The Quintessential Quintuplets
|The Quintessential Quintuplets|
(Go-Tōbun no Hanayome)
|Written by||Negi Haruba|
|Imprint||Shōnen Magazine Comics|
|Magazine||Weekly Shōnen Magazine|
|Original run||August 9, 2017 – February 19, 2020|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Satoshi Kuwabara|
|Written by||Keiichirō Ōchi|
|Original network||TBS, SUN, BS-TBS|
|Original run||January 9, 2019 – March 28, 2019|
|Anime television series|
|The Quintessential Quintuplets II[a]|
|Written by||Keiichirō Ōchi|
|Studio||Bibury Animation Studios|
|Original network||TBS, SUN, BS11|
|Original run||January 8, 2021 – March 26, 2021|
The Quintessential Quintuplets (Japanese: 五等分の花嫁, Hepburn: Go-Tōbun no Hanayome, lit. "Five Equal Brides" or "The Five-Fifths Bride(s)") is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Negi Haruba. It was serialized in Kodansha's Weekly Shōnen Magazine from August 2017 to February 2020, with its chapters collected into fourteen tankōbon volumes. The series follows the daily life of a high school student Futaro Uesugi, who is hired as a private tutor for a group of identical quintuplets: Ichika, Nino, Miku, Yotsuba, and Itsuki Nakano. At the very beginning of the story, it is shown that the events are being told in a flashback, while an adult Futaro prepares to marry one of the Nakano Quintuplets whose identity is only revealed near the end of the series.
The series is published in English by Kodansha USA under the Kodansha Comics imprint. The anime series is licensed in North America under a Crunchyroll–Funimation partnership. An anime television series adaptation produced by Tezuka Productions aired from January to March 2019 on TBS and other channels. A second season produced by Bibury Animation Studios aired from January to March 2021. The second season's sequel, The Quintessential Quintuplets Movie, was released as a film in May 20, 2022.
The series is a commercial success, being the 5th best-selling manga in 2019, and the 3rd best-selling manga in the first half of 2020 in Japan. In 2019, the manga won the award for the shōnen category at the 43rd annual Kodansha Manga Awards.
High school student Futaro Uesugi is an academically gifted student that leads a difficult life—his mother has died, he has no friends, and on top of all that, his father has incurred a large amount of debt.
An opportunity presents itself when the rich Nakano family transfers to his school. Futaro is promptly hired as a highly paid tutor. However, much to Futaro's dismay, he discovers that his five charges—identical quintuplet sisters of varied personalities—have no interest in studying at all and have abysmal grades. Some of the quintuplets are against having Futaro, whom they view as a stranger, in their apartment, but Futaro's diligent tenacity gradually convinces those girls to accept him and to improve their grades.
Throughout the series, Futaro develops special relationships with each of the quintuplets. Through a flashforward, it is revealed that he eventually marries one of them, but her true identity is only revealed near the end of the series.
The idea of "a group of quintuplets falling in love with the same person" existed even before the serialization of Haruba's previous work, Karma of Purgatory (2014–2015), but was very simple at that time. The idea was denied by his editor-in-charge. A year after, after the end of Karma of Purgatory, he discussed with his editor-in-charge what to serialize next. Among the few ideas being come up with, the "quintuplets" idea was included again, which was accepted by the editor this time. After failures in two to three serialization committees, finally, it was decided to have a one-shot manga published first. The one-shot received positive reviews and therefore went on to serialization.
Haruba finished drawing the last chapter on February 10, 2020.
It was decided the protagonist should be quintuplets at the very beginning. When later the idea of quadruplets and sextuplets was raised, it was rejected very quickly, around 30 seconds. Haruba said it might be a reference to Super Sentai when he came up with this idea. Similar to Super Sentai, Ichika (yellow), Nino (purple), Miku (blue), Yotsuba (green), and Itsuki (red) are all represented by a colour. The design of the quintuplets started from his favorite existing female characters from "some slice-of-life works only with girls", around 15 to 20 of them. The idea of adding numbers in their names was after the design was almost confirmed.
