Our spoiler full look at the manga version of The Quintessential Quintuplets continues! Like I said last time, we are reading this series with the knowledge of which of the Quints ends up getting picked and seeing how that trickles down to all the volumes. Previously we were introduced to Fuutaro and the Nakano sisters, and his attempts to get the girls to start studying. Let’s get into what happens next after the cut.
(Spoilers for the ending of the series, please read with discretion)
Most of this volume could be set to the classic benny-hill soundtrack, as we see Fuutaro desperately trying to get the Quints together for the annua firework festival, something they had always done with their now deceased (because of course) mother. Of course, running around trying to find five identical girls in the dark, with fireworks going proves to be quite difficult, especially when one sister seems dead set on not being there. Now while this quite funny and plays into that gag of the sisters constantly switching up, it also felt at times a little overwhelming. Even for someone who’s been around the block when it comes to reading manga, there were moments where I had to put it down to just think about what was happening. The girls enter and exit’s Fuutaro’s presence so fast, that I felt completed confused. That of course may be the point, and while I admit not remembering much when the anime did this, I can’t deny that it felt oddly structured and play out.
Thankfully, the interplay between the sister continues to be interesting. This volume has the eldest sister, the short hair Ichika take the stage. Out of all the quintuplets, she is the one with the most independence, secretly pursuing an acting career, and being more distant than the other sisters. In fact, it is Ichika who admits that the quintuplets aren’t as close as they were before, and they each of them are starting to drift apart as they develop their own interests, wants and desires. This in turn is reflected in Nino’s attempted blackmail (and previous sleep-drugging) Fuutaro to try and push him out. While Nino is trying anything to prevent Fuutaro from disrupting their lives, Ichika instead seems to welcome it, being aware that their halcyon days of youth can’t last forever, hence her trying to break away. Considering that Ichika is the first to bow out when she realizes that her other sisters are in love with Fuutaro (despite loving him too) this early independence and maturity helps set her apart from the other sisters. It is good groundwork for the conflicts to come, and again helps show that the real story of Quintuplets is about the sisters discovering themselves, and not who ends up with the study freak.
The rest of the volume is not bad. We see Fuutaro and Itsuki take his younger sister Raiha shopping, dropping those teases that you expect Itsuki as the first quint introduced (and the most tsundere of the bunch) would end up winning. And we also get the reveal that at one point, Fuutaro had met one of the quintuplets as a child, despite having his hair dyed blonde, and looking completely different than he does now. This is another way to deepen the mystery, and again, while I can’t remember much from the anime, I am curious to see how it plays out.
The second volume of The Quintessential Quintuplets is a good outing, and a brisk read. I burned through it in about an hour, and I enjoyed my time with it. The growing differences between the sisters, even at this early stage is evident, and I want to see what happens when they really start falling for Fuutaro. The story is still just getting started, and I’m sure as we move onto the third volume, we’ll get back to the books and see if our harem lead can actually make these girls pass their tests.