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Manga / The Royal Tutor

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The Royal Tutor (in Japanese, Oshitsu Kyoshi Heine) is a manga by Higasa Akai, which was published in Monthly G Fantasy from 2013 to 2021. It was adapted into an anime by studio Bridge in 2017. The story revolves about Heine, a very youthful-looking teacher who was ordered by the king of Grannzreich to tutor his four young princes and turn them into men suitable to inherit the throne.

The anime series is available for legal streaming subbed on Crunchyroll here, and dubbed on FUNimation here.

This series has examples of:

  • All Work vs. All Play: Bruno and Licht. Bruno is very studious and dedicated to education. Licht prefers to have fun and go out with women. Subverted as it is discovered that Licht has a secret job as a hardworking waiter.
  • Black Sheep: Prince Eins is set apart from the rest of his family. Physically, he is the only one with black-colored hair and eyes compared his light-colored and blue eyed siblings. In terms of personality, he is far more serious and aloof, in contrast to even his own father.
  • Book Ends: The anime starts and ends with Heine greeting the princes in the same study room. The difference is that in the first instance, the princes act coldly and dismissively towards Heine, trying to chase him away. In the last instance, they've become very fond of Heine and actively want him to be their tutor.
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys: All the princes and even their father are stunningly handsome and attractive men.
  • Clark Kenting:
    • Played with in regards to Prince Licht. The former while in his "Richie" persona ties their hair back and wears glasses and genuinely acts far more mature and different than their usual self. While most people don't realize who it is, those that personally know Licht are hardly fooled, such as Heine or Count Rosenberg.
    • Played straight with Viktor who also does the same briefly, except by only wearing common clothes. Again, most people at the establishment did not realize the king was serving and interacting with them.
  • Comforting Comforter: Bruno falls asleep in the carriage after visiting and teaching at the Maria Vetsera church, having barely slept the night before. Heine takes off his robe and covers Bruno with it.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: There are several hints that Heine has one.
  • Dark Is Evil: Eins, who, unlike his younger siblings or his father, has black-colored hair and eyes.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Gender-flipped with the younger princes, especially Leonhard, who were all initially hostile, rude and wary of Heine. But gradually, they start to warm up to Heine, becoming pretty fond of him, even if some of them might not admit it out loud.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The anime ending is sung by the main characters' voice actors.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Leonhard had some actually good insights on chapters 22 and 25.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Each of the princes have varying issues.
    • Kai was reportedly kicked out of military school due to getting into fights, particularly one instance where he beat up one student. It's revealed that he only did so because said student was bullying and hurting Bruno. He also has difficulty with social interaction other than his family and everyone else is too terrified of his Face of a Thug to approach him.
    • Bruno recognizes that despite his many accomplishments, he is average and is not a genius like his older brother Enis, making him easily jealous of naturally talented people.
    • Leonhard hates teachers due to previous bad experiences and acts very haughty and vain but actually hides his low self-esteem and confidence issues.
    • Licht appears very flighty and irresponsible, having only a heart for women, but is actually very hard-working and loves his job as a waiter. He looks up to his father and only wishes to make his father proud.
    • And now we have Heine whose Dark and Troubled Past is one of the final mysteries of the series.
    • It turns out that this applies to Eins as well, whose past is more crippling than he cares to admit and suffers under the pressure of being a self-perceived Broken Ace.
  • Ensemble Cast: All the four princes are given equal screen time, at least on the manga. On the anime, the focus tends to be on Leonhard.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Granzreich bears more than a passing resemblance to the Habsburg Empire, the Palace looks a lot like the Hofburg, the capital city is named Wien, better known as Vienna, and Heine mentions a Granzreich princess name Marie who married into a foreign royal family only to fall victim to a revolution and execution by the guillotine. The extras of Volume 2 confirm that the country is based off of the Austria-Hungarian Empire of the 1880s.
  • Fictional Country: Granzreich, whose name probably is a play with the words grand (big or great, in French) and Reich (kingdom, in German). Alternatively, it could be a fusion of Grenz (frontier, in German) with Reich, though it would not make as much sense as the former. Either way, it is clearly an example of Gratuitous German.
  • First-Name Basis: Heine casually calling Viktor by their first name in private reveals how they've known each other for a much longer time than Heine first claimed.
