31 CommentsAnime Analysis, No Anime is Dropped Forever / By Scamp /

No anime is dropped forever: Princess Tutu

There’s no point in running these ‘no anime is dropped forever’ posts if I never actually watch the anime featured. Next up is that anime that everyone else seemed to love apart from me. Hence I knew when I started these posts that I would eventually have to pick this up. Here we go, Princess Tutu.


Picked up on: Episode 3

Why I picked it up again: Because you lot and the entire world of anime fandom claimed that it got better. Not only did it get better, but it became something that far outreached any anime of its genre. It would truly get better. You guys promised me!


I did like: The development of Fakir. The only character who had realistic character development

I didn’t like: That crow as a final boss. He’s a crow and evil and stuff. Stupid villain

I did like: That they didn’t pussy out with the ending. Props for an ending that actually fit the series

I didn’t like: Dancing solving all the problems. There was never an explanation as to why they danced to solve problems. They just did.

I did like: A plot twist around episode 22 on how the world worked. Haibane Remnei type world, except nowhere near as masterfully and meticulously created

I didn’t like: Repetitiveness. I made this post after the first half of the series. The second half did change but it changed to repeating a different formula, which was largely the same as the first half’s formula.

I did like: The music. I often feel like it’s cheap to use already famous music, but Princess Tutu used the music well. Often when people praise the music it’s because of a good soundtrack and not how it’s used. Not so with Princess Tutu

I didn’t like: The attempts at humour. 26 episodes of Mr.Cat asking the girls to marry him is not funny


There. That’s the best you’re going to get in terms of a measured approach to this review. My real feelings for this show are much less coherent. Maybe if I said that this is my least favourite anime I’ve completed then maybe you’d understand better. I hated this more than Futakoi and Onegai Teacher. It was painful to get through and made even more painful by the fact I was waiting for it to get better, like everyone said. Waiting for that change in tone that would cause me to, if not re-evaluate the show overall, then at least enjoy the latter half of the show. It didn’t change and I have no idea what people meant by the show getting better in the second half. Kobato got better due to a change in tone. Princess Tutu certainly did not.

For the most part, Princess Tutu achieved what it set out to do. It told a story in a format that was very similar to ballet or opera type of storytelling. Mix this together with an episodic styled repetitiveness of kids shows and you get Princess Tutu. There were a few slip ups, most notably being the miserable attempts at humour, but most of the rest was done in order to suit the style of storytelling. Characters did unbelievable actions and acted in a set form because that’s what the story required of them. Not just in Drosslemeyers world, but in the way the creators meant for the story to be told. In a way it’s quite clever. Characters act unbelievable and perform unbelievable acts because that’s how the story requires them to act. They are incapable of acting any other way. By that same logic though, Endless Eight achieved exactly what it set out to do. Doesn’t mean it’s enjoyable to watch.

(Endless Eight has become the Godwins Law of anime reviewing. This anime did that you say? You know what else did that? Endless Eight!)

Was it worth picking up again: Watching this brought me one massive step further towards the dreaded burnout

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  1. Posted August 6, 2010 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Your blog always says that there is one comment when there is none. :I Idk that just bothers me. Can’t you fix it…?

    Nnn can’t say much since I watched this back in 2006, but I think I was an impressed 11-year-old although I didn’t like it at first…

    I really really really want to force you to watch Ashita no Nadja now. :D

    • Scamp
      Posted August 6, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

      I can’t fix that comment thing because that would mean mucking with the CSS and I’m afraid to touch that.

      Oh god, just took a look at Ashita no Nadja on MAL. It looks like my worst nightmare :(

    • Samshel
      Posted August 6, 2010 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

      I remember watching one chapter of Ashita no nadja, and it’s something I was glad I forgot, so boring…

      • Posted August 7, 2010 at 2:53 am | Permalink

        The character development in Nadja is simply amazing. Hilariously girly, yes (you should see all the merchandise it spit out…), but very good.

