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November 30, 2015

Bento Bako Weekly: The Demon Prince of Momochi House volume 2

demonprincemomochihouse2Title: The Demon Prince of Momochi House
Author: Aya Shouoto
Publisher: Viz Media (Shojo Beat)
Volume: Volume 2, $9.99
Vintage: October 2015
Genre: Supernatural

[Volume 1 review.]

Now that Himari has learned Aoi cannot physically leave the Momochi estate, she decides to do everything she can to find a way to kick him out. (Small reminder that as the landlady of Momochi House, she can command demons to leave the property.) Aoi has lived in the house for seven years, alone except for his shikigami, and has never left since he wandered in when he was ten-years-old. Now that Himari lives there, things are much more lively, but it also means that the demons are more agitated. That means more work for Aoi, Ise, and Yukari. Part of Aoi wants Himari to leave, so she can live a normal, much safer life. But another part of him wants her to stay, where he can protect her, and love her. Not everyone is happy she’s staying, and one of the lesser yokai that lives in the house decides he’d rather leave. Unfortunately, as soon as he leaves the house’s barrier, he loses much of his power and reverts to a human form. This upsets Onmoraki, who wants to meet his sister during the Lantern Procession that will pass through Momochi House, and is afraid she won’t recognize him. On the day of the procession, while souls travel through the house seeking purification, a soul eating demon attacks. Everyone works quickly together to dispatch it, even Onmoraki and Himari. Shortly after, an exhausted Aoi falls ill, and another demon decides to take advantage by pushing her underwater realm into the entire house. Himari insists on helping, but as usual only ends up in more trouble. With everything at the house back under control, Himari is ready to start at her new school. Drawn by the mystery of Momochi House, she immediately snags the attention of several classmates. They follow her home and insist on seeing the mansion, but Aoi warns that one of them isn’t a normal human at all, and it’s up to Himari to discover which. A bonus story follows Yukari’s experience when Aoi first wanders into the mansion as a child.

My opinion hasn’t changed much since volume 1. It’s OK, but not great. And it reads a lot like Kamisama Kiss, but without the charm and the laughter that goes along with it. There’s meant to be some humor in here, but it’s dull, and mostly this is a slow-paced romantic drama. Himari is still about as generic as a shojo heroine can get (in design and personality), and she’s even plainer next to the pretty boys around her. Right now Aoi is by far the most interesting character, but everything plods so slowly. Hints are dropped about the shikigamis’ pasts, and I would much rather read about Ise and Yukari than Himari. There is some nice supernatural mythology in this volume, though. Onmoraki’s story in particular, which highlights a lantern procession of souls who took their own lives. They pass through Momochi House every year, and it’s Aoi’s job to make sure they pass through safely. All of the mythology in this series is simply explained to make it easy to understand, but it’s also very simply used to begin with. The entire series is very simple. It’s easy to read and follow along, which is great, especially for newer readers, but it’s too simplistic for me. I can’t get interested at all. Some color pages at the front of the volume are a very nice touch, and I’m glad Viz was able to get a hold of them. Especially since they never raise the price to include them. A good entry-level, supernatural shojo, but I feel more experienced readers will find less to enjoy.


Review copy provided by Viz Media.



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