The “Royal Tutor” is a special tutor carefully selected for the task of teaching the prince, and a title given only to the best teacher in the nation. Heine Wittgenstein has been called to the kingdom of Grannzreich to take on the role of the Royal Tutor. He’s been ordered to raise a worthy candidate for the throne, but he’s greeted with four princes of completely different, unique personalities… all brothers, no less! How will Heine handle these four brothers who were too much for all the previous Royal Tutors, prompting them all to run away from the job?
The Royal Tutor somewhat reminds me of Negima!. We have a surprisingly small teacher with surprising powers bought in to teach some unruly students how to be better people through misadventures and battles of wills. This seems to me like a character-focused anime where we watch how the four princes develop mentally and emotionally thanks to their tutor’s influence. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens.
Of course, there are a lot of short gags about Heine throughout the episodes, and they are always amusing. This probably has a lot to do with the fact that the characters occasionally revert to their super-deformed selves which, in Henie’s case, just emphasises his short stature (and his cuteness) even more. He may be a genius tutor, skilled in diplomacy with t rather deep voice and deadpan manner, but he is so tiny that the princes do whatever they want with him – mostly just pick him up an carry him around in a rather undignified manner. And what’s more, our tiny scholar also has to look out for the royal dog, who has also taken a boisterous liking to him!
Naturally, though Heine tries to teach the princes manners and educate them, they are spoiled and have been allowed to run amok for most of their young lives. They often try to pull the wool over their tutor’s eyes and get up to mischief. Heine certainly has his wrk cut out for him, and finds he has to try to anticipate the princes moves and get to know their thought processes and behaviours in order to prevent them constantly getting the better of him.
The four princes Heine has been asked to educate are the cocky and stubborn Leonhard, the capricious playboy Licht, the aloof academic Bruno and the cold and distant Kai. Every tutor and professor before him has quit and the princes wear this fact like a badge of honour. But there is more to Heine than meets the eye and he has to beat the princes at their own game in order to earn their respect. When he gets it, he finds himself working closely with the princes to help them overcome their individual struggles, particularly shortcomings that would stand in their way to ascending the throne. Leonhard is a terrible study, Licht has the attention span of a gnat, Bruno is completely inflexible and Kai struggles to communicate and show his true feelings
The backgrounds of The Royal Tutor especially stand out for their particular richness and detail. Of course, inside the royal place is definitely going to be sumptuous and opulent, but this consistency is evident in the royal gardens as well as into the city. The trees, the fountains, the architecture – the artists have gone all-out to represent a wealthy, well-maintained city.
The opening and ending credit songs are also rather catchy Shoppai Namida by Shougo Sakamoto and Prince Night ~Doko ni Ita no Sa!? MY PRINCESS performed by the voice actors of the four princes. As a result the ending in particular has a rather up-tempo idol feel about it due to the four bishounen characters singing it out.
What keeps me coming back to watch this series is the great personalities of the princes and the individual rapports they have with Heine. And, of course, Heine’s rather dry responses to the princes’ silliness or strange behaviour is sometimes hilarious. He appears to be enough of a ‘straight guy’ for all four of them.
I’m looking forward to seeing the princes develop. It’s always satisfying when an initial episode gives you an impression of characters that is deliberately misleading and you slowly begin to see what they’re actually like. And when you find out that you actually enjoy watching all of them and no one’s annoying, that’s an added bonus. I can’t see any massive plot twists or sudden peril being thrown into this one, but I’d be interested to see where the narrative ultimately ends up. Will the king name a successor? Will a surprise character show up? We’ll just have to wait and see.