[Feature] Those Who Defy Their Fate: How Princess Tutu rejects traditional narratives

Ikuko Itoh’s Princess Tutu, which aired in Japan from August 2002 to May 2003, is a lesser-known yet widely praised addition to the mahou shoujo genre. The series pays tribute to various classic ballets and fairy tales, such as Swan Lake and The Nutcracker, while simultaneously weaving a new fairy tale-like story that upends gender roles and rejects the archetypal tragic narrative found in most ballet. In doing so, Princess Tutu embraces feminist ideals of individual freedom, rebellion against archaic tradition, and the construction of a new, more liberating society.