Friday, September 17, 2010

:anime: Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick of the Month:: Princess Tutu

Princess Tutu

Official Sites: Japanese, English
Additional Links: ANN Entry
Video [Free]: Hulu, YouTube
Video [Pay]: The Anime Network (after first free ep.)

An aspiring ballerina who is a bit of klutz (and really a duck) valiantly attempts to retrieve the shards of heart belonging to the one she loves: the prince. But while she possesses the ability to turn into the graceful Princess Tutu and ward off the darkness, she must not confess her love to her beloved, or she will perish...

The Anime Network recently started posting video onto Hulu and one of the titles they started off with was Princess Tutu, a 2002-2003 magical girl series that, even after the critical and viewer praise it has garnered, still has not gotten the love it deserves. By genre master Junichi Sato (Sailor Moon, Pretear, Sea Story (Umi Monogatari), the series showcases his skill at trumping its conventions and offering something new and fresh. Not only that, it also displays his oft-overlooked implementation of music into his shows, here filled with classic ballet compositions, from Romeo & Juliet to Swan Lake, along with an appropriate original score by Kaoru Wada (InuYasha, Samuari 7). All of it blends with and enhances a great and unique story (well-balanced with comedy and harrowing drama), memorable characters, and fine production values.

Personally, I do have broad tastes, so as much as I can appreciate a depressing show like TEXHNOLYZE or Now and Then, Here and There, or action-filled ones like Afro Samurai and Gungrave, I can also appreciate a (really) good shoujo series in Princess Tutu. However, even those not exactly warm to the genre have had glowing praise for it. Though dubbed only (but wonderfully done), it is freely available for view on Hulu (missing Eps. 22-25, but will probably be resolved soon), YouTube (in full), and Anime Network's own site (free first episode, the rest to paid subscribers only), now's good opportunity to give the show a chance (and maybe some of that lovin' too).

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