English: Princess Tutu
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Aug 16, 2002 to May 23, 2003
16 min. per episode
PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
L represents licensing company
Score: 8.281 (scored by 18664 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
drama fantasy romance shoujo
SynopsisIn a fairy tale come to life, the clumsy, sweet, and gentle Ahiru (Japanese for "duck") seems like an unlikely protagonist. In reality, Ahiru is just as magical as the talking cats and crocodiles that inhabit her town—for Ahiru really is a duck! Transformed by the mysterious Drosselmeyer into a human girl, Ahiru soon learns the reason for her existence. Using her magical egg-shaped pendant, Ahiru can transform into Princess Tutu—a beautiful and talented ballet dancer whose dances relieve people of the turmoil in their hearts. With her newfound ability, Ahiru accepts the challenge of collecting the lost shards of her prince's heart, for long ago he had shattered it in order to seal an evil raven away for all eternity.
Princess Tutu is a tale of heroes and their struggle against fate. Their beliefs, their feelings, and ultimately their actions will determine whether this fairy tale can reach its "happily ever after."
[Written by MAL Rewrite]
Related AnimeAdaptation: Princess Tutu
Summary: Princess Tutu Recaps
Characters & Voice Actors
I remember when I first heard the name "Princess Tutu". First impression: Girly. However, I was intrigued by the praise it received so I looked for a description. Second impression: Cheesy. Still, I was curious about how the show took advantage of ballet suites, so I watched the opening. Third impression: Too pink.
There were few reasons for me to watch Princess Tutu, but I still had a strange feeling about it. Today I regret not having watched it sooner for what I saw was one of the most engaging, clever and downright beautiful shows I had ever seen, overflowing with soul and passion.
Story: A unique fairytale which goes far beyond it's limitations. Masterfully written, the story is a perfect blend of powerful moments, unexpected twists, comedy and romance. The fairytale structure takes the best out of classic ballets and weaves a story that is both coherent and diverse. The endings to both seasons are particularly outstanding.
Art: The series has a stylized and clean art style combined with great animation. Although I felt it fit the series very well, not everyone feels that way. Some believe the art style is a bit too girly or misleading, but it actually fits the fairytale theme very well. The backgrounds are great and the ballet scenes are beautifully animated (although some use too many stills which, even though beautiful, aren't as good as the animated moments).
Sound: The "coup-de-grace" of the show, the soundtrack doesn't simply support the show: it is part of the story itself. Each episode is accompanied by a certain ballet suite and takes the most advantage of it. The suites were carefully chosen and superbly performed by a bulgarian orchestra. I had heard many of them before and I was amazed by the quality of the performance. Every single note fits perfectly and sounds delightful, even the songs that were composed for the show. Truly mindblowing, the music adds a whole new layer of depth to it. The voices and dialog are also very good and fitting.
Characters: With such a great story and soundtrack, some would think that the development team wouldn't be focused on character development. Wrong. All characters are believable, feel real and evolve throughout the story. Even secondary characters show a glowing spirit that many main characters wish they had. If you allow yourself to, you will be able to feel a strong bond and sympathy for those characters, even those you didn't expect. The multi-layered Ahiru is an amazing and strong main character, and the others will surprise you as well. Not only do characters evolve but they also take advantage of a distinct way to show their "persona": dance.
Enjoyment: A show that you won't be able to put down until you finish it. The episodes are so engaging and fantastic it's easy to get sucked in. A surprisingly rich experience you won't find anywhere else. Surprisingly, I found myself rewatching several scenes shortly after finishing the show. I recommend you to use headphones so that you don't miss a single note of this visual and musical wonder.
Overall, Princess Tutu is a living, breathing anime that, unlike most magical-shoujo shows, truly feels magical. Yes, I may sound cheesy, lame and corny, but don't miss out on this unique gem. A true masterpiece. read more
Wow, a perfect score;; How did I end up this way? In the beginning I thought Princess Tutu sounded ridiculous and childish, I was against watching until my friends insisted that I give it a try... Now I love it and I think it's an absolute masterpiece, a gem.
For those who are wondering if they should give it a try, I’ll say this: This anime is not an anime about ballet but a ballet itself.
