Genre(s): Romance, Harem, Slice of Life, School, Comedy
Age-Appropriateness: 14+ (Occasional profanity, partial nudity)
Platforms: Crunchyroll, Funimation
TheAwersome Rating: 8.7 / 10 (Great, fleshed out, real characters and great writing)
Premise: Futaro Uesugi is an ace high school student but leads an otherwise tough life. One day during his lunch break, Uesugi argues with a girl who has claimed “his seat,” leading both to dislike each other. That same day, he is presented with a golden opportunity to clear his family’s debt: a private tutoring gig for a wealthy family’s daughter, with a wage of five times the market price. He accepts the proposal, but is horrified to discover that the client, Itsuki Nakano, is the girl he confronted earlier!
After unsuccessfully trying to get back on Itsuki’s good side, Uesugi finds out that his problems don’t end there: Itsuki is a quintuplet, so in addition to her, he must also tutor her sisters—Miku, Yotsuba, Nino, and Ichika—who, despite the very real threat of flunking, want nothing to do with a tutor. However, his family’s livelihood is on the line, so Uesugi pushes on.
TheAwersome’s Thoughts: You might see this premise and think “Oh, it’s Bokuben again” and you’d be right, except for the fact that this one is remarkably good. Most importantly, Futaro isn’t a blank slate character who’s simply “nice,” but rather an intricate character with a handful of flaws, but most of all, a legitimate and distinct personality. Maybe my bar for anime is just low at this point, but it was very refreshing. The girls’ various personalities somewhat fall into tropes for a few of them, but not in a poorly executed cliché way (like Bokuben).
The true focus of the story, however, lies in the relationships the quintuplets have with each other, and how introducing Futaro into the mix is a catalyst for growth.
TLDR: A surprisingly earnest piece for a usually dull genre.
The second season, and the finishing movie, will be reviewed in the upcoming weeks.
Futaro’s character is sometimes a little dense, but thankfully it isn’t in a frustrating “Why do the girls bother with him?” kind ofway, just an “Oh this boy is simply hyper focused, has no experience in this regard, and knows his flaws and therefore has some self-esteem issues” way. Too often a dense protagonist feels like they’re that way just for a gag, or just to give fake out confession moments, etc. I’m not saying that those aren’t employed, but I don’t feel insulted by it; it’s believable.
One interesting thing about the show in general is that right from the get-go they tease the whole “There will be a wedding at the end of all this” aspect. It’s in the OP, I think it’s in the first episode, so you know the ending of the whole story won’t be open-ended so as not to ruin anyone’s waifu/best girl dreams. At the end, there can be only one. They just don’t say when that end is going to be.
You’ll Likely Enjoy This if You Enjoyed:
- Tutor/harem aspect of Bokuben
- Feels Real teenager experience of Toradora, Bunny Girl Senpai
- Some of the character dynamics of Haruhi