Based on photos and tweets I’d seen on Twitter, I could tell this week’s episode focused on Bruno. I don’t know if I expected some past trauma like with Leonhard, but I knew we’d see some insight into his childhood and what led him to be so smart. I did notice Count Rosenberg in the preview and thought, “Ugh, this guy again.” Whenever he’s around, you can believe nothing good will happen.
With all four princes gathered, Heine poses them a situational question, asking them to answer as though they were King. He shows them a sample of Venice lace and tells them the only store in the kingdom that produces it is in need of repair due to the building’s age. Since the owner doesn’t have the funds to repair the building themselves, they’ve come to ask the state for a loan. Licht decides to loan them the money, thinking it wouldn’t be much, but Bruno reminds him that the law forbids the state from providing financial loans to private citizens. Leonhard suggests the people save up money each month, pool it together, and lend it whenever it’s needed (once again, using sachertorte as an example).
The princes laugh at their brother’s “crazy imagination” (perhaps because of the sachertorte metaphor), but King Viktor enters and declares the plan a good idea, adding that such insurance systems have already been established in neighboring countries and that it might be time for Granzreich to follow suit. He then decides to consider presenting the idea to the council and asks Leonhard to write up a report for it. Leonhard seems astonished, perhaps more for receiving praise than coming up with a novel idea. Though he congratulates his younger brother, Bruno seems inwardly disappointed that the class dunce momentarily outshone him.
As a child, he loved secretly watching his father work. King Viktor would always notice and invite the boy to join him, even asking him to read a report for him. Young Bruno was amazed by the work his father did and decided to become a great king like him. However, overhearing his eldest brother Prince Eins regarded as a well-rounded genius, Bruno seemed to abandon his idealistic dreams and resolved to study like his life depended on it. Although people began praising his intellect, there was no change to the general assumption that Eins would be the next king. Bruno frequently wondered if there was such thing as a genius, would all his effort really matter. That even if he did catch up to his brother, he’d only be another genius like him. He even begins wondering if Leonhard is a born genius like Eins (unexpectedly smart, but I don’t know about genius).
Heine expresses concern for the prince, thinking he doesn’t seem like himself, leading Bruno to admonish himself for making his “master” worry. The professor then reviews a paper Bruno intends to present at a university academic conference in two weeks. Bruno explains that although he does not officially attend the university, he first visited upon hearing a scholar he admires would be giving a lecture there. The scholar’s schedule was ultimately changed and the lecture canceled, but the prince began receiving private guidance from the professors he’d met then. He is quick to assure Heine that his lessons are far more important to him and that the university is only meant to broaden his horizons.
Bruno asks Heine for his frank advice on the paper, which the diminutive educator deems “incomplete overall” as the prince had merely rehashed points from previous papers, not to mention inordinate misspellings. Heine suspects (and I agree) that Bruno’s errors are the result of something weighing heavily on his mind. Though he doesn’t persist for an answer, he encourages Bruno to concentrate on the paper and think about what kind of kingdom he hopes to create in the future. And if he is not satisfied with his progress, he will drop Bruno as his apprentice (though technically he never agreed to take him on as one). Overlooking the ersatz ultimatum, Bruno is delighted that Heine acknowledged him as his apprentice but quickly composes himself and hurries off to work on the paper.
For the next two weeks, Bruno basically shuts himself in his room and works tirelessly on his paper (though at some point, he does consider visiting the library). Elsewhere, Leonhard presents the report on his proposed insurance plan to his father. Sometime later, Bruno presents the final draft of his own paper to Heine (after first apologizing for his haggard appearance). He admits that although he’s not confident in the paper, he did the best he could. Heine reads the paper and declares it excellent, citing a few of the prince’s viewpoints that even taught him a few things, and encourages Bruno to present his paper proudly.
Later, as he goes to present his paper, he reminds himself of something he realized years ago: That if not for his title, he would’ve been born with nothing as an ordinary man. And thus he must exert ten times more effort than anyone or else he’d never become someone for others to aspire to. He then presents his paper and, after a brief silence, he is surprised to receive a standing ovation. After the conference, several professors compliment his paper, some even asking him to come and lecture at their universities. Just then, another professor approaches him saying he’d heard the prince was a fan of his. Bruno then realizes the man is Dr. Dmitri of Orosz, the scholar he’d hoped to hear lecture at the university. Dr. Dmitri tells Bruno he’d heard about from an acquaintance and was intrigued enough to come hear the prince’s presentation, even inviting him to dinner.
