A sequel to QQ Sweeper, Queen's Quality picks up right where the former left off.
Title: Queen’s Quality
Genre: Supernatural, Romance,
Publisher: Shogakukan (JP), Viz Media (U.S.)
Creator: Kyousuke Motomi
Serialized in: Betsucomi
Translator: JN Productions
Original Release Date: September 5, 2017
Review copy provided by Viz Media.
Kyousuke Motomi’s previous series, QQ Sweeper, ended in a very odd place as its main characters Fumi and Kyutaro realize that Fumi has a rare, and potentially highly dangerous, set of “sweeper” powers. Fortunately, Queen’s Quality picks up immediately where QQ Sweeper left off so readers aren’t left with a non-resolution ending. However, this does mean that Queen’s Quality is completely and 100% a sequel to QQ Sweeper and any potential new readers need to check out QQ Sweeper first.
The decision to split this story into two different series is odd since very little about the premise or set-up changes for main characters Fumi and Kyutaro in this first volume of Queen’s Quality. Fumi continues to live with Kyutaro’s extended family and participate in their family business of “sweeping.” In addition to performing a ludicrous amount of cleaning every single day, they also do “sweeping” on a more metaphysical level as the family has a shadowy, behind-the-scenes job as people who wash-away the illness and sickness inside people’s minds. In short, it’s exorcising a person’s mind and then following it up with a very thorough, real-world cleaning of their personal space to help make sure that the cleaning sticks. This aspect of the story hasn’t changed at all in-between the series — it’s only Fumi has changed.
Actually, it’s less that Fumi has changed and more that she and Kyutaro’s family are starting to get some answers about her past and why Fumi taken so well and so quickly to “sweeping.” In the last couple chapters of QQ Sweeper it was revealed that Fumi was a “Queen,” a person with the rare talent to change a person both inside their mind and to command them in the real world. As a result, Fumi is now the subject of great interest by both the polar opposites of the sweepers, bug handlers, and of the larger sweeper organization that Kyutaro’s family belongs to.
To their credit, Kyutaro and his immediate family don’t treat Fumi any differently after this revelation; they had actually been expecting something like this since there were some details about Fumi’s past which were beyond her control — including the gap in her memory — that nevertheless struck Kyutaro’s family as odd. Now both Fumi and Kyutaro’s family are convinced that this was all manufactured by the bug handlers to try and groom Fumi into being a very dangerous “black” Queen. Meanwhile, Kyutaro has realized, as bizarre of a coincidence as it seemed, that Fumi seems to be the same girl that he met and lost over ten years ago. Naturally, a plot-contrived-roadblock appears and Kyutaro is forbidden from speaking to Fumi about this matter, but there is a logical sounding reasoning for this: if Fumi remembers whatever happened she will lose control of herself.
This is sure to backfire on the sweepers when Fumi realizes what is going on. This whole set-up also leads to an incredibly dumb roadblock for Fumi and Kyutaro’s personal relationship; Fumi is aware that Kyutaro is still in love with his old crush so Fumi won’t make the first move, but with these restrictions Kyutaro can’t tell her, “No, it’s okay, I love you AND you were my first crush anyway!” These two characters respect each other already so there is no way they would want to build a romantic relationship based on secrets; and it’s sad since they would make a really good couple. They respect each other, work well together, and Kyutaro isn’t intimidated by Fumi probably being way more powerful than he would ever be (although I’m not sure that Kyousuke Motomi consciously decided to make every authority figure in Fumi’s life who is scared or planning to control her Queen powers a man, I did notice it while I was reading).
My further enjoyment of the series is going to hinge quite a bit on how the story continues to handle this “will they or won’t they [talk about the secrets in Fumi’s past]” situation. Fumi started out QQ Sweeper as nothing more than a bland, run of the mill shojo heroine, but by Queen’s Quality she has been able to relax and let her real, often goofball, personality shine through. Kyutaro is also a pretty great shoujo romantic lead; he doesn’t jerk Fumi around and he’s also committed to growing and becoming a better, more mature person as well. If these characters are given agency then this has the potential to be a really good shoujo romance; the story has already spent four volumes demonstrating this potential.