Princess Tu Tu Volume 1 - Ikuko Itoh, Ikuko Ito This past weekend, my friend and I, having enough time to finally hang out together, decided to watch the anime Princess Tutu. She and her younger sister have been fans of this anime for the longest and couldn't wait for the time when I was able to finally see it. Well, I finally did... and, despite what you guys might think, it was a very VERY good anime. It's one of those anime that deceives you, coming off as very girly and cute. Normally, I don't do shows like that. I am just not the shoujo type. However, I trust in my friend's opinions and said, "What the hell? I'll give it a shot." And it was amazing! They way the incorporated ballet and classical music into the anime was incredible and the characters are so beautiful even though it does take you a while to warm up to them. Long story short, I loved the anime. Now, being a brand new fan of Princess Tutu, I had to read the manga to see how similar/different they were from each other... and boy, is it different.

I will admit... at first, I was NOT in love with this manga. I felt that it was TOO different from the anime. Yes, I know that it's bound to happen but I felt that it destroyed a lot of the elements that made the anime such a great show. However, after reading the first volume... I realized that it is not as bad as I first thought. The story, though the main premise is the same (collecting pieces of the Prince's shattered heart), was changed slightly with who/what is behind this strange phenomenon. That didn't annoy me as much. What DID annoy me was changing a lot of the characters, ruining one of the main character's design, and adding a bit more fanservice than there should be in a manga like this one. Another thing that bothered me was the pacing... it's two volumes, I know. There's only so much you can fit into a two volume manga when the anime had 26/38 episodes. BUT! It still feels sort of rushed to me. You think they would slow things down some to give the reader enough time to absorbed what's being told. Oh well...

Let's back track a bit and talk about the character design. Anyone who has seen the anime knows how Edel looks like. I won't tell you what she is because that will be a spoiler for the anime. Well, she had a very unique design to her that made her stood out. In the manga, she looks like a slut. I'm not even joking. She looks downright trashy and that really upset me. To add insult to injury, she acts nothing like herself! She's completely different! She might as well have been a different character all together! Lilie and Pique were replaced by Yuma and Mai and those characters acted differently, too, but at least they weren't associated with the characters from the anime by sporting their names. Seeing the way Edel was handled in the manga was really disappointed... especially since she had such a vital role in the show. Not to mention obviously making her the villain (It's not a spoiler if it's obvious from the start. No, really, there's a scene like in the first chapter that proves she's going to be the villain.) The only thing that made me look past this point and not be as bitter about it was that the mangaka, at the end of the book, realized that what they did with her character seemed foolish and actually apologized to the readers for it. You hardly EVER see a mangaka or anyone for that matter apologizing for when they screw up. That's why I am able to look past it.

Everything else in the manga seemed to be in place. The artwork was stunning to look at, all the ballet elements were there, and most of the characters were still like their animated counterparts (minus the ones I've previously mentioned). Ahiru is still an adorable clutz, Fakir is a douche (but we all love him anyway), Mytho is a zombie, and Rue is slightly bitchy but pretty. I think the one that most in character was Neko-sensei, what with his "being strict" and saying to all the girls they are going to have to marry him! God, that cat is cracky! XD I love him! The story is playing out a bit differently but I can handle that. It's not as great as the anime but it will suffice.

So what do I think about this manga? It's alright. I think die-hard Princess Tutu fans are NOT going to enjoy this because there's just TOO many differences that kind of ruin the reading experience. I suggest you read the manga first and then watch the anime, that way, the manga won't be ruined for you. I know that because I saw the anime first, that's one of the main reasons why this manga is just... meh. My expectations were a bit too high. If you can handle changes to a storyline well, then give it a shot. If not, don't bother. A decent read but nothing more. Maybe the second volume will be better... maybe.