The film opens, as always, with a black on white title card in both English and Japanese. Simply seeing the word “box” in this film’s name was a delight for long-time fans of the famous cat and his life’s work. Maru has recently released several artful (the sunny spot, snow) but noticeably box-free films, and many were ready to see him return to the subject that he so obviously and deeply feels most passionate about.
In the opening seconds, we are introduced to both Maru, our hero-protagonist, and his great love: the box. Maru examines, and then climbs atop the box, asserting dominance and yet his desire is unsatisfied. We know where this is going, but as ever with Maru: the journey is the destination.