Anime Vice News

Watch & Learn: PRINCESS TUTU #1

Let's get en point for some ballet.


 Who wears the pants in this relationship?
 Who wears the pants in this relationship?

Regardless of how many of these shows I’ll actually get to follow up on, this round of sampling has been thoroughly enjoyable just by virtue of how much variety it’s exposed me to. Whatever stereotypes there are about anime, none of their umbrellas cover an illustrated ballet that plays like a fairy tale written by Hans Christen Andersen or Oscar Wilde. The narration in the prologue even sounds like something they’d write.

Of course, for all the whimsy, there’s actually a nightmarish quality to PRINCESS TUTU (not as much as BLACK SWAN, though.) The whole bit with the ballet instructor just happening to be a cat and then throwing that weird threat of marriage down so often certainly feels like something that’d come out of an adolescent girl’s troubled dream. If there’s an identifiable texture to chibi, then the comic relief certainly has a more menacing undertone. Even the nigh-non sequitor surprise about Duck turning into some kind of superheroine has a kind of wavy dream logic to it instead of just being some random plot point from a zany show you can dismiss.  

Actually, the dreamy feeling of things being out of place starts with the aforementioned prologue, which promises a slightly metafictional story that doesn’t get referenced or called back to again. Maybe they’re saving that stuff for later episodes (this being a series and all.) It goes without saying that this is a girly show, but I honestly don’t have too many qualms about that - - certainly not enough to wholly dismiss PRINCESS TUTU. I think I would’ve preferred if they restrained the execution just a little and laid off the modern anime slapstic, but I suppose that’s like asking a duck not to quack.

I probably won’t follow this show up to see how Duck becomes some beautiful, swan-like Princess Tutu, but I do appreciate seeing a show here that pulls from an area of art totally removed from any other I’ve other I’ve watched before here.

Watch this episode "The Duck and the Prince" below and decide for yourself.  

  Check out my thoughts on the other shows I've sampled below...

Tom Pinchuk’s the writer of  HYBRID BASTARDS!  &  UNIMAGINABLE . Order them on Amazon   here  &   here .  Follow him on Twitter:  @tompinchuk

zaldaron May 4, 2011 at 3:02 p.m.
I have actually heard really good things about this show and would definitely watch it if you continued to.  It is actually supposed to follow the real ballet plot of swan lake which is NOT a happy story, so I think it actually will get all most as dark as Black Swan from what I have heard. 

Yea anime is an art form that covers all types of stuff, people that say anime is only about violence and sex don't understand the medium. 
Lurkeroon May 4, 2011 at 3:44 p.m.
Meh. This doesn't seem like a show fit for watch and learn anyways
Onrackon May 4, 2011 at 7:34 p.m.
Princess Tutu is well worth watching. All the characters grow in unexpected directions, and who the hero and the villain are is far more ambiguous than one would think from the beginning. It is heavily influenced by  European fairy tales, and not the heavily sanitized versions from Disney.

 I think a continued watch would resolve most of your complains. The meta story plays a key role in the show, and the slapstick will take a strong backseat.   I admit this show will not appeal to everyone, but I found it to be a surprisingly compelling story when given the chance. 
vergiliuson May 5, 2011 at 7:43 a.m.
This show is excellent. The beginning episodes follow the typical magical girl monster-of-the-week format, except instead of defeating a monster, we are ballet dance battling someone to retrieve a piece of the prince's heart. Things start to come to a head about halfway through and all the metafictional, darker stuff that's been hovering over the plot comes home to roost. The show is well-drawn, but I would have watched it just as accompaniment to the awesome music, most of which is taken from actual ballets.

I have this show listed as an honorable mention on my top 10 anime list and the more that I think about it, it probably deserves to be higher. This is a show that knows exactly what it wants to be and exactly where it's going, and it executes smoothly.

The only complaint I have about the review is that the show is spelled PRINCESS TUTU to help convey how manly it is. Lower case letters don't quite have the necessary oomph.
Psychotimeon May 12, 2011 at 10:29 a.m.
I need to finish it.

Dig Deeper into Princess Tutu

A duck is magically turned into a girl so that she can attempt to romance her prince, who is a character from a story come to life-- along with his enemy, the Raven.

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