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YMMV / Princess Tutu

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  • Audience-Alienating Premise: Its very title, especially to a Western ear, and its basic plot of a magical ballerina dancing for the love of her beloved prince make it sound like the whole show is an overly saccharine fluff-fest, even when its heavier thematic elements come into play from early on in the story.
  • Awesome Music: Considering that the soundtrack is entirely taken from famous ballet/classical pieces, all the music in this show might qualify.
    • Also, it's produced by Kaoru Wada, well known for the music of anime such as Inuyasha. Doesn't that just scream awesome?
      • Particular candidates for Crowning Music of Awesome are the "Waltz of the Flowers", which plays during Ahiru's first transformation into Princess Tutu in the beginning of the series (it's also sampled at the end of the title sequence) and her final dance at the end of the series, the "Swan Lake Waltz", which plays during Ahiru and Rue's duel at the end of the first season, Mussorgsky's "The Great Gate of Kiev" when Tutu flies down to save Fakir from having his hands cut off, and setting the Demon Raven's revival to Danse Macabre.
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    • Not in the show itself, but the award-winning Hold Me Now AMV deserves mention for helping to spark interest in the show.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: A subversion; Femio actually resists Kraehe's attempt to take his heart in hilariously preposterous fashion. The subversion is the fact that the Raven and Mytho actually use this incident as evidence that no one will ever fall in love with the poor girl. However, the fact that he saw Kraehe as a beutiful woman and did not look away helps to plant the seeds that Autor will later make grow....
  • Complete Monster: In the manga adaptation of the anime, Edel is the owner of a ballet shop. While she appears friendly and helpful, Edel is secretly planning to release the Raven from within her, thus plunging the world into darkness. Upon realizing that Ahiru and Rue both have feelings for Mytho, Edel manipulates them into collecting the pieces of the prince's heart. When Ahiru and Fakir confront her, Edel takes Fakir and Rue hostage. In a proposition, Edel threatens to kill the two if Ahiru doesn't give her the pendant. With Princess Tutu defeated, Edel attempts to cut out Mytho's heart as a sacrifice to the Raven. Edel stands as a shocking contrast to her original counterpart, and is ultimately a sadistic, psychotic woman who sees herself as a herald for the Raven.
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  • Cult Classic: Especially within the late 2010's anime community, where it's mostly fondly remembered and passed down by an older generation of fans.
  • Die for Our Ship: Poor Rue faces the brunt of it, even in a show that clearly illustrates both the unhealthy consequences of her actions as well as how she deserves to be loved regardless of what she thinks of herself.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Femio. He appears in only one episode, but is one of the most popular characters.
  • Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory : Particularly the short stories at the beginning of each episode and their meaning towards the plot.
  • Fandom-Specific Plot: If you write Princess Tutu fanfic, there's a good chance you've written a story in which Fakir writes a story to turn Duck back into a girl or turns himself into a duck.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Very few fans actually pair Ahiru with Mytho, instead preferring to pair her with Fakir. Considering how the finale ended, they were probably onto something. Princess Tutu x Mytho, however, has a rather large following.
    • On the BL end, Even now Mytho and Fakir still get paired up together likely because of their canon Ho Yay, but blatantly disregarding the abusive boyfriend undertones most times.
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  • Foe Yay: Ahiru and Rue's relationship as rivals, and Princess Tutu and Princess Kaehe's relationship as enemies, at least on Princess Tutu's side.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Episode 7 has a funny conversation between Drosselmeyer and Duck as his attempts to get her to reconsider throwing away the pendant backfire. Upon rewatch it becomes much more chilling, as this is the first real glimpse of how much Duck will suffer later on, and the first indication of how much Drosselmeyer loves tragedies.
