- Mangaka : Shouoto, Aya
- Publisher : VIZ
- Genre : Fantasy, Romance, Shoujo, Harem, Supernatural
- Published : July 2016
Momochi-san Chi no Ayakashi Ouji (The Demon Prince of Momochi House) Vol. 5 Introduction
Himari puzzles over what Yukari meant about becoming an ayakashi after eating human flesh but the oncoming wave of heat takes over everyone’s thoughts. They enter the spirit realm looking for water to cool off in and find the waters have been corrupted. As a servant of the water god Ryujin who purifies the water, Yukari becomes the target for many ayakashi’s anger as they assume he has angered Ryujin. Himari wants to sacrifice herself to commune with Ryuji and learn the true reason for his absence, but Aoi is hesitant to let her. It’s one thing after another with Himari as a school scare-dare turns into a deadly curse involving her and Aoi’s childhood friend, Hidaka. The two must kiss or die. Aoi forbids Himari to kiss Hidaka as he vows to undo the curse, but is it out of fear or jealousy?
It gets too hot at Momochi House so Yukari takes the residents to a cold pool and reveals it to be the place he became an ayakashi. They discover the water there has become corrupted and it’s assumed that Ryujin, the dragon god who purifies those waters, is for some reason mad at Yukari. Other ayakashi hurl accusations and insults at Yukari and Himari offers herself as a sacrifice so that she may ask the god himself why he’s not purifying the waters anymore. No matter what Yukari may have done in the past, Himari can’t stand seeing the kind ayakashi looking so sad. Aoi begrudgingly relents, warning that if Ryujin intends to hurt her, Aoi will purify and banish his spirit.
Himari ends up sucked under the waves with the dragon god and Yukari dives down to learn for himself if Ryujin truly despises him, as he never learned why long ago Ryujin sent him to watch over Momochi House. It’s a little confusing what’s happening in these pages as the bubbles distort the readers’ view. It may be intentionally confusing as begin dragged underwater would be, but at such a seemingly important moment, it’s a bit of a letdown.
The next few pages reveal Yukari’s tragic story of being picked up off the street as an orphan and being groomed as an assassin. He’s made to get close to a seemingly corrupt ruler but he finds his resolve to murder the man wavering. However, someone else murders the emperor and frames Yukari. The emperor’s dying breath is to try to warn Yukari and it’s rather chilling knowing that this man Yukari was supposed to kill has shown him the greatest kindness he’s ever known. Yukari was never able to indulge in these feelings of closeness with his duty weighing heavily on his mind. He’s used as a scapegoat by the man who raised him, claiming Yukari was a demon who ate human flesh and sends Yukari to his death in the river. Ryujin sees the same loneliness in the boy’s eyes that he himself feels so he grants Yukari a second life as an ayakashi.
Finally, Ryujin, his mind cleared thanks to Himari and Yukari, tells Yukari he sent him away because he didn’t want Yukari to be alone anymore. However, closing himself off to Yukari allowed him to be corrupted. The two vow to see each other as time allows and despite things working out nicely, Aoi is annoyed that Himari once again put herself in danger.
As Himari goes back to school, rumors circulate that she has spiritual powers. She tries to deny them but ends up getting roped into a scare-dare with girls from her class and Hidaka. Hidaka tries to look out for Himari as Himari slowly realizes the girls are terribly jealous of her friendship with Hidaka and only brought her along get closer to Hidaka. Unknown to them, the stone they visit is actually cursed and Hidaka and Himari become the victims. Aoi seems angry that the deadly curse can only be lifted if the two kiss and he forbids Himari from seeing Hidaka. Himari has her own aversion to kissing Hidaka and finally comes to terms with her feelings for Aoi.
In a desperate attempt to keep Himari from having to kiss someone else, Aoi goes to Kasha’s layer. Kasha splits his time between flirting with the Nue and actually giving Aoi an out. He’s to switch the fate of two humans which Aoi does at random. Kasha admits that while he’s not responsible, he knows it must be a human who laid this trap. After returning home, he meets up with Himari who admits she has romantic feelings for him. To the audience’s confusion and horror, Aoi apologizes and says he has no such feelings for Himari.
1. Yukari’s Past is Revealed
Yukari is a quiet, hot, doting figure of Momochi House who’s shrouded in mystery. It’s a relief to know he wasn’t actually a man-eating monster but so sad to learn what a hopeless and lonely life he led.
1. It Can Get a Little Confusing
While the not-so-clear time transitions are present in all the volumes so far, there are a couple of times when it’s not clear what exactly is going on even during a scene. When Yukari and Ryujin are fighting, or dancing, or something, a lot of large bubbles cover the pages and make it hard to see what’s happening or just what the paper seal on Ryujin is. The candle scene with Kasha isn’t overtly explained either, or why exactly Aoi has to switch two people’s fates. Then again, that is very like Kasha to be vague and play with others without giving them the full story.
As normal with any volume of Momochi House, one burning question is answered only for a new one to take its place. Learning about Yukari’s past was great but just why is Aoi suddenly saying he doesn’t have feelings for Himari? It's such a relief to see her finally admit her feelings only to have your excitement and hope ripped away by his rejection. Could it have something to do with the candles?? We won’t know until volume 6.