Mark Watches ‘Princess Tutu’: S01E04 – Giselle

In the fourth episode of the first session of Princess Tutu, Mytho disappears, and Ahiru and Rue try to find him. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Princess Tutu.

I admit that I know Giselle only very loosely, perhaps only enough to understand the basic story of the ballet. As soon as it was clear that this episode was highly referencing it, I was a little worried that I might get lost. This show deliberately parallels story lines from various ballets and fairy tales, so I know it was only a matter of time before I’d get to a point where I didn’t really get a reference.

However, the neat thing about Princess Tutu so far is that you don’t need an understanding of these references to enjoy the episode. The format of this show gives the viewer enough of an understanding to appreciate the emotional power behind each episode. This episode, then, feels similar to how “The Princess’s Vow” unfolded. Things are humorous and adorable, then they’re creepy, then the show is punching me in the feelings, and then I’m given a tiny hint of what’s to come. Hey, I’m fine with this pattern unfolding in every episode. It works super well!

It also means I get more of Pike and Lilie, and my god, I am totally enamored with them. I almost don’t want them to have a ~mysterious~ background because they’re so fun as they are. I’m beginning to see how they truly are fantastic friends to Ahiru, both in their excitement and in their desire to help her out. The opening of this episode sees Ahiru getting in trouble by Mr. Cat Teacher Man when she shouts out during one of Rue’s routines, causing Rue to fall over. I am completely perplexed as to why Cat Teacher constantly threatens marriage, and I can’t figure out if this is a reference to some fairy tale that I’ve forgotten or what. I will confess that I laughed really hard when the teacher told Ahiru he had unfortunate news for her, and then said she wasn’t marrying him. Oh my god, Ahiru’s face during this part is INCREDIBLE. She is like…politely perplexed??? Ugh, I love her. Plus, you know, I think it’s great that there’s the slightly serialized plot involving Ahiru’s position in class. What I’m curious about is if Ahiru will ever be able to dance as well as she does in the Princess Tutu form, but as Ahiru. All three forms of this character – Duck, Ahiru, and Princess Tutu – are very much real. They represent the different parts of her personality, so isn’t it possible that she has that talent within all along?

Anyway, after this, the episode moves into the mystery surrounding the next heart shard. In a matter of seconds, Mytho disappears after Ahiru spots him walking outside of class. I’m totally fascinated by the writer’s decision to have Rue come along on this journey, especially since I expected that Ahiru would always retrieve the heart shards alone. Plus, I’m well aware now that Fakir and Rue are clearly involved in Mytho’s state in some way. There’s that whole sequence where Fakir grills Rue about Mytho’s whereabouts, and when he reveals that Mytho is “feeling,” Rue looks upset. Okay, who the fuck are these two characters? What are their true roles? Oh god, I bet if I went out right now and got an anthology of fairy tales or if I spent a day in a Wikipedia abyss researching famous ballets, I bet I could figure this out. BUT I CAN’T. Are they like…guardians? Are they purposely trying to keep him emotionless? WHY?

I have so many questions, y’all. I am also worried that Ahiru just revealed her identity to Rue. I mean, how is Ahiru going to explain the fact that she was next to Rue, and then suddenly Princess Tutu was there? Oh god, this is that whole Clark Kent/Superman bullshit, isn’t it? I’m pretty sure if my friend was secretly a superhero and they changed costumes mere feet from me, I’d figure out their identity. Regardless, I liked the end sequence here. It’s Ahiru’s dancing as Princess Tutu that’s able to calm the maiden down, to stop her from pulling Mytho into the world of the dead. The show deliberately parallels the opening shot where Ahiru got in trouble, and it’s hinted that Rue would have fallen over anyway, that while she’s talented she still has room to grow as a dancer.

So what’s going to happen now that Rue knows Princess Tutu is real? I’m scared.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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