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Manga Monday- The Quintessential Quintuplets

Manga Monday- The Quintessential Quintuplets

The Quintessential Quintuplets is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Negi Haruba. It was serialized in Kodansha’s Weekly Shōnen Magazine from August 2017 to February 2020. The series follows the daily life of a high school student Futaro Uesugi who is hired as a private tutor for a group of quintuplets, Ichika, Nino, Miku, Yotsuba and Itsuki Nakano, who perform poorly academically. At the very beginning of the story, it is indicated Futaro will marry with one of the Nakano quintuplets but the identity of the bride is unknown until near the end of the story.

An anime television series adaptation produced by Tezuka Productions aired from January to March 2019 on TBS and other channels. A second season by Bibury Animation Studios premiered in January 2021.

The series is published in English by Kodansha USA under the Kodansha Comics imprint. The anime series is licensed in North America under a Crunchyroll–Funimation partnership.

The series is a commercial success, being the 5th best selling manga in 2019, and the 3rd best selling manga in the first half of 2020 in Japan. In 2019, the manga won the award for the shōnen category at the 43rd annual Kodansha Manga Awards.

Plot

High school student Futaro Uesugi is an academically gifted student that leads a difficult life — his mother has died, he has no friends, and on top of all that, his father has incurred a large amount of debt.

An opportunity presents itself when the rich Nakano family transfers to his school. Futaro is promptly hired as a highly-paid tutor. However, much to Futaro’s dismay, he discovers that his five charges — identical quintuplet sisters of varied personalities — have no interest in studying at all and have abysmal grades. Some of the quintuplets are against having Futaro, whom they view as a stranger, in their apartment, but Futaro’s diligent tenacity gradually convinces those girls to accept him and to improve their grades.

Throughout the series, Futaro develops special relationships with each of the quintuplets. Through a flashforward, it is revealed that he eventually marries one of them, but her true identity is only revealed near the end of the series.

Media

Manga

The Quintessential Quintuplets is a manga series written and illustrated by Negi Haruba. Before the serialization, a one-shot manga of the same name had been published in 2017 issue 8 of Kodansha’s Weekly Shōnen Magazine on August 9, 2017, and received positive comments. On December 4, 2019, Haruba announced that the series would end on its 14th tankōbon volume. The series finished on February 19, 2020.

The series has been published in English by Kodansha USA under their Kodansha Comics imprint digitally since June 28, 2018, with a line of physical releases beginning publication on January 1, 2019. As of August 2020, all fourteen digital volumes have been published.

The “all-colour” version of the manga series began serialization in Kodansha’s online manga platform MagaPoke (Magazine Pocket) on February 26, 2020. Currently 9 tankōbon volumes have been published.

Commercial

In October 2017, a television commercial for the manga was released where Ayane Sakura voiced all five girls.

Anime

An anime television series adaptation was announced in the combined 36th and 37th issue of Weekly Shōnen Magazine on August 8, 2018. The series is directed by Satoshi Kuwabara and written by Keiichirō Ōchi, featuring animation by Tezuka Productions, character designs by Michinosuke Nakamura and Gagakuga, and music by Natsumi Tabuchi, Hanae Nakamura, and Miki Sakurai. The series aired from January 10 to March 28, 2019 on the TBS, SUN, and BS-TBS channels. The series ran for 12 episodes. Crunchyroll streamed the series with Funimation providing the English dub as it airs.

A second season was announced in a special event for the first season on May 5, 2019. Kaori is replacing Satoshi Kuwabara as the director of the season, and Keiichirō Ōchi is returning to write the scripts. Bibury Animation Studios is replacing Tezuka Productions as the animation studio. The season was originally scheduled to premiere in October 2020, but due to issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic the anime premiered on January 8, 2021.

For the first season, Kana Hanazawa, Ayana Taketatsu, Miku Itō, Ayane Sakura, and Inori Minase performed the opening theme song “Quintuplet Feelings” as the group The Nakano Family’s Quintuplets, while Aya Uchida performed the ending theme song “Sign”.

For the second season, The Nakano Family’s Quintuplets will perform the opening theme song “Gotōbun no Katachi” and the ending theme song “Hatsukoi”. Bilibili is streaming the second season in Southeast Asia.

Games

Characters from the series appeared in a collaboration event in the mobile game Venus 11 Vivid!! from May 25 to May 31, 2019.

The first mobile game based on the series The Quintessential Quintuplets: The Quintuplets Can’t Divide the Puzzle Into Five Equal Parts has been released in 2020.

A visual novel titled Gotoubun no Hanayome ∬: Natsu no Omoide mo Gotoubun is currently in development by Mages for the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch consoles. It features an original story in the deserted island setting, and is currently planned for release on March 25, 2021 in Japan.

Exhibitions

Multiple exhibitions were held across Japan starting from 2019, including Tokyo, Osaka, Niigata and Nagoya. Besides, an overseas exhibition was held in Taipei, Taiwan in July 2020.

Reception

Sales

The manga series has 2 million volumes in print as of January 2019. By February 2019, the manga series had over 3 million volumes in print.

In Japan, The Quintessential Quintuplets was the 5th best selling manga in 2019 and the 3rd best selling manga in the first half of 2020, coming after Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba and One Piece.

Critical response

The Quintessential Quintuplets received positive reviews, most notably for its romantic comedy and harem elements. Paul Jensen of Anime News Network found the series enjoyable and rated a 4 out of 5 to the series, as he commented “The jokes are funny, the characters range from tolerable to likable, the fanservice doesn’t go overboard, and there’s no creepy or obnoxious plot point to spoil the party. There’s nothing revolutionary about it, but it does a lot of basic things well without showing any major flaws, and that’s enough to make this premiere good clean (well, clean-ish) fun.” Patrick Frye of Monsters And Critics noted that there was “little to no ecchi shenanigans or degrading fan service and the girls move beyond the initial stereotypes and become fleshed-out characters that create a fun dynamic with the main character, Futaro Uesugi. Audiences are tired of watching a lucky everyman stumble his way through unlikely scenarios. Instead, Futaro’s no-nonsense attitude wins the day.” Kyle Rogacion of Goomba Stomp praised the plot of the anime but criticized its art style and fanservice gags. The series has a current score of 4.6 out of 5 stars on Crunchyroll as of November 2020.

Awards and nominations

The series was nominated for “Next Manga Award 2018” organized by Niconico. Receiving 16,106 votes, the series eventually ranked eighth overall. In May 2019, it won the award for Best Shōnen Manga at the 43rd annual Kodansha Manga Awards, alongside To Your Eternity. On the award ceremony of the 43rd annual Kodansha Manga Awards, as one of the judges, Ken Akamatsu praised The Quintessential Quintuplets as “the ultimate complete version of harem bishōjo romantic comedy” with “very high quality of illustration”.