Mouryou no Hako: Bliss found in Madness
July 4, 2009
Because most of you have not yet seen all of Mouryou no Hako, I won’t be talking about the mystery aspect of the show. All I have to say is that, most likely, you will be disturbed and blown away by the end. Aside from its absorbing and disturbing mystery, Mouryou no Hako has something else to offer on the aesthetics side, and that is beauty of madness (kyouki bi 狂気美). Here is what Wabisabi once said about kyouki bi in relation to Mouryou no Hako:
“The strange and demonic beauty of madness, lunacy and all manner of mental infirmities, usually accompanied by an intense yearning or obsession for some delusional concept of ‘purity’, ‘perfection’ or ‘ideal’, refusal to compromise with ‘impurity’ and ‘imperfection’ and a readiness for death and destruction.”
If you’ve seen the first few episodes of Mouryou no Hako then maybe you can see its relevance to Yoriko’s state of mind. In many ways, the things Yoriko say, and the things she starts believing in, are completely delusional and insane. But, they are more alluring. You have seen it, how radiating Kanako was when she danced under the moonlight. You simply want to be seduced by it, to be enveloped in its beauty. The last thirty seconds of Mouryou no Hako‘s first episode was one of the most beautiful and captivating moments in anime.
Without spoiling anything too important, you will later find that there are few more characters under similar demonic influence (or mouryou), who have surrendered to the beauty and bliss found only in realms of madness. I somewhat regret that their madness aren’t as beautifully expressed as Yoriko’s. More disturbing and twisted perhaps. But not as beautiful.
I have other minor complaints as well, which are all preventing me from rating this show higher than 8/10, but I would need to spoil the mystery for you to justify them. Once the subs are out and my honoured readers have finished watching them all, I would be more than delighted if some of you would come back to this post to discuss.