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: 8.271 (scored by 20193 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
When you look at the picture cover of a show, that’s usually the deciding factor on whether or not it is worth your time to experience watching it for most who don’t bother to look into depth on what the show is mainly about. There is the common notion of “Don’t judge a book by its cover” by many forms of fiction, but that saying shouldn’t just be limited to books. If there are things to be said about Princess Tutu in relation to this quote, it definitely fits that description on every account.
It can be conceived that Princess Tutu isn’t your average Magical Girl anime, even though it does follow the formulaic structure of one where the girl goes off into one plot arc to help save this person and so on. What is particularly unique about the show isn’t so much of its own style but of how it treats its own narrative in a meta-style of storytelling. It gives the show a very fairy-tale feel to the atmosphere whenever you see them try to mimic the classic fairy tales that involved princesses, in which Princess Tutu quickly turns its own spin on the genre and make it fresh and new to its own writing. The meta-narrative is nicely written to give us an abstract feel to the story and feel more attached to the characters and the struggles that they have to overcome that eventually drives them almost to mere madness. It almost becomes a self-parody of tragedy in how the characters want it to be a happy ending to the story because of stories of these typically end, even though the meta-narrative is at odds with that philosophy; of course I won’t get into it further to obviously avoid spoilers.
When we step into the world of Princess Tutu, it definitely has a lot of influence of old fantasy tales that have since been existing since the rise of Western Folklore, something that anime isn’t really known for a lot. Tchaikovsky would definitely be proud to have his symbolic nature of his artistic music to be portrayed on-screen. Anthropomorphic animals run about in the world but unfortunately it isn’t given enough clarity as to why the world around the characters even exist or how the society is the way it is, though it can be forgiven in how the plot is more focused on a minimal scale from the character interaction that goes on. It is, nevertheless, a very imaginative world to experience and quite unlike you would see in most anime in recent times.
To describe Princess Tutu’s authenticity in short terms, it would be like an actual theater production in animated motion. The ballet aspects of the show feel like it is structured like an actual ballet play in motion from how the dialogue is preformed and how the characters interact between one another. That’s where the uniqueness of the show jumps into gear and gives you a very fresh take on how you can portray a story in a show. Your typical magical girl show usually involves fight scenes that involve actual physical fighting involving magical powers that are mostly just their to be flashy and entertaining for younger audiences. While there are definitely key scenes that involve swords and physical confrontation, Princess Tutu actually involves ballet dancing to invoke their own powers to psychologically best out their opponent. This may seem a bit silly when you think about it in your head but what makes it work wonderfully is how well it’s directed and how it sets the tone of the show to new heights of tension and emotion, all without the single swing of a blade; that is if crows are considered a weapon of choice.
Memorable characters are extremely important in a show like Princess Tutu to help keep its world and story unforgettable, which it most definitely succeeds. Our lovable magical girl protagonist Ahiru might not break new ground in how we look at magical girl characters in the same way as say maybe Sakura in Cardcaptor several years ago, but she is nonetheless portrayed with absolute bravery and elegance. The way Ahiru comes across as a sometimes clumsy girl in rather very hilarious well-written comedic moments and as a deep involving sympathetic character who you always want to see overcome any obstacle that keeps her from obtaining her goal is not only deeply moving but also charming to say the least. Her voice might be a little grating at first when you come across her in the beginning, but thankfully she eventually warms up and you do feel a nice charm to her lovely personality as she transforms into Tutu.
The rest of the main cast actually have a lot of complexity to their own character archetypes to where there isn’t anything that is remotely cliched in anything about them from how unpredictable they are written into the story. Fakir is a great example of this where he is, at first, portrayed as the villain that stands in the way of Ahiru wanting to help Mytho regain his heart. It isn’t until later where we finally see the true reason for his own demeanor in protecting Mytho and provides extraordinary development to him, where we see him in a completely different light. His actions and reasons for doing the things that we were left with in mystery now come full circle and made Fakir a well-rounded character that we can empathize. To our main villain Rue, she is given the same kind of treatment as Fakir, albeit a little differently. Since she is the main villain, her archetype isn’t fully explored until the very last parts of the anime where we see her own tortured self that craves for love and acceptance from her prince so that she won’t feel lonely ever again by anyone. Rue contemplates about her own existence as someone who will forever be associated with her adopted father, who is a crow of all things. Her development at this point is in full circle and by that time we can now understand the pain she is going through, which puts her on a sympathetic light to the story that involve the dark themes that involve fate and death.
There are definitely side characters that pop up in most of the story arcs that happen, but they mostly only fill in their own roles to move the plot forward and nothing else that can be of significance. The ones that do make an impression are some of the students such as Ahiru’s two best friends who are always up to no good in their mischievous misdemeanor into pushing Ahiru into a relationship with either Fakir or Mytho. However, the one that is the most entertaining of all is the almighty Neko-sensei who’s gags all include how if any of the girls mess up he will force them into marriage with him. Not only is this absolutely hysterical but it never gets tiring or overly done in one episode and because of this, this useless form of entertainment that contributes nothing to the plot is always welcome if it’s Neko-sensei.
With the show’s implementation of ballet, music should be the main driving force in keeping the spirit of the ballet portion strong and poignant. The music ranges from composers from most periods of music that delved into ballet music. The most obvious one would be Tchaikovsky with his famous “Swan Lake” featured throughout most of the show and used to great effect and some other well-known composers who’ve wrote for some ballets such as Johann Strauss, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Erik Satie. What makes the score work so magnificently well is how it almost feel like the score is a part of the story itself and fits perfectly with the emotions that the characters exhibit whether it be sadness and despair with Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade or happy and optimistic with Leo Delibes’s Coppelia. However, I felt the original score for the opening and ending didn’t leave a big impression on me whenever I came across them because of the weak vocals and downplayed instruments that hardly contribute much into the songs, which is kind of disappointing.
For people who feel discouraged about seeing this with the Magical Girl genre tagged into it, I wouldn’t necessarily call this mainly a Magical Girl show in so far as it is more of a show about tragedy and drama than anything else. Not to say that Magical Girl shows can’t do that and do it well, but it’s best to look past your bias and see Princess Tutu as something that may surprise you on so many levels in how much depth it has in store for you. The drama doesn’t feel forced in any way and flows very naturally to where it doesn’t treat you like you don’t know how a tragedy should be portrayed. The anguish that characters in Princess Tutu get into feel absolutely real and genuine that don’t push empty melodrama to make you sympathize with them.
With pure honesty and clarity, this is genuinely a heartwarming show to experience for yourself. Classical music, beautifully choreographed dances, and memorable characters make for an experience worth having in all of Princess Tutu’s running time. A modern fairy tale for the ages. One that we might not see again in the near future.
Grade: A 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 them are something more than your average mahou shoujou show and feature two of the best stories of anime overall. Both shows are somewhat dark (with Madoka being the darkest), feature magical girls in a somewhat unusual way (most notably in Princess Tutu) and have excellent characters that (mostly) develop the further the story goes. Madoka does feature some gore and not so child-friendly stuff, while Princess Tutu can basically be viewed by anyone.
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.
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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