Saturday, February 14, 2009

Mouryou no Hako, Episodes 07-08

This series will never be licensed. That's obviously not a mark against its quality, as Mononoke, Ghost Hound and Mind Game will attest to. But when you have a fair portion of an episode dedicated to digressions on the etymology of "mouryou," gradually shifting back to box-murder mysteries and the related cult, it can be a bit much to take in.

Or something like that. For someone who has an interest in this type of material, I felt overwhelmed a couple times when watching this -- I'm sure that less patient viewers will come close to tearing their hair out if episode six has not already caused them to do that already.

Episode eight is thankfully more straightforward, definitely making me interested to see how everything will fall together in the final third of the show.


  1. Question for you, David: Did you watch episode 7 with or without the numerous wall o' text translation notes? I attempted to watch episode 7 with said notes, but I just couldn't do it. Probably would have made comprehending the episode all the more easier, but my hatred of having to continuously press pause while watching subtitled anime trumps all.

    Speaking of episode 7, I too found the seventh episode's talky exposé on mōryō to be quite overwhelming at times, but still interesting to sit through. It amazed me how one little word could mean so many different things, given the context. At least things finally get back on track in episode 8. I loved how the episode ended. If I wasn't hooked on this series prior to viewing episode 8, I definitely am now.

    I'm not so sure MnH will never be licensed though. Yeah, it's one of those anime for the thinking man that always seem to be underappreciated by mainstream fans, but the character designs being by CLAMP certainly help things. Not to mention Madhouse is a popular studio.

  2. Didn't realize that there were translator notes, so I just watched it as is.

    The series may look sleek due to Clamp's designs and Hidetoshi Kaneko's art direction, but I just can't imagine this being anything but a tough sell, particularly in today's climate. Jumping around in focus and being packed with dialogue, as well as its unconventional approach to mystery, doesn't give me much hope.

  3. Yeah, episodes 7 & 8 had two separate subtitle tracks. One "normal," and one with the massive amounts of notes.

    You're definitely right about MnH being a tough sell, but I'm still hoping that CLAMP's designs are enough to coax out a license. Almost everything CLAMP has been involved in has been licensed, and as such would make for an easy marketing ploy despite the unconventionality of the actual product.

  4. I've yet to see compelling evidence that anyone actually watches shit before picking it up. A decent hook and a strong name to market it with, and all kinds of shit gets brought over.

  5. Funny that you say that, Andrew, when FUNimation just licensed Dragonaut. I've never seen the show, but apparently it is strongly considered by many to be crap.

  6. Dragonaut is more of a result of Gonzo being in a fucking dire situation.