The Demon Prince of Momochi House is an interesting concept, but suffers from a lack of character development. That’s the short version of this review. I’ve read manga primarily geared towards women before so while this was my first Shojo Beat, it wasn’t my first dip in this pool. The overall idea behind the story is that Himari Momochi inherits a house on her sixteenth birthday. Since she’s an orphan she decides to move into the house right away, but finds people squatting inside. Well, actually she finds a naked boy her age inside and becomes confused by the entire situation. She’s told to leave the house by the squatters, but she ignores them and begins cleaning up her house. The leader of the squatters and our formerly naked dude, Aoi Nanamori, is the first to encourage Himari to leave. He’s not threating about it, but rather concerned. Eventually there’s a spiritual attack and Aoi is revealed to be the guardian of the house and of the spirit and human world. He’s the only thing stopping the spirit world for seeping into our world.
It also becomes clear that this job was meant for Himari, but due to the death of her parents it never happened. We also learn that Aoi has basically been stuck in the house ever since he discovered it and that his friends are actually spirits as well. Things get interesting when the house starts listening to Himari, the proper owner.
I dug the concept, but there’s a lot of belief that you have to suspend in order to buy into the story. That parts not impossible and hey and I’ve read enough manga and seen enough anime to just buy whatever plot element removes the parents from the scenario.
The problem I had with the story was the characters. Aoi doesn’t have enough personality and Himari’s is too inconsistent. She’s lovestruck and then ruthless all in the same scene. I especially lost interest in her character when her gimmick became that of “landlord” and she tried to collect money from the spirits. It just really made me sigh. The rest of the cast of characters where architypes which didn’t make them interesting.
The art is great though. I loved the balance between humor and seriousness, even if I wasn’t laughing at the jokes. The visuals where really impressive. I have to imagine that the art is a big selling point to this title since it’s very clean and detailed all the way through.
The Demon Prince of Momochi House isn’t a bad story, but I don’t know if there was enough to interest me into coming back for more. I think Aya Shouoto’s artwork is incredible, but this isn’t the series for me. I will keep my eye out for whatever she ends up doing when this eventually concludes. If a supernatural love story sounds interesting to you then check it out, but if you like strong characters then you may find yourself smitten with the art more than the story.
The Demon Prince of Momochi House Vol. 1 Story & Art: Aya Shouoto Publisher: Viz Media/Shojo Beat Price: $9.99 – P, $6.99 – D Release Date: 7/7/15 Format: Trade Paperback; Print/Digital