English: Princess Tutu
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Aug 16, 2002 to May 23, 2003
Duration: 16 min. per episode
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or olderL represents licensing company
Score: 8.301 (scored by 15480 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
Popular Tagsdrama fantasy romance shoujo
Aug 12, 2008
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
May 9, 2009
Story and Characters:
Well, the series starts off a little cliche and trope ridden. In fact, I had subconsciously made a list of every cliche I expected to play out during the series. But boy by the end of that series was I eating that list right back, this series completely redefines how magical girl series can be done. The series frequently takes plot lines and ideas from ballets and other classical pieces of music and then it takes all of them to make its own original and unique thing. And to anyone as concerned with the girly factor as I was, I really didn't find any of the main plot as overly girly as I was expecting (I found it mildly girly to be fair). The ending has to be one of the best and most rewarding endings I've seen in an anime ever, this is a series that definitely delivers, even if you didn't know what you wanted delivered.
Characters designs and animation are all crisp and beautiful and fit into the world so incredibly well. There's also frequent CGI at times that is never jarring and fits ever so perfectly. But sound is where is where it was really at for me, having been an already existing fan of classical music. The series didn't just use common pieces all the time, it used whatever piece fit, no matter how obscure and the series was made better for it. All the pieces that they picked intensified the mood of whatever scene it was in to make a perfect compliment. I'm not sure if I'll ever find soundtrack usage this perfect again personally. It wasn't only about having a strong soundtrack, but it was also about using it well.
This is one of my very few 10 series and quite possibly my favorite anime of all time. I think this series should be seen by everyone, you'll find a lovely diamond in the rough with a great and memorable story. I really can't think of anything else quite like it, this is a must watch. read more
Feb 28, 2007
Obviously, the story is an enigma within itself. It takes so many different aspects from every fairytale like setting that the watchers are left with a dishevel of fantasy. It's an intriguing reality, this plot loves to create things new and fascinating on its own as if it has no ultimate creator such as Drosselmeyer.
Character(s) & Their Development:
Actually, I personally think that the characters grow to fine degrees in this show. I'm not sure if it's because there is such an unrealistic atmosphere surrounding the plot, which in turn throws the rational reactions of the characters off-guard towards the viewers. Or if it's because of the way the individuals do mature, by dancing and learning things from that dance. In the end, either is remarkably genius.
First off, most people will decide that the people portrayed in this series have childish and predictable personalities; however, as the anime continues the majority of the audience will be surprised. Not only do they become like real figures, they take a life of their own with their deep ambition and urgent desires. As I said, quite remarkable when you as a viewer can feel the strength of a character's aspiration. This is a sole uniqueness that is hard to discover in any medium. It's certainly something the anime should be proud of.
In all honesty, I found nothing special considering this aspect of the show. As disappointing at that sounds, the animation does have a certain yet unforgivable charm. It really all depends on the type of style a person enjoys. Personally, I found it to be cute and at some points oddly less detailed than should have been. I can't say it was bad, but it was more eh. Most places it was easy to tell what was a blast of sparkles from a computer program than an actual thought brought out by the creators.
However, one thing I would like to note is how well the characters are shown in climatic dance scenes. Some people might disagree with me since some movements were used previously in the show while others are simple pans; regardless, I found the style they were brought forth rather delicate, adding a wonderful yet fragile touch to the show.
It's ballet, there's really not much to say. I will admit, I liked the opening but it was so slow, I found myself fast-forwarding to it and singing with the high-pitched squeal I got along with doing as such. Much of the music is not original, it's merely adaptations from plays and ballets that have been shown across the world. This includes such titles as The Nutcracker or Swan Lake. In the end, it is all a matter of tastes that determines the music as well.
Obviously, the light and fluffy type of sounds fit the show to an expert tee. The movements seen in many of the scenes are incorporated to the classical soundtrack. In the end, it mixes together rather nicely. The only problem, is unless you enjoy listening to a CD that might put you to sleep then this melody might not be for you.
Yeah, I missed the dub once more. So, instead, let me talk about the subbing. While I enjoyed how different font color was used to demonstrate different characters with the fansubs, I always had a problem with the subtitles brought by the US release due to calling Ahiru the name Duck. What kind of name is Duck, literally? I know that Ahiru translates into Duck, regardless, I felt it was a rather idiotic choice. Besides that, nothing increasingly stuck out to me. Same old, same old.
As said before me: The real gold of this show is how free it is to express its own imagination. Most shows hold back due to the public's reaction, Princess Tutu merely doesn't care. In the end, its colorful display of fiction and immense childlike plot will keep the viewer intertwined until the last wonderful episode. Feel free to bash it due to the interesting way it relates to other magical girl series; however, in the end there is too little focus on that aspect to really have that fact considered. This series is really quite grand though the ending will either have you wanting more or utterly disappointed.
I will state outright that this is not an anime for everyone. Actually, unless you tend to have a creative mind and the ability not to question a show because of its unreality then you might have problems with this series. Go out and dance a pas de deux! read more
Nov 5, 2008
Like all good fairy tales, the story is most crucial. It must be whimsical yet cautionary, quickly paced, and tightly-knit. Tutu follows this formula well, though not so much the "quickly paced" bit. This is because Tutu has an episodic monster-of-the-week nature that can become an irritance, and would have been if every episode didn't, in some way, tie directly back to the main story. Much like director Junichi Sato's other hidden gem Kaleido Star, the story is broken into two distinct parts, which while seperate, are directly connected. This storytelling works best in that it provides two distinct and memorable climaxes while never feeling rushed or out-of-place.
The main story itself is flawless. A fantastic tribute to the forgotten and oft-dismissed power of fairy tales and ballet, whimsical enough to never forget its true nature, and dark enough to invest interest and revoke the idea of it just being a children's show.
It's characters range from the absurd to the sinister and some even manage to play both during the course of the series. The characters alone are uniquely crafted. Though some follow certain Junichi Sato molds, such as Fakir and Mythos, Ahiru stands out as a subversion of the cheerful, determined heroine his works are often known for in that her efforts do not always deem satisfaction, and her ultimate goal is not met with her ideal ending. Everyone interacts sincere to their motives and personalities and no one ever feels like they're doing something they shouldn't be.
Of course the art, provided by Sato's mainstay HAL Film Maker is divine. Every scene is fluid and graceful, especially the dance numbers. Character designs and backgrounds are very imaginative and hold the Germanic fairy tale motif that the series sets for itself.
The accompaniment for the series is a numerous array of classical music and ballet numbers, most of which will be recognizable by ear even if you can't remember the name of what you're hearing. Moreso, the music provides a direct parallel to the conflict in each scene it is used, and often scenes are choreographed around the music, making for dramatic impact mostly unparalleled.
Yes, the title is a turn-off, and I'm sure many of you out there think ballet is for 6-year-old girls, but Tutu takes the most universal and respected elements of the things children love and craft something everyone can and most likely will enjoy. Though it trudges in a few places, Tutu never forgets where it's going. It's magical waltz always catches up and makes sure it ends on the best note it can.
