Utsuro no Hako to Zero no Maria
The Empty Box and Zeroth Maria
What would you like to edit?

Utsuro no Hako to Zero no Maria

Alternative Titles

English: The Empty Box and Zeroth Maria
Synonyms: HakoMari
Japanese: 空ろの箱と零のマリア


Type: Novel
Volumes: 7
Chapters: 40
Status: Finished
Published: Jan 10, 2009 to Jun 10, 2015
Genres: ActionAction, MysteryMystery, DramaDrama, HorrorHorror, RomanceRomance, SchoolSchool, SupernaturalSupernatural, PsychologicalPsychological, ThrillerThriller
Authors: Mikage, Eiji (Story), Tetsuo (Art)
Serialization: None


Score: 8.821 (scored by 1557915,579 users)
1 indicates a weighted score.
Ranked: #292
2 based on the top manga page. Please note that 'R18+' titles are excluded.
Popularity: #76
Members: 79,111
Favorites: 4,854


  • Most Helpful (Weighted)
  • Most Helpful (All Time)
  • Most Recent
  • Friends Only (Weighted)
Jan 21, 2016
berganda (All reviews)
Plainly put, this is garbage.

This is the type of story writing and story telling that is killing the writing industry.
It's a story disguised as a complex one, but at the core, it is simple beyond belief.

The twists and turns of the plot are simply there to briefly trick you even though you've already known the outcome of a certain event.

All its "complexity" just seems like the author getting new ideas and then cramming that idea into the story, realizing it doesn't end in a favorable outcome, and then finding ridiculous ways to explain why the favorable outcome was achieved.

This is just over-hyped beyond belief.

--An update--
I read more
Jul 20, 2013
RadiGen (All reviews)
--This review is intended for those who plan to read the novel therefore, it is free of spoilers--

"Kazuki Hoshino. I’m here to break you. This is my 13,118th 'School Transfer'. Even I can't help but get annoyed after so many. So for a change, I'll proclaim war." Those are the words that Aya Otonashi proclaims to our dumbfounded protagonist in the start of the series, and surely, this line not only perplexes the characters in the story, but us as well.

The simple setting of a 13,118th school transfer is enough to pique your interest as this is something that is obviously uncommon. Fortunately, the read more
Jul 27, 2015
HaXXspetten (All reviews)
After an excruciatingly long time of waiting, at long last the seventh volume of Utsuro no Hako to Zero no Maria (more commonly referred to as HakoMari) has now been released, and with that it's finally time to close the lid on one of the greatest works of literature to have ever originated from Japan, and the overall best light novel I've ever had the pleasure of reading.

HakoMari's story is... *unique* to say the least. It can be classified as fantasy, mystery and psychological above all else, but it really touches upon just about every genre imaginable during the course of its progression. It starts read more
Aug 2, 2015
Sereth (All reviews)
"Do you have a wish?"

I don't think myself able to write an objective critic to HakoMari, not while the last volume is still so vivid in my mind. As such, this is not a review, but a love letter to this wonderful novel.

HakoMari is, in a nutshell, a wild ride. A crazy, reckless and downright cruel wild ride.
The story, while thought out really well, is really just a container. It's the playbox where all the characters are thrown into while being told "Now do what you want".
And the characters are really what makes this series so worthwhile and unforgettable.

Characters who love each other but read more
Nov 24, 2013
castor212 (All reviews)
HakoMari's story is one of the most 'cult' light novel story I have ever read, throwing mainstream out from the window right away.

It made me scream like a fangirl.

The story is about Kazuki Hoshino, a boy who very much treasures his normal 'everyday life'. An everyday life, which is no longer normal without he himself realizing it when he met a mysterious transfer student Aya Otonashi.

-- Story : 9/10.

HakoMari's genre is somewhat a combination of fantasy and mystery. The story, like I said, avoids today's light novel mainstream and cliche plot. It's not a stupid boy-meets-girl-then-continue-to-meeting-harem-member. It's a boy-meets-girl-then-reality-went-to-shit kind. read more
Aug 6, 2015
Tebaldi (All reviews)
If you have a box that grants any wish, would you use it?
Can you actually believe that something like really could exist?
Actually not, isn't it?


