eBook Finish! Momochi House, vol. 9

screenshot_20180210-135759826760435.jpg

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.

screenshot_20180210-1400201758056853.jpg

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.

screenshot_20180210-140116-270663056.jpg

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.

screenshot_20180210-140236175064515.jpg

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!”

screenshot_20180210-140302-1322635694.jpg

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!

screenshot_20180210-140448-1810199581.jpg

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).

screenshot_20180210-140549-54183204.jpg

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.

screenshot_20180210-140804-963806424.jpg

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

“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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

screenshot_20180210-1451001425421784.jpg

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!

screenshot_20180210-145801-92220838.jpg

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.

screenshot_20180210-151044-478950332.jpg

Angry doesn’t cover it

screenshot_20180210-151315-332226736.jpg

“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.

screenshot_20180210-152228-1823061684.jpg

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.

screenshot_20180210-152757-106366896.jpg

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.

screenshot_20180210-152856-1372229739.png

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.

screenshot_20180210-155520-251428796.jpg

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

screenshot_20180213-1716101925020887.jpg

“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.

screenshot_20180213-171700-674359349.jpg

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.

screenshot_20180213-173840454126194.jpg

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.

screenshot_20180213-1753141594956654.jpg

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).

screenshot_20180213-183625910915783.jpg

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.

screenshot_20180213-1853181663138453.jpg

“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:

screenshot_20180213-190553-642197884.jpg

*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!

 

 

 

Advertisements

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

Screenshot_20171003-174452.jpg

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!

screenshot_20171003-174633-1586557510.jpg

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.

screenshot_20171003-1747201185221492.jpg

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.

screenshot_20171003-1748192029187709.jpg

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!

screenshot_20171003-174936-2059157797.jpg

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.

screenshot_20171003-1750301672731708.jpg

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.

screenshot_20171003-175051-948320044.jpg

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.

screenshot_20171003-175127394155006.jpg

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.

screenshot_20171003-175204645897732.jpg

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.

screenshot_20171003-1752491965082426.jpg

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.

screenshot_20171003-175330-884537291.jpg

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.

screenshot_20171003-175406-1360175258.jpg

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.

screenshot_20171003-175434-1197243757.jpg

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.

screenshot_20171003-175618-622032119.jpg

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.”

screenshot_20171003-1756331886636072.jpg

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.

screenshot_20171003-175841457343197.jpg

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.

screenshot_20171003-175901-716958281.jpg

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.

screenshot_20171003-1759511901248139.jpg

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.

screenshot_20171003-1800111573722107.jpg

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.

screenshot_20171003-180039-147713521.jpg

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.

screenshot_20171003-1802131828220489.png

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.

screenshot_20171003-1801312095359842.jpg

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.

screenshot_20171003-18014758489367.jpg

“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.

 

screenshot_20171003-180318416176318.png

Akane missing

screenshot_20171003-1803421805368426.jpg

Ominous visitor

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

screenshot_20171003-180417-550473302.jpg

 

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.

screenshot_20171003-180500197523964.png

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! Dorothy Must Die

I had bought a book by Danielle Paige that was sitting in my eLibrary for a while. I finally finished Dorothy Must Die last week and I immediately wanted the next one (which I bought on Nook already but didn’t read yet).

Dorothy_must_die

Dorothy Must Die is part of a series so I’m making myself read them in a certain order. There are four books in the series-with the last book, End of Oz coming out just recently-and nine prequel novellas. I already finished the first prequel novella, No Place Like Oz and I want to read two more prequel novellas before I get to the next book, The Wicked Will Rise.

But anywho, if you’re looking to start a new YA series with a dark tone, Danielle Paige’s Dorothy Must Die might be the end of your search!

As the title suggest, this series isn’t the technicolor fairytale one might think when Frank L. Baum’s world comes to mind. Everybody’s favorite witch-slaying farm girl in the silver slippers is the ruby shoe-wearing villain in this piece and it’s up to another girl from Kansas, Amy Gumm to stop her from sucking all the magic from Oz.

Amy’s not exactly your typical heroine. Amy lives with her drunk mother in a trailer park after her father walks out on them. Amy’s the outcast at school and after a fight with her mother, she gets ready to run away with her pet rat, Star only to realize her mom stole the cash she was hiding away. In true Dorothy fashion, a tornado whisks Amy, Star and the trailer to a place that is anything but what the stories said about Oz.

Amy meets some interesting characters, the first being a strange boy named Pete who rescues her from her trailer falling down a ravine and a punk-styled Munchkin who wants nothing to do with her. Through some unfortunate events, Amy is taken to the Emerald City to the “Princess of Oz” Dorothy.

