The harem anime to watch this season is Gotoubun no Hanayome, aka The Quintessential Quintuplets. It’s the story of five sisters with totally different personalities, but their unifying feature is that they all hate studying and are in danger of failing high school. The five girls — “oldest sister” Ichika, grumpy Nino, earphones-wearing shy girl Miku, cheerful and athletic Yotsuba, and defensive tsundere Itsuki — are being tutored by Futaro, a genius student who always gets 100 points on every test, and who desperately needs the job because he’s so poor.
Before the isekai genre took over the world, harem shows used to be the dominant anime genre. Harem shows can be hit or miss, sometimes becoming amazing vehicles providing commentary on the nature of love (Saekano, The World God Only Knows) or just giving fun escapist entertainment (To Love-Ru, Trinity Seven). And sometimes they can grate on us, with ham-fisted romantic or ecchi situations and characters we can’t stand (fill in whatever harem show you happen to dislike here). Happily, Quintessential Quintuplets get the “waifu algorithm” just right, with excellent characters and a balanced story.
Some shows have fabulous animation quality that remains consistent from start to finish. Others spend extra money on the first one or two episodes, then let the quality fall quite rapidly. Sadly Quintessential Quintuplets is in the latter category, with much of the animation being only so-so as the series progresses, especially for in-between scenes. It’s not hard to see where the budget got spent in this case, however, since this show is chock full of famous seiyu, from top-earning Hana Kanazawa (Kuroneko) to Ayana Taketetsu (Kirino) to Inori Minase (Rem). Which reminds me of that Shirobako graphic I translated, showing how salaries stack up in the animation industry, which is quite critical of the way the majority of money flows to the top 5% of voice actors and away from animators, directors and producers. What’s your opinion on this subject?
Will you watch Quintessential Quintuplets? Which is your favorite quintuplet? Let us know on Twitter!
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