Mark Watches ‘Princess Tutu’: S02E02 – Coppelia

In the second episode of the second season of Princess Tutu, Mytho’s transformation quickens as one of Ahiru’s friends becomes involved. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Princess Tutu.

Once upon a time, there was a man who fell in love with a doll. Perhaps the man’s love made itself felt, for one day, the doll came to life and began to dance. The man was delighted. He thought a doll would never betray his love, and that now he could have the world’s most pure and innocent love all to himself. Unfortunately for him, the doll who had been given life rejected the man’s love, and fell in love with another man.

I’m fascinated by the way that Princess Tutu is able to be fully serialized while still dealing in one-off/singular themes. “Coppelia” addresses the idea of giving yourself over to another person in a way that’s inappropriate and creepy. Here, it’s Pike’s devotion to Mytho that’s nonsensical and downright dangerous. And look, I had never seen Coppélia before I watched this episode! I had to Google it afterwards. (HOLY PARALLELS. MY GOD.)

That doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate what happens in “Coppelia.” We’re still dealing with the same thing: unhealthy devotion. At the same time, the writers are forcing us to examine exactly who these characters are. How can Ahiru be the hero if her only role has been manipulated by the Raven? How can Fakir save his best friend if he ironically destroyed the one thing that could reset this mess? Do Ahiru’s friends play a larger role in this story than we previously thought? So much of what I’ve seen in these past two episodes is all about changing my perspective. Oh god, that means I am literally as unprepared as ever, aren’t I?

I have to be. I admit to y’all that this episode confuses the hell out of me, but I’m going to attempt to guess what’s going on. First of all, “Coppelia” opens the day after Mytho’s bizarre jump from his bedroom window. Again, perception is everything here. Lilie claims that she saw a white bird (a swan) guide Mytho to the ground after Fakir pushed Mytho out the window. OKAY, SO… WHAT??? Oh my god, Mytho tried to frame Fakir? I mean, look, I know Mytho is under the spell of the raven blood, but I still don’t understand what he’s trying to do! The only possible explanation I have for this is that the Raven is trying to push Fakir away through Mytho. That would explain why Mytho is so determined to upset Fakir. The whole scene where Mytho gets slapped is evidence that the school is fostering a negative opinion of Fakir. Is this the whole purpose of Mytho’s transformation beyond falling for Kraehe/Rue?

Regardless, I still have questions about what the hell is going on. How come no one else here saw Princess Tutu? Or… wait. Did someone else? Or did all the students see a swan like Lilie did? Most importantly, WHAT THE FUCK DOES THIS MEAN? Like, this is not some throwaway detail, is it? I think it’s a big deal when other people see an animal where there isn’t one. Which makes me wonder… are all the animal characters actually people, but we’re seeing them through Ahiru’s eyes? Do they appear as animals to the other students? THIS IS SO CONFUSING TO ME.

And what is Rue’s role in all of this? This episode features the first time we’ve seen Rue as Rue, not Kraehe, but she doesn’t seem all that aware of what’s going on. Or does she? I DON’T EVEN FUCKING KNOW. And then her father is literally a giant raven who is trapped in some bizarre alternate universe where she can visit???

But what shocked me the most was the use of Pike. She and Lilie have always been in the background of this show, providing humorous commentary, so it was strange to see Pike take such an active role. Initially, I simply thought she was just being considerate, but this quickly became obsession. She followed Mytho around, and Mytho loved it. What the hell? Why would this happen so suddenly? Then when Pike said she was dating Mytho, I was just completely lost. THAT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE. Doesn’t Mytho want to end up with Kraehe? WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON? It wasn’t until after Kraehe’s conversation with her raven father that I actually figured out what was going on. Y’all, I figured something out like 60 seconds before it happened. I am slowly learning to be prepared.

I can’t say I get the inner workings of how this is happening, but Mytho was able to get Pike to fall completely in love with him, so much so that she was willing to give up her own heart to be with him. The parallel to the story of the Prince and the Raven is not lost on me, but here it’s twisted in this horrific way. Pike was willingly going to become a “doll” for Mytho so she could love him purely. (Hello, Coppélia references! I GET IT NOW.) However, all Mytho wanted was her heart as a sacrifice.

This is so fucked up. Clearly, the more time that Mytho is under the influence of the raven blood, the more he becomes a raven himself. I was impressed, then, that Ahiru was able to convince Pike to abandon her plan to sacrifice herself. As far as I can guess, it was a matter of breaking the hypnotization she was under, and guess how she does this? By reasoning with her through dance. I will forever love how this show does battle sequences. They dance and talk, and it’s beautiful. (Take that, Jet. Who says women don’t use reason?)

There is one brief moment at the end where Mytho, the real Mytho, shines through. Oh god, he’s at war with himself, isn’t he? Then fucking Drosselmeyer has to go and be a bigot at the end. Dude, I don’t know who can purify Mytho’s heart! I LITERALLY DON’T KNOW THE ANSWER BECAUSE YOU HAVEN’T GIVEN IT TO ME YET. Drosselmeyer, I swear, stop teasing me with your own story, you asshole.

NOTE: For the time being, there will be no more Vimeo Mark Watches videos. Yesterday, the company deleted my entire account due to Warner Bros accusing me of copyright infringement, and I’ve lost access to all my videos, including the one scheduled for today. From here on out until things change otherwise, you can download all MW video commissions in my public folder on Dropbox, which will also stream up to 15 minutes of any video. Files will be in an unedited .mov file so that they can play on Macs (with Quicktime) or PC (in Windows Media Player). As you can see, videos will be organized in the proper folder! And I bought archiving ability for Dropbox to have a permanent archive for my files in case any are deleted accidentally or to make more room in the future. ROCK!

If you’d like to commission more Mark Watches episodes (there are still unclaimed Cowboy Bebop episodes) or more re-watches of past shows, you can do so here! You can donate through PayPal in the right hand column if you’re feeling generous.

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!
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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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