The hair colour of the Nakano quintuplets is different when being coloured, which was suggested by Haruba himself, such that they are more distinguishable from each other. The hair colour of the bride in the flashforward is, therefore, a colour-in-between.
The flashforward showing that Futaro will eventually marry only one of the Nakano quintuplets was added in order to eliminate the possibility of Futaro marrying all five of them. It was also decided that all quintuplets would have negative feelings towards Futaro from the beginning, because Haruba wanted to write how their relationships improved from hate to love in the story, except Yotsuba, who acts as Futaro's guide for the development of the story.
While it is often the norm for harem romantic comedy manga to have sexualized depictions of characters, Haruba has said that he tried to avoid this to some extent after Vol. 1.  In his opinion, showing panties which are being worn, i.e. panchira, makes characters less mysterious and then less interesting to the readers. To keep the characters interesting, the sexy scenes were intended by him to be ambiguous but not straightforward, leading to readers' imagination. The swimsuit appearance of the Nakanos was finally revealed in Ep. 92 as Haruba thought an episode of swimsuits should exist before finishing the story.
The Quintessential Quintuplets is written and illustrated by Negi Haruba. Before the serialization, a one-shot manga of the same name had been published in 2017 issue 8 of Kodansha's Weekly Shōnen Magazine on August 9, 2017, and received positive comments. On December 4, 2019, Haruba announced that the series would end on its 14th tankōbon volume. The series finished on February 19, 2020.
The series has been published in English by Kodansha USA under their Kodansha Comics imprint digitally since June 28, 2018, with a line of physical releases beginning publication on January 1, 2019. By August 2020 and July 2021 respectively, all fourteen volumes have been published digitally and physically.
The "all-color" version of the manga series began serialization in Kodansha's online manga platform MagaPoke (Magazine Pocket) on February 26, 2020.
An anime television series adaptation was announced in the combined 36th and 37th issue of Weekly Shōnen Magazine on August 8, 2018. The series is directed by Satoshi Kuwabara and written by Keiichirō Ōchi, featuring animation by Tezuka Productions, character designs by Michinosuke Nakamura and Gagakuga, and music by Natsumi Tabuchi, Hanae Nakamura, and Miki Sakurai. The series aired from January 10 to March 28, 2019 on the TBS, SUN, and BS-TBS channels. The series ran for 12 episodes. Crunchyroll streamed the series with Funimation providing the English dub as it airs. Although Tezuka Productions was the main animation studio behind the series, TBS producer Junichirou Tanaka stated that he asked for help from Shaft president Mitsutoshi Kubota for assistance in producing the series' 11th episode. It was ultimately decided that the studio would be outsourced to for the entire episode save for the episode's storyboards, which were drawn by series director Satoshi Kuwabara; however, all other animation, coloring, and compositing aspects of the episode were produced entirely at Shaft.
A second season was announced in a special event for the first season on May 5, 2019. Kaori is replacing Satoshi Kuwabara as the director of the season, and Keiichirō Ōchi is returning to write the scripts. Bilbury Animation Studios produced this season. It was originally scheduled to premiere in October 2020, but due to issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the anime aired from January 8 to March 26, 2021.
After the second season finished airing, a sequel was announced. On April 18, 2021, the sequel was revealed to be a film. Masato Jinbo directed the film, with the main staff of the second season returning to reprise their roles. It was released in Japan on May 20, 2022.
For the first season, Kana Hanazawa, Ayana Taketatsu, Miku Itō, Ayane Sakura, and Inori Minase performed the opening theme song "Quintuplet Feelings" (五等分の気持ち, Gotōbun no Kimochi) as the group The Nakano Family's Quintuplets (中野家の五つ子, Nakano-ke no Itsutsugo), while Aya Uchida performed the ending theme song "Sign".
