Manga Shelf

Manga Shelf: The Empty Box and the Zeroth Maria

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It’s been a while between the beginning and the finish of the novel The Empty Box and the Zeroth Maria. Looking back at the story as a whole is well worth the time if you’re willing to put the effort. It easily stands side by side with other great tales.

The premise does start in a rather simple place. We are introduced to high schooler Hoshino Kazuki. He’s very much into the idea of keeping things normal, which is the indicator that things in this story are anything but. Things get a little strange when a mysterious girl comes into the story named Otonashi Aya.

She joins his class. She’s transferred between a lot of schools and we mean A LOT!! She seems to have a vendetta against him and therefore things go awry.

The story is very much its own type of story, which is one of the biggest reasons why we think you should check it out. In essence, the principal theme is around the wish fulfilling things called “boxes.” The concept is interesting because it reminds us of Pandora’s Box.

Much like Pandora’s Box, the boxes take on the title of “Chaos Theory.” It’s a complex concept that contains both chaos and also systematic elements. It’s a contradiction to its own nature. Very philosophical and thought provoking. You’re going to find yourself being challenged in the most awesome ways!

This plays well into the story’s plots twists which are hard to see coming but then when you look back, it’s easy to see that they were predictable if you were paying attention to the breadcrumbs that were left behind. So well written!

Individually, the books hold their own different moods and this keeps them fresh enough that they feel like they are stand-alone titles (in a subtle way.) Collectively they feel dark and mysterious and very atmospheric. The story knows what you want and dangles it in front of you, only to make you emotionally invested and then turn the knife.

The light novels are told from the perspective of multiple characters. This keeps the pace pretty high as well. They help to give you very different viewpoints to look at the story through. And you’ll come to care for the characters, and you’re diving into a narrative that defies even its seinen genre. It’s too complex to really put it into any genre. You won’t regret reading it, so pick it up today!

The Empty Box and the Zeroth Maria - Manga Cover