The entire series is like a performance and it’s something quite special.
I’m going to let the simple things out of the way first before I go more in depth with the characters and story.
The art style is very simple but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. It’s cute and consistent. The animation is extremely clean, it’s done very well.
The voice acting is top notch, no questions about that. Soundtrack consists of classical music and you just can’t go wrong with that.
- Story – *Minor Spoilers
Wow, there’s many things that can be said for the story. Don’t trust descriptions or summaries, they aren’t very reliable and they either tend to give you too little information or too much. It’s best just to jump in there with an open mind.
The anime always begins with a telling of a fairy tale that will relate to the episode, but as you watch you will realize that the fairy tales foreshadow more than just the plot of the episode. The story starts off very simple, a mysterious man turns Ahiru (literally meaning duck which is what she is) into a human girl and gives her the ability to transform into Princess Tutu whose job is now to return the shattered heart fragments to the prince, Mytho. As you go on that simple story starts to reveal a more complex and tragic story that you will leave you heart broken.
Within the story we are watching, there is another story that had already been written, meaning that the characters we are watching are another character within that story, as I said earlier it’s as if we’re watching performance. They all have a set fate that they were made to meet and we are watching the characters play the story out while ultimately struggling to change their tragic fate. The writer of their story is Drosselmeyer, a deceased man who seems to love tragic tales and has a strange power. He brings Ahiru into the story because he wants to spin the ultimate tragedy.
“Welcome to the stage I've been saving. Now, tell me the best story that was ever told! Tell it to me with no regard for your lives!” – Dorsselmeyer
Why did I love the story to this anime so much? Because beyond the simplicity is something extremely complicated, there’s always more beneath the surface and they hint it to you, it’s up to you whether or not you see them. Honestly that’s another reason why I enjoy this series so much, they don’t spoon feed you information, they also don’t make the foreshadowing so obvious they let you figure it out yourself. If you get it then you get it, if you didn’t then you simply don’t, at the same time, not noticing it doesn’t take away from the experience either, in fact it only adds value to watching the series again.
The emotions in this series are powerful and there are so many words are left unsaid. The ballet aspect of this series isn’t for nothing, it adds to story and used as a form of expression. You don’t have to understand ballet to appreciate it; you don’t have to know all the meanings in the dance to understand the series either. Princess Tutu gives you many ways to understand the story and what the characters are trying to convey. The story telling aspect of this series is absolutely brilliant, if not genius.
- Characters -
There’s nothing I love more than well written characters and character development. This series does both brilliantly.
Ahiru/Princess Tutu – She’s a lovely character~ absolutely adorable. What I liked most about her is how straight forward and aware she was. Yes she is a bit naïve but that changes as the story progresses because just like us, she too is new to the story. Drosselmeyer had just plopped her onto the stage with no script and it’s along side with her that we learn the story as well. I never found Ahiru to ever be annoying or clueless, in fact what I liked most about her is that she catches onto things rather quickly. She doesn’t continuously make the same mistakes with no purpose. She’s a determined character and completely selfless.
Mytho – The prince that lost his heart. He is a prince that is loved and loves everyone, he is everyone’s savior and he had sacrificed his own heart in order to save all those who loved him. When you meet him, he is an emotionless puppet that only does what he is told because he does not care nor feel about anything. It’s interesting watching him grow, in the beginning he is someone who has no opinion of his own then as time goes by he finds his voice.
Fakir – Fakir’s one of my favorite characters, there’s so many reasons why~ His reactions, thoughts, and feelings all just somehow resulted into make him my number one. He’s a character that has many conflicting emotions and time only makes it more difficult to sort it out. His greatest battle isn’t with anyone but himself and those battles are certainly the toughest. He has many difficult decisions to make that would not only decide his own fate but the fate of those he care about which is a heavy burden to carry.
Rue – Our beloved antagonist. Rue is a character that has had it all in the beginning and then you realize she’s actually had nothing all along. She’s not just some antagonist that’s a bundle of sob story thrown at us so we’d feel bad for her, she’s well written and well thought out character that tugs at your heartstrings because she’s so much more than someone meant to oppose. Rue is a character we are made to dislike and misunderstand but most important thing about her is that she is a character that completely misunderstands herself. What drives her isn't anger or hate, what drives her is fear.
