The Quintessential Quintuplets delivers harem-flavored comfort food in a cold and barren season. This week, Nick and Micchy share the parts of this trifle they've enjoyed and the parts that leave a bad taste in their mouth.
Disclaimer:The views and opinions expressed by the participants in this chatlog are not the views of Anime News Network. Spoiler Warning for discussion of the series ahead.
Micchy So Nick, I don't think I've told you this, but I'm pretty bad with faces. Luckily, most anime is good at keeping its character designs distinct enough for me to--
Nick Y'know I'm pretty bad with faces too. But luckily I'm a connoisseur of harem anime, so I've learned to differentiate between those pretty well. It takes a discerning palate to tell the difference between a modern classic that will revolutionize the medium as an art form for decades to come, and a derivative cash-in made by hacks with no taste or creativity.
It's pretty simple when you get down to it. First, you have the obvious best girl:
And then you have the rest who don't matter as much, to fill time in between more scenes with Nino.
I guess this means you do have some taste after all!
I'm just saying, there's an obvious right choice in this show and it's not the one pixiv has been going crazy over. But yes, today we're covering the obligatory winter harem anime: The Quintessential Quintuplets. It's the story of a young man trapped in a never-ending nightmare of anime romcom hijinks, constantly preventing him from just doing his homework.
Y'know, if the show didn't tease at the very beginning that he was going to marry one of the sisters, I would've thought this was an anime about Potato-kun's tragic romance with academic success.
Harems usually have their potato leads act somewhat reluctant to their growing bevy of love interests, but Uesugi genuinely acts like he's being dragged kicking and screaming into this.
Our boy just wants to keep his tutoring gig and cover for his family's debt, y'know? Who has time for anime girls throwing themselves at you when your finances are at stake? Although at least the girls have some personal hurdles to overcome before inexplicably falling for this sentient potato.
That's the other thing with the show. While it's primarily driven by the circumstances behind our identical heroines all falling for Uesugi, at least it gives some focus to their own issues in the process. Like Miku's shame over her unique tastes:
She's nothing if not relatable, if my Twitter feed full of horny Fate fanart is anything to go by.
The Moriarty fans are rising up.
Granted, Fate fans don't normally go for the actual historical figures as they looked in real life, but it's in the same ballpark as Miku's thing.
It's kind of sweet in a very anime way that she ends up falling for Uesugi not because he was nice to her, but because he took a genuine interest in something she's been uncomfortable sharing with others. Granted, Uesugi takes an interest in her for other reasons. Did I mention pixiv's picked a favorite girl already?
I wasn't sure which one you meant, but in hindsight, I should've guessed it was the shy one with the trendy headphones and sensual sock-stripping scene.
They are savages with plebeian tastes, which I guess makes Uesugi a perfect audience stand-in now that I think about it.
Frankly, the bare minimum for my watching harem nonsense over otome garbage is that the girls have some modicum of personality outside of their relationship with the lead, and this show mostly accomplishes that.
And at least one of them has managed to (mostly) resist the allure of our inexplicably charming hero. Nino is the star of this show just by not immediately falling for Uesugi being nice one time after episodes of fairly negative interactions between them.
I mean, she was the least receptive one to begin with, but it is nice not to fall into the old "romance blossoms from generic courtesy" pattern that mediocre romcom anime tend to fall into.
And Uesugi is only moderately capable of generic courtesy. Frankly, when he's not being a teacher, he's kind of a dick. He's not a huge asshole, but he's definitely the kind of person who can say something insensitive and then not understand when people get ticked off at him.
Of course, a salted potato is better than no seasoning at all, right?
He's a casually insensitive sort of everyman in a way that seems intended to be charming or relatable. It's not a deal-breaker for me, but I do find the bluntness slightly off-putting. On the bright side, he's not creepy about his sister, which is something I'm still a little shocked I have to clarify.
I mean when you have five quintuplets to bang already, why waste your time with some squirt who has a stupid front pony tail? At the same time, the dude needs to reckon with his personality at times. Like when he goes too far during one of his tsundere fights with Itsuki and actually pisses her off rather than making her pout. It just doesn't inspire the kind of introspection you'd hope for and mostly ends with an awkward sideways apology from both parties.
I suppose that's about as much as you might expect from a goofy romcom. It's less about melodrama and huge feelings than occasional emotional vulnerability. They're not going to grapple with their personality flaws in any major ways, at least not this early in the show's run. Right now it's about small breakthroughs between the hijinks.
I mean, plenty has already happened in the show! Seven episodes in and Uesugi's already slept with 1/5 of his love interests. He's well on his way to that School Days ending.
Now that's a stretch, he clearly just slept next to her.
They can't all be Domestic Girlfriend. But yeah, having seen a lot of harem slurry, I'm comfortable saying Quints does just enough to be a decent watch if you're into this kind of thing. Otherwise there's not much to set it apart for people who didn't have the patience to watch all of Yuuna & The Haunted Hot Springs.
It's plenty watchable, which is about all I'm asking for in this wasteland of a season. Sometimes there are good jokes! Like the fact that nobody can tell the difference between the quintuplets if they change up their gimmicks even slightly.
Maybe everyone in this world has mild prosopagnosia.
And sometimes the show drops the implication that Ichika's doing sex work only to pull a bait and switch. Seriously, what was up with that?