Again, this is not the humble farm girl who came to Oz the first time. After the events in No Place Like Oz Dorothy has become a tyrant, taking all the magic from Oz while she lives in splendor in the the Emerald City. She kills on a whim and for the slightest infractions, and not only that but acts like a spoiled child.

And she does not like this other girl from Kansas coming in and taking away what she thinks makes her special. Amy is locked up then rescued later on by the Order of the Wicked, a group of wicked and good witches determined to put an end to Dorothy and her posse of corrupt friends.

Amy is forced to make an alliance with Mombi, Wicked Witch of the North, to join the Order and learn fighting and magic to kill Dorothy. The Witches teach Amy magic while Nox, a young man taken in by the Order, teaches her fighting. And yes, there is a love connection in the works. This wouldn’t be YA without it. Not that I’m complaining.

As Amy learns from the Order there are a lot of warnings and parallels drawn between her and Dorothy. They’re the girls from Kansas, outsiders who came from foreign worlds to make change in Oz. Whereas Dorothy helped save Oz once, she came back and is destroying the world. There’s a lot of speculation that Amy can save Oz from Dorothy but a lot of worry she could turn out just like her.

It’s very interesting, the similarities and differences between the two. The only similarities I can really see between the two is they are both from Kansas and have humble origins.

Dorothy grew up an orphan on a small farm under the loving care of her aunt and uncle. Even though she had no parents and did not live an extravagant life, she was still well-loved, first by her aunt and uncle, then by her friends in Oz. But her need to be more, to be loved and worshiped after her witch-slaying fame corrupted her in the end.

Amy grew up with a single mother who descended into alcoholism despite Amy’s attempts to help her. She’s trailer trash who’s picked on by the popular girl. She has no friends except for a pet rat. A rat, not a cute little dog like Toto. I like Star though, and she ends up being quite helpful and a source of some comfort to Amy during her mission in the castle. Amy is alone, feels unwanted by her mom, and angry. In this dark and crumbling Oz, her upbringing helps her handle what comes her way.

Amy is tasked with an undercover mission with one goal: kill Dorothy. Even with vague help from the mysterious gardener, Pete and the Wizard himself, her mission ends in failure. Well, not complete failure. She does gain some new information that could lead her a couple steps closer to killing Dorothy and saving Oz.

This is definitely a darker retelling of Oz where the good is wicked, the wicked is good, and one pink-haired girl is all that stands between one gingham-dressed princess wannabe and the destruction of an entire world.

 

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

screenshot_20161130-222030.png

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.

wp-1483156871220.jpg

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.

wp-1483156952379.png

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.

screenshot_20161130-222415.png

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.”

screenshot_20161209-155332.png

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.

screenshot_20161209-155445.png

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.

screenshot_20161230-225226.png

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.

wp-1483224984466.jpg

Nekobaba comes to visit

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

wp-1483225005306.png

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.

wp-1483225076384.png

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!

wp-1483225159663.png

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.

wp-1483225254191.png

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.

wp-1483225326379.jpg

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!!

The Box

I keep referencing this Box and what it is, obviously is a box of books I need to read. Still working on finishing the books mentioned in the post linked above and hopefully by next year I can finally get my read on.

Two series are in the box:

IMG_0083.JPG

The Ghostwalker series by Christine Feehan

They were just soldiers wanting to defend their country. Paranormal romance queen, Christine Feehan’s Ghostwalker series is about a group of military soldiers who have been psychically enhanced by the government. I read the first book, Shadow Game, already about Captain Rylan Miller, who’s unit is being kept locked in a facility by the government. And someone’s been killing the members of his unit. With the help of Lily Whitney, daughter of Dr. Whitney who enhanced them they escape the facility and find out who’s killing Rylan’s men.

The next book is Mind Game about Nico, another guy in Rylan’s unit.

Emma Holly’s upyr series.

I read “The Night Owl” in the anthology Hot Blooded and realized it was a series so I wanted to start from the beginning. The first is Catching Midnight and I’m really looking forward to it since it takes place in the Middle Ages (which I don’t see a lot) and I like some historical. Pubparlor did a review of the book here and I’d like to add my two cents in once I read and finish the book. Can’t wait, can’t wait, can’t wait!

Currently still going through the books in my Manga Madness and the Box post. I’m on volume 3 of Requiem of the Rose King and the prologue part is done. Now the real story begins.

Stay tuned for more of my randomness in the book forest!

eBook Finish! Demon Prince of Momochi House, vol. 4!

img_00701

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.

img_00801

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!

img_00721

“I still have the lucky charm he made for me. My friend…existed.”

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.

img_00731

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.

img_00741

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.

img_00751

“You’ve really grown so big, Hayato.”

 

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??!

img_00761

Tamamo, the little Kudagitsune

Also, we get a big reveal from Yukari about his past.

img_00791

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.

img_00771

With such a cliff-hanger at the end, the 5th volume is a must read!