On to volume 4! So I mentioned last post that Himari got a cute little flower ring Aoi made for her and that it would become the focal point of this volume. Well, at school, some guy notices it and demands to know where she got it from!
Turns out the guy is Hayato Hidaka and it’s said his family’s cursed. Anyone who gets close to him has something bad happen to them. Oh, and supposedly they’re descended from fox shape-shifters. Say what?! But it turns out that Hayato is descended from people who could control fox spirits, not turn into them.
Hayato’s not the only interested in that little ring. After meeting Hayato, she’s attacked on the way home by a little fox spirit boy but is saved just in time. Then it’s revealed that Aoi knows Hayato and that they were childhood friends!! Concerned because now that Himaro made a deal with it, it’ll keep coming back so Aoi has a cellphone made out of wood and give it to her! Y’know, since electrical appliances don’t work in Momochi house. I thought that was both funny and nifty.
Since the fox spirit is connected to Hayato, Himari decides to try to help solve the problem of why it seems he’s “cursed.” Everyone supposedly forgot Aoi when he became the Omamori-sama but it seems that Hayato still remembers he had a childhood friend whose name and face he can’t recall and everyone else acts as if never existed. It was sad seeing Hayato so weighed down by guilt because he thinks Aoi disappeared as part of a deal he made with the fox spirit. He still has the ring Aoi made for him!
While cleaning the shrine, a bunch of fox spirits (kudagitsune) that have multiplied in the shrine are released. Himari asks the kudagitsune to come with her to Momochi house but they tell her their brother, the little fox spirit, probably won’t go.
Those kudagitsune were pretty cute, they looked like long fluffy body pillows! And it was so great seeing Hayato stop shunning everybody as he decides to help Himari confront the fox spirit. He says, “I don’t want to lose any more friends” it was great! Even better was when he tries to understand the fox spirit and realizes he was only trying to help Hayato not hinder him.
Things turn out well in the end though. The little fox spirit, whose name we learn is Tamamo and his brothers are welcomed into Momochi house while Hayato gets his memories of Aoi back.
The two even meet after all this time. Really?! Kind of. Aoi is transformed as the Nue so Hayato doesn’t really know it’s him. I thought it was nice for Aoi to see his friend from the human world again. I think that reminder helps keep him human. He was so adamant about not seeing Hayato or have Himari trying to bring them together but when Hayato is brought before him, he can’t help but be happy to see him.
With the Hayato incident concluded and the Kudagitsune brothers all settling in at Momochi house, of course Kasha has to come in and cause a small ruckus with a box. Whoever holds the box tells the truth and some minor secret reveals later the box is empty and Kasha takes it away to be used as a pillow. A pillow, really??!
Also, we get a big reveal from Yukari about his past.
What was that about? Yukari used to be human? He ate flesh?! What??!! I had to read the 5th volume after that. So Momochi house gets livelier with new residents, old resident’s pasts are delved into, and the relationship between Himari and Aoi goes a little further. Not that way. But you get an idea that Aoi might return Himari’s feelings after she says she thinks of family to cover up the whole truth-spilling slip.
With such a cliff-hanger at the end, the 5th volume is a must read!