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-   -   Utsuro no Hako to Zero no Maria (http://forums.animesuki.com/showthread.php?t=94556)

Falkor 2010-06-12 22:50

Utsuro no Hako to Zero no Maria
 
Light novel written by Eiji Mikage and illustrated by 415 aka Tetsuo. 3 Volumes so far released with the fourth one coming on June 10th. Baka-Tsuki is currently translating the work: 3 volumes so far translated.

Quote:

Originally Posted by B-T
It was March when the new transfer student Aya Otonashi arrived at the classroom 1-6. The entire class was stunned by her beauty and curious about the reason she transferred in the middle of the term.
Her "self-introduction", however, ended with a blunt mention of her name, upon which the classroom turned dead silent.

That is, until -

"Kazuki Hoshino"

- she called out my name.

"I'm here to break you."

Link.

http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/...eska/th_03.jpg http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/...ska/th_003.jpg http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/...eska/th_02.jpg http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/...ska/th_002.jpg http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/...ka/th_0002.jpg http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/...eska/th_01.jpg http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/...ska/th_001.jpg

A few comments:

hands-down, probably the best light novel B-T is translating at the moment. :P

though not precisely its strongest point, Utsuro no Hako presents a varied set of characters, with Otonashi-san and Kazuki being the most important ones. I guess I'm sort of neutral negative towards Kazuki, who just happens to be be the male character of this novel. he hasn't got to the point of annoying me, which is good, I think; but he hasn't done anything relatively interesting, either. On the other hand, the way she talks, the way she is portrayed, the way she interacts with others, or simply the way she confuses me; I have only love for Otonashi-san, who is easily my favorite character in all installments of the series. Strong, determined, outspoken... a female of unique personality, with great conviction on what she does and thinks; not only is her kind hard to come by, but also difficult to like. and yet, Otonashi-san is different: she is honest, endearing... a refreshing character you can't help but find especial. oddly enough, she reminds me of Senjougahara (Bakemonogatari)---for how she talks, for how she interacts, for how she speaks her mind. nonetheless, Otonashi-san and Kazuki are the main characters and both have a certain degree of importance. we see the unfolding events through their eyes; we discover the world through their thoughts and feelings---and without them, Utsuro No Hako wouldn't be the same.

however, probably the best thing about this light novel is the story and the way it's told, with a concept that is constantly changing, a mystery that never fails to be thrilling or amusing, and a execution that is nothing short of amazing. I was kinda surprised at first to discover that each novel is always trying something new. For example, the first novel is very non-linear, using multiple iterations to reveal what's going. at its core, it remains a mystery novel with strong psychological aspects, where finding clues, creating conjectures and discovering the "culprit" is combined with the exploration/exposition of the characters' psyche. By scrutinizing words, by interpreting actions, by understanding different behaviors; we are closer to solving the mystery as well. It's amazing how everything starts to click together at some point, no matter how twisted, how confusing or how unexpected it is. I found myself trying to figure out what's going, believing or disbelieving what the characters say, only to discover that my conjectures were all wrong. it's a really nice and cathartic feeling, if I can say so myself. While the dialogue is a heavy part of the story, it also has to be one of the most complex, interesting and entertaining dialogue I've read in this medium---sometimes philosophical, sometimes existentialist, sometimes making sense on a much deeper level of thought. it really adds a lot of enjoyment to the story, together with the fascinating/unveiling mystery and the strong psychological aspect of the characters.

To read Utsuro no Hako is to expect the unexpected; there's always a surprise waiting for you at the end or beginning of a new chapter. you may even have to read the lines a couple of times more than usual; you may also have to deal with the confusion of not exactly knowing/understanding what's going on; but surely, you will not get bored while reading this.

The second novel follows the same pattern as the first: the story is more linear, though; but oh boy, the dialogue becomes even more philosophical/psychological. The third one though I've only read half of it is hands down the best installment: more psychological, more interesting, even more mysterious---truly a game about deceiving.

by the way I really want to see this animated...

Not sure if I have to mention this, but remember to title your posts (e.g. Volume 3, Round 3)


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

Thoughts on the First Volume.

Spoiler for Thoughts on the First Volume:

SecretT 2010-06-13 17:43

Spoiler for my opinion,with minor spoilers:

azziz 2010-06-13 23:10

wait to read until vol.3,it'll only get better-maria is the best!

Falkor 2010-06-13 23:25

oh yes, you are in for a nice and intense ride once you get to volume 3.

ZODDGUTS 2010-06-14 00:29

Oh yeah remember reading vol 1 of this awhile ago. It was indeed pretty good and intense, suspecting everyone as to who the real culprit was.

Need to read vol 2 to see where things go after the whole thing in vol 1 had ended.

D-Gold 2010-06-23 00:45

Well I just finished the first novel and I really enjoyed it.

I was just planning to read a little of the story at first but as I read I go hooked and ended up reading the whole novel in one go.

I would start to read vol 2 but my eyes are getting tired from reading the computer screen for so long.

I do highly reccomend this novel for anyone unless you just have a deep hate for any and all things mystery.

cain75 2010-06-30 11:06

This is really a great read, on of the best light novels i've read so far. It has an interesting plot with main characters that have their own abnormality, but not the type you cant sympathize with, example i probably can relate most to Daiya. The plot borders on the philosophical and the metaphysical and yet remains a great mystery novel. I really like how this is written .Cant wait for the fourth volume.

