Princess Tutu Episodes 1-3 Notes

April 19th, 2014.

(Princess Tutu Episodes 1-3 screenshot album.)

Episode 1:

Princess Tutu episode 1 anime notes - Princess Tutu and Mytho

That was very interesting. As a young child, I’ve had a couple of tapes of classic music alongside their stories I listened to constantly. Peter and the Wolf was one of my two favourites, the other was Swan Lake. Meeting Tchaikovsky again is like meeting an old friend whom you are very fond of again. Not just Swan Lake, the ominous feeling of the writer-magician and the slightly darker feeling make me think of his other famous work, The Nutcracker.

The raven and the hero, an eternal tale. The duck who would give up her life to save the prince, to talk to him. So once, she is made a girl instead of a duck, and then she makes the same wish again. Will she transform once more?

Swan Lake. The story taking place in a ballet school, where they act out the tragedies, and the heartfelt moments. Is Rue going to be The Black Swan? We’ve got Swan Lake, and The Nutcracker, and this whole story is obviously The Ugly Duckling, but we’ve also got Cinderella here? The way Ahiru wants Mytho to notice her, and how she runs away leaving him forlorn after saving him. Also how she woke up early and treated the birds, made me think of Cinderella.

Fakir and Mytho, that bit was a bit abusive and possessive, so aside from Cinderella, it also made me think of Utena. In general, the whole atmosphere here which is sometimes so very much like a play makes me think of Utena and Mawaru Penguindrum. The flourishes, the cycles, the air of dread hanging overhead.

A story, within a story, within a story. Sometimes slow, sometimes incredibly airy. A story of silly romance, and of an abusive relationship. The Prince is “The Hero”, and the Raven is here to kill him. But the lowly duck, the helpless girl, will step in to save “The Hero”, who is not very interesting, and loved from afar, rather than for any personality he might have, which is unknown.

I’m game.

Episode 2:

Princess Tutu episode 2 anime notes - Anteaterina and Mytho

The prince using his heart, so his heart is missing. No feelings. Also, the prince’s blade is his sword. Makes sense, the hero fights with his whole heart, and for his ideals.

“I’m just a duck, and I thought I was a girl. Did I dream of saving Mytho-senpai?” – “Am I a girl who had dreamt she was a duck, or a duck who had dreamt she was a girl?”

We more or less got confirmation Mytho is the prince, which explains his milksop behaviour, his lack of emotions or reactions. He doesn’t care, because he had traded away his capability of caring for the safety of others. A true hero. But he did care for the bird, so he is still selfless, and he cares for little Ahiru, can his missing heart tell she might return it?

“If you wish it, it can happen! That’s what great about stories!” Ahh, narrativium! My favourite element (The Science of Discworld, book 2). Here it’s all on the table. We have an author-God, meddling with things. So nice. We also have a geas, which fits, reminds me of The Seven Swans, where the princess could not speak until she finished weaving the seven coats.

Edel, walking around with the style of music-box and make-up as in some of these performances. This show <3

All the mes are me! What’s going on?

“A story’s birth is a sudden event. The start, a happy accident. The end, the fate for which it’s meant. A story that never ends is a cruel thing.” And here is the “outer-story”‘s meta-talk, because the author died, the story did not end. The author’s ghost wishes it to not end, to keep him entertained, and that’s cruel.

The classic music playing as she talks to Mytho and asks him an obvious question, and berates herself? It stops. She’s the heroine of the story, in control of the pacing.

Transformation, naked, transformation, grab clothes, transformation, get dressed. Adorable Ahiru. So silly.

Everyone treats Mytho like a girl. Fakir is the possessive husband, and now Anteaterina lifts him in ballet and claimed him as hers. He’s the meek one with no say in anything.

Now I wonder, will Mytho have some feelings, but muted since his heart isn’t complete yet, or was he just given those of bitterness and disappointment? :<

The lesson Ahiru taught Anteaterina was to accept herself as she is, rather than try to be something she is not. A message given by a duck wishing to be a girl, wishing to be a magical princess.

