The Royal Tutor is a manga series about a bunch of good-looking princes whose king dad hires a special tutor to help each one become the best king candidate he can be. The tutor, Heine, is short and looks like a kid, but thankfully there are only a few gags about that, and he is of course a super tutor; he’s also likely got some kind of past no one but probably the king knows at this point.
So far this has mostly been the story of each prince overcoming a personal flaw like struggling to speak to people he doesn’t know (Kai), disliking studying (Leonhard), not showing any seriousness (Licht), or getting too stuck in books (Bruno). I’ve noticed how very few women there are in this world; the princes’ mother has only briefly been seen in a flashback, there is the occasional family member like a cousin/fiancée, baby sister, or grandmother, but really that’s it. That seems to be the norm in this kind of story but it’s still kind of noticeable at this point.
There is a fifth prince, actually the oldest, Eins, but he’s not a part of the tutoring stuff. He’s several years older than the rest of the group who are each about a year apart in age (14-17), and he lives in his own palace. He should be the prime king candidate (being every bit as talented, smart, good looking etc as his younger brothers) yet there’s a mysterious reason why the king might not be ready to announce that. This volume is really starting to focus on the mystery behind Eins, and it’s really suggesting he suffers from some sort of severe anxiety and/or depression. Maybe it’s me relating to him a little bit much, but it feels a little unfair that the king probably knows this but decides to deal with it by helping the younger brothers with the tutor, but not helping his oldest son who seems to genuinely need it somehow. Eins has a steward with whom he appears to have a bit of a past, and who seems to have sneaky edge, but that’s still somewhat of an unknown as well.
All of this kind of makes their dad, King Victor, look like a jerk. Why help some of your kids and not one? Why would you put them in direct competition like that knowing it could really damage the family relationship? Odds are there something behind it all that just hasn’t been revealed yet, but it feels a little wrong.
In general, this is a light hearted series but there is definitely a growing undercurrent that I hope doesn’t get too dark. I also hope this isn’t going to be one of those series that never answers the main question of who wins the king-ship competition dad sets up. We’ll just have to see I guess.