Overall, I give Princess Tutu a 9 out of 10. read more
Apr 14, 2013
Princess Tutu concerns itself with a duck (appropriately named Duck), who falls in love with a graceful but sad human prince, Mytho. She is given human form by the mysterious (and very dead) author Drosselmeyer. This new form of hers is sustained by a magical necklace, though it comes with some conditions. If she quacks (which she tends to do when startled or in a state of heightened emotion), she will revert back to her duck-state, which she can only reverse by dousing herself in water. This necklace also allows her to transform into Princess Tutu--a magic-wielding ballerina who has the power to restore Mytho's missing heart, which he destroyed in a desperate attempt to seal away a great evil long ago. Duck enrolls in a private ballet school, where she makes friends (albeit somewhat sociopathic ones), and meets the talented ballerina Rue and the dark and controlling Fakir, who are both connected to Mytho (and Drosselmeyer) in ways that are not immediately clear. It doesn't take long before the dark tragedy that's at the heart of this story reveals itself, and Duck and the others must find a way to change their sad fate.
Much like Revolutionary Girl Utena before it, Princess Tutu draws equally from magical girl shojo and Western fairy tales, fearlessly deconstructing both and reconstituting them to fit the story's unique requirements. However, if possible, Princess Tutu one-ups Utena with a hefty dose of metafictionalism, in addition to referencing and twisting actual fairy tales (and ballet, opera, and plays), and not just toying with fairy tale archetypes. Influences and references are wide-ranging, including The Ugly Duckling, The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella, The Sylph, Coppelia, Carmen, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Bartered Bride, and Ruslan and Lyudmila. Princess Tutu doesn't stop there though: most of the score (with the exception of the opener and closer) draw directly from classical composers, with Strauss, Tchaikovsky, and Satie's haunting Gymnopedies (also used to gorgeous effect in another anime I watched recently, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya) standing out in particular. These pieces are deployed masterfully and are used to maximum effect, particularly during the climaxes of the two seasons and during other emotional reveals throughout. This, coupled with the fantastic English voice acting (though it will take some getting used to) and the simplistic but evocative art style all contribute to moments of great power that rival even the best moments in series like Cowboy Bebop and Madoka Magica, and classical music has not been used to such fantastic effect in an anime series since director Hideaki Anno deployed Handel's Messiah and Beethoven's Ode to Joy in his depressive mecha masterpiece Neon Genesis Evangelion.
Princess Tutu also benefits from great pacing (well, for a magical girl series), a memorable supporting cast, and uncommonly good writing, which climaxes in a sweeping, bittersweet conclusion that will prove upsetting for the romantics in the audience, but which I imagine will nonetheless impress everyone who makes it that far. And that's the problem: getting that far. For starters, this is unashamedly a girls' anime. Young boys will dig that there are a few good sword fights to be had on top of the excellent physical comedy and funny G-rated nudity (largely provided by the gawky and clumsy Duck), and young girls will dig it because, you know, ballerinas. And older girls and women who like fairy tales and plays and ballet will be equally impressed, particularly if they can catch all the references (and make it past the Pokemon-esque art style and obviously low budget). Older boys and men though... it'll just all depend on the guy. If they're the sort who still has a soft spot for children's animation and who can willingly watch and enjoy The Little Mermaid or Beauty and the Beast then they'll do fine. Otherwise, they'd probably do well to cut their teeth on something more mature, like Revolutionary Girl Utena or Puella Magi Madoka Magica first.
And despite being a children's anime, there are some things here that aren't going to sit well with some children, or their parents. There is a lot of harmless nudity (and Princess Kraehe's Absolute Cleavage), some sociopathic mayhem, a little bit of blood, lots of implied violence, some occasionally 'strong' language (nothing worse than a 'bastard' or a 'damn' here and there, excluding the slightly raunchier vocal outtakes), and some implied homosexual (and possibly pedophilial) undertones (which only the adults in the audience are going to pick up on, anyways). In addition to which things do occasionally get quite dark and bleak--never as 'bad' as its peers Utena and Madoka, but aspects of it could potentially be upsetting for very young audience members.
Still, on the whole, I'd say that this is the rare series that may actually be good for children, serving as not only an excellent entry point into classic stories and music, but also being a truly good story in and of itself. And I genuinely think that most adults will be blown away by it as well, once they acclimate themselves to its style and get past its quirks (assuming they're
not familiar with magical girl anime). There's a lot here to admire and enjoy, and it more than deserves a spot in my personal anime series top five. And the best thing about it is that it's streaming in its entirety for free on Youtube, straight from the distributor. So you have no excuse not to watch it, or to at least give it a shot. read more
May 3, 2012
The story starts simply enough with a hopeless ballet student named Duck (or Ahiru in Japanese), who is enamored with a handsome boy named Mytho. Mytho is actually a heroic prince from the story "The Prince and The Raven" who escaped from the story along with the evil Raven and shattered his heart to seal the Raven away. And Duck is actually... well, a duck. She was given a pendant by the author of "The Prince and The Raven", Drosselmeyer, which allows her to transform into the graceful Princess Tutu and return the pieces of the prince's heart. This is no small task as Mythos closest friend Fakir, and girlfriend Rue are satisfied having him remain a heartless doll; and manifestations of the evil Raven begin to appear.
The premise of finding special objects to achieve a goal is nothing new, if anything it is overused. For the first few episodes Princess Tutu seems like it will be standard episodic magical girl fair, with the simple formula of Duck finding and returning shards of the prince's heart every episode. However, there are indications that the story will break the formula and shake things up. And oh boy, it does! The story takes unexpected, and often heart-breaking turns. Unforeseen consequences of the prince's heart being restored reveal that things are much more complicated than they appear. Duck, Mytho, Fakir, and Rue all have their own circumstances and roles in Drosselmeyer's story (which itself is a story within a story) which they accept, defy, or try to redefine. As the story continues to move, new situations arise which challenge their convictions and force them to face themselves. Meanwhile, Drosselmeyer is continually trying to drive the story toward the tragic end he wants. All of this comes together beautifully in one of the best conclusions an anime has ever received.
Fairy tales and ballets are a motif throughout the story. Each episode starts off with a short variation of a classic fairytale recited by an unseen narrator, which somehow relates to the episode. It is a very cleaver touch, which builds viewers' expectations of what might or might not happen. It often also makes viewers think of the fairytale in a new light. Many of the stand alone episodes are based off well known fairy tales or ballets. The themes of fairytale or ballet are present in episodes based off them, and the concept of what makes a story is woven into the overall plot. The allusion of these classic fairy tales and ballets also plays on peoples' familiarity with them, plays with where people might expect the story to go; further enriching the experience.
The characters are the heart and soul of the story. Duck is an amazingly endearing lead character. She is sweet and innocent, yet is never annoying in her naivety; which is a feat in of itself. Duck is clumsy and an airhead, but at the same time is gracious, friendly and very courageous. Her struggle with identity gives her remarkable depth, as she questions if she is really herself when she transforms into Princess Tutu; and if her existence has any importance, being a mere duck. Fakir is a perfect example of how to make a jerk sympathetic. At the beginning of the story, he is controlling and abusive to Mytho, and standoffish or downright rude to everyone else. As his character develops, we see he is much nicer than he first seems, and his aloof demeanor stems from a concern for his friend and fear of what his fate might be. Rue, who later becomes Princess Kraehe, Princess Tutu's rival, makes for a sympathetic antagonist. Although she can be devious and cruel, she is actually insecure and at the mercy of greater powers. She is wholly understandable in her insecurities. Mytho is quite distant at first, since he is completely emotionless and has no will of his own, however it is very interesting to see him develop as he gets his emotions back and return to being the valiant prince he was. It is so easy to get behind these characters as they struggle to defy the dreadful fate Drosselmeyer has planned for them. Speaking of Drosselmeyer, he is a delight to watch as he cackles at the characters pain, as wicked as that sounds. The supporting cast is a colorful bunch.Most notable is Mr. Cat, the ballet teacher who constantly threatens his student with marriage, and Pique and Lilie, Duck's friends who enjoy teasing her a little too much. The dozens of episodic characters are a wide variety of personalities. Ultimately, the supporting characters do exactly what they are supposed to, they compliment the main characters and don't outshine them.
