Princess Tutu

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Princess Tutu
Princess Tutu DVD Cover.jpg
DVD cover
(Purinsesu Chuchu)
GenreMagical girl[1]
Created byIkuko Itoh
Anime television series
Directed byJunichi Sato (chief)
Shogo Koumoto
Produced byAtsushi Moriyama
Tomoko Kawasaki
Masafumi Fukui
Taiji Suinou
Yoshiaki Matsumoto
Shironori Kawasaki
Written byMichiko Yokote
Music byKaoru Wada
StudioHal Film Maker
Licensed by
Original networkNHK, Kids Station
English network
Original run August 16, 2002 May 23, 2003[2]
Episodes26 (List of episodes)
Written byJunichi Sato
Ikuko Itoh
Illustrated byMizuo Shinonome
Published byAkita Shoten
English publisher
MagazineChampion Red
Original runMarch 13, 2003July 17, 2003
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and manga portal

Princess Tutu (Japanese: プリンセスチュチュ, Hepburn: Purinsesu Chuchu) is a Japanese magical girl anime series created by illustrator and animator Ikuko Itoh. Inspired by ballet and fairy tales, particularly The Ugly Duckling and Swan Lake, the story follows a duck who is transformed into the mythical ballerina Princess Tutu in order to save the shattered heart of a storybook prince come to life.

The first season was broadcast in Japan in 2002 and the second in 2002 and 2003. It was also adapted into a two-volume manga. Both the manga and anime series were licensed by ADV Films in 2004 for distribution in North America, then by AEsir Holdings when ADV Films closed in 2009, while Sentai Filmworks distributed the Blu-Ray release of the show, as the latter two are parts of Section23 Films. The series explores the concepts of destiny and free will. Reviewers point out that although Princess Tutu is nominally a magical girl series, it is more of a "fairy tale set to ballet with a few magical girl elements mixed in," and its use of dance in lieu of violence to solve conflicts carries "surprisingly effective emotional appeal."[3]


Once there was a writer named Drosselmeyer, who had the power to make his stories come to life. But he died before he could finish his final tale, The Prince and the Raven, leaving the two title characters locked in an eternal battle. After many years, the Raven managed to break free into the real world, and the Prince pursued him. To seal away the Raven's evil, Prince Siegfried shattered his own heart with his sword, causing him to lose all his memories and emotions.

Drosselmeyer, now a ghost, decides the story must have an ending. He finds it in the form of a little duck, who has fallen in love with Mytho, the empty remainder of Siegfried. He gives her a magic pendant that can transform her, first into an ordinary human girl, then into the graceful ballerina Princess Tutu, another character in the story. As Tutu, it's Duck's job to find all the scattered shards of Mytho's heart and return them to him.

But not everyone wants Mytho to get his heart back. Rue, the Raven's daughter reborn as a human, has fallen in love with him too, and worries he might not return her feelings if he has a heart. Her desire to stop him from regaining his emotions unleashes her ability to transform into Princess Kraehe, Tutu's evil counterpart. Fakir, the boy who found and took care of Mytho after he escaped the story, also tries to stop Tutu, fearing that the story progressing means the Raven will return and Mytho will have to risk his life fighting it again.

What's more, Duck learns that part of Princess Tutu's story is that she can never confess her love to Mytho, or else she'll turn into a speck of light and vanish. However, it becomes clear that Mytho wants his heart restored, so despite Fakir and Kraehe's interference, she persists.

Eventually, Fakir accepts Mytho's choice and decides to help Tutu, even discovering her true identity as a Duck and becoming good friends with her. He also learns he's a descendant of Drosselmeyer, meaning he too has the power to make what he writes a reality. Rue finds out she's not the Raven's daughter, but a human child he stole to serve him.

After most of Mytho's heart is returned to him, the seal trapping the Raven begins to break. Finally able to feel love again, Mytho realizes he loves Rue – just as the Raven kidnaps her. Duck discovers her pendant is the final shard, meaning she must give up her life as a human to return it. She eventually finds the courage to do so, and becomes a humble duck again.

