#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.