Not only does Princess Tutu have a great story, it is also stellar on the technical side of things. Visually, Princess Tutu has a wonderful visual style which perfectly embodies the story. The whimsical fantasy world is filled with other worldly charm; animals dressed in clothing and wondrous locations like an underground lake. Character designs are all very cute and attractive, and the clothed animals look a lot less awkward than you would think. Backgrounds are wonderfully charming, but at their most beautiful in the scenes with Princess Tutu. The use of lighting makes it feel like you are watching a ballet, which is really quite a nice touch. The animation is decent, they animators used their budget wisely, but there are certainly shows with more flashy animation. Regardless, the show looks really good, in part due to how well the visuals work with the soundtrack. The soundtrack consists of classical music, a lot from ballets and operas. With music from works like The Nutcracker and Swan Lake, and composers like Wagner and Tchaikovsky, of course the show sounds magnificent. Most importantly, however, is how well the music is integrated with the story. The music is used so well thematically that the story is inseparable from it. Every bit of emotion, joyful or sorrowful, is expressed through the music.
Princess Tutu is the animated medium at its very best. It is a beautiful, powerful, and heartfelt work that anyone can enjoy. It displays boundless imagination; at the same time it pays homage and commentates on well known and highly regarded other works of fiction. Its cast of characters is one of the most endearing and lovable in any anime. The visuals are wondrous and the music is perfect. This is a work that is truly worthy of the word masterpiece.
May 1, 2011
I guess I can start with this: do not be fooled by the title and first impressions.
I have seen WAY too many people run off the moment they hear the title, but appearances can be deceiving. I myself scoffed at the girly idea of ballet when I first heard of this show. But after looking deeper into it I discovered that there is so much more to it than just what you see on the surface. The plot is fantastic, the characters deep and believable, the animation gorgeous, the music amazing, and just.. every part of it is a masterpiece.
I'll admit that the first few episodes are bit a girly and may seem repetitive/boring, but keep watching and you will not be disappointed. The plot really picks up beginning episode 8, and the entire season two is just a joy to watch.
I think the reason I love this anime so much is because of the characters and how much they develop, as well as the multi-layered plot and all the themes and symbols that come with it. The characters are deep and human, with traits that are both realistic and flawed. They are so amazingly complex, and grow immensely throughout the series. The changes that they go through will leave you feeling changed as well, and with each new character's development, you find yourself falling further in love with the him/her.
The plot itself is purely fantastic as well. It can be both funny and cute, yet dark and tragic all the same. It seems simple at the surface, until you dive deeper and see that it is a whole lot more complex than you can ever imagine. The two main themes of "defying vs accepting fate" and "being your true self" are prominent in the series as well, and are both beautifully implemented.
I highly recommend this anime to everyone. It is a masterpiece, and one of the few 10's that I will ever give out. You will not regret watching this. :) read more
May 23, 2008
The anime does a wonderful job of pulling elements from various stories without either losing its own originality or creating a jumbled mess of stories.
The ending is a bit ambiguous, which I actually found to be an excellent choice, because it left it open to the viewer's imagination. Considering the context of the story, and especially Fakir's role in it, the ending fit very well.
The artwork was excellent, with a typical shojou style to it.
The characters really draw you in. I found myself wanting to cheer on every character, no matter the side they were on. The depth of each character's story is what made me really feel in touch with them. The characters all had well-thought-out reasons for being how they were.
This anime moved to the top of my favourites list the very first time I saw it, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who likes magic girl anime and is looking for a fresh bend to the genre. read more
Jan 27, 2009
But you know, be a picky eater and you'll be left to starve. Be too picky with the series you'll watch and you'll be bored out of your mind. Around New Years I downloaded and watched a couple episodes of Princess Tutu. I was still very, very skeptical, mind you. The whole spin off of The Swan Princess, the animation style and Fahkir's very suggestive name all rather missed their mark with me.
Not to mention the random appearances of scary talking animals.
But I kept watching. And kept watching. And kept watching until I had finished the entire first season and was well into the second, which is when it hit me: You're Obsessed. And I was. Somewhere along the line I'd filled up my DeviantART favorites with fanart, my YouTube account with videos and my brain with all of the above. And, I must say the extremity of the difference between season one and two--namely the *epicness* that the end of season two had and one didn't--delt the final blow.
I am hooked, much to my formerly mentioned friend's delight. And I suspect I always will be. Damn you, Princess Tutu. read more
Feb 10, 2012
The first thing I should talk more about is probably the sound and soundtrack. Since ballet has a rich history and many composers have written such pieces in the last two centuries, the difficult part with the soundtrack wasn't finding music to use but choosing the right mix. So you should have very high expectations when it comes to the music in this anime - after all, it's either done right, or not. I think they managed to get it right. There are plenty of standard snippets that anyone should instantly recognize, and the series used a lot of pieces that are classical ballet repertoire. Original music is not completely absent from Princess Tutu however. The opening and ending songs as well as a few songs used in the series are actually written specifically for the anime. They still reference ballet pieces or feature entire segments from ballet compositions but that helps to make them fit with the rest of the music in the anime - there is no sudden jump from one style to another, so Princess Tutu avoids causing a too intense style "dissonance". They're not that spectacular though but, I at least, liked them.
The voice acting is very good as well. I think the voices fit their characters and I really liked the work they did with Ahiru, Rue and Drosselmeyer.
Apart from the great music which is really, a given, what I liked most about Princess Tutu is the story it tells and especially how it tells it. Like I said, "story" and "stories" is what Princess Tutu is all about in the end. At the beginning of every episode a narrator tells a short story, as a prologue to the episode. You should recognize most of them or the themes from most of them because these stories are actually traditional tales or the storylines of various ballet pieces. These prologues also foreshadow what the episodes will be about. So the story of Princess Tutu is a combination of almost a couple dozen different tales. The more important thing here is how these stories are glued to each other - the real story behind Princess Tutu. But to talk anymore of that would be a big spoiler.
Not to say say that the storytelling in the anime is perfect. It's not. And that's because the pacing is inconsistent. The first thirteen episodes play in a crescendo - there's always more and more revealed, the story gets more and more exciting, culminating in what I think is the high point of the series, episode thirteen. After that the show really loses steam. It never gets bad but because for a few episodes after that one the anime simply drags on too much, and because my expectations after episode thirteen were sky-high, that left me really disappointed. No, it doesn't stay like this until the end. The anime does regain its pace and the story eventually moves on in a satisfying direction but it never really got as good after that. This is amplified by the fact that due to airing constraints the episodes had to be split in half - instead of a season two of thirteen twenty five minutes episodes, we got twenty six episodes that are half as long. Even if in the disc releases the episodes were glued back together this never really rectified much because the inner structure of the episodes was pretty much broken...
