5-toubun no Hanayome ∬ (The Quintessential Quintuplets Season 2) is an incredible follow-up to the events of the first season for a very simple reason: it quintupled the drama of the first season in twelve episodes, with the full situation regarding the Nakano siblings’ affections for Futarou mapping itself out! So many parts come together in this intense season that has gone from strength to strength, albeit with a few near misses. It’s time to look back on the Quintessential Quintuplets Season 2!
Looks Aren’t Everything
Looks Aren’t Everything
While a major aspect of The Quintessential Quintuplets' story in the first season, in the second, there is even greater emphasis on the fact that the siblings look the same! First, it comes from Futarou still not being able to tell them apart after 6 months; however, the Nakanos’ ability to cosplay as each other has come in handy several times in the second season! That being said; however, some of the development of this season stems from Futarou slowly coming to learn the habits and mannerisms of each sibling.
While the show does not grow out of its reliance on the fact that the Nakano sisters are very difficult for the characters in-universe to tell them apart, this second season has also done a bit to flesh out the extent to which the siblings’ looks affect how they are treated by other people. One of the most memorable moments of the season is when Nino decided to cut her hair into a short bob as a symbol of her growth and development into an individual of her own making.
While the difficulty of telling the Nakanos apart may have been a decent plot point for a short tenure, a vast majority of scenarios in the show are contingent on the premise that people in-universe have incredible difficulty telling them apart. We as viewers have obvious visual cues such as wardrobe, personality, as well as hairstyle, and colour, making it very easy for us; however, this second season has been proof that the characters themselves are aware of these visual differences, particularly when it comes to wardrobe.
While it’s rather overplayed that the Nakanos look alike, it’s the extent to which the show dwells in the ambiguity of how much is actually apparent to the characters that makes it possible for the show to hinge so much on a Clark Kent-esque situation for them. It’s rather weak at times; however, while the plot-point tends to be flimsy, the show tries to make it work by using various disguise/swap scenarios to slowly indicate how much of what we see as viewers is visible to the characters in the story.
One of the juiciest parts of this season of The Quintessential Quintuplets is when Itsuki used the disguise ability to trick Futarou into skipping a meeting he had with the real Nino. Nino uses the disguise ability to help Yotsuba out of her track and field club obligations while Ichika uses the ability for incredibly dubious means, dressing herself up as Miku to disrupt the flow of Miku’s own pursuit of Futarou’s affections. Ichika has taken on the mantle of the antagonist by trying her hardest to get in the way of each one of her sisters’ attempts to get closer to Futarou.
Having been one of the first to close the gap between him and herself, Ichika’s lead was rapidly overtaken by Miku’s diligence, Nino’s brutal honesty, Yotsuba’s kindness (not to mention her lack of interest in being a part of this mess), as well as the fact that Itsuki is actually “Rena”, the girl Futarou met in Kyoto six years ago. With each of her sisters having developed their own special relationship with Futarou, Ichika felt that her only way of winning is to ruin her sisters’ chances.
Ichika’s role this season has been incredibly important as it created the central conflict the story needed for its progression, but it also highlighted The Quintessential Quintuplets emphasis on the siblings’ individuality and personal growth as characters. This season, the sisters remained fast in their individual lanes; however, we got to see each of them grow in different ways since they first met our protagonist, Futarou. Ichika’s role this season has been important in turning this show from a standard harem with a twist to what could very possibly be influential in the romance genre for more than just character growth alone.
What That? Growth!
While Ichika was absolutely horrible this season, it’s the kind of dramatic influence the story needed to go from good to great. We finally get the answer to the mystery surrounding the girl Futarou met in Kyoto six years prior, but each sister finally determines her relationship with and feelings for Futarou, while dealing with growing and changing as a person who is also a quintuplet. The sisters look out for each other while fighting over this boy who would help them with school. Each Nakano has her own little arc, and while some are more prevalent than others, each sister is tested, forced to confront some inner demons and latent emotions, finally overcoming her challenges in her own way.
Nino becomes even more headstrong, confronting her feelings for Futarou in the gutsiest way we have ever seen in romance anime, Miku fights on despite her insecurities and very confidently confesses her feelings to Futarou before masterfully teasing him for his reaction, Yotsuba begins to trust her own ability more and supports Miku as much as she can from the sidelines, while Itsuki overcomes her own passivity bit by bit, working her way up to telling Futarou that she was the girl he met in Kyoto six years prior. We got to know each of them a lot better this season, turning them from simple variations of the same look with archetypal personalities to full-on characters with room for even more growth and change.
All Is Fair in Love and War
This season of Quintessential Quintuplets had an even heavier dose of drama than the last! The Nakano sisters’ growing relationship with Futarou reaches a breaking point as individual Nakanos develop romantic feelings for the tutor. With Miku, Nino, and even Ichika all looking to win his heart, things get messy. Looming over all the romantic drama is the mystery of Futarou’s time in Kyoto 6 years prior. Miku continues to forge ahead and pursue romance with Futarou diligently as she has since she developed feelings for him; however, this season sees Nino quickly realise her own feelings and resolve to communicate them no matter what. Nino’s involvement this season is arguably the gel holding it all together, and her development in that regard is the kind that influences romance anime for the better.
Nino’s aggressive pursuit of Futarou is completely different from that of her competition, Miku, whose feelings are apparent even to Futarou himself, as well as Ichika, who has fallen back quite a lot since the last season and struggles to honestly communicate her feelings. Ichika’s desire to be with Futarou by any means necessary leads her to become this arc’s antagonist, someone who would step on anyone to ensure that she gets what she wants.
The second season of The Quintessential Quintuplets is the kind of elevation we expect a sequel to bring to the parent story. The show has not had a bad episode this season and that can be chalked up to stellar performances from the main cast, gorgeous art and animation, hilarious humour, and most of all, intense drama as the developing love-polygons and sibling rivalries take hold! This season has done incredibly well to grow its cast of characters, giving each one just enough attention for them to continue to be relevant despite the clear primacy of certain characters’ stories.
Nino has completely changed from a generic tsundere character to a character of depth, bravery, and tenacity, moving the series away from certain cliches and contributing to the evolution of romance anime and perhaps even the harem genre. While every bit worth the watch, the ending of the second season leaves many questions unanswered much like the end of the first, and we’re going to have to wait until the third season airs to see how this story unfolds. Overall; however, The Quintessential Quintuplets 2 is definitely one of the shows from the Winter 2021 season that gave its fans exactly what they needed from it every single week.