A recent article is causing a scandal – it tells of how two years ago, Bruno and Kai attended a military school and got away with all kinds of terrible conduct due to being princes. Allegedly, this all culminated in Kai being found attacking another student, leading to his suspension, Bruno’s voluntary leave, and neither Licht or Leonhard being permitted to attend the school as per tradition.
While Heine had heard of these rumours before, he also knows that they are bollocks, and Bruno and Kai confirm the bollocks by explaining that what really happened was some douche attacking Bruno and Kai trying to protect him. What no one can understand is that at the time, everyone already sided with Bruno and Kai and their version of events, so it’s initially a mystery as to why the story suddenly reemerged.
Kai decides that they ought to go visit the douche he attacked for hurting Bruno, and get him to tell the newspaper the correct version of events. While the others believe this to be dangerous, Kai wants to use the extra practice in talking to people as he’d been making a lot of headway with his communication skills in the palace, to the extent that he can finally consider the staff his friends. Accompanied by Heine and the royal guards Ludwig and Maximilian, he sets out to confront this guy.
When they find him initially appears to regret his actions, but it turns out to be a ruse (to what should be the surprise of nobody) and he takes the lot of them hostage. He admits to fabricating the new newspaper article and also the older scandal – the whole thing only came about because he couldn’t understand why Bruno was so gifted and assumed he was just being given preferential treatment due to being a prince. He decides to hold Kai for ransom, but completely underestimated Heine. It turns out that you just don’t fuck with Hein…
I wasn’t as pleased with last episode when I saw it, but after this the placement makes more sense. Kai’s efforts to raise his communication abilities had been leading up to an actual test related to Rosenberg’s (and potentially also Eins’) fuckery. It’s also even implied that either of those two were the ones that started up the ‘princes behaving badly’ rumour which led to all four of them not being able to complete it (and even start it in Leonhard and Licht’s case, which I’m sure Leonhard was pretty happy about to be honest) in the first place.
This episode was really different for a lot of reasons, but there are two main things that have come to light from it. First of all, there are people willing to cause the princes bodily harm – Soreloser Guy even threatens to kill Kai, which is a lot more threatening than the previous attempts to sabotage them via sending them away to be scholars or…letting everyone know they work at a café. Which is ironic, considering the last episode where I wondered why Kai hadn’t been in anything resembling danger. And unlike being a scholar or working at a café, Kai gets absolutely nothing out of it. Its not explicitly implied that the other studen’s actions were entirely Rosenberg’s/Ein’s doing or if they only provided him with the rumours, but either way Rosenberg didn’t seem too phased about the fact that Kai and Heine could have died when he appeared at the end in his usual smarmy way (unless he didn’t know).
The other main thing we learn is that, as I said, Heine is 100% not to be fucked with. Whatever his role was before he became a tutor, it gave him the skills to take out an entire room of thugs and non-chalantly, just casually mention that he totally would have shot one of the guys in the head if he’d wanted to (or if the rating of the show was higher) While it’s likely that Heine was either a former soldier or Viktor’s bodyguard, we still don’t know why this needs to be hidden.
As for the downsides of this episode, well. Vast stretches of it looked like butt. I’ve been noticing a regrettable decline in the animation quality of this show and it was definitely at its worst here – characters going off-model, stilted movement and a lot of scenes where things that should move don’t (such as Heine’s completely static, mid-billow cloak in one scene). It looks like they tried to scrape as much budget as they could for the fight scene towards the end, but to be honest, its still not very impressive. It’s a real shame because with flashier animation this episode could have been really good.
There’s also the ever-present issue that these amateur seiyuu kind of overact a bit too much and sound too, well, anime. It works well in comedy scenes, but in serious moments I just can’t take Bruno’s voice seriously. He talks like a parody of a serious anime character. On the other hand, Kai’s acting has improved at least.