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Yotarou is a former yakuza member fresh out of prison and fixated on just one thing: rather than return to a life of crime, the young man aspires to take to the stage of Rakugo, a traditional Japanese form of comedic storytelling.
Ahiru (literally 'Duck' in Japanese), is a petite young girl in a junior high school's beginner ballet program. She's prone to stammering and clutziness. She has a huge crush on her sempai, Mute, a sad-seeming young man who doesn't speak much. Ahiru discovers that Mute is actually the prince out of a story written by the mysterious writer Drosselmeyer. When Drosselmeyer died, the prince and the evil crow he was battling in the story escaped. The prince defeated the crow, but only at the expense of shattering his own heart. Mute is a boy without feeling or understanding. Drosselmeyer, however, has somehow returned, and has offered Ahiru a chance to help Mute. She must become Princess Tutu, a magical ballerina, and help reclaim the pieces of her prince's heart. There is a catch, of course--Mute is being controlled by his roommate Fakia, also a dancer, who seems to want to keep the boy soulless and heartless. Drosselmeyer also told Ahiru that a certain dream she's been having is real. ...Written by
I'll be honest: I first thought this wouldn't be any different from any other typical magical girl story (With battles, nasty witches, bright pink magic makeup,...). I even found it a little redundant at times. Still, all along its progression, the protagonists slowly diverge towards different directions and new elements add to the confusion and interrogations, while a puppet master takes a malicious pleasure watching the events from the outside. The not so clear demarcation between illusion and reality, the central role of ballet and the classical background music add to the series' originality with sensitivity. The suspense and tragedy build up exponentially the last few episodes, with an interesting ending.
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