The Royal Tutor
Episode 6

by Anne Lauenroth,

How would you rate episode 6 of
Royal Tutor ?

After dedicating some much-needed extra time to Leo and about equal attention to the other princes, the moment has come to shed some light on the secrets and troubles of the youngest son (and most distant in the line of succession): Licht. Heine isn't alone in finding him the most mysterious. The whole playboy act couldn't hide his keen wit, and I would have even been inclined to see possible danger coming from the only prince not bearing a real German name. Calling his behavior an act is actually not fair, as charm and allure are part of Licht's genetic makeup. He simply prefers to be seen as just that – better to be ridiculed for being vain and shallow than for failing at something he sincerely cares about or feeling hurt and neglected. As Heine says, it's very "ordinary" adolescent behavior, which doesn't make his fears and desires any less valid.

Even if being the king isn't something Viktor had much choice in (it's not like he neglected his family out of ruthless ambition to advance an optional career in business), and maintaining the peace ensures his sons' safety, Licht's anger and pain are as justified as Leo's, as is his need to rebel by chasing self-discovery and fulfillment that weren't possible within the boundaries of his privileged, yet highly restricted palace life. The place he chooses to do so enables The Royal Tutor to embrace another wonderful aspect of Viennese culture: coffee houses. From the local specialties to the presentable staff, Mitter Meyer is a place many a Japanese butler cafe would pale against. And while the episode is a bit eager to resolve all those bottled-up feelings of frustration in one sweeping evening of newfound mutual respect, this really isn't the kind of show where daddy traumas should get in the way of glorious butler cafe interludes. So what if they want to have their cake and eat it too? I wouldn't be opposed to a slice of sugary Dobos torte served by butler waiter Viktor, who melts hearts like chocolate on a bright summer's day.

Of course the worldly, charming, caring king would be a natural at this, even though his brief-but-perfect stint really just reinforces what we've observed Licht doing in the episode's first half. The youngest prince is no mere playboy, but good with people on a much deeper level. He also excels at "reading the air" in social situations, diffusing tensions that could become uncomfortable or even dangerous, proving him to be his father's son in more than just looks. What both of them gain from their shared experience is also not so different.

For Viktor, it's about realizing his fickle son has enough stamina not to give in at initial failure, and insist on pursuing something he cares about instead. That's something he can respect, as long as certain safety precautions are observed. As Viktor and Heine's memories of a past still unknown to us are rekindled, Viktor can acknowledge these life experiences as important while recognizing part of his younger self in Licht.

For Licht, respect and acknowledgement are a two-way street. For the first time in his life (that Licht's aware of), his father takes an interest in his actions. Viktor excelling at a job Licht claimed for himself isn't meant to humiliate him. Instead, it demands Licht's respect because, for the first time, "being the king" isn't some evil, boring, nondescript thing keeping son and father apart for no reason. Viktor is good at this because he honed his own social skills for years. He's the king in a field Licht considers himself to be more than adequately gifted in. Everyone learned a lesson in compassion, and we would be ready for some funifuni cuddles, if it wasn't for the the reveal of our first real villain.

Count Rosenberg, who will have his work cut out for him if he really wants to get rid of all four spare heirs to the throne, could be a distant relative in the line of succession once all of Viktor's sons are either dead or otherwise ineligible. The timing of his appearance seems curious, though. Why does he show up just when Viktor finally got invested in his younger sons' education? Viktor suddenly remembering having more than one possible heir always felt off, leading me to question if there might be some sort of conflict between him and his firstborn son that forced him to consider alternative options, which is why he reached out to Heine after their (possible) falling-out, and time started ticking for that mysterious first prince who we have yet to meet (possibly for good reason).

Luckily, Heine has already smelled the handsome rat, and he'll certainly be able to intervene in any future scheming aimed at discrediting our boys. On a more somber note, Heine's past might be sadder than his students would expect.

Rating: B

The Royal Tutor is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

Anne is a translator and fiction addict who writes about anime at Floating Words and on Twitter.

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