I like the system as a whole, it's a two edge sword, but you just have few means to prevent from a cheap death in the early game, it get's way better though, as I said.
Mudo or Hama are skills that you find in the mid portion of the game. But you have a point, homunculus are found much later in the game. I was lucky in my playthroughs though and I only died once from a Mudo/Hama skill.
The Mudo and Hama skills are frustrating for first timers though so it's understandable. The more you play the Megaten games the better you get at them. I'm pretty sure that Persona 4 is going to be a breeze now that you experienced Persona 3.
"I've Underestimated the Horse Power from Mario Kart 8, I'll Never Doubt the WiiU's Engine Again"