The Quintessential Quintuplets: Vol. 1

Kodansha. Dec. 2018. 192p. pap. $10.99. ISBN 9781632367747.
Gr 10 Up–Futaro’s not the most popular kid in his high school class, nor is his family the richest. However, Futaro excels with his schoolwork: Nobody can touch him academically. When the wealthy father of identical quintuplet girls hires Futaro to tutor his slacker daughters, Futaro accepts out of financial desperation. It’s clear from the start that these sisters have no intention of listening to anything Futaro says. The book’s opening pages offer a glimpse of the future—not only is Futaro not quitting, he’s going to marry one of the quints! But which one? The opening revelation is an early plot twist that will keep folks guessing. Futaro is also an uncommon male lead in a series like this; he’s not your typical Casanova in a romance yarn. Though he’s deadly serious and the quintuplets all enjoy goofing off, the chemistry is undeniable and the dialogue is funny. However, there are some fan service moments in the art, like emphasis on breasts and post-shower/towel shots, that could raise eyebrows.
VERDICT This is an adequate setup for a romantic comedy. There is plenty to be curious about in this opening volume, including which girl Futaro’s destined to marry and just how he’ll get the sisters to improve their dismally low GPAs. The anime’s latest entry will debut in May 2022.

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