“The Royal Tutor” (also known as “Ōshitsu Kyōshi Haine”) is the anime adaptation of the Japanese manga series written by Hisaga Akai. The series follows Heine Wittgenstein, a youthful-looking man with a mysterious past, tasked with mentoring four of the five heirs to the Glanzreich throne.
I have no shame in admitting that the delicate art style and bishonen characters are what originally drew me to this anime (despite being a critic, I am human too). However, I also admit that this anime exceeded my expectations. With its over-dramatic opening credit sequence and Ouran Host Club-esque introduction, I initially expected The Royal Tutor to be a sort of copycat male-harem anime with little plot and a lot of fan-service. Instead, I received the opposite.
Almost immediately after the commercial break, the show dives right into character development, starting by breaking the viewer’s preconceptions about each of the characters personalities. The character development is a constant narrative and catalyst in the show, while any sort of fan-service is really few and far between. Albeit the show can be a bit emotionally over-dramatic when unnecessary, while scenes that really do hold drama or suspense tend to be a bit underplayed, making for some scenes to feel telenova-like or even a bit awkward. Yet considering the overall tone of the anime is meant to be lighthearted and endearing, the drama isn’t so much of an issue.
Despite the warm undertones, the show is also able to maintain enough mystery and suspense to engage the viewer throughout the season. Episodes are set up to where one story arc can be completed by commercial time, leaving enough room for a new one to be set up and hook the viewer on a cliffhanger. Its a great tactic for maintaining engagement while the viewer can feel like they’re actually getting two episodes in one (a win-win scenario in my opinion). Meanwhile, the season retains various unsolved plot points that could be alluding to the show being renewed for multiple seasons (hint-hint to any fans of the series reading this).
Something that is worth noting about the show is the attention to detail. Whether it’s in the characters’ outfits or the world building, the show really puts in the effort (which I would expect no less from anything being produced by Square Enix). On top of that kudos should definitely be given to the anime’s creator Higasa Akai. Although the series is based in a fairytale-feel fantasy setting, problems and situations are dealt with on a realistic level with no magic or fantasy involved. This allows for situations that are much more relatable to the audience and further enhances the character development that the show depends on.
Ultimately, The Royal Tutor is an anime that can be enjoyed by a general audience, even though the character design and art style may appeal to particular niches. Each episode feels quite fulfilling yet the mysteries and hooks can easily make one prone to binging. So, if you enjoy deep character development (or have ever suffered from traumatic experiences in your academic environment) then this show is worth putting on the watchlist.
Miso Rating: 4/5 Soups
Have an anime you would like us to review? Let us know in the comments below!