The Demon Prince of Momochi House Volume 1 by Aya Shouoto
I enjoy Shouoto’s other series, Kiss of the Rose Princess, so I was interested in trying out The Demon Prince of Momochi House. When I read the description and looked at the front cover, I was also curious to see how similar it might be to another Shojo Beat series featuring yokai, Kamisama Kiss.
Himari Momochi is a plucky orphan who inherits a house that has been in her family for years. She decides to journey to Momochi House and claim her inheritance, despite some dire warnings along the way that the house she’s traveling to is haunted. When she arrives at the house, the inside is trashed and shadowy figures keep brushing past her as she explores the interior. One of the shadowy figures ends up being a naked young man named Aoi, who is quickly admonished to put clothes on by a couple of other men. They accuse Himari of being a burglar, and she quickly produces the legal document that proclaims she’s the owner of the house. Himari is determined to stay, and the horrible cleaning jobs that await her and the mysterious implosion of her smartphone, and presence of male squatters do nothing to change her attachment to her new home. Mysterious animal yokai appear, and Himari is introduced to the supernatural elements that occupy her house. Aoi is serving as the guardian spirit, and the other young men are his helper spirits Yukari and Ise.
When Aoi switches from his human to Omamoiri form, he admonishes Himari not to look at him in his beguiling fox spirit guise. Himari thinks the relationship between Aoi and his helpers is very much like a family, which makes her wistful. She’s also pragmatic despite the new element of the supernatural in her life, deciding that she needs to charger her three freeloaders rent and thinking about investigating enrolling in a local school. Aoi and Himari are clearly attracted to each other, and Aoi seems to be operating under an imperative that he protect her at all costs from the haunted elements that still exist in her ancestral home.
Demon Prince of Momochi House is a much less silly series than Kiss of the Rose Princess. I think the art is stronger and a bit more distinctive than Rose Princess too. Sometimes drawing spirits brings out the best in a manga-ka! Some aspects of this series did remind me of Kamisama Kiss, but I also feel as though Kamisama Kiss is such a standout series in terms of quality that other manga are going to suffer in comparison automatically. I wish there had been a bit more character development, because so far the characters seem more like types than fully realized individuals. I found myself liking Kiss of the Rose Princess more as the series progressed, and I’m expecting that to happen with The Demon Prince of Momochi House too. It could be that I’m just a sucker for series featuring handsome spirits, but I enjoyed this first volume much more than the first volume of Kiss of the Rose Princess too. I’m hoping for more character development in the next volume.