Original Run: January 11, 2019 - March 29, 2019 Number of Episodes: 12 Genre: Comedy, Harem, Romance Based on the Series Created By: Negi Haruba
***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for The Quintessential Quintuplets. Reader discretion is advised.***
Fuutarou Uesugi (voiced by Yoshitsugu Matsuoka) is an extremely intelligent honors student from a cash strapped family.
One day, Fuutarou gets an offer for a lucrative tutoring position. His employer is the incredibly wealthy head of the Nakano family who is willing to pay top dollar. Fuutarou doesn’t hesitate to take the job, but he completely miscalculates the challenges that will be involved. To keep his high-value paycheck, Fuutarou must ensure the five Nakano quintuplet sisters – Itsuki, Miku, Ichika, Yotsuba, and Nino (voiced respectively by Inori Minase, Miku Itou, Kana Hanazawa, Ayane Sakura, and Ayana Taketatsu) – don’t fail their exams.
Among Fuutarou’s biggest obstacles, his “students” are in the same grade as him, and thus, they don’t respect him as their instructor. More headache inducing, though, all the sisters are atrocious at studying and are quick to give up.
Come hell or high water, Fuutarou will see his task through. However, to do so, he must connect with each of the quintuplets on a personal level. That, on its own, promises to provide its own unique dilemmas.
The Quintessential Quintuplets was mostly – meh. Don’t get me wrong, the series was serviceable. At the very least, it was considerably more enjoyable than it was annoying. I can easily say, “This was no train wreck.”
Then again, the only element this show had in its favor – in terms of uniqueness – was the Nakano quintuplets. I can’t tell you how many twins I have come across in anime. I can even think of a few series which had triplets as part of its cast. But five identical siblings? Unless I am horribly mistaken, that is something I have not seen before.
(And before you say anything, yes, I am aware the Osomatsu series – the story of the Matsuno sextuplets – exists. However, I haven’t gotten around to watching it yet.)
To The Quintessential Quintuplets’ credit, it didn’t treat the Nakano quintuplets as a throwaway gimmick. Naturally, the show took advantage of this angle when it could, but never was it a one-trick-pony. The sisters were this series’ identity, and conversely, they each had a personality that was clearly their own.
As a result of that, The Quintessential Quintuplets wasn’t a terrible harem anime. In fact, this show demonstrated what could happen when this type of story doesn’t lose itself in trying to feature as much skin as possible. Although the five Nakano sisters were beautiful and well-proportioned, there was little attempt to throw them into an awkwardly compromising position with the center character, Fuutarou Uesugi.
Sure, such scenarios did happen, but The Quintessential Quintuplets wasn’t drowning in them. Plus, when they did occur, the girls’ clothes always managed to keep them covered up. Fanservice was not a be-all-end-all priority for this series, and it benefited because of that.
This show’s greatest strength was its characters, and for a harem anime, that’s a good start. To tell you the truth, The Quintessential Quintuplets was actually hindered because it was only twelve episodes long. If that runtime was doubled and Fuutarou was given more chances to connect with each of the sisters, this could have been a fantastic specimen.
My gut is telling me that could have been so because this series did an outstanding job with the Fuutarou-Miku route. The Quintessential Quintuplets thoroughly explored, explained, and detailed the journey Miku took to fall for Fuutarou. Her path from points A to B made sense, and by the end of the show, it was Miku’s storyline that felt the most likely to come to fruition.
Swinging back to its limited run time, The Quintessential Quintuplets, during its final few episodes, was just starting to build a case for the eldest Nakano quintuplet, Ichika. Out of the four sisters after Miku, it was a Fuutarou-Ichika pairing which began to appear extremely plausible.
It shouldn’t be understated how much the diversity between the Nakano sisters added to this show’s charm. Accompanying that, Fuutarou was a very capable harem-center. I, for one, appreciate a well-executed deadpan, and Fuutarou did not fail in that area.
The Quintessential Quintuplets wasn’t bad. Unfortunately, like I said at the top, it never got past – meh.
I do not expect this series to get a second season. I also don’t expect I will remember it all that long after this review goes live. Hell, despite my impending recommendation, I don’t even expect this post to compel people to go out of their way to watch The Quintessential Quintuplets.
The question you need to ask yourself is, “Why should I bother with this show?”
To that, I don’t have an answer, and I won’t bother trying to BS my way to one. I mean, why would I do so when there are other winter 2019 anime you should make a priority – Mob Psycho 100 II, The Promised Neverland, Kaguya-sama: Love is War, etc.
And besides, I only said The Quintessential Quintuplets was serviceable, and that its merits outnumbered its flaws. But its flaws were certainly there. In particular, this ending really needed to stop jerking itself off.
This series was extremely heavy-handed in insisting that each of the five Nakano sisters had feelings for Fuutarou. Except there was one problem. The show didn’t want to put in any of the effort to actually make that a reality.
There were two sisters, Miku and Ichika, who had legitimate romantic developments with Fuutarou. Granted, you could probably make an argument to convince me Isuki was a third. However, just because Isuki was the first of the quintuplets Fuutarou met and The Quintessential Quintuplets was framing her to be the main route, that holds no value when a story doesn’t take it any further.
Therefore, episode twelve can go piss off.
The Quintessential Quintuplets put most of its eggs in one basket. Nevertheless, it tried to pretend everything was equal. And by that, I mean this show attempted to be cute by leaving the fate of Fuutarou and one of the Nakano sisters ambiguous.
Except, why leave that open-ended when the story had already spent so much time building up the importance of the single event that would have determined the characters’ futures? Was it because when this series got around to showing said event, it provided no information, thus making everything before it utterly worthless?
Because if that was the case, I already said it:
I got a little more heated at the end than I meant to. Despite the idiocy this show pulled, it wasn’t remotely close to a big deal.
Not to mention, everything else that occurred beforehand was plenty fun enough.
This series won’t have any staying power, but while it was going on, it did its job. The characters were enjoyable, and this did prove to be a commendable harem anime in many spots.
Although you probably won’t get around to it soon, when you do, know that The Quintessential Quintuplets does have my recommendation.
But these are just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this show? What would be your advice concerning The Quintessential Quintuplets? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.
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For Anime Hajime, I’m LofZOdyssey, and I’ll see you next time.