      • Ugoki
        Posted December 18, 2013 at 2:47 am | Permalink

        Also, dat villain in the second half.

  2. Posted August 6, 2010 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    “It gets better rawr rawr rawr” is both my favorite tag and the tag I can most relate to.

    I dropped Princess Tutu at the end of the first half because I’d only been watching it for Fakir, the rest was boring, and I always get pissed off in anime when people are dancing on full pointe without showing how much those shoes hurt.

    • Scamp
      Posted August 6, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      Those ballet shoes have fairies in the toes to prevent point dancing from hurting so much. Either that, or Drosselmeyer had no idea how much it did hurt when writing the character of Princess Tutu. Clearly he is not a Balerina himself

  3. luffyluffy
    Posted August 6, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    I was considering checking this out depending on your review of it, but eh.

    • Scamp
      Posted August 6, 2010 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

      Well I have no taste so everyone else will probably like it

      • luffyluffy
        Posted August 6, 2010 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

        The only shows of this type I’ve ever liked before are about Cooking. Seriously, The only time I’ve ever gotten fired up about this genre is Kitchen Princess(MAY IT /PLEASE/ GET AN ADAPTATION!!) and Yumeiro Patissiere. God, I love them so much ;3;

        Also, 400th’s post.

      • Posted August 7, 2010 at 2:54 am | Permalink

        But Kitchen Princess turned into retarded drama crap… >A>

      • luffyluffy
        Posted August 7, 2010 at 3:57 am | Permalink

        Oh god, that last chapter where Najika leaves Paris pisses me off like you wouldn’t believe.

      • Posted August 7, 2010 at 10:22 am | Permalink

        …I gave up long before that.

      • luffyluffy
        Posted August 7, 2010 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

        I managed to finish it. I own the whole series <3

  4. Samshel
    Posted August 6, 2010 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    Mmm I put this one in my list cuz I saw everyone praising it when you mentioned it, don’t know if I’ll be watching it in the end tho. I blame Starcraft 2, not enough time left to watch anime like I usually do…

    • Scamp
      Posted August 6, 2010 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      Oh you gamers and your Starcraft. The most I’ve played this summer is a season or two on Football manager and a few games of Touhou

  5. Posted August 6, 2010 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    Hmm. Frowny face. I knew you entering a genre that you’ve shown such distaste for was going to be an uphill battle, but I think it has to do with being in the right mindset. Princess Tutu framed itself as a symbolic, lyrical fairytale, so expecting realism and only taking things at face value would of course leave you underwhelmed.

    Tutu (as with most other magical girl series) is a symbolic coming-of-age story, about how the characters awaken to and deal with their sexual desires, how they learn to sacrifice their selfish wishes for the needs of others, and how they develop and express their own individual sense of self and worth despite the pressures of greater forces.

    Moreover, Tutu is playful and subversive with its symbolism and narrative style, so you always have to be looking for the hidden meaning behind things.

    Not trying to make out Tutu as some literary masterpiece, but there’s value there you’re either under-appreciating or just plain missed. If you ever do move on to Utena, you have to be prepared to challenge yourself and put those analytical skills to use.

    • Scamp
      Posted August 6, 2010 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

      Ah symbolism~

      There’s very few anime that don’t have symbolism, even though most of them are only on a very simple level. But they have to suceed in entertaining you first and foremost. You can’t skip that part and head straight into symbolism. I have to care about what’s happening on screen before I start looking deeper. It’s largely the same problem I had with Serial Experiments Lain, except where as Lain just bored me, this caused me to actively hate it.

      I guess that still is a problem with mindset, but I still can’t bring myself to care about a show when it’s not being actively entertaining. I just don’t have the enthusiasm to do so

      Also congrats on getting the 5000th comment on this blog, although I’m sure you won’t be truly happy until you pass out luffy’s comment count :)

  6. vucubcaquix
    Posted August 7, 2010 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    A shame, because I was actually a big fan of Drosselmayer and Fakir messing with narrative tropes on a meta level in the second half, considering that I spend almost as much time on TvTropes as I do on certain anonymous imageboards. But I also watched it with my younger sister and cousin and they enjoyed it immensely, so my opinion may have been biased.

