For the fans of this character, I first must say that I am continuing the manga version of this story. I was first intrigued, and fell in love with, the anime, (the original,) version of this story, and loved the scenes, the characters, the music, and the keen eye for detail. The setting was very clear, details about the characters, the histories, and so forth, were very well put together, and had the tendency to suck one in. While I was like most, when I saw that Ahiru did not get her glass slipper as she justly deserved, I was as angry as many. However, after taking some time to really look at the story, I then realized that her greatest heroic work was not as the superhero, but as the duck, out from which Tutu sprung in an astral form, allowing the prince to do the work needed to be done. The whole point was that, one does not have to be big, strong, graceful, and so forth, to do heroic things. Another thing I also realized, (and I see clearly through fan fiction,) that many caught the hint that I caught the show's creators gave. The end was left open-ended, and one was then encouraged to fill in Fakir's role, and write their own continuations to the story—get the imagination and the creative juices flowing. However, I personally had a hard time knowing where to go with the story, and brooded over it for a long time. Then I found the manga version…
When I read that, I was quite surprised. Many of the characters had returned, Pique and Lilie had been replaced by Mai and Yuma, and Edel was turned quite human, and into a villain. It was explained by the writers that the anime's creators told the manga side of things to do as they pleased, because, well, how many versions of Swan Lake are there? In that version, Ahiru, (Duck,) is quite human, and her origins were also quite different. Only Neku-Sensi, (Mr. Katt,) is preserved as a character, and is the only anthropomorph. Drosslmyer was conspicuously absent, and the reasons for returning the heart shards were somewhat different. Another aspect I caught out of it was that they also caught more of the essence of the superhero side of things—at least, that's what I caught. Anyway, that story was also enjoyable; however, the depth of the story was somewhat shallow as compared to the anime. Whereas it is quite clear where the academy, and Kinkan town, were located, in the manga, it is nondescript. Names are Japanese, and certain characters are given last names. Yet, the flavor of the town is not Japanese, and none of the characters, (save maybe Rue and Mai,) have an Oriental look or feel. Therefore, where it is, and who anyone is, is left up to the reader. There are other things that differ, and there are other plot points that could have used some more detail, I yet did enjoy this story as well. Yet, because of all the detail that had been left out and the superhero/comic book feel to this, (and because of my love for the American comic book as well,) synapses were firing on all cylinders, and ideas began to flow like water. I wondered if I could mix the two worlds, (manga and American comics,) together, and I gave it a shot. Therefore, I decided to use some established comic book characters in order to bring ability for Tutu to reemerge, and, because of the source of this, the characters from DC Comics were the only route that I could go. They play a prominent part later on, but they do not dominate, so be assured that our heroine and her friends are the focus of the story, as well as the two heroes that are added in to round off the team. Those who have read the rough draft have told me that they have enjoyed it, and this encouraged me to share this with as many people as I could. Therefore, in order to make this work, I had to make some embellishments.
First of all, to make this work, I put Kinkan town, and the academy, 20 miles outside a prominent city in the U.S. where one of the heroes in this story originally hails. Second, I went about adding depth to the characters that the manga lacked, in order for the story to have the authentic feel to it, and make it more complete for reading. Third, I had to tweak the story of the two heroes just a touch that I have added to the mix so that it would seem more feasible for them to even be there, and added some new characters for more flavor. The result was a lengthy, but yet, quite fun story, and I hope that this is as fun for you to read as it was for me to write.
Princess Tutu and the Secret Six
In a small village, sitting 20 miles outside Fawcett City, in a village that retains its colonial flavor, sits the Kinkan School of the Arts: a renowned school that attracts art students from all over the world who are hopeful for fame, and who hope to perfect their arts. It was named for one Kinkan Matzuzama, a Japanese immigrant to America, who was a purveyor of the arts, and eventually conductor of the Fawcett City Symphony Orchestra. When he retired, he took is now vast fortune, and opened a school of the arts, leaving his fortune to the school in order that it may forever continue to foster the arts, and aid young hopefuls in their pursuit of glory. As August drew to a close, new and returning students were beginning to make their way back to the school. At Fawcett International Airport, the majority of those students were coming off their respective flights, and beginning to head to the bus depot for the short jaunt to the school. Of course, there was the gleeful screams, laughs, and back slaps of old school chums meeting after the long, yet seemingly short summer break, and the occasional lost pre-teen or teen new student, looking for anyone to help get him or her to the school. A few chartered buses sat at the depot, awaiting the students, and the attendants were quickly packing bags, instruments, and other paraphernalia onto the cargo bays. Slowly into this commotion headed two 17-year-old German boys: one with very light blonde hair, giving the appearance of being almost white, (making him look older than his years,) left loose and shaggy, and the other with jet-black hair, long enough to do a colonial style pony tail in the back. The blonde boy had a kind, but powerful, looking face, with bright blue eyes, and a contented grin. The other always seemed to affect a dead serious look on his own face, and he was always looking around himself, as if he were on a constant alert for who knows what. The blonde boy was searching the body of students at the busses, slightly anxious, and he asked in his native German, "Have you seen her, Fakir?"
