The Quintessential Quintuplets – Episode 1

By: Chiaki Hirai January 12, 20190 Comments
Five similar looking girls look down hollering at the camera

What’s it about? Smart loner Fuutarou Uesugi finds out he can clear his family’s debt by becoming a tutor for a rich family willing to pay five times the going rate. Well that makes sense, because he’s teaching their quintuplet daughters.

Conent Warning: Fanservice of minors; drugging; NSFW screenshots,

In reverse Cinderella fashion, this is a show about a poor boy’s journey of escaping poverty by marrying rich. By the nature of how harem shows go, he’s likely going to earn the admiration and trust of all five of the Nakano sisters by the end of this series by helping them refocus on their schoolwork and getting them to safely graduate high school. He’ll also get to marry one of them.

A woman with red hair in a white wedding dress holds up a bouquet of roses to her face. She stands in front of five mirrors, each reflecting a different side of her.
Honestly, when I saw this, I thought this was going to be about a girl with multiple personalities, but alas.

But before all that happens, Fuutarou has an uphill battle ahead of him. As a freshly hired tutor for the Nakano family, Fuutarou realistically shouldn’t have any major personal beef with the sisters, but manages to get off on the wrong foot with the youngest sister Itsuki before even starting the job. So thus our hero sets out on his journey to get five girls to tolerate him as their tutor.

Fuutarou, however, is not like your average harem-anime protagonist. Whereas the disarming nice-guy fantasy of harem show protagonists often rely on the guy being a hapless victim of circumstance, Fuutarou wrought most of his woes upon himself by being a dick. And even once he realizes he needs to shape up, he continues to be kind of a lowlife throughout the first episode.

Like, as someone who grew up eating free lunches in high school, I understand the shame and envy you can feel comparing yourself to your classmates who are able to eat better than you. But that’s no excuse for Fuutarou to lash out at Itsuki that her 1,000-yen lunch is going to make her fat.

Fuutarou with his eyes shadowed over glances behind his shoulder: "You'll gain weight."
That’s the kind of thing that makes people develop eating disorders.

Fuutarou, at this point in the story, only sees the Nakano sisters as a way out of debt for his family. His drive to make amends with Itsuki is solely for the sake of keeping his job. Following through with the genre promise of making a bad situation worse, however, Fuutarou manages to appear like he is stalking Itsuki and leaves an equally awkward first impressions on the remaining four sisters.

Things don’t look good for Fuutarou. Even the viewer knows his ulterior motive is really only about making money, so he’s not exactly the most likable fellow. If it weren’t for his little sister, who serves to solicit sympathy from both Itsuki and the viewer, there would be very little stakes to wish for Fuutarou’s success in tutoring the Nakano sisters.

Fuutarou, his father and Itsuki look down at Raiha: "My brother's a crappy, egotistic low-life, but..."
Kid, you’re the only one here free of any sin.

But Fuutarou is by no means alone in being kind of a mess. Itsuki, appearing to be the most well-adjusted, is followed by her disparate sisters. Yotsuba is the happy-go-lucky one, Miku is the quiet and cool one, Nino is the sadistic princess and Ichika is the sexy but slobbish eldest sister.

They’re all really bad at school. And though Ichika is the most sexualized girl in the first episode, the show is clear on its intent to present all sisters as objects of carnal desire through a hearty helping of fanservice, especially in the opening animation.

Five girls bathing in a clawfoot tub covered in soad suds, smiling
I dunno, this feels pretty gratuitous.

As far as skeevy things to watch out for aside from the cheesecake, two moments came to mind. Fuutarou creeps on Yotsuba after she alone agrees to accept him as a tutor, which is kinda gross. The big red flag, however, was when Nino drugged Fuutarou with sleeping pills to get him out of their home. Don’t do that. That’s a crime. Crimes are illegal and being rich or a girl doesn’t absolve you from them.

Anyway, yeah, it’s a harem anime. Fuutarou probably doesn’t deserve any of those girls falling in love with him, but he’ll probably end up inspiring them to open up as soon as the next episode.

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