This episode was really good. So many moments that made me smile at their beauty, or at how cute they’ve been, or just flat-out silly and amusing. This show has heart, and all the talk, and layers, and music… I’m loving it.

Episode 3:

Princess Tutu episode 3 anime notes - Rue

Ah ha, the shards enter hearts with voids, people with unfulfilled desires. Princess Tutu has to fill the gap, to make them content in their place, for the shard to come out. Or in the case of bitterness, it more like a cavity calling for it, and letting it grow there. Will she have to break the heart of one who has the shard of love, in order for it to come out? Hm.

“Truth is a shy little thing – If you chase it, it will run away. Truth is a lonesome little thing – If you move away from it, it will give chase.” Edel is “The choir” and the voice of the author. Not Drosselmeyer, but the author writing Drosselmeyer. And I think this is one story where it’s ok to talk about it like so, openly.

“I’m with Rue and Fakir, because only they tell me what to do.” He needs “masters”, he needs outside sources to give him direction and volition, cause he lacks them. Others adore him, so will not give them to him. Everyone but Ahiru sees him as a tool, to command, or adore. She’s trying to recreate him as a person.

Habanera from Carmen playing as they meet Ebine. Great music everywhere!

“The story is going awry.” Interesting. An author knows where a story should go, and can make it so. But if you go, “Let’s see where it goes,” is there a wrong turn? This Drosselmeyer tells people when it’s wrong, but doesn’t set it right. Then again, he’s only setting the pieces on the table, and waits for them to show him a play. That things go awry might even please him greatly. Oooh. Heart Shards make stories go awry. Heart Shards, entities from another story. Heart Shards, which let you change your role in the story. Drosselmeyer chose free-willed Ahiru to counter the other free-willed characters, but perhaps to also relieve them of the aspect controlling them, which betrays their capability to have free will?

The whole bit of her becoming Princess Tutu, that’s a big question. Is Drosselmeyer responding to her wishes and transforming her, or monologuing before she does, or can she only transform given his blessing? Questions, but no answers. And these questions don’t really matter. These are questions on the meta-meta story. What matters is that the story is told, and set to right.

Being so lonely you do not wish for the manifestation of loneliness to go away. Of course, it being there is part of the reason she’s so dependent on it. Still a very poetic moment.

No! Such cruel fate! Fated to be the best, but never to be with the prince! Then again, Drosselmeyer died before finishing his story, and the story is incomplete. Perhaps this is what needs changing.

Show Thus Far:

Princess Tutu episode 1-2 anime notes - Edel and Ahiru

Oh man, oh man. I’m loving everything about this show. Classic music, cute characters, sympathetic characters. Discussing narratives, breaking the walls of narratives. The music that plays when Ahiru is being silly actually makes me smile.

Is Fakir the raven? Is Rue? The raven is sealed, or is it? Discussions of power, discussions of following your heart and being who you wish to be. Desires versus fate. Princess Tutu will never get to be with the prince, but the story is incomplete, can they finish it? Princess Tutu will never be with the prince, and Ahiru is Princess Tutu. But Ahiru is not the same as Princess Tutu, and sometimes she isn’t, so will Ahiru manage to be with the Prince? And her wish was to make him smile and protect him, even if she’d have to die for it. Yes, that is the wish Drosselmeyer had fulfilled, never was her own happiness mentioned there.

Great direction, great story-stories. We have episodic content, where instead of “monster of the week” we have “lonely heart of the week”, in a manner that quite reminds one of the arcs of The World God Only Knows. But Ahiru’s tale continues, and Mytho’s feelings return. His “Safekeepers” are his guardians, they are his wardens and his prison warders.

Everyone has their own goals, in this world that is many, in this story that isn’t?

I can’t tell if I want to marathon this show or watch an episode a day, which is the exact right pace for the watch club.

What a wonderful little show.

P.S. Gave the dub a try. It’s bad. Watch the subs if you can.

Return to the Princess Tutu Episodic Notes page.

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