This review is an old review transferred from another site I posted it in. I have tweaked it a little to fit more in the context of this site. So if you think you have seen this review before, it's possible, though unlikely since it didn't get that many views.
Anime Review: Princess Tutu
Sometimes I scare myself. Why do I pick animes, which are obviously made for target audience that I'm not even close to. A long time ago, I watched Full Moon wo Sagashite, which was definitely made for little girls due to it having cute characters, plot consisting of wanting to sing and a weird absence of all things ecchi. And the scariest part was that I actually loved it.
After that odd realization, I spend a few days doing manly things like going to the gym just so I might regain my testicles. Now that I have, I throw them away again and have a crack at Princess Tutu.
Okay then, Princess Tutu. The name of the anime might be the first sign of warning for all male viewers. Every time that name was pronounced in the anime, I died inside. I died of shame. It sounded so childish and stupid that I had to lower the volume of my TV when I was watching this, just so no one could hear what the hell I was watching. That whole shame aspect kinda went along for the entire duration of this anime, which includes dancing, dancing and hell of a lot more dancing. And not just any dance, but ballet. Yes, ballet. That weird dance that involves a lot of moving around while dancing on your own toes and jumping around in small skirts that doesn't hide your underwear the slightest. And I'm not exaggerating when I say everything is done by dancing. Swordfights are danced, important conversations are danced, hell even walking is danced occasionally. Especially Princess Tutu seems to be incapable of even moving without dancing simultaneously.
Now that all men have probably left in fear of losing their testicles, I can go for the good parts.
The second I started watching this anime I felt a distinctive resemblance to Alice in Wonderland. Everything’s a friggin mess and the first episode felt like a psychedelic trip that made me wonder if the bread I just ate was still edible. After the initial confusion, I figured out that the main character Ahiru is actually a duck (Ahiru means duck in Japanese, which makes the name all too silly) and has the ability to turn into a compulsive ballet dancer called Princess Tutu. Ahiru goes to a ballet school that has a cat as a teacher, with several students also from different species. No one seems to notice this oddity except Ahiru and yourself.
The story itself is pretty original, some odd man/spirit/whatnot wants to continue his story that he left behind, when he died and promises to turn a small insignificant duck to a human, if she helps him out. Then he gives the duck a pendant that is capable of turning her into a human and further on to Princess Tutu. As the story unfolds, Ahiru becomes Princess Tutu in order to locate and return the shattered heart of his beloved (but currently emotionless) prince Mute (or Mytho whichever is the right one), whose heart was removed and scattered throughout the city. The prince of course falls in love with Princess Tutu. His girlfriend, who had been using his emotionless body to her own needs, becomes the villain of the story(or does she?), because of her jealousy. She gains similar power as Princess Tutu from the same asshole that gave Tutu her powers. Making it evident that the old man is the real bad guy in this story. The prince's best friend Fakia (sometimes Fakir) also tries to stop Tutu from gathering the heart shards, because he knows what will happen if they are gathered. Princess Tutu gathers the shards regardless of his warnings, because she is just so damn nice. So she nearly causes the destruction of everything, but manages to solve all problems with her heart-full dance that strangely makes everything better again (and causes me indirect headache).
It was very interesting to see the main character's good will and actions being the force that slowly makes things worse, even after she is specifically told not to continue. But because she is naive, she thinks she can save everyone and because of it, she almost destroys everything. Road to hell is really paved with good intentions.
The character setup was kinda fun change, since there hasn’t been a duck in any anime that I can recollect. It vaguely reminded me of an old cartoon called Alfred J. Kwak that I loved as a kid. That added a scent of nostalgia to the duck scenes, which I liked. Ahiru with her duck-like nature was a funny character and the whole concept of having animals acting as human had some hillarious effects (for example Neko-sensei was absolutely hysterical, sometimes). Sometimes though, the effects were not that hilarious, such as the Anteater lady, which in my case felt more creepy than funny. Usually though, those creepy animal-people didn’t disturb me that much, because usually they were just in one scene. I think this anime took much more advantage of it’s setup than most animes with animal-human crossovers. Not that there are many of those.
The music of the anime deserves a notice. I’m not into classical pieces that much, but once a familiar tune that you may have heard before starts to play, it brings an odd warm and fuzzy feeling.
All in all, I loved Princess Tutu, but the constant dancing forced me to keep a hurl bag next to me, as I didn’t know where my limit of tolerance was. Now choreography and dancing are fine per se, but too much sweets will make you sick. That or give you sugar rush, which I think I had for the duration of the anime, since I had a hard time staying still. This anime had a good plot, good characters, good humor, and an original style that may have gone a little over my taste. But the reason I went for this anime in the first place, was the fact that I wanted to watch something different and original, and that’s exactly what I got. I’m still not really sure whether or not to recommend this anime to anyone. It’s an interesting change from conventional anime if you are tired of that. The amount of dancing involved makes me hesitate to recommend it to other than hard-core shoujo fans. But if you can withstand some annoyances while viewing the big picture, I’m sure you will enjoy watching Princess Tutu.