In 2021, it’s unmistakable that anime has come a really long way. This year, 5-toubun no Hanayome ∬ (Quintessential Quintuplets 2) reiterates the ever-evolving nature of anime as a medium, but also that of specific genres within that medium. Nothing is without change, and the romance genre has had some incredibly interesting changes over the years. Quintessential Quintuplets has pushed the boundaries of romance anime even further with the recent escapades of the second-born Nino, who put everything on the table and confessed her feelings to Futaro not once, but twice! Let’s explore what Nino’s unyielding bravery and straight-up badassery mean for romance as an anime genre!
Romance anime, particularly harems like Quintessential Quintuplets have a certain formula that enables them to drag out the love story of the MC and their ideal partner. Quite often, characters confess their love for a romance protagonist (usually male in cases like these) who, for whatever reason, does not hear the words. Futaro was about to join a long line of romance anime main characters who followed the age-old “Huh? Did you say something?” pattern that has become an integral part of the romance anime formula.
While riding a motorcycle with Nino as his passenger, Futaro could not hear her say “I love you” over the loud noises of the motorcycle and the hustle and bustle of traffic. In most cases, the confessor gives up, having mustered up all their courage to confess to no avail leaves them feeling utterly hopeless, but not Nino! While helping Futaro clean up at the family restaurant where he works, Nino learns that Futaro heard nothing from her confession on their way there, so she storms out before storming back in and repeating what she said to him in traffic! Nino does not waver for even a second as she explains to Futaro that he has got her romantic attention and that she will chase after what she wants – him!
Nino’s actions go against a well-established trope in romance anime that quite frankly, was always incredibly frustrating. In her defiance against Futaro’s ignorance towards her feelings, Nino ended up becoming a trailblazer for other romance anime characters and because of her consistent, confident pursuit of Futaro, Nino has established herself quite possibly the most likely to be the one who marries him at the end of it all. In this second season Quintessential Quintuplets, Nino has time and time again shown her resolve, her adorableness, her vulnerability, and her strong personality in ways that go beyond her being the show’s resident tsundere. This growth in Nino’s character makes her our favourite Nakano sibling by far.
While the series is still far from doing what it set out to do, Quintessential Quintuplets is definitely doing something to move the romance genre forward from its tired tricks and gimmicks. This season of Quintessential Quintuplets bears greater significance than its predecessor and while each Nakano sibling has their own strengths and weaknesses, Nino’s self-assuredness has led to the beginning of something truly excellent for the series itself, as well as the breaking of old tropes. The evolution of a genre can really come about in a short space of time and Quintessential Quintuplets season 2, while not anything groundbreaking in its premise, Nino’s actions over the latter stages of the season are definitely revolutionary for the romance genre in anime. Who is your favourite Nakano sibling and why? Drop a comment below and tell us your thoughts!