This is how we’re introduced to Princess Tutu. We’re told of a man that wrote stories, and who was in the middle of writing, “The Prince and the Raven,” when he died. Without an ending, the battle between the two waged on until they escaped from the story and the prince sealed away both the raven and his own heart. All the while, the man who was said to have died looked upon the scene with glee.
That man is Drosselmeyer, a spinner of tales, writer of stories, and manipulator of all. One day a young duck dreams of dancing with a prince. Drosselmeyer, watching from a mysterious place filled with gears, sees her and bestows upon her a pendant. That pendant allows the duck to become a girl, as well as a prima ballerina superheroine by the name of Princess Tutu. From that, the story truly begins.
Princess Tutu is one of those rare shows that is just superb in almost every way. You can really see the care the creators put into it and all the different layers it has. It is at times both light and comical, and dark and tragic. Princess Tutu is a story about stories, with characters who are themselves characters in a story. Late in the series, even Drosselmeyer ponders for a moment whether or not he is himself a character in someone’s story. Unlike a lot of shows out there, these characters are multi-dimensional and change drastically throughout, as does the audience’s perception of them.
You have Duck, the heroine of our story, whose goal is to return the broken shards of our prince, Mytho’s heart back to him. We are also introduced to Fakir and Rue, who add pivotal roles to our story, but to tell you what they are would spoil half the fun.
If anyone out there is hesitating to see this because of the ballet aspect, do yourself a favor and just watch it anyway. The show contains references to ballet, but in all honesty, it’s so much more than that. You don’t have to be a fan of ballet to appreciate all of the effort the show puts into its ballet references. All of the song choices are carefully selected and include pieces many will be familiar with (such as Nutcracker and Swan Lake) and also some that are more obscure to the average viewer. Because of this, the soundtrack to the show is absolutely amazing. Princess Tutu has a score that contains some of the best-composed music in the history of music.
It really makes me sad to see how this show seems ignored by many, when it deserves so much more than that. This is one of the funniest, most heart-wrenching, dramatic, intense, well-produced television series of all time and deserves to be seen, loved, and seen again and again.
All you children who love stories, come gather round.