I liked most of the characters, especially Rue, Fakir and the plot device characters that are Drosselmeyer and Edel. Of course Ahiru, the main character, is very good as well and I liked her story. There are characters like Autor however, that I'm not sure why they are in there. He doesn't have a negligible role in the story but the entire time I felt that the story could've been written without him, slightly different but better. And of course, connected with the drop starting at episode fourteen I mentioned before there are a few moments spent on barely passable characters. like the awful and annoying filler character that is Femio. Even though there are no fillers episodes in the series (every single episode reveals something about the story, even if some do it a lot better than others) there most certainly is a useless filler character in the show. His existence in Princess Tutu is actually so jarring that other fans of the anime like him not in spite but because of that...
The character designs are pretty much unlike any other anime. Princess Tutu has its own style, and one that I liked a lot. The rest of the visual aspects of the anime however, are not that good. While the character designs are fairly unique, the look of the world of Princess Tutu is pretty bland. It's not that much of an issue but I wanted more considering how the other aspects of the show are a lot better. As for animation quality, it's decent throughout the anime.
Anyway, I enjoyed this a lot and I think everyone should at least give it a try. Whether you like magical girl series or not - it doesn't matter, because Princess Tutu is so much more than a magical girl anime. read more
May 20, 2010
Full list of the review series can be found on this page, 3rd post from bottom:
ART SECTION: 8/10
First impression? Bad!
What am I watching here? Cartoonish anthropomorphic animals dancing ballet and doing silly magical tricks in some weird Wonderland. It’s probably a marketing trick to promote ballet dancing to little children.
Anyone who doesn’t stand cheery graphics will give up on the series right away.
Second impression? Good!
Hey! Check out the details in the city. Very nice! Something between a circus and the Renascence. This is not the result of some random brainstorming project. After awhile, everything feels dreamy without becoming illogical or dysfunctional because of all the details and the shapes.
Anyone who appreciates graphic arts will be interested in the series in just 10 minutes.
Third impression? Awesome!
What? Everything looks like that for a reason? There is an allegory behind all this weird decoration? This entire cheery atmosphere hides a terrible secret? Bring it on!
Anyone who realizes that the series is brimming with subliminal messages and symbolic meanings will be hooked for good.
General Artwork 2/2: Vivid but not tiresome colors, multiple details, huge variety on objects and locations. The series has a very unique artistic concept, which is very rare in anime. It sets it apart from almost all other titles. It doesn’t really matter if you like it or not. The artwork is planned through with care and with a specific goal behind everything. Plus, it usually presents you with something, which is not what it appears to be at first glance. Looks are very deceiving in this series. Very smart!
Character Figures 1/2: What can you expect to find in a mahou shojo series if not cute little girls, boys and fuzzy animals? Although there is a huge city filled with people of all ages, the series focuses on handsome/beautiful juvenile characters and anthropomorphic animals. We are talking about the epitome of moe! As far as body forms go, unfortunately there isn’t much detail or variety on them. They feel pretty cartoonish and simple. Plus, all boys and girls seem to share the same body type and it’s just the face that sets them apart (the cookie cutter syndrome!).
Notice for perverts: All girls are wearing a weird skirt that hovers mysteriously, revealing their feet up to the knee. Just pretend to tie your shoelaces and voila! Pantsu land! Plus, the heroine can’t seem to be able to stay dressed for over 5 minutes without ending up naked because of all her continual transformations. And there are plenty of scenes with bishonens without shirts on, and bishojos in leotards. WOOOO! Fangirls and pervs will rejoice! … Just remember that the ecchi element is IMPLIED and not ADVERTISED. The series aims at kids too, you know.
Backgrounds 2/2: Dreamy! You really feel like strolling through a fairy tale, filled with wonders and magic. The surface is bright and beautiful; the hidden areas are dark and scary. Dozens of decorating details provide an identity and/or a symbolic meaning to every building and park. Everything is there for a reason and has a purpose for being like that.
Animation 1/2: Although not something major to bitch about, there are plenty of stale images going around. Characters move really crude during “going chibi” comical scenes. There are also repeating magical transformations. And the ballet choreography is usually still images rather than a continual scene.
Lightning/ Visual Effects 2/2: Although not mind numbing, all visual effects boosted the atmosphere of the series and allowed realistic mood swings. They felt like smart optical tricks that are used in theatric plays.
SOUND SECTION: 10/10
Voice Acting 3/3: All characters really talk appropriately and in accordance with how they feel or what their personalities are. Ahiru DOES sound insecure as a girl and sure of herself when becoming Princess Tutu. Mytho REALLY gains coloring in his voice as he gains emotions. Neko-sensei TRULY sounds like a cat in heat. Great acting, people.
Music Themes 3/3: All time classic ballet music themes roam around. It doesn’t matter if you don’t appreciate that kind of music. They are masterful pieces of fine art and are recognizable no matter how ignorant of ballet you are. You KNOW THEM even without ever watching ballerinas dancing.
Sound Effects 2/2: Just like the visual effects, they are fitting all the time and boost the atmosphere and the theatric feeling.
Form of Dialogue 2/2: Really sweet and funny talking most of the time, really serious words during dramatic scenes. Nothing sounds repetitive or stupid (Dragonball Z anyone?). Everything is spoken with a meaning and with realistic emotions backing it up. I got to laugh and cry several times because of them.
STORY SECTION: 9/10
General Scenario 2/2: The first episode will give you the impression that the story is quite silly and fake. But as the scenario unfolds, you will come to realize that although a mahou shojo series, it packs a great story.
For starters, it practically bends all the Mahou Shojo clichés. Just think of Sailor Moon , the series that solidified them. Almost all mahou shojo follow its footsteps: A normal and beautiful teen or pre-teen girl (usually a klutz) stumbles upon a fuzzy mascot animal, which gives her magical powers and sends her to stop some evil force that wants to spread evilness to the world. Along the way, she falls in love with a handsome boy, which happens to possess magical powers as well. They fight together, sometimes against, they finally defeat the evil force with the powers of love and compassion and marry.
I ensure you that almost NONE of the above happen in the story in such an obvious way. The story is both original, attractive and even packs some really cool metaphysical concepts that go beyond romance and love. It is definatelly not simple or shallow. Little kids will hardly get half of it. And it has far too many scenes of mystery, suffering and angst to count as “childish”.
Pacing 2/2: The story is divided into 2 story arks. Both are very interesting during the beginning and the ending but rather boring in the middle. I would normally deduct points for that but then I realized that it was a plot device and not a minus.
First of all, no episodes are really fillers. Almost all have secondary characters that appear only for one episode and then disappear from the story. But the main characters evolve and mature bit by bit in ALL the episodes. You will really miss something if you skip an episode.
Second, all episodes are based on some famous fairy tale or ballet play. The premise remains the same but the plot is generally darker, as something unexpected always happens that turns even cheery fairy tales into a grim drama with a sad ending.
Third, the mid-episodes are almost intentionally less interesting. They give you the impression that the series went under but in fact they just lower your expectations just to raise them again towards the end and leave you with a really good feeling of fulfillment. Ingenious!
