Title: QQ Sweeper Vol. 3
Author: Kyousuke Motomi
Publisher: Viz Media
Genre: Sci-Fi, Romance
Publication Date: June 7, 2016
We have finally reached the end of QQ Sweeper. If you enjoyed the story then know that while QQ Sweeper is over, the story is continuing in a new series called Queen’s Quality. In the end of volume two, we were introduced to a faction known as the Bug Handlers. Here in volume three, that faction is shown to exist, but we are focused on one single member in Ataru Shikata and how he was looking to find a way to capture Fumi for the sole reason that she is believed to become “the Queen.”
While the volume does deal with Ataru, it still leaves a LOT of questions unanswered and I can’t fault the series for that because this manga was meant to be a prelude to another series so in that retrospect, leaving the reader with many questions will entice them to transition over to Queen’s Quality. While it is explained what the Queen truly is, they don’t go into details on how or why they sometimes have different mentalities. Also, the whole thing about Fumi being Fuyu from Kyuutarou’s past never gets fully resolved either. Kyuutaro is dead set on believing that Fumi is the Fuyu he lost over ten years ago, but the final volume never confirms that to be the case, but rather just strongly suggests it which means either she is Fuyu or Queen’s Quality is setting readers up for a pretty big swerve.
I felt the volume did a nice job ending the prelude side of things and offered up enough mystique to hook readers into checking out the sequel series. The romance side of the story was kept to memories of Fuyu, but in this volume, Kyuutarou’s urge to protect Fumi based on his beliefs were stronger than ever. For those of you hoping to see some nuances of romance out of this series, then I’m happy to report that you’ll get that in this volume. Maybe it won’t be in the scope or magnitude that you’re hoping for, but there is definite progression there.
Speaking of progression, since a lot of the discussion is going to come in the form of the characters, let’s go into them because there was a LOT of development this volume.
Kyuutarou’s development in QQ Sweeper was subtle at first, but throughout the volume, he begins to experience these sensations accompanied by visions. He really begins to believe Fumi is Fuyu and his emotions really take over to the point where others around him start to question just what he’s doing. I found this little detail intriguing because what if Fumi isn’t Fuyu and what if the man who was depicted as this pure sweeper ends up being infested and this is a side effect of that infestation? I didn’t think that after the first time it happened, but it made me wonder after the second time. Regardless, we see Kyuutarou’s shell begin to crack here when it comes to Fumi and his desire to protect her is making him into a pretty strong protagonist. I’d love to see how much further he develops in Queen’s Quality.
Fumi’s development comes from the fact that she is the Queen although she’s not aware of it in the slightest. Fumi is put into a situation at the end of the volume that shatters all doubts about her not being the Queen, however. On top of that, her decision to stay and dedicate herself to becoming a sweeper shows how much stronger her will has become. Her final cleaning mission showed just how far she had come as a sweeper and that is something she can be proud of. Despite the stronger will and the whole Queen thing, her personality remains the same, but I suspect with the bigger of the two developments, that may change in the next series.
Ataru was a pretty damn good antagonist if I say so. He’s smooth with his tongue, sharp-witted and his ability to control people through infestation and hypnosis is rather interesting. The only thing that bothered me is that when they talked about the Bug Handlers, they stated that all of them share the same abilities. That, in my opinion, isn’t all that interesting. That means each time you go up against one, you’ll be going up against the same abilities. The only real difference will be the intelligence of the handler and how they use their powers. I would have liked to have seen more variety, but since we are only being limited to Ataru, the common powers all Handlers share seemed pretty unique. Not only did he cleverly manipulate people close to Fumi, he also served up as a character to introduce us to the Queen plot point. He served so many different purposes and wasn’t a one-dimensional villain. I really liked this character a lot.
I feel like I should mention Kaori here. Kaori is a supporting character who we’ll probably never see again (hey, I may be wrong), but unlike the other victims of the insects, she got the most attention and was put into the most perilous situation thus far. It makes me wonder, after seeing this, how far, Motomi-san is willing to go with the infestation victims. Motomi-san also did a fine job of turning a character into someone that people are supposed to loathe into someone you actually have mixed feelings about. Some people may feel that Kaori got what she deserved, but others may feel attached to Kaori after seeing her situation play out. Since her role was a bit larger here in the third volume, I’m hoping she sticks around otherwise the author just wasted a really interesting plot piece on a character that now has an attachment to the story.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed QQ Sweeper. This is under the Shojo Beat brand from VIZ, but I don’t think it reads like a Shojo manga. It reads more like a shounen battle manga with a splash of romance intertwined within it. There’s definitely some spots throughout the series that offer up a deep and sometimes dark atmosphere and then there are those light-hearted moments that allow you to breathe and just enjoy the characters. When I first introduced to this manga, I didn’t know what to think about it. A romance manga centered around cleaning seemed pretty dull, but when I gave it a chance, I was really surprised by the story that was being told. I didn’t expect that kind of a story out of something like this.
I think QQ Sweeper is a series that is going to fly under a lot of people’s radars and while it’s not the best story in the world that’s going to win a ton of awards, it certainly is a very interesting story and probably the most unique twist I have personally seen out of a shojo romance manga. Whether you like or dislike romance stories, I’m still giving this a recommendation. The sci-fi twist in here is what drives this story and if you give it a chance, I’m sure it’ll take you by surprise as well!
Be sure to follow me on Twitter @TheAnimePulse
You can also check out other The Outerhaven reviews on your favorite social media networks:
This item was provided for review by Viz Media