In the vast landscape of anime, where genres span from action-packed adventures to introspective dramas, “Carole & Tuesday” emerges as a harmonious blend of music, emotion, and societal commentary. Produced by the renowned studio Bones and directed by Shinichirō Watanabe of “Cowboy Bebop” fame, this Netflix original series captivated audiences with its heartfelt narrative and soul-stirring melodies.
As the series progresses, viewers are introduced to a rich tapestry of characters, each with their own dreams and challenges. It’s within this intricate web of relationships and ambitions that the protagonists, Carole and Tuesday, forge a bond rooted in their shared love for music.
A Musical Odyssey of Carole & Tuesday
At its core, “Carole & Tuesday” tells the tale of two young women from contrasting backgrounds who share a passion for music. Carole, a spirited orphan living in Alba City, meets Tuesday, a privileged girl yearning for freedom from her political family. After their unexpected encounter, which leads to their musical partnership by being able to mash together Carole’s melodic harmony and Tuesday’s heartfelt lyrics and eventually, writing a song titled “The Loneliest Girl”.
Their story continues on and tackles topics that transcends societal divides. They resonate with audiences through their captivating performances as well as meeting new people and artists along the way.
The series beautifully incorporates various genres of music, from soulful ballads to upbeat pop anthems, showcasing the versatility of its protagonists. Each episode unveils new tracks, composed with intricate detail and emotion. This allows viewers to experience the evolution of Carole and Tuesday’s musical journey.
Themes and Social Commentary
Beyond its melodic brilliance, “Carole & Tuesday” delves into touching themes such as friendship, identity, and the pursuit of dreams. A factor that contributes to the setting is a technologically advanced society. The backdrop of Alba City is a futuristic metropolis reminiscent of contemporary urban landscapes. In the series, it serves as a canvas for exploring issues like media manipulation, celebrity culture, and the commodification of art.
Much like our society now, AI is on the rise. How long would it take for our world to closely resemble their world, where in music production, everything is almost done by AI? The show presents a world where AI technology permeates every aspect of society. From entertainment and media to governance and daily life, AI manages to control everything.
Genuine Human Connection
The series masterfully intertwines these themes with character-driven narratives, highlighting the challenges faced by aspiring artists in a world dominated by artificial intelligence and corporate agendas. Through the lens of Carole and Tuesday’s experiences, viewers are prompted to reflect on the intrinsic value of creativity. Along with it the power of genuine human connection in an increasingly digitized era.
It’s for certain that their lyrics which come from their feelings and experiences are what sets Carole and Tuesday apart from other artists in the show.
The Cost of Fame
Furthermore, “Carole & Tuesday” offers a nuanced exploration of fame and celebrity culture, emphasizing the challenges, pitfalls, and pressures. These are mostly associated with achieving stardom in the entertainment industry. Through their ascent to musical acclaim, the protagonists confront the complexities of fame. This includes media scrutiny, public expectations, and the commodification of their artistry.
Visual and Auditory Splendor
Visually, “Carole & Tuesday” captivates audiences with its vibrant animation and meticulous attention to detail. It also shows in Shinichirō Watanabe’s previous works like “Cowboy Bebop” and “Samurai Champloo”. The character designs are distinctive and expressive, complementing the series’ narrative depth and emotional resonance.
The fluidity of motion during musical performances enhances the viewing experience, immersing viewers in the rhythm and passion of each song. This is a technique called “Rotoscoping”, where they trace over an original video frame by frame.
Moreover, the series’ soundtrack is composed by Mocky. It features an eclectic mix of genres that mirror the futuristic and diverse musical landscape of Alba City. The hauntingly beautiful melodies and lyrical depth of each track complement the overarching narrative.
Favorite Moments in the Series
Here are just some of my personal favorite scenes, songs and moments in the series.
Round and Laundry
At this scene, they were able to showcase just how talented Carole and Tuesday were, especially when together. It takes place in a laundry shop after looking at options to start their career. Carole becomes inspired by the spinning laundry and starts a beat of a new song.
Mars’ Brightest is like the “X Factor” of the anime, deemed as the biggest singing competition in Mars.
Here is where we see a glimpse of some of the wackiest people who share the dream of becoming famous.
Light a Fire
Sung by a character named Angela, who becomes Carole and Tuesday’s rival, this song is one of my favorite songs by her. What’s also amusing is how it sounds production-wise. It completely sounds like an actual pop song by a famous artist.
Loneliest Girl Full Song
Being sung a couple of times in the show, at the Finals of Mars’ Brightest, we are finally able to hear the full and complete version of the song. With the other songs presumably written and produced in an instant with the help of AI, the long and thoughtful process of completing their song gives it a sense of authenticity.
Give You the World
This song was originally sung by an artist named Flora, who was already an established artist who Carole idolized. Though Flora fell off due to her drug and alcohol addiction, found herself again but never re-emerged as an artist. In this scene, after Carole saw her idol’s state, she decided to cover Flora’s song as to cheer her up and to remember the true passion she once had for music. This was a very emotional scene as I find myself tearing up while Flora sings along at the end.
The Carole & Tuesday Wrap Up
For me, “Carole & Tuesday” stands as a testament to the transformative power of music and storytelling in anime. Its compelling characters, intricate themes, and breathtaking visuals have solidified its place among contemporary classics.
Although it came out in 2019, it still seems to embody themes like pursuing dreams, the consequences of fame, and how AI might dominate some aspects of our lives in the future. These themes
Whether you’re a music enthusiast, an anime aficionado, or simply in search of a captivating narrative, this Show’s for you. “Carole & Tuesday” offers a bridge that leads to a melodic symphony that leaves a lasting impression. Tune in and embark on a musical odyssey that celebrates the indomitable spirit of friendship, creativity, and the pursuit of one’s passion in a world brimming with possibilities.
Ashly R. Marin is a young writer just starting out as an intern in the field. While he may be well-versed in writing news, opinion, and feature articles from being a journalism student at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Ashly enjoys writing about and doing photography, film, music, theatre, and art.