  • Friendly Rivalry: The younger princes, despite acknowledging they are all aiming to be king and thus are competing against one another for the throne, are supportive and look up to each other, quick to help one another if the situation calls for it.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Played for Laughs. Leonhard becomes obsessed with studying on his own in his room after the younger princes are challenged by the oldest Eines to succeed him as the king candidate. When Heine and the others check on him after three days, they find him randomly blurting out equations and facts and he proceeds to use chalk to scribble on his brothers while cheerfully laughing. Heine "cures" him by giving him a piece of torte.
  • Goal in Life: Licht pursuing one is the theme of chapters 45 to 47.
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Eins
  • Heroic Dog: The motif of chapter 27, after which Shadow started being addressed as Sir by the princelings.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Eines was brutally honest about it but he was correct in his assessment about his younger brothers, the same assessment that their father had came to. Kai is too timid to hold a conversation with anyone other than family. Bruno is far too strict and inflexible with himself and others. Leonhard hates studying, leading to his Book Dumb tendencies. Licht is more occupied with his own fun and amusement. None of the younger princes made any effort to improve themselves with previous royal tutors until recently. Despite the younger princes desiring to aim for kingship, Eines quickly pointed out that he already has several officials and military figures backing him as the successor, having met all the expectations and standards, while the young princes have very little to no support on the matter.
  • Kick the Dog: When Prince Eines arrives to the palace, the younger princes greet him with a gift of a bouquet of flowers. The former promptly hits it out of Bruno's hands. Eventually subverted when it's revealed it was an accident.
  • King Incognito: Viktor, in chapter 18.
  • Kissing Cousins: Kai is engaged to his cousin Beatrix. She is quite taken with him and wants to act more like his fiancee but Kai does not treat her any different than the rest of his family.
  • Luminescent Blush: Leonhard tends to have these, especially when Heine encourages him to do better.
  • Magic Countdown: Chapter 44 makes you pondering how the young princes brainstormed and put into action a plan to catch Heine into less than eight minutes.
  • Manchild:
    • Heine consistently reminds others that he is an adult but many times, he can act pretty childish.
    • Viktor is the king but when it comes to his children, he can become very emotional, overly affectionate and childish, much to his younger sons' embarrassment.
  • Married to the Job: The proprietor of Café Mitter Meyer. Also, Viktor, who is constantly overcharged with his royal duties, leaving his children wondering When You Coming Home, Dad?
  • Meaningful Echo: When Leonhard first warms up to the idea of Heine being his teacher, he only holds one finger from Heine's offered hand, saying he would try that much. When Leonhard formally accepts Heine as his teacher, Heine only holds one of his fingers from his offered hand. Heine even said he was simply returning Leonhard's earlier handshake.
  • Missing Mom: There was only a brief mention of the princes' mother in a flashback. She eventually shows up briefly towards the end of the series; it turns out that she's busy with work outside of the country.
  • Mood Whiplash: The series tends to switch from serious to comedic quite often:
    • Fuchs has captured Kai, Heine and Maximillin and attempts to take photos for ransom. However, the latter has different ideas and continue to pose and make silly faces.
    • Count Rosenberg finds Heine, hinting that he knows about Heine's past and wants to talk to him. Heine refuses and the Count slowly approaches Heine menacingly ... Only to pick him up bridal style and carry him into the carriage.
  • Mysterious Past: There is still a lot about Heine that isn't revealed until late in the series.
  • Nerd Glasses: Applies to both Bruno and Heine.
  • Nobody's That Dumb: Even though Leonhard seems troubled with even the simplest rules of math, he likes to bloat whenever he has the chance to that he's making great improvements. That is, just because now he can count using his fingers.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Heine remarks on Licht being this with Bruno during one of the two's spats—they share the same stubbornness. Licht, for his part, is horrified at the thought of being anything like Bruno.
  • Odd Friendship: As later revealed, Viktor and Heine who are from different backgrounds and social classes but trust each other and are comfortable enough to open up to each other.
  • Older Than They Look: A trope constantly played throughout the series to create embarrassing situations for Heine. To a lesser degree, also applies to king Viktor, who looks as young as any of his sons (in fact, even younger than his eldest son, as Eins himself pointed out).
  • One Cast Member per Cover: The titular tutor Heine is on volume 1's cover and volumes 2-5 each feature one of the princes he teaches. From volume 6 on, the covers have Heine and one or two other characters until the final volume which only has Heine like in the first.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: On chapter 38, Heine realized that something was really wrong with Leonhard after he found out that he refused torte, his Trademark Favorite Food.