I assume that I was really anxious to see the end of this novel to know it and write a review. As far as I can concern, The Empty Box and Zeroth Maria (Utsuro no Hako to Zero no Maria a.k.a HakoMari) is one of the Japanese Novels that touched me most. There is the Japanese masterpiece for 21th century.

Often people who follow something want a STORY to enjoy, or for enjoyable presentation, at least. Instead of deliver it, HakoMari read more
Jun 25, 2014
linoras (All reviews)
This is a masterpiece. It is truly unbelievable what the author has managed to do with so very little. Hell, the first volume takes place nearly entirely in the same location and you don't care. The story is THAT compelling. If you are looking for a good story, one that gives you something that makes you want to keep reading, read this.

It has plot twists like no other story I've ever read. Plot twists that you don't see coming, but make sense. They make such perfect sense you can't believe you didn't realize it yourself.

I would only start if you have time to spare read more
Aug 7, 2016
Valefor (All reviews)
“I won't have a conversation with you. You will just listen to my words like an idiot." [p. 45]

Well, that pretty much sums up how reading this book feels like.

Utsuro no Hako to Zero no Maria is a light novel series by Mikage Eiji told in seven books, which I don't know if I'll ever read till the end because just the first one, The Rejecting Classroom here reviewed, was such an experience Game of Thrones suddenly seems worth the Nobel prize for literature in comparison. And I'm talking about a book written so badly there are empty, generic passages like:

“The hall rang to Yunkish read more
Jul 14, 2014
kickmesign (All reviews)
Simply put, the more you progress through the story arcs, the more convoluted it becomes. It gets really bad during the survival game part that is covered in 2 volumes. It is equivalent to an 8 year old continually making rules to a game that is changed to his or her convenience. That really summarizes all the story sections in general.

The way the characters think and talk seem like they are trying to sound really clever when it really is a bunch of bs that would make a politician blush. The amount of dialogue needed to convey their feelings and attitude is often only a read more
Aug 14, 2013
dx349 (All reviews)
THIS is the light novel that just keeps you at edge of the seat.....the story revolves around wish creating box .simple but main point of the story is about what u gain and what you lose after being granted those you strive for.These box also opens up negative side of your wish ie curses to be granted aswell. this is a story about a guy who loves his daily life and doesnot want any change to it and a girl who sacrifices herself to give other wishes .this is a story about clash between rationality and irrationality.IN THE END THIS IS STORY ABOUT PPL WHO read more
May 8, 2015
zRonin (All reviews)
"Masterpiece" is a buzzword commonly thrown about in relation on this website. There are many pieces of fiction people consider worthy of the title, and many more people overlook. To be honest, when I looked into reading this, I was not expecting much. At the very most, it seemed a redundant amalgamation of all of the generic clichés that come with "school life" fiction. In addition, having read Oyasumi Punpun and Onani Master Kurosawa prior to Utsuro no Hako to Zero no Maria (which fans have likened as Hakomari), the bar was VERY high.

My God, was I shocked.

STORY: 9 read more
Oct 23, 2014
Sorrow (All reviews)
What a beautiful piece of writing~
Have you ever wondered if there's a divine deity watching us?
Have you ever wanted to escape your repetitive everyday life?
Have you thought for a moment that you could change fate/destiny?

Basic Story Outline: A story revolving around Kazuki Hoshino, a student who lives quite the delightful and repetitive everyday life. However on the 2nd of March, near the end of the class year, a beautiful and mysterious girl named Aya Otonashi is transferred for the 13,118th time in his class and when she introduces herself, she directly targets Hoshino, saying that she’ll break Hoshino. Confusing and pretty bizarre huh?

Utsuro no Hako read more
Aug 6, 2015
Potatonoob (All reviews)
Warning! This novel will make most tragedies in other stories seems small when compared to this novel.