  • Genius Bonus: Rivals Ghost in the Shell for the sheer number of these. Naturally, these are all related to music, dance, and so on, but most people would have to see the translator's notes to get half of these. Big example of Shown Their Work.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Ho Yay Shipping:
    • You will get an "abusive boyfriend" vibe from Fakir toward Mytho; and depending on who you ask, there's also subtext between Ahiru and Rue, as well as Autor and Fakir.
    • Outtakes from the dub have the voice actors hamming up the Ho Yay to the max...
    • An in-universe example occurs in episode 17, where a raven blood-addled Mytho temporarily regains control and performs the mime for front of Femio. A good few hearts are broken by this "revelation".
    • Another in-universe example: When Fakir returns to school after being suspended, Mytho gives him a hug. Cue a roomful of girls screaming with delight. One even faints.
    • Fakir acts like a very possessive, abusive lover to Mytho. When you find out the reason is because Mytho has no self-preservation instinct in his heartless state, it makes more sense and turns the Ho Yay up a notch. Also, during the promotional video, Fakir and Mytho are seen dancing together, and Fakir embraces him from behind. And upon his suspension ending and Fakir returning to school, Evil!Mytho gives him a great big hug in front of the entire class, which they definitely take notice of.
    • Ahiru and Rue get some Les Yay as well, due to their status as rivals and, in their heroic forms, enemies Not to mention Rue picking Ahiru as her dance partner in episode 2. And telling each other "I love you" in the final episode. Not as romantic in context, but still!
  • Jerkass Woobie: Kraehe, before becoming a flat-out Woobie.
  • Memetic Molester: If he's not already, Drosselmeyer should be one. Children who like stories, come here!
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Ninjas duelling with guitars
    • To be more elaborate, the ever-so-epic Guitar Ninjas came into being when somebody posted this image review of the series. No actual guitar-playing ninjas appear in the series, but Anonymous agrees that it is still a very apt metaphor.
    • Courtesy of the DesuDesBrigade, "Real Men Watch Princess Tutu!"
  • Narm:
    • In Akt 7, Ahiru has a nightmare. It involves Princess Tutu dancing towards Mytho on her tiptoes, and him screaming in fear. Uh...
    • In the first episode, Duck's declaration of, "I am Princess Tutu!" Note that at this point, we have no idea what that means.
    • Mytho's half-hearted screams in the first handful of episodes of the dub. Granted, he has no emotions, but it's still funnier than it is dramatic.
  • Never Live It Down: Try to convince anyone this is a dark, well written, and a Mind Screw of a story after telling them the name of this anime.
  • Periphery Demographic: At the end of the day, it is a kids' show, but its Gaiman-esque dark fantasy elements can attract viewers of all ages, including older men.
  • The Scrappy: Pique and Lilie can certainly wear on most viewers' patience, especially Lilie and her cutesy/sadistic attitudes.
  • Slow-Paced Beginning: It starts off as a usual story about a cutesy Magical Girl, funny animals with a basic Gotta Catch Them All story plot. But after a few episodes it quickly starts to deconstruct every one and focus on a dark Mind Screw.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • How interesting would it have been if Rue/Kraehe was REALLY the raven from the legend, as it was implied in the first half of the show before the actual raven appeared? The romantic angle would've been a neat twist.
    • Also, what if Rue/Kraehe was REALLY the raven's daughter instead of a case of Changeling Tale, it would have made several of Rue's interactions, especially with the Raven, much more interesting, and the author could have added interesting reasons for why she looks human.
    • Though they hold major importance to the meta-narrative, the Book Men as an organization doesn't have a lot of development. Though they've always "been there" they don't do anything until the later parts of the series.
  • The Woobie:
    • In-Universe, Ahiru's friends Pique and Lilie view her as this in the story itself, and particularly Lilie seems to really embrace the disturbing hurt/comfort element to the role.
    • As mentioned above, Kraehe crosses from Jerkass Woobie into this by the end of the series.
    • Poor Mytho gets beaten, abused, and patronized throughout much of the series by multiple people, effectively making him this.


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