It’s pretty common that any series in the harem genre can be hit or miss with its plot. The show usually ends up filled with the same cut and dry traits that you see time and time again. Examples include the typical tsundere, the childhood friend, the kuudere, the over saturation of fan service, and “ecchiness” just to name a few. While some series have gained popularity and sold successfully, when you ask people if they read or watch anything in the harem genre they tend to avoid them because of the “fan service and ecchi over plot”. 5-Toubun no Hanayome, better known as The Quintessential Quintuplets, is the wild card in this genre and this season of anime.
The Problem with Harems
While looking for a new series to watch I came across The Quintessential Quintuplets and had one initial thought: skip. I don’t particularly care for harems because of how heartbreaking it is when the character you ship loses. You continue to read just to find out the girl who you didn’t think was even that good won. But only because of the first girl trope and because of a popularity poll. (Okay, that was personal. I will never forgive Nisekoi for that one, but I digress.) Yet despite my worries, the series ended up keeping me engaged and didn’t fall too much into the common tropes of harems that I feared.
The series starts with our main character, Fuutarou Uesugi, as a 2nd-year student living life on a budget, focusing on studying to be best-in-class. He comes across a well-paying job as tutor only to find out that the people he’s tutoring are his quintuplets sister classmates that hate studying and will do anything to avoid it. This leads to Uesugi scheming of ways to win them over and make the study while also winning their affections.
The Quintessential Quintuplets Themselves
First, Ichika. She is the oldest and the leader with her short haircut. Her archetype is the older sister and is always looking out for her sisters. Ichika also tends to tease Uesugi a lot.
Second, Nino, with her twin hair ribbons. She takes the role of the den mother who cooks and takes care of the others when they are sick. Yet Nino is the most hostile of the five sisters towards Uesugi. She cares a lot about her sisters and doesn’t want anyone to come between them. She sees Uesugi as a threat because of this.
Third, and personally my favorite, Miku, the quiet and reserved headphone-wearing sister. She’s the more observant sister, but is pessimistic. She thinks anything she can do, her sisters can as well. Although she doesn’t accept Uesugi at first, she’s the first to take a romantic interest in him.
Fourth, Yotsuba. Cheerful and energetic, she wears a bunny ribbon to distinguish herself from her sisters. She is the only one of the sisters who fully accepts Uesugi from the start. Unfortunately, she’s actually the dumbest of the five sisters. But that doesn’t stop her from trying her best and wearing a smile.
Lastly, Itsuki. Noted as the “first girl” of the series, Itsuki has star hair clips and long red hair. As the youngest, Itsuki is a big glutton and crybaby. She and Uesugi don’t get along at first which causes a rift between the two.
My Final Take
What I mainly noticed when reading the manga of The Quintessential Quintuplets is that the author doesn’t stick to certain tropes like only focusing on the first girl or tons of fan service. Instead they’ve balanced the series with interesting character development while not being biased to any one in particular. Even though you need to have some of the common tropes of the genre, the author still made The Quintessential Quintuplets a refreshing experience.
The series of 5-Toubun no Hanayome promotes sisterly bonds and family ties with some added romantic comedy. While the anime is almost finished, the manga is currently on its seventh volume and is still ongoing. Depending on the popularity of the series, we could expect either an OVA or a second season. So, if you have time and enjoy a harem romantic comedy with some fresh life breathed into it, I recommend that you definitely add this series to your watch list.
Did you like The Quintessential Quintuplets? Who do you think was the best girl from the series? Let us know in the comments!