Side Stories/Extra Spices 2/2: Oh sure, everyone has a story to tell. Even the one-episode characters have a good (usually sad) story to be unfolded. Heck, the main scenario is overshadowed most of the time by the really imposing atmosphere of the side stories. You will not feel like they are just dragging the story.
Believability/Reasoning/Realism 2/2: Hohoho! This is a bit tricky. If you can’t stand the idea of magic performing miracles all the time, the story will feel totally fake. You must accept the premise of a story where supernatural forces affect reality and bend everything to their liking, including memories and free will. It’s a story where the characters dance ballet instead of throwing energy beams in order to win in a battle.
Anyway, the story does provide explanations that reason all the wackiness, in accordance with the context of the powers that are in work there. It takes more faith, rather than logic on your part. But if you do get absorbed in the story, nothing will feel forced without a reason. There are a lot of forced events but are all explained as fixed parts of a predetermined sinister plan.
Conclusion 1/2: There is a solid and wonderful ending to the series but unfortunately it feels too rushed and fake. It could have been a lot better if the scriptwriters had simply rearranged some events in the last episode.
I would love to see the Crow King being aware that he was part of the story as well and not just a generic archevil that was almost asking to be destroyed. I would love to see Drosselmeyer’s writing/fate spinning machine to have been introduced sooner in the story. I would love to have listened mentioning that it simply resets when the story is over and starts all over again. I would love to see Fakir avoiding being killed by the Crow King just to be killed by that executioner with the axe. I would love to see where Mytho and Rue went. I would love to see the people of the city remembering everything that happened. But none of that happened, so I deduct one point.
CHARACTER SECTION: 9/10
Presence 2/2: All characters are both imposing, cute, funny and/or dramatic to the point of cherishing them in a few episodes.
Personality 2/2: All characters have distinctive mannerisms, quirks, goals and feelings. You will never confuse one with another. Ahiru’s love for Mytho, Rue’s snobbism, Fakir’s cruelness, Mytho’s apathy are unique traits that set them apart.
Backdrop 1/2: Not much. The main 4 characters have a decent story behind them but all the secondary feel like they popped out of nowhere (and I don’t mean the ones in the fictional stories).
Development 2/2: Again, the main 4 characters develop to the point of becoming totally different people at the end. They have an excellent development that is hardly found in anime in general. But all the secondary ones do not, other than being introduced in an episode and having Princess Tutu aiding them before disappearing. But to hell with them; they are there just for flavor anyway. You will not find many series with such drastic changes in the characters.
Catharsis 2/2: No loose ends or half-baked solutions. A solid ending for all of them and definitely not a predictably cheery one.
VALUE SECTION: 9/10
Historical Value 2/3: The best mahou shojo around but for some reason not as famous as Sailor Moon . Stupid publicity tricks!
Rewatchability 3/3: Definitely rewatchable. You will watch it at least once more just to notice the details you missed the first time (since there are too many of those).
Memorability 4/4: Anyone who watches this, no matter if he/she liked it or not, will definitely admit that it’s an original and well-planned series. It will definitely be in the back of your mind for the rest of your life.
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 8/10
Those mid-episodes made me lose faith in it for a while but as a whole it was an amazing watch. After watching 1.500 anime series like myself, you start to feel that most series just copy one another. You see how the same things happen all the time in all the series and start to yearn for something different. This series is one of those cases. It is the most original and well-made mahou shojo ever!
The accused is found … NOT GUILTY! … The accusers on the other hand, are sentenced to death by watching repetitive mahou shojo transformations.
All of the following titles partially remind me of Princess Tutu. But as a whole, none of them were as good as it was.
Hakuchou no Mizuumi. The animated version of Swan Lake. The music themes alone are mind numbing.
The Labyrinth. A great phantasy/adventure American movie, about a girl looking for her baby brother in a huge magical labyrinth, controlled by the cool and imposing Goblin King (starring David Bowy). The epitome of puppet technology, non-computer generated graphics and magical atmosphere.
P.S. If you see the ratings in my other reviews, you will realize that I rate really strict and low. If you respect my opinion about the series and of the way I rate in general, you can imagine how REALLY GOOD a seasoned otaku like me considers this series to be. read more
Jan 21, 2011
Princess Tutu is an animated series inspired by famous fairy tales of old. It is also a series marketed as shoujo. At first glance, one may think this is an excessively girly affair that would only appeal to little girls. Its artwork is not outstanding, it lacks the elements that would drive up an anime's popularity, (moeness, excessive violence, and absurd amounts of sexual fanservice are absent) it is often neglected in discussions of people's favorite series, and . . . it is one of the greatest television series I have ever seen in my life. Anime or not, shoujo or not, Princess Tutu is a marvel of storytelling, but why, exactly? All those who love stories, come! Gather around! (I need to stop referencing the anime I'm reviewing whenever I transition from the intro or to the conclusion.)
In a European village lives a girl named Ahiru. (Ahiru means 'Duck.') She is a student at a school that teaches ballet, but she is very clumsy and untalented. She is in love with a boy named Mytho, a fellow student who is handsome, but very sad. She wants to end his sadness, but she faces a number of obstacles. One, she is really not human. She is a duck in human form. Two, Mytho is guarded by a young man named Fakir, who is very protective of Mytho. Three, there is a girl named Rue who also vies for the affection of Mytho. However, at times of need, Ahiru can transform into Princess Tutu, a graceful ballet dancer who can soothe the hearts of people.
At the same time, a man known as Drosselmeyer is pulling the strings behind every event. He views the world as if he were writing a novel, but why? The reason Princess Tutu works so well is nothing is as it appears at first glance. The important characters are more complex than they first appear. And unlike how most people envision fairy tales, this is not fluffy in the slightest. Outside of some comic relief, (some of which is pretty funny) this is a sweeping epic of love and grandeur. I can't go into more detail without spoiling, but Princess Tutu flows at a good pace, has little padding, and will keep you interested from start to finish. 10/10
This is probably the only bad thing about Princess Tutu. It's nothing special to look at. The animation is okay. Most of the character designs are rather basic. The backgrounds are okay. Some of the coloring is nice, but it's nothing special. One thing I do like is how expressive the characters' eyes are during closeups. But otherwise, Princess Tutu is not eye candy by any means. 7/10.
Most of the music in Princess Tutu is classical music in the public domain. However, it isn't just any random music; it's GOOD classical music. It almost always fits the scene, and is just beautiful to listen to. I love it. Anyone who enjoys orchestrated music (and I do) will love hearing this.
The Japanese dub is superb. All the voices sound like how you would expect them to, and they are beautiful to listen to. Can the English dub match up to that? The English version was produced by ADV . . . and it is the greatest dub the company has ever produced. Luci Christian and Jessica Boone both give the performance of a lifetime for both Ahiru and Rue respectively. None of the issues that crop up in most other ADV dubs show up here. None of the voices are out of place nor are poorly acted, even for one-note characters. This too is a masterpiece, in both English and Japanese. Either one is desirable for viewing. 10/10.