Mytho and the Raven battle once more. When the fight turns bleak, Mytho considers shattering his heart to seal the monster away again. Duck begins dancing to show him he must not give up. As she does, Fakir writes a story about how she never stops, no matter how many times the Raven's minions attack her. Together they create hope, which gives Mytho the strength he needs to rescue Rue and defeat the Raven. Mytho asks Rue to be his princess and they return to his kingdom inside the story. Duck and Fakir continue their relationship, even though she's stuck in her duck form. With nothing left to do, Drosselmeyer departs in search of another story.



Princess Tutu was conceptualized by Ikuko Itoh, who also designed the characters, and directed by Junichi Sato and Shogo Koumoto, with Michiko Yokote handling series composition and Kaoru Wada composing the music. It was produced by Hal Film Maker and TUTU, a production committee consisting of King Records, IMAGICA Imageworks, Dentsu, Marvelous Entertainment and Memory-Tech. The series originally aired in two seasons. The first season, "Kapitel des Eies" ("Chapter of the Egg"), consisted of 13 half-hour episodes. The second season, "Kapitel des Junges" ("Chapter of the Fledgling") in R2 DVDs, and "Kapital des Kükens" ("Chapter of the Chick") in R1 DVDs, was aired as 25 quarter-hour episodes and one half-hour episode; to conform to the format of the time slot, each episode was halved. These were brought back together in the DVD release as 13 complete episodes.

North American DVD releases[edit]

In 2004 ADV Films announced that they had licensed the anime series for distribution in North America.[4] ADV Films produced English adaptations for all episodes and, beginning in 2005, the series was periodically released as single DVD "volumes" that each contained several episodes. In 2007 the series was released as a complete DVD collection of all 26 episodes. In 2011 AEsir Holdings announced the licensing of the series and the release of a complete DVD collection of all 26 episodes distributed by Section23 Films.[5] In 2018, as AEsir Holdings and Sentai Filmworks are parts of Section23 Films, the latter will release a complete Blu-ray collection of all 26 episodes on December 11, 2018.

Princess Tutu

  • Marchen (DVD 1), episodes 1–5, release date: 2005-01-25
  • Traum (DVD 2), episodes 6–9, release date: 2005-11-29
  • Erwachen (DVD 3), episodes 10–13, release date: 2006-01-24
  • Prinz und Rabe (DVD 4), episodes 14–18, release date: 2006-03-21
  • Schwert und Feder (DVD 5), episodes 19–22, release date: 2006-05-23
  • Abschied (DVD 6), episodes 23–26, release date: 2006-07-25
  • DVD Collection (DVD 1-6), episodes 1–26, release date: 2007-11-20
  • Complete Collection (DVD), episodes 1–26, release date: 2009-04-21
  • Complete Collection (DVD), episodes 1–26, release date: 2011-10-11
  • Complete Collection (DVD), episodes 1-26, release date: 2016-04-19
  • Complete Collection (Blu-ray), episodes 1-26, release date: 2018-12-11


The series has been reviewed many times, starting from the Japanese language streams,[6][7] through the latest North American English language DVD releases. Generally the reviews are very positive.

  • The first DVD volume (DVD 1) included episodes 1 through 5. Theron Martin reviewed this volume for the Anime News Network and awarded grades from "C+" (art) to "A" (music).[3]
  • The second DVD volume (DVD 2) included episodes 6 through 9. Zac Bertschy reviewed this volume for the Anime News Network and awarded grades from "B+" (story) to "A" (most everything else).[8]
  • The fourth DVD volume (DVD 4) included episodes 14 through 18. Theron Martin reviewed this volume and awarded grades from "B" (animation) to "A+" (music).[9]
  • The sixth DVD volume (DVD 6) included episodes 23 through 26. Theron Martin reviewed this volume and awarded grades from "B+" (animation & art) to "A+" (music).[10]
  • The 2011 Complete Collection (DVD) release was reviewed by Chris Beveridge for the media blog The Fandom Post and given an overall grade of A−.[11]


