The Winter 2021 Preview Guide
The Quintessential Quintuplets ∬
How would you rate episode 1 of
The Quintessential Quintuplets ∬ (TV 2) ?
What is this?
High school student Futaro Uesugi and the Nakano Quintuplets continue their studies in Season 2.
How was the first episode?
Out of all the series that debuted in Winter 2019, if you'd made me guess which one would become an out-of-nowhere success and be one of the highest-selling manga franchises for the next two years and counting, I wouldn't have pegged Quints at all. While I enjoyed the first season for the silly and occasionally sweet romcom it was, the sheer speed and intensity with which this show and manga exploded for audiences took me entirely by surprise. Combined with a complete change in staff for this second season and a move to a studio with only one full-length anime to their name, I really wasn't sure what to expect from the confusingly titled Quintessential Quintuplets ∬.
So far, it's mostly business as usual. After a short reminder of why Futaro's in the hospital after the end of last season, we get right back into the swing of things with Nino, Ichika, and The Rest. The major shift is that we start to get a deeper look into the fateful meeting Futaro had with one of the sisters as a child, which might suggest this season will start digging into that little mystery since the first never bothered. Knowing romcom conventions like I do, I expect any progress on that front will be very slow coming, and I will be shocked if they actually conclude anything this season, let alone the overhanging mystery of which girl our protagonist eventually marries. But shows like these are more about the journey than the destination, and this episode provides a solid bit of comedy inbetween planting plot seedlings, so I can't really complain. I've also managed to remain unspoiled for the now-finished manga, so if we do get an ending I'll be doubly surprised.
What's likely to be more divisive for anime-only viewers is the shift in art style. While season 1 certainly wasn't a visual stunner, it was a lot of people's first introduction to how these characters look, so just the fact that things have changed at all is likely to put some off. Personally I think it's a move for the better – the expressions especially are a lot closer to Negi Haruba's illustrations, and do a better job of selling the sisters' personalities visually. There's decidedly stiffer storyboarding compared to season 1, and I imagine that comes from trying to stick closer to the manga paneling, but this show's been no stranger to animation shortcuts before, and frankly I think the tradeoff is worth it in the long run. As an aside, I don't know if the new ED is referencing Midsommar on purpose, but if this show wants to end with the Quints burning Futaro alive in a bear costume, I am all for it.
That bit of wishful thinking aside, I am genuinely glad to have Quints back. I doubt I'll ever be a super fan, but this premiere did a good job of reminding me what I liked about the first season, and that's about as good as you can ask of it. In conclusion: Nino is Best Girl. Don't @ me.
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