Mark Watches ‘Princess Tutu’: S02E11 – The Prince and the Raven

In the eleventh episode of the second season of Princess Tutu, Rue despairs as she learns just how much she’s been manipulated. Meanwhile, Ahiru struggles with her fate. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Princess Tutu.

Once upon a time, there was a man who died. The story the man wrote was about a happy prince who loved everyone and was loved by everyone. The people fought, each wanting him to love them and them alone, and an evil raven pecked at the loving hearts of one person after another. The more the prince loved them and tried to save them, the more the people’s love just fed the raven. In the end, the raven thought, “I’d like to try eating the princes’s heart, the most delicious one of all.”

Trigger Warning: I kind of have to talk about abuse because of Rue’s storyline, so heads up! I don’t talk about it much personally, just bring up the topic.

THIS SHOW KEEPS FINDING NEW WAYS TO DESTROY ME. I know that I kept asking for this show to give me a Rue redemption arc, to explain why she would suddenly turn “evil” and try to ruin everything, BUT I DIDN’T KNOW I’D GET MY WISH THIS WAY. Oh, god. NO.

Ahiru

This episode seriously nails down the endless tragedy of the story, and it’s all because of Drosselmeyer. Actually, this is so fascinating to me! Usually, I’d spend time yelling at the writers for making my heart hurt, but the very nature of Princess Tutu is that it’s multiple stories within the framework of the show. Drosselmeyer is the one who wants tragedy. He’s organized the entire narrative so that it will always end in tragedy every single time. In this case, as Ahiru prepares to put the endgame in motion, we find out there is one last twist to all of this. I’m thankful, then, that we learn this through Uzura and Edel. While it’s shocking to me, it takes the power away from Drosselmeyer. Instead, the scene plays out like a beautiful realization on the part of Uzura, who knows how she came to be and what her best friend is going to do to save the world.

So. Yeah. Those five remaining pieces of Mytho’s heart aren’t the last thing Mytho needs to become normal. THE VERY PENDANT THAT ALLOWED AHIRU TO FIND THEM ALL IS THE ACTUAL LAST PIECE. Meaning that Ahiru will transform into a duck and stay a duck if she chooses to follow through with her plan. GODDAMN THIS. NO! NO THIS IS TOO MUCH TO HANDLE. As soon as Uzura’s tears started falling on her drum, mimicking the sound of her drumbeats, I was a billion percent done until the end of recorded time. NOPE. NOPE. Oh god, you know Ahiru is going to do it, too. It’s in her nature to sacrifice her own well-being and her own interests to do what’s right.

I mean, look at how she treats Rue in this episode! Despite everything that Rue has done to upset Ahiru, despite that it’s her actions that turned Mytho into the Raven, and despite that Rue has constantly opposed Fakir, Ahiru still want to help her out and be her friend. SHE IS THIS UNENDING FORCE FOR GOOD, Y’ALL. She gives Mytho his five heart shards knowing that this isn’t going to end well for her. She barely bats an eye because this is just what she does.

I love Ahiru so much.

Rue

But this episodes HUGE focus is on Rue. The reveal that her Raven father is NOT her father was devastating enough, but “The Prince and the Raven” finally shows us just how well Mytho and Rue once knew each other. Like Fakir, she’s been in his life since he was kid. However, unlike Fakir, she wasn’t always in control of her part in his life. Her evil Raven father had been FEEDING HER RAVEN’S BLOOD for years, influencing her to believe the story that she was destined to have the prince fall in love with her. He was manipulating her for years so that she could eventually bring the prince and his heart to him.

It’s so fucking awful, y’all. He took that innocent little girl who just wanted affection, validation, and attention, and he exploited her. And even though I don’t blame Rue for this, this episode still has a scene where she apologizes to Ahiru for what she’s done, blaming herself for everything that’s happened thus far. It’s heartbreaking. I mean, in one sense it’s great she wants to be held responsible for her actions. But after seeing how her “father” treated her in multiple instances this season, it just makes my heart hurt. Like, this is abuse. It is! The Raven has physically, emotionally, and mentally abused Rue for years. He has made her feel useless, unlovable, and considers her nothing more than a pawn.

I don’t think that excuses her actions, but it’s why I’m more willing to sympathize with her, to hope she gets a good ending. Obviously, being an abused kid makes me biased in this regard, and I don’t mind admitting that at all. I want her to succeed because in a way, I want myself to succeed too, to break free from that pain and control. It’s just so beautiful and heartbreaking to me that Rue’s genuine love for Mytho is what breaks him free of the raven’s blood. She has loved him this whole time, never getting anything in return, and she still declares her love for him even in the end.

AND THEN THE RAVEN JUST TAKES RUE AWAY INTO HIS WORLD AND I SWEAR, IF HER HEART GETS EATEN, I WILL BE SO UPSET. Ugh, this show is too much to handle.

The video commission for this episode is now archived on MarkDoesStuff.com for just $0.99!

Mark Links Stuff

 I am now on tour!!! I have 26 events spread out across the eastern HALF of the U.S. and Canada. They are all free and all-ages. Come see me speak about the Mark Does Stuff Universe and read terrible fanfiction live!
– Mark Reads Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is now published and available for purchase! It’s available in ebook AND physical book format, and you can also get a discount for buying the ENTIRE SET of digital books: $25 for 7 BOOKS!!!
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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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