"Seen who, Mytho?" asked Fakir, not even looking at his comrade.
"Rue," he responded, "She said she would meet us here at about this time."
"Relax," answered Fakir, with a slight grin now curing on his lips, "She'll be here. Remember, she's coming from Japan; her flight could have been delayed for any number of reasons. Oh, and would you please speak in English: we are going to have to get used to using it again. We need the refresher."
"Oops, sorry," answered Mytho, "After speaking the home tongue again for three months, it becomes instinctive."
"What becomes instinctive?" said a curious female voice from behind Mytho, with a slight Japanese accent. At this, two arms came from behind him and embraced him tightly, and a kiss on the cheek. Mytho's hand came up and gave a gentle squeeze to his embracer's hand. He then quickly spun around, began to twirl the young lady in a series of pirouettes, and then picked her up with the ease of lifting a feather as she put her hands on his shoulder, posing in an arabesque. "Rue!" he exclaimed, "How long have you been standing here?"
"Long enough to see Mr. Stoic here ever on the lookout, and to listen to the both of you speak in that guttural tongue of yours," Rue slyly answered, with a slight sneer on her lips.
"Oh, and like your Japanese is any more elegant?" responded Fakir. They all laughed, and then began to exchange pleasantries. "So, how's that antique dealing father of yours, boys?" she asked.
"He and Bridgett send their best," said Fakir, slightly clicking his heels, and with a bow just as slight. Rue then asked, "So, how was your summer?"
"Well," Mytho answered, "It was quite pleasant. We were able to get a JungesBahnPass and were able to tour the countryside, practicing in whatever studio we could. It was fun seeing all those other ballet students from all over Germany, learning what we could. When we mentioned who we were, and where we were going, people responded as if we were going to Julliard, or the Academy of Saint Martin's in the Fields!"
"Well, Kinkan is that renown," responded Rue, "It is not easy to get in, although it does not cost much, thanks to the old man's fortune. You have to have talent."
"I do not think money would be your worry anyway, Rue," said Fakir, "what with your family background and all."
"Now, please don't bring that up!" she said, rolling her eyes into her head, "You do not know how hard it is to fight the 'snotty-rich-girl' reputation!"
"Not that you've done much to fight that reputation," joked Fakir.
"Thanks a lot!" Rue said dryly.
"Besides, people are always amazed at how good your English is," responded Fakir, "That takes money to send someone to the right schools that will teach the language properly, not that these people have used it in this country in years!"
They all laughed at the joke, not meaning any malice towards the country in which they would be spending the next nine months. Rue then said, "Besides, you know that it takes talent, or the potential for that, to get in anyway."
From behind, frantically yelling and gesturing, hauling a suitcase that seemed to have more of a say in where it wanted to go than its owner cared for, came a young 13-year-old redheaded girl, slightly on the skinny side, with a long, braided hair. "Hey, Rue-chan!" she yelled, "Hey! Hey! Wait up! This thing is heavy."
She frantically moved about with hyperactivity reminiscent of an excited duck. Rue sighed heavily, then grinned as she said, "Speaking of talent…or lack thereof…"
They wheeled around to see the approaching, excited duck of a girl, all smiled, and Fakir then went over to help her with her case. "It looks like that thing is beating you up, Ahiru!"
"Ha, ha!" she said, very frustrated, "Could you please just help me, and quit the comedy act?"
