Carole & Tuesday has finally made its way over from Netflix Japan to the U.S. The first 12 episodes of the series can be streamed on the service as of Aug. 30. The anime has been highly anticipated since it has an incredible team behind it.
The director, Shinichiro Watanabe, is responsible for classics like Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo. The studio, BONES, produced Fullmetal Alchemist, Mob Psycho 100, and My Hero Academia. The first part of Carole & Tuesday is a mixture of these two powerhouses, delivering some stunning animation sequences as well as a heartwarming story.
Warning: Spoilers ahead
This story starts off with a chance encounter. Tuesday Simmons ran away from home in the hopes of pursuing music in the city. As the daughter of a powerful and wealthy politician, she lived a sheltered and isolated life. She crumbled under the expectations of her family and even dropped out of school. Her running away was one of the first real decisions she had ever made for herself.
Carole lived a completely different life. She was abandoned by her parents as a child. She’s not even sure if they are alive to this day. Despite growing up in an orphanage and practically raising herself from a young age, Carole remains an optimistic person. To get by, she did a lot of very odd jobs. In her spare time, however, she took to the streets to sing and play the piano. This is how Carole and Tuesday came to meet.
Carole and Tuesday
The two, realizing they have chemistry and a love for music, decide to create songs together. With Carole on the piano and Tuesday on the guitar, they create some beautiful pieces. They sneak onto a stage to practice. Luckily, a young man named Roddy records their performance and uploads it. The video goes viral and attracts the attention of Gus who want to be their manager. This ragtag group try and get Carole and Tuesday into the spotlight through numerous methods. Eventually they formulate a plan to have them audition for a singing competition in which they’ll have to beat over 200,000 people for the chance to debut.
In the background, there are some other stories unfolding. Angela, a model, along with the help of her Dahlia, her agent and mother, is trying to pursue a music career. Angela even ends up being in the same singing competition as Carole and Tuesday. There’s also Tao, a music producer, that has only worked with AI that may be slowly discovering that music can use a more human touch. We see Gus working through his old relationships. There are a lot of glimpses of the lives of other characters throughout the series and they all play into the larger plot.
Music Is Universal
From the episodes named after famous songs, to the references to musical legends like Daft Punk to Cyndi Lauper, it’s clear that these characters live and breathe music. Singers Nai Br. XX and Celeina Ann are behind the singing voices for Carole and Tuesday. The two so an amazing job at portraying feelings of uneasiness, happiness and discovery through their singing. Those feelings are refreshing to other characters who haven’t heard music with such a human touch in a long time. People like Gus, Roddie, and even rival Angela all appreciate the songs the duo has performed.
The show also has a lot of other musical talents in their lineup. For example, Flying Lotus, Thundercats, Lauren Dyson and Taku Takahashi are just a few. Every single song on the show is a pleasure to listen to. There wasn’t one that felt out of place or subpar. There was a wide variety of genres and tones to the music as well. It’s clear that the people behind the show put a lot of thought into the sound and the lyrics. Luckily, all the songs are on several streaming platforms.
Familiar But Different
All of this takes place in the distant future on the planet Mars. Not much is said about what happened on Earth to cause people to move but there have been little hints. In this society, technology is king with AI being the center front of all entertainment. Carole and Tuesday are an oddity, because it’s rare to see music being produced without the help of AI.
Surprisingly enough though, Alba City where a majority of the story takes place looks like any other populated city. In fact, it seems to take some inspiration from New York with Carole’s apartment being in “New Brooklyn.” The world feels a little different with its floating hoverboards, robot pets, and self driving cars. However, nothing is too far off that it feels like an impossible direction for society to head in.Carole and Tuesday post on Instagram (they even have a real life, very cute, page up here), Carole works at a fast food restaurant where customers are rude, and everyone still loves a good pizza. Overall, there’s just enough weirdness to give everything a futuristic feel but its remains relatable.
Making It Is Hard, But It Can Happen
While this young music duo do end up doing pretty well for themselves at the end of Part One, they definitely struggled to get there. Their first attempt at building an audience was to make a music video, which took so many resources plus their time, effort and a whole lot of favors ended up being a scam. They got the chance to perform at a huge concert but ended up being booed by a Coachella sized audience. There was huge and potentially life threatening event involving an overly possessive fan. Both Carole and Tuesday ended up butting heads as well.
The situations these two go through are very real. They had trouble at each turn and wanted to give up more than once. However, kind words from someone that inspired them or just talking through their feelings helped them immensely. It’s clear that the second part of the series will go deeper into what problems come with being in the spotlight.
One of the biggest things in regards to this show is its diversity. It’s not everyday that one of the leads of an anime is a clearly defined black girl who skates and loves her Timberland shoes. Not only that but she’s portrayed just as skilled, valued, and important as her counterpart, Tuesday. Her race is never seen as something negative or is made fun of in any capacity. It’s definitely refreshing to see.
The rest of the cast is also diverse in body type, race, sexuality and the like. Dahlia is a transwoman. And while her looks do fall into typical anime territory, she’s never looked down on or made fun of for her gender. There was also the Mermaid Sisters who said they don’t feel male or female (however, their presentation is a bit on the gag side so that should be kept in mind).
There is also an explicit WLW relationship in the show. Marie, a stylist who is Gus’s ex-wife, tells Gus that she’s getting remarried. Gus is genuinely happy for her and wished her luck. Marie also kissed her fiance in front of Carole and Tuesday. While they were embarrassed by the display of affection, there was no negativity towards the couple. Later, Marie also asks the duo if they have a girlfriend or boyfriend. These moments are small but they’re important in normalizing LGBTQ relationships.
Even the background characters are varied in presentation. While Carole and Tuesday are off on their adventures, the crowd behind them is noticeably realistic. There are people that come from all walks of life and come from different origins. This takes place is a bustling, international city and the setup reflects that well.
Carole & Tuesday is absolutely worth checking out. It’s easy to care for and want to cheer on these characters. The music being phenomenal at every turn is a huge plus. It’s a heartwarming series that anyone would be able to enjoy.
What was your favorite moment in Carole & Tuesday?
Featured image credit: Netflix