As for the main characters maria is interesting but the main character is what really catches my eye, the useless kazuki. Hes just another ordinary guy and he did something we all do but probably arent aware of it. Its revealed in Vol 3 so i wont spoil but i will say this. Because he is normal and his mystery while not so common, was normal he is able to bridge the story making it more appealing to the readers. Though some might hate him or dislike him for his uselessness or stupidity. I like him for being human, and the reason why hes fixated on "everyday life" is disgusting yes but its so human that i love it nonetheless

Falkor 2010-07-15 00:33

Volume 4, chap 1 (44%)

After reading the prologue (which I found a bit confusing, no surprise here), I was not entirely sure of what kind of story to expect, more or so because of the revelation last volume. However, I have to say that I'm pleasantly surprised by the turn of events. Iroha has totally grabbed my interest and attention, not only because of her awesome and twisted display of leadership, but also because of her rather crude resolve to gain the trust of others. she won quite a good amount of points for doing what she did, right there.

Kazuki, on the other hand, has shown more resolve and determination, but he doesn't have the luck, or perhaps the confidence, to have things go his way. I think it's a huge blunder not to depend more on Maria. she may look like a helpless princess in this new installment of the game, but she has the brains and the composure, both of which he lacks. Leaving our favorite heroine in the dark, when all kind information is crucial in order to win, can end up becoming his most counterproductive course of action---and we need more Maria, too.

Spoiler for Speculation and thoughts (Volume 4, chap 1 (44%)):

azziz 2010-07-15 02:49

what about noi-tan?i suspect him to be zero,if zero was in one of the other,kazuki would have already found him.
kazuki is right to try to no rely too much on maria;that doesn't mean he won't need to work with her in order to win.
i'm curious to see what maria will think of this new"manly"kazuki.

EusthEnoptEron 2010-07-15 13:11

I agree that it's a bit annoying at first that Kazuki's trying to stop depending on Maria.
On the other hand, it's this "humaneness" that I like about him. Also, to me, he always looked a little "aimless", as if he didn't exactly know what he wants (as '0' mentioned, retaining his everyday life is very ambiguous). So I think it's an important step he made there, trying to stand on his own feet.

By the way, current process of chapter 1 is 74%, so I hope I'll be able to release the rest of it soon.

Mizuno 2010-07-15 17:45

I haven't started reading this but can someone tell me?

Spoiler for otonashi:

azziz 2010-07-16 03:38

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mizuno (Post 3142249)
I haven't started reading this but can someone tell me?

Spoiler for otonashi:

aya is just a fake name adopted by maria in order to no be traped in the "alternate reality"created by kasugi mogi box and thus retain her memory.
but maria current self can be said to be a split personnality created "probably a great cost to herself" as stated by asami riko in vol.2; sinse she lost all memory of those close to her-family,friend-we can't know how she was before receveing her box.

Falkor 2010-07-16 11:42

@azziz

it's not really nice to give away **major** spoilers to someone who hasn't read the novel yet. :/

Spoiler for speculation:


Quote:

Originally Posted by Mizuno (Post 3142249)
I haven't started reading this but can someone tell me?

Spoiler for otonashi:

I can only urge you to get started. the answer to your question is open to some interpretation, so there might be more than one way to think about it. :heh:

Quote:

Originally Posted by EusthEnoptEron (Post 3141860)
I agree that it's a bit annoying at first that Kazuki's trying to stop depending on Maria.
On the other hand, it's this "humaneness" that I like about him. Also, to me, he always looked a little "aimless", as if he didn't exactly know what he wants (as '0' mentioned, retaining his everyday life is very ambiguous). So I think it's an important step he made there, trying to stand on his own feet.

By the way, current process of chapter 1 is 74%, so I hope I'll be able to release the rest of it soon.

Thanks for the heads up and Thank you for translating this awesome work. can't wait to read the rest of the chapter. =)

Falkor 2010-08-03 13:58

a fully translated fourth volume! :hyper-^v^: :blush: :nod:

have been a bit busy during the past weeks (except the weekends), but I can't wait to read this. will post back my thoughts once I finish, hopefully. :heh:

Kleeyook 2010-08-03 16:52

I couldn't bare reading it after I know about the villain in the 2nd volume.
I feel like doing xxxxxx and xnnbke and then asdkdskxxx to that piece of trash that shouldn't exist in the world. Poor the protagonist to met him! :(

giorno 2010-08-03 17:03

man, this stuff is seriously addictive

thanks to eusth and kadi for translating and editing this awesome series

wihs volume 5 would just come out already...i'm dying to know how daiya plans to make kirino and kazuki get together...and also, what happened between them...

Cosmic Eagle 2010-09-11 10:36

Have to agree that this is an excellent read....

Seriously deserves a visual novel of its own

Kleeyook 2010-09-11 11:09

I feel like slaughtering the villains in that series besides Miu. They are so wretched that I can't believe it. Humanity is too ugly to deserve to live. Where's the moral!? :(

EusthEnoptEron 2010-09-11 21:01

Who's Miu?


Quote:

Seriously deserves a visual novel of its own
That would certainly be nice. Which reminds me that I still haven't played the VN written by the Hakomari author.

kuroishinigami 2010-09-14 21:24

I tried reading this series after reading the review here and it instantly hooked me =.=. It is a very good series, if not one of the best in term of writing style. In fact, it seems closer to a normal novel if not because of the number of page instead of the normal light novel. Definitely gonna follow this series. Can't wait for next volume to come out XD.


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