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Series / Mop Girl

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Mop Girl is a 2007 Japanese Dramedy miniseries based from Miaki Kato's novel of the same name. It follows the adventures of Momoko Hasegawa (Keiko Kitagawa), who at a young age was rescued by a woman from a traffic accident. The woman dies from her injury, but not after she passes on a strange ability into Momoko. With this power, Momoko can travel back in time by holding a deceased person's memento, giving her a chance to prevent that person's death and discover the culprit.


This series contains examples of:

  • Adorkable: Momoko, played by Keiko Kitagawa to be as dorky as possible.
  • Affectionate Parody: Of the Detective Drama genre. The show even "recreates" a crime scene using people in body suits and labels plastered on their faces. See also the Strictly Formula entry.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • A recurring event with the suspects. As they find more evidence against the prime suspect, a disregarded character is the actual culprit.
    • In the final episode, The assailant happened to have a spare knife to attack Momoko, but Otomo jumps in between and apparently dies from his wound. Some time later, the staff looks by his empty desk. It turns out he fully recovered and just came back from a vacation in Hawaii.
  • Benevolent Boss: Shigeo Higashi, the Little Angel funeral services president. He is a goofy eccentric who is quite friendly towards his workers, and is even shown to bond with them time by time. He is also very lenient toward Momoko's regular mishaps.
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  • Bound and Gagged: Happens to Otomo in Episode 8 by an Kisuke Nawashibari, an author of erotic novels and BDSM fetishist.
  • Big Eater: Miki Kataoka, Momoko's colleague who brings big lunches to work and is often seen eating.
  • Butt-Monkey: Momoko
  • Cerebus Syndrome: As early as Episode 4, Momoko learns that she cannot save everyone.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: Momoko
  • Disney Death: In the final episode: Momoko, then Otomo. Both came out well.
  • Dope Slap: Commonly delivered by Otomo to Momoko with several variations.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: In the first episode, Momoko discovers the latent power she got from her childhood accident. She travels back in time to prevent a former teacher from doing a bank robbery and hostage taking that got him killed by cops. Subsequent episodes follow the plot of a Detective Drama.
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  • Femme Fatale: Discussed in Episode 8, where the culprit is one.
  • Generation Xerox: Momoko's stern father Ryuji and her brother Keigo share her Malaproper tendencies.
  • Has a Type:
    • Momoko is obsessed with muscles. She even has a cutout of a muscled figure on her mirror.
    • Otomo has a fascination for foreign girls. Once Momoko comes back in time, she exploits this fact to coax Otomo to help her solve the case.
  • Insistent Terminology: Yokochi Atsushi, Sub-Divisional Inspector.
  • Last-Name Basis: Shotaro Otomo is often called by his colleagues by his last name. Only his girlfriend called him Shotaro before she died.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: Karenko Todoroki in Episode 8.
  • Malaproper: Momoko has some trouble with idioms and tends to mispronouce or misunderstand homonyms.
  • Meaningful Name: Otomo means companion, who usually plays The Watson to Momoko and gets a fair share in solving the case.
  • Memento MacGuffin: The trigger of Momoko's time travel is holding an item that the deceased has an attachment to.
  • Mood Whiplash: The show zigzags between hilarious and dramatic with spoofs of a generic detective plot, followed by heartwrenching twists.
  • Mistaken for Romance: Momoko and Otomo are mistaken to be a couple.
  • Muggle Best Friend:
    • Otomo, whose help Momoko enlists after going back in time, with the excuse of visions of her grandma and the promise of pretty foreign girls. His navigation and investigative skills prove useful in locating possible suspects.
    • Hina, Momoko's best friend who works in a publishing company. Her connections also help Momoko in her investigation.
  • Peggy Sue: Upon touching a memento, Momoko goes back in time, usually the morning of that day of the character's death. Momoko races against the clock and uses her knowledge of various clues and time frames before the crime takes place.
  • Posthumous Character / The Reveal: Ryoko Hazuki was the mysterious woman who rescued Momoko 13 years ago at the cost of her life, later revealed to be Otomo's girlfriend.
  • Red Herring: All over the place. Potential suspects are pointed out, then just as a main suspect is zeroed by an incriminating clue, it turns out a character who looks like having the least motive is the real criminal.
  • Running Gag:
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: The main premise of the series.
  • Strictly Formula: Momoko meets the episode's main character and gets in trouble at the funeral parlor she's working in. The murder of the episode's character is discovered. Momoko locates an item linked to the dead person and goes back in time, getting help from Otomo and Hina along the way. Potential suspects are investigated. Momoko and Otomo stop the crime of the central character, just to discover that another side character has the real motive to kill all along.
  • There Is Only One Bed: Otomo gets the bed, Momoko gets the couch.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Momoko and Otomo.
  • "Well Done, Daughter" Girl: Momoko lives solo in an apartment as a blue-collar worker even though her brother is a doctor and her father is a wealthy hospital director. She aspired to be a wedding planner but got shafted into a funeral services office as a mop girl.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Momoko, to ludicrous degrees. In earlier episodes, she can talk down the culprit to stop a crime they are about to commit.
  • Yakuza: Episode 9 deals with a whole gang of them. Momoko has to bring the dying Yakuza leader to meet his childhood girlfriend that he was forced to leave.


Example of: