Mark Watches ‘Princess Tutu’: S02E01 – The Raven

In the first episode of the second season of Princess Tutu, YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING ME. HOW WILL I SURVIVE THIS? If you’re intrigued, then it’s time for Mark to watch Princess Tutu.

Once upon a time, there was a man who died. The prince and the raven from the man’s story escaped from the pages and did battle. It ended with the prince taking out his own heart and sealing the raven away by using a forbidden power. In a certain town, the prince who had lost his heart met a duck. Because of her love for the prince, the duck turned into a princess and gathered together the lost shards of his heart. The prince gradually regained his feelings, and at long last, he was able to regain even the feeling of love. And they lived happily ever after.

Or did they? After all, the princess is fated to turn into a speck of light and vanish the moment she tells the prince of her love for him.

GODDAMN IT, THIS SHOW HAS COMPLETELY PULLED ME INTO ITS STORY, AND IT’S RUINING EVERYTHING. Seriously, I will repeat what I said in the video attached to this review: Y’all knew this show had a million things I enjoyed in it, and you knew I’d love it, and YOU KNEW IT WOULD TRAMPLE MY HEART. And you still let me watch it anyway.

You are all Drosselmeyers, I fucking swear, and you are subsisting on my endless tragedy. I WILL NOT FORGET THIS.

This whole episode SPECIFICALLY EXISTS TO TAUNT ME. Can I submit the evidence of this?

  • It opens with a dream sequence where Ahiru dances the pas de deux with Mytho. AS AHIRU, NOT TUTU. Fucking hell, I HAVE BEEN BASICALLY ASKING FOR THIS IN EVERY REVIEW. I still firmly believe Ahiru is the one doing all of this, that what she does as Tutu is just an extension of who she is, and then this dream happens, and it’s like the show wants me to suffer. Did Drosselmeyer write this show, too? God, he probably did.
  • Mytho specifically wants Ahiru to be friends with him and for Fakir to help him. Nope, stop it, STOP TEASING ME WITH CUTE FRIENDSHIPS.
  • Oh, Fakir does what he can to ostensibly help Ahiru with her struggle with whether or not she should tell Mytho who she is. As much as he puts forth this facade of being all ~tough~ and ~super manly~, Ahiru has seen his capacity for kindness and empathy, so I’m going to totally read that scene as further evidence of that. And of the writers wanting nothing but ~endless suffering~ from me.
  • AND THEN DROSSELMEYER SHOWS UP TO COMMENT ON THE FACT THAT WHILE EVERYTHING LOOKS GREAT, IT WON’T STAY THAT WAY. You goddamn farthead, STOP IT. GO AWAY. Oh god, why? Why is Drosselmeyer? WHY?

But this is not enough for Princess Tutu. Oh, no! Warning us that the calm cannot remain is just the tip of the iceberg. Because then this fucking show gives me A REALLY HEARTWARMING FLASHBACK FROM MR. CAT’S LIFE. Mr. Cat has largely been this surreal joke on the show, and I admit that my confusion over his obsession with marriage is partially responsible for my perception of his character. But “The Raven” shows us where this man’s obsession and passion for ballet came from: Meowzinsky. Inspired by one of the great dancers of his time, we now understand why he is the way he is and why he takes ballet so seriously. It’s such a marked difference from what we’ve seen in the first “season.” It makes me wonder if this change is deliberate.

The reason I say that is that large parts of “The Raven” are so tonally jarring when you compare them to the first half of the show. Mr. Cat’s flashback is not attached to a heart shard at all. Hell, it’s not attached to the story of the Prince and the Raven either. What gives? Why introduce an element of the story that, while immensely entertaining, suggests agency on the part of these characters? Again, I think that’s intentional. Why else would Mytho suddenly become a billion times creepier? Is this also a sign that the second half of this show is going to be a whole lot darker than I expect? OH GOD, WHAT.

Agency is important to me, so even if I’m not thrilled with what these characters choose to do, I’m satisfied that the show is still giving them choices. I don’t know what “roles” they are supposed to play, and I don’t know if they’re actively fighting against them. Yet. That’s definitely something this season is going to address. I think??? OH GOD, WHAT IF I’M WRONG???

“The Raven,” however, didn’t do too much to show us where the character of Rue/Princess Kraehe is going. Well, okay, I mean that in the sense that Rue is still Kraehe as far as we know. She doesn’t seem to feel any guilt for what she did at the end of “Swan Lake.” On top of that, this episode just casually reveals that THE RAVEN IS RUE’S FATHER WHAT THE FUCK!!! Or… wait. Maybe the Raven is Kraehe’s father? I don’t understand the logistics of this at all! All I know is that the heart shard that Kraehe stabbed Mytho with was coated in raven blood. It’s the only explanation I can think of for why Mytho acts horrifying in this episode. He alternates between wincing in pain and being a super creep.

So, is Kraehe still going to be obsessed with getting Mytho to fall in love with her? I dunno, y’all, I miss Rue a lot, and I want to know more about her as a person. Has she fully given herself over to the Raven?

I also admit that I do not understand why Mytho jumped out the window. Why would the raven blood make him try to commit suicide??? Wouldn’t Kraehe be upset with that option as well? The whole sequence is kind of SUPER BEAUTIFUL AND TOUCHING, but I’m also quite confused. I DON’T GET IT. What is happening to Mytho? How is Tutu going to combat this???

Oh well, off to being HORRIBLY UNPREPARED AGAIN.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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