12 Moments 11: #11

This entry is part of 12 Moments in Anime 2011.

#11 is the seemingly random and yet completely unnoticed (by the other characters) animal characters in Princess Tutu (ANN), of which Neko-sensei is the most prominent. There’s also an anteater-girl, a goat-girl, and others. I watched the first 13 episodes of Princess Tutu on the recommendation of an acquaintance of mine. As each episode began, I kept thinking to myself, “Well, it’s not that bad, yet, I’ll just see what this episode is like.” Well, I watched 13 entire episodes that way, and while I think the overarching story line is intriguing, I just don’t know enough about ballet (and don’t know the story lines of any given ballet—even The Nutcracker—well enough) for the way each episode plays out to keep my interest.

Neko-sensei stretching

Also, the humanized animal characters were really distracting. I didn’t think it would be a big deal for me at first since the main character herself spends some of her time as a duck, but two things took away from that. First, when Ahiru (the main character, Princess Tutu) is actually a duck, she’s the size of a regular duck. The other animal characters (Neko-sensei, Anteater-girl, etc.) are human-sized animals that walk on their hind legs and use human language. Second, the main character doesn’t spend all of her time as a duck (in fact, she spends nearly none of it that way since, as she herself points out in more than one episode, it’s kind of hard for a little duck to do anything about saving the world or the prince), so I can still imagine her as a human who occasionally transforms… instead of a giant cat or giant goat or whathaveyou.

I don’t know, maybe they have a purpose later in the series, but I didn’t get far enough to see the point. I felt like I was sitting there, in the classroom with a bunch of other (human) ballet students and when an anteater student walked in, I was the only one who noticed. Not that it’s a bad thing to be an anteater, but it’s not like there were a bunch of them and they were just another race of humanoid beings or something. No, just one anteater. Or cat. Or goat. Or whatever. It was really weird.

Viannah E. Duncan

Viannah E. Duncan is a writer and activist hailing originally from Los Angeles. She lives outside of Baltimore, Maryland, and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Wilkes University. She has a cat, Cleo.

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