QQ Sweeper by Kyousuke Motomi

QQ Sweeper is Kyousuke Motomi’s follow up to the highly popular Dengeki Daisy series. Eschewing the high tech thriller and hacking theme of that series, Motomi opts for an urban fantasy built around the use of cleaning to dispel bad spirits. Character designs are similar to Dengeki Daisy, though both protagonists are in high school.

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Fumi Nishioka transfers into Kurokado Private High School with a dream: the orphan whose guardians abruptly abandoned her will live a Cinderella life with the objective of a rich prince at the end. The prestigious high school is a step toward finding a wealthy boyfriend who will marry her. But first she desperately needs a job/place to live and applies for a position at a local ‘haunted mansion’. Turns out, it is owned by her school’s principal and inhabited by a student – the cleaning-obsesssed Kyutaro Horikta – nicknamed “Q” by the principal. What Fumi quickly discovers is that dirt is a pathway for bad thoughts and bad spirits – and the mansion is a place to clean away all that filth from body and soul.

As much as I loved Dengeki Daisy (even when it went on far too long), I can’t say this is grabbing me as much. Motomi’s humor is intact and she’s created an interesting world. But honestly, the last thing I want to read about are all the various ways people clean – from how to use a rag properly to the correct proportion of cleanser to water. I’ll stick with it to see where it goes but I can’t say I’m loving either protagonist, either. Q is uptight and Fumi rather clueless.

Enough mystery has been introduced to show that there is a lot to explore with the story – from Fumi’s mysterious past to Q’s own secret love whose name is so similar to Fumi’s. I’m hoping this won’t turn into ‘monster of the week’ where Q and Fumi have to save someone from their filth monsters by cleaning. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.

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