Spoilers for episodes 14-18 of Princess Tutu behind the cut. Spoil me and I will CAPSLOCK at you.
Also, updated the icon gallery.
Definitely the start of a new season (which I see is "The Chapter of the Fledgling," rather than "of the Egg"). We get a new problem, which starts out somewhat repetitive but gets looser as it goes on. Also a lot of recap in the first one.
Episode 14, "The Raven (Blumenwalzer)"
(And it's back to Waltz of the Flowers for an original episode title, just like episode one.)
Once upon a time, there was a man who died. The prince and the raven from the man's story escaped from the pages and did battle. It ended with the prince taking out his own heart and sealing the raven away by using a forbidden power.
In a certain town, the prince who had lost his heart met a duck. Because of her love for the prince, the duck turned into a princess and gathered together the lost shards of his heart. The prince gradually regained his feelings, and at long last, he was able to regain even the feeling of love. And they lived happily ever after.
Or did they? After all, the princess is fated to turn into a speck of light and vanish the moment she tells the prince of her love for him.
I see the clock (did I mention just how apropos that is yet? dancing couple, knight, and a bird, all revolving to the dictates of clockwork!) and the school architecture are foregrounded again; more recaps/reminders.
Fakir's distraction when Duck is about to tell Mytho everything made me laugh. Flying cow, indeed!
Significant overheard conversation: all the heart-shards aren't back; Mytho trusts Princess Tutu, which is nice; and he wants to go back into the story, which I didn't expect.
And suddenly, plot! Kraehe is the raven's daughter, and has tampered with Mytho's feeling of love even more than we saw in ep. 11: not just the feather but the raven's blood, which is going to change him into someone who loves her. And though the raven says that he only wants her happiness, somehow I don't believe it; why does he want the prince to be his son?
And yes, the raven is creepy and his prison is neat. My narrative expectation is that he'll be released, and we'll see how he is then.
Here, as in all the episodes on this disc, Duck transforms into Tutu without Drosselmeyer appearing on-screen first to comment. Not sure what that means (that's she's fledged?). And only one heart-shard on the disc, in the last episode.
Episode 15, "Coppelia"
Once upon a time, there was a man who fell in love with a doll. Perhaps the man's love made itself felt, for one day the doll came to life and began to dance. The man was delighted. He thought a doll would never betray his love and now he could have the world's most pure and innocent love all to himself. Unfortunately for him, the doll who had been given life rejected his love and fell in love with another man.
(Is that last sentence from the original? Also, Wikipedia says, "the clock tower shown throughout the show plays the beginning of "Waltz of the Hours" when it tolls the hour, and the hand organ of the character Edel plays a modified version of "Music of the Automatica" (the original plays in the show as well)." Very appropriate.)
I like that Mr. Cat is shown sewing the ruined shoes back together. Good for him.
Pike saw Tutu as a white bird when she saved Mytho at the end of the last episode.
Possessed!Mytho is very nasty indeed, manipulating everyone's perceptions of Fakir like that and getting him suspended for a week.
Armadylan is the cutest thing ever!
A number of places, I noted down, "yay, talking!" because Duck and Fakir mostly do communicate now, and it's a nice thing to see. I rather like the friendship they're developing.
The raven thinks that the heart shards are necessary to the seal on his prison, which I guess is now a consensus. Also, he is a bad father. Telling his daughter that she's unlovable except to him & the prince because she's a crow born into a hideous human body?
Not sure I understand, here or the rest of this disc, why the raven needs a heart. I mean, besides that he's evil and it'll smell good when he eats it.
Pike's "Waltz of the Dolls" from Coppellia is very freaky, even if it's meant as comic in the original.
Lilie: "Good morning, princesses!" If only you knew.
Episode 16, "The Maiden's Prayer"
Once upon a time, there was a girl who loved flowers more than anyone. She prayed every day for the whole town to be filled with beautiful flowers. To make that happen, she pulled up all the town's ugly weeds. Eventually the girl's prayers were answered and the town was blanketed in flowers. But they say the town that was filled with unnumerable blossoms of every color imaginable somehow looked gray.
