eBook Finish! Momochi House, vol. 11

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So last time, The Grudge was coming (you’ll find out how accurate this actually is).

This volume starts off with Himari dreaming about two people talking. She can’t really hear what they’re saying; only the words “unnecessary” and “severing” are caught. Someone says “you are unnecessary” before she jolts awake.

Himari feels a little dizzy upon waking up to which Aoi (when did he get there) asks her if she’s coming down with something and tries to feel her forehead. Of course, this prompts hilarious scolding from Himari about coming into her room and sleeping next to her (“it’s too soon for that!” she yells).

Aoi responds cutely and, I must say, very innocently: “Is it bad for two people in love to sleep next to each other?”

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Aww, how cute.

Considering the sheltered and limited upbringing he’s had, that’s not really surprising. Yukari sets him straight. Well, mostly.

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Yukari sets him straight

We move on to Ise bringing up the fact that Hakka, the Guardian of the Gate is now Aoi’s new shikigami and nobody even told him! Hakka brazenly introduces himself as Aoi’s new shikigami and his ambition to become the next Nue.

Ise and Zushi are a little upset with the addition of Hakka but Yukari doesn’t put much value on Hakka, saying he’s open to welcoming more “pawns” lol!

Himari sees their interaction and later comments to Yukari that Aoi’s shikigami are like a family to him. Yukari says that the bond between a shikigami and their master is a strong one and mentions that Aoi promised him some kind of “payment” for his contract.

Yukari jokingly says Aoi promised him his soul when Himari asks but says that it is actually something quite simple. He doesn’t go into detail about what it is but he says that there’s nothing more important to an ayakashi than a promise.

Their conversation is interrupted when the lesser yokai come bursting in saying Momochi house is stained black!

The umbrella yokai motion to some other lesser yokai that came from the back of the house that look like somebody splashed black paint on them. One of them, a little doll-looking yokai says that Aoi has to come to the back of the house right away.

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(Sorry for my lack of highlighting skills. I should probably get Photoshop or something). Hakka burst out of a cupboard (where they keep the sacred sake no less) so he can go check it out. Yukari gets ready to go inform Aoi when Ise shows up and says there’s no need, he’ll go check it out himself. He refuses Hakka’s offer to go along and follows the lesser yokai to the back of the house.

Meanwhile, the others go collect Aoi anyway and everyone heads toward the back of the house. So far, nothing out of the ordinary. Himari experiences a dizzy spell as she mentions how the lesser yokai said the house was stained black. Hakka says this is why he offered to accompany Ise since the yokai urged them to go into the deepest depths of the house.

Just as Aoi’s about to say something, a bloodied Ise falls from out of nowhere!

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Oh, crap

He’s not dead but he is severely injured and remains unconscious for the rest of this volume. The umbrella yokai, Karagasa, it looks like it’s called, and the other typical resident yokai are troubled by this and apologize to Aoi for making a fuss about the inner-resident yokai.

While they stay with Ise, Aoi tells them he will go deeper into the house. Yukari, Himari, and Hakka join him again to find out what the heck is going on.

They go back to where they found Ise. Himari doesn’t sense anything strange other than her head feeling a little heavy. Aoi tells her he doesn’t want to overdo things and that they’ll go further in without her. Just then, tons of hands break through the paper doors reaching for them!

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Jazz hands!

Aoi using his seals does the trick and everyone goes on the alert as they’ve entered the culprit’s realm now. Hakka notices the culprit has appeared. Deep within the house a dark entity appears looking creepy as crap and just like the Nue.

Aoi tries to transform into the Nue but can’t! Yukari springs forth to protect them. The Dark Nue tells him that of course he can’t transform into Nue, as there can only be one Nue of Momochi House.

He (as I learn later it is a he) tells them that after being trapped for many years, he’s come to settle his “grudge” (see? there it is. The Grudge: Momochi House! Okay, I’ll stop).

Dark Nue goes on the attack but Hakka steps in and uses his powers as Guardian of the Gate to trap him in an infinite corridor. He does this by connecting two area together like having two mirrors face each other. It’s only temporary though.

Hakka deduces that the Dark Nue is the one who came before Aoi. But he’s not acting like the Nue should be acting. Where the Nue is suppose to protect Momochi house, he’s trying to destroy it and even attacked the current Nue and shikigami.

Himari wonders what happened to make him like this as Aoi is able to transform into Nue. He can transform, but only in areas where the Dark Nue doesn’t exist. This makes it difficult for Nue to try to purge or seal him away.

Himari is feeling faint again as she detects the house becoming corrupt and turning black. Nue promises Himari he’ll protect the house, even if it means taking out the other Nue. She tells him he mustn’t fight the Dark Nue, thinking something bad will happen just as she passes out.

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Promise

She’s dreaming again. It looks like the same two people from her previous dream only this time it’s expanded. One of them says his role is coming to an end and then a figure that looks like the Nue is walking out the door. Another man, who looks like he’s wearing a mask is seen walking by the screen saying he still feels his presence in the house.

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“I want them to turn black”

Himari wakes up and has the crap scared out of her when Hakka-who’s peeping at through a hole in the paper door-asks her what she saw. He tells her that her dizzy spells are probably being caused by the “Reverse Momochi house.”

The Nue is supposed to be a being without equal and yet here we have the previous Nue resurrected. Because the house is being corrupted by the Dark Nue, and her role as landlady, Himari is feeling the negative changes and it’s making her sick.

Himari tries to ask if Hakka knew what happened to the previous Nue but because Aoi considers this “unneeded” Hakka can’t say anything. Before he can too much more Aoi appears and sends him up into the ceiling.

Aoi reassures her that he’s investigating with Yukari and he’ll take car of the Dark Nue. Himari protests, saying her dreams are trying to tell her something and she mustn’t allow the two Nues to fight. She reels and passes out again.

Later on, Himari wakes up to find Aoi right beside her. He knows her dreams have been making her uneasy which is why he’s staying by her side. Happy but bashful, she starts to tell him about boundaries before he tells her he understands that if he doesn’t do anything, he can stay by her side.

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By your side

She’s still feeling overwhelmed, having the person she likes so close. Himari gets up and opens the sliding doors under the pretense of cooling off after being in the stuffy room. When she opens the doors tons of lanterns are lighting up the porch outside. They both sit down to enjoy them.

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Lighting up the room

Aoi puts his coat around her and she says he’s very kind. Aoi asks does she think so and says he’s not kind at all.

Earlier, he was scouring every text in the house trying to find clues to the Dark Nue while Yukari tries to get his attention. Yukari tells him to calm down but he’s worried about Himari’s condition and how the black tainting Momochi house reminds him of her parent’s diary. Aoi’s afraid Himari might suffer the same fate.

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Fear

Yukari is also against Aoi fighting the other Nue but the alternative is Aoi could lose Himari. Aoi’s feeling guilty. The Dark Nue called him an impostor and he thinks maybe he’s being punished for being “selfish” and telling Himari he loved her. He goes back to the texts while Yukari tells him he’s losing sight of himself.

Aoi turns back to him with a smile and says that he already noticed that Aoi’s now pretty much halfway ayakashi.

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You mustn’t look at him

Back to the present, Himari has fallen asleep while Aoi thinks that he’s not kind at all and that he couldn’t hold back from voicing his true feelings. As he’s standing in the doorway, he transforms in Nue and says goodbye as the doors close.

Himari jolts awake wondering if the figure she saw was Aoi or her dream. Suddenly, the little round yokai appears telling her she must go and that Aoi has gone to the back of the house by himself. It tells Himari Aoi mustn’t do that and they should go after him. Hesitant, Himari takes the little yokai along.

Himari and Yukari race towards the back of the house with the little yokai to guide them. They’re a little wary of whether they can trust the little yokai but the important thing is to stop Aoi.

The run into Hakka down the hall who says he had some business to attend to. Since Aoi went into the reverse realm, his command seals on his shikigami have weakened. Hakka tells Himari that when a Nue exhausts his powers, Momochi house devours him. The Dark Nue and the Nue before him both disappeared in the house.

