Barring that first episode, the main focus of the ballet is not as a gimmick.
Dance is an art form and a style of communication. As my theatre teacher once said, “When words aren’t enough, you sing. When singing isn’t enough, you dance. And when dancing isn’t enough, you sing and dance together.”
Throughout the show, the “fight scenes” are a “war” of ideas, and ballet is used as a conduit and punctuation for said ideas.
The ballet is used for expression, and while magical elements do occur (for example, Tutu dancing on top of water, or practically flying, or growing plants instantaneously. (which isn’t totally uncalled for given that it’s taking place inside a story)) the ballet puts the characters thoughts, feelings, and beliefs center stage.
2. The Character Development
Okay, confession time.
When I was first watching Princess Tutu, THIS guy made me really upset. I stuck around for a few episodes because I wanted to see Duck and Mytho end up together, but THIS GUY. EUUUGH……
I didn’t hate him (To quote Swoozie, “My gang would never let me be a hater”), but I did dislike him to an extreme degree. Like, I loathed him. So I just quit watching the show and decided that I would look at some fanart to satisfy my desire for Mytho/Duck cuteness, except…….
All y'alls just had Fakir/Duck drawings everywhere, and to be honest, I thought you guys were crazy.
So I just swore off Princess Tutu, until one day I decided to give it another go.
And let me tell you….
I was not disappointed.
All four of the main characters grow in some way or another. THAT guy pictured above, went from being my most disliked fictional character to my most favorite fictional character.
The Heroine grows
The Villain-ess grows
The Jerk grows
The Prince grows
And all in ways that, to me, felt very satisfying and natural. I may be remembering this show through rose tinted glasses, but these characters were very human.