That night, Dr. Dmitri expresses his high opinion of Bruno, having read several of his papers, and offers the prince a chance to leave Granzreich and study to be a scholar with him. Since there can only be one king (wonder who told him that -_-), being a scholar would certainly be more realistic. While Bruno reminds him that he’s still in line of succession, Dmitri points out that he is the third son and his eldest brother is an “excellent candidate” for the throne. He leaves Bruno the address in his hotel and tells him he and his assistant will be returning to Orosz in one week.
Back at the palace, Heine waits by the gate for Bruno. When the prince’s carriage finally arrives, Count Rosenberg isn’t far behind it. After commenting on the lateness of Bruno’s return, he introduces himself to Heine, revealing that he is also Prince Eins’ high steward and the acquaintance who Dr. Dmitri about Bruno. Meanwhile, the prince reflects on Dr. Dmitri’s offer, admitting to himself that his dream of becoming is unrealistic. Around the corner, he overhears Leonhard asking about the report he submitted. In spite of spelling and grammatical errors, King Viktor tells him it was very well done, even saying the boy’s flexible imagination is a “most appealing talent.”
At the end of the week, Bruno still seems undecided about accepting Dr. Dmitri’s offer. Just then, Heine shows up walking Shadow (or rather being dragged by Shadow). Once again, he notices Bruno seems distracted, but Bruno insists it’s something he has to figure out for himself. The miniature tutor encourages Bruno to share his thoughts anyway and the prince reveals the whole story about Dr. Dmitri and his offer, admitting he is unsure about pursuing the throne. Heine believes studying to be a scholar would be a great opportunity for Bruno and, even though his lessons are tailored to prepare him for the throne, he has no reason to object if Bruno’s decision is good for him. Bruno admits that he is considering accepting the offer, since he only began studying so intently to match Eins. He also admits that he never felt truly distinguished, always secretly being jealous and holding grudges and thinking himself unworthy of Leonhard’s respect. Heine then declares a sudden lesson, asking Bruno to imagine he’s on his deathbed wishing “If only I’d done that.” He encourages the prince to live his life for his own reason, as he pleases. He leaves Bruno to reflect on his words, wishing him well in whatever he chooses.
Feeling Heine’s words have helped him made a decision, Bruno goes to the hotel to meet Dr. Dmitri. He asks the professor to take him to the university “as a friend, in the future.” He hands over his briefcase, filled with copies of every paper he’s written so far, inviting Dmitri to visit the palace and talk with him next time he comes to Granzreich. He adds that becoming King has been his dream since he was a child and even though he may never achieve it, he will overcome any despair or disappointment that await. Having known setbacks himself, he feels he could be useful to the people and resolves to chase after the throne in earnest. Dmitri accepts Bruno’s answer, and invites him to visit Orosz someday. Before leaving, he tells Bruno that the content of his presentation was excellent and that he believes the standing ovation came from the people how wise he was for a royal.
As Dmitri and his assistant ride off, Bruno notices Heine standing nearby, having inadvertently overheard the prince’s conversation with Dr. Dmitri. Impressed by the sincerity of Bruno’s resolve, Heine offers to work together to make him a worthy candidate for the throne. Unbeknownst to them, someone heard their conversation and reports to Count Rosenberg. Disappointed that yet another candidate to the throne is still in the running, Rosenberg considers eliminating Heine and orders his subordinates to bring him a full report on the tiny educator’s origins.
Finding out that Count Rosenberg is the crown prince’s steward certainly explains why he’d want the younger princes to drop out of the line of succession. It also has me now wondering if his actions are the result of his own greed or Prince Eins’ orders. Either way, I hope this anime sticks around for a good long while ‘cause there’s plenty of drama to be had. The preview seems to show the princes and their little sister going to a zoo with Heine, so it looks like it will be quite interesting.
Rather than the usual animated sequence, this week’s episode ended with a live action “music video” of the ending theme. The vocals are still provided by the lead voice actors who appear in costume as Heine and the four princes. Not sure if this was done for fun or as a way of reminding fans about the upcoming stage play, but I thoroughly enjoyed the video. I even found myself trying to figure out who among the five had outside dance experience. Aside from Shouta Aoi, I found very little information on the others aside from the fact that they’re all stage actors. The outfits seemed a little more hip-hop than one would expect for princes, so they’re probably not costumes from the play. I’d never noticed before, but watching this video showed me that Heine’s deeper voice stands out just slightly. It makes sense, but if you didn’t know, it can be easily overlooked.
Once again, I apologize for the length of this article. If you’ve been following the series as I have, I hope you’re enjoying it.