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The fate of Nue

Yukari thinks back to earlier when Aoi told him he was already half ayakashi. Even though Himari returned him to human form there are no boundaries between him and Nue. He realizes he will become a full ayakashi and be swallowed by the house. Aoi says he doesn’t think he will be able to stay with Himari.

Aoi has finally encountered the Dark Nue. They face off and Aoi manages to hold his own for a bit. Until he doesn’t. Dark Nue manages to get in close and stabs Aoi!

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Oh, snap!!!

Dark Nue laughs as Hakka’s shikigami seal disappears from around his neck. Himari is utterly shocked as a new laugh rings out. A person wearing a mask comes out saying the impostor is dead and now there is only one Nue in this world.

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The mask behind it all

Himari tries to go to Aoi but Yukari holds her back. She pleads with him to let her go save Aoi but Yukari tells her that’s just an empty shell. He pulls her close and tells her if anything happened to her he couldn’t face Aoi.

Hakka asks who the newcomer is. The guy has half of a long mask and tells Hakka he’s Nue’s first shikigami. Hakka’s pretty skeptical about the Dark Nue being the Omamori-sama but the mask guy interrupts him, saying who cares about the Omamori-sama or Momochi house and that it should be demolished.

The Dark Nue goes on the attack, destroying the house and attacking Himari and the shikigami. Yukari holds them off while Hakka escapes with Himari.

As the two go down a hall with many rooms, Himari sees different visions in each one. The two from her dream, one of which is the mask guy. One room shows him being made a shikigami, another shows the other man telling him he grateful to have mask guy serve him. The two enjoying sake and flower-viewing and finally the young man, the previous Omamori-sama, telling mask guy his role is at an end and he is severing their shikigami contract.

As Himari asks what happened to the previous Nue, mask guy watches them run away, saying he waited a long time for the Nue to return and that his master won’t be devoured by Momochi house. So obviously he didn’t take it well when his master told him he was severing their contract.

The reverse side is spreading, staining the house black (Rolling Stones, anyone? I like that song).

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Hakka tells Himari that since Aoi is dead and the only way to fight back is for Himari to appoint him as the new Nue. As the landlady this is something she could do and it’s the only way to save the house and avenge Aoi.

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Landlady of Momochi house

Hakka leans in close to exchange vows with Himari when the little yokai breaks them up, telling Hakka to look out. Dark arms come flying out, surrounding them and attacking Hakka. Before they can get to Himari, Aoi comes and saves her!!

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Aoi comes back!!

Himari is absolutely relieved while Hakka’s unhappy at being interrupted. His shikigami seal reappears as the two seem to be in on something. Himari is confused while Yukari appears, having guessed the Aoi they saw was a substitution charm. Through their shikigami bond, Yukari sensed Aoi had something planned.

Aoi apologizes to Himari and Yukari for keeping them out of the loop as he had to draw out mask guy from wherever he was hiding. Mask guy is not happy to see Aoi alive but he’s confident his master will kill him for real this time.

Aoi has Hakka connect the dark Momochi house and true house so Aoi can transform into Nue. Using Hakka’s power as Guardian of the Gate, Nue can finally attack.

Mask guy blocks an attack on the Dark Nue, saying he won’t let them put a scratch on his master. Mask guy is immortal and his injuries quickly heal. Nue figures out that he’s immortal because his mask is his real body. He tells him he’s aiming for that next.

Mask guy doesn’t care. Even if his body crumbles his goal of reviving his Nue and having revenge on Momochi house will be achieved. Nue tells him enough, and that the Dark Nue is just a puppet with no soul. He’s a product of mask guy’s remorse and hatred.

Nue says that since Dark Nue is a vessel that recognizes him as Nue and responds accordingly, but he’s just a body with no soul. Mask guy denies everything and has Dark Nue attack. It doesn’t effect Nue and he has Hakka make a connection to the back side of the reverse house.

He connects it and there are two doors where the Dark Nue came from. Hakka asks mask guy what he did to the previous Nue to which mask guy responds that Momochi house did this to him.

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“What did you do?”

The little yokai pops out and tells Himari to open the doors. She races towards the doors, the attacks not being able to hit her and pulls them open.

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Inside is a lot of blood stains, seals, a big knife, and an incense jar. Reverse soul incense to be exact. It can revive the souls of the dead according to legend. But apparently it wasn’t powerful enough to bring back his master so mask guy used a forbidden technique and offer parts of his body as sacrifices.

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Behind the door

He recalls that his master disappeared suddenly right after telling him he was severing their contract and walks out the sliding doors. When he goes after him, his master is nowhere to be seen.

He wanders the house and eventually learns of the Nue’s fate when he exhausts his powers. Mask guy is devastated at this but refuses to accept it as he can still sense his master’s presence in the house. So he wanders the house again in search until he can’t remember what it was he was searching for.

And then one day, it’s there: the reverse soul incense. Mask guy makes offerings until his grudge take the form of the Dark Nue.

Mask guy knows that puppet isn’t really his master but he can’t admit it. He starts talking about how weak his master was without him there to protect him and other little things even as he questions if his master really looked like that or sounded like that. He tells the others that his master was only the Nue for a year before the house devoured him.

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Grief

Himari can feel the sadness corrupting the house and wants to protect her home. Behind her, a young man walks by one of the sliding doors and tells her to destroy the incense jar.

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A helpful figure

The Dark Nue is tainting the house while mask guy realizes he can’t remember what his master looked or sounded like. He realizes the puppet is just a corruption of his thoughts and tries to kill him but the Dark Nue fights back. Before the Dark Nue can inflict any more damage, Himari tells the mask guy to wake up as she smashes the incense jar.

The Dark Nue is rendered useless while Himari encourages mask guy to remember his master’s voice as she’s heard it before, in her dreams. Mask guy is angry, thinking she’s pitying him, but Himari realizes his master has been by his side the whole time and tells him to come out.

The little yokai comes forward, apologizing to her and stands before mask guy, whose name is Kagura, and tells him that puppet is not him.

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Reunion

The little yokai is the previous Nue, the real one. He apologizes to Kagura but also admonishes him too. Seeing no other choice, the previous Nue’s spirit exits that of the little yokai doll and enters the puppet vessel, telling him it’s not very well made.

The Dark Nue puppet comes to life and he touches Kagura’s face asking him why he couldn’t let him rest in peace. Kagura looks stunned and asks if he’s really his master, Amane, to which Amane just smiles and says who knows, maybe he’s just Kagura’s lingering attachment. Himari watches them and wonders what happened between the two.

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Amane and Kagura

Holy cow. That was a long one. This volume was cute and sweet but creepy and also sad. That Dark Nue was creepy-looking!! But seeing bits of Amane and Kagura’s past was also a little sad and tragic. Kagura seems like the serious servant who has to worry about stuff because his boss doesn’t worry about anything. But now that there’s two Nues, what going to happen?? Where did the reverse soul incense come from? Does it matter? I’m guessing Kasha; he’s always pulling shady stuff.

There’s a little short at the end about Valentine’s Day, it’s pretty funny.

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The next volume of Momochi House is out today, so I’m posting this and then I’m reading the next volume! Until next time!!

 

 

 

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eBook Finish! Momochi House, volume 10!

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This one was kinda quick, more like a filler volume with an introduction to a new plot coming up.

This volume starts with Himari waking up thinking last night’s confession and kiss with Aoi was a dream. Aoi comes into her room like nothing happened, but then gets a little embarrassed for barging in. It wasn’t a dream!

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Bride training

Himari feels a little shy but tells herself to just act normal. Kinda hard to do when Yukari tells her he’s going to train her hard since she’s bride of Momochi house.

Everyone’s in a uproar over the two’s relationship confirming a fear of Himari’s that living together would be awkward if their feelings turned mutual. She decides to worry about that later and prepares to explore Momochi house!

Seeing all her equiment (she looks like she going on a rescue mission), Aoi decides to accompany her in the house. They find different rooms, creatures, even a way to make shaved ice! It’s a cute little outing.

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As they relax with their treat, Aoi tells her he could take her to a sunflower field in the spirit realm since it’s her summer break.

