Heine has packed his bags and can’t be found although he promised to tell the princes about his past! Will they (and readers) ever learn about Heine’s true background?
The answer is yes — finally, yes!
We all know Heine has a dark secret, but the bad thing(s) he’s done has remained a mystery…until now.
The truth isn’t as complicated as you might suspect, with The Royal Tutor having been hiding it for the past 14 volumes. In fact, most of it is revealed in a single chapter. That’s because Heine doesn’t discuss his life as a child or the history of the Kvel. He basically summarizes what he was doing as a young man and then his initial meeting with Viktor and how that turned into a years-long friendship. True, readers had put together a basic idea of Heine’s history (he was some sort of criminal, Kvels weren’t always accepted, Viktor was once on the brink of death), but I so wish Akai had show anything of little (well, littler) Heine.
But I guess Akai wanted to give her fans a little something for sticking with the series this long. And, well, I don’t think she was really targeting GFantasy‘s male readers! Not only are Heine’s and Viktor’s younger selves handsome, in both in the flashbacks and present time, she throws in some art that clearly is food for a BL lover’s soul. Then, Viktor the doting father wants to defend his honor as a strong warrior, but he’s really doing it to earn some brownie points with his sons.
But if you’re hoping Heine x Viktor is the true romance of the manga, well, Akai decides it’s time for the queen to make her appearance. (But I guess Heine x Leonhard supporters still have a chance?) Both stories show the parents’ awkward sides as well as their capable sides, but either way, they love their children dearly. So refreshing compared to so many manga with parental issues.
After that, it’s back to the business with Eins, who still is nearly impossible to see for reasons no one can figure out. Well, Licht thinks it’s heartbreak, but everyone else shoots down that idea. Eins’ issues are for another time, but the manga does show the bond between him and Rosenberg. And perhaps despite the beginning of the volume seeming to have shown all we need to see about Heine’s past, perhaps there’s still more to reveal?
If that’s the case, perhaps my disappointment about the shortness of Heine’s backstory comes a bit early. Either way, it and the follow-up chapters are all oozing with the strong bonds between the characters — parent and child, teacher and student, student and rival — and a nice amount of humor along the way. It’s going to be hard for the last couple volumes to top this one for me.