Much more into this now, though not yet really squeeful.
Spoilers for episodes 6-9 of Princess Tutu behind the cut. Spoil me for future episodes and I will cast an Unforgivable Curse on you.
The structure has stopped being completely repetitive, things are getting more complicated (though I was not terribly surprised at the revelation that Fakir was trying to protect Mytho; OTOH, whatever's going on with Rue baffles me), and though I haven't timed it, the slapstick seems to be less present. Which is all to the good.
Opening narrations and some notes I scribbled while watching:
Episode 6: "Dreaming Aurora (Dornröschen: prolog)"
(I've gone back and added the episode titles, both in English and the original, to the prior post, because pretty clearly the English ones aren't always literal translations. This one is "Sleeping Beauty: Prologue"; episode 3 was "Dornröschen: Panorama.")
Once upon a time, a witch laid a curse, which cast a princess into an eternal slumber.
One day, a young man appeared, intendng to awake her. But then, a voice whispers, "Awaken the princess from her sleep? What a cruel thing to do! For what if the princess wishes not to receive the kiss of awakening, but rather to continue to sleep forever?"
Note: the dub has "whispers," while the sub, "whispered," for whatever that's worth.
I liked that Princess Tutu wasn't needed to convince the recipient to give up her heart-shard and that the situation was more complex than before. And that the gems Miss Edel is selling include "author's bypass" (or "conveniences").
Also the troupe leader, who didn't used to be an eel, cracked me up. I wonder how they'll power their lights when they leave this town?
Episode 7: "The Crow Princess (An der schönen blauen Donau)"
(The German is the complete title of "The Blue Danabe.")
Once upon a time, there was a child.
For the child, the world was filled with wonder. "How? Why? How come?"
When one mystery was solved, two new mysteries would arise. When two mysteries were solved, four new mysteries would arise. When four mysteries were solved, countless mysteries appeared.
In time, the child came to be consumed by these mysteries.
You know, I'd noticed that town clock, and then there's Drosselmeyer (who is, if he can be believed, really dead; since he'd obviously say or do anything for an interesting story, I am not at all sure he can be) using a passageway of time, as represented by (?) a clock, to come talk to Duck.
(He goes back into the clock just before the commercial break. Perhaps he hasn't got back yet by the break, which is why the usual animation of him spinning around doesn't mark the break?)
Mytho gets agency! I was cutting him slack because of his situation, but it's still nice.
And here would be the start of the Rue WTF.
Episode 8: "The Warrior's Fountain (Fantasie-Ouvertüre zu 'Romeo und Julia')"
("There's a place for us / I know you know the movie song / One day we're going to realize, it was just that the time was wrong . . . ")
Long ago, there was a warrior. In order to protect his friend, the warrior had to take his friend's life.
Long ago, there was a sword. This sword had continued to fight for peace, yet realized that to protect the peace, it had no choice but to kill the one who wielded it, and thus, took its master's life.
The warrior and the sword had to do what they did, but was that really what they ought to have done? Uncertain of the answer even now, they wander aimlessly.
Note: not "once upon a time." And, the sword doesn't seem to be wandering?
As I said, I wasn't really surprised about Fakir, as the narration immediately made me say, "Oh! Of course."
Is that German he speaks over the sword? And what's with the mask—when it cracks in half, it looks a little like the Phantom of the Opera, but what I recall about the story doesn't seem to have resonance.
Oh look, there's the Big Misunderstanding. Le sigh.
Ending voiceover: "Was what the sword pierced the prince's heart, or someone's feelings?" Which puzzles me a bit, since no hearts were pierced in the making of this episode. Maybe it's poetic license.
Episode 9: "The Black Shoes (Bilder einer Ausstellung: Alten Schloß)"
("Pictures at an Exhibition: The Old Castle," I think. )
Once upon a time, there was a girl who loved to dance very much.
The girl made the mistake of putting on a pair of red shoes that, once put on, would force her to dance for eternity. The girl continued to dance day and night . . .
Oops. This is a different story. Although, perhaps it is not so completely different after all.
Note: I really like this one. And the empty scales, casting a shadow that was unbalanced by a (crow's?) feather, intrigues me greatly; as does the suggestion that the Raven was behind the red shoes and is the leader of the crows.
Besides the WTF about Rue and Princess Kraehe, I don't understand Rue herself: is loving an empty shell really satisfying?
I note that Drosselmeyer calls Princess Kraehe a black swan, though everything else is crows, just, you know, in case we'd missed the Swan Lake reference.
I like that it's not that easy for Duck/Princess Tutu to save Rue from/as Princess Kraehe. Though it's Clark Kent's glasses, why no-one notices how much they look alike (except in the Étude extra) . . .
Oh, and Miss Edel is a puppet? Too bad if so.