Ahiru Arima was a 13-year-old American girl, the daughter of an American military officer stationed in Japan, and who had been so for some time. He named his daughter "Ahiru" after the Japanese word for "duck." She reminded him of the ugly duckling when she first came into the world, and knew it was fitting when he began to watch his daughter turn into a glorious swan. This was reinforced when she gained an aptitude for ballet at a young age, despite her clumsy, duck like demeanor. She has the dreams of being a prima ballerina someday, although in the couple of years she was attending the academy, it seemed like this would never change. However, due to the events of the previous year, and her newfound commitment to the dance because of those events, she had been practicing like crazy during the summer, and was hoping to move up to the intermediate courses that year. She considered herself a friend of Rue's, although just the year before, Rue would not have anything to do with what she considered an awkward, hyperactive child. Yet, Rue still knew her from years before, when she was a beginning dancer herself, and Ahiru was in the basics course. Still, she did not have much association with each other until the academy. The truth is that all four really did not have much to do with each other until that previous year. This is when the events of that past year bound them together in quite a unique way. The secrets that they all bore came together, and united them.
In that previous year, Mytho was the shell of his present state. It seemed that, before that time, when Mytho was a child, he was an extremely kindhearted boy, who had a unique gift for healing the wounds of all the small animals that found their way to him. He also had a heart that always caused him to go out of his way to aid all others, man or animal, when they were in danger. Fakir was his foster brother, as both were adopted orphans, raised by a generous antique dealer and blacksmith. Fakir also found himself having to rescue his brother quite frequently from his forays of rescuing things that often led Mytho into great dangers. Charon, the old smith, often admired the big hearts of his two boys, and continually told the boys that protecting was in their blood: both were descendants of knights who possessed great strength and bravery. He called Mytho the Knight Prince, and Fakir his Lord High Protector. However, events unfolded that would change them forever, which unfolded like a twisted fairy tale. One day, while Mytho was healing an injured bird, a dark voice came out of nowhere saying, "Give me that pure heart!"
Out of all corners came ravens, swooping and clawing at Mytho. Fakir did all that he could to keep them away, but he was being just as overwhelmed as Mytho. The voice said, "It is no use in fighting! Give me that heart, that I may plunge this world into darkness, and rule it forever!"
Mytho, seeing his brother in trouble, and knowing that there may be no other way, wished that his own heart be shattered, and scattered to the four winds, that this mysterious voice may never have it. Instantly, a sword appeared as if piercing straight through the chest of Mytho, having a hilt shaped from two swans facing each other, with their heads touching, and forming a heart from head, to necks, to chest. The sword then withdrew itself, and fell to the street with a clang. Though there seemed to be no visible wound, Mytho fell as if dead. When he came to, he was nothing more than a zombie, only able to do what he was told, as if he were an automaton. Fakir told Charon about this, and he explained that there was an old legend that stated that an old spirit of a raven with the power to plunge the earth into darkness, seeking a pure heart to sacrifice in order to do this. Apparently, in is selfless way, Mytho caused this to happen to his heart that it would not happen. The sad result of this, however, is that he essentially lost his soul, and it was now out there, floating around lost. Yet, Fakir swore to protect his brother from that day forward, keeping the sword he found for him and Mytho. He kept Mytho with him wherever he went. When Fakir displayed an aptitude and love for ballet, and started training, he had Mytho join him. It was easier for Mytho to pick up on it, considering that all he needed was to be programmed with the moves, and then he would execute them. However, even though he executed the dance perfectly, Mytho's dance never seemed to have any life in it. Still, Charon figured that it would be best to send the boys somewhere safe, lest the Raven return for vengeance. Thus, he sent them to Kinkan to perfect their art. This is where the events of the previous year come into play.
