Orphan Himari Momochi was excited to find a place to belong when she inherited Momochi House, but she was shocked to discover it already had tenants: Aoi, the guardian who also transforms into a creature called the Nue, and his guards, Yukari and Ise. Himari is determined to find a way for Aoi to leave the house and give up his role as guardian, but the longer she stays there, the more danger she encounters and the more secrets she discovers.
In the third volume, Himari is still dealing with the “friends” who followed her home from school: one is dead and absorbing the energy of the house, and another has lost their soul. Will Himari and Aoi be able to stop this new threat to Momochi House? Later, Himari learns more about Aoi’s duties as guardian when they attend a special ceremony in the Ayakashi world. Book four is dedicated to the story arc of Aoi’s childhood friend, Hayato Hidaka. Rumor is he’s cursed, but Himari suspects something else is going on and becomes determined to help. This installment ends with a shocking revelation about Aoi’s loyal guard, the shikigama Yukari. The story continues in the fifth volume with the discovery of pollution in the seven sacred falls. When the residents of Momochi House try to purify the waters, Himari learns the truth about Yukari’s past, and some truths about herself as well. Throughout the various storylines, the powerful demon Kasha frequently shows his hand and hints at a more powerful foe yet to come; Himari struggles to define her place in the world and especially the “family” of Momochi House; and Aoi must deal with emotions old and new. Book five ends with a dramatic disclosure of Himari and Aoi’s true feelings… or does it?
The artwork maintains its general romantic outlines. There are frequent moments of dramatic swooning, lots of flowing lines, and when Aoi is the Nue, he is often seen gazing dramatically across the vista. I would have liked to see more of the ayakashi; although the lesser ones are frequently in the background, we get only a few glimpses of the spirit world, and they are often confusing amid the swirling black flames of Kasha’s power, foreshadowing a more dangerous adversary.
Our main characters grow throughout these three installments. Although she is still self-sacrificing and desperate for a family and home, Himari understands more about the spirit world, and at the end of volume five, she’s finally honest about her feelings. Aoi is also becoming both more and less human as he spends more time with Himari: more human as he acknowledges that he cares for her and she can make worthwhile contributions to the house, even if he only admits it to himself; less human as he starts to face that he is no longer human, but has become part of a different world.
Readers who enjoy a good fantasy manga with a light touch of romance will be eager to pick up the next volumes of this title, continuing the saga of Momochi House and its occupants.
The Demon Prince of Momochi House, vols. 3-5
by Aya Shouoto
vol 3 ISBN: 9781421579641
vol 4 ISBN: 9781421580487
vol 5 ISBN: 9781421586304
Publisher Age Rating: T