The Royal Tutor – Episode 8: “A Timid Heart”

Like Kai, there’s more to this show than meets the eye.

Last week, The Royal Tutor tackled more serious, introspective topics without quite knowing how to balance all that with its trademark cute comedy. This week it finds the balance and strikes it perfectly, telling a story that’s full of great gags (and chibis, glorious chibis!) while also finding space to talk about prejudice, social anxiety, and communication. It’s The Royal Tutor at its best, and its best is pretty darn great.

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Panning the Stream: Spring 2017 Midseason Review

Some of these spring buds are really starting to blossom.

WorldEnd - Willem, Ithea, and Ren

I finished writing this a few days ago, but I held off on posting it so I could roll it in with a neat bonus: I joined Amelia and Peter on the “Chatty AF” Anime Feminist podcast to talk about how this season’s shows are doing! So you can read the check-in or listen to it! Or both if you’re so inclined! The possibilities are endless! (Well, okay, the possibilities are three. But that’s still more than we had before!)

Much like this past Winter season, my favorite shows are returning ones, although I do think this gang of newcomers has more potential than the last batch did. A few are picking up steam, a few are wobbling on the edge of the cliff, and many are chugging along, doing their thing. Hit the jump for the written details, or click this here link for the spoken ones. (And remember that you can always search for Chatty AF on iTunes and Stitcher, too!)

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The Royal Tutor – Episode 7: “The Whereabouts of a Dream”

Write like you’re running out of time.

At long last, an entire episode dedicated to resident puppy dog and Character I Identify Way Too Closely With: Bruno! I liked “The Whereabouts of a Dream,” but I think I liked it more in retrospect than while I was watching it. There are some great ideas about perspective and self-worth in here, the episode absolutely nails what it’s like to be a perfectionist overachiever, and its message about pursuing “unrealistic” dreams Fills Me With Determination, but the execution was just a little bit off from what I’ve come to expect.

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The Royal Tutor – Episode 6: “At Café Mitter Meyer”

Don’t worry, this java blend comes with plenty of sweetener.

As promised last week, Licht takes center stage–or does he? Thanks to a tattletale noble, our youngest prince’s solo story quickly becomes a duet, and his dad seems more than happy to steal the spotlight with some workplace antics of his own. Employers will be wooed and ladies will be dazzled. But no matter who gets the biggest tip, one thing’s for certain: The sparkling bishounen apple sure didn’t fall far from the sparkling binan tree. (And yes, now you know how to say “pretty man” in addition to “pretty boy.” Y’all’re welcome.)

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Fan vs Service: WorldEnd vs Hajime no Ippo

When bad frames happen to good people.

When I learned that this season’s new anime, WorldEnd (or SukaSuka), was based on a light novel about an adult man becoming a caretaker for a group of under-18 girls, I was understandably wary given anime’s less-than-glowing track record when handling age gaps and power dynamics. Fortunately, WorldEnd’s leading man, Willem, is (so far) completely uninterested in romancing the local teens. While 15-year-old Chtholly does have an obvious crush on him, Willem sees her and the rest of the girls as students, patients, or younger family members. He uses his power to help and guide, never to take advantage.

These are all good things, and a large part of why the pensive found-family story at the heart of WorldEnd has been so compelling to me. It’s also a large part of why a particular scene in Episode 2, “late autumn night’s dream,” stands out as so uncomfortable and out-of-place. Willem may not be a creeper, but some of the people creating him sure seem to be.

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The Royal Tutor – Episode 5: “Assailed by the Greatest of Trials”

One torte, two torte, red torte, blue torte.

The King of Glanzreich (a.k.a. Viktor) (a.k.a. The God of War) (a.k.a. Dad) returns to the palace to check up on his boys, but our Proud Papa isn’t all teary eyes and hair ruffles. He’s not just here as a father, but as a king appraising his heirs–and a certain someone’s abysmal test score has put him right in the cross hairs. Now poor Leo has to go from zero to 60 points in three days or lose his right to the throne. Even worse: His dad is going to be Very Disappointed in him.

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The Royal Tutor – Episode 4: “The Princes Go To Town”

To market, to market, to buy a fat book.

Heine organizes a field trip into the city of Wiener (I know, I giggled too) so the princes can see how the common folk live firsthand. With their tutor as their guide, the boys follow their hearts and stomachs to new joys and troubles, learn a few lessons along the way, and even fit in some time for a pair of good deeds. I told you they were good boys.

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