Drosselmeyer – The writer of this story. If anything he is the ultimate protagonist but you can’t come to hate him. He’s just a simple man that wants a story told, a tragic story but you can see he’s extremely passionate about it. When you meet him you will be extremely confused, what is he trying to accomplish? Why is he helping the characters? Where is he going with this? He’s the existence that created all of the existence of the characters and there to add the twists and spins to the story and I must say he does it very well.
All the characters compliment each other, they all have their own feelings and stories to share that doesn't muddle the story. Seeing where they began and finding out where they end up is extremely satisfying.
- Overall –
If it wasn't obvious already I love Princess Tutu. It’s a series that I feel is overlooked but I think it’s a series everyone should give a try. Regardless of what you like, if you love a good story then Princess Tutu is perfect. What attracts people to this series is the journey of the characters and alas the inevitable outcome of their fate. There’s a quote in this series that represents the series well and I leave it here for you.
"May those who accept their fate be granted Happiness, may those who defy their fate be granted Glory." – Edel read more
Both are surprisingly dark and mature magical girl series, in which a lot of thought has been given to the story.
Madoka seems to be even darker, but Tutu is definitely worth watching as well. Both have very good soundtracks, too.
Both are Magical girl animes. But beyond the obvious, they both take place in artful and abstract worlds. They are also more than your average magical school girl anime. Interesting concepts and heart wrenching characters. (Trying to compare these to animes without spoilers) At many points both animes give the same "vibe", and redefine this genre.
Magical girl series that tend more toward action and dark themes than the frills and cuteness one might expect from the genre. Although Princess Tutu does play the genre straight, it does it in a fairly unexpected and mature way, and Madoka's a straight-up deconstruction that will leave you increasingly unnerved with each episode -- both in a good way, of course. Both series are great for magical girl fans who want something fresh from the genre.
There is much more than meets the eye for both of them - they are darker, thought-provoking magical girl shows that seem pretty standard on the surface.
the irony- a seemingly sweet, innocent magical girl anime, and a childish, ballerina-dancing girl. we've all seen it before....at least we thought we did.
both about the twist of fate, and even more about eachs' complex storyline that forces the watcher to do a double-take on what they had thought they had all worked out.
Being a magical girl means sacrificing a lot of things and even after saving the world the heroine might be left without her happy ending. It's a long way until world can be saved and on the way sacrifices must be made and sometimes even magical powers can't help to solve problems.
Both anime take the Mahou Shoujo genre back to its roots!
At first, both may appear for younger audiences, but soon you discover there is more to them. They both have a darker take on mahou shoujo anime and both deal mainly with the problems the main heroine encounters, instead of her bonding with her friends and defeating her enemies.
Madoka is more action and the pace is much faster, while Princess Tutu has a very calm atmosphere to it.
Its a show that Madoka took inspiration from and has actual pacing and has time for charactization. Also, Guitar Ninjas.
For a magical girl theme show, Madoka and Princess Tutu takes the theme and transform it into more of a difference style of presentation. It has a mature feeling to it as well as psychological themes involving the main characters and their relationships. There's the theme of romance in Tutu while Madoka has more action.
The worlds that both series takes place in also has a magical feeling to them.
There is emotions. There is sacrifice. There is sorrow. In essence, both shows takes the magical girl theme to different level.
I wouldn't exactly call Princess Tutu "dark", but both Madoka Magica and Princess Tutu are very different takes on the magical girl genre. Their stories are much more complex than you're average magical girl show, and very well written. Princess Tutu is more shoujo-y and family friendly than Madoka Magica is though. But if you're looking for a creative take on the genre, you'll love both of these anime.
Both are amazing Magical Girl anime, Princess Tutu being a little more aimed at a younger audience while Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica is more for the older and adult audience.
Princess Tutu and Madoka Magica on the surface appear to be very typical magical girl shows, with cutsey art and a simplistic story. However both subvert the watchers expectations with a darker take on the genre and compelling and well thought out stories and characters. They also have similar themes about selfishness verses selflessness and the nature of hope.