As I said before, none of these characters are who they appear to be at first glance. Ahiru is clumsy, yes, but she is also strong, brave, and determined to save Mytho. Fakir appears to be villainous at first, as does Rue, but both of them have reasons for doing what they are doing. Again, it's hard for to go into detail without spoiling anything, but these characters are amazing. You'll become attached to the characters if you watch long enough. 10/10
It's not often I see a show where the very first episode was amazing. The very first episode of Princess Tutu was amazing, and I knew then, that I had discovered something special. I was on the edge of my seat during the more climatic moments, and I nearly came to tears during the more emotional sequences. I wondered how long the show could keep up this quality. And the answer? It stays good throughout the entire run. The ending is one of the best endings I've ever seen in an anime. I will admit, some of the attempts at humor fell flat, but some of the other funny scenes had me laughing. Princess Tutu, however, is at its best during its dramatic sequences, when everything comes together like an opera, pouring out its emotions for the audience. 10/10
And in one fell swoop, Princess Tutu became my favorite shoujo franchise of all time. I had my doubts at first, since I dislike most shoujo, but this show proved me wrong. This is also one of my top five favorite anime series of all time. If you haven't seen it, do so already. It may not be beautiful to look at, but Princess Tutu is one of the most beautiful series you will ever see. (Okay, I stole those words from an Anime News Network review, but it's true!) Hans Christian Andersen would be proud. read more
Jul 26, 2010
Writer, Drosselmeyer has died while he was in the middle of writing his latest novel. As a result, the characters and story are in a suspended state, unable to continue. The story in question is of a prince and how he defeated a great raven and pierced his own heart into numerous shards. Wanting to give the story a proper tragic end, Drosselmeyer comes into contact with a young duckling, appropriately named Duck, to put the gears of the story back into motion. Duck, who has seen watching the same prince from his story dance a sad dance, wants nothing more than to make the prince Mytho happy again. Drosselmeyer gives the Duck a magic pendant which allows her to not only become human, but when the time is right to become Princess Tutu. In human form, Duck attends the same ballet school as Mytho and develops a faint friendship with him. As Tutu, she is able to gather Mytho’s heart shards, which have become part of different people and alter their feelings. The first part of the series is fairly formulaic, episodes usually boil down to Duck finds a heart shard, becomes Princess Tutu, dances and returns the heart shard to Mytho, rinse and repeat. This part of the series is lighthearted, and will turn off most reluctant watchers. However, near the end of the first act, the story begins to depart from this pattern and travel into a comparatively darker story. During this depart, new dangers arise, and characters go through drastic changes.
Our protagonist, Duck, is your typical full of energy, klutzy girl who has difficulty going through basic ballet routines. However, once she becomes Princess Tutu, she has all the grace in the world and her eccentric nature disappears. Mytho has all the personality as someone without a heart has, for better or worse. As the series continues, and Mytho gains more of his heart his character develops. Rue, Mytho’s girlfriend, is surprisingly likable. While the usual convention would be to play the love rival as temperamental and/or spoiled, Rue is easy to feel sorry for. Duck doesn’t hold Rue’s current status as Mytho’s girlfriend against her, and quickly tries to befriend her. While Rue is a little hesitant at this, the two do get closer as the first act progresses. Fakir, a friend of Mytho, is fairly antagonistic in the first half, and both he and Rue are against the return of Mytho’s heart for reasons that are made clear. Supporting characters such as the almost pedophilic Mr. Cat, and Duck’s friend Pike and Lillie help to keep light comedy coming even when the show becomes more serious. Of course one of the more important characters, Drosselmeyer, looms over the other. His goal, as stated earlier, is to give his story a tragic end, and he will pop in time to time to try to nudge it back into the direction that he sees fit. All of these characters develop very well throughout the series and have their dramatic turns where friends may jump to a foe and vice versa.
The show looks great, and the animation is crisp and entertaining to watch. Unlike other “magical girl” show, Tutu eschews magical battles on a grand scale to ballet dances with hint of magic here and there. While there is a sword fight here and there, they are few and far in between. The dances are well done and are a joy to watch. Music-wise the series also stands out as classical pieces are used during more important scenes in the show. Nutcracker, Sugar Plum, and many more classical pieces help to set the tone in the show. They all do so well, that it’s easy to forgive the rest of the soundtrack which is fairly decent at best. The dub voices do well to emulate their characters and they all are memorable. Luci Christian makes Duck’s exuberant nature cute when it could have been grating.
The problem, as previously stated, is the how slow the series begins. While characters are played out well, there’s very little in terms of things actually happening.
At the end of the day, Tutu is a wonderful tale. The characters are deep, the dancing is new and enjoyable, and once the show picks up it rarely slows down. If you plan to watch it, be persistent. To the male audience, if you bear through the girly nature of the show, it is still entertaining. read more
May 4, 2009
'A Story within a story' best describes the plot. Without giving too much away, the plot to begin with is pretty simple. Our Heroine Ahiru is given a task by the mysterious Drosselmayer to help recover young princes missing pieces of his heart (or feeling). Thus she is given an amulet that turns her to the wonderful Princess Tutu. I know what you're thinking. This is probably something that would suit a five year old, let alone an Otaku fan would watch. But the way the story unfolds and how detailed the storyline is, is brilliant to behold, with its clever twists, funny moments and elegant romance.
One worthy note is the soundtrack. Simply outstanding! The way the assorted classical and ballet numbers used, helps make the story flow. Even if you don't listen to classical music and never heard of 'Tchaikovsky', there are some tracks that are easily recognizable, and give that sense of 'Oh I've heard this from somewhere before'. The animation though nothing too special, does fit the whole fairy tale theme with its cute yet simple character design, especially that of Ahirus duck form, though the co-ordination is something worthy of a praise, especially when our two princess square off with each other by doing ballet!?! As epic as it sounds, it actually works and looks great.
This show is defiantly an acquired taste. Not everyone's going to like it, especially if you dislike Shoujo anime, this is as Shoujo, as they come. Though far from perfect, the show does have a bit of repetitiveness about it, as the show does follow a formula of Princess Tutu appearing in every episode, though that soon wavers when the second story arc starts. I wasn't too fond of episodic episodes, so I couldn't polish the show off in just a few days. But that's just me, but I took my time with it, and I enjoyed it. This shows a definite hidden treasure, and if you can see past the tutu and the magical girl theme, then give it a try. read more
Jul 23, 2008
Story--Ahiru is a duck that is turned into a human girl. Her passion is ballet, which is what this anime centers around. The funny part about Ahiru is that she will randomly "quack!" and have to dive into any form of water to change back into a human. The romance is great because you want Ahiru, the heroine, to end up with who you think is the hero, and you end up not exactly liking the villain/rival of Ahiru but you pity her and want her to become a sort of heroine (I'm trying not to give too many spoilers away!) One AMAZING thing about this anime is that it centers around different ballets, and being a classical musician myself, I was super excited when there was an episode dedicated to my favorite ballet, Scheherazade. I also really like how they fight with dancing, but it's in no way like fighting with singing like in Mermaid Melody. It's a lot more complex and realistic.
Art--I personally loved the art. I thought the artwork was really well done. The characters were cute, especially Ahiru, but it was more the scenery that was well drawn.
Sound--Ahiru has an adorable voice. I think the character's voices fit very well. The best part though is the music. This anime incorporates so much classical music into it that it almost seems to be something more than an anime. It seems like the writers really went into research about different ballet scores, because the musical storyline is fantastic.
Character--Ahiru is one of my favorite anime characters of all time. Fayto is also amazing, he is so cool and by the end of the series the two of them will have you begging for another season because they end on such a sweet note that really makes you want more.
