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a little bit of literacy research
Posted by tai on Oct 23, 2008 under Mouryou no Hako, Research

I have decided to pick up Mouryou no Hako, the plot seems intricate and deep, and the art is simply outstanding: many thanks to CLAMP for their character design. For those who have not watched the show, Mouryou no Hako (Box of Evil Spirits/Box of Goblins) is a murder mystery with Buddhist themes presented in a romanticist manner. There is great contrast within the artwork, the colour palette varies from bright and lush to flat and dry to cold and pale depending on the scene. Like romanticist material, Mouryou no Hako uses art and intellectual dialogue to drive the narration, as opposed to being plot-driven. That isn’t to say that Mouryou no Hako is plot-less, but the development of this show is much less like your typical anime and much more like experimental or avant-garde productions. I found this plot review on Random Curiosity quite good if you are interested.

A show with this depth to it doesn’t come from nothing. Especially being a novel adaptation, there are a lot of references to external literary works which serve as a template of themes and ideas to mold the show towards. I’m no historian or poet or cultural anthropologist so there’s no way for me to verify this information, but I would still like to share what I have gathered as ancient Japanese literacy seems to have been quite important in guiding this show.
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