Welcome to the halfway point of the 2022 30 Day Challenge! If you’re still reading, great. If you’re new here, check out the main challenge page (link at the top) for links to all the other days.
Today’s pick is The Quintessential Quintuplets. Many of you may or may not have heard about this one, but given the nature of the story, I will be avoiding all spoilers for this one, so don’t fear accidentally ruining this romantic “whodunit” for yourself.
There are many things the anime adaptation got right. The voice cast is great. The story is (mostly) faithful, and the biggest moments are highlighted. But there are two things the anime did not get right that make the manga a superior experience, in my opinion: art and “completeness.”
First things first, the art in the manga is absolutely gorgeous. Author Negi Haruba has an eye for character design, shading, texture, and everything else you can think of. To this day it is still some of the best art I’ve seen in a manga. Even if you find the story “only kind of interesting,” the art is captivating enough to keep you coming back.
The anime falls completely flat in comparison, especially season 1. Negi’s unique art style is traded in for incredibly generic looking characters and stunted movement. While anime production is often rushed for TV airings and fixed in the Blu-ray release, this anime felt particularly error filled when it first aired.
They did attempt to correct the many artistic mistakes of season 1 for season 2, going with an entirely new studio and redesigning a lot of the animation; and for the most part it worked. But it still never quite reached the polish of the manga. I know everyone wishes their favorite studios would adapt certain manga, but in this case, I really would have loved to see KyoAni’s approach to animating his art style.
My second issue is the “completeness” of the anime. While it eventually does wrap up the story in two seasons and a movie, they cut out a lot of development. I won’t say anything else about this to avoid spoilers, but let’s just say the final outcome in the manga feels a lot more justified and complete.
While I can’t flat out recommend avoiding the anime all together (because I actually really enjoyed it; I gave season 1 a 9/10 in my review, even it it was a guilty pleasure), I do think you will enjoy the manga more. As cliche as it sounds, the book is better than the movie, and the beautiful artwork alone is almost enough reason to justify giving it a read.