A much darker look at the magical girl anime, but also at the fairy tale world. A beautiful tale and lovely characters to get to know.
Both of these shows are great, original Magical Girl anime. Their plots are both interesting and touching, along with being dark at times.
Both feature young female protagonists facing an increasingly ominous world, and take the magical girl genre and refresh it in an interesting way. Both have deep and very bittersweet stories and unexpected twists. I saw Tutu first and while watching Madoka, I was continually reminded of it.
It's no surprise that Princess Tutu has been called Utena-lite. Both series look like they're made for young girls and have, to some degree, fairly typical shoujo plots in the beginning. Soon, though, they become much more complex, twisting the definitions of friend and foe; of what it means to be yourself or to grow up. In addition, they're both heavily influenced by traditional fairy tales yet eventually change the norms of those tales to be something completely different.
Princess Tutu is often referred to as "Utena 101" by fans of the series. While it lacks some of the complexities that Utena has, it still has a similar feeling. Fairy tales/ballets permeate the story, the concepts of what it means to be a "prince" and ideas of protecting others for love, and they both have their fair share of bittersweet moments with characters who are neither black nor white, but rather varying shades of gray.
Both Utena and Tutu contain a strong fairy tale motif and themes of accepting or defying one's fairy tale role. In a way, Utena feels like a more sophisticated/jaded exploration of the same themes touched upon in Tutu. They also both have a little bit of that surreal/reality-bending element, though Tutu never gets quite as surreal or symbolic as Utena. Basically, they're both really great series that you should watch, period.
Princess Tutu and Revolutionary Girl Utena have quite a bit in common. Both have the feel of a "modern fairy tale" and start off feeling like your typical, light-hearted shojo or magical girl series. However, both eventually obtain a darker atmosphere, become something new, and make themselves stand out in certain ways. Tutu is more family friendly and has more of a "magical girl" feel to it, while Utena is more intense and has more of a "girl warrior" feel to it. The heroines of both stories mature quite a bit throughout the story and learn concepts such as love, romance, friendship, self-sacrifice, and selflessness. Both series also have a lot of plot twists to the point that you aren't exactly sure which characters are the "good guys" and which are the "bad guys" until you're practically at the end. Love them or hate them, these series certainly aren't forgettable.
Both series have the feel of a modern fairytale. Despite being a more family friendly anime, Princess Tutu is not afraid to have stories as rich in symbolism as Utena.
Postmodernist fairy tales, basically.
The first recomender pretty much got it spot-on. Both are dark magical girl shows that, rather than focusing on the magical girl theme, focus more on the fairy-tale prince-princess theme. Utena is quite a bit more adult, however, and is a direct deconstruction of the Prince- Princess fairy tale genre, whereas Princess TuTu is just more of a darker 'Grimm' version of a fairy tale.
Utena is more psychological and explores more themes and has a more drastic use of metaphors.
Both series deal with the archetypes present in most fairy tales. While Princess Tutu explores the way the pure archetypes would interact in the real world, Utena looks at how these same archetypes would be either muddled or destroyed by the many shades of grey that exist around us, as compared to the black and white heroes and villains of a storybook.
Shoujo Kakumei Utena (Revolutionary Girl Utena) managed to twist the classic magical girl anime expectations before Madoka Magica did, like Princess Tutu also did.
Both animes provide very interesting perspectives on the roles, struggles and responsibilities of having great power, but whilst Princess Tutu used ballet and fairytale themes to tell the tragedy, Utena explores the main character's exploration of growing up and challenges of herself and others using sword duels
for the hand of the Rose Bride.
Utena and Princess Tutu both explore the darker side of magical girl stories, Utena is more focused on mature and personal concepts such as breaking traditional gender roles, sexuality, classic shoujo anime tropes, fairytale tropes and even psychology and philosophy used in a strange mixture of ongoing themes of the series.
Opening Theme"Morning Grace" by Ritsuko Okazaki
Ending Theme"Watashi No Ai Wa Chiisaikeredo" by Ritsuko Okazaki
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