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
Hakomari
The Empty Box and Zeroth Maria
Utsuro no Hako to Zero no Maria
Zerowa Maria i puste pudełko
Пустая шкатулка и нулевая Мария
空ろの箱と零のマリア
虛空之盒與零之麻理亞
Related Series
N/A
Recommendations
Gekkou (2)
Zaregoto (1)
Kamisu Reina wa Koko ni Chiru (1)
Tatakau Shisho (1)
Tsukumodou Kottouten (1)
Shuuen no Shiori (1)
Recommendation Lists
  1. My top 10 and honorable mentions
  2. Groundhog Day(s)
  3. 2-Star Novels
  4. enjoyed my time
  5. Masterpieces in their own category

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34 Reviews sorted by


Shio
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. There's no over the top malice from the being that grant wish. 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 and growth. Most importantly, all character finally find their "happiness" even when it's not the conventional type. <<less
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Rwings
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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rozenmaiden
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 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 th**ny 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.
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DeifiedHope
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
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
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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arrogantyoungmaster
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
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
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

Spoiler

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.

[collapse]
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peppergum
peppergum rated it
July 5, 2021
Status: v7
Man, that was pure ass.
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Mahesvara_
Mahesvara_ rated it
July 17, 2022
Status: Completed
Tldr: It's very engaging. Volume 7 also makes me crave for more. But it's already perfect so it's good ending overall. For starters, the volume 1 is gonna f*ck your brain, it's good and very engaging although the Non-linear story telling is bit too much, author overdid it. But overall it's very good to me.

I'm gonna drop minor and indirect spoilers, after volume 2 I started reading spoilers for myself and I get good results since I don't think i'll be able to continue to read without spoiling myself. The... more>> story is nothing like those shounen stories with two dimensional characters. There's a drama but all those drama all had depth in them and you can relate with your heart. Unlike most japanese shounen stories where people cry and goes emo for really s*upid reasons. Although they use quite a lot of metaphors it's nothing too edgy. If you want a cool and badass main character then this might not be for you. Although it has a great character growth for the Protag. Kazuki Hoshino the Protagonist is basically wimpy and indecisive in the beginning— to be exact From volume 1, 2 & 3 all the MC do was rely on someone. This first 3 volumes has interesting plot but still a bit of a chore to read, I don't really like the early game MC but he's still relatable character. In volume 4 he started trying to do things on his own, he's become better since he finally know what to do and path he should walk on. He's become a lot better at Volume 5 as he's already completely changed with goals by then and even better at volume 6, it's the peak of the story. He just keeps getting better.

As for Volume 7. It doesn't really have any complex plot, theres still a plot twists but nothing complex. The Protagonist is basically a full blown broken guy already, this volume can be very sad but I enjoyed the hardships of the MC trying to endure so much for the one he loves. It also has a great ending, it's very lovely, heartwarming and filled with hope compared to the essence of the whole story.

Finishing this put me a bit at loss. I still keep coming back rereading some scenes, I just don't want to move on because I know it's pretty rare for story like this to appear. I feel like i've lost a something. I wish there was more after story but the story already had a perfect ending. <<less
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rifle
rifle rated it
September 23, 2021
Status: v7
This is certainly a great novel for my taste, for various reasons other people have already mentioned.

But I can also see why some people don't like this novel, it's messy, full of unnecessary philosophy that seems to be there just to fill space, with characters repetitively falling into desperations and a bunch of small "twists" that don't actually add much to the main plot.

But I like it, personally, I don't know if its just me having moderate experience in literature, or me being accepting of the characteristics even when it's... more>> not good, or maybe others are just taking it too seriously, idk.

I think the philosophies in this novel really shows what "maximalism" really is, a bunch of excess thoughts and many strange interpretations of concept and events we don't often talk about. Its a waste of time and resources, nobody needs it, but its fun to think about, and its also what makes it different and special in my book.

Characters falling into despair over and over again just show how hard it is to reach for something, and that determination can surpass every limit, I don't think its excessive, but necessary to show us that fact.

The "twists" are there just to create tensions, but it wont work if you keep thinking that the protagonist is going to success nonetheless, it really depends on what kind of mindset you have reading the novel, I admit that in such settings the "twists" don't seem to work too well, but when I was reading it I still felt the tension, just because I have faith in the antagonist also.

