A surprise announcement from Yen Press has appeared: The Empty Box and the Zeroth Maria (AKA Utsuro no Hako to Zero no Maria [AKA Hakomari]) has been licensed for official English release.
Kazuki Hoshino leads the easy-going life of a typical high school student — until the appearance of a new girl in his class turns his world upside down! Introducing herself with a promise to “break” Kazuki is abnormal enough to make an impression, sure, but why does she seem so familiar…?
This completed seven-volume series was written by Eiji Mikage, with illustrations by Tetsuo. According to a tweet, it sounds like the first volume is planned to arrive in the fall next year.
I certainly can’t say I expected this one to get picked up. I imagine Yen Press must have received enough requests for it that they decided it was worth bringing over. So congratulations to all the Hakomari fans out there! And congratulations to the English light novel community in general, for reaching this point? This is a well-regarded series, but a rather niche one too (i.e. there are no anime or manga adaptations, and as far as I can tell it was never a big deal in Japan). With that in mind, I think that seeing something like this get licensed is an interesting development.