Rich, handsome young men, each with his own distinct personality…this type of bishounen cast is a staple in shojo manga. And if you like yours with a generous helping of chibi humor, you should definitely check out Higasa Akai’s The Royal Tutor. Read on for my review of Volume 3. (For my reviews of other volumes, click here.)
Back Cover Blurb
Sometimes kind, sometimes strict, Heine is prepared to employ any means necessary to draw forth his princeling students’ potential. But seriously, what’s a royal tutor got to do to enjoy a simple, quiet day off?? With royal engagements, reluctant readers, and secret lives seemingly everywhere he turns, Heine may need to up his game if this kingdom is to have any hope for the future at all!
For those familiar with the anime, half of Volume 3 is material that was not included in the TV series. If you are a fan of Prince Kai, you will want to pick up this volume for Chapter 13 alone. Up till now, the only females in the bishounen-heavy cast have been the princes’ grandmother and 3-year-old sister. Now we get one more: Beatrix Von Lothringen, a cousin—and Kai’s betrothed.
She’s a bit of a surprise since none of the royals have mentioned anything about engagements, but it does make sense for princes to have arranged marriages. Beatrix, though, is more than just a fiancée. Having been raised with the princes, she treats them like an older sister, and Kai’s sharp glance doesn’t intimidate her at all. Rather, she feels affection for Kai and somewhat inadequate as a woman (did I mention she cross-dresses?). Chapter 13 is her attempt at a romantic picnic with Kai, but her efforts get thwarted one after another in comic fashion. It doesn’t help that fluff-obsessed Kai isn’t exactly the sort to drop sweet nothings into a lady’s ear. However, the chapter does conclude with a swoon-worthy illustration of the two that made my heart skip a beat.
The story then shifts to a chapter about Leonhard’s woeful academics, which to be honest is starting to get old, before returning to the subject of marriage. This time the focus is teensy sister Adele, who’s just had the realization she’s to be sent to a foreign land to be married one day. A pretend engagement with Heine results, and in addition to the brothers’ varied reactions at the thought of their tutor as brother in-law, the mangaka serves up adorable pictures of Adele and Heine. Because even though Heine’s an adult, he still looks like a kid, and visually speaking, Adele matches up with him pretty well. We also get the first mention of the royal brood’s mother in this chapter. However, it remains unclear where Mom is and what happened to her.
The narrative then matches up with the anime once again with Heine chancing upon Licht waiting tables at Cafe Mitter Meyer. While the idea of Licht having a part-time job seems a flimsy excuse for the mangaka to draw bishounen in waiter uniforms (though admittedly, they look quite dashing), it does add depth to our playboy character. More importantly, we get the introduction of “The Count.” Until now, the princes haven’t had enemies other than their own personality quirks, but the addition of an outside adversary should put more backbone to the plot.
Extras include comics printed on the inside of the back cover flap; a two-page bonus manga; first page printed in color; and translation notes.
A new character, and a female one at that! Prince Kai’s boyish fiancee joins the cast and provides a bit of random background on the royal family. The betrothal fun continues with a pretend engagement between Heine and Princess Adele before the narrative dives into a longer arc about Licht. While most of the story just seems to be an excuse to have Licht and Viktor in a cafe setting, it does introduce a new sinister element to the plot with the meddling of the Count.
First published at The Fandom Post.