Enjoyment--So as you can tell, I really enjoyed it. I hardly classify it as shoujo because it is so amazing, but it still is shoujo so be warned that there will be transformation sequences. The storyline can get confusing...VERY confusing, actually...but you'll figure it out eventually. It's just so...GOOD.
Overall--This anime is by far one of my favorites of all time, and I plan on rewatching it once I'm done watching Chobits for the first time and not keeping up with Shugo Chara and Itazura na Kiss. :p read more
Jul 22, 2011
Now, this review is written in 2011, and this anime came out in 2002. I feel that anime standards (at the very least, animation-wise) has increased a lot since then, so my score might not do justice to it's formal glory. But think about it, if you're reading this, you would have access to 2011 titles and the score reflects the value of this show amongst the titles available in 2011. Just so you know.
So, the review proper. Princess Tutu's defining trait is fairy-tale-like. It's rare nowadays since the genre pretty much got relegated to crappy shoujo mangas, but a decade ago it was more common. But I could hardly find a series that could exhibit the trait of "fairy tale" as well as Princess Tutu, even if it's like twice as long and much more dragged out. That's the concept of the show, to play out the story's unique charm and innocence in a very pure and straightforward way. This setup created a lot of one-dimensional characters (except for Ahiru, of course) but in particular case it can be forgiven, because protagonist Ahiru's flamboyant and comedic personality helps create a good break from the otherwise dull character scene.
On the not-so-good part... everything is solved with DANCE BATTLE! What's this, Step Up 2D?
Sadly, from the start of the second half, the series starts to have problems... Firstly, while the character gained more depth and became more interesting, the show began to lose its originality and uniqueness. Strange, huh? Secondly, the story dragged out too long without any kind of resolution, which made it a pain to watch. Lastly, although it's very subjective, I find the breaking down of the episodes into 2 parts is a little irritating, as it tore down the continuity in the episode. Budget problems or lack of popularity I guess?
The animation quality was sadly below average. I don't know about the standards back then, but I think it surely could have been better. I never liked any of the songs, but maybe it's just me. Ahiru's VA is awesome! (although she's the only one deserves any recognition) but too bad she never got anymore major roles after this.
Overall... it's an interesting show to check out, and if you didn't mind the kind of flaws I point out, it should be pretty enjoyable. Otherwise... it's just average.
Plot/Concept: Great and unique
Story Style: Great... but not so much in the latter half
Value: 7 read more
Jul 29, 2012
Enter Ahiru, a small duck who falls in love with Mythos after seeing him dancing near her pond one day. Heartbroken because she can't reach him, she wishes to become human. Upon hearing this, the spirit of Drosselmeyer intervenes and transforms her into a human girl, motivating this through "personal entertainment". There are certain inconveniences, but Ahiru remains determined to reach her goal. But what will she do when two people who seem bent on stopping her, appear? And what is the connection between the four of them and Drosselmeyer's tale?
Story & Characters (10/10)
Princess Tutu: the infamous masterpiece.
Masterpiece fits perfectly for the well-animated, beautifully soundtracked, rich-in-plot series, although "infamous" is an enormous exaggeration. Since, of course, why would ANYBODY want to watch a series entitled "Princess Tutu"???
The very same thought was running through my head when I saw the back cover of my Newtype two years ago. The princess part was bad enough, but TUTU?
It may be absurd, but that is the name of our main heroine, who lives as an ordinary girl named Ahiru. Well, semi-ordinary - she sometimes changes into a duck. Since she IS a duck!
Ahiru goes to a well-funded school that seems to specialize in ballet. She sucks, but is captivated by Mythos, the beautiful but sad-eyed dancer and his girlfriend, the talented Rue. They all live in a town that turns out to be controlled by Drosselmeyer, a sadistic writer who died years ago. Ahiru is Drosselmeyer's newest creation - a duck who becomes a girl and falls in love with a prince! Ah, what a story. But that's not all - from duck to girl, and from girl to...Princess Tutu! For the prince, Mythos, once fought with a giant monster raven and to destroy that raven, broke his heart into pieces and scattered it around the town. Oh, but still, that is not all. For what does Rue have to do with the monster raven? And what is the role of Mythos's best friend, Fakir, who may hold the answer to all?
Add in various emotional conflicts, Drosselmeyer's mysterious puppet, plot twists (gasp!), and ballet/fairytale elements and you get yourself a masterpiece.
The plot isn't the highlight of the bunch though. The characters of this anime are phenomenal. They are dynamic, emotional, realistic, and three-dimensional. There is the naive but hopeful Ahiru, who yearns to do anything she can to help her beloved prince; the melancholy and emotionless Mythos, who become confused and torn but remains grounded on his belief on saving the helpless; the loyal and dutiful Fakir who seems cynical and nasty at first, but reveals his insecurity of who he is supposed to be, all the while supporting the ones he loves; and finally the beautiful and delicate Rue, who so wants to be loved, more than anything!
As I've said before, it's a masterpiece.
Princess Tutu is actually very well-animated. The proportions are constant and correct, the hairstyles are very unique (but not in an annoying, Dragonball-Z way), and the costume designs are quite beautiful.
I enjoyed how every character's face was different - the eyes were not identical, skin color was considered, and the noses and lips were unique.
And such genius work on the animal characters! The series is different in the way it incorporates animal characters into the plot without making a huge fuss of it. But they preserve the special qualities and make it comical.
The backgrounds were lovely, as well. From underwater to within the forest to inside the sparingly-lighted ballet room, every scene is beautifully backed. Despite the differences, each was constant in its own way, and connected so well! They all related to the scene, the genre, the plot, and the characters.
And the ballet! The dancing scenes are spectacullar - laced with the firey emotions that dance invokes. Each movement is accurate and fitting - every pas de deux is captivating, no matter how many times you see it.
It would be necessary to mention, however, that some of these unique hairstyles get some getting used to. For the longest time I didn't appreciate Fakir and Ahiru's hair (quite the most unique of the bunch!).
This is the very anime that made me find my inner love of classical music. Because of its ballet elements, almost the whole soundtrack is made out of variations of Tchaikowsky's compositions. I enjoyed it so much more than I thought I would - Princess Tutu is truly a mix of various arts.
Now, with that being said, I didn't enjoy the openings and endings so much. The opening was alright, since the animation to go with it was so amazing, but later on it bored me to no end. The ending had it off worse, because I don't usually watch the ending anyway and the animation consisted of about five pictures.
The voice acting was something I definitely need to get used to. Ahiru's voice is amazingly scratchy - I have no idea how the voice actress managed that - but it's not a very pretty voice. But being unique is one of Princess Tutu's greatest qualities. I admired the way the voice immediately became more elegant with Tutu, and scratchier and more "quacky" when Ahiru turned into a duck.
The rest of the characters were well-fitted to the same degree. I noticed that they sounded a lot more "classic" than the average anime - possibly to fit the plot and soundtrack.
In any case, well done to all the cast.
Some anime start out good, and end badly. Some anime start badly, and become amazing.
Princess Tutu is neither. It's wonderful from the very beginning - and wonderful at the very end. The characters are amazing, the plot is amazing, the art is amazing, the sound is amazing.
