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Fridge / Princess Tutu

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As a Fridge subpage, all spoilers are unmarked as per policy. You Have Been Warned.

Fridge Brilliance

  • Any Fridge Logic could be justified with "Drosselmeyer wrote it that way."
  • The story is based on Swan Lake but Failure Knight Fakir doesn’t have a role based on the ballet like the other main characters. Guess who ends up having the power to screw up the whole story so it has a happy ending? Also, Fakir is the first of the characters to break from his role in the story, refusing to die; even Tutu's idea to express her feelings through dance instead of words comes after that.
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  • Nobody took Femio seriously, and his inflated sense of how awesome he is was seemingly exemplified when he paints himself in spots and does a really weird dance. His response to everyone being Blue with Shock is that he's just a misunderstood genius. Turns out Femio performed Afternoon of a Faun, a dance which drew controversy for its informal movements and sexual overtones. He did a dance that nobody at a ballet school accepted as ordinary; he really is ahead of his time! And the fact that it's such a controversial dance probably added to it.
  • The end has Duck save the town through the power of hope, which seems cliche. This is because the one writing the story is Fakir, who is an amateur writer at best.
  • Ahiru is a duck, and Princess Tutu is a swan. At first, this looks like your basic "ugly duckling" setup. But think about the Ugly Duckling story. Ducks don't grow up into swans, they stay ducks. Further proof that Ahiru's real self was the duck all along.
  • Rue becomes Princess Kraehe by putting on a pair of cursed slippers; in episode 10, which deconstructed Cinderella, she appears and tries to marry Mytho with Tutu, who is her rival for him, as a sacrifice. Well, what happened to the wicked stepfamily in the Cinderella tale? They had their eyes pecked some versions, by Creepy Crows.
    • And let's not forget about what Cinderella is about: an abused girl who dances with a prince and becomes a princess through The Power of Love. And it turns out that Rue fits this perfectly!
  • The Cinderella tale can also be applied to Ahiru.
    • Both undergo a transformation that presents a “better” self to their love interests. The fairy godmother gives Cinderella a makeover and special slippers. Drosselmeyer gives Ahiru/Duck a magic pendant that allows her to become a girl and Princess Tutu.
    • Their love interests don’t find out who they really are until the end of the story, with Prince Charming finding out that Cinderella is actually a servant and Mytho learning that Princess Tutu is a duck.
    • The opening ends with the narrator asking, “Did the prince truly love the princess after all?” At one point in the anime, Ahiru/Duck explicitly states that Mytho didn’t truly like her, but Princess Tutu. It turns out that Mytho was only infatuated with Princess Tutu since she represented the hope of him getting his heart back. He chooses Rue as his princess.
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    • After Cinderella loses her slipper, she never becomes the beautiful princess (through the fairy godmother’s magic) again. When Ahiru/Duck gives up her pendant to Mytho, she never becomes Princess Tutu again.
    • When Cinderella loses her shoe, it is found by her Prince Charming, who keeps it to search for the girl it belongs to. When Ahiru/Duck loses the pendant in Akt 10, Fakir found it and tried using it to discover Tutu’s true identity.
  • Romantic-Era Ballet comes in two acts, Light and Dark. The first act (Light) was traditionally set in a town, had colorful and predominantly light-colored costumes, and showcased a very pure and selfless love between a noble and a commoner. The second act (Dark) was usually set in a forest or graveyard, involved the death or ruin of the male protagonist, had an increased number of females, and usually had much darker costumes. Princess Tutu is set up in two seasons, which are themselves the two acts of a Romantic Era Ballet.
  • When Ahiru and Fakir danced in the Lake of Despair, they're in water and Ahiru is a duck, so it'd be the one time where she could dance gracefully as a girl and not as Princess Tutu.
    • The Lake of Despair scene is important for another reason: Swan Lake, the ballet which Tutu takes most of its influence from, originally ends with Odette drowning herself and the prince following soon after (this usually results in the spell being broken on the rest of Rothbart's victims, and Odette and the prince ascending to Heaven together). Now apply all of that to the penultimate episode.
    • There's more! In Akt 14, Ahiru/Duck wonders when and if she will be able to dance a pas de deux with the prince as Ahiru, not Tutu. The only time she dances in the way that she was meaning is when she danced with Fakir in the Lake of Despair.
  • Princess Tutu is fated to turn into a speck of light and vanish if she tells the prince of her love, right? Well, in the final episodes, by giving the prince his last heart shard, which is the pendant that turns her human, Tutu vanishes in a flash of light and goes back to being a duck. So although Duck still exists, she can no longer become Princess Tutu. Therefore, she has disappeared just as the story said she would.
  • Fakir is the Knight fated to die for the Prince. While he doesn’t die, he did give up his life to protect Mytho. In a way, he died in a more figurative sense since he lost his innocence. As a little boy, he swore to always protect him and from then on, has dedicated his life to protecting Mytho. He begins to lose his innocence as only a little kid when Mytho gets into an incident and is badly injured. Rather than interacting with the other students at the academy, he focused on protecting Mytho, constantly being at his side and researching in the library for ways to help him. The students are carefree; unlike him, they don’t understand the terror and pressure of being responsible for another person. Fakir sacrificed a ”normal” life and childhood to be the Prince’s loyal Knight.
  • In the finale, the Prince uses a magic spell very similar to Princess Tutu's "Flower Waltz" maneuver. Princess Tutu gained all her powers from a shard of the Prince's heart. So it was really his magic she was using all along!
  • Episode Seventeen has Fakir reading a book with a torn-out ending. What book is it? A real book, a summary of important German stories. Specifically, this is a section about The Neverending Story. It's about a young boy entering the world of story and changing that world.
