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The Great Feminist Manga and Anime List: Princess Tutu

adventuresofcomicbookgirl:

Plot: Ahiru (or Duck) is, well, an actual duck who wished to be a human girl when she fell in love with the lonely and handsome Mytho who danced by her lake. She was granted her wish by the mysterious Drosselymeyer, and given the power to transform into Princess Tutu, a magical girl who saves the day through dance. It turns out Mytho was an actual prince who had escaped from within his story when the author died, and sacrificed his heart to seal away his enemy. It is up to Princess Tutu to save Mytho by gathering the shards of his heart and restoring it. Her obstacles include Mytho’s controlling friend Fakir and closed-off girlfriend Rue, neither of whom think it is right for Mytho to regain his emotions.

Princess Tutu should be noted for it’s massive character development and dark deconstruction of fairy tales. It heavily incorportates both literary themes and themes of classic ballet into its storyline and the characters often act out their conflicts through ballet dancing. It deconstructs the nature of storytelling itself.

Women and Gender: Princess Tutu features a female hero and protagonist, as well as following the character arc of other female characters and focusing on their relationships with each other. Fairy Tale/Classic Ballet Gender roles tend to be subverted, the most obvious one being the princess as the protector and savior of the Distressed Dude prince. A big theme of Princess Tutu is agency and reclaiming it, and since a lot of the characters struggling to reclaim their agency happen to be female, there’s obviously a bit of a feminist component to that metaphor.

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The Great Feminist Manga and Anime List: Princess Tutu

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These reviews are to examine the feminist-friendly elements of each series as well as the problematic elements. 

In other words,this is simply meant to be a guide to recommend anime feminists like me might enjoy and also give warning of any elements that might disturb or affect someone. I am also aware I am limited by my white, Western feminist context in these reviews and thus, can’t really give anything other than the perspective of a Western feminist fan on various themes. I can only say what these series mean to me and what I take away from them as an outsider who is not the primary audience. If I get something wrong or if you are aware something has an entirely different connotation in Japanese culture that I am not privy to, I would love to hear about it so please feel free to tell me about it.

Plot: Ahiru (or Duck) is, well, an actual duck who wished to be a human girl when she fell in love with the lonely and handsome Mytho who danced by her lake. She was granted her wish by the mysterious Drosselymeyer, and given the power to transform into Princess Tutu, a magical girl who saves the day through dance. It turns out Mytho was an actual prince who had escaped from within his story when the author died, and sacrificed his heart to seal away his enemy. It is up to Princess Tutu to save Mytho by gathering the shards of his heart and restoring it. Her obstacles include Mytho’s controlling friend Fakir and closed-off girlfriend Rue, neither of whom think it is right for Mytho to regain his emotions.

Princess Tutu should be noted for it’s massive character development and dark deconstruction of fairy tales. It heavily incorportates both literary themes and themes of classic ballet into its storyline and the characters often act out their conflicts through ballet dancing. It deconstructs the nature of storytelling itself.

Women and Gender: Princess Tutu features a female hero and protagonist, as well as following the character arc of other female characters and focusing on their relationships with each other. Fairy Tale/Classic Ballet Gender roles tend to be subverted, the most obvious one being the princess as the protector and savior of the Distressed Dude prince. A big theme of Princess Tutu is agency and reclaiming it, and since a lot of the characters struggling to reclaim their agency happen to be female, there’s obviously a bit of a feminist component to that metaphor.

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