The Demon Prince of Momochi House Volume 1 introduces a 16-year-old orphan named Himari Momochi. At the beginning of the volume, she inherits her ancestral estate that she’s never seen.
Volume 1 sees Himari going to the house that she has just inherited. She’s surprised to find that it’s in bad shape and that there are three handsome squatters already living there. Himari, along with the reader, learn rather quickly that two of the squatters are an amizuchi (a water serpent) and a shoujou (an orangutan). Aoi is a human who was turned into an omamori-sama when he broke the seal to the house. Aoi can transform into a creature known as Nue and become the protector of the house, which was built in the space between the material world and the spiritual realm. I have to admit that when Aoi transforms into Nue, I can’t help but think he bears a strong resemblance to Tomoe, the fox demon from Julietta Suzuki’s Kamisama Kiss manga series.
As Himari spends more time at Momochi House, she discovers that it includes many mysteries and demons hidden within it. She also seems to start getting closer to Aoi the more time they spend together, which is quite a change from when she first arrived and Aoi kept trying to get her to leave. As Himari and Aoi have interactions, such as Aoi kissing her to rid her of a spirit, or Aoi crawling into her bed, or Aoi touching her, it seems rather clear to the reader that Shouoto is trying to build a romantic interest between these two characters. At this point, at least, it appears that Yukari and Ise, the other two squatters, are not romantically interested in Himari. This could change in future volumes, since that seems to be one of the typical tropes of a shojo manga. It would be nice if Yukari and Ise didn’t end up falling into that trope, though.
Shouto uses the bishonen (“beautiful boy”) look for Aoi, Yukari, and Ise’s designs. This is a rather standard design choice for a shojo manga, so this is something that I expected. The use of flowery and sparkly screentones also adds to the typical shojo aesthetics. At least the designs of the demons that appear in Volume 1 aren’t cutesy, and they definitely stand out when compared with the major characters in the series. But this is a good thing, since having the demons look noticeably different helps to make them feel realistic.
There are some respects, in addition to the design for Nue, where I can see surface similarities between The Demon Prince of Momochi House Volume 1 and the first volume of Kamisama Kiss. In both stories, the main female protagonist acquires somewhere new to live and discovers that her new home has some kind of supernatural or spiritual connection to it. And when the female protagonist reaches the home, she finds three individuals already living there. While the three individuals in both stories have spiritual and supernatural connections, the characters in Kamisama Kiss work for the shrine. In this series, Aoi has become a protector of the house, and the other two seem to be there to help him out when he needs it. The main difference between these two series is the fact that Tomoe was very resistant to Nanami until she forced him to become her familiar, while Aoi was more receptive to Himari when they first met. Yes, Aoi was trying to get Himari to leave, but that was due to being concerned for her rather than not liking her at the outset.
Even though I see some similarities between The Demon Prince of Momochi House and Kamisama Kiss, I believe that this series has the potential to evolve into its own unique story. Hopefully after this volume, this series will become noticeably less and less like Kamisama Kiss. I’m intrigued by what I read in The Demon Prince of Momochi House Volume 1, and I hope to read future volumes of the series.
To be honest, I think readers who already read and enjoy the Kamisama Kiss manga series will ultimately enjoy The Demon Prince of Momochi House Volume 1. I also think this series will appeal to shojo manga readers who enjoy romance stories that include supernatural elements to them.
The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media