  • Parents as People: Viktor genuinely loves his children but his duties as king cause him to be very busy and not spend as much time as he would like with them. In addition, there are times when he has to be harsh and stern with the younger princes because they have a duty as potential king candidates to live up to their potential.
  • Plot-Based Photograph Obfuscation:
    • In the manga, Viktor was looking at a photo of his children. His oldest son's face is conveniently covered by a speech bubble. It won't be until chapter 36 that we properly see prince Eins' face.
    • Heine has a photo of him and someone else. Currently it is unknown who it is, but Kai (who caught a glimpse of the photo) thinks that the person looks familiar.
  • Precocious Crush: Princess Adele has a crush on Heine. She is three years old while Heine is an adult and is apparently old enough to be her father. It does not help that Heine has the physical appearance of a young child. Heine himself commented that if she is grown and still harbors feelings for him, he will discuss it with her properly.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Licht's cafe boss correctly deduces that Licht is a pampered son from a well-off family. He is not entirely wrong but he did not realize that the latter is actually one of the princes of the kingdom. Considering that it's later revealed he knew all along, it comes off as him teasing Licht in hindsight.
  • Role Called: The original title in Japanese is Royal Tutor Heine. The translation turns it into a Job Title, though.
  • Rotating Protagonist: Each chapter tends to focus on a particular prince.
  • Rousseau Was Right: Ultimately, every character has good intentions or, if not, is presented as potentially being able to reform.
  • Ruritania: The kingdom of Granzreich.
  • Sadist Teacher: The princes' first tutor was extremely strict, especially on Leonhard who was never good at academics, and would beat Leonhard with a rod, fueling Leonard's fear and hate of all tutors.
  • Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: Heine normally does this during the show's (many) humorous moments.
  • School Is for Losers: A variant, Leonhard hates studying and either runs away from tutors or chases them from the palace ever since he was at a young age. Is it any wonder that he can barely count using his fingers?
  • Secret Identity: Licht frequently goes out of the castle to wander into town, supposedly to hang out with pretty girls. Turns out he works as a waiter on Café Mitter Meyer, with the alias of Rich. Nobody on the palace knew about it, that is, until Count Rosenberg told his father.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: The princes admire Beatrix when she is dressed in a lovely gown, having been used to seeing her in men's clothing.
  • Shorter Means Smarter: Heine.
  • Sneeze Cut: When the princes mistakenly believe that Prince Eines has kidnapped Heine, they immediately proclaim that they will help Heine. Cut to Heine sneezing.
  • Something about a Rose: Overplayed in the anime.
  • Spell My Namewithan S: is it Heine or Haine? Leonhardt or Leonhard? Granzreich or Grannzreich or Grants Reich?
  • Super-Deformed: Professor Heine often becomes this in a variety of situations. It apparently extends to the real world too, as Leonhard can carry him around under his arm while he's in that form.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: It's eventually revealed that Licht was never really a King Incognito, at least after Viktor caught on and met the cafe owner—he revealed Licht's identity in secret back then, since it wouldn't actually be practical for a prince to work under someone oblivious to his identity.
  • The Un-Smile: Kai attempts to smile to make a good impression on others. His smile only manages to terrify everyone.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: The younger princes all struggle to varying extents to make their father proud and become a worthy king candidate.
  • Wham Line:
    • In the anime, the princes are discussing about a newspaper article about a criminal being in the palace and dismisses it as false, having previously experienced lies of the written press. Heine instead pushes them to think beyond their assumptions.
      Heine: For example, what if it was me?
    • Heine and Viktor are having a conversation about the oldest prince, when the latter made this comment.
      Viktor: The way things currently stand ... I do not consider Eines to be a fit candidate for the throne.
  • The Wrongful Heir to the Throne: Seems that Viktor thinks so of Eins, and that's the reason why he requested Heine to turn his younger sons into someone befitting of the throne.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Heine has a surprisingly deep voice in the anime, despite his childish appearance.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The last pages of the final chapter provide infodumps of what the main characters do with their lives after Leonhard is crowned king.
  • You Must Be This Tall to Ride: An unending source of humorous situations, as Heine is constantly mistaken for a child because of his small frame.
  • You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry!: Despite his childish looks, don't mistake Heine as someone that can be easily played with: as soon as any of the princes is in danger, he suddenly shows he's more than your average teacher.