Welcome to Maison de Ayakashi.
Story/Art: Cocoa Fujiwara
Translation: Melissa Tanaka
What They Say
The elite and beautiful Ririchiyo Shirakiin has a bad habit: she can’t help but lash out at people with her vicious tongue, all while hiding behind a mask of haughty cool. This nasty reaction has a lot to do with people meddling in her business because of the Shirakiin family name, but her behavior troubles Ririchiyo to no end.
In search of independence and solitude, she moves to the Maison de Ayakashi, an apartment building full of wealthy tenants, which has its own Secret Service. Ririchiyo is eager to be alone, but upon her arrival, she is greeted by Soushi, an SS agent arranged for her by her parents. Ririchiyo tries to turn Soushi away, but Soushi’s dogged devotion to his new mistress will not be deterred. The threats against the residents of the Maison de Ayakashi are not to be taken lightly, after all. And despite his puppylike demeanor, Soushi is not to be trifled with…
The cover here displays an image of Soushi carrying Ririchiyo over a yellow background. It’s a decent enough image, and the accompanying text and logos are all done in a way that looks fairly classy. The back cover is plain black with a synopsis and logo in yellow text. Paper quality feels smooth, translation notes are included, and there are bonus comics printed on the reverse of both the front and back covers. Text reads smoothly, honorifics are maintained, and sound effects are left in their original form and subtitled. Note that this book really likes to pull out Japanese mythological creatures, so unfamiliar readers will probably want to make use of the translation notes throughout.
The art has a nice, smooth style about it, and characters are easily distinguished from one another. It’s not a stunningly beautiful book, but the art does its job well. Backgrounds appear when needed and look decent enough.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Ririchiyo is a young girl with a tendency to put up a bold front without reason, often talking tough and then feeling bad about it immediately. Having moved out from her family, this wealthy and beautiful lady finds herself moving into Maison de Ayakashi, a mysterious and elite apartment complex that provides a personal Secret Service agent to each resident. Though her old friend Renshou also lives there she acts aloof, even turning down the Secret Service. However, upon heading for her new room, she runs into Soushi, a devoted Secret Service agent who has been assigned to her despite her wishes. Not able to put up with his obedience, Ririchiyo relents and allows him to stay on.
Having moved into the building, Ririchiyo meets some of the other quirky residents, including the aloof SS member Carta Roromiya and the perverted SS agent Nobara Yukinokouji, who works for Renshou. Though she’s been trying to shove him away, Ririchiyo ends up venting her feelings to Soushi, revealing that she feels she’s never been able to have earnest relationships thanks to her family’s status. Though it seems like Ririchiyo is finally managing to settle in, things take a turn for the worse when two robbers break in and attempt to take her hostage. However, it turns out that the resident of Ayakashi Hall are genetic throwbacks to their Ayakashi ancestors, allowing them to use monstrous powers but making them targets for pure-blooded Ayakashi. The SS system was put in place to protect these fledglings from pure-blooded predators, so of course the residents have no problem turning away their human would-be assailants.
The rest of the volume is spent with Ririchiyo settling into her new home and learning to live with Soushi watching over her. This leads to some exciting shopping and partying, and we even get a look at Ririchiyo’s Ayakashi powers in the process. As the volume closes down, self-proclaimed delinquent Watanuki and his sly SS agent Natsume appear on the scene to stir up trouble.
With a decent set-up and some solid characters, this makes for a nice enough first entry into the series. Most of the development is centered around Ririchiyo here, and as a result we at least get a decent feel for her character. Her relationship with Soushi comes second, which is definitely amusing to watch, and even contains a handful of touching moments. Hopefully the series will manage to branch out a little and run with its set-up and secondary cast, but for now this stands as a promising start with a lot of room to grow.
Content Grade: B
Art Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: A-
Text/Translation Grade: A-
Age Rating: 16+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: October 29th, 2013