Mōryō no Hako (魍魎の匣?, "The Mōryō's Box") is a Japanese novel by Natsuhiko Kyogoku. It is the second novel in the series that began with Summer of the Ubume. The novel has been turned into a live action feature film, a manga, and an anime TV series.
Police detective Kiba finds himself investigating a very strange case involving a girl hit by a train, her actress sister, and a sinister hospital shaped like a box. As the girl's friend's mother becomes obsessed with Mōryō, the police begin finding young girls' limbs strewn around the countryside in boxes.
The original novel was first published in 1995, and has been reprinted in several bunko editions.
Animated TV series
The anime adaption began airing on October 7, 2008. Produced by Madhouse, it featured character designs by Clamp and scripts by Sadayuki Murai. It was the series directorial debut of Ryosuke Nakamura.
The anime TV series received high marks for its first episode in the Anime News Network Fall 2008 Anime Preview Guide. Reviewers Theron Martin and Carlo Santos gave the first episode ratings of 4 out of 5 and 4.5 out of 5, respectively, while Carl Kimlinger and Casey Brienza both rated the episode 5 out of 5. It was their top-rated episode of the Fall season. Martin wrote that "no series debuting this season has a more compelling prologue," and praised the "excellent production values, a heartfelt sense of joyous wonder accompanied by occasional creepy undertones, and good writing that is strongly complemented by the musical score." Santos highlighted the yuri themes of the episode, writing "Mōryō no Hako's first episode is 15-20 minutes of the most heart-achingly beautiful yuri ever animated" and comparing it favorably to other yuri series: "it's not everyday that a single episode annihilates the likes of Kashimashi, Strawberry Panic!, Simoun, and still has more story to tell... in a completely different genre." He also praised the music, saying "if there's a soundtrack of the year, this is probably it." Kimlinger heralded the first episode "as close to perfection as any series is likely to get within the span of a single episode" and that "nearly every frame is a work of art," and Brienza noted "the animation is elegant yet not overdone."
- Martin, Theron (2008-10). "The Fall 2008 Anime Preview Guide: Theron Martin". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2009-06-14. Check date values in:
- Santos, Carlo (2008-10). "The Fall 2008 Anime Preview Guide: Carlo Santos". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2009-06-14. Check date values in:
- Kimlinger, Carl (2008-10). "The Fall 2008 Anime Preview Guide: Carl Kimlinger". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2009-06-14. Check date values in:
- Brienza, Casey (2008-10). "The Fall 2008 Anime Preview Guide: Casey Brienza". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2009-06-14. Check date values in:
- Movie official website
- Anime official website
- Mōryō no Hako (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia