The manga adaptation of Princess Tutu is markedly different from the anime that inspired it, though the series share common plot points. It was written by Ikuko Itoh and Junichi Sato (the creator and director of the anime, respectively), and illustrated by Mizuo Shinonome. The manga was serialized in Champion Red from March to July 2003.
Rather than being a duck who turns into a girl as in the show, Ahiru Arima is a clumsy human ballet student who dreams of dancing with a prince. One day she sees a beautiful tutu in a shop, and the storekeeper, Edel, gives her a magical pendant. Wearing it, Ahiru is able to transform into Princess Tutu to restore Prince Mytho's heart pieces to him. But cold, cruel Princess Kraehe is also after the pieces, and Edel may not be as friendly as she appears...
Besides cosmetic differences, many characters were excised or altered for the manga. Pique and Lilie are replaced by Mai and Yuma, who fulfill the same basic roles. Most notably, Drosselmeyer is absent, as are many of the fairy tale motifs, though Mr. Cat remains a humanoid cat.
This manga contains examples of:
- Adapted Out: Almost every side character from the anime is adapted out, as is main character Drosselmeyer.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: In the anime Tutu's dress is white with pink trim, while here it's fully pink.
- Adaptation Species Change: Edel was a puppet in the anime, but in the manga she's human.
- Adaptational Villainy: In the anime, Edel was a kindly puppet. Here she's the main antagonist.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The heart shards possess and create a giant fish, bird, and teddy bear, which terrorize the town before Tutu can calm them.
- Big Bad: The seemingly-kind mentor Edel is the one trying to revive the Raven, and manipulates both Ahiru/Tutu and Rue/Kraehe to achieve her goals.
- The Chosen One: Ahiru is chosen to by Mytho's princess, and Rue is likewise chosen to be her rival.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Rue is clingy and jealous towards anyone who expresses interest in Mytho.
- Comedic Sociopathy: Yuma is fond of the hurt part of hurt/comfort relationships, though not as much as Lilie from the anime.
- Compressed Adaptation: 26 episodes were compressed into 2 books.
- Exact Words: Edel says Tutu is the only one who can restore Mytho's heart, and is his one and only princess. She didn't say Tutu was the only princess.
- Expy: Mai and Yuma are based on Pique and Lilie from the anime, functioning as Ahiru's normal girl friends.
- Fanservice: Kraehe's transformation has her naked body barely covered in black feathers, leaving little to the imagination.
- Heroic BSoD: In Chapter 4, Yuma is so depressed over throwing away her childhood toy Mallon that the sight of a little girl holding a teddy bear is enough to send her into tears.
- Human Sacrifice: Edel tries to sacrifice Mytho to revive the Raven.
- In Name Only: Edel is a life-size wooden puppet who helps Tutu in the anime, but in the manga she's a human and the villain who wants to revive the Raven.
- In the Name of the Moon: After transforming, Tutu says "I am Princess Tutu! I dance to guide your heart."
- The Mentor: In place of Drosselmeyer, Edel gives Ahiru her magic pendant and advises her on her quest.
- Ms. Fanservice: Edel and Kraehe wear very revealing outfits.
- Named by the Adaptation: Ahiru and Rue are given the surnames "Arima" and "Kuroda", respectively, as opposed to the anime where they went by Only One Name.
- Not as You Know Them: Edel, who was a friendly, expositional puppet in the anime, is here a sultry human shopkeeper who advises Tutu and Kraehe.
- Princesses Prefer Pink: Princess Tutu's outfit is mainly pink.
- Reality Warper: Mytho's pure heart can grant wishes, and Edel wishes to use it to revive the Raven.
- Running Both Sides: Edel is manipulating Tutu and Kraehe.
- Save the Villain: Tutu saves Kraehe in the latter's first appearance.
- Stripperiffic: Edel's outfits, especially her final one, are extremely revealing and form-fitting.
- Those Two Guys: Mai and Yuma are almost never seen apart and provide exposition at times.
- Transformation Name Announcement: Tutu announces her name when transformed, unlike the anime.
- Transformation Sequence: Tutu and Kraehe both get transformation sequences.
- Transformation Trinket: Tutu and Kraehe both transform via magical pendants.
- Treacherous Advisor: Edel turns out to be this for Tutu, using her to her own ends.
- The Vamp: Kraehe and Edel are fond of using their sex appeal to get what they want.