Oct 2, 2019
SingleH (All reviews)
Be it for better or for worse, 2019 is not over yet, but after taking an effort to look through and genuinely analyze much of the upcoming Fall lineup, I don’t think it’s at all early to claim I have found the single worst anime of the year already. While you may be able to gravely fault things like either second season of One Punch Man or Kemono Friends for being an insult to the creatives behind previous seasons, and while you also may be able to do the same for something like Arifureta Shokugyō de Sekai Saikyō for serving as an exceptional low point in the production quality of modern TV animation, you’d be hard pressed to find something as bad as Carole & Tuesday which is as terrible as it is on its own creative rights. While anyone over the age of fourteen has probably long since resolved Studio Bones into the vaults of their embarrassing preteen memory, no one can deny the studio is capable of bringing some seriously impressive works of animation to life given the right collection of staff proven by their work on Concrete Revolutio, Space☆Dandy, and Star Driver, and no such concession needs to be made with award winning, fan favorite director Shinichiro Watanabe heading the project. While the list of talented, capable staff isn’t as long as most top tier shows, it’s certainly nothing to scoff at, and the idea it would turn out to be such a heinous scrap of rancid garbage was dishearteningly shocking to my system. Hopes and expectations notwithstanding, I’m here to tell you Carole & Tuesday is the worst anime of the year.

Carole—who's the black one by the way, I swear to god that was a trap on purpose—and Tuesday are two young girls down on their luck, a broke street girl and a runaway rich girl respectively, who discover each other through their music and decide to live by their fate and continue their humble craft together, only to soon be swept away by their own untapped well of talent and take the world by storm. It’s a pretty cliche setup as far as western media is concerned, but it’s unique in the context of anime and not inherently bad. However, everything about it is executed messily or more often outright awfully.

The show is criminally soulless. The voice actresses don’t sing their own songs and, including all the side characters you meet along the way, are always switched with quote-unquote professional vocalists during every musical number. Even if you like the show and characters, you’ll be immersed only until the singing begins, and then you’ll have to sit there for two and a half minutes while two english vocalists who don’t sound even remotely similar to Carole or Tuesday’s Japanese voice actresses take over, and the Japanese animators who don't understand english vowel sounds or mouth movements completely fail to match the english lyrics to the mouth animation making the disconnect even worse and ruining the experience for anyone who isn’t both blind AND deaf. And even that is only concerning Carole and Tuesday’s english vocalist. Wait till you see some of the side performers I mentioned, like Pyotr for example, who’s this pre teen Instagram Celebrity who purposefully sounds like 2010 Justin Bieber as some kind of hackneyed joke only to suddenly develop a low-pitched, full-toned man’s voice when singing. And it gets more and more criminal as it goes on. I mean, they bring in Megumi Hayashibara in this one episode, and the replacement vocalist for her silky, dulcet voice is the full, powerful voice of a black woman! The animation production behind the performances—and the entire show for that matter—is terrible as well. You’ll see something like Crystal’s sequence in episode six which has a minimum of ELEVEN OFF-MODEL FRAMES, you’ll see something like GGK’s sequence in episode nine where the character’s entire costume is colored via a still image filling, or you’ll see something like Pyotr’s sequence in episode eight which is just fully, unabashedly rotoscoped. For such a gargantuan joke, this show isn’t even funny. As if I needed to tell you, all the instruments are CG, and if I had a dollar for every time Tuesday’s horrendous digital white outline shading clipped though the 3DCG shading of her guitar, I could personally fund someone to hand draw this entire laughingstock of a train wreck myself. Speaking of character shading, the characters’ hands are all CG too, and the director clearly had no fucking clue how to integrate this well, which itself is generously assuming they even could integrate it well given the PS2 graphics quality of all the CGI. When the shot composition is just the hands on the instruments, it’s acceptable. You know, it’s just ugly CG. Nothing new about that. But when they try to have a character’s entire body in the shot connecting the CG hands to the hand drawn arms, it’s laughable.

