Oh no, here we go again!
The first season of The Quintessential Quintuplets was a pleasant surprise for me. I’m not the biggest fan of harem anime and the premise of this series, while not far-fetched, was still pretty out there for me. And yet, I stuck with it longer than I expected and before I knew it, I got suckered into the budding romance and who that goddamn bride might be. It wasn’t a perfect experience but it was an enjoyable one, far more than I had anticipated. Suffice to say, I’m in for more.
Something to first note is the change in studios. We now have Bibury Animation Studio animating the show as opposed to Tezuka Productions who animated the first season. To be honest, I wasn’t too hung up when the announcement dropped. On one hand, Bibury Animation Studio is fairly new and their only show before this was Azur Lane, which notably had to delay its last two episodes due to production issues. On the other hand, Tezuka Productions’s output for The Quintessential Quintuplets frankly looked rough at times. I really didn’t think one way or another over the studio change.
By that same token, I think Season 2 looks fine. I say the most prominent change is the lighting or coloring. Something about everything looks much brighter now. One detail I saw some fans get hung up is how the girls’ thighs are thinner now. That’s small potatoes to me…but it is a change. The art style will take some getting used to but it isn’t a huge switch akin to, say, My Youth Romantic Comedy SNAFU switching from Brain’s Base to feel.
As for the story, we resume right where Season 1 left off (wedding flashforward aside, I mean). Following his illness in the last arc, Futaro (Yoshitsugu Matsuoka) recovers at a hospital which the Nakano family pays for (it’s heavily implied that the father is a doctor there). Each of the quintuplets pay him a visit at one point or another. Later, Futaro is discharged and learns that the sisters are back to being dumb so it’s back to tutoring them as always.
My biggest issue with the first season was the unevenness regarding the depiction of the titular quintuplets. That admittedly couldn’t be helped as the show was only covering the early stages of the manga. Even so, the point still stands. I really like Miku (Miku Itou) and Ichika (Kana Hanazawa) but that is partially because those two carried first season. Mileage varied with the rest. I found Nino (Ayana Taketatsu) annoying, Itsuki (Inori Minase) forgettable, and Yotsuba (Ayane Sakura) entertaining but not having much to do. My one hope with Season 2 is that, now that we’re advancing through the manga, everyone will get equal time with the spotlight.
I wasn’t expecting that to materialize within one new episode but yeah, I remain invested in my current Top 2. Miku is just so unbelievably cute is how her forwardness towards Fuutarou in contrast to her quiet personality. Ichika especially shines in this episode; I really enjoyed the playfulness she expresses during the hospital visit and Fuutarou’s return to serving as the sisters’ tutor. For now, Yotsuba and Nino remain about the same for me. I suppose Itsuki is starting to emerge in importance but given Season 1, that’s not hard for her to do.
By now, the show is finally elaborating on the mysterious girl that Futaro fondly remembers and is obviously one of the Nakano sisters. In a moment of privacy, Futaro finally explains to Itsuki (albeit partially) why he became so fixated on studying. During a school trip five years ago to Kyoto, he got disheartened that his crush was close to her childhood friend. After a misunderstanding with a passerby, he is saved by the mysterious girl who then hangs out with him for the rest of the day. While the rest of the trip is intentionally withheld by Futaro, it’s clear that the girl left a huge impression on him and the two of them must’ve made a promise of some kind involving their academics.
After sharing that bit of information, Futaro puts two and two together and wonders if the mysterious girl is one of the Nakano sisters. Further sparking that possibility is when Itsuki shows him a charm of hers that’s identical to five that the mysterious girl bought. This results in a comical routine where he tests himself on his ability to recognize the sisters apart. I imagine the different hair colors is to help us, the viewers, in distinguishing the characters, but it just makes Futaro’s fail feel more embarrassing (dude, at least be able to recognize Ichika and her short hair). Naturally, this doesn’t go too well and Futaro later decides the girl can’t possibly be from the Nakano family as he figured she’d be more studious than either of these five.
The only one who deduces Futaro’s intention here is Itsuki. Being the only one privy to some of her tutor’s backstory, she’s the only one who could make the conclusion. That makes me wonder though. If I think about it, the one who’d most naturally be the mysterious girl is Itsuki as she is the one most determined to turn her grades around. But then, if that’s the case, why doesn’t Itsuki reveal herself to Futaro and why is she commenting on his secret mission as a mere observer? I can’t chalk it off as her not remembering as surely, Futaro’s account would’ve sparked her memory by now. That and there’s no way she’s that dumb. It’s strange, she fits the bill the most but logically speaking, she probably isn’t the mysterious girl at all. There are of course four other candidates to consider and I’m sure as time goes on, more and more hints will be dropped by soon.
Thanks for reading!