Princess Tutu

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Princess Tutu
Original Manga Mizuo Shinonome
Director/Artist Junichi Sato

Shogo Koumoto

Format Anime (TV)
Made By Hal Film Maker
Episode Length 25 minutes
# of Eps/Volumes 26


Fantasy, Magical Girl, Shoujo

Sum it up in a Sentence:

A duck who becomes a human ballerina and her companions must fight against their assigned fates.

Main Description

Princess Tutu includes elements of fairy tales and famous ballets, particularly Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake. The series follows Duck, a duck who has transformed into a young girl who attends school and takes ballet, and her efforts to restore the heart of her mysterious schoolmate Mytho by transforming into Princess Tutu. The series explores the consequences of her actions and how they affect her and those around her, particularly Duck's classmate Rue, who is in love with Mytho, and Fakir, Mytho's childhood friend. It becomes apparent that Duck, Rue, Mytho, and Fakir are meant to play out the roles of characters in a story written by a writer named Drosselmeyer, but the characters begin to resist the constraints of their assigned fates and they fight to keep the story from becoming a tragedy.

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Personal Opinions


This series is better than what I expected it to be. The story is not presented in a traditional manner. In fact the show is about the nature of storytelling itself. This can lead to some surreal situations, but it never gets too nonsensical. The characters themselves actually develop and surprisingly avoids some cliches. The soundtrack uses classical ballet music to great effect. Overall, its a good series that is worth checking out.


Assorted facts:

  • A ton of research went into Princess Tutu. It shows.
  • The standard Princess Tutu recommendation process usually involves this AMV. Spoilers.
  • Due to Japanese TV scheduling shenanigans, every episode in the second season is broken into two parts. It doesn't effect the narrative much, since on the R1 release the parts are all put back together; but it's worth noting anyway in case someone wants to know why some sites say the show has 26 episodes and others 37.


With amazing story and excellent presentation, Princess Tutu is a genre-defying mix of everything good. Don't let the first episode fool you. Also, the show is broken up into two 13-episode arcs, and the second is even better than the first. One of my top 5 shows.


Yeah, this was a big surprise for me. Only watched it because so many people couldn't shut up about it, and so I made it eligible four the ADTRW Simulwatchathon. And it was GOOD. Very well written and styled, classy. I can see why it'd be hard to get people to watch it but it REALLY DOES RULE.


Don't let the magical girl label fool you. Tutu is anything but your standard MG fare. Sure it possesses an x-of-the-week stylizing for the most part, but instead of using that as THE plot, the x-of-the-week instead ends up being simply more of a device for the plot. Something with which to deeply expand upon the characters, their motivations, their actions and interactions. The show's underlying theme of defying one's own fate is a powerful message that they never sideline or forget, and the buildup to the ending beginning with the second half of the show is amazing.

Give it a shot. Watch it. Love it. Tutu is much, much more than just a show about ballet.


The thing you have to know about Princess Tutu before going in is that it is a show for little girls. It can get pretty insufferably dull at points if you're going in expecting something amazing because it doesn't really get great until the last five episodes. Only two characters ever really get any sort of character development (with one of those two being dull and predictable) and most of the cast only exists for their own one-note running gag that wears out it's welcome within the first half of the show. Only a few characters are actually genuinely interesting and entertaining, and the main protagonist is not among them.

The first season of the show is a good "X of the week" experience. The music and ballet dancing combine to make a potentially very boring premise interesting enough to be watchable. After the first season ends, the show's pacing starts to fall apart and you enter about six or so episodes of complete boredom as one of the worst cliche mind-control plots ever takes place. The pacing issues partially stem from the show airing in 15 minute episodes on TV, every 2 of which were combined into a single episode for the DVD.

The last five or so episodes is where the show really pays off. The way the show plays with the idea of having everything that takes place be a story that someone else is writing is amazing, and Fakir gets more character development than everyone else in the series put together. This is admittedly not hard to do since basically no one in this show gets any sort of interesting character development other than Fakir, but the way the show goes about it is excellent. The boring setup from the first half of the second season pays off with some really great plot twists and concepts.

Overall, Princess Tutu is definitely worth a watch. It's a great show to give to small children, and there is enough in here to keep an older viewer entertained despite some really boring episodes and plot elements.