And I didn’t mean to so quickly brush over the rotoscoping in this show, seeing as it’s easily the production’s biggest, most fatal vice. As of episode twenty three, eighty four point seven three percent of all performance sequences, by my own counting, are rotoscoped, and this is not including the two scenes in the show rotoscoped for character animation totally separated from music. Bones’ 20th Anniversary Production, ladies and gentleman, this is it. And if you’re holding onto the hope the few hand-drawn performances are animated by Yutaka Nakamura or something like the legendary Viva All dance sequence from Space☆Dandy, you’re lying to yourself. No, no, no sweet summer child. Don’t you know the second anime original My Hero Academia movie is coming out this year?! They gotta chain that poor, weary soul to a chair so he can animate some more lifeless, mindlessly directed pieces of sakuga littered with speed lines and even off-model frames, for which his genga is getting more and more scribbly. And mind you, the show is well aware the hopeless mice animating the few hand-drawn performance sequences in the show aren’t worth their salt at all, because they only let them do it for the nobody filler characters and let the digital camera do the heavy lifting for the characters who actually matter. Every. Single. Performance. Of Carole and Tuesday, the losers who are supposed to be the main heroines of this god awful excuse for an anime, are fully rotoscoped. I’m not even kidding, and I urge you to go visit the cringe comedy image gallery from this show I’ve personally compiled and posted on my profile because a significant amount of those abhorrent screenshots are from these ROTOSCOPED scenes. Like, Jesus Christ, people, are you not already rotoscoping this?! IS IT THAT HARD TO TRACE A FUCKING PICTURE SOME DIGITAL CAMERA ALREADY DREW FOR YOU, you untalented swine?!?!? And forget the rotoscoping, honestly, because the rest of the show is immeasurably worse. Even having just taken the week off between seasons, they had to delay episode fifteen a week back, no surprise given episode fourteen was one of the ugliest episodes of TV anime I’ve finished in recent memory without dropping the show immediately afterwards, but still utterly disgraceful. The show’s background art is some of the ugliest I’ve ever seen—forget about how generic, choppily colored, blatantly overlapped, and abundantly digital they are—simply because of the fact the characters don’t even look like they belong on said backgrounds at all. There wasn’t a single person animating this farce who knew a single thing about depth of field, so even the endless scenes of our cast of wholly uncharismatic washouts droning on with their conversations look like garbage even though the only thing needing actual animation on screen is their mouth movements since they look like they’re FLOATING ABOVE THEIR SEATS! And god knows the bodily proportions are never even remotely anatomically accurate. I remind you this is Bones’ 20th Anniversary Production, so happy fucking anniversary.

I keep wanting to roll on to my next complaint without elaborating on the sheer depth of each element’s individual failure. Since the show sure didn’t, I’ve got to give some attention to those side characters I mentioned, because everyone outside the main rival is a literal, in context joke. The show is so eager to construct worthless tournament arcs and challenges, but every single artist Carole and Tuesday face off against is a walking meme. The cold open of the show reveals Carole and Tuesday are, indeed, going to become an international phenomenon, but for half the show they’re treated like little babies with no talent, all potential who need to do as they’re told and respect the greats, but they’re being told this by a bunch of old losers out of their prime whilst the only young people on the same level as the girls are, again, ALWAYS blown off as joke characters who were never even a competitor to begin with. I mean, in the one proper tournament arc the show blithers to set up, the initial audition itself displays no one but idiots the judges all unanimously scoff at. You leave the scene wondering why you even watched it, seeing as it set up no potential challengers and only managed to make fun of black people, Indian people, Chinese people, and European people in the span of literally seventy two seconds. I remind you this is the same so-called competition in which our girls really had to give their all against such staunch competition as a trio of black transgender women—or at least male crossdressers—who come on stage only to sing the lyrics, in English, as follows:

-Fucking bullshit.
-Fucking bullshit.
-Fucking bullshit.
-Holy shit, oh fucker.

-Fucking bullshit.
-Fucking bullshit.
-Goddamn bullshit.
-Son of a bitch, what the hell?