Before I read the Volume 7 , I thought the best story was Vampire Juuji Kai. It has a really awful tragedy that is thoroughly logical, and no other stories can compare to that. I have even read it 4 times, because it is that good. I thought no other stories can match to Vampire Juuji Kai. Volume 1-6 of hakomari can't match Vampire Juuji Kai too IMO, even though volume 1 has a really awesome story.

But then, volume 7 came out fully translated 1-2 weeks ago. I read more
Jan 30, 2015
falcon12 (All reviews)
Simply the best thing ever written hands down. Only one complain. It is hard to read and understand at first but you will get use to it half way through. A masterpiece written by a genius. Download it right now and just go READ IT. I have nothing else to say.

Story: 10/10
You will find the best plot twists ever. Its impossible to guess right. You are never correct. In just one sentence everything will twist.

Art: 9/10
Well its a light novel so it only has a few pictures.

Characters: 9/10
The characters are amazing and so smart. I love Otonashi. I don't read more
Mar 25, 2015
saosurvivor69 (All reviews)

I'm sorry to be 'that guy' but I really don't understand why this is rated so high. This is the first light novel I've read and I did enjoy it but it isn't the best thing ever.

To all who are not sure of reading it, give it a shot. You might enjoy it. The character Aya Otonashi might just be the best thing in this first volume followed by Usui. I didn't really feel much for the main character. He just seemed bland and boring in his choice of dialogue. I also wasn't really sure which side he was read more
Dec 23, 2014
SerPounce (All reviews)
I would like to start this review by saying that I'll be covering all 6 volumes of the light novel in this review. While the first volume might be used as the framework and even the basis of the entire novel, the volumes that followed Volume 1 are equally important and I'll try to focus on the series as whole instead of talking about the almost flawless first volume. [If you see me say Hakomari it is another title for Utsuro no Hako to Zero no Maria. It's just easier to type]

Story - 10/10
Assuming you have read the synopsis of this novel you'd have read more
Jan 11, 2016
Noneoftheabove (All reviews)
Wow. Just Wow.

I usually don't write reviews. But for this novel, I even made this account just for the purpose of making this review. Why ? The reason is simple, it's because this is the best story I have ever read / known in my life.

Let's start with art. Art is not needed in this novel, because the novel is relying on obscuring the facts, especially in volume 1 and 7 , so I rate the art 7/10.

The story , character, and enjoyment from volume 1-6 are really great, The story is really good with plot twist you would not see coming but makes read more
Feb 17, 2015
czxcjx (All reviews)
You could say that Hakomari is a mix between 'chessgame' type fiction like No Game No Life, Kaiji and Akagi, Yasutaka Tsuisui and Dostoyevsky-lite (or Kokoro Connect). The light novel works on two levels, the first being the highly satisfactory intellectual level of how the games and betrayals pile up on top of one another, and the second being the extremely brutally pessimistic worldview of Eiji Mikage. Most characters contain deep psychological traumas derived from the worst part of humanity. The main failure of most other chessgame fiction is the lack of characterization and an overt focus on the games themselves. What made Kaiji great read more
Aug 9, 2015
BattleHammer (All reviews)
Ahhhh, how I love stories that go against the flow of the river like a beautiful school of salmon. In a type of media that seems to be swarming with Harem, RPG SAO wannabes and bad attempts at making something different, HakoMari certainly comes as a nice a gem. If you are tired of those types of stories, and want something different, or if you like some nice mystery with romance and some suspense, then this is light novel for you.

However, I believe there is just too much hype over this one. It is good, yes, it is great! But I think there are too read more
Mar 1, 2016
You (All reviews)
"Do you have a wish? This is a box that grants any wish."
"Kazuki Hoshino, I'm here to break you."
"We are surrounded by soft, sweet, and pure white despair."

The Empty Box and The Zeroth Maria is a dark story about a flawed wish-granting device that causes trouble for our protagonist Hoshino and Otonashi.

The story took place around Ikebukuro, in which a district of Japan. The settings are mostly involving just one tileset at each volume, mostly around the school. But the story are somewhat unique that you will not be bored despite being so.

The story begins when a transfer student called Aya Otonashi, that have just read more