Maybe its 'cause Im not good at constructing a good storyline, but I think not every details have to contribute to the main plot somehow, they could be there just for the sake of it, but if they are good details individually, I don't mind having some, personally those are tolerable.

this is just my very subjective review of the novel, maybe not even a review but more of an argument to those who don't like the novel for these reasons, there are some other things but ill just stop here. I just want to understand others thoughts and share my thoughts on their's. Who needs this? No one, Im just bored I guess, but these are my true thoughts.

All in all, a good read, I really recommend reading it, my fav so far, not that I have read that many LNs anyway. But I really think this is on there with the few quality stuffs that at least this place has to give. There should've been more like these instead of the current trends, it's not like this one is very original in concept or anything, but still better than "those" I guess. <<less
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Jackson100000
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
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:
Spoiler

A dog is mu*dered!

[collapse]

Loved the ending. Enjoyed the story. Felt a desire to punch the author more than once. <<less
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onlycrimson123
onlycrimson123 rated it
March 18, 2024
Status: v7
TL;DR: A generally unpleasant reading experience due to novice writing and an unbearable main character... yet a paradoxically engaging book nonetheless.

This review is likely going to be extremely long because of how many grievances I accumulated while reading this book. As that is the case, I will start by giving a short summary of what I like and dislike before delving into it.

The actual idea is very, very unique and extremely well thought out. It is a unique plot where you will never be able to predict the next volume... more>> before you read it.

The main character is absolutely pathetic in so many regards, namely his pointlessly righteous morals, his embarrassing lack of intelligence, and his powerful ability to consistently make mistakes and make himself look foolish.

The author is generally bad at setting up situations to progress a certain way. To make up for this deficiency, she simply pretends that it is the only path for the characters and doesn't entertain the more logical choices.

There are numerous highly unrealistic scenarios specifically involving psychology, showcasing this author's entire lack of knowledge in that field. Despite this lack of knowledge, the author insists on making it an enormous part of this book.

This author loves to restrict the characters based on morals. This is wildly frustrating to read about as it can be extremely hard to relate to as readers, thus causing aggravating situations where the main character simply won't choose what makes the most sense and what the readers want.

There are almost no consequences in this book despite the author trying to pretend like there are. For example, we will be told about how serious a decision the main character has to make is, such as killing his lover, just for the author to go, "Wow looks like she didn't die after all! Happy ending!" This would be fine, but it happens in every single conflict throughout this 300k-word book. There are no consequences, ever.

The topic of women getting r*ped is commonly brought up in this book. So commonly that it gives the readers the impression that women are entirely a liability for the main character. At any time, any of the villains could just tell the main character they are going to r*pe one of his numerous female companions and he has to run to their aid. This exact scenario happens so many times.

The romance, despite being a huge selling point for this novel, has almost zero build-up. The main character seems to randomly have extraordinarily intense feelings for the female lead, with very little cause. This makes it feel rather shallow and rushed.

That is the end of me shortly explaining my complaints. Also, wow. I didn't even know I had that many, I just wrote stuff down in my notes app when I came across it. What is even worse is that I have examples for each and every one of those. I will be expanding upon each point below. This is likely to be several thousand words, so don't feel the need to read it all.

I will start with the complaints below.

First of all, the main character.

This character was horrible to read. He has so many flaws that a lobotomy couldn't solve them all.

He has s*upid morals that he can't even explain. This is shown continually throughout the book. He constantly makes terrible decisions because of these morals that he doesn't even know why he follows. An example of this is that he decided to let a girl get r*ped because he didn't want to kill a heinous serial killer and serial rapist. This was also a girl that he liked, one that he even proclaimed he would protect! You might be wondering why that is the case. I am too.

He is extremely sickening when it comes to women. Remember that girl that he allowed to get r*ped that I mentioned above? When he checked on her after the deed, she jumped into his arms and sobbed. His first thought was that he wanted to lick her tears, because he has a tear fetish. No, I am not making this up. I couldn't believe it when I read it. For the author's credit, the woman didn't actually get r*ped, but the main character thought she did! He thought that regardless!

