#WaifuWednesday

Apparently, this is something some weebs on Twitter do on Wednesdays. It’s Wednesday, so it’s time to display your waifu.

And for that reason, we need a random assortment of Duck from Princess Tutu.

10/10 would dance.

Princess Tutu is often considered the spiritual successor of Revolutionary Girl Utena, from which it borrows heavily, as I’ll explain at length one of these days when I get around to reviewing it. Although I’m eager to discuss it, I can’t until I’m done with Utena, because Tutu appears to be a “Take That!” aimed at Utena’s conclusion.

Princess Tutu accomplishes what the other po-mo anime that preceded it never quite managed: it’s metafictional without being either pretentious or unintelligible. Also, unlike with most similar anime, its creators actually did their research.

It stands out because, although it’s basically a magical girl warrior show, it has an unusual concept. Instead of climaxing with a monster battle, a typical episode climaxes with a ballet duet in which Duck, in her magical girl form, uses her power of dance to shatter illusions and restore people to their true selves. Unlike, say, the faked sword fights of Utena, the dances in Princess Tutu were created by studying a real ballet studio.

Duck, as a Duck.

The soundtrack of Tutu was created by arranging various pieces of classical music, many (but not all) taken from ballets. The plot, too, is a seamless interweaving of motifs from several fairy tales, many of which (but not all) have been interpreted in ballet.

Although it sags slightly in the middle, it is nearly a perfect anime series. Its one real flaw is that its animation budget couldn’t quite match its ambitions, so much of the dance is depicted through still frames and other animation cheats. This is unfortunate because it more-or-less bills itself as a dance show, but shows dance mostly in brief vignettes, so it feels like a tease. However, it does bring out some well-animated dancing every once in a while, particularly in its mid-series climactic episode based on Swan Lake.

The clumsy, chipper, and softhearted Duck is the most endearing heroine I’ve encountered in magical girl anime. Also, she’s a redhead.

In another forum, I once admitted to having a slight crush on her, and some guy responded by pointing out that she is, in fact, an actual duck who is only borrowing her human form, and he suggested that this would, and I quote, “make bathtime awkward.”

I wasn’t quite sure what he meant, but I pointed out that, depending on whether she was wearing her magic amulet, I could have either a girl in the bath or a duckie.

I fail to see the downside of this.

Hey, baby.

 

  • Unclever_Hans

    Once you marry, will it be cheating if you keep your waifu?

    • Once I marry my waifu, why would I cheat on her?

      • Unclever_Hans

        I don’t think that the Church would approve of you marrying a duck, much less an anime character.

        • She has an amulet that turns her human. I don’t see the cause for objection.

          • Roffles Lowell

            Hmm. Would this imply your animorphing waifu is likewise free of original sin? Or does this amulet confer upon her the fallen nature of mankind as well?

            (For all the anime that have lifted the surface elements of the Catholic faith, I would love to get my hands on one that drops the heavy theological stuff into a science fantasy setting….)

          • Arguably, the theological backdrop of Princess Tutu is, like its predecessor, Gnostic. On the other hand, it can be interpreted as, we might say, anti-Gnostic. In Utena, the world is an illusion and the reality is empty nothingness. In Tutu, the world becomes real once the illusion shatters.

            The closest thing to God in Princess Tutu is Drosselmeyer, who may or may not represent the Gnostic demiurge. He pulls Duck in from outside the story, and for that reason she has free will in spite of his attempts to control her.