Yeah, Ichika's thing was weird—you know because this isn't a serious drama or salacious fanservice fest that she's not actually doing porn or whatever, but it drags that reveal out long enough that it feels kind of unnecessary when she's actually just an aspiring TV actress.
What was even the point of showing her getting out of a car with an affectionate older man if the ultimate reveal was so pedestrian? Like every so often the show drops shit that's questionable enough to take me out of the fun.
I think it's mainly there to give Uesugi (and the audience) the sense of urgent protectiveness where he has to save her from a seedy life or something. It's weird and half-baked though, so I chalk it up to needing some kind of drama to make Ichika fall in love with him since he'd never otherwise confront her about something.
I suppose that's better than having him berate her for being a slob.
Leave the girl alone dude, she's going through some stuff. Until her bed's buried behind three dozen pizza boxes and pickle jars, she'll be just fine.
You shush, I get rid of my pizza boxes on the regular. Chinese takeout and pickle jars, on the other hand...
Listen, we all have our secret shames. Some of us live in our own filth, others own all of Love Hina on DVD. Who are we to judge differences when we can come together over what we share in common?
I suppose you're right. At the end of the day, what matters is that we have something in our lives that sparks joy, and that we share that joy by making each other watch cartoons we otherwise might not give the time of day.
To be fair, Heybot! does not spark joy. I do have one question remaining about Quintessential Quintuplets, though. Why on EARTH is this song in the soundtrack?
If you happen to interact with toddlers at all, you've probably heard the baby shark song at some point, which makes it extremely disturbing when the melody pops up in the Quints soundtrack every five minutes. Like, they'll be doing anime harem hijinks on screen, but all I can think about are slimy baby paws waking me up at 7:00 in the morning.
I guess that's just your brain poison to carry around. But for harem fans who are lucky enough to not deal with children on a regular basis, I highly suggest you share in this good ole slop with me here.
This fantasy action series has fallen by the wayside since it originally aired a year ago. Theron Martin finds out if there's anything about this light novel adaptation that's worth revisiting on blu-ray.― This 12 episode anime from the Spring 2018 season did not get a lot of attention in the West, perhaps in part because its source novels (29 in all since 2003) do not have even full fan translation...
The poll results are in and we have your Daily Streaming Reviews schedule for Summer 2019!― This season's poll results have been tallied and we've put together the schedule for the Summer 2019 Daily Streaming Reviews! Due to lack of reader interest, Chris Farris will be wrapping up his reviews of YU-NO: A girl who chants love at the bound of this world this week. Without further ado, your schedule: ...
The Astra rockets forth into drama and adventure with its intriguing new cast of spacefaring characters. Nick and Andy discuss their favorite moments and future predictions for this exciting sci fi series.― Astra Lost in Space rockets forth into drama and adventure with its intriguing new cast of spacefaring characters. This week, Nick and Andy discuss their favorite moments and future predictions ...
This haphazard adaptation of a horror manga master's beloved works is more depressing than shocking. Faye Hopper has the details.― How do you make Junji Ito boring? Is it even possible? Well, in case you are one of the few who ever pondered such a question, congratulations! You have an answer. It's called Junji Ito Collection, and it is pure unadulterated tedium. But how? For one, it's notorious how...
There's a plethora of new hit manga out this week, from Goblin Slayer to BEASTARS to Skull-Face Bookseller Honda-san. Check out our full list of anime, manga, and game releases!― Welcome to Shelf Life, covering every week's new releases in anime, manga, and Japanese games! The latest part of Boruto looks like the headline act in this week's anime lineup, while it's a week of endings and beginnings ...
This full CGI remake of the first Pokemon movie may seem redundant on the surface, but does this update add anything to the original experience? Callum May has our review from the film's theatrical run in Japan.― It's not often that you sit through an entire film waiting for it to justify its own existence, but that was my experience watching Pokémon the Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back EVOLUTION, an exac...
7SEEDS is based on an award-winning science fiction manga, but something went very wrong in the adaptation process. Nick and Steve navigate this unfortunate trainwreck on Netflix.― 7SEEDS is based on an award-winning science fiction manga, but something went very wrong in the adaptation process. This week, Nick and Steve navigate this unfortunate trainwreck on Netflix. Disclaimer: The views and opi...
This volume brings Saint Seiya's story back to its true focus, after several prior chapters of stumbling. Rebecca Silverman has the details.― While Saintia Sho is a direct spin-off of the original Saint Seiya series, the past few volumes might have done a bit better to forget that fact. Beginning with the tournament, where Shoko briefly meeting Seiya is the highlight, the series has been relying too...
Aiz gets some detailed backstory in this otherwise lackadaisical entry in DanMachi's story. Theron Martin has the details.― Over the last two volumes Sword Oratoria has explored the backgrounds of three of its other key members, including how they came to join Loki Familia. With this volume author Fujino Omori finally deals with the person in the franchise whose background has most conspicuously bee...
There's no shortage of death game stories in anime, where a group of players, willing or unwilling, must outwit and outlast one another in a brutal game of survival. Here are 7 more of 'em!― There are few quicker ways to ramp up tension between a group of strangers than throwing them headfirst into a battle of kill or be killed. There are tons of manga centered on the topic, for example Yen Press' ...