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House date

It sounds nice but Himari says she wants to explore the house and uncover a way for Aoi to go outside. Without Aoi distracting her, Himari tries to think of where she could start searching that Aoi may have missed. She finds a wardrobe with many kimonos where she finds an ayakashi.

The female ayakashi tells Himari she can’t display all her clothing because the Nue has been sealing rooms and hasn’t been keeping up increasing the number of rooms in the house.

She tells Himari Momochi house is always expanding and that the house is alive. Himari asks if there was a Nue before Aoi which the ayakashi says there wasn’t one for a while before Aoi. Because of that, the bad things stored in the house and the house trying to prevent them from leaving leaves its purifying powers weak. Before all that evil and negativity are released into the human realm, the house “lure in the next Omamori-sama.”

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Momochi House

To do that, it will manipulate the bonds between people, paths, and even send out letters. Himari’s pretty sure the will she got was left to her by her parents but I wonder….

The ayakashi abruptly changes the subject back to her kimono collection. She offers Himari a gift and tell her to choose between a large chest and a small one. Thinking a test of greed, Himari chooses the small one.

The ayakashi then tries to suck Himari into the large box anyway, but she rescued by someone. The ayakashi, or “hand of kimono” steals clothes by taking the girl who’s wearing them. The mysterious someone then traps hand of kimono into her own box!

Turns out the mystery guy is the guardian of the gate who tells Himari he came because the light from the winter cherry lantern is upsetting his stomach. Since he tried to devour Himari’s name, she’s not exactly sympathetic.

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She asks if he should be leaving his gate and he just pulls it out of his shirt like it no big deal. He explains how he can “create the concept of a gate” and really, the gate he pulled out is just for show.

He also says Momochi house works on the same concept, a “gate” between the human and spirit realms. The guardian reveals that knew several previous Nue who protected the house.

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Nue

Wanting to know of any clues, Himari asks the guardian if he knows what happened to the previous Nue. The guardian proposes a deal: if Himari grants his “wish” he’ll answer her question. Thinking it’s his upset stomach, Himari offers him a digestive (lol!).

The guardian wants the rest of her name. He wants the karma attached to the Momochi name. Confused, Himari tells him she doesn’t get what he’s saying. Turns out the guardian’s “proposal” is an actual proposal; he wants to marry her to get the Momochi name.

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The Proposal: Ayakashi Style

There’s no way Himari will marry him just for that and as she tells him so, Aoi shows up!

He asks the guardian his intentions to which he replies that he’s there to take Himari. Aoi’s pretty shocked that the guardian wants to marry Himari but she’s adamant no such thing will happen.

Before she can tell the guardian to get out, he interrupts by saying if marries Himari and takes her last name he’ll also take Aoi’s place as the Omamori-sama.

Aoi’s dubious but the guardian explains that house was originally protected by the Momochis and once Aoi, someone who doesn’t bear the name, was chosen the principle began to collapse. He tries to persuade Aoi but Aoi refuses to give up his position as Nue or let him have Himari.

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Won’t back down

Not too surprised, the guardian suddenly traps Himari in a sphere ayakashi called iro oni dama” or “color demon sphere” and challenges Aoi to a game of color tag (iro oni also means “color tag” according to the translation notes).

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Saw: Color tag or Die!

Since the ayakashi is keeping Himari because it likes her color, the two of them have to find a color the ayakashi wants even more before it completely absorbs Himari.

The begins as the two set off to find the right color. Touching the wrong color releases evil entities and Aoi gets unlucky on his first try. The guardian closed the door so the shikigami can’t come help and Aoi can’t transform into the Nue. The guardian easily dispatches some entities while taunting Aoi. But Aoi manages to hold his own without turning in the Nue as the game continues.

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Taunting

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Holding his own

Eventually, the guardian gets tired of the tedium and summons all the kimonos from the wardrobe to the “iro oni dama.” Thankfully, it doesn’t work and Aoi still has a chance. He starts to attack the guardian of the gate and manages to snag him.

He figures out the guardian is a shuten douji, a handsome boy who was turned into a demon for breaking countless women’s hearts. He was cleansed of evil later on and became an ayakashi.

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Exorcism of Mr. Steal-Your-Girl

Aoi shoves him at the ayakashi and it accepts, liking “iro otoko” or “amorous men” instead (translation note states that the “iro” for color is changed to “iro” or “amorous”). The gurdian is effectively trapped and Himari released.

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Game Over

Aoi won the game but the guardian breaks out along with the other ayakashi that were absorbed by the sphere. Himari demands he let them go since Aoi won but also wants to know about the former Nue real quick. Aoi gently nudges her aside and he and the guardian battle it out.

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Battle of Boys

They seem to be enjoying themselves until the guardian appears by Himari and gives her a kiss on the cheek. Aoi is not amused. He transforms into the Nue and gets rid of the ayakashi with one move.

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Aoi not amused

Despite the trouble he’s caused, Himari begs Nue not to seal the guardian since he did save her from hand of kimono and has answers to her questions. The Nue says her defense of the guardian only makes him want to “eliminate him” but the guardian is not so easily caught.

Nue realizes the guardian’s just baiting him. He manages to catch the guardian and reluctantly makes him his shikigami. Since he lost the game of color tag the guardian cannot turn down the contract and accepts.

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Fifty Shades of Nue

The Nue jams his fingers in the guardian’s mouth and threatens to rip out his tongue and work him to death (pretty brutal). So the Nue binds Hakka, the shuten douji to him as a shikigami, complete with a complimentary tattoo.

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Contract

Hakka says he won’t give up and now that he’s a shikigami, he can target the Nue up close. Himari tries to use this opportunity to get answers about the previous Nue when Aoi uses his command over him to push him back. He also commands Hakka not to say unneeded things and sends him up into the ceiling.

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Stress relief

Himari notices Aoi wearing the Nue’s clothes and asks him why, since he’s usually naked after transforming back. Aoi uses his power to changes back to his usual clothes. Himari thinks about how less distinct Aoi and the Nue are becoming. She’s a little bummed that a chance was missed her Aoi to be free even though she absolutely did NOT want to marry the guardian.

Jealous, Aoi asks if they got married she wouldn’t at other men in that way and kisses her where Hakka did. Hakka’s still there, flustering Himari and causing Aoi to send him a level up from the ceiling (is he putting him on the roof? How many upper levels are there??).

Aoi says that he is the Omamori-sama of Momochi house and he won’t let anyone take his place. Even if Himari falls in love with someone else.

Next page shows a creepy part of the house and Hakka somewhere in the ceiling wondering how long the current Nue will hold up.

Something starts saying “unnecessary” over and over again. As a bound door opens up and a creature with long black hair comes out, Hakka simply says “look what happened. It seems it’s coming.” The creature, with cat-like ears, breaks the binding rope and says that “a Nue impostor is unnecessary.”

Oooh, creepy!! I love how this manga can be funny, cute, and creepy. I love the mix! There’s a bonus story about Ise, which leads up to how he became a shikigami.

Looks like I can pre-order volume 11. The summary on VIZ website says:

Himari hasn’t been feeling well since she started having dark, vivid dreams. Then, from the depths of the house, another nue appears who claims Aoi is an impostor.

OMG! I need it! I need it!! Ugh, March 6, less than a month away. 😦 Oh well. I think the impostor thing is that Aoi’s not a Momochi but I mean, come on, the house was desperate and Aoi’s pretty powerful. Who’s this other Nue I wonder and why were they sealed away? Guess I’ll find out soon enough! 

 

 

 

eBook Finish! Momochi House, vol. 9

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It starts with a wish.

At the start of the chapter Himari thinks about what it would be like if Aoi wasn’t the Nue and bound to the house. They would go to school together and happily enjoy life outside of Momochi house.

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In another world…

Even as she wishes this there is a little niggling whisper that asks if it can really happen.

Back to the present Mr. Nanamori tells Himari that Aoi is dead. He’s talking but the reader doesn’t get to see his words. She wonders if wishful thinking can really overcome the obstacle she’s facing concerning Aoi and his fading humanity.

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Himari is suddenly separated from Mr. Nanamori and drawn to a place within the spiritual where she’s reunited with Ise. Akane appears in demon mode and tries to attack Himari but Ise fends her off. Ise can take care of her easily but Himari stops him.

