Demon Prince of Momochi House, Vol 4

Demon Prince of Momochi House Volume 4 by Aya Shouoto

I’ve been enjoying this series, although I have to admit if I was forced to recommend only one manga about an ordinary girl who finds herself heir to a house inhabited by ayakashis, I’d go with Kamisama Kiss. That being said, this volume of Demon Prince of Momochi House represents a high point for the series so far, with a story that was surprisingly emotional.

Aoi’s symbiotic relationship with Momochi house means that he’s trapped, with the memories of his previous life wiped from the minds of anyone who knew him in the human world. When Yukari goes to school wearing a 4 leaf clover ring that Aoi made for her, one of her classmates suddenly demands to know where she got it. When she tells the boy that a family member made it and her name is Momochi, he wanders off. Yukari learns that the boy is named Hidaka, he’s a loner, and has a reputation of being cursed. There’s a legend that his family is descended from fox shape-shifters, so Yukari wonders if there’s a connection to Aoi. As she investigates she learns that Hidaka and Aoi were best friends when they were younger.

Aoi doesn’t directly share his feelings with Yukari, but she senses that he feels a bit of regret and doesn’t want to risk rejection. As she learns more about the curse of the fox spirits that is affecting Hidaka, she begins to realize that the curse itself is keeping Hidaka’s memories of his friendship with Aoi alive, making him feel constantly guilty and unsettled. Aoi as the Nue has to intervene, and while he is able to cause a resolution to the situation, one final link to the outside world for Aoi is severed. The story is very bittersweet and filled with a sense of nostalgia, as memories are shown to be insubstantial. The last part of the manga turns to a gathering of akashi and hints of a creepy storyline in the next volume. Shouoto continues to make the backgrounds of Momochi house interesting with gatherings of tiny ayakashi in strange shapes, and there’s are general hints of menace in some of the characters’ facial expressions and reactions. This is all blended with a few moments of humor here and there as Aoi’s random attempts to get closer to Yukari don’t get him very far. Overall I was very pleasantly surprised by this volume, and I hope this series which was already enjoyable continues to improve.

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