Except for the very small faults that I have mentioned above, it is an unbelievably fantastic, enjoyable anime. It's not for kids. It's for people who know how to think, to be intrigued by the countless relationships that each character develops with each other.
It is a lovely medly of music, dance, and art. What else can I say? While I watched this, I laughed, cried, screamed, and got mad. I appplauded the director for the most multi-level and well-wrapped ending I have ever seen for an anime.
Ignore your prejudice of the title. Watch it. You will thank me for this. read more
Aug 12, 2012
Everywhere I look says that there are only 26 episodes. Why does MAL say there are 38?
A japanese anime based in a small german town.. the plot revolves around fairy tales as well. Such as those that were told by the Grimm Brothers.
Very well done, I would suggest this to anybody!
Sure the ballet was a tad much for me, but I love ducks and fairy tales so I got sucked in.
Sep 6, 2010
Each episode of Princess Tutu beings with “Once upon a time…” a lectured mini fairytale which corresponds to the central idea of each episode. Instead of fighting Princess Tutu uses her powers of ballet to solve the problems, typically by dance with said enemy. Heavily influence by Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker Prince, it takes many things and even character names such as Drosselmeyer.
The animation is decent enough, nothing truly extraordinary. The music takes from various classicals and orchestral ballets. Tchaikovsky, Leo Delibes, Franz Liszt, Camille Saint-Saëns Etc.
This show is pretty addicting once I saw the first episode I couldn’t put it down. Although this might look like a typical show I suggest you give it a chance and see if you like it as much as I did.
May 26, 2013
Critic's Log - Earthdate: January 31, 2013. Review #33: Princess Tutu
For some time now, I have aspired to become a writer and with my busy scheduling besides writing reviews, I've put writing on hold for the time being until I find the right time to sit down and just write. I've always wanted to write something that is close to my heart. I have some friends that write fanfics and I've been encouraged to write a fanfic as a way of training I guess. I think writing a fanfic won't be too much of a hassle. I think I'll wait for the right moment. I do have a review just for the occasion. Here is Princess Tutu!
To all that love stories, Come! Gather 'round! He he he he he he he!
A 13-year-old ballet student named Duck is clumsy, good-hearted and sweet... and has a big secret. The mysterious enigmatic Drosselmayer morphed a young duck into a girl to give her a mission: To help a Prince get the parts of his heart back. With that in mind, she morphs into Princess Tutu, whose magical dances ease the pain and purifies the bad feelings within the Prince.
um... just go with it. To be technical, this is a Hal Film Maker production and the animation is nice but not the best out there. It does come by nicely though. It's actually good for the most part. The only annoyances is a scene that's recycled everytime Duck transforms into Princess Tutu and it's only for 15 seconds and still images in certain scenes that could've been animated. I'm not complaining about all of this too much and it's not something worth complaining about. I'll say it again, the animation comes by nicely. It's just not perfect and this is an example that it doesn't have to be perfect.
The music by Kaoru Wada *Record Scratch* Wait! That Kaoru Wada!? The guy that composed InuYasha!? He's involved in Princess Tutu!? Yeah, I bet you didn't know that, but why am I mentioning this because the 98% of the music is borrowed from classical music from hundreds of years ago. The opening is calm and soothing, and the closing is nice for what it is. The music is nice for the show and I've always had good taste for classical music and it compliments the ballet moments just fine.
When it comes to voice acting, The Japanese cast is great and has a solid cast. Nanae Katou is pretty good as Duck, Nana Mizuki is great as Rue, Naoki Yanagi is alright as Mytho (pronouced "Myu-toe"), Takahiro Sakurai is also great as Fakir. Noboru Mitani had a solid performance as Drosselmeyer even though he never did many roles himself. I already mentioned that the Subbed version has a solid cast. Now I'll go onto the dub. When I first saw that the dub was by ADV Films, I was not expecting too much out of this since ADV tends to make dubs a bit hit and miss. I decided to give the dub a chance and I am damn surprised to find that the dub is actually very good in ADV Films' standards. Jin Ho Chung really deserves some credit for making a good ADV dub on this one. Luci Christian plays a believable Duck, She even gives Duck a cutesy voice which suits both Duck's name and personality. Jessica Boone is great as Rue, Chris Patton is terrific as Fakir, Marty Fleck is also terrific as Drosselmeyer. The only voice I didn't really care for too much was Jay Hickman as Mytho, I think it was because he was a little underacted and he doesn't sound too believable in the dub but that's just a minor nitpick, nothing more. For minor roles, the dub has Greg Ayres, Hilary Haag, John Swasey, Monica Rial, Tiffany Grant, and of course Vic Mignogna (Dear Fangirls, No Screaming please, I don't want to remind you to be quiet) and speaking of Mr. Mignogna, his role is downright fun to watch. He plays an overdramatic guy (also a dancer) and he even has a French accent for the character. Thank God he didn't play France in Hetalia. To make a long story short, you can't go wrong with either version.
When it comes to characters, Duck is an unlikely protagonist but as the story progresses, her character becomes more attachable to the viewer. I always liked Duck in this show. Mytho is alright and he serves as an important character to the plot. Rue was a fascinating character to watch as time goes by and Fakir is a bit of a jerk at first but I liked how his character changes. Drosselmeyer is a bit of an odd duck... OH MY GOD, DID I REALLY FIND USING THIS PUN THAT NECESSARY!? On second thought, Drosselmeyer was a bit fascinating to watch at times. Maybe it's that he appears in such a weird way. To my surprise, he was fun to watch. Uzura adds to the charm of the characters zura, as long as you can handle her saying "Zura" at the end of every damn sentence zura. DAMN IT! ANOTHER PUN RELATED TO THE SHOW!!! Why do I keep doing that!? NEVERMIND! If there's one character I get annoyed to death is Mr. Cat, the ballet teacher. I will admit, the marriage gag was out of nowhere at first and it was actually pretty funny. When it was used more than four times, that's when it got really annoying. It's not funny anymore after a while and you really have no idea how *QUACK!*ing annoy... ah *QUACK!* me and these stupid puns. What I'm trying to say is that you have no idea how annoying this *RAWR* can be. Uh... I was referring to a cat, not a woman's *Quack! Quack! Quack!* *Hard Sigh* Let's keep moving on. Most of the characters are great.
When it comes to story, this'll be difficult to explain. The story has the spirit of a fairy tale, it has a graceful story, the presentation and approach in narration to this story is really bizarre but unique. I don't know how to explain all this, you'll just have to see for yourself. The story isn't terrible by any means though. What's interesting is that fights are resolved through dancing. Which I don't see many animes do this very often and that's what makes Princess Tutu a unique series. The direction by Junichi Sato and Shougo Kawamoto really make Princess Tutu a unique anime. I think I've said pretty much about everything about Princess Tutu. It's a great magical girl anime.
Princess Tutu was available by ADV Films, it was out of print for a time until it was later picked up by Section23 Films. The manga by Mizuo Shinonome was available by ADV manga and it is out of print.
With all that said, Princess Tutu has some charms like a great cast of characters, classical music, solid effort animation, and a bizarre, yet unique presentation of a story that has the spirit of a fairy tale. This truly is a unique series that shouldn't be missed if you are into the magical girl genre. This is also a series that I think some guys should consider checking out too.
I give Princess Tutu a 9.4 out of 10, it is EXCELLENT!
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