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Don’t hurt Rosemary’s baby!

Demon-Akane is agitated, saying “disappear” over and over. She says she sent her the note so Himari wouldn’t tell and that Aoi was supposed to be a secret. Demon-Akane tells Himari to stop saying “Aoi” but before she attacks a voice yells out, “don’t eat her!”

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Letter from a Thief: “we never need to tell”

It’s Akane in human form! The Demon Akane drifts over to where the human Akane is and they are side by side. They’re twins!

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Rosemary’s Baby: Shadow Twins

The scene flashes back to Mr. Nanamori telling Himari how Akane was supposed to have a twin but it disappeared during the pregnancy. They were going to name the other twin “Aoi” (Akane means red and Aoi means blue if those were the characters the parents were going to use).

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Vanishing twin

The ayakashi “Aoi” tells Akane she has to devour Himari even though Akane is assured by Himari’s words that everything will be fine. “Aoi” is unconvinced and reveals that Ise was the beautiful young man that came to the Nanamori house to exterminate the ayakashi living there.

Ise confirms this but says he was ordered by Aoi not to touch his “sister.” Turns out “Aoi” was a weak ayakashi drawn to Aoi but unable to do anything to him because of his strong powers. She hid in Aoi’s stepmom’s womb out of fear, attached herself to his baby sister and now they’re fused together, essentially Akane’s shadow.

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Mysterious stranger revealed

Now that he knows the truth, Ise is says he has to get rid of “Aoi” or else she might try to devour someone else. Himari is not too keen on the idea and tries to suggest taking “Aoi” to Momochi house like they did with the fox spirits but is shot down since “Aoi” is too weak and will disappear if separated.

Before Ise can do anything, Akane steps in front of “Aoi” saying she won’t let him hurt “Aoi.” Akane remembers how she first met “Aoi” and how even though her parents would get sad about the missing “someone” it turns out they’d been together the whole time.

She calls “Aoi” her sister and that she cares about her. If she’s bad then Akane will stop her every time so don’t take her away!

When Himari asks Akane if she’s afraid of ayakashi, Akane replies why would she be afraid because “Aoi” is her family.

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“Aoi” is moved by Akane’s love for her and even though she knows that Aoi should be the one who’s a part of the family, she’s sorry and wants to be with Akane.

Himari tells them that she and Ise will stop “Aoi” if she gets out of hand again and how she wants to believe humans and ayakashi can live together. Her wish is that they can become a family and is sure Aoi feels the same way.

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Back at Momochi house, the Nue and Kasha watch it all, with Kasha bored at the conclusion. Kasha says he wants to see the Nue lose control and before he can stop him, Kasha transports himself to the realm Himari and the others are at.

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Here’s Kasha!

The Nue rushes to other realm where Kasha starts taunting Himari about how useless she is as Aoi still hasn’t transformed back.

Himari remains undaunted and refuses to be bothered by Kasha’s words. He tells her that evil spirits love corruption, ogres suffering, and what demons love is chaos. The Nue is about to threaten Kasha not to lay a hand on Himari when Kasha interrupts him, saying he remembers the terms of their bet and goes after Akane!

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Taken 4: Ayakashi-napped!

“Aoi” puts herself in front of Akane and Kasha kills her. Before disappearing, she tells Akane she’ll always be with her.

Stupid Kasha, ruining everything!! He’s interesting but I still don’t like that guy! It’s so sad, but kinda sweet; before “Aoi” disappears she thinks about how ayakashi exist simply to do as they please- like how she scared Aoi away, how she appeared before Akane and spent time with her, starts developing a feeling she can’t name. Because she’s an ayakashi and because she wants to be with Akane, she’ll do as she pleases and stay with her sister.

Nue is pissed. He starts attacking Kasha much to the creeper’s enjoyment. Kasha taunts the Nue for his weak human bonds and accuses him of pretending to be human. Himari refutes this, saying no matter what Aoi is human and the inhabitants of Momochi house will be his ties.

 

Done playing, Nue uses his powers to bury Kasha under rubble but the demon picks himself and then disappears, satisfied he managed to rile the Nue up.

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Angry doesn’t cover it

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“Chill, bro”

Akane comes up to the Nue and asks who he is and where’s “Aoi?” What happens next is like when you give your scared little sister a spray bottle and tell them it’s monster repellent when really it’s just water.

Nue conjures a ball of light that Akane assumes is “Aoi” and tells her he’s taking it back to the ayakashi world with him. Akane is sad she won’t see her sister anymore but Nue reassures her that even though they’re apart their hearts are connected.

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Brief meeting

Suddenly, Mr. Nanamori comes crashing into the spirit realm. He’s relieved Akane is okay and recognizes Ise. While he’s grateful their lives were saved he begins to plead with Ise not to take Akane away like her sister. Ise tells him he doesn’t need anything from him.

Himari tries to get Nue to go to his dad but Nue refuses.

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Akane tells her dad that she knew about her twin sister and Mr. Nanamori tells her they planned to name her Aoi. He wonders why the name lingers in his head when he sees the sunset, a vague reminder his son isn’t completely forgotten.

Ise recalls a young Aoi asking him to run an errand to his house and make sure his family isn’t worried about him. Ise pretty much guessed what the house’s powers did and when he saw Aoi’s parents forgot about their son he told them that he took something from them, that something being their son.

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Something important

It looks like Aoi has found his way back after forgetting what it is to be human. Himari looks over and sees him transforming back to human. She immediately tries to get to see his dad one more time, even if it’s just a glimpse.

Aoi simply shakes his head and hold Himari close, telling her it’s alright. He doesn’t have to see his dad to accept his past. Though Himari doesn’t seem happy, she accepts his decision as Akane tells her dad even though “Aoi” is gone they’ll always be together because they’re family.

Now that Aoi has found his way home (in a sense) things are returning to normal. Himari is walking home from school with her friends, telling them that things are resolved when they ask about her search for her “friend’s” house. They tell her about a festival tonight and invite her along. She tells them before she goes, she has some things to do first.

Those “things” being preparing a surprise party for Aoi.

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Party time!

Even though he didn’t really go anywhere, he was stuck in that dark room as the Nue so Himari thought it’d be nice to let him have some fun. While Aoi’s taking a “nap” (courtesy of a blow to the head), Himari and the others get to work on setting everything up.

Setting up some sunflowers for decoration, Himari says she’s always wanted to be cheery like one and wonders if her name comes from the Japanese word for sunflowers, himawari (向日葵). While in the store-room with Yukari, she remembers the guardian of the gate told her the “Hi” in her name meant light (光)

Yukari is looking for something to surprise Aoi with, finding some interesting things. He mentions Aoi told him how Himari chose Aoi’s drawer in the Drawers of Thought knowing she could never open hers and find out about her parents. Himari expresses no regret and Yukari starts to tell her about how Aoi found a diary written by her mother.

A few years after Aoi became trapped in Momochi house, he’s spending every waking moment trying to banish all the evil spirits running rampant in the house. He’s getting really burned out, to the point where tells Yukari he wishes he were an ayakashi. It’s life he doesn’t want to live anymore.

One day, Aoi comes across a diary that looked severely damaged. It belonged to Himari’s mother. She didn’t have enough power to become the Omamori-sama but lived in the house. She married a man, had a daughter, and lived a quiet happy life.

Halfway through the diary, black stains spread larger and larger over the pages. Aoi makes out that Himari’s mother was afraid of something just before he gets to pages that had rotted away. Yukari rescues him just as something bad bursts out of the pages. Then the spirits of Himari’s parents come out.

What little power they had left, they used it to put a message in the diary. Yukari explains that Momochi descendants who aren’t powerful enough to become the Nue’s vessel eventually fall prey to the impurities of the house. This is what happened to Himari’s parents.

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Himari’s mother says that the Momochi name was too much of burden but despite her short life, she was happy. She asks that whoever is getting this message, whether her daughter or someone else, they hope their daughter will come and bring stability to the house and that they love her.

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“Please tell her we love her”

The spark that had left Aoi’s eyes comes back as he resolves to live on so when the couple’s child comes back, she can live safely.

