I'm living a deja-vu, another great manga with a controversial ending. A conclusion that has several mixed feelings. The ending lacks the charisma and emotion of the entire series. 5-toubun no Hanayome and the 4 broken hearts. 1- I want to get married and the twilight zone where dreams can give us the wrong impression.
First, I want to clarify this; we could have a manga with the "What if" ending. Some will complain and try to indicate that it is not valid. However, Negi said it in an interview where he points that he wants to write an ending that would make everyone happy, and we need to accept the reality, this is a total disaster. Following that order of ideas, I think that we are mistaken, and we are right, Negi made a colossal mistake, yes. He buried the work of 85 - 90 chapters. Negi had a good idea, yes. However, he didn't conclude it in a good way. We have the right to criticize an ending that feels rushed, incomplete, and that's what I am going to do in this creepy review.
Let's begin with art and panel dynamics. It is outstanding. Overall, the mangaka delivered a beautiful and clean manga with excellent character design, a well-developed environment that flows correctly from panel to panel. Ironically as it seems, the art, in the end, is wasted because the author could not explain his decisions in a controversial story where the status quo was affected. The nonsense and the pressure to finish the story as soon as possible buried it in a hole. The last arc is misplaced and unconcluded.
On the other hand, the story was terrific. I want to underline the word was. We have a group of five sisters (Quintuplets to be precise) that could have particular love interest or feelings towards their tutor, a student from the same school, the annoying and insolent, Fuutarou Usegi. The question that all the readers have in mind was who will end with Usegi?
As the story progresses, each character showed a magnificent development. However, one of them froze in an endless loop that kept memories of the past and avoided any desire for the sake of her sisters. That character decided to be a shadow, and it was a shadow to the point that some readers thought it was close to a supporting role. That's where the real problem begins. This character never showed a significant development, and in the end, Negi, the author, could not give an adequate conclusion creating an inexplicable incoherent plot. If we compare the background that the author provides for the rest of the cast, this character never grew.
Furthermore, this shadow eclipsed the whole story without any proper explanation and ended as the most central character in the story. Does a kiss entitle you to destroy the entire background of the rest of the characters? The answer is a big NO. Where does the fight end, the desire that all the other "quints" showed throughout the story until the end?
Albeit this nonsense, the author tried to twist the plot, and he added an ending that plays with the readers and mocks with them with a big question mark "What happens if" Usegi ends with this sister? Everything could be accepted because it was a mere illusion. From my perspective, it's a horrible joke. Negi is playing with the reader's feelings. Furthermore, if the author has a preference for a particular "quint," then he shouldn't write a useless ending as he did. He should give the audience the tools to understand his decisions. Still, in this particular case, he couldn't even explain those insignificant reasons leaving the fans with a weird look in their face wondering if all was a silly joke. Also, the ending impales the heart of the other sisters. If I were in their shoes, I wouldn't be planning the honeymoon trip, and I will be upset at my home.
Lastly, I am sad. I was not a fan of any quint, I could accept any of them, but this conclusion is a mere joke that affects the background of all the characters. Usegi, cold, calculator, the guy that never showed big emotions, appeared in the last chapters as Romeo saying, "will you marry me?" Are you kidding me? Are the other quints not going to fight for their beloved? We are more complicated than what was shown in the end.
Changing the subject, this could explain why an average studio is the one adapting the second season. It is understandable that a good studio with vast experience avoids encouraging a conclusion that will have some disapproval and mixed feelings. This was something that was not a top-secret within the animators and the VA circle. The decision was made a few months ago when the spooky ending began to be published, why do you think Azur Lane episodes were delayed to improve quality?