Once upon a time, a witch laid a curse which cast a princess into an eternal slumber. One day, a young man appeared, intending to awake her. But then a voice whispers, “Awaken the princess from her sleep? What a cruel thing to do! For what if the princess wishes not to receive the kiss of awakening, but rather to continue to sleep forever?”

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This episode is fairly low-key, with Fear lurking in the background right until the end.  The prologue places Mytho in the role of the “princess” (again), the person in need of rescue – or does he need to be rescued?

Duck: I mean really, Mytho doesn’t know how it feels to be in love, even though Rue truly loves him. Isn’t it sad?

Edel: Is it sad?

Duck: You think so, don’t you?

Edel: Is it sad for Mytho, Rue, or for you, Duck?

Again, this is a fair point: If Duck is the only one who’s unhappy with the situation, does that really give her license to change things?  She expects Rue to be happy about Mytho getting his heart back, so she never bothers to ask if that’s what she wants, even after the end of the last episode when she was visibly upset by Mytho smiling at her.

Also, I noticed that I hadn’t gotten much of a chance to discuss Edel yet (or get a screenshot of her), so here you go!  I actually kind of love her cryptic gems.

Edel: The name of this gem is “Dream”. Yet who is happier: A dreamer who lingers, or one who has woken?

For real, she sells cryptic gems now (my personal favorite is “Author’s Bypass”).  But here’s a metaphorical gem from Episode 2:

Edel: A story’s birth is a sudden event: The start, a happy accident; the end, the fate for which it’s meant. A story that never ends is a cruel thing.

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I might start sounding like a broken record, but I love this episode. I love a lot of these episodes, often for different reasons.  This one features an accomplished ballerina who is haunted by fear, but not yet possessed by it.

Paulamoni: You always wake from the dream – no, you must wake up.

It’s refreshing to see an adult with an adult problem (anxiety about her profession) that’s solved in a mature, grown-up fashion. And it’s always nice to see a loving and supportive married couple!

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When Duck is drafted to dance a pas de deux, Rue suggests that Mytho dance with her (doubtlessly curious about Duck’s feelings for him), but as Fakir has declared that Mytho shouldn’t do anything Rue tells him (still operating under the theory that Rue is Princess Tutu), he steps in to dance with Duck instead.

It’s rather amusing seeing what is (in Sleeping Beauty) essentially a wedding dance played out as something more akin to a tango.  Fakir puts in the bare minimum effort to support Duck in her dance all while warning/threatening her to stay away from Mytho.

And then Fear breaks loose.

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This feeling paralyzes Mytho, and Fakir is the one who ends up helping him in that state.  Then Mytho says that it’s Princess Tutu he’s afraid of, and that destroys poor Duck.

Duck: I just wanted Mytho to smile. That’s all I wanted. Was it bad? Was it wrong to want that? Have I done something terrible to Mytho?

First of all, yes, Mytho’s scream of terror is pretty pathetic, and I’m still a little puzzled by why exactly he’s afraid of Tutu – is he really that scared of getting his heart back?  Does it have something to do with the manner in which the Shard of Fear was captured?  We don’t get any satisfactory explanation of that, but it serves to motivate some introspection in the characters, so I’ll give it the benefit of the plot.  Thus the curtain falls with Duck shaken by the realization of the pain she’s causing Mytho, Fakir seemingly vindicated in his position, and Rue left out of the loop completely.  Also, Drosslemeyer is foreboding tragedy (something of a habit for him).

Next time: The balances shift…

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