Princess Tutu

Genre: Magical Girl
Score: Good

A girl called Duck is lowliest, most junior student at a ballet school, forever falling over her shoelaces. But when she finds out that the boy she admires has had pieces of his heart stolen, she transforms into a magical girl to get them back. But she also discovers that she’s not really a girl: she’s a duck.

The plot synopsis above sounds really stupid, but doesn’t do the series justice because this series takes its entire lead from ballet – and in ballet a story doesn’t have to make sense, as long as it’s beautiful. And this is quite a beautiful series. Each episode takes both its story and music from a classical ballet. At the start these are mostly isolated and a bit silly, but they start to come together – as does the boy whose heart is gradually restored, one emotion at a time. The way it shows that even negative emotions like fear have their place, and even positive emotions can do damage when out of kilter is suprisingly effective.