-Oh, motherfucker, goddamn bullshit, holy shit.
-Oh, holy shit, bullshit, goddamn motherfucker. (Motherfucker.)
-Oh, fucking bastard, goddamn fucking shit. (Oh, fucking shit.)
-Son of a motherfucking bitch. (Oh, shit.)

I’m sorry, but if there’s a joke here, I’m not getting it. I’m not five years old like whatever loser wrote this disgrace, and I’m not going to giggle just because someone says a naughty word, and moreover, HOW DID THESE ASSHOLES EVEN GET PAST THE AUDITION WE JUST SAW WHERE THE JUDGES DISMISSED PEOPLE SEEMINGLY JUST FOR HAVING FOREIGN ACCENTS?!?!??!?

Which is a great segue into this show’s delightful writing, because if you thought this show’s nauseating audio/visual presentation was all it had to worry about, you’ve got another thing coming. The writing behind it all is equally, stupefyingly abysmal.

The character writing is downright infuriating and made me—for lack of a better term—rage quit certain episodes which I had to pause and come back to just to stay calm and away from objects I might’ve hurt myself with. I seriously forgot what it was like to get so vehemently angry at another person. For example, in consideration of Tuesday’s status as a runaway teenager, Carole asks, “Are you okay being on camera?” ARE YOU OKAY BEING ON CAMERA?! Bitch, you FILMED YOURSELVES and uploaded it to the internet to get famous and went out of your own way to make an Instagram account with pictures of both your faces, TAKEN PERSONALLY BY YOU, to attempt to build your fanbase. There is such an overwhelming sea of lines which should be totally nonchalant throwaway piece of dialogue which end up breaking a character or the entire eternal logic of the narrative like a twig. There’s this other time they meet this musical legend guy, and his backstory is he was in love with this other guy, he died, and the future legend consequentially “lost the ability to sing.” He then SUNG SONGS and GOT FAMOUS SINGING, became beloved, and only then did his fans’ support allow him to “find the strength to continue singing.” But you just got famous by singing…RIGHT?! There’s so many lines that contradict themselves, WITHIN themselves. Or like this other, other time when the girls muse over their rival, Angela, having a larger social media presence than themselves, “Ehh!? Look how many follows she has!” What happened to her being famous worldwide—actually no—solar-system-wide as a model before even holding a microphone? Did the show just forget a main character’s backstory, BECAUSE I SURE DIDN’T! Or like this other, other, other time when Gus, Carole & Tuesday’s manager and quote-unquote comic relief character, suddenly starts categorically claiming everyone from Texas—yes, the actual state of Texas in actual America—is populated entirely by wild western cowboys in, I remind you, THE MIDDLE OF THE SPACE AGE. I must say though, as someone from Texas myself, all I could think of whilst first attempting to process the ridiculousness of that scene was, yup, this fat deadbeat cuck whose wife left him for a woman is most certainly from the good ol’ Lone Star State. God, this show made me sick. Or like this other, other, other, other time when Carole, an orphaned refugee, finally gets to meet her father who tracked her down after seeing her on TV after he inserted himself into the story by buying a ticket to Mars, FROM EARTH, after just having got out of his SEVENTEEN YEAR PRISON SENTENCE. Or like this other, other, other, other, other time the squad is brought in by this music guru to…I don’t even know, honestly, but this guy invites them over, and given his enigmatic social perception, Carole decides to ask, “Um, are all those rumors true? Like, that you’ll die if you’re exposed to sunlight?” Good question, except she asks this while THEY’RE STANDING IN A FUCKING AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHAHAHA OH MY GOD A FUCKING GREENHOUSE!!!!