He is one of the s*upidest characters I have ever read. He is also s*upid in an extremely annoying way. He doesn't think of solutions and then those solutions fail. He gets into a situation where he needs to think of a solution and he just goes, "Oh well, I tried and I can't think of anything!" The amount of times that I read, "There's nothing I can do." Or some variation of it is actually ridiculous. It isn't even that these are dead-end situations, they are only dead-ends because the main character is too brain-damaged to think of an end.

He is so pathetically weak-willed. His will is like a sheet of paper. He cried more in this story than anyone else, and for the most un-understandable reasons too. I am genuinely struggling to pull out examples of this because it was so frequent that I started to ignore it. At the very least, he cried dozens of times throughout this book.

His weak will is further shown in the idiotic decisions he makes. An example of this is when someone threatened to PUNCH him and that was enough for him to betray his best friend of MANY years. So embarrassing.

He is so static and unchanging. No matter how many traumatic events happen, he refuses to stop being such a loser. This exact character described above continues all the way until the sixth volume. There is then half of a volume where he is moderately cool, then he is right back to being a loser after that. He starts and ends this book as someone I hate.

I know for a fact that there are many other character flaws but I can't find any more explicitly written in my notes and I am not going to go back to the book to check. Just trust me that he is as unempathizable as your brain can imagine.

Second of all, the author's forced progression of the story.

This is showcased in one of two ways.

The first way is where the author just arbitrarily decides, "This course of action will not do anything." This is particularly annoying in many of the main character's social relationships. He simply refuses to explain himself to anyone, no matter how crazy his actions seem, and no matter how good of an explanation he has for them. The author merely states, "[...] there's no point in telling her that." and just expects us to believe it as a fact. This is despite the fact that any sane person could see that there is actually a point in telling her that. This happens SO much. At the very least, this exact line was written half a dozen times. That doesn't seem like much considering the scale of the book, but every single one of those times made me cringe into myself in embarrassment and grossly aggravated the main character's situation.

The second way is where the author just outright states, "This course of action is the only course of action and there are no other feasible ones." This is utilized far, far more than the first way. This isn't even always used in complex situations. Let me give a direct example to showcase this point.

The main character is being coerced by kidnappers to follow instructions. His situation also allows him to not follow their instructions and this would be incomparably more beneficial for him. However, the author just writes, "I didn't want to follow them, but it seems like I have no choice." Is that true at all? No. Yet that is all that is said about it and the main character then follows their instructions. Idiotic.

This happens so many times throughout the book that I couldn't keep track of how many times there were. It is an extremely direct example of the rather novice writing that encompasses this book as a whole.

Third of all, the flawed psychology.

This author has zero clue about psychology in general. I doubt she would know what a brain is if asked. This is also shown so many times throughout the novel, but I will only focus on a couple of them.

For some reason, the author heavily believes in the idea that repetition will cause change. For example, if you are told to jump off a bridge 100 times, you really will jump off a bridge. This idea of hers isn't necessarily wrong, but the way that it is showcased in the novel is so incorrect it is almost funny. An example of this in the novel is that someone was told 1000 times to kill someone and then they killed someone. Like... 1000 times? Are you serious? It was particularly funny because the author gave us a little timeline of how the person got more and more swayed over time. So the first 100 they called it crazy, then the next was like offhanded or whatever. It just further emphasized how unbelievable it was.

Another way that the author massively misunderstands psychology is her general overestimation of the impact of events. This is especially shown in the last chapter. The main character became the last person in the world and his abilities began to naturally deteriorate over the long period of time that followed. This would naturally make sense if you were to extend the timeline infinitely, but the author didn't. According to the author, the main character simply lost the ability to feel pain in TWENTY DAYS after being the only person in the world. This was because he didn't have any threats anymore so his body stopped alerting him to damage. TWENTY DAYS??

Also in twenty days of being alone in the world, he forgot how to scream. IN TWENTY DAYS??

This is an incredibly startling and warped view of psychology. Perhaps the worst depiction of it I have seen in any novel.

Fourth of all, restrictions based on morals.

As I have written before, the main character is given a laughable set of moral values that even he wouldn't be able to explain. The author abuses this very heavily.

There are numerous scenarios where the situation would be easily resolvable for anyone who doesn't have these s*upid values, but it is impossible for the main character. For example, this villain stabbed the main character's friend and was going to continue stabbing her multiple times. The main character could have stopped her, but that would involve hurting the person stabbing the main character's friend. So he didn't. His friend then died. Great.

