I saw a recent episode of bleep bloop on CollegeHumor.com where they decided to explore crazy Japanese dating sims, and they picked Idea Factory’s Clean Keeper as the game they’d test out. It seemed so random to me since I know Idea Factory, and I know how niche they are and how they generally wouldn’t appeal to your average college “bro.” But here it was, this game being featured.
Well, those guys in that video never commented on the music, so I guess it’s my job.
The album’s cover art should tip you off as to the style of music you’ll hear. This is one of those ultra-happy, ultra-bubbly dating sims. The concept of “Clean Keeper” involves being a volunteer student-janitor and working with female students who also are cleanin’ up. In a real-world setting, that probably isn’t very interesting. But if we make everyone super perky and make cleaning a fun, colorful activity, then we’re in business! Of course, that means lead synths and disco-pop everywhere we go!
Idea Factory’s in-house composer, Kenji Kaneko, handled the score for Clean Keeper (with Ayako Saso composing/arranging the vocal tracks). And he wrote some surprisingly good music. And while most of it is, as described, super-bubbly happy times, a few tracks are tense and enjoyable. See track 9, “Queen of Muteki,” as an example.
The opening and ending vocal tracks, “Kirakira × Keeper” and “Polish!” are designed to make you laugh more than to bob your head in enjoyment. At least, that’s what I would guess. And it does make me giggle sometimes. But I couldn’t handle listening to these vocal tracks on loop.
The album is sufficiently lengthy for a quirky dating sim, and short enough to not overstay its welcome. If you’ve followed Kaneko’s past work, be it with other dating sims or with Idea Factory’s two main series (Spectral Force and Generation of Chaos), let me assure you that Kaneko is only getting better with age, and you will likely find this album to be more enjoyable than much of his older work.