The fight between the Prince and the Raven is being fought with fiercer and fiercer and desperation – in a place where no one can see.

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We’re entering the final stretch, and uncertainty abounds.  Each of the characters will be faced with a choice between playing the role assigned to them by the story and accepting the role of their real selves, but they can’t even see any choices before them because they’re so used to just going with the flow of the story.

Fakir: How long have I been searching for a way to return Mytho to the story? All this time I just took to hand whatever book struck me, so why do I choose only books whose endings are missing? Why? What meaning is there to books with missing endings?

This episode probably has the best integration of the episodic plot with the larger plot in the entire series.  The victim this time is Raetsel, an old friend of Fakir’s who describes herself as an “older sister”.

Raetsel: Say, is Fakir still writing stories? The stories that boy used to write now and again, sometimes, they came true. […] He loved to write stories since the time he was very small. They were just silly little stories, but sometimes part of them would come true. However, after he came to Karon’s house, he just stopped writing altogether.

Duck is understandably excited by the potential of Fakir writing stories that come true, but Fakir blows up at her when she tries to discuss it with him.

Duck: If you really have that power and you write a story where Mytho gets saved in the end-

Fakir: Shut up!

Duck: What do you mean? Why are you talking to me that way? Hey! If I really could help Mytho by myself, Fakir, I wouldn’t be asking you, but right now I can’t do anything.

Fakir: I said be quiet! I’ll protect Mytho as a knight, end of story. I won’t take orders from you!

Fakir is obviously terrified by Duck’s suggestion, but Duck is in a pretty desperate state, too.  She thinks that all she can do is things that hurt Mytho, and she doesn’t have a clue how to go about saving him

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Rue only shows up once this episode (even Duck seems to have forgotten her during her quarrel with Fakir), but she’s pretty desperate, too.

Rue: If I do what Father says, someday he’ll be my prince alone, right, Father?

She’s literally been relegated to watching from the sidelines and just hoping that Mytho will ultimately choose her, a hope that has already begun to fade.

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Raetsel: Miss Duck please, will you pretend that you never heard what I told you before? […]A long time ago, a lot of crows once showed up in Goldcrown Town. The crows attacked the townspeople indiscriminately. Fakir was a child, but he must have wanted to do something to help. He wrote a story where he became a hero and defeated the crows. And then, just like Fakir’s story he had written, the crows came and attacked him. But the ending was different than his story. Afterwards, he got so he never talked about it, as if he’d sealed those memories away. He stopped writing stories, too.

Fakir’s parents died trying to protect him from the crows which his story had brought on them.  Evidently he latched onto the role of the Knight after that because he wanted to believe that he could prevent any such tragedy from happening to him again.  He exchanged his pen for a sword, something he could control.  Perhaps even death in battle seemed preferable to the possibility of hurting the people he loved with his writing.

Fakir: What is this awful feeling? The power to make stories come true…a power like that, in me? It’s ridiculous.

So he picks up his sword again to protect Raetsel

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Raetsel: Karon knows how I feel, but when I saw him he said nothing, he did nothing. Hans, however, he assures me of his love for me, he looks only at me and holds me close, and I love him dearly as well. Yet no matter what I do I see Karon’s face in my mind.

Mytho: You’re suffering because you’re wavering between two loves. Love only me, and your wavering will vanish.

I love it when there are adults dealing with adult feelings and situations on this show.  She’s made a commitment to someone, but she can’t forget Karon, a person whom she’s presumably had feelings for since she was relatively young.

Princess Tutu: That pain is how you truly feel, so wake up! You want to be happy with the one you love most, don’t you?

Raetsel: I kept on weighing their loves against each other for the sake of my own happiness. To escape the aching pain of my wavering, I set out to get Fakir to write a story about me, even though I knew I would hurt him. I’m a horrible woman.

Princess Tutu: To want to be loved by those we love is not an evil feeling. I’m sure it hurts to waver between two loves, but simply running away won’t help you to escape that pain.

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Fakir fights to protect Raetsel, but in the end he only survives because the old Mytho still has enough power over his own body to refuse to kill his friend.

That’s when Fakir realizes that the only way for him to move forward is to write.  Mytho hasn’t given up yet, but he can’t keep resisting alone.  Fakir’s sword is useless to aid him, but his pen has power that can still be tried.

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Fakir: I think I will try writing one…you know, a story about Mytho.

Drosselmeyer: That’s dangerous, that power is truly dangerous, you know. Can someone like you, who couldn’t attain mere knighthood, really master such a potent craft?

Raetsel is able to give Karon “a proper goodbye”, and Fakir writes his first story in years (although it doesn’t actually come true). By the way, that line about “a letter to the president” was just an ad lib that they decided to throw in on the English track for some reason; in the original script it’s clear that Fakir is just writing a story.  That’s honestly my biggest issue in the entire English dub, which is actually pretty impressive, all things considered.

Now that Fakir has stepped beyond the role of the Knight, the entire story is up in the air.  Change of some sort is inevitable, but it could still sway in any number of directions.

Strap yourselves in.  If you thought this episode was fraught with feelings, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

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