More manipulative possessed!Mytho, this time with the dance contest. I wonder if the runner-up being Mr. Cat's bride is his idea or Mr. Cat's embellishment? (The sloth was too funny, though.)
Does "zura" or "Uzura" mean anything?
Duck transforms to Tutu before the halfway point! And an internally-struggling Mytho flees; but Freya apparently doesn't remember or realize what happened later.
And yeah, Fakir keeps something from Duck, but not for long, and then apologizes. And why does he say to be careful of Uzura? In what sense?
Two in a row of this pattern was already getting tiresome for me, but the next one breaks it.
Episode 17, "Crime and Punishment (Carmen Aragonaise)"
Once upon a time, there was a young man with a beautiful face. The people loved the handsome young man, but he never showed the slightest interest in loving anyone. This was because all he loved was himself. When the young man who neglected to love and sought only to be loved found someone for whom he truly cared, he realized that he had lost even the words to express his feelings.
I could not fathom why there was a cow in the opening animation, but the penny dropped pretty quickly. The comic relief was getting a little thick by the end, but at first it was cracky fun.
I like that Mytho is reminded of Tutu by the idea of words without a voice and is able to mime "I love you" before collapsing. Yay, parallelism. Or not, if Tutu really will vanish.
Somehow I think the anthropomorphic bits are much funnier now, like the cleaner birds (and the prairie dogs earlier).
An unexpected bit of depth to Mr. Cat: love can't live just on the feeling that you would give up your life for someone.
Who's tearing endings out of books? There's a guy in the library who's overheard Duck at least once and he has flashing glasses, which FMA has conditioned me to find sinister; is he part of this?
Episode 18, "The Wandering Knight (Egmont Ouvertüre)"
This is a Beethoven piece which, according to the Étude, was written as incidential music to the story of a Dutch count whose public decapitation did not quell a rebellion, as intended, but sparked the Eighty Years' War.
Once upon a time, there was a knight. The knight never faltered in his duty, no matter what it was. He didn't even falter when duty demanded he take the life of his lover. His dedication was what he took pride in.
But the knight couldn't do anything but carry out his duty, and even after death, he still seeks a duty to carry out. They say the knight who became a ghost and now haunts this world holds in his hand the blood-stained sword that pierced his lover's breast.
I had a lot of trouble with this episode, because there's a knight that's Fakir reborn, and then this knight, and for a while I wasn't sure if they were supposed to be the same. (Which would have been interesting, back when I thought the Fakir-knight was the one to kill the prince—were they lovers?) But I got it eventually.
Possessed!Mytho still trying to wound Fakir or drive him away, this time telling him that the story no longer has need of him, and so he will just fade away and be forgotten. (Which doesn't seem to be a danger so far.) And then library guy passes in the background looking sinister. Hmm.
Does Mr. Cat know something? Fakir asks him about turning impure love to pure, and he answers by asking whether Odile's love is impure and then walking away. He really seems to be built up in this disc.
Someone seems very likely to be sacrificing their life for Rue/Kraehe because the raven and possessed!Mytho made such points of saying no-one would. (Also that there is no Rue; this seems significant too.)
Also, this is as good a place as any to say yes, I've notice that symbolic rose in Mytho's room . . .
Fakir's all hurt in his pride because he was unable to protect Duck; but he doesn't know he's in a shoujo story. Also he should know better because pride gone too far was just the subject of this episode.
And suddenly Drosselmeyer doesn't know what's going on, because someone's taken the original script of that play about the knight! (Library-guy would seem the obvious suspect.) Woo, more meta and mysteries.
- Bitter disappointment (Anteaterina, episode 2)
- Loneliness (Miss Ebine, episode 3)
- Sorrow (Giselle, episode 4)
- Affection (the lamp, episode 5)
- Fear and uncertainty (Paulamoni of the Eleki troupe, episode 6)
- Desire for knowledge (the river, revealed in episode 7, restored in episode 8)
- Devotion (art student Malen, episode 9)
- Regret (Karon, episode 10)
- Love (unidentified animal-person (bear?), revealed in episode 11, restored in episode 13)
- Pride (ghost knight, episode 18)
I do hope the pacing of this doesn't collapse at the end. It seems a not-uncommon problem in anime.