  • Ahiru transforms back into a duck when she "quacks" and most of the times she has quacked is when she's impressed or scared; what would you scream when you're surprised? "What?!" should be the answer. The fridge brilliance comes when, if you know the basics of French you know that "what" in French is "quoi", which when pronounced sounds similar to... Quack. So when Ahiru is surprised she literally quacks and asks "what?!", and the surprise is such that she transforms back!
  • In Akt 7 when Duck decides to quit being Princess Tutu because she starts to worry that what she's doing is wrong Drosselmeyer uses some sort of time travel device that allows him to directly communicate with Duck. He explains that she's needed to make the story work and it won't work if she throws her pendant away. Being pretty creepy like he is he scares Duck away. Right after she runs off he says something along the lines of "I'll leave this to you". At first glance it could just seem like an odd line directed at Duck about him hoping she won't quit but the first person Duck runs into after seeing Mytho being pulled into the river is Edel (who is a puppet made by Drosselmeyer to keep the story going in the right direction) who gives Duck back her pendant so the story can continue. So Drosselmeyer was actually telling Edel to be there in just the right time to help Duck for when she decided to return to being Princess Tutu.
  • In the ED, duck Ahiru is sleepily floating over a lake, then a boy in the school's uniform is reflected in the water, she wakes up and blushes. In the beginning, one could consider the boy is Mytho, but look closely, Ahiru isn't wearing the pendant pointing at the ending of the series. She gave up the pendant to return Mytho's last heartshard, Mytho left with Rue and everyone forgot her, except Fakir, who promised to stay by her side and Ahiru's feelings for him have grow stronger.
  • Malen had been possessed by Mytho's heart shard of devotion. What does she do afterward? Obsessively draw portraits of Rue, and only Rue. That's right, Mytho loves Rue THAT much.
  • Why would child-Rue give Mytho water by drinking it and kissing him? Simple - Rue was raised by a raven, and birds transfer their food to their chicks by doing beak to beak and vomiting their food up. Also might count as Fridge Squick.
  • The Arc Words "May those who accept their fate be granted happiness. May those who defy their fate be granted glory." as applied to Ahiru and Rue's story is an interesting one.
    • In season 1, Ahiru is the one accepting her fate, playing the role of Princess Tutu throughout the whole season as intended, minus a 10-Minute Retirement. It's only at the end that Ahiru starts defying fate, which ironically is what grants her happiness and calls Mytho to her. However, she didn't truly defy fate yet - just took advantage of Exact Words. Still, it hints at her position in season 2.
    • Contrarily wise, Rue is the one defying fate, fighting against the story as she fears losing Mytho as his heart returns to him. She becomes Kreahe through this and at the end of the season, she loses. Going against the story does not grant her happiness, which influences her choice in season 2.
    • By season 2, Ahiru starts questioning things, defying her fate over time and refusing to play into Drosselmeyer's tragedy. But at the very end, what does she do? She does both at once, accepts her fate to not be Princess Tutu in the end and then defies it yet again to help Mytho. At the end, it's implied Ahiru does get her happiness, as Fakir keeps his promise to be with her and yet she also has the glory of being the one that Fakir uses to change the ending of the story.
    • Rue, contrasting Ahiru as always, is accepting fate throughout season 2. Believing it will grant her happiness. But she's wrong, so terribly wrong. Because Ahiru got her happiness in season 1 by defying her fate, if a bit. So by the end, Rue defies fate and uses The Power of Love to save Mytho, despite that not being her role in this story. And through that, she gets her happiness, though not before also accepting her fate of eternal despair...just before Mytho shows up and saves her. Glory and happiness both for Rue as well.
  • Season 1 has Ahiru's transformation preceded by a narration from Drosselmeyer. Season 2 drops this. And not for no reason either; in the first season, Ahiru basically followed along with the "plot" so of course the "author" narrates it. By season 2 however, she turns away from that and seeks her own ending instead of what Drosselmeyer wants.
  • Why was it that Duck was so able to defy her intended role and instill an element into the story, Hope, that was never planned for? Why was she able to inspire not only Drosselmeyer after having his story stuck for over a decade but Fakir to connect with his own writing talents? Because she's not just a character or a duck — she’s a muse. She is something from the world outside that the very sight or thought of leads to change in a story! As any writer can tell you, once the muse takes you there's no telling where things will end up!
  • Two of Rue's most prevalent traits is her raven and crow motif and her single-target sexuality for Mytho. Generally, ravens and crows are monogamous. By contrast, Ahiru, who is actually a duck, a species that isn't as strictly monogamous as the former two (being more specific, they generally form seasonal-bonds rather than long-term bonds), finds her second love in Fakir.

Fridge Horror

  • Drosselmeyer is a tragedy-loving writer who has the power to warp reality with his writing. How many people have to suffer from tragedies he wrote? No wonder the Bookmen chopped off his hands.
  • Princess Tutu ends with Ahiru/Duck remaining a duck for the rest of her life. This is mildly horrifying if you know anything about the rape-riffic "love life" of ducks and the evolutionary arms race in their genitalia. Sleep tight.
    • Her last scene sees her lounging in the water near Fakir, right? She'll be fine.
      • Seconded. I really doubt Fakir will let Ahiru wander too far and too long from him, and even then if there's problems he'll jump to protect her ASAP.
    • That only applies to some species of duck.
  • How about Uzura? At the end of the show, she’s just shown going off with Drosselmeyer, with the implication that he’s going to try using her as a puppet again like he did to Ms. Edel. Even if he doesn’t, the prospect of him actually parenting her might be even more frightening, especially considering the abusive, manipulative parental relationship he forced Rue into, via the Raven.