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Finding purpose

It explains why, when Himari fell ill in volume 1 after an ayakashi attacked her, a distraught Aoi said there was no reason to keep living if anything happened to her.

Himari is happy and comforted by Yukari and Aoi’s words. She’s happy that her mother’s last words, the feelings in them, became a source of hope for Aoi and connected to Himari. She starts crying a little, thinking how Aoi should have told her sooner, and thinks about how much she loves him. Yukari hugs her and thanks her for bringing Aoi back.

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Himari finally goes to wake up Aoi and everyone surprises him with the party. There’s dancing, an attempt to sing the Momochi rejection song (see volume 6), an oshiruko (red-bean soup with bits of rice cake in it) fountain, and then we get to Himari’s surprise.

She found fireworks in the store-room! But when she tries to light them, nothing. Since they’re ayakashi fireworks, Aoi turns into the Nue and uses fox fire to light them. And away they go!

Dragons of light appear when the fireworks go off and Aoi says they were yokai fireworks rather than regular fireworks. He’s in the process of thanking Himari for the party when she interrupts him. She’s amazed the Momochi residents are riding the light dragons but Aoi isn’t so surprised since they’re ayakashi fireworks.

Himari grabs his hand and leads him to the biggest firework. It’s already been lit and before it goes off, Himari grabs Aoi and they hop on.

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Ayakashi fireworks

On the light dragon, the two head out where Himari shows him the lights of the town Aoi is protecting and thanks him. Down below, Hayato hears the fireworks, but an old man tells him it’s probably thunder. He also tells him that long ago, the sound was attributed to ayakashi playing with fireworks.

Yukari and Ise watch Himari and Aoi above and relax, since it seems Aoi is still withing Momochi house’s boundaries. Yukari says that one day Himari may be the one to lead Aoi back to the human realm. He notes that the kanji for himawari can be read as aoi (this one: 葵) or “mallow that faces the sun” (向= toward, 日= sun, and 葵= mallow).

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Aoi and Himari

Aoi suddenly tells Himari the meaning of her name. “A light of great distance” (I don’t the kanji for that, sorry). Her parents wrote that they hope her light can extend great distances. Aoi finally told her about her parents and Himari thinks that her parents feelings became a bond that reached her.

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“A light of great distance”

Aoi tells her he’s been protecting the light Himari’s name is based on and that she in turn has been protecting him. He kisses her forehead and thanks her. Himari protests that she hasn’t done anything and I would disagree. She kept him human. To be specific, she kept Aoi from sinking into darkness, from not caring about anything, from becoming an ayakashi that can’t tell the difference between what’s right and what’s wrong.

Be moment of truth here. Aoi finally admits that he loves Himari!! With a kiss and everything!!

Boom:

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*insert fangirl squeal*

I feel like this was a real long one. I’m glad everything worked out okay and Aoi finally admits he loves Himari!! Yaay, no holding back! So, what’s gonna happen with these two love-birds? Find out in volume 10!

 

 

 

eBook Finish! The Demon Prince of Momochi House, vol. 8!

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Last volume: evil teacher Nachi was the one who basically sent Aoi to Momochi House, wanting to capture and control the power of the Omamori-sama. He was also the one behind the paper seals, one of which harmed the dragon god Ryujin. Thanks to the residents of Momochi house, Nachi is defeated but it seems Aoi can’t transform back from the Nue!

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We start off with Himari having breakfast but she doesn’t seem to have much appetite. It’s been three days since the the shikigami ushered the Nue away and kept him isolated in a part of Momochi house. Himari asks Yukari if she can go see the Nue which is okay for little while.

The Nue is kept in a part of the house Himari’s never seen before with these special ropes to seal him in the room. For his peace of mind, the Nue says. When Himari visits him, the Nue explains that when Nachi was defeated, Aoi’s memories should have returned right away. Only they didn’t so Aoi’s memories of his past still haven’t returned and that human part of him that he lost is being filled by an ayakashi.

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The void in Aoi

Himari resolves to find out about Aoi’s past and get the Nue to turn back. After she leaves the room, Kasha appears through the rear screen to give his two cents. He remarks how Himari never even asked the Nue if he wanted to turn back. Kasha’s scheming again and the Nue pretty much tells him it’s none of his business and not to touch Himari.

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Kasha sneaking in

At school, Rui comes up to Himari and tells her she found the Nanamori house in a town on the other side of the mountain. Handing out candy for the children’s association, Rui ran out before she could give some to the Nanamori house. She gives a couple of bags to Himari to take and tells her that Nanamori family had lost a child.

Himari goes to visit the family with Ise, who came along per the Nue’s orders. As they’re walking, Himari suddenly gets splashed with water!

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Pokemon GO!

Turns out it was Mrs. Nanamori who accidentally got Himari. While drying her clothes inside, Himari talks to her a bit and offers a bag a of candy for her child. Mrs. Nanamori assures that it’s just one bag that’ll do. Himari notices a there’s no resemblance between her and Aoi.

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Aoi’s family, pt 1

Her uniform dry Himari takes her leave. As she’s leaving, a little girl comes home. Her name is Akane. Her mother admonishes her for walking home alone but Akane assure her that her dad had picked her up.

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Aoi’s family, pt 2

Mr. Nanamori walks through the gate and thanks Himari for stopping by. Himari notices that Aoi looks like his dad.

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Aoi’s family pt 3

Akane unwraps her gum and wins a prize. She decides to catch Himari before she gets too far and thank her.

Up ahead Ise and Himari are discussing whether or not that was Aoi’s family and Ise tells her that Akane is an ayakashi, which Akane overhears. Alone in some bushes, Akane is muttering to herself about how they know about Aoi. With a frightening look on her face, she decides that she’ll just devour them.

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Rosemary’s Baby

Kasha and the Nue are watching Himari with Kasha assuring the Nue that he won’t lay a hand on her as she’s insignificant. He asks if they should make a wager.

Of course, the Nue is not about to something as foolish as that. Kasha tells the Nue to play a game with him, saying neither of them will interfere with Himari’s search. Kasha says that if Himari doesn’t find Aoi’s past he’ll just take it for himself, whatever that means.

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Kasha’s games

Meanwhile Himari is trying to get Ise to tell her what he meant about Akane being an ayakashi. Ise’s not budging though, and Yukari comes in and tells Himari that as Aoi’s shikigami they can’t tell her anything that Aoi won’t.

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Questions

Later that night, Himari’s lying in bed thinking about how she’s hit a dead end. She knows that Aoi is on the verge of forgetting his human self and becoming a full ayakashi. She wonders what she would do in his situation.

Suddenly she hears a clattering sound coming from her drawers. It’s the winter cherry lantern Nekobaba gave her last volume. It’s lighting up and is showing Himari a path.

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Light the path

Kasha and Nue watch as Himari enters the spiritual realm. While Kasha tries to interfere, the Nue keeps distractions off her path. Then Himari is led to a gate and meets its guardian.

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Watching the board

At first, the guardian of the gate wants to devour her but as it turns out he ran out of sake. Since Himari doesn’t have a pass to go through the gate, the guardian will have to accept her soul in exchange.

 

 

The guardian says anyone’s soul will do if she doesn’t want to give hers up or he’ll take the next best thing: her name. He can’t take the Momochi name from her so he looks at her first name, Himari.

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What’s in a name?

I’m assuming Himari doesn’t know the kanji (Japanese characters) that spell out her name so she spells it with hiragana like this: ひまり

The guardian can see the kanji for her name and decide to take a kanji from it. Suddenly, the cherry lantern breaks and the guardian takes its light instead as payment. The Hi in her name means “light.”

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Cherry light

The gate is opened and Himari is led to the place she wishes which turns out to be the drawer of thought. The guardian of the gate wishes her farewell and hopes he has some sake the next time they meet which Himari doubts they’ll see each other again.

 

 

The record keeper asks for her name and Himari tells it to her and that she’s looking for Aoi’s past. Himari is led to Aoi’s drawer but before she can do anything she’s warned that only one soul can open one drawer. She’s shown her own drawer which contains all her memories, karma, and who her parents were.