    Oh well. On to the next show!

    • Scamp
      Posted August 8, 2010 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      I’ve made a vow to stay off tv tropes. It’s a great site but it warps your mind too much.

      lol at Tutu being meta. Hadn’t thought of it like that but I suppose you could push the idea

      • vucubcaquix
        Posted August 9, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

        That’s the second time you’ve mentioned that a site I frequent has warped my mind.

        Hmm, I should reevaluate my online habits a bit…

      • Scamp
        Posted August 9, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

        Blogging warps your mind. As does twitter. I’ve decided there’s only a few ways I’d like my mind to be warped. TV Tropes was too much for me

  7. Posted August 7, 2010 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    agree with the dancing solve-the-case thing >:D

  8. Posted August 7, 2010 at 7:50 am | Permalink


    well, i did enjoy this mostly because im a lit nerd ;/ employ symbols and literary techniques and i won’t need explosions or giant robots to entertain me. oh well.

    lol @ solving everything with dancing. well…it IS a ballet-style story with animals as active characters.

    • Scamp
      Posted August 8, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      You know, I’m not nearly as ADD as this post might make me out to be :(

  9. Posted August 7, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Aww I’m a bit disappointed you hated it so much, although not really surprised given your latent hatred of this kind of series! Princess Tutu is a show I highly rate due to the brilliant use of symbolic motifs and because it really became something completely different to what I was expecting when I started it. Although to really get the most of out it you kind of need to have your analytical hat on and really be in the mood for it.

    You can’t like everything, at least you gave it a fair chance!

  10. Posted August 8, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    I told you that you wouldn’t like it. :P

    To each their own. It still remains my favorite anime. However, I think enjoyment of the series hinges on whether you like the dancing or not.

    There was also a lot of subtle symbols and what not, as GW_Kimmy pointed out, which makes a lot of people happy, but again, if that’s not your things, then it’s not going to work.

    Tl;dr, Princess Tutu is not an anime for everyone. It’s just seems to be that the ones that it works for, it really works.

  11. Posted August 10, 2010 at 12:39 am | Permalink

    I really liked Princess Tutu and to all those who said it got better later on, I stand by that as well. But in the end, this series that often gets overlooked by people still will never be something that I would recommend to just anyone. Having a vague idea of what type of anime shows you like, Princess Tutu didn’t have much of a chance at being enjoyed by someone with your taste from the get go.
    BTW, Mr. Cat got on my nerves too by the end x)

2 Trackbacks

  • By The 12 Worst Moments in Anime 2011 | The Cart Driver on December 26, 2010 at 9:05 am

    […] to watch this show cur­rently and at a later date I’ll return to that anime. One of these anime was Prin­cess Tutu. I was assured that IT GETS BETTER I SWEAR!!! It’s the hope that killed me. The hope I had […]

  • By Missing Link » Arkisto » IT GETS BETTER! on May 8, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    […] Näinhän se on; vahva aloitus on aina elintärkeä osa sarjaa. Lasken itse heikon alun aina suureksi miinukseksi, kun tarkastelen sarjan kokonaisarvoa, -rakennetta ja -viihdyttävyyttä. Negatiivinen asenne on ymmärrettävissä ihan kokemustasolla. Varmasti moni meistä on joskus ruvennut katsomaan tai lukemaan jotain minkä alku ei ole lainkaan vakuuttanut siinä uskossa, että se fanien lupausten mukaisesti paranee huomattavasti viimeistään keskivaiheille tultaessa. Sarja voi oikeasti parantua tai sitten koko homma saattaa päättyä fiaskoon kuten Scampilla, joka odotti koko Princess Tutun katsomisen ajan että se paranisi, eikä se lopulta hänen silmissään koskaan muuttunut paremmaksi, vaan jäi yhdeksi hänen suurimmista inhokeistaan. […]

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