What’s the show? The Quintessential Quintuplets, Episode 1.
So how’s this episode? What’s that sound? It’s the harem alarm! Everybody to your stations!
Oh dear… why am I not surprised you’re reviewing another one of these? Now now, you don’t even know what this show is about! You can’t criticise right off the bat!
Fine, what’s it about? It’s about Uesugi Fuutarou, a genius high school student living it tough because of his father’s debt. One day he gets the offer to tutor the new exchange student at five times the rate tutoring normally pays, he’s overjoyed–as is his little sister–who is doing her best to keep the family together through their hardships. He’s less overjoyed when he finds out that it’s not exactly as simple as he thought as it’s in fact five girls–quintuplet sisters–whom he’ll be tutoring who all have very different opinions on the boy.
Well okay, I admit that sounds less immediately obnoxious as some of the harem shows you watch. Though a harem of five sisters is causing me to raise an eyebrow… Well it is what it is, though they are all very committed to the idea of not studying they even drug his water and send him away in a taxi on the first day he comes to tutor them. But regardless of the circumstance a harem anime lives and dies by the quality of its characters.
Fair enough, so how are these characters? Absolutely flawless. And by that I don’t mean they don’t have flaws, they have plenty of flaws but this show does an impeccable job at not only introducing five very different girls but in imbuing them all with traits that succinctly but effectively get you to relate to them in unique and personal ways. Not only that they’re all absolutely gorgeously designed, I’d gladly “tutor” these girls any day.
Gross. But what about the male protagonist, that’s an important part of a harem, is it not? It’s important they aren’t self-entitled jerks, or if they are, that they can pull it off with charisma and wit. Uesugi straddles a line, his home life makes him very endearing as does his intelligence but I just hope he doesn’t end up lording his intelligence over the girls because that’d be a problem for me as a viewer. As it stands, I like him but I’m also wary.
Anything else you wanted to add? A part from how the characters are written and drawn the voice performances also go a long way to making them as endearing as they are, the girls are (mostly) a top-notch voice cast and further endear me to their characters. One thing I did not like however was the ‘wedding’ bookends that hint at that as a conclusion for this series–mostly because this is an ongoing manga series and that seems like a tease of something that’ll never come–unless of course this series becomes absurdly popular and lucrative and they adapt it all.
Overall thoughts on the first episode and recommendation? This is an extremely solid start to what will hopefully be a fun but also deeper than usual harem series. The protagonist’s monetary problems and the wealth/class divide between the quintuplets and Uesugi could mine a lot of drama and social commentary if well written. The fact that this show seems relatively mild on fan service means that its appeal could be broadened to those who usually avoid ecchi harems (this isn’t an ecchi for the record) and so unless you are vehemently against harems I can pretty much recommend this to anyone.
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