While at the academy, Rue fell madly in love with Mytho, seeing that he really seemed to have no spirit, and desperately wanted to provide this for him. At the same time, Ahiru stumbled onto one of his practices in the ballet room when she had assumed she was late for class, and was rushing in. She saw the blank expression, and empty eyes, and also desired to see the young man regain his smile, (for she figured that is what he needed the most.) She also fell madly in love with him, yet felt it something out of reach, being that she was only 12, and he was 16. What both girls despised was the fact that Fakir always kept a tight wrap on Mytho, and tried to keep themselves as recluses on the campus. This is when fate played her hand. Unbeknownst to both girls, each had been approached by one Miss Edel, who understood the wishes of both girls, and gave them both pendants, telling them that, with those pendants, they would be able to find the pieces of Mytho's heart. However, Rue, (who at that time was quite snobbish,) was given the mission of merely gathering the pieces, playing off the fact that she was greedy to keep Mytho to herself, and would do anything to protect him. She felt, as Fakir did, that, to restore his heart would be dangerous, and it would be better if Mytho stayed the way that he was. Rue, by the pendant, could transform herself into the raven princess: Kraehe. She took on the appearance of a raven-like ballerina, with a quite revealing black, feathery tutu, tights, and toe shoes. She could perform magic, fight, as well as dance, and use these things as offensive weapons to fight for her "dear prince." However, Ahiru was given a pendant that actually contained a piece of Mytho's heart, and it transformed her into a swan princess: Tutu. She wore a white strapless tutu, with light pink tights and trim, and dark pink toe shoes, puffy armbands, and a white, feathery head ring, with a small gold crown, and small wings on the back. Whereas Ahiru was an awkward dancer, Tutu was a prima. Her ability was to dance to guide people's hearts. She could affect plants with her dancing to grow at her whim, to be used for protection, transport, and defense. She never liked fighting, and that caused her some problems when such things seemed necessary. However, her ability to reach into minds and resolve the inner conflicts of people that caused them to do some wrong things was her best weapon. Her gentle speech and demeanor was enough to calm the hardest of people. What the two of them did not know was that Edel was in fact the Raven Priestess. She served and loved her master well. She knew that pitting the two girls together would accelerate the search and restoration process along faster, and that she could then sacrifice Mytho to revive the spirit of the Raven, and plunge the world into darkness forever. What Edel did not factor in was the tenacity of the two girls in their tasks. She did not figure that Rue would catch on to Edel's intent, and then seek to prevent the heart's restoration to save her love. She also did not figure that Mytho, once having his heart restored, would be able to lend some of his magic to Tutu, in order to let her use her abilities to save them from Edel's lair, considering that the giving over of the final piece in the pendant meant the end of Tutu. No one knew what had happened to Edel. Since she never reemerged, they figured that she had been killed, banished, or in some other way punished for her failures by the Raven himself. They just did not know. Fakir had done all he could to protect Mytho, and prevent the restoration to his heart, but then realized that Tutu meant no harm, and just might be able to resolve the issue once and for all. Yet, when the incident was over, both girls lost their pendants. However, the people that they had become left some kind of a signature on them. Rue became less arrogant, and even helpful to the younger girls in the classes, aiding them in getting better. Ahiru was able to use visualization techniques always to keep in mind the princess she had once been, and to let that affect her dance. The whole incident bound them together as friends. Mytho and Rue found a deep love for one another, as all of them found a deep bond of friendship form between them. They often did not speak of things of the past, but they knew things would be better now that things were returned to normal.
…or so they thought.
As they were making their way onto the bus, two squeals of joy erupted behind Ahiru, "WHEE!" they shouted, "AHIRU! Its so good to see you again!"
She was quickly embraced, and almost tackled, by two girls her age: Mai and Yuma. Yuma was a blonde English girl, full of spunk and energy, and all "girl." Mai was a Korean girl who was very much a tomboy. However, because of the way the two were, they complimented each other, and became good friends as a result. However, to some girls, they were seen as oddballs, and were ignored by most. Because "birds of a feather flock together," they saw the awkwardness of Ahiru, and figured that they had a kindred spirit. She was quickly included within their flock, and they did indeed become good friends. They tittered and chatted the way that 13-year-old girls will do, and the other three laughed to see how quickly Mai and Yuma were mobbing Ahiru, preening her feathers, so to speak, and sweeping her away. Ahiru looked back with a desperate look on her face, hoping for help. But Rue said, "Go ahead, Ahiru-chan! You three need to catch up."
Ahiru glared back with a surprised and aggravated look on her face. Apparently, she did not want to be reunited with these two that soon coming off the plane! However, the other three took this as a break. She was their friend, and yet, more like a kid sister: they loved her, but could only take her in certain doses. Yet, they also knew that Ahiru did what she could to insure that no one got a small dose. Thus, this was a break for them, as they wanted to take the time to focus in on school. This was their senior year, and they hoped to graduate with high honors, giving them a chance at an art college, or maybe even the big time right away. As the buses pulled out, they figured that, hopefully, their lives would return to the normal routine of dance and academic classes, and living life. However, as the buses pulled away, a raven sat in a tree intently watching the bus upon which the four rode. After it was out of sight, it flew away swiftly, as if to find someone.