This isn't only the case with the main character. The female lead also has these chains called morality binding her hands and feet. I would say around half of the problems that they come into contact with, they would be instantly solvable if they didn't have these restrictions.

The biggest problem with this is, I can't relate! I'm sure very few readers can! This leaves me in an awkward situation where there seems to be a very simple and obvious solution to solve the situation perfectly that the main character outright ignores. It is frustrating.

Fifth of all, the lack of consequences.

There are virtually no consequences for actions in this novel. All events and choices almost always equal out to nullness, with no promised effect ever taking place because of them. The villains almost never die, they always reform and become good people afterwards. The effects of their atrocities also somehow become voided and have no effect. Naturally, the main character's animosity is also voided.

Even beyond how disconcerting it is to read monsters being forgiven with no punishment, it makes the book as a whole feel stale. What point is there to anything that I read if it eventually makes no difference at all? For many of these situations, there isn't even progress of any other kind either, romantic or otherwise. It almost feels like a waste of time.

Sixth of all, the commonness of r*pe threats.

The author abuses this threat so much. It seems like every female character in this book has gotten r*pe threats, some of them getting them multiple times.

I don't mind dark topics in books, and I actually welcome it. The problem is that this threat is used just to make the main character take action, it is just a false threat that the author overuses, like a trope. It makes the women feel weak and vulnerable at all times, to the point where I felt worried when I read them going out to do something alone.

Seventh of all, the forced romantic development.

This novel's main selling point, and why I kept reading for so long, was the romance. I was expecting something sweet and slow-paced, especially considering the idea of them having a near-infinite time to build bonds. That is not how it developed.

Throughout the vast majority of this book, the main character and the female lead were nothing more than friends. There weren't even any risqué or romantic moments in general between them. However, that suddenly changed around the sixth volume.

The main character randomly decided that the female lead meant everything to him and that he would sacrifice the world, his beliefs, his life, and his future for her. There was virtually no sign of this happening. The rest of the book followed him coming through with that idea, sacrificing everything.

I am a real sucker for romance, so if even I felt that this was forced, then it must be unbearable for everyone else.

Now, for the singular positive.

The power system in this novel is amazing. The idea of flawed wishes gives us the best of both worlds in terms of plot development. On one hand, the fact that it is "wishes" means we can never know what will happen next, as it could be anything that the character who is wishing wants. On the other hand, the fact that it is flawed means that there is ample conflict and philosophy mixed in as well.

Though, this too was wrecked by the end because of the main character.

I don't like this book! I don't think it is good whatsoever! I cannot understand what people might see in this novel.

I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone. There is nothing about it that would warrant me recommending it. If you people genuinely believe that this is peak, please go read more books. <<less
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Valixiant
Valixiant rated it
March 22, 2022
Status: v2
Alrighty, I had a lot of recommendations to read this, and I got bored of reading through various copy and paste novels so I decided to try this out. However, this novel was pretty dissapointing.

First off, volume 1 was pretty great. It was a solid 4/5 in my opinion. The author set up a foundation in which they can give the characters more depth. The plot was pretty decent, even if I have already seen it a few times.

Volume 2 is where the novel fell off. It drove straight off... more>> a cliff in this arc, I'll explain why.

First off, the main character. He quite literally has IQ below room temperature. I've never seen someone so s*upid. Someone in volume 2 threatened the main character with a bunch of empty threats. Not only, would the person fulfill those threats, since it goes against their goals, but they couldn't. So, the main character, with his unlimited IQ, as shown at the end of volume 1, falls for them completely. He also has zero willpower, for which I am amazed.
Spoiler

Surely you have to have some form of willpower to persist in finding the exit to a never-ending loop. Even he doesn't remember all 27, 000 iterations he still has memories of some of them. Shouldn't he have a little bit of willpower?

[collapse]

The plot in volume 2 was even worse.
Spoiler

The main character's body gets taken over, and they have to figure out who it was. Before they even mentioned the main character's body getting taken over, I already knew who did it. It was terribly obvious and it pissed me off how I had to go over half a volume watching the two stooges trying to find someone who wasn't even trying to hide in the first place. Listen, I get you could just say O was erasing the main character's memory, but that clearly doesn't work too well on him. Also, thats such a shitty way to do a mystery novel in the first place.

