Story/Art: Aya Shouoto
Translation/Adaptation: JN Productions
What They Say
Himari Momochi inherits Momochi House, an estate that exists on the barrier between the human and spiritual realms. The waters of the seven sacred falls have become polluted, and Himari, Aoi and the shikigami cross over to the spiritual realm to find the cause. But during an attempt to purify the waters, Himari is taken away by the dragon god!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Viz continues to release this series with the opening illustrations in full color, and this volume’s illustrations are exceptionally beautiful. It lets the reader know up front exactly whom the focus of this volume will be. The previous volume of Momochi House left off with a bombshell revelation from one of the resident ayakashi, Yukari. The calm, cool, and collected shikigami sets Himari and the readers up to wonder what his past was, and we’re not left wondering for long.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with Yukari’s backstory and the reason he became an ayakashi. The problem I have is that it makes Yukari’s claim of why he was an ayakashi a total lie. The sin he claimed never occurred, which takes out some of the drama. He took human lives, but you could ever say his actions were honorable. I guess that the idea of cannibalism in a cute shoujo romance was a step the author was just not ready to make. So why did he lie to Himari? Shock value? Self-hatred?
It certainly appears to be guilt over past actions, and over current ones. For some other strange reason, Yukari also thinks that the water dragon hates him. To be fair, when the water dragon Ryujin dismissed Yukari from his services the dragon wasn’t exactly forthcoming with his reasons for doing so. It takes Himari to realize what the dragon god saw what Yukari couldn’t, that Yukari was lonely.
The Yukari story is resolved in the same way as most of the previous incidents, with Himari putting herself in harm’s way. Aoi ties her up with pipe foxes in retaliation, but she has to return to school and once there becomes the target of a jealous group of classmates. They think that she’s a love rival for Hidaka. Hidaka accidentally told others that Himari helped him out with his curse, and rumors spread that Himari has magical priestess powers.
This is all just set up to get Himari into even more trouble, and Aoi appears to get more jealous every time someone suggests Himari might be into another man. The curse Himari finds herself with drives Aoi to turn into the Nue and confront Kasha about hints that he might be responsible for the trouble that keeps following the group around. Kasha remains immediately unlikable, but exactly what he is and his history with the Nue remains a tale for another time.
When all the situations are resolved Himari decides to finally confront Aoi about her feelings for him. Aoi has been sending some serious signals for a long time that he’s into Himari, so to see Himari tell him that she loves him so early in the game you know something is bound to go wrong. Aoi’s response isn’t as shocking as the author would like you to think it is.
Himari continues to put her best self forward and unselfishly try to help her friends and classmates. Once again she’s rewarded with almost having her life snuffed out in dangerous situations, much to Aoi’s possessive panic. Yukari’s background turns out to be intriguing but told in a way as to make it feel dispassionate and distant. Aoi’s mixed signals might be the biggest hurdle for Himari, because the young man clearly is resigned to his position. How long can their relationship continue like this?
Content Grade: B
Art Grade: B +
Packaging Grade: B +
Text/Translation Grade: B +
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Viz Media
Release Date: July 5th, 2016