|Period 51: The Cleaning Man|
|Previous||Period 50: Friend of the Science Room|
|Next||Period 52: Ghost Tunnel|
Ami hates cleaning, so when she learns about the Cleaning Man -a mysterious figure who cleans everything and disposes of trash- she begins abusing the story.
Yomi stands among a large amount of trash and shows the Reader how people carelessly toss it aside with no care in the world. She asks them if they carefully dispose of garbage.
One day Ami's mother comes into her daughters messy room and yells at her for sitting around instead of cleaning it. Not only does she have toys and clothing littering the room, but dirt and old, empty packaging from foods still lingering. She critisizes Ami for being so sloppy and starts picking up her trash while telling her that she must remember to dispose of it- she also should be eating and drinking more healthier options, and she reminds her that she forgot to feed her pet bird, Piiko.
Realizing her daughter isn't listening, she screams at Ami.
At the park while enjoying snack with her friends Ami complains about how angry her mother got. It's not like she's being an inconvience, so she doesn't understand the problem. One of her friends recalls that at school she has a very messy desk though, and while Ami is displeased, she admits mentally that she doesn't understand how people can stay so clean; to her its like a foreign subject.
Upon finishing her snack, Ami looks around but seeing no trash cans around, she carelessly tosses it aside. Her friend asks if this is really okay, but Ami assures her its fine because everyone else does it anyway- it's not like a little more trash will hurt anything. Her friends still seem unsure but they leave their trash with hers.
But before the girls can go, they are quickly stopped by an older woman, who aggressively yells at them to throw away their trash. It's then she recognizes Ami -as she knows her mom- and she tries to gently tell them that its troublesome to throw trash on the ground, and that she shouldn't become like naughy people who litter. Ami tries hiding her trash by shoving it back, and as the woman complains about the recent increase she wishes "the cleaning man" would come back.
The older women explain who he is to the younger girls, explaining that he lives within this neighborhood. Whenever he comes to pick up the trash there's never a speck left, he really does a wonderful job keeping the area clean. However, they have never met him before, so they don't know anything about him.
The moment Ami arrives home her mom reminds her of a promise she made earlier, and she hands her a small brush and dust pan as Ami overlooks the paper she wrote, saying she would clean up her room and take care of Piiko. While observing her messy little bird, Ami complains that both jobs are a big pain and she regrets asking for a pet because back then she didn't realize how much effort was necessary to take care of it. It's then she spots someone outside across the road from her window cleaning the ground. She doesn't recognize him.
The next day everyone stands in admiration of how clean the park has become. They admire the flowers that were so dirty looking before, and Ami overhears the older women from before as they note it must have been the cleaning man. She thinks about the man she saw the previous evening, but because of how dark it was outside she couldn't tell at the time.
After school Ami and her friends complain over having to clean up the courtyard, which is currently covered in leaves. But before they can start Ami happens to spot the cleaning man out of the corner of her eyes, causing her friends concern noticing her distraction. As soon as the girls turn around, they find the ground has become spotless, with no leaves in sight. This confuses the girls, as nobody has started cleaning yet, and Ami wonders if perhaps that strange man did something.
As the girls happily toss aside their cleaning tools to enjoy what time they have left to play, another girl runs up to them and tells them to come inside, where she leads them to the group gathered around the restrooms. Among the awestruck students, even Ami notices the faculty seems aware of the sparkling restrooms and she suddenly spots the cleaning man again. She tries showing her friends but they don't see anything, leading Ami to wonder why nobody else can see him.
In her class, Ami overhears some male classmates chatting about the cleaning man, saying that if its not the God of Toilets then it must be the God of Cleaning. Her class resumes, when her Teacher walks in carrying a large growing tomato plant and informs them that they must focus on their observation work regarding it for now. She also instructs those who have yet to take it home or personally study it to consider doing so; and of course, this lone person ends up being Ami, who complains as she carries the heavy potted tomato plant around.
As she wishes the Teacher would just get rid of the plant, Ami recalls the Cleaning Man and she discards of it hoping he will pick it up. To ensure he visits she also drops some garbage, then she thanks him and runs off.
The following day Ami arrives to find the plant and trash is missing, and she happily reguards this Cleaning Man as the God of Cleaning. So from then on she begins using this as a personal way of disposing whatever she doesn't want- from a test she did poorly on to a mascot keychain her friend gave her as a souvenir from a trip. She also took to throwing away the trash in her bedroom, by tossing it into a bag that she can throw outside for the Cleaning Man.
Just as she tosses the bag outside of her window, Ami's mom arrives to find her room is now spotless. She is completely surprised and decides to reward Ami by making her favorite dish for dinner. Ami is very happy, but just then she recalls that she forgot to feed Piiko and approaches his cage, but to her alarm she finds that Piiko has died because of her lack of responsibility.
Realizing she can't do anything about it now, Ami takes the small corpse from the cage and she takes it to the area where she's been disposing of garbage and lays it down. She asks the Cleaning Man to properly take care of Piiko, unaware of the cats looming nearby- as well as the Cleaning Man.
Later, Ami's mother informs her that Piiko has gone missing. As she wonders what could have happened, they notice the lock was broken, so Ami says he must have run away. Ami is sure she knows where Piiko is but she says nothing as her mom expresses remorse, knowing how much Ami really wanted a pet bird before. Ami insists it can't be helped though, in an attempt to assure her its okay.
The next day Ami happily arrives to school when she notices all eyes are on her. The classroom goes silent and everyone starts whispering about her and pointing fingers, refusing to look directly at her and seemingly avoiding her. As she pauses, Ami picks up a rotting scent and she discovers a large mountain of trash covering her desk. As she feverishly picks up the items, she and a few others recognize a couple of them, such as the souvenir her friend gave her. This causes her friend and the others to express disappointment in her, especially when she sees Piiko's corpse within the items.
Angrily, Ami runs out of the room in a blind panic. She can't understand why the man did this when he was supposed to make everything beautiful. She runs outside to find the man, and gathering up her courage she asks him why he would do that to her. She asks him why he didn't get rid of the trash like he was supposed to, and as she recalls everyone turning on her in class she becomes further embittered and grabs his shoulder, thinking he isn't listening.
To her alarm, she watches as flies begin to cover her hand. As she panics the flies begin overtaking Ami, and the man turns to her with a menacing smile and opens a large bag, throwing her inside.
Later, Ami's mother is disposing of her trash when she notices the Cleaning Man walk by. She attempts to greet him, but when he doesn't respond she curiously observes him in wonder as she notices he has trash bags in his hands. She isn't able to linger on it however, realizing that she has to get back inside to finish snacks for Ami, unaware of her daughters hand peeking out of the bag.
The Cleaning Man is shown carrying the bags to a large facility in the distance.
As she observes some garbage covering the ground, Yomi glances towards the Cleaning Man and wonders if he is the embodiment of human trash. She teases the Readers by saying he could show up in their own town.