Himari thinks back to what the guardian said about her name, how she doesn’t know what the ma and ri mean. Why her parents chose the name they did and what kind of people they were.

Even so, Himari decides to open Aoi’s drawer anyway. She opens the drawer and a young Aoi comes out and proceeds to tell her about his past.

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Back to the past

Aoi lived in an ordinary house with a dad who was often away at work and sickly mom and seven “siblings.” He can also see ayakashi but is told by his big sis to pretend they don’t exist so he can survive on his own. His mom dies and the siblings disappear and is shocked when his dad tells him he’s an only child.

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The Seven Siblings

Looks like Aoi inherited his ability to see ayakashi from his mother as she could see the children too. Those children were called zashiki warashi, child spirits that bring good fortune to the home they inhabit.

Aoi’s dad marries his secretary who’s a kind woman but it seems like the ayakashi want to ruin the relationship. He stills sees ayakashi which causes his stepmom to wonder if he’s making up stories because he hates her and wants to drive her away.

Realizing the ayakashi show up because of him, he tries to distance himself from everyone. His stepmom becomes pregnant with Akane and the difficulty of the pregnancy makes her anxious. The ayakashi start to influence her and she takes it out on Aoi which explains the bruises Nachi notices in his flashback.

Aoi thinks about Nachi telling him to go to Momochi house but he remembers his stepmom yelling at him about how worried she was when he didn’t come home on time.

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Second thoughts

He rushes back home to apologize to his stepmom (he just calls her “mom” actually) and tell her he’s looking forward to having a new sister. Aoi finds her sleeping at the table and just as he’s about to tell her a voice coming from her stomach tells him he should just disappear.

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Rosemary’s Baby: In the Womb

That part made me mad right there. Stupid ayakashi possessing an unborn baby and then telling Aoi he should disappear? Grrrr. Well, we find out why in the next volume.

Blaming himself for his unborn sister becoming an ayakashi, Aoi runs into the forest to Momochi house which concludes the flashback.

Aoi’s negative karma tries to trap Himari in the drawer, but the record keeper comes to her rescue. Himari notices her body getting younger as the keeper explains that because of his powers, Aoi is destined to have weak ties to his blood relatives. Himari starts to look back as the young Aoi pleads for her to stay with him only for the record keeper to tell her if she does she’ll never get home. More children show up and the keeper is revealed to be Aoi’s big sis and the rest of his siblings help Himari home and tell her to look after Aoi for them.

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Siblings to the rescue!

Himari ends back where she started and after a silent thank you to Aoi’s brothers and sisters rushes to find Aoi.

The Nue is still in the room he’s confined to, not transformed back into Aoi. Himari goes into the room to tell the Nue all she discovered. The Nue teases her a little bit before pulling her closer asking her if she dislikes his ayakashi form. He calls her a bad girl (*giggle*) and says that maybe she’s already entranced by him.

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Bad girl

There’s a spelling error in the book. It says, “Perhaps you’re already entranced be me” instead of “you’re already entranced by me.” Irks me a little but what are you gonna do? *shrugs*

Ise finds a letter addressed to Himari from Akane and opens it, which reads that Aoi is dead.

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Letter from a Thief

A little but a rewind shows Kasha and the Nue after Himari finds Aoi’s past. Kasha says since the Nue won the wager he’ll grant him a wish but the Nue tells him to get out before he can finish the sentence. He remarks how the Nue still hasn’t changed back.

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“Get out”

Present time: Himari is being drawn in by the Nue who says “I should just make you mine.” Himari manages to regain her senses (good job!) and get the Nue back on topic.

 

She notices the hourglass left behind by Kasha and the Nue confesses he knows everything that happened in the drawers of thought since he and Kasha were watching the whole time.

Himari asks if Aoi blames himself for Akane being an ayakashi which his silence confirms. She tells him she visited the Nanamori house where Akane is living as a normal child. The Nue tells her that Akane’s home is not like Momochi house and reminds her of how Hidaka suffered at his house with the kitsune spirits.

The Nue says that humans and ayakashi can’t coexist together. Himari realizes that Aoi’s feelings of guilt are what’s keeping him from accepting his past and changing back. She resolves once more to bring him back to his original form.

Later, Himari heads back to the Nanamori residence after reading Akane’s message with Ise in tow. On the path, they run into a sinister-looking Akane who accuses them of looking for Aoi.

The area starts to become part of the spiritual realm and Akane runs off with Ise in pursuit. Himari hears a scream and rushes to the Nanamori house as Mr. Nanamori comes outside. He tells her Akane is missing and his wife is naturally upset. They go looking for Akane since her dad keeps get lost near the house and can’t make any phone calls.

 

Mr. Nanamori asks why Himari came and when she says she got a letter from Akane asks if she came alone. He says Akane told them Himari was with some boy but he and his wife only saw Himari. He believes Ise took Akane and explains that before they moved to their current home a man came by to visit their old house after Akane was born.

Mr. Nanamori can’t remember the man’s face but knows he was otherworldly. The man cleaned the house of ayakashi and after, the Nanamoris moved to another town. Soon after they discover their former house was hit by lightning and burned down. Thanks to the mysterious man they survived but his parting words disturbed Mr. Nanamori.

As he left the man said he was taking something they had lost. Because of that, Mr. Nanamori and his wife are terrified that man will come back and take something from them again.

 

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Akane missing

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Ominous visitor

Himari asks if he remembers Aoi and Mr. Nanamori is shocked she knows about Aoi. He tells her Aoi is dead.

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Pheew, that was a long one! Sorry about that, but a lot happened in this book. There are two sides in this volume, one about a play on Kabe-don (which is the act of cornering someone by slamming your hand on a wall above them) and a little alternate universe short called “Momochi Private Academy.” Schoolgirl Himari wants to give Valentine’s chocolates to hot teacher Mr. Nue and is snagged in a triangle with sweet classmate, Aoi. Eventually, it’s just a dream Himari is having but totally funny.

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Momochi Academy!

So who’s the mysterious man? My first thought was Kasha but he would’ve collected by now and that was too nice for him to clean house and walk away. So who is it? And what do the Nanamoris mean that Aoi is dead? Do they somehow remember him? All will be revealed next volume!!

 

 

 

Sunday funday, Manga Madness

So, I finally finished (mostly) the books mentioned in Manga Madness and The Box 

I have read the first four volumes of Requiem of Rose King, the fourth volume of the Skip Beat! big edition and Goliath.

I don’t have a review/summary for Scott Westerfeld’s Goliath. I will say I have thoroughly enjoyed the trilogy and the last one was a perfect ending for me.

I feel like I’m finally making some progress in my reading list. My manga pile is dwindling and I am that much closer to getting to the novel-type books I have waiting.

Although I did end up adding another box the pile. Curse you, library book sales with your $1 paperbacks and your fill-up-a-bag-and-it’s-$3!! T_T

I might have a problem. o_o

Meh. Oh well.

eBook Finish! The Demon Prince of Momochi House, vol. 7

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Last time, we (or should I just say “I”?) were left with this:

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Who is Natchi?? How does he know Aoi?? What does he want??? What about the Kagome Park ghost???!!

Anyway.

We start off with Himari and Hayato using an old map from Mr. Natchi to find where the Nanamori (Aoi’s family) home was. When they do find it, there’s nothing but an empty lot. As they turn to head back, Himari spots a figure that matches the ghost’s description. The next day at school Himari’s classmates decide to they should all go investigate!

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At home, Aoi finds Himari’s research notebook she left behind (probably the result of an ayakashi prank). A piece of paper falls out that reads Kagome Park. Aoi reads it and goes quiet prompting Yukari to ask if he’s alright. Aoi says he’s fine and Yukari tells him that while originally believing Aoi’s slump to be thr result of guilty feelings over rejecting Himari, maybe it’s something more than that. Yukari asks if Aoi “has lost something precious to [him].”

At Kagome Park Himari and her classmates are looking around the old park when the Kagome Park ghost appears! He gives the students quite a scare until one of Himari’s friends, Rui lands a karate chop on the true culprit, Senoo. It turns out he put on the costume to scare people and get them to talk about any memories they had of the ghost.

