The Royal Tutor – Episode 12: “The Last Lesson”

Concludin’ ain’t easy.

A series that began with comedy and surprises ends with drama and predictability, and I can’t say I’m too happy with that shift. It’s not an awful finale by any stretch, and there are some worthwhile ideas and a few nice scenes built into it, which we’ll talk about at the end so I can finish on a positive note. But it’s so darn boilerplate compared to the offbeat, effortless charm of the first 10 (and even moments of 11) episodes. It’s hard not to approach this episode with disappointment and a dash (or two) of salt.

…Er, as that intro suggests, this is the most critical commentary I’ve written in a long while. If you enjoyed this episode and don’t want me to yuck your yum, then now’s your chance to close the window and go read something else. I promise I won’t hold it against you. The rest of you are welcome to join me as I do my best to explain where this anime-original ending went awry.

Click here for the full post on Anime Evo!


Did you know? Have you heard? The Josei Next Door has a tip jar!

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The Royal Tutor – Episodes 10-11: “The Professor I Don’t Know”/”The Pair’s Promise”

Flawed but Feelsy.

In the big lead-up to our grand finale, Count Rosenberg shows his claws, the boys show off their growing maturity, and Heine… shows himself out the door?! Sensei, say it ain’t so! Amidst cleaning shenanigans and princely sleuthing, our protagonist’s long-buried past at last comes to light. And it is… well, underwhelming, to tell the truth. But it’s also full of Teen Heine and Teen Viktor Having Emotions At Each Other. So. Y’know. Win some, lose some, eh?

Click here for the full post on Anime Evo!


Did you know? Have you heard? The Josei Next Door has a tip jar!

The Royal Tutor – Episode 9: “The Price of the Past”

Yippee ki-yay, class.

After spending the past few episodes easing us into a more steady blend of goofy and serious, The Royal Tutor ups the ante once again with an action-packed tale of kidnappings and rescues that’s as surprisingly intense as it is utterly ridiculous. This episode really shouldn’t work, and there were times when I feared it wouldn’t, but by the end I was giggling and applauding in delight. This series is uniquely, unapologetically itself, and I’m so very glad for that.

Click here for the full post on Anime Evo!

Like Its Pint-Sized Protagonist, “The Royal Tutor” is More than Meets the Eye

Weekly posts couldn’t contain all my Royal Tutor love, so I wrote an article about it for Crunchyroll, too! All Heine all the time always!

When The Royal Tutor first came out, I had zero expectations. It looked like a fairly standard pretty-boys show, which can be real hit-or-miss, and “an adult teacher who looks like a child” didn’t sound like a promising starting point. Happily, the premiere immediately charmed me with its poker-faced protagonist, liberal use of chibis, and refusal to take its sparkly princes seriously. The Ouran High vibes were strong with this one, and I was cautiously optimistic.

By the second episode, I was hooked, and not just because the series was silly and cute and the characters were all good, good boys (although that sure didn’t hurt). The Royal Tutor also impressed me with the way it quietly wove in themes about judging people by appearances. Between all the chibi antics, the series argues that first impressions are often deceiving, and people are rarely who they initially seem.

Click here for the full post on Crunchyroll!

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

Never judge a prince by his glare.

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.

Click here for the full post on Anime Evo!

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.

Click here for the full post on Anime Evo!

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.)

Click here for the full post on Anime Evo!