Anime Network formerly offered all 26 episodes of the series, English dubbed only, from their internet streaming site for North America.[12] After the service was shut down, the series was moved to Hidive.[13] Hulu and Amazon Prime Instant Video both have the English dub available for streaming.[14][15]


A manga adaptation of the anime series was written by Mizuo Shinonome and published in Japan by Akita Shoten in the shōnen manga magazine Champion Red. Two tankōbon volumes of the manga series were published in 2003. The Japanese manga series was translated to English and published in North America by ADV Manga in two volumes.[16]

Volume list[edit]

No. Original release date Original ISBN English release date English ISBN
01 March 13, 2003[17]November 30, 2004978-1-4139-0193-1
When a spellbound pendant transforms Ahiru into Princess Tutu, she thinks she can finally dance her way into her beloved Mytho's heart, but there's one problem. Mytho doesn't have his heart! Princess Tutu will have to twirl her way through a dark and lonely world as she searches for the missing pieces of her true love's broken heart and wounded spirit.
02 July 17, 2003[18]January 25, 2005978-1-4139-0235-8
Ahiru is now the beautiful and graceful Princess Tutu, but a happy ending for this fairy tale is still out of reach! She may have returned the pieces of Mytho's broken heart, but the jealous Princess Kraehe is determined to thwart her. Yet an even more intimidating enemy awaits Princess Tutu, and nothing but fate will decide who wins the prince's heart...

Note: The English language manga continues to use the Japanese name "Ahiru" rather than the name "Duck" used in the English language version of the anime television series.


  1. ^ Loveridge, Lynzee (February 16, 2018). "Princess Tutu Celebrates 15 Years of Musical Magic". Anime News Network. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  2. ^ プリンセスチュチュ. Archived from the original on March 30, 2008.
  3. ^ a b Martin, Theron (June 17, 2005). "Princess Tutu DVD 1: Marchen". Anime News Network. Retrieved December 17, 2013.
  4. ^ "Anime Boston Saturday Licensing". Anime News Network. April 4, 2004. Retrieved December 17, 2013.
  5. ^ "Section23 Films Announces October Slate". Anime News Network. July 20, 2011. Retrieved August 4, 2011.
  6. ^ Agnerian, Maral (March 3, 2003). "Princess Tutu". Anime News Network. Retrieved December 17, 2013.
  7. ^ Beard, Jeremy A. "Princess Tutu". T.H.E.M. Anime Reviews. Retrieved December 18, 2013.
  8. ^ Bertschy, Zac (October 26, 2005). "Princess Tutu DVD 2: Traum". Anime News Network. Retrieved December 17, 2013.
  9. ^ Martin, Theron (May 1, 2006). "Princess Tutu DVD 4: Prinz und Rabe". Anime News Network. Retrieved December 17, 2013.
  10. ^ Martin, Theron (August 8, 2006). "Princess Tutu DVD 6: Abschied". Anime News Network. Retrieved December 17, 2013.
  11. ^ Beveridge, Chris (October 11, 2011). "Princess Tutu Complete Series Anime DVD Review". Fandom Post. Retrieved December 17, 2013.
  12. ^ "Watch Princess Tutu". Anime Network. Retrieved December 18, 2013.
  13. ^ "Binge Princess Tutu". Hidive. Retrieved August 4, 2018.
  14. ^ "Princess Tutu on Hulu". Hulu. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
  15. ^ Retrieved January 11, 2020. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  16. ^ Cooper, Liann (November 20, 2004). "RIGHT TURN ONLY!! - Sugar Rush". Anime News Network. Retrieved December 18, 2013.
  17. ^ プリンセスチュチュ(1) / 東雲水生. (in Japanese). Retrieved February 24, 2017.
  18. ^ プリンセスチュチュ(完)(2) / 東雲水生. (in Japanese). Retrieved February 24, 2017.

External links[edit]