Be mine, body and soul.
Story/Art: Aya Shouoto
Translation/Adaptation: JN Productions
What They Say
Himari Momochi inherits Momochi House, an estate which exists on the barrier between the human and spiritual realms. Aoi has been kidnapped by Kasha. In order to save him, Himari takes Hakka and barges into Kasha’s mansion in the spiritual realm. Everyone there is making preparations for a wedding, but just who is getting married?!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Himari has chased her love Aoi into the lair of the demon Kasha. Kasha is determined to keep Aoi as his own and Himari has been pleading with Aoi to tell him what his past with the demon is.
The revelation is not a humiliating discourse or sexual escapades, nope. It is instead a glimpse at an education which would likely be too much for a mortal boy to be able to take in. A whirlwind tour through heaven and earth, the past, and perhaps the future but Aoi can’t remember the experience clearly. Aoi’s embarrassment about being tempted by evil is silly, Himari treats that nothingburger with the gravity that such a reveal deserves.
However, all of that doesn’t mean the current problem magically goes away. What follows is the seduction of Himari by the Nue, which gets a bit steamy before the ruse can be dropped. The one shikigami who was able to follow Himari to the mansion manages to trick Kasha’s mindless servants into bringing the other shikigami to the mansion. Kasha attempts to trap the handsome lads in an illusion as black fire burns away their clothes. They escape to great, shirtless fanfair after posing magnificently and overcoming the illusion with sheer force of will.
Yes, the author knows the strength of her manga is the art and not the storytelling. The whole sordid affair inside Kasha’s mansion is a fever dream of desires and Kasha can’t seem to parse the difference between love, friendship, and hunger. That’s a rather common point of contention in yokai/ayakashi/demon stories.
The story is clearly coming to a close. The last secrets of the heart are being exposed and the shikigami rushing to Aoi’s aid in this volume feel like their last stand for their master. I feel that I can already see how this series will wrap, and now it’s just a matter of finishing this Kasha problem.
There are still a few lingering translation oddities in this volume, mostly confined to the character profiles and story thus far. Aoi’s background says he was kidnapped at age seven while a few pages into the volume he says age ten. Viz continues to include the lovely opening color illustrations.
Confusion reigns in this volume of Demon Prince. Kasha’s mansion of delight is a hot mess of seduction and manipulation. Nobody is quite sure about who Kasha plans to marry to what, and in what mental or physical state that person needs to be in for doom to coalesce. Where does Aoi end and the Nue begin? One thing that remains constant is that the art is lovely, but it’s the art that is pushing the story forward because the narrative is spinning wheels.
Content Grade: B –
Art Grade: A –
Packaging Grade: B +
Text/Translation Grade: B +
Age Rating: Teen
Released By: Viz Media
Release Date: September 3, 2019
MSRP: $9.99 US / $12.99 CN / £6.99 UK