I won’t lie, the main reason I decided to watch Carole & Tuesday was because of this one meme song (sung by the Mermaid Sisters) that became originated from this anime. It’s a funny song, but I didn’t think it would come from an anime of this caliber. Carole & Tuesday is an amazing watch that’s more than a breath of fresh air in an anime industry that feels tired and cliche.
Carole & Tuesday follows two girls, eponymously named Carole and Tuesday. Carole is an orphan working minimum wage jobs in Alba City, Mars, while Tuesday is the daughter of a prolific politician who lives a pampered lifestyle outside the city. While neither of these girls seemingly share any similarities on the surface, Carole and Tuesday are identical in their passion and zest for creating music. They dream of becoming performers one day, but in a world where most music is generated by artificial intelligence, it seems like their odds are 100/1. That is until a once prolific agent named Gus discovers the duo by chance, thrusting them into unfamiliar waters as they accumulate clout and attempt to claw their way up the music industry.
First, let’s talk about the animation. Bones (Soul Eater, My Hero Academia) is the studio responsible for bringing this anime to life. While the animation may not be visually stunning, the character movements are fluid throughout the series and are given special attention during performance sequences. Even for some of the more livelier performances, there isn’t an obvious use of computer animation, which doesn’t make these performances jarring in comparison to the show’s normal animation. The individual environments of the anime are, while perhaps not metaphoric, do an excellent job of conveying whatever emotions viewers need to feel in order to make the best out of their experience. In the latter half of the show, I genuinely felt like I was in the same room as the characters. Speaking of characters, the character designs are pleasing to look at and offer more detailed designs than you would see in most anime. And not only do the main characters have unique designs, but also the background characters who appear for a split second. The attention to detail is commendable.
The plot, although somewhat ham-fisted at the end, is an enjoyable adventure from beginning to end. There are plenty of comedic moments as well as emotional ones, make me feel like I’m witnessing the biographies of true performers working their way to the top (despite, um, taking place in a futuristic setting on Mars). The theme of the show also doesn’t feel forced and develops naturally throughout the course of the season, which honestly makes the investment in the show completely worth it. Like, Cannon Busters, the humor has a western-ish tinge to it that makes Carole & Tuesday appealing to a wider audience.
The characters are exactly what you would expect in an ideal scenario. Both Carole and Tuesday are mild-mannered yet ambitious girls who aren’t without their flaws. Oh, and their agent? He was a washed-up alcoholic before discovering the pair. Even the characters that are the designated antagonists for Carole and Tuesday aren’t necessarily malicious and are simply trying to obtain their own goals for completely valid reasons. It aptly reflects the grayness not only of the entertainment industry but also reality.
The voice acting is great and definitely indicative of the effort dub directors placed into finding their cast. In fact, most of the actors and actresses who lend their voices for this anime are relatively unknown, which implies that casting directors were probably focused on finding individuals who could fit the roles of their characters, rather than casting big names known through the English anime industry. Of course, this show wouldn’t be what it is without singing. But the music in this anime warrants a paragraph (or two!) of its own.
Carole & Tuesday is the music lover’s serenade. It’s chockful of references (from Cyndi Lauper to Instagram — how the hell did Bones get away with this?) and provides an accurate depiction of the music industry. There are shout outs pertaining to music trivia and development, but it also a frighteningly accurate depiction of the personalities one encounters in the entertainment business, from eccentric musicians to sunny Instagram celebrities, there is an array range of diverse characters who are a part of the Martian music industry. In the latter half of the season, Carole and Tuesday enter an international singing competition (which is undoubtedly a parody of shows such as America’s Got Talent and American Idol), viewers are thrown back to 2004 when cringy American Idol auditions were a predecessor to Vine compilations. When the competition becomes more serious, the performers and their performances resemble the Eurovision Song Contest, a European singing competition known its insane yet entertaining performances. As for the singing itself, the serious performances are jaw-dropping, mimicking songs you would find on the Billboard Top 100. Seriously, this anime is deserving of its own album. That’s how good some of the songs are.
In sum, Carole & Tuesday is an anime that was built of effort and research. So if you like those things in your anime, go give it a watch.