Drosselmeyer greet Ahiru.

I have to give massive props to Princess Tutu for doing it right.

We've all had our discussions about how anime can be Art, or at least be in the same general vicinity as Art. Princess Tutu falls in at least the latter category, and I believe that it makes a very strong case for the former: the composition of each scene, the musical background, the plot, all of it is suffused with the essence of Art-ness. I would not hesitate to recommend this anime to those who would like an anime that makes them ponder the deconstruction (and, possibly, reconstruction) of fairy tales.

And yet, with all its Art-ness, Princess Tutu never forgets to entertain. I can watch it and analyse the roles of the Prince, the Princess, the Evil Villain, and how they're just roles rather than characters, an unfortunate fact that said characters are fully aware of. Or I can watch it and enjoy Ahiru being, well, Ahiru, the happy-go-lucky naive-but-charming little girl who isn't very good at much, but who still tries her best.

Princess Tutu is the best proof I have right now that anime doesn't have to be Serious and Edgy to be thought-provoking. It can be fun, and it can be art, all at the same time.

Also, I've always thought that Saint-Saens's "Les Carnaval des Animaux: Aquarium" would be perfect for a Creepy Eerie Revelation BGM, and Princess Tutu has done exactly that.

10 Responses to “A Duck's Tale”
  1. Asrialys says:

    Cool. I just watched this some weeks ago and loved it.

  2. Princess Tutu is one of those very rare anime that I think most anime fans should watch at some point. It really is an anime that, at its heart, is truly a fairy tale (and not in the Disney-fied sense of the term).

  3. Balorn says:

    Tutu has been on my list of shows to watch for a while; I even have the DVD set. Maybe I should bump it up on the list some (though perhaps not quite right away; I'm still recovering from the insanely awesome Stellvia, which I finished just last night).

  4. Now that you've seen this wonderful piece, I have to ask: Have you only watched it in Japanese? I figure this much because of your use of "Ahiru" rather than "Duck". If you've bought ADVFilm's release (which is by far lower in price than the Japanese release), you're in for an extra treat to watch it through dubbed in English. If you haven't seen it in English yet, I implore you to select English the next time you watch through the series.

    I like all the little things they put into it, hinting at relations between characters, etc., the kind of thing they don't ever come out and say straight out, subtle pieces which are undeniably easy to miss by the casual viewer.

    Did any character stand out as a favorite for you? It's really hard to decide when there's a main cast always changing based on their interactions with one another and with the ongoing progression of the story. Add in the colorful secondary cast, and it can be difficult to choose just one. (I've gotta' go with Mr. Cat, then maybe either Duck or Pique as a runner-up.)

  5. DKellis says:

    I do indeed have access to the English dub, but I was thinking of watching it in Japanese first. Maybe the next time around I'll try the dub.

    Favourite character… gut instinct says Rue, even though I can't pinpoint why. I may be biased by Fate Testarossa from Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha in picking another Dark Magical Girl voiced by Nana Mizuki.

  6. Aanusha says:

    Princess Tutu is my favourite anime after CCS. And my favourite character's Fakir (I don't really know the spelling of his name, but "Fakir" is what it sounds like anyway..) ^_^

  7. Somehow I completely missed that Nana Mizuki played Rue's voice… I guess Nana Mizuki will always be Nana Suzuki to me, as that's who I first heard her as. Certainly not a dark role there.

    Watching in Japanese first is definitely a good way to go on the first viewing of Princess Tutu. Nanae Katoh as Duck is not to be missed. There are people out there who–believe it or not–will completely ignore a dub no matter how good it may be, so I wanted to make sure good word was given for the dub here. With the exception of one little outtake that accidentally made it into an episode, this series has one of the top dubs out there, no contest. Luci Christian makes for an absolutely adorable Duck. Chris Patton, with his usual "bad boy" voice, is perfect as Fakir, and as well as every other character in the dub, down to even Autor.

    If there's one series I can never sing enough praises for, even a year and a half after first seeing it, Princess Tutu would be it.

  8. Asrialys says:

    Christopher: What was the outtake that made it into the episode? Yes, I did watch the dub. Haven't watched it in Japanese though…

  9. Asrialys, it's the episode where Rastel (I might have her name wrong a little) visits, from the Chapter of the Fledgling portion. Fakir sits down to write a story for Fakir, and after getting his quill and paper, and while facing away from the viewer, he says, "Maybe I'll write a letter to the president" (or something similair). The following scene is him presenting to Rastel the story he wrote, which most certainly isn't a letter to the president.

    I can't say for 100% that this is an outtake that made it in, but 1) there is no line spoken there in the Japanese version, and 2) it sounds like outtake material. How they let an outtake get in there, and how no one caught it, I'll never know. Maybe someone needs to write some software to analyse the Japanese and English audio tracks to look for any place where one has audio and the other doesn't, then run that on the finished tracks rather than having someone watch through and check for errors, when dubbing a series. I wouldn't recommend trying such software on Kiki's Delivery Service, or there'd be too many hits whenever Jiji talks in the dub =P

  10. Asrialys says:

    I remember that. I was totally confused. It was so out of place. Maybe there was so much to keep track of, with all the outtake material (given to us or not) and In The Studio stuff. But still…bad ADV, if it was a mistake. Oh well…