[collapse]

Oh also, how can I forget the romance. This is basically a harem. We have a bunch of people who are in love with the main character, and some don't even try to hide it. The thing I find amazing about this, is the author can have a whole arc about a single one of those characters and STILL manage to make that character's personality perfectly flat.

Overall, I dislike the way they do mystery in this novel, it doesn't feel that satisfying even when the mystery is uncovered. The plot was full of whole in volume 2 that it can barely be considered a plot. Furthermore, the characters are flat, despite having whole arcs about them. <<less
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Kien An
Kien An rated it
November 27, 2021
Status: Completed
HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!!

To me, this series is the greatest psychological drama light novel that I ever read.

Things make sense, great plot twist, beautiful illustration.

... more>> The author took me to the deep of every main character's mind, make me link the content with my real life.

------SPOILER ARLERT------


--------------------------------

In Daiya's chapters, it made me think more about things I'm gonna do, think about the consequences of my actions, to me and to the others that maybe got involved in.

In the last arc, when Kazuki tried so damn hard to reach Maria, I was really into it, imagine spending 400k days, which means over a thousand years in the circle of hell and he still not gave up, even when he almost lost everything but his love to Maria, that really touched me. <<less
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Fr0stb1te
Fr0stb1te rated it
February 17, 2021
Status: v7
To make sure we don't have a wrong impression, this is a romance light novel with a heavy emphasis on mystery. Not a mystery LN with a sprinkle of romance. With this, the overall goal of this work can be understood. Of course, there are other end points or lessons that can be learned.

Well, now that I look back. What made me feel attracted to this novel? Looking here, many reviews made me rediscover why I fell in love in this novel. Obviously from other reviews, there are also flaws... more>> that are true. Glaring flaws even. Let me say it in my own words.I love boy meets girl stories. It is my favourite type of plot. It is fun, but sometimes it's just boring, even unrealistic. Strange. How can you wish for a piece of fiction to bring you realism with this genre? Isn't the purpose of this type of stories the opposite, something that will never happen? A look back and I finally got it, a sense of realism produces this spark of life that makes me feel as if these stories happened somewhere in another world. A real experience. This novel managed to intertwine various genre that adds a breath of life to it. Of course, the novel sacrifice parts of its 'essence' in exchange for the change in direction, but this 'change' managed to entrance me in its story.

Ah, I'm sure you noticed or maybe I'm too self-conscious. My wordings present me as someone who is a little grown-up but is still too childish and idealistic (I don't deny it). This does reflect my taste in novels unfortunately. I'm often torn between web novels aimed at teenagers and another at adults. For teenagers, I actually quite like its wish fulfillment. What I don't like is it actively 'ignores' 'too much' aspects of life. For adults, it actively 'acknowledges' 'too much' parts of life and seems pessimistic or too pragmatic. I love 'both parts' of it but I don't want just the other only. It's hard to find a novel that manages to srike a balance between the two. Yet this novel indeed hit the spot on the mark.

Let me rephrase what I've read from a certain Amaz#n review.

My first impression of Kazuki Hoshino is your average jp MC who is indecisive about everything. A typical MC in your romcom or harem novel. He places an extreme importance on his "everyday life"as seen throughout the story. That is until a certain incident in which he meets someone... What I find fascinating is Kazuto Hoshino's decision to discard his "everyday life" to save someone that is important him. He disregard his peaceful life because that person had become a part of his life everyday life. To force through and change when faced with problems, even if some of his ways does not strike me as a proper way to solve problems, I find him admirable.

One thing I learn is that you will never be free of sins. But that is not the end. I believe you have to bear it and live through life until the end. while redeeming yourself of course. With that mindset, I started to enjoy flawed characters go through this journey and also just flawed characters. What made them become like this?How to fix their problem?What do I do to not repeat the same mistake? (Of course, I'll still dislike a character if his level realization does hit the coordinate I'm looking for, this is where that balance I'm talking about comes in) Before you say it, to apply it in real life is of course difficult.... I'm just a so called netizen philosophist....

I think that wraps up my thoughts for now. I didn't talk much about the story as other review have already expressed enough. I feel like this review is lackng just a little bit. Might edit in the near future if I remember it. I really feel the chuunibyo in this review.... whatever <<less
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LongT
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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VictusNoctus
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 things up nicely though.
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