The Royal Tutor – Mid Season Anime Review
Synopsis: The four princes of the Kingdom of Glanzreich have a lot to learn before becoming proper rulers and it’s up to Heine Wittgenstein to lay down some serious learning! What he lacks in height he makes up for in knowledge. But does he have what it takes to handle the distinctive personalities of these handsome yet tricky royal heirs? This royal tutor is about to school this troublesome bunch! (Official Funimation Synopsis)
Mid Season (6 Episodes) Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: The Royal Tutor might look like your typical parade of pretty boys with personalities that fall straight into stereotypes at first glance. And one could argue that is all this series is, but The Royal Tutor does such a sincere job of exploring and highlighting the personal quirks and traits of each of its princes that most viewers should find themselves thoroughly engaged and amused. The fact that each prince has a very different personality ensures a greater chance that viewers will quickly find a favourite that best appeals to them. From quiet but strong and kind Kai to the playful playboy Licht, there’s a prince to win over almost anyone. So far, the show has given almost every prince an episode dedicated entirely to them (with the exception of Kai), and to exploring all their flaws or hang ups and turning them into characters you can empathize or sympathize with. By the mid point, you’re likely even more attached to your favourite. Unfortunately, this means that almost everyone else in the cast, with the exception of Heine, come off feeling like minor supporting characters.
Tom: All the characters follow some kind of basic archetype, but contain enough nuance, enough persona flaws, quirks or traits that they feel like fairly well realized characters and are so different from one another you’re bound to latch onto at least one of the princes or Heine himself. It’s The Royal Tutors’ greatest strength and one it utilizes to the utmost, making this series a character piece with its main through line plot sitting on the back burner more often than not.
Linny: Despite Heine’s extremely unusual stature and looks, the show rarely plays it up for comedy. In fact, when Heine engages in some childish behaviour appropriate for his size, he is transformed into an even tinier chibi version of himself, making it clear that for the most part, we’re meant to take him seriously and his childish appearance isn’t just for the laughs.
Tom: The Royal Tutor’s one major hurdle is its slow start. The first episode of the series is easily Royal Tutor at its worst. But as we continue, the series gradually grows funnier, finding plenty of avenues of humor amongst its quirky, oddball princes with diverse personalities. But not only does the comedy increase, but also the character exploration and interpersonal drama, offering us plenty of opportunities to get to know our characters in greater detail and not only grow to understand them but become further attached to them as well.
Linny: At first glance, The Royal Tutor screams of being a bishonen show with typical bishonen boys for its cast and a lot of very cliche, almost seductive poses during its OP and ED songs. However, the story itself is a lot more silly than most bishonen anime and while some of the boys do have some ‘angsty’ bishonen moments, they’re either quickly resolved or turned into comedy. The main theme so far is Heine getting to bond with the princes and helping them overcome their personal hang ups.
Tom: As if comedy and character exploration wasn’t enough, the Royal Tutor also begins to tease twists, mysteries and secrets as we reach the midpoint, offering an additional avenue of intrigue as shadowy individuals attempt to manipulate events from behind the scenes.
Linny: So far, the show has been keeping things mostly comedic, even when revealing some sad backstories about Prince Leonhard and Prince Licht. It keeps the overall vibe of the episode silly, never letting things get depressing for too long. Like Tom has pointed out, it is only in the latest/ 6th episode that we have gotten a potentially sinister threat looming on the horizon, with somebody plotting to have all the princes lose their claim to the throne. However, given how silly the show has been so far, I cannot confidently guess as to how dark things could truly get.
Tom: The Royal Tutor has been a real surprise treat this season, offering not only amusing comedy but heartwarming character exploration and drama between Heine, the princes and even the King himself. With political intrigue and shadowy manipulation on the horizon, there is a fear that The Royal Tutor may step away from the foundation it’s set for itself. But if it can balance its comedy, character drama, and burgeoning thriller elements, it’s likely to be a stand out for the season.
Linny: If you like comedy and don’t mind picking up a show that visually screams bishonen, The Royal Tutor is actually one of the better comedy offerings of the season. It’s humour has been more or less consistent with its first episode perhaps starting off rather weak but managing to end on a high note. With the recent allusions to things taking a dark turn, the vibe of the show might change, but overall, just the humour that comes from watching these princes with very strong personalities have to deal with an equally stubborn and wise tutor makes this show a worthwhile watch.