For the second season, The Nakano Family's Quintuplets performed the opening theme song "Gotōbun no Katachi" and the ending theme song "Hatsukoi". Children's Playground Entertainment licensed the series in Southeast Asia and streamed it on Bilibili.
Characters from the series appeared in a collaboration event in the mobile video game Venus 11 Vivid!! from May 25 to May 31, 2019.
A mobile game based on the series titled The Quintessential Quintuplets: The Quintuplets Can’t Divide the Puzzle Into Five Equal Parts (五等分の花嫁 五つ子ちゃんはパズルを五等分できない。, Gotoubun no Hanayome: Itsutsu-ko-chan wa Puzzle wo Gotoubun Dekinai.) was released in 2020.
A visual novel titled The Quintessential Quintuplets ∬: Summer Memories Also Come in Five (五等分の花嫁∬～夏の思い出も五等分～, Gotoubun no Hanayome ∬: Natsu no Omoide mo Gotoubun) was developed by Mages for the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch consoles. It features an original story in a deserted island setting, and was released on March 25, 2021 in Japan.
A visual novel based on the film, titled The Quintessential Quintuplets Movie: Five Memories of My Time with You (映画 五等分の花嫁 ～君と過ごした五つの思い出～, Eiga Gotoubun no Hanayome Kimi to Sugoshita Itsutsu no Omoide) was developed by Mages for the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4, and was released on June 2, 2022 in Japan.
Multiple exhibitions were held across Japan starting from 2019, including Tokyo, Osaka, Niigata and Nagoya. Besides, an overseas exhibition was held in Taipei, Taiwan in July 2020.
The manga series had 2 million copies in circulation as of January 2019; 3 million copies in circulation as of February 2019; over 15 million copies in circulation as of April 2021; and over 16 million copies in circulation as of March 2022.
In Japan, The Quintessential Quintuplets was the 5th best selling manga in 2019 and the 3rd best selling manga in the first half of 2020, coming after Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba and One Piece.
The Quintessential Quintuplets received positive reviews, most notably for its romantic comedy and harem elements. Paul Jensen of Anime News Network found the series enjoyable and rated a 4 out of 5 to the series, as he commented "The jokes are funny, the characters range from tolerable to likable, the fanservice doesn't go overboard, and there's no creepy or obnoxious plot point to spoil the party. There's nothing revolutionary about it, but it does a lot of basic things well without showing any major flaws, and that's enough to make this premiere good clean (well, clean-ish) fun." Patrick Frye of Monsters And Critics noted that there was "little to no ecchi shenanigans or degrading fan service and the girls move beyond the initial stereotypes and become fleshed-out characters that create a fun dynamic with the main character, Futaro Uesugi. Audiences are tired of watching a lucky everyman stumble his way through unlikely scenarios. Instead, Futaro’s no-nonsense attitude wins the day." Kyle Rogacion of Goomba Stomp praised the plot of the anime but criticized its art style and fanservice gags. The series has a current score of 4.6 out of 5 stars on Crunchyroll as of November 2020.
Awards and nominations
The series was nominated for the Next Manga Award 2018, organized by Niconico. It received 16,106 votes, eventually ranking eighth overall. In May 2019, it won the award for Best Shōnen Manga at the 43rd annual Kodansha Manga Awards, alongside To Your Eternity. On the award ceremony of the 43rd annual Kodansha Manga Awards, as one of the judges, Ken Akamatsu praised The Quintessential Quintuplets as "The ultimate complete version of harem bishōjo romantic comedy" with "very high quality of illustration".
|2018||"Next Manga Award" (次にくるマンガ大賞, Tsugi ni Kuru Manga Taishou)||Manga||The Quintessential Quintuplets||8th place|
|2019||Kodansha Manga Award||Shōnen Manga||The Quintessential Quintuplets||Won|
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