Dark twins of fall 2008: Mouryou no Hako and Kurozuka


In a break from my usual fare, I decided to take on two shows with ‘dark’ themes.  With most of the shows that I finished from 2008 of the more lively kind, it would be ironic to call these two shows a ‘refreshing’ experience.

Mouryou no Hako

This show is probably the most intriguing of the bunch I will be following from the fall season.  Based on the work of Natsuhiko Kyogoku, it is by far the one with most potential for an awesome story.  The first episode focuses on Yoriko and the classmate that she likes, Kanako.  A serial murder mystery with yuri undertones, it has definitely turned off some people.  It was probably caused by the ‘dancing under the moonlight sequence’ lol.  But beneath that surface is an interesting collection of food for thought.  Declarations of ‘I am you.  You are me’, reincarnations, and other cryptic stuff makes for good head scratching.  Especially if you’re watching raw.  :p

So Yoriko doesn’t mind it if Kanako kills her…

If the speaking head in a box wasn’t eery enough, there’s also that talking doll.  Well, I think it was just Yuriko hallucinating.  And I bet there will be more hallucinating in future episodes.  Kanako just does a good job of ‘brainwashing’ Yuriko.  Hearing Kanako and her speech is a little creepy.  Specifically, how she is such a literature geek and the way she just spouts all those ideas like they were supreme truth.  Anyway, I hope to see more subs of this high potential show.


Now this is one mixed bag.  The tale of two lovers and their journey ’till the end of time’ looks good on first impression.  Kuro meets Kuromitsu while on the lam from assassins his brother hired.  With his companion Benkei, they seek refuge in Kuromitsu’s abode deep in the mountain.  Kuro and Kuromitsu fall in love.  Eventually Kuro discovers that Kuromitsu is a blood-sucking immortal.  Right after that Kuro’s pursuers caught up and we are treated to the 2nd round of body slashing and blood splashing sequence of the first episode.  This is probably the most violent show I’m watching from this season.

How dare you cut off my arm!!

But my curiousity leveled up and I decided to take a peek at the manga.  The reviews of the manga actually triggered some alarm bells.  So I read the first 4 chapters and true enough there was the prelude to the ‘profit’ that lolikit talks about.  There’s even abuse.  Be warned:  it’s totally NSFW.  I cheated further and went straight to the ending.  The whole manga actually spans a thousand years.  There’s some radical implications about the origin of Kuromitsu’s immortality.  Furthermore the last few pages weren’t satisfying.  So I wouldn’t mind them changing the ending a bit to make it better.  Indeed the first episode was a little different from the manga.  For example, in the anime, when Kuro discovers Kuromitsu’s blood-sucking antics, he says he won’t tell about Kuromitsu.   But in the manga he was actually jealous of the poor guy who was getting his blood sucked.  (That is, if the translation was correct.)  The anime is actually more subdued; which is probably better.

From these two shows, I’m counting on Mouryou no Hako to have better prospects of not being a trainwreck of sorts.  If people can just get past the appearances there’s more to it beneath the surface, I believe.  So, who else is watching these shows?  What are your impressions/expectations?  🙂


7 responses »

  1. I had no clue what Mouryou no Hako and it defintely creeped me out a bit. The show further creeped me out with the way the daughter was acting. If I had to guess at what Yuriko saw was maybe Kanako’s head is detachable and is interchangable with bodies? So Kanako isnt strangling Yuriko but maybe wants to take off her head and get her body? Dunno, this is me just speculating. If so, then the doll’s head and the body is just a box that houses the soul analogy might work there.

  2. I was not going to give Mouryou no Hako a shot until this post. Now after watching it I am intrigued. The psycho yuri-horror thing aside, this looks like it may turn out pretty good.

    A period piece set in 50s era Japan is something different than the usual anime fare. And I am all for different right now.

  3. @frog212
    That is what is good about this show–it makes you think about the meanings behind the incidents. This makes good discussion–and head scratching.
    Kanako was actually demonstrating to Yoriko what her mother did to her. Yoriko responds by saying it’s ok if Kanako kills her, because if she dies she’ll just reincarnate as Kanako. See how that brainwashing was so effective? lol
    But what puzzles me more is Kanako’s statement after trying to strangle Yoriko: it’s not yet the right time.

  4. I really enjoyed Mouryou no Hako – it has a great ‘shoujo-noir’ aesthetic, a superb atmosphere and the murder-mystery premise is intriguing. Kurozuka is the more seinen of the two – I can’t wait to see where the romance side will go but the violence, as brutal as it is, was really well animated so I was actually impressed on that front. If it has more substance than the manga, so much the better because I actually hope that the romance takes centre stage.

    These two are my ‘dark’ shows for the new season too, and both are keepers for now.

  5. Pingback: Mouryou no Hako Finale! 10-13 « an アニメ weblog

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