- Mangaka : Shouoto, Aya
- Publisher : VIZ
- Genre : Fantasy, Romance, Shoujo, Harem, Supernatural
- Published : October 2016
Momochi-san Chi no Ayakashi Ouji (The Demon Prince of Momochi House) Introduction
As the landlady of Momochi House, Himari has a lot of important responsibilities to worry about, but that doesn’t mean the more mundane trials of being a teenager are any easier. She finds the strength to confess to Aoi who mysteriously and flatly turns her down. Still recovering from the shock, Himari has to make sure the new occult-expert substitute teacher doesn’t find out her secret about living with ayakashi. Is he just a fanatic, or does he know too much? As if things weren’t complicated enough at home, Himari has her school life to worry about as well.
It seems unfathomable that Aoi could have turned down Himari’s earnest confession, but despite his usual happy behavior, he absolutely rejected her. The other yokai try to take extra care of Himari much to her horror. Even Ise becomes uncharacteristically kind. Himari tries to turn her attention to school but things become lively there too with the arrival of a certain substitute.
Takamura Nachi has the school in a tizzy thanks to his good looks and impressive supernatural story-telling. Unfortunately, he takes a keen interest in Himari due to her affiliation with the rumored Momochi House and tries to press her for details as he loves a good ghost story. She’s able to avoid him when some other students come up asking to hear more ghost stories, to which he obliges. Himari overhears the chilling story of a man in black who wisks away children and a beautiful yokai that will spirit anyway anyone who sees him which makes her ponder if he could be talking about the Nue. While Nachi shows her various items of his, Himari accidentally winds up with a magic mirror in her bag and doesn’t realize it until she returns home. She remembers Nachi described this mirror as an item that can let you see into people’s hearts and Himari puzzles over what to do with it until she can return it to school.
The residents of Momochi House start acting weirder than before, still worried about Himari after Aoi’s rejection. Himari runs away from everyone, uncomfortable with the changes in behavior. She’s confronted by a black spirit that, thankfully, Aoi banishes before it can get her. He examines the mirror and confirms that it brought the mysterious darkness into the house. Just when she thinks she’s safe, Aoi starts acting weird. He says he loves her and smiles oddly. Then Himari realizes the person in front of her couldn’t be Aoi. She loves him too much to be fooled by whatever is in front of her. She snatches the mirror out of his hands and runs away.
She’s startled by the realization that none of what she sees is real and is confused as to how to return to the real world. Once again, the black spirit approaches but Himari recognizes it this time. Her fear, her sadness, her loneliness. She chooses to embrace it instead of running away this time. Himari awakens back in Nachi’s office who told her she had passed out. In return for being told her ‘dreams’, he promises to keep the mirror away from anyone else.
Back at Momochi House, things turn a little chaotic. Aoi is in a slump and can’t dispel any ayakashi and they start running rampant through the house. A nekomata with close ties to Aoi makes her appearance and uses her cute kitty minions to banish the unwanted others. Nekobaba, as she’s called, quickly goes from savior to harasser as she tries to force Aoi to choose a bride. She wants him to have a companion to help with his duties and sees Himari as a glorified maid. Himari still tries to do everything she says, seeing that Nekobaba clearly does care for Aoi.
Nekobaba really starts laying the marriage pressure down causing Aoi to disappear for days somewhere in the house. Nekobaba spends her time asking Himari to find the precious hairpin that Nekobaba herself hid away. Himari is determined to help her since she’s the only one who can help Aoi in his current state. Himari puts together a black-out hot pot with mystery ingredients to try to bring back Aoi’s intuition and while it makes him laugh, it doesn’t bring his powers back. Nekobaba still ends up accepting Himari, and leaves the hairpin with the young landlady. Nekobaba tells her that special hairpin can lead one to the truth and implores her to be Aoi’s guiding light.
While filled with renewed vigor to help Aoi, Himari gets caught up in her classmates’ desire to investigate the man in black that Nachi was talking about. He too tries to bug Himari about the ghost but she just shrugs him off. To himself, he mutters “Has Aoi grown up?”
1. Bonus Chapter Featuring Kasha
Not that it much sheds light on his character, but we’re able to better see both the extent of Kasha’s cruelty and his apparent fascination with Aoi even as a young child. The way he so easily takes away life in order to torment Aoi while not harming Aoi himself makes Kasha mysterious and creepy. We know at least that his current meddlings in Momochi House are nothing new.
1. The Pacing is Slower Compared to Other Volumes
In past volumes, at least one chapter has someone on the verge of death. The most exciting thing to happen was Himari being inside the mirror with her own feelings of despair taking shape but there wasn’t a grand feeling of danger as in previous chapters. We mostly just got some resolution on Himari being rejected though no real explanation why and set up for Nachi to be some big player in future volumes.
It’s quite a letdown that Himari’s bold confession did not bridge any distance between her and Aoi. And Aoi’s continued habit of being too close makes it even more confusing as to why he’d turn her down. While there was hope for some dramatic reveal, we’re still left wondering why. Considering that Nachi, however, somehow knows of Aoi from when he was a child, the next volume probably has some interesting things for us!