Panning the Stream: The Royal Tutor – Episode 1

They’re good boys, Brent.

There’s a subgenre of anime that I’ve recently become quite fond of, which I like to call “cute girls behaving badly.” The idea is simple but subtly subversive: Take your standard cute-girl character designs and then imbue them with traits that aren’t considered cute at all. No wide-eyed innocence or endless compassion here; nope, these gals are selfish, short-sighted, egotistical, and/or just plain lazy. They’re rarely malicious and they often have redeeming or (sym)pathetic qualities, which makes them relatable or at least funny, but they’re hardly what you’d called heroic ideals. They are, as we’ve talked about before, trash characters.

The Royal Tutor is that, but with pretty boys.

Click here for the full review on Anime Feminist!

6 thoughts on “Panning the Stream: The Royal Tutor – Episode 1

  1. In my experience every Cute Girl show has character who’ Behave Badly” who are a subversion of the presumed Otaku fixation on Purity.

    So the idea that certain shows are being subversion but apparently doing that intentional just reflect a mis understanding of the genre to begin with. Just like how One Punch Man doesn’t actually subvert anything about he Shoneon genre, and Madoka doesn’t actually subvert anything about the Magical Girl Genre.


    • I don’t think Cute Girls (or Pretty Boys) Behaving Badly subverts the cute-girl genre; I think it subverts cultural ideals or preconceptions about how attractive or likable characters are “supposed” to behave, often based on gender norms. That roundtable we did on trash characters (which I linked to above) goes into more detail.


      • I recall the Round Table, I read a good deal of it.

        I’m personally really reactionary to this perfection that most Cute Girl shows are just about MoeBlog Ingneuines with no real depth. I don’t watch them just cause they’re cute to look at, but because I often relate to those characters.


      • I seem to have given you the impression that I’m anti-cute-girl shows. I’m not. As this chart notes, there are many different threads to this subgenre. Some of those threads I don’t care for. Others I like. It’s a very case-by-case basis, like with any genre/subgenre of fiction. That’s pretty much the extent of my opinion on it.


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