When I was in need of a quality show to immerse myself in, I came across Princess Tutu. Even though the main title irked me a bit, I continued into watching it, and guess what : I don't regret it at all.
Story : 9 / 10 "Great"
Long ago, there was a story teller who died while in the middle of completing one of his greatest works. The main characters in that story where a prince and an evil raven, who were now destined to fight for eternity without a conclusion of this battle. Unsatisfied by this event, the raven escaped the story and the prince did so as well in pursuit of the raven. Then, using forbidden magic, the prince sealed the raven away by turning his heart into pieces. However, hiding in the shadows, the storyteller manipulates the events of the story, even after his death. That's were the main character Ahiru, a duck, turns into a human with the assistance of the storyteller, and with a unique pendant, she can further change into Princess Tutu, a graceful ballerina, who has the power to return the heart shards back to the prince of the story. That's when the darker main story unfolds, filled with graceful ballet scenes and emotional crescendos. As a result of mixing many different fairy tales into one, Princess Tutu sacrifices a little of consistency in some episodes, but manages to present something unique out of many common fairy tale stories woven masterfully together.
Art : 9 / 10 "Great"
The art of Princess Tutu manages to achieve turning the established world into a dreamy, magical one appropriate for a fairy tale. Gentle colors, changing in shading to represent the change in mood, gracefully drawn figures dancing ballet are some of the highlights of the artistic expression of the show. Additionally, the battles in form of ballet dancing off, strengthens the show's artistic quality, presenting something surreal in the most imaginative and enjoyable manner possible.
Sound : 10 / 10 "Masterful"
Even though using the masterpieces of the big composers, such as Tchaikovsky, in anime have become tiresome, there is not a most appropriate soundtrack for a ballet show than these classical music pieces. When Princess Tutu is dancing a pas de deux, Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake fits perfectly as the music of the scene. Classical music may be overwhelming, but it manages to add to the emotional impact of the ballet scenes, without surpassing the magnitude of emotions that the characters of the specific scene emit. As for the voice acting, the cast is also doing a masterful job. When Mytho regains a heart shard, the viewer can feel the successful regaining of the particular emotion it holds, Ahiru really reminds her true nature (that of a duck's) and when she turns into Princess Tutu she certainly changes and becomes a graceful and warm individual. Rue and Fakir also deliver a great emotional impact for their respective situations.
Characters : 8 / 10 "Very Good"
If there is a negative side of this show, this would be the slightly weaker presence of some of it's characters. Even though the voice acting is superb for all the cast, some characters feel considerably weaker, in presence and backdrop, from others. Mytho may steadily regain successfully his emotions, but loses the spotlight from the more believable and better-founded personality of Rue, making a little bit more difficult to sympathize with him. Fakir may be mysterious and intriguing, but does not measure up to Ahiru's believability, graceful and unforgettable presence. The differences on the founding of the characters may be very slight, but they certainly exist. However, all characters are believable and feel real to a very good extent, and have a great character development through the story.
Enjoyment : 9 / 10 "Great"
I loved the series for showing something unique, and with no fear of being unpopular because of it. How could I not love graceful ballet sequences like Princess Tutu's?
Verdict : 9 / 10 "Great"
A graceful and unforgettable series. Add a little of Tchaikovsky's and Korsakov's great music, a unique storyline and a touch of enchanting art and you have the successful fairy tale recipe of Princess Tutu.
If you'd like to watch a different show, rich in various thematics and allegories, then search no further, because Princess Tutu is standing tall in front of you. Are you up to the challenge of immersing yourself into a dreamy and enchanting world?