Everyone’s relieved it was just a prank but when Himari asks where Senoo got the cape he replies that he doesn’t remember.

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Hayato has some vague memories of seeing the Kagome Park ghost. He’s sure he saw him but if he did, and didn’t disappear as the story goes, then Hayato suggests that maybe the ghost isn’t a ghost. Maybe it was someone in disguise like Senoo.

Now that the ghost has been unmasked everyone goes home. Hayato offers to walk Himari home but she says she’s fine. Momochi House is hard to find but the path Himari takes goes there directly. She’s just outside the gate when the ghost appears behind Himari; he mentions a child that was invited into Momochi House. Aoi and the others arrive but Himari tells them not to attack; the ghost is possessing Senoo!

The Nue and Shikigami pull Himari and Senoo inside and Senoo is purified. The ghost lets him go and manifests a human form. It seems delighted that it was given entry into Momochi house and asks if Aoi had grown up. Then it suddenly disappears into a cloud of feathers.

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Everyone’s on the lookout for the ghost as it disappeared on the property. Aoi is having trouble remembering his past, where before, he thought he was fine forgetting everything and eventually becoming an ayakashi. He asks Yukari what it felt like going from ayakashi to human. Yukari tells him he started feeling a distance from everything, even emotions like love. Has Aoi lost precious to him? And is he okay with losing it?

While standing on the porch, a shadow catches his eye but it’s only Himari who just put Tamamo back to sleep after a nightmare. Aoi playfully asks if she’ll put him back to bed too, flustering her. They talk about the ghost where Himari mentions how Hayato saw it and maybe Aoi did too. But he can’t remember and he never thought it would be so painful not to.

He suddenly asks Himari if he can kiss her. Ooh! Flustered, she asks him why to which he simply answers that he wants to. Himari reminds him that he doesn’t see her that way so no, he can’t kiss her. Aoi seems a little flustered himself, saying, “I know I said that but…” It’s obvious he likes her the same way.

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The two are interrupted when one of the little ayakashi suddenly gets bigger and starts a rampage. Zushi comes up behind Aoi before he can turn into the Nue. He’s being possessed by the ghost and tells Aoi to remember. Aoi recognizes the voice speaking through Zushi and it tells him the more he remembers, the stronger their bond will become.

Yukari and Ise come to the rescue but suddenly they can’t move. Aoi realizes this is not the work of an ayakashi. The ghost started to take on a more human shape instead of just a shadow figure. As it stands before Aoi he says, “I know you” to which the ghost replies “You finally remembered me.” It’s Natchi’s face!!

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Himari recognizes her teacher as the gates to Momochi house open and in walks Natchi.

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Walking in like a boss

It turns out, Natchi used to come to Kagome park when Aoi was little. He saw spirits too and would talk to Aoi about them. No one believed Aoi when he said he saw spirits. Same with Nachi. When Nachi was a little boy he was taken to a temple of monks so he could be rid of evil thoughts. Standing under waterfalls and reciting sutras did nothing to keep him from seeing ayakashi. Not wanting to be controlled by these evil spirits Nachi sought to turn the tables. He sought power.

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Soon he hears about Momochi house and the Omamori-sama and about a child who has seen the house. He goes to Kagome park looking for a child to send to Momochi house where he eventually encounters Aoi.

Aoi has had a rough time too, seeing ayakashi, and it’s implied he’s being abused when Nachi notices bruises. Of course, this doesn’t deter him from sending Aoi to Momochi house by telling him his family would be happier if he just disappeared.

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He tells him of a house he could hide in and that he’ll come get Aoi after a while. He gives him a “spell” that will bind them together. So it was Nachi who was behind all those paper seals and cursing Ryujin.

So Nachi’s the one who sent Aoi to be trapped in Momochi house all those years ago. He’s come back now that Aoi’s powers have grown. Nachi has captured and bound other ayakashi to him to control as shikigami and they look like tengu (bird-like spirits). Now Nachi wants the power of Momochi house and Aoi’s as the Omamori-sama.

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Nachi tells Aoi that they are same, both ostracized by the human realm for having spiritual powers. He manages to bind Aoi and tries to start the process to turn him into a shikigami. When Aoi resists, Nachi brings Himari over and uses kotodama (words that have spiritual power) to control her against her will.

Nachi tells Himari to blindfold Aoi as it symbolizes his control over his shikigami. Himari tries to resist but Nachi proves more powerful. Yukari realizes the kotodama as he can actually see the word spell and stabs his eardrum, breaking the spell that held him immobile. Ise manages to break free as well.

Yukari goes to help Aoi but he tells him to bring him something. He doesn’t say what it is as he’s cut off by one of the shikigami attacking. Nonetheless, Yukari must realize what it is because he races back inside the house to go get it. Meanwhile, Himari is still under Nachi’s control and draws closer with the blindfold!

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For a brief second, Aoi seems to accept that he’ll lose himself to Himari. But when he sees her crying he decides to fight back. Himari is his light and he tells her he’s sorry right before he lifts his head and kisses her!

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Fangirl squeal

This definitely serves to snap her out of the kotodama spell as she yells at him “no kissing!!” Instead of steam coming out of her ears, it’s feathers!

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Yukari comes back with the clothes Aoi had on when he first entered Momochi house. Aoi confronts Nachi with the seal he had been given that prevented Aoi from remembering his past. He tells Nachi that he was lonely just like Aoi was.

Even Aoi wanted to forget his troubles he realizes that he mustn’t run from his pain and tells Nachi that he won’t be bound by him and tears up the seal. He resolves to be stronger in order to truly protect Himari and transform into the Nue.

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Nachi and the Nue battle it out but the Nue is far too strong for Nachi to try to control. He forces Nachi out of the gate and property. Zushi and the little ayakashi go back to normal and Himari goes to stand beside the Nue.

She can’t tell what he’s thinking and is trying to hold back her own tears. The Nue asks her if she’s angry about the kiss. Himari stutters out that it was just so he could snap her out of the kotodama spell, because he didn’t have a choice. He asks Himari what if it was because he just wanted to? Himari storms away, embarrassed.

Outside, Nachi can’t remember where he was or what he was doing. He stumbles his way through the forest, unable to call his shikigami crows as Kasha monologues from a distance.

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Yukari comes towards the Nue with a robe telling him he should change back and rest while Himari says she’ll look away. The Nue announces that he can no longer change back!

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Aoi’s past is slowly being delved into. What’s the reason for this inability to change back? Next time in volume 8! (What an announcer’s voice -__-;)

 

 

eBook Finish! Demon Prince of Momochi House, vol. 6

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Pre-ordered this book for October so on the night of the release date, it said it was ready for download. I said to myself, “yay, but I should really wait till the morning to read it since it’s so late already.” Did I listen to me? No! So I stayed up late and finished volume 6 of the Demon Prince of Momochi House in, like, half an hour. Maybe less. It’s been a while since I breezed through a manga volume like that. And was left wanting more but I have to wait all the way to January for the next book, argh!!

Uh, anyway.

So last volume, Himari finally plucks up her courage and confesses her feelings to Aoi. And of course he rejects her for some unknown-but-maybe-kinda-obvious reason. Aoi turns away casually saying they better go get some of the watermelon everyone got or it’ll be all gone. The rejection is so brief Himari’s left kinda stunned.

Later that night in the bath, Himari notices the curse mark on her hand is gone, like Kasha said it would. Although he said something about it washing off in some hotsprings but hey, he’s a demon so I guess we can’t really trust anything he says.

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Aoi overhears and burst in on her in the tub demanding to see her hand. In classic comical fashion, Himari freaks out, smacks Aoi, and passes out from getting overheated. Yukari admonishes Aoi for bursting in a girl in the bath.

The next morning, all the residents have heard of Himari’s rejection. Yukari makes her sekihan (a sticky rice with red beans made for special occassions) while Ise and the others perform a song about how she got rejected to “comfort” her. It’s really hilarious but Himari doesn’t think so and rushes off to school.

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At school there’s a new teacher that everyone calls Natchi. Young type, he’s pretty popular with the students. He’s teaching one of Himari’s classes and has her come clean his office after it’s apparent she didn’t do the homework.

