Himari has found her new home, but it seems to be much stranger than she initially anticipated. For one, people are already living there, and it seems like they spend their days fighting off demons. However, she soon realizes that the men living there are hardly humans themselves!
Himari Momochi received a will on her 16th birthday giving her the rights to a large mansion. Eager to claim her birthright, she made plans to move in. However, upon arriving she discovers that there are already three handsome young men living there, and that the house seems to be haunted with spirits both good and evil. One of the men, Aoi, calls himself the protector of the property and uses a special tranformation ability to keep the house under control as evil spirits attempt to cross from their world into ours. Although he seems strange, Himari finds herself drawn to him and decides to try to get along with her circumstances.
Shoujo fans focused on romantic relationships and situations will be the group most drawn to this series.
The most interesting element of Momochi House for me was the setting. The idea of a shoujo taking place in a supernatural setting seemed appealing, and fighting demons while bonding is something that can most definitely develop into a solid romance. The Momochi property itself seems mysterious and leaves plenty to potentially explore in the future, and Aoi himself feels very similar. Much is still unexplained in this volume, and the room left for exploration could potentially benefit future volumes.
While the romance in the first volume is hardly a developed plot point, there are certain aspects of it that are intriguing. Aoi’s ties to the house have the potential to create an interesting dynamic between him and Himari, and he is a suitably tragic and heroic figure for a typical shoujo romance. Himari does not yet seem to fall under a typical -dere trope too blatantly, although she does seem to often find herself helplessly in need of saving. The volume definitely focuses on romantic situations, and if that’s what you’re looking for (which wouldn’t be surprising, you’re reading shoujo after all), then there is plenty for you to enjoy here. I wouldn’t say that Aoi and Himari are stand out couple as of right now, but the potential is there.
Most of Momochi House can be summarized very simply as being stereotypically bland. The primary issue in this regard is the execution. While I mentioned that the setting is interesting, the story has yet to really use that setting for anything more than to utilize overused (and frankly bad to begin with) shoujo tropes. The protagonist is helpless and hopelessly infatuated with the primary love interest Aoi, and Aoi himself is completely oblivious to her feelings, constantly putting them in romantic situations without realizing it. If anything, his ability to transform into a fox-like creature to defeat demons seems to primarily serve as eye candy for the targeted readers instead of developing as an interesting plot point.
The other major complaint I had with the book was the structure of the narrative itself. The first volume contains three chapters, which can all basically be summarized thusly: Himari explores the house, gets into trouble with ayakashi, and is rescued by Aoi. There’s not a lot of variation in the story, as you can see, and the entire thing honestly reads like a sort of girly dream where the beautiful fox man saves the helpless maiden over and over and over again. That’s not to say that you can’t find appeal in this if that’s what you’re looking for, but if you want a more interesting narrative, then the first volume will likely be a disappointment.
Overall, I would say that while this volume of The Demon Prince of Momochi House indicated to potential greatness, it didn’t really have much to say for itself. This could be because the author was hoping to focus on setting up a fantastic story, but it seems equally likely that the writing quality just isn’t at a very high level here. The setting, while interesting, is underutilized and many details that might have otherwise been interesting seem to be mostly used for show and are somehow turned into what I consider to be a somewhat stereotypical and dull romance. However, if you are a shoujo fan who focuses primarily on romantic moments and doesn’t mind what I previously described, then feel free to give this one a shot.
The Demon Prince of Momochi House Vol. 1 was published by Viz Media on July 7th, 2015. The series is currently ongoing in Viz Media’s Shoujo Beat imprint. The second volume will be released on October 6, 2015.
*Copy provided for Taykobon by publisher.
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