Carole and Tuesday is the latest anime directed by the acclaimed Shinichiro Watanabe in its focus on the titular characters trying to make it as successful musicians, while dealing with differing hardships within their personal lives with Carole an orphaned teenage girl living on her own and Tuesday running away from home from her wealthy family. Outside of its music-focused premise, the series is set in the future on a terraformed Mars, which parts of humanity have settled on in recent decades.
Carole and Tuesday explores the struggles and rising fame that our titular pair have with becoming successful musicians, as well as the developments of another aspiring musician named Angela trying to break away from her current profession as a model. As both are at different points of having a successful career in media, both have their challenges to face in trying to become successful musicians with Carole and Tuesday trying to sort out how to draw attention to their musical talents due to their unknown status and Angela trying to sway the public away from associating her with her prior modeling career and to show she has genuine musical talent beyond whatever her manager, Tao, programs for her. In addition to this, the three also come to confront elements to their personal lives that offer some engaging drama for all three during the developments of their musical careers, this especially getting greater focus in the second half of the series once the three start to become established musicians.
As expected of Watanabe's past works, Carole and Tuesday draws inspiration from American culture to explore the popular music scene found on Mars. Musical genres such as rap, hip-hop, blues, and elctronica are used throughout the series and lend to a diversity of musical styles utilized throughout the series, this even including decently-sung English lyrics. The highlight of this experience included a homage to the popular "American Idol" singing competition TV series with a musical competition called "Mars' Brightest" where outside of our titular duo and Angela, includes some rather over-the-top contestants to parody the least-popular contestants seen in talent screenings done by the show's judges in early episodes of American Idol seasons. Beyond homages, Carole and Tuesday also tackles some believable elements that come from the challenges of being a prominent figure in popular culture such as dealing with stalkers, censorship, and utilizing the Internet to spread media awareness. A unique element for this series though is the music industry on Mars being largely dependent on technology like artificial intelligence and mechanical enhancements to develop its music, with Angela and Carole & Tuesday serving as an antithesis of sorts to this trend due to the natural development of their musical talents not being enhanced by technology in any capacity for development of music and vocals.
Praises aside, Carole and Tuesday is not without its imperfections. As fun as the Mars' Brightest competition was in the middle of the show, it has its moments where it causes the show's plot to drag and the outcome of it is largely predictable considering how entwined the character developments of Angela and our titular duo are. The second half's developments concerning the increased presence of Tuesday's family within the series is also a bit of a double-edged sword. While helping to further explore Carole and Tuesday's characters and attempt to further explore life on Mars, the attempt at political commentary by using events in the series to parallel Donald Trump's presidential run and America's current immigration crisis does not feel as genuine and smoothly integrated into the show's developments compared to the core focus being on the developments of Angela and our titular duo.
In spite of some issues with plotting though, Carole and Tuesday is still another quality work from Shinichiro Watanabe and one of the better anime titles of 2019 to check out due to its engaging exploration of the rise of Carole and Tuesday's musical career and what the music industry is like for musicians on Mars, as well as the diverse and excellent soundtrack offered up throughout its run.
Last updated Thursday, October 03 2019. Created Thursday, October 03 2019.
(One episode watched):
I could not get excited about this show. The ugly, sordid culture on Mars turned me off; do we have to go to another planet for something so commonplace here? It sort of seemed as if the message here was that everybody is out to get these two girls, the ignored, unwanted orphan and the suffocated rich girl, therefore they must be good. But nothing about them really intrigued me, so I have a hard time caring if they become famous performers or not. We never reached the point at which their personalities 'clicked' and I came to see them as people who I could understand and sympathize with. They basically remained strangers. I actually found the sometimes drunk, embittered music producer who they will undoubtably team up with to be more interesting than them, but even he doesn't seem like enough to make this show worth my time. Mars itself didn't excite me either; there's some futuristic high tech, but not anything really radical and original. And why do they sometimes build such ancient-looking, rundown buildings there? The sky is blue and for the most part there is nothing different than what would presumably be going on back on earth. It's almost like at the last minute the makers of this show decided to slightly alter a tale taking place on earth and instead have it be happening on Mars. But above all my main problem with this show was that I just can't care all that much about either Carole or Tuesday.
Last updated Saturday, June 29 2019. Created Thursday, May 02 2019.
|Official Japanese Series Web Site