Otaku USA Magazine
The Royal Tutor [Manga Review]

In the Germanic-looking kingdom of Granzreich, brilliant professor Heine Wittgenstein is hired by the royal family to tutor its four teenage princes. (There’s a fifth prince, but he’s too old and too flawless to require further instruction, and the princess is still a toddler.) First complication: the princes hate school and are united in their determination to drive their new tutor away. Second complication: Heine is a little person who looks like a child. Third complication … just kidding, there are no further complications.

In this extremely gentle bishonen comedy, even the issue of Heine’s appearance amounts to little more than an excuse to include a cute chibi character. The plot settles back and relaxes while Heine sets out to win the trust of his new students and maybe even teach them something.

The princes are, naturally, all handsome, lanky fellows with easily classifiable personality traits. There’s the dark and moody one, the genius who thinks he’s too smart for a teacher, the haughty fellow with secret self-esteem problems, and the giggly, girlish playboy. Higasa Akai delights in drawing the boys in romantic, dramatic, and/or sexy poses, surrounded by Art Noveau designs or elegant Old World furnishings. Heine tames them one by one with his superhuman tutoring skills, like a tiny little Black Butler of education.

The characters are simple and the conflicts mild as milk tea, but it’s all quietly charming. This is the kind of manga you read on a lazy day to escape to a well-appointed world where all conflicts are surmountable, no one is a bad person underneath, and a royal prince’s biggest crisis might be that no one realizes how much he secretly likes puppies.

publisher: Yen Press
story and art: Higasa Akai
rating: 13+

This story appears in the December 2017 issue of Otaku USA Magazine. Click here to get a print copy.