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When she arrives Natchi kind of sneaks up on her, appearing out of seemingly nowhere and questions her about Momochi house. He knows that Momochi house sits between the human and ayakashi worlds and asks if she’s seen anything weird in her house, especially if she’s seen a “mysterious boy.” O_O

Before Himari can say anything, a group of students arrive to hear some more interesting stories from Natchi. Himari does get the chance to tell him that her house is just old and she does know about the rumors but there’s nothing special about the house. When she turns away to start dusting the shelves, she thinks about how strange it is that Natchi seems to know about her house. Something about him also reminds her of Aoi.

O_O  Uh, a-anyway, Natchi proceeds to tell the students about a ghost in Kagome park. It’s a creepy story about a spirit that shows up at dusk wearing a school uniform asking children if want to peek inside his coat. Okay, that sounds more pedophile than anything, but the creepy thing is that any child who sees him disappears.

Natchi then tells the story of a yokai (spirit or demon) who guards the area. He talks about how beautiful this yokai is and people who see him turn in to yokai themselves. Which is why “you must never look at him.”

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O_O…. o_O!!! Holy cow, that’s the same thing Aoi says in the first volume when he transforms into the Nue!! In the beginning, Aoi would say “You mustn’t look at me” when he was about to become the Nue. Once, he even covered Himari’s eyes and said it. There might not be any significance to that but I thought I’d point it out anyway. Natchi doesn’t actually say he’s talking about the Nue but you got to wonder what he knows and how much.

Story time’s over and the students leave. Natchi asks if Himari needs to go back home to Momochi house while Himari questions who he is when she realizes all the stuff on his shelves are really old. He says collecting relics and books on that type of stuff is a hobby and shows her a special mirror called the “seeing mirror” that shows what’s inside people’s hearts.

Getting flustered, Himari pushes Natchi and the mirror away, causing Natchi to lose his balance and fall. The fallen books reveal Natchi is something of an occult freak like Senoo, one of Himari’s classmates, who likes collecting ghost stories and wants to be a playwright. He apologizes for scaring her because he hoped she would tell him some ghost stories about her house. Himari smiles and accepts his apology.

At the end of the chapter, the ghost from Kagome park shows up in the school hallways dragging a blindfolded Nue who is bound by a rope and paper seals.

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The next day Himari realizes she brought the seeing mirror home with her. Yukari tells her a superstition about how spirits pass through mirrors facing each other. Then Yukari comforts Himari over being rejected. Strange. In fact, everyone is being nice to her; Zushi and Ise too. Himari is bewildered by the weird kindness everyone is showing her. As she’s walking through the house an ayakashi appears! Telling it get out doesn’t work and then Kasha appears, saying that she’s the one who invited the “suspicious guest” into the house. He remarks how human can’t see themselves clearly and the shadow ayakashi  goes toward her.

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Aoi comes to the rescue and says the mirror might have something to do with the unexpected appearance of the shadow ayakashi. He tells her she should break the mirror but she’s reluctant to, since it doesn’t belong to her. She tells him what kind of mirror it is and Aoi asks if she was trying to see inside his heart. Blushing, she tells him no to which he responds that she didn’t need a mirror for that as he loves her.

Aoi says since he can’t leave the house he can’t always be with her. Himari tells him she’s not going anywhere and Aoi asks her if she wants to be trapped in the house with him. Confused, Himari says she wants to free him and he says it’s not possible since he’s already an ayakashi and transforms into the Nue.

The Nue asks if he frightens her and when she replies no, he smiles in a way that tells Himari that’s not really Aoi and she realizes she’s trapped in the mirror. The shadow ayakashi that was chasing her was actually her. Himari realizes the shadow was the her sorrow at being rejected by Aoi but she remembers that when she confessed her feelings he smiled for a moment.

Himari decides not to run from her pain and tries to find a way out by going to the big mirror in the house. She sees Aoi sitting on the porch and sees the two mirrors facing each other are a portal.

Suddenly Himari is woken up by Natchi. She’s back in his office, having fainted upon looking in the mirror. Natchi tells her she was out for a couple of minutes and she truly is a Momochi for having a strange experience. Himari insists she just had a dream while Natchi says he’ll lock the mirror away just to be safe, laughing creepily while Himari tells him not to abuse the mirror for ghost stories. Himari heads home, reflecting on the mysterious experience and feeling like she’s forgetting something. Aoi’s there waiting and welcomes her home.

Next adventure shows Aoi in a slump. As a result, the house is overrun with ayakashi. Then an old ayakashi named Nekobaba appears and cleans house for Aoi. Nekobaba is a two-tailed cat spirit called a nekomata and she treats Aoi as one of her own ever since he took to her as a kid.

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Nekobaba comes to visit

Turns out Nekobaba has a reason for visiting Momochi House. She wants Aoi to choose an ayakashi bride!

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As landlady, Himari cannot stand by and tells Nekobaba that this is not what Aoi wants right now and anyway, he’s human. Nekobaba simply scoffs at the statement and brushes her off.

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Nekobaba is pretty much a monster-in-law (no pun intended) and puts Himari to work cleaning. Thinking to play a trick on her, Nekobaba pretends she lost a hair ornament that she hides in her fur and has Himari look for it. And search Himari does, even when Nekobaba tells her she might have dropped it in the pond, Himari goes in looking, even after dark. When Nekobaba asks if she’s trying that hard to win her over by searching for the ornament, Himari just replies that that’s not it and it’s a family heirloom so it must be precious.

The pond search obviously turns out with nothing even with Aoi helping. The next night, the ayakashi lanterns that keep Momochi house lit instead of electricity get all wet causing a blackout. While that lanterns dry, Himari suggests they take advantage of the dark by having a “blackout hotpot” for dinner!

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Everybody puts their own edible ingredients in and the results prove hilarious. Nekobaba sees how the humans and ayakashi of Momochi house interact even though she believes the two shouldn’t mingle.

The next morning Nekobaba pops in on Himari and tells her she’s going back to her lair in the spiritual realm. Also, her hair ornament reappeared and she decides to give it to Himari. It looks bigger than a typical hair piece and Nekobaba says it was actually a lantern that is “supposed to light the way of the path of truth, but only once.” Nekobaba tells Himari that Aoi has been lost since the day he entered Momochi house. I think this pretty much means he’s forgetting how to be human or even that he is human. She asks if Himari can be like the lantern and light his way back.

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Of course, Nekobaba believes it’ll be less painful if Aoi just becomes an ayakashi but Himari disagrees, because it robs him of his human memories something no one should have to go through.

At school, some of the students decide to do a summer research project about the Kagome park ghost. Hayato believes he might have seen the ghost and that his friend disappeared. This prompts Himari to ask if a family named Nanamori (Aoi’s last name) lived in the area. Curiously, the students answer no. One of the girls Rui tells Himari she looked at the town register and there was no family by the name of Nanamori.

The students ask Mr. Nachi if he might have an older map of the town to see if the name will show up. He gets excited at the idea that it might be supernatural related and Himari tells him it’s not.

As Himari’s leaving his office she realizes what she’d forgotten at the end of the mirror incident. After Himari looked into the mirror was when the illusion started, the books fell over and Natchi had told her about himself and his interest in the occult. And yet he said she fainted soon after looking in the mirror. Himari wonders just how much of what happened was an illusion.

Back in his office, Natchi takes off his glasses and looks out his window. In the reflection he sees what looks like a young Aoi in the center of a ring of children playing the game Kagome, Kagome. He asks, “has Aoi grown up?” and chapter ends withe line, “who is that behind you?” from the game.

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Ghosts, illusions, tricks, and creepy children’s games made this volume an awesome Halloween read. There’s a short story at the end of the volume called “Child’s Play” about how Aoi first met Kasha and features the lyrics from a children’s game called Hana Ichi Monme which is kind of like red rover.

In the book the lyrics go: “I want that child. What child? Let’s talk about. Let’s do that. Happy to win. Sad to lose. Together forever.”

Creepy right?

Questions remain! Who’s Nachi? How does he know Aoi? Guess I’ll have to find out next volume!!