Orphan Himari receives a will on her 16th birthday informing her that she had inherited Momochi house, a haunted Shinto-style mansion. When she finally makes it through the woods to the house, she finds it occupied! She finds three boys squatting in her mansion, and she decides to renovate the house to be so girly that they'll have to leave. Then, in the middle of the night, she is "attacked" by demon spirts trying to get her to leave the house. She finds out that the boys aren't who they seem, and that the house is occupied by helpful demon spirits called ayakashi. The Omamori-Sama, a warrior guarding a gateway between the material plane and the spiritual realm, also lives in the house, and begs Himari to reconsider her stay in such a dangerous place.
The story was cute, but problematic. I don’t know how likely it is that a sixteen year old girl would stay in a house where there are three strange teenaged boys. Her plan to renovate the house instead of call the authorities seems very strange. Aoi, the main strange boy, is sheltered and innocent, but he keeps touching and kissing Himari and winding up in her bed (as a comfort thing, not a sexual thing). By the end of the first volume, Himari is already trying to comfort Aoi during their waking hours, and trying to make his life easier, when I’m not entirely sure I buy how quickly she becomes concerned for his well-being. The world built in this first volume is interesting, and it might be enough for students to overlook the issues at the beginning of this story. The artwork is beautiful, with lush scenes of magical rooms inside the house, and the Omamori-Sama's transformations are likewise stunning.
VIZ rates this title for teen, 13+. There are romantic notions between Aoi and Himari that will most likely blossom into feelings and relationships, but there is nothing in this first volume that stands out as inappropriate for middle school audiences.
Sara's Rating: 7/10
Suitability Level: Grades 7-12
Tags: Rating: 7/10, Middle School, High School, Manga, Magic, Demons
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