Twelve Days: Seven Swans-a-Swimming

Or: Dancing Ducks and Clever Corvids

An Author and His Duck

Once upon a time, there was a man who died. The man tried to keep spinning a story even after his death, but the story just wouldn’t move along. The man lost patience and called a duck into the story.

Or so narrates the narrator of Princess Tutu at the beginning of its final episode. As a series, it is a bit of an oddity in terms of both presentation and plot. I do not intend to suggest it bad, however, in fact, to my mind, it’s fairly brilliant.

As is the tendency of series with an actual plot, the grand finale is the keystone of its proverbial arch. It is that which the viewer looks forward to most. It is that which, when executed well, draws together the myriad elements introduced and everything to a close. Princess Tutu does this very well indeed, and thus I list it here as today’s Moment.

Beyond the absurdity of a town turned corvidae, beyond the prince riding a whirlwind of cherry tree blossoms to save his princess and defeat his foe, and beyond a crazed bookseller taking up an axe to fell he who would doom them all, there is something that resonates. That same something can also be found in the similarly excellent Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer[1][2].

Simply put, it is the triumph of hope over despair. The Beast Knights who manage to defeat the mage Animus in Biscuit Hammer are the first and only knights to go through despair, and still see hope beyond it[3]. In Princess Tutu, a single duck, a small duck – whose only strengths lie in her convictions and scribe – sees only hope, and triumphs because of it.

To say more would probably ruin it further. As such I shall leave you with what is probably the best line in the series, if not most of anime.

May those who accept their fate find happiness; those who defy it, glory.


  1. Don’t mind the name, it comes highly recommended – and not by me alone.  ↩
  2. Additionally, and especially for those whose moral compass still swings firmly north, Seven Seas are going to publish it in the Occident. One less excuse for not reading it.  ↩
  3. Also Blues Drive Monster, but that’s a minor detail.  ↩

Post Scriptum

Theoretically, this should be tomorrow’s Day and Moment. The content and today’s title go far too well together, however.


by | December 19, 2013 · 8:45 am

4 responses to “Twelve Days: Seven Swans-a-Swimming

  1. Pingback: Twelve Days: Six Geese-a-Laying | The Untold Story of Altair & Vega

  2. I love Princess Tutu and see it as both a great literary work as well as a commentary on how literary works are created, the ethics behind treating character development, and the responsibility of assuming authorship. :)

    I hope to explore similar themes you’ve brought up here–particularly the dynamic of writing as a tool of both hope and despair–in my own blog after 12 Days. If interested, check out my blog at

  3. Pingback: Altair & Vega » Twelve Days: Six Geese-a-Laying

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