Mouryou no Hako (Ep 2)
Mouryou no Hako appears to be even more of a Pandora’s box of strange questions than I initially anticipated, with at the moment very few answers being revealed. The animation production is still very good but at times the medium shots can suffer from not flowing properly but the creepy ambiance continued within this second episode. This series is very centered on plot and heavy dialogue as opposed to flashy visuals, most of the series so far is almost entirely dialogue between characters with heavy use of facial expressions and subtle movements. This week the plot that I was expecting about the dismembered girls body parts turning up in boxes seems to finally be starting. This series really strikes me more as a televised murder mystery than the usual run of the mill anime series, it’s intelligent, mysterious, creepy and incredibly thought provoking.
The episode beings with yet another sequence with the man who we saw on the train last episode, there is musings about a circular coffin and his need to find out about the girl who’s head was in the box. Yet again strange unanswered questions that we may have answered at a later date. The scene skips after the OP to August 15th at the train station Yoriko is obviously distraught after Kanako’s accident, she doesn’t appear to be making much sense to the poor detective Kiba who is the same man who witnessed the mutilated soldiers on the train just before it hit Kanako. One thing is certain at least Yoriko is desperate to see Kanako and due to her reluctance to call her mother as she wont be available (I wonder why?) Kiba agrees to take Yoriko to the hospital to check on Kanako’s condition.
It is apparent that Yoriko is currently going through the motions of being very much in a state of shock, but as she is the only witness to what actually happened to Kanako who can blame her, did she jump? was she pushed? no one actually knows the answer to this question. Once at the hospital the man from the prior episode who collected Kanako from her moonlight dance appears and reveals himself to be Noritada Amemiya, Kanako’s guardian but he doesn’t wish to go into specifics and another very stubborn and difficult man arrives although he appears to not be willing to divulge any information at all, a third party appears to join the fray none other than ‘Minami Kinuko’ a famous actress who Kiba appears to be moderately obsessed with, he also realises as to why Kanako looked so familiar, she is actually ‘Minami’s’ younger sister. Kanako’s sister also requests that they refer to her as Youko Yuzuki as that is in fact her real name.
Now we have finally been introduced to Kanako’s family the one thing that strikes you is just how cagey they all seem to be about both specifics regarding the situation itself and also any actual information regarding Kanako, The viewer is then left asking themselves several questions during this rather dramatic scene especially with Yoriko’s mother bursting in as well, Why are they obsessed with this being a murder? Why do they not wish to discuss anything and why is one of the initial statements ‘are you sure it’s the real Kanako’? Why is there a spotlight on Youko in the very end? Who actually is Kanako? Where was Yoriko’s mother all night? and who is Kanako meant to die sooner than? Is it Kanako who dies six months later? The only thing that appears to be revealed is that Kanako herself is stable and still alive (currently) and her sister wishes to have her moved to another hospital so she can keep watch over her. Why is this tale now reeking of very rich family with far too many secrets and a lot of skeletons or possibly in this case heads in the closet.
The episode ends with a skip to August 30th body parts of dead girls are being found in boxes and it appears a serial killer is on the loose. There is talk of a ‘Toori Mono’ that has possibly bewitched someone to carry out these foul deeds or is it an exorcist who is sealing evil spirits in boxes as a means to exorcise them (Box of Goblins anyone). The episode ends with the three (I’m guessing) reporters ending up very lost in the woods on the way to see one of these new boxes that has turned up, of course they happen to have stumbled into something possibly even more interesting as they are now in a restricted area and Dectective Kiba appears to be on the case, what have they found? Is it another box? and as the camera looms on the doorway of the nearby house why is Kanako’s sister Youko standing there?
This series is an entirely fascinating watch and I have heard it may possibly be 24 episodes long, I am personally living in hope that it is, due to currently there being so many unanswered questions that it will need that long to truly reveal everything. This series is one compelling watch and if you are a fan of murder mysteries please give this a try, although not as action packed as many other series this season this show has charm, intrigue and above all it makes you think and question what is actually going on. I personally am thoroughly enjoying this and I can’t wait to find out more about the strange murders, the mysterious Kanako and why on earth are her family so cagey.