Oni the Lonely
Kyosai Momiji and his sister Mira are oni, powerful supernatural beings from Japanese folklore, who are staying at least temporarily in human disguise in a town in Appalachia, while Kyosai studies human painting and Mira takes an interest in baking. Rain McKee is a grieving human craftswoman with a trace of Appalachian folk magic and a passion for making scented soaps and powders. Their paths cross in Rivertown Shopping Village in this tale of magic and growing friendship. Kyosai and Rain’s tale leads from a clash of culture, each bewildered at the powers the other shows, through revelation of a curse on her family, to the interference of ancient and powerful enemies. Kyosai is fascinated with Rain’s budding heroism, while Rain can’t abandon a friend. This clean fantasy will probably make more more sense to those familiar with Japanese anime and manga, but those aren’t necessary to follow the story, as the most important concepts are sufficiently explained. The conflict isn’t entirely resolved, as this is evidently the first of a series, but it is sufficiently intriguing to make the series worth following.