills, and mystery.

The 1st volume tells us about a strange, recurring day that our MC keeps repeating. As things progressed and more and more bizzare clues come out, the once simple conclusion that we first thought might just... not be the right answer 😈

I have to admit, the ending of v1 seems to... more>> be a bit rushed. And so far, if you're looking for a "strong, op, and mature" type of MC, this novel might not be the one for you.

But really, give this novel a chance. You won't regret it. <<less
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Master10K rated it
July 6, 2020
Status: v4
One's everyday high school life interrupted by supernatural hijinks. Rarely have I seen it done as well as it has been done here. Volume 1 sets the bar high, with its "groundhog day" story. Plus other extreme & unpredictable supernatural phenomenon as the focus in every volume. It is a shame that it has such a weak-willed male protagonist, paired with an excessively competent female protag to compensate.
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Vagrant rated it
December 25, 2019
Status: v4
Not for everyone. Even I get tired after reading it.

Vol 1 is surprisingly good. The mystery is well-thought and the pace is excellent.

But in vol 2, the story starts draging out. And to solve a single mystery, 2 vols are needed.

It is when I lose interest and realise that this is still a light novel after all. The world in this novel is just too small. You could say this novel have only one char and that is our MC. The whole novel (at least until vol 4) is... more>> his character arc. The other chars (even the main heroine) are only meant to be a challenge for his growth. We feel like the world is a test, everyone is npc with a certain role (90% is insane or genious by the way), and only MC can be considered as normal person. Despite its constant tension and drama, I can hardly feel nervous when the story confirm that MC will never get killed and never have an irreversible consequence.


"the box" in this novel really get on my nerve. Basically, you gain a wish and other people can't do anything about it unless you voluntarily give your box or they kill you and destroy your box. I only read 3 wish in this novel and all of this is foolish and simply plot devices.

Wish 1. If you don't want to die, why not wish to be immortal instead of rewrite time so that you would die over and over again?

Wish 2. Why not just simply wish to obtain happiness instead of becoming someone else?

Wish 3. Why not just simply wish life can be more colorful instead of creating a game people killed each other?

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