Do you like Eins and Rosenberg? Because this volume of The Royal Tutor is going to try its best to make you like them.
And it is mostly successful at doing so…at the expense of pagetime with everyone else.
Count Rosenberg decides to stop blocking the princes from visiting their older brother, and he also suspects Heine may help convince Eins to stop hiding from the world. Only, once they realized Eins is not in the mansion, everyone worries he’s going to leave this world. Everyone but Leonhard will get that inference.
The setup for The Royal Tutor was that Viktor wanted to see if any of his younger sons should be king over his eldest. To keep the scales in their favor, Rosenberg has been a schemer while Eins has avoided any close relationship with his siblings. Kai and Bruno have never hated Eins, but Eins has been a mostly mysterious if not antagonistic figure to everyone else. But everyone is rattled by Eins’ disappearance — none more so than Rosenberg, who was already on edge.
The Royal Tutor has always been primarily a comedy thanks to Heine’s diminutive stature and his students’ quirks, but the series has had darker undertones from the start. It seems unlikely the author would have one of her characters kill themselves, but it is still rather surprising Rosenberg thinks it’s a strong possibility. But either because of dark demons or comedic misunderstandings, it’s time for Eins’ true self to come out.
Was I shocked by the result? No. Was I at least a little surprised? Yes. But at the same time, the truth means giving up a lot of the tension in the series. I’d also be curious to know whether Eins’ background and true self was decided long ago or if Akai changed the gameplan partway through.
The manga doesn’t deny it has lost its main reason for continuing. Volume 16’s ending seems to be saying, “Yep, gotta wrap this up!” The book is very Eins- (and Rosenberg-) centric, but the others get quite a few little displays of their characters. The most obvious is Leonhard’s dumbness and confidence despite his lack of intelligence. But Kai, for instance, has a lot to say to Eins despite his normally quiet nature in the climax of the arc. Still, if the series is heading for the exit, I wish we could have spent a little more time with Heine’s students and the extended cast before Viktor weighs his decision on who will be his successor.
I’m sure many readers will enjoy learning more about Eins and to see Rosenberg turn to Heine after rejecting his offers to help before. But this means everyone else does little else but worry about Eins, and neither the drama nor the comedy especially moved me.