Mark Watches ‘Princess Tutu’: S01E13 – Swan Lake

In the thirteenth and final episode of season one of Princess Tutu, Ahiru, Mytho, and Fakir all fight their fate. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Princess Tutu.

Once upon a time, there was a prince who fell in love with a beautiful swan. The prince, however, fell into a foul trap set by a black swan, and ended up betraying his beloved swan. The prince swore his love unintentionally to the black swan. But even then, the swan abandons herself and tries to protect her beloved prince. Now is the time when the depth of their love will be tested.

  • This is a monumental episode, for what it’s worth, and I don’t know how the show is ever going to top this. Drawing heavily from Swan Lake, this particular story is a culmination of the themes we’ve seen during session one. Love. Altruism. Heroism. Sacrifice. They come together to give us a surprisingly happy ending to the first half of Princess Tutu.
  • Which is really significant! Everything before the final ten minutes of “Swan Lake” is supremely messed up. LIKE REALLY MESSED UP.
  • This episode outright confirms the cyclical nature of the story these characters are acting out. The knight is chopped in two, Tutu affirms her love and disappears, the Prince fights the raven and sacrifices his heart to save the world, and then the whole thing starts over again. How many times has this happened? More important, though: Can these people break out of their fate?
  • That’s a crucial reason why I loved “Swan Lake” so much. This is all about how these people break free from the determinism that surrounds them in order to do what they think is right. (That being said, I’m terrified by Drosselmeyer’s closing lines, because WHAT IF THEY HAVEN’T OPPOSED THEIR FATE AT ALL OH GOD HELP ME.)
  • The whole confrontation between Kraehe, Tutu, and Fakir is so unsettling because we watch Kraehe, of all characters, become emotionless. That’s a fascinating aspect of this finale. Until she “loses” the battle, she doesn’t express much of anything in the way of emotions. Oh god, that’s important, isn’t it? She claims that she took all of Mytho’s feelings when she pulled the shard out of him, but is that really the case? I’d say it’s pretty certain that the end of “Swan Lake” shows us that deep down, Mytho still had his heart within him. It was Ahiru’s love that awakened this in him.
  • Oh, hell, y’all. Fakir. Fakir. My god, I have come to respect him so much. I HATED HIM IN THE BEGINNING. But now I understand what a good friend he is, and this episode is no exception. It’s tragically ironic that in attempting to break the cycle of Mytho’s life, he fulfills the parallels to Mercutio from Romeo & Juliet. He “dies” protecting the boy he loves. Oh god, there are so many queer readings in this fucking anime, I swear I am not forcing this. I LOVE IT SO MUCH. Seriously, Fakir sacrifices his life in order to help give Mytho his heart back. IT’S TOTALLY LOVE.
  • I also adore that in the end, Fakir trusts Tutu. He knows that she is Ahiru and Duck, and he still puts his best friend’s future in her hands. It’s so beautiful. No, I’m not crying, I SWEAR.
  • Fuck it, who cares if we cry over this? We shall become Fakir, and we shall cry in front of Duck because men can cry, goddamn it, and because Fakir’s growth as a character is incredible.
  • Like, okay, if you haven’t seen Swan Lake before, I still think this episode absolutely works. The writers do a great thing with conveying how important the solo pas de deux is and why Tutu dancing to win the heart shard is a big deal. But if you do know Swan Lake (which is the only ballet I have ever seen in person THANK YOU HIGH SCHOOL DRAMA CLASS!!!), oh my fucking god, this episode ascends to another stratosphere of incredible. It’s brilliant, especially since the whole sequence with the solo pas de deux is absolutely one of the best parts of Swan Lake.
  • Oh god, like… I still can’t view Rue/Kraehe as a villain??? I know she is an antagonistic force at the end of this “season,” but I feel horrible for her. She didn’t choose to become this person. So who is she now? She clearly gives up in defeat here, but where does that leave her for the second half of this show? Can she continue being a villain? She knows that deep down, Mytho will never love her. Plus, Ahiru has always shown us that she’s willing to treat Rue with sympathy and kindness, so I don’t think Ahiru would continue to “fight” with Rue. It doesn’t fit. So what is Rue’s role?
  • OH MY GOD, EDEL GAVE UP HER LIFE TO SAVE FAKIR OH MY GOD OH MY GOD THIS FUCKING SHOW. I was already trying to repair my heart from the loss of Fakir, and then we see how Ahiru’s empathy changed a fucking puppet. Do you realize what a huge moment this is??? Ahiru, I adore you and what you’ve done so much. My heart. MY HEART.
  • Edel asks Tutu and Mytho to dance a pas de deux for her before she dies. SO FUCKING DONE WITH THIS SHOW.
  • Except I’m not because FUCKING DROSSELMEYER IS A LITTLE SHIT. Oh, you wanted a tragic end? WHY? WAS THIS NOT ENOUGH? Oh god, who is this son of a beluga??? I hate that he essentially makes me doubt the happiness I felt at the end of this. Are they moving towards their real “roles”? Did they really break fate? WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON IN THIS FUCKING SHOW?

Just a reminder! My predictions will go up tomorrow at 2pm PST, and we’ll start season two on Wednesday! HUZZAH!

Mark Links Stuff

 I am going on tour in 2013! There are 27 tour dates spread across the eastern half of North America. Please help suggest venues, offer up a place to crash, and RSVP for dates near you!
- ALL VIDEO COMMISSIONS WILL CLOSE ON FEBRUARY 9TH SO THAT I CAN WRITE POSTS IN ADVANCE FOR TOUR. The only exception to this are any upcoming projects I am doing, so I have listed all upcoming Mark Watches posts that are missing commissions.
- You can, however, commission me to read bad fic/fiction on ANY Mark Does Stuff Tour date. You can claim a specific date to have a live reading right here.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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