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8 February 2008: Princess Tutu

Princess Tutu
Princess Tutu.

I'm finally catching up with Nodame Cantabile again. If this doesn't inspire me to start buying classical music records again, maybe re-watching Princess Tutu will. Not that I need another excuse to re-watch Princess Tutu, mind you. You see, I recently bought the Princess Tutu compilation box set, so I have a pretty convenient excuse already. I'm a little peeved at spending seven dollars more for it than I needed to (you can get the ADV box set now for $27), but the series is worth much more than that, so I'll get over it.

Princess Tutu compilation
Rue displaces Ahiru for the Princess Tutu cover.

Regarding the box set, have you seen the cover art? Holy crap. Lest ye be misled, take note that this cover art is in no way representative of the contents of the show itself. Okay, the artists who developed Kraehe were surely working on a dissertation glorifying anime boobs, but aside from that, this cover art is nothing at all like the show itself.

Princess Kraehe
Princess Kraehe.

Of course, ADV probably chose misleading cover art intentionally, because damned if I know how else they're going to market a show like Princess Tutu. A pretty box with frilly pink ribbons and prancing ballet dancers would be more accurate and appropriate, but accurate and appropriate cover art ain't gonna inspire impulse buys—discounting impulse buys from anime fans that know the fourth act of Swan Lake by heart, naturally.

Princess Tutu
Princess Tutu.

So how does one sell a show about a little duck that turns into a young girl who turns into a magikal girl who saves people with the power of ballet? (Which is a BRILLIANT premise, by the way, but likely only in the eyes of people like me.) Sure, its soundtrack is almost entirely classical music, with a little boost from the late half of Melocure, but that's not going to sway the kind of customers who like to allege, "Anime is a medium, not a genre." [Spoilers: Those people are full of it.]

Rue
Rue.

I guess racy cover art featuring an emo ballerina squeezed into a merry widow is one way to go about it, and Rue does have legs that go up to her neck, but I advise potential buyers to simply sample the first few episodes. Watching the HnK/a.f.k. fansubs convinced me to buy the Princess Tutu Complete Collection DVDs despite being discouraged about ADV's Ahiru/Duck jazz. (Look, I don't care what your reason is; you can't subtitle the lead character's name as "Duck," okay?)

Princess Kraehe
Odile sympathizers, you know who you are.

Be advised that the series changes drastically mid-series by revealing the heretofore unknown nature of multiple characters. Nothing contradicts the first half of the series, but the lack of antecedent leaves me wondering if they concocted those changes at the last minute in order to extend the length of the show. I'm not really complaining, because the show makes the changes work, and I would have bought the complete series on the strength of the first half alone. In fact, the second half of the series is also quite good; it just goes off in a different direction. If I have a complaint at all, I guess it's that the show didn't take its numerous Swan Lake references even further and just turned Princess Tutu into an anime adaptation of the ballet for Odile sympathizers, straight-up.

In related news, clockwork > steampunk.


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