By Kyousuke Motomi. Released in Japan by Shogakukan, serialization ongoing in the magazine Bessatsu Comic (“Betsucomi”). Released in North America by Viz.
I was a big fan of Dengeki Daisy, Motomi’s previous series, which ended up being a technological thriller as much as it was a shoujo romance. Thus I was quite excited to learn of the license of her new series. There are certain similarities between the two titles – the comedy is much the same, our heroine is a spunky orphan, and there seems to be a lot of janitorial work. But whereas Daisy was grounded in tech, QQ Sweeper looks to be more of a fantasy, with owl familiars, doors leading into people’s inner hearts, and creepy black thoughts turning into bugs. It’s a solid first volume, though, and we also have a hero who seems more stoic than Kurosaki was, which leads to a different vibe between the lead couple.
Actually, I’m wondering if the lead couple will actually be the focus of the series, as this has the potential to be something of an anthology, with our heroes solving the personal problems of various classmates. The first volume gives us Sakaguchi, a baseball star who was injured and now takes his self-loathing out on everyone around him, including his childhood friend who also feels inadequate. This is the sort of series that makes you want to invite these sweepers into your own life, to be honest, as despite the disturbing mental imagery, things seem to work out for the best – and it’s also shown that it’s not just the “cleaning” that did it, but the affected parties also have to make an effort. I look forward to seeing more of these sorts of stories.
As for Fumi, it’s quite refreshing seeing a girl who is honest and upfront about wanting to date a guy solely for his money – the catch is that she’s ALSO searching for a Prince Charming, and won’t actually get in the way of true love. Her love dreams of rich handsome young men are a comedic high point to this series. Her mysterious past, though, is what will likely carry over to future volumes. Well, I say “mysterious”, but I will be very surprised if there’s not a connection between Kyutaro’s tragic past with Fuyu and Fumi – betcha Fuyumi us her real first name, in fact. Kyutaro himself is the brooding sort, but not in a grumpy or overly sadistic way like a lot of other shoujo manga – though he does admit to Fumi going to far when she overwhelms him with how happy she is at the end of Volume 1. Oh, and his obsession with cleaning provides his own comedic highs – I bet he’d get along great with Levi from Attack on Titan.
This is a new series that could go in several directions, but the first volume is strong enough that the reader is willing to go along with any of them. I look forward to seeing how it develops.