Earlier this year, I held a contest where the winner would decide what would be my 50th review. That honor went to Bukkiteer TielFigs who chose Speed Grapher. However, the runner up didn’t get nothing out of it. In fact, SkyCetacean got the chance to pick a future review. Guess where this show came from?
Mouryou no Hako is a 13 episode Horror/Mystery anime based on the 1995 novel from Natsuhiko Kyogoku. A live action film and a manga series were both released in 2007 with Masato Harada and Aki Shimizu as film director and manga author respectfully. The anime by director Ryosuke Nakamura and studio Madhouse was released in the fall of 2008. Sadly, as of this review, the series is unlicensed.
The story follows a series of bizarre murders of schoolgirls who have been dismembered and stuffed into boxes. The private investigator hired by a missing daughter’s mother joins forces with an antique book seller and others to unravel the murder spree.
As of this review, Mouryou has not been licensed in the states and it doesn’t look like it ever will be. But I can see why it wouldn’t be. The dialogue makes many references to culture and lore from Japan and Buddhism that if it were to get a release in the states most people would get confused. As for the Japanese cast, it was fun to listen to. Hidenobu Kiuchi as Sekiguchi and Toshiyuki Morikawa as Enokizu were among the stand outs for me. Most of the other cast members give decent performances, but, again, not a lot of stand outs here. This doesn’t mean that the Japanese cast was terrible or anything, just nothing really impressive.
By the time this case is solved, Mouryou no Hako is a typical mystery show that doesn’t really do a lot to stand out among its genre. It has good ideas and it looks well made, but in the end it’s the execution as a whole that becomes it’s own downfall. I don’t suggest watching this as a new anime viewer, but if you’re really into the mystery/horror genre like I am then I say give it a go. Cause you’ll probably be trying to figure this series out like I was.
Next time, we visit an old friend of ours. Until then, otaku on my friends.
Final Rating - 5/10 An average mystery for the die hards.
Special thanks to SkyCetacean for this series!