"'For some reason' things don't go well and you feel uneasy.
'For some reason' you hate someone and can't forgive them.
'For some reason' you hurt somebody.
The reason is usually buried somewhere within, but...the idea of digging around for it is too scary."
Queen's Quality isn't groundbreaking when it comes to character types. The art isn't the best I've ever seen. Even the story arcs can be a little repetitive in their sequences and resolutions.
But dang, this manga really deserves some credit.
Shoujo mangakas have a tendency to pass off pure nonsense as some kind of profound realization just by adding a ton of ellipses ("..."), sparkly framing, and
a serene expression from their leading character.
"Wa-la! Now everything is perfect. Just ignore the actual logic of my captioning and allow the story to go on."
Queen's Quality is guilty of this shortcut from time to time, but I forgive these fumbles because of all the times the author makes a keen observation with actual substance! Honestly, this manga addresses serious psychological issues, and not just through its minor characters (token villains/bullies/losers/etc.). Every character has darkness. Every character struggles. Secondary emotions versus primary motives, deeply repressed feelings, metacognition and mental health--this is some crazy real stuff that everyone has, whether they acknowledge it or not. I recommend this manga (so far) on the basis that readers should actually take cues from it and undergo some self-analysis.
Queen's Quality is the continuation of QQ Sweeper and Motomi Kyousuke's first series after Dengeki Daisy. All I can say is that I've got high hopes for this series, because so far it's been great. Note: Queen's Quality continues right where QQ Sweeper left off, so it's like QQ Sweeper is the first 3 volumes of Queen's Quality and should be read before Queenqua.
Story (8): Definitely a unique premise. Fumi Nishioka meets a cleaner named Kyuutarou Horikita. They clean together in the literal sense, but their primary goal is to clear up bad emotional debris in people's minds. There is a prevalent supernatural element,
and there is quite a bit of action/fighting considering it's a shoujo manga, so it treads the line between shoujo and shonen. One of the main factors that makes the plot so engaging is the complete mystery that is "Fumi Nishioka"--from the start, we know next to nothing about the main protagonist, and as the pieces start falling in place, you'll be even more curious about her past.
But my favorite aspect of Queenqua is probably the romance between Kyuutarou and Fumi. It actually unfolds at a reasonable pace (I'm so sick of the main character taking 100+ chapters to even realize her feelings) and is super sweet. I will say that there are some cliche moments, but generally the whole thing is enjoyable to see.
Another aspect I really enjoy is the story's exploration of maintaining one's sense of self and the way character is developed through adversity. There are some actual themes explored in this manga, giving it a depth that a lot of shoujo lacks.
Art (8): Very few complaints with art. Motomi Kyousuke has definitely leveled up her art a lot since Dengeki Daisy. The color spreads are gorgeous, as are the characters themselves, and there's a lot of detail in the scenery. I found the style of Dengeki Daisy a little too stiff, but now the characters look much more cohesive, though the author's style is still very distinct. Kyuu and Fumi are eye candies, so if anything read Queenqua to appreciate them.
Character (8): The main character has a lot of spunk and grace...which seems like an unlikely combination, but that's what it's like. She's a strong protagonist who values being self-sufficient (as you'll see, to a fault sometimes). And she has a "princess" side that is really elegant, a refreshing quality amidst the ditzy, bubbly genki girls that star in a lot of shoujo (though Fumi can be like that too sometimes).
Kyu's sincerity and dedication are his selling points. I appreciate that he's 100% for Fumi and he's generally a very lovable character.
Enjoyment (8): Every chapter keeps me going on to the next! The pacing is solid, and most importantly(!) Fumi and Kyuutarou's relationship is enjoyable to watch unfold. A few points off because sometimes the action parts can get a little predictable/repetitive, but this is a shoujo manga anyway so.
To sum it up, Queenqua is an underrated work by an experienced author with lovely art, an original premise, and a great plot! Plus a super cute romance! I highly recommend this work, and there is a good chance that my rating of this manga will go up as the story continues.