The Quintessential Quintuplets

The Quintessential Quintuplets

Uesugi Futarou is a high school second-year from a poor family. Due to his high grades, he receives a highly appealing offer to work part-time as a tutor… but his students turn out to be girls from his own class. What’s more, they’re quintuplets. All five are beautiful, but happen to be problem students who all are getting failing grades and hate studying. In order to get paid, Futarou must win the sisters’ trust, convince them that they can improve whilst surviving the obligatory hijinks that inevitable ensues. Though the Nakano sisters look similar, their personalities and motivations are very different.

Over the years I’ve become more and more intolerant of harem anime – it’s the same story within a different setting and just revolves around the main character getting into awkward situations with one female… to run away and run into a similar situation with another. I haven’t been able to find one that doesn’t offer something different – until now.

Okay, so The Quintessential Quintuplets isn’t exactly what you’d call a full-on harem anime. It’s tempered with other elements that tone down the overt boy:girl ratio. There’s more of a story, there’s some actual romance and all the sisters aren’t big-breasted bimbos. It must be difficult to convey individual personalities to five technically identical characters, but the artwork does this in such a great way. Each sister has their own style and way of talking, which makes telling them apart easy. And, in some scenes, their are subtle changes to the artwork that make certain scenes just a little more shoujo, which is a nice touch.

Not a lot of studying really goes on, though. At the start Futarou really makes an effort to get them altogether and actually teach them something, but it’s very much like herding cats: Yotsuba is always getting distracted, Nino doesn’t trust Futarou’s intentions, Ichika is always sneaking off, Miku is quiet and withdrawn and Itsuki is textbook tsundere.

What I first started watching as an easy-to-watch, mildly-amusing show, I did become pulled into the gentle romances building between Futarou and the Nakano sisters. Things began a bit harem and slapstick, but as the characters developed and their relationships with their tutor/classmate progressed, key aspects of the story began to change. Though it was fairly clear from the beginning that the sisters would start ‘falling’ for Futarou, this was addressed in five different ways and varying degrees which suited their developing relationships. In some scenes, Futarou almost looked like a shoujo love interest rather than a despairing and permanently confused teenager just trying to earn money for his younger sister

I ended up enjoying The Quintessential Quintuplets a lot more than I thought I was going to. I’m looking forward to finding out which one of the sisters was Futarou’s childhood friend (that he has pretty much forgotten, conveniently) and what these flashes of weddings are – presumably hinting that the eventually marries one of them? (At least, I hope it’s only one of them). Whatever happens, I’m seeing this one through to the end. Their may be a twist still to come, but it might just be a typical happy ending. I’m glad this romance has had me guessing.