Princess Tutu

Season 1 Episode 1

Akt 01 - Kapitel des Eies: Ahiru and the Prince ~ Der Nußknacker: Blumenwalzer

Aired Unknown Aug 16, 2002 on
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Episode Summary

Turned into a girl, all she wants to do is put a smile on Mytho's face. But Duck will have one big ride with doing that.

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  • When she drops at the sight of her crush, he catches her spraining his ankle.His possessive caretaker does not permit Duck to see him, but when she sees him throwing himself out a window, she can't help but save him. With a unique power from a pendent.moreless

    This episode shows all the characters you ever really need to know. (With the Exception of Miss Edel) This is such a girly series, you can't help but fall in love with. But it definitely is not meant for children, with brief glimpses of nudity. Lucy Christian does a beautiful job with the voice of Duck. (Although it is a bit squeaky, you learn to love it) The setting has such a dreamlike quality. And the prologue to the each episode is Gothic spin on our favorite ballets and fairy tales. With this series, you either love it or hate it. There is no real inbetweens here.moreless
  • Once upon a time... There was a storyteller who died. A story was left without an ending, a prince survived without a victory, and a villain remained unconquered. And then a duck decided to help out. Quack! Welmoreless

    Ahiru lives in an enchanted town where the story of the prince and the crow is not a mere fairy tale, but the only reality they've ever known. Due to the storyteller's desire to see a great story, Ahiru has been brought in the story--changed from a duck to the girl named Ahiru (which, oh so coincidentally, means duck in Japanese), with the ability to transform into Princess Tutu. In this guise she can gracefully dance as Ahiru never could, and she can fulfill her desire of helping the prince without a heart.

    Ahiru is no ordinary girl, nor is the town she lives in a simple little place. For starters, Ahiru has a cat for a ballet instructor, who threatens the students with marriage (to him!) if they step out of line. The entire town is littered with those who seem to be under some kind of enchantment--or curse. Ahiru herself first seems to be a normal girl--she's an awkward, gangly student, she has two squabbly best friends, Pike/Pique and Ririe/Lilie, and a crush on the handsome but silent Mute (also spelled Mythos*), who is also one of the best dancers in the school. But neither Mute nor Ahiru--nor anyone in this town--are exactly who they appear to be. [For more information on how the series begins, see the Introduction.]

    The anime is a fascinating mixture of many different elements. It most prominently uses the music of Tchaikovsky, as well as of other classical composers. It relies on a different ballet for most every episode, using the music and story elements from each to move its own story forward. Throughout each episode, bizarre bits of humor are sprinkled throughout--how could a duck/gangly girl/princess not lend itself to humorour situations? And the excellent animation is beautiful at times and yet perfectly quirky according to the character.

    Sick of episodic shoujo shows? Tired of plots that...don't really exist? Want a show where you don't want to smack all the characters? This show is for you. ^_- From its very first episode, the series moves smoothly along--there are no fillers, and in each episode something important is revealed about the plot and/or its characters. Nothing is quite as it seems--this is the rule that underlies this engaging anime. As soon as you think you have certain characters pegged down--for example, Ahiru finds challenges in Mute's cold and protective friend Fakia (also spelled Fakir) and the lovely but aloof rival, Ruu (also spelled Rue)--something occurs that causes you to reverse that assumption. Ahiru does not easily embrace the role that the storyteller has given her. Awkward and rather quirky, Ahiru is a likable character because she tries to do what is best for Mute, as well as for others, even though she has her own misgivings and challenges to overcome. The cast of characters is wonderful because there are interesting aspects to be learned about each, and they all mesh so perfectly together.

    Combining elements of folk tales, ballets (in particular, themes from The Nutcracker are used everywhere), in addition to its own unique story and diverse, interesting characters, this show is a delightful, sweet and endearing series for everyone to enjoy. To give away more of the plot would be a disservice to the enjoyment of the show, but it has an incredible ending that while it leaves you wishing there was another season, makes you think, "That fits perfectly." Part of the delight in watching is to see the secrets and stories revealed that the creators have plotted out from the beginning. Even though the show takes elements from fairy tales, the characters are much more than two-dimensional heroes who easily emerge victorious and princesses who are easily rescued. An engaging show bursting to the pores with creativity, the endearing cast of characters enchants you and makes this one of the best shoujo series in a long time.


Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Introduction to the Episode: Once upon a time, there was a man who died. The man's work was the writing and telling of stories, but he could not defy death. The last story he was working on was about a brave and handsome prince who vanquishes a crafty raven. But now it seems their battle will go on for eternity. "I'm sick and tired of this!" cried the raven. "I'm sick and tired of this!" cried the prince as well. The raven escaped from the pages of the story and the prince pursued the foul creature. In the end, the prince took out his own heart and sealed the raven away by using a forbidden power. Just then, a murmur came from somewhere. "This is great!" said the old man who was supposed to have died.

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (7)

    • The German subtitle for this episode is"Der Nußknacker: Blumenwalzer", meaning "The Nutcracker: Waltz of the Flowers" in English. It is also the name for the piece of music that plays during the climax of the episode.

    • Duck's theme that is used in every episode starting with this one is a variation on Tchaikovsky's "Miniature Overture" from The Nutcracker.

    • Neko-sensei's (Mr. Cat) theme is heard for the first time. It is "The Wedding March" from Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

    • Other music heard throughout this episode includes, "Dance of the Sugarplum Fairies," "Waltz of the Flowers," and the "March," from The Nutcracker, as well as the "Waltz," from Swan Lake, both ballets composed by Tchaikovsky.

    • The theme song is done by the same person who did Fruits Basket theme song in the Japanese version, Ritsuko Okazaki.

    • Mr.Cat, the students teacher, is a walking cat who threatens to marry them if they do something wrong. No, I'm not kidding.

    • The dance they dance is Ballet. They all attend Ballet school.