Now, we were about to wind down here, but I must discuss this show’s attempt at theming. At this point, this review has been nothing but taking candy from a baby. This show obviously wasn’t trying, because how on Earth could you ever turn out this product if you were, so my railing on it just came off as being vain. Luckily, the show really tries on a single front, its themes, and while I could’ve spent this time steepening the mountain of scripting flaws from the last paragraph like the fact the character Roddy finds Carole and Tuesday’s exact location from their Instagram in episode two in exactly eighteen seconds documented on screen, remarking how careless they were for not disabling that functionality, yet Tuesday’s mother and brother with infinite funds and a later established information gathering network can’t find their runaway family member for the life of them for five whole episodes, I think taking the time for this is necessary so this review actually has a sense of back and forth. Carole & Tuesday does entertain a disproportionally large number of ideas, but again, it’s all vapid surface level bullshit trying to distract you from the fact anything else your attention could possible fixate on is uglier than roadkill and worse written than Sword Art Online. The one concept they tried to make meaningful, genuinely, was their copy of the Cowboy Bebop universe. For those of you who forgot (or for those of you who haven’t even seen Cowboy Bebop), the Earth has suffered from a cataclysmic event ruining the landscape almost entirely and sending whatever factions of the populace with the means to other planets. But really only Mars, Venus, and the Moon, since technology has advanced that far, but not far enough to leave the solar system. The difference, however, is in Cowboy Bebop the racial denominations left behind on Earth were those you’d realistically expect to have been. They weren’t a specific race or ethnicity, it was just a vague mix of third-world citizens, like Eastern Europeans, Central Asians, Southeast Asians, and Africans who would’ve been too numerous for international powers to reach out to when evacuating the planet in a real world crisis scenario. Ed’s last name wasn’t Williams, or Johnson, or Brown, or Jackson, or Davis, it was Wong Hau Pepelu Tivrusky IV. There’s a reason that name contains a comically ridiculous amount of ancestries, as well as a reason my example names were the Google search results for “most common black last names in America.” It’s because in Carole & Tuesday the people left behind on Earth are SPECIFICALLY—and as far as the show lets us know—EXCLUSIVELY first-world cultured black people. Yes, that’s insurmountably retarded given black people’s relative population spread and resource wealth on the planet in today’s present age—forget the future age of this show—but most importantly this contrivance serves as the foundation to one of the most backwards attempts at sociopolitical thematic commentary in the anime medium. So, Earth is screwed along with its apparently entirely first-world cultured black populace who—and this is real fuckin’ important—the show insists on explicitly calling “refugees” at all times despite its technically incorrect denotative implications, and the stage is thusly set for Valerie Simmons. Valerie is the upstart Martian presidential candidate whose big, bold idea to change the pace of society is to ban any and all “refugees” from Earth from entering Mars under all circumstances since they’re perceived as lower class, under educated, uncivilized, and a general pollution to Martian society, and her supporters are exclusively white skinned, blue eyed, blonde haired people who show their support for Valerie’s campaign and patriotism towards their state by dawning bright red hats with the candidate’s slogan on them—OKAY YOU SEE WHERE THIS IS GOIN’ YET?! Seeing as we’ve already taken the liberty to excuse the dumbass contrivances behind this farce, this should be all fine and dandy until you learn all of Valerie’s blatantly racist and classist political propositions were orchestrated behind the scenes by Jerry, the legendarily infamous political advisor, and Valerie herself actually has a heart of gold, is a strict but ultimately loving mother, and was largely manipulated by Jerry into her current level of corruption. Um, WHAT?! Why instate such astronomically feigned plot devices like asserting all of Mars is united peacefully under a single governing body, use such politically charged and inflammatory labels as “refugees” even when the word isn’t even logically applicable since the migration in question is not involuntary, and paint such racially suggestive portrayals as making one hundred percent of the discriminated blacks targeted exclusively by whites to concoct such a boldfaced Donald Trump parallel only to turn around and assert that very same parallel is a totally upstanding person?! Is Carole & Tuesday trying to tell me the sex offender running my country is actually a totally chill guy I just have the wrong idea of being sat ignorantly behind a TV screen EVEN THOUGH WOMEN HAVE BEEN ACCUSING THE GUY OF TOUCHING THEM SINCE BEFORE HALF THIS SHOW’S VIEWERSHIP WAS EVEN BORN!?!?!?!?!???!?!?

I contemplated censoring my hatred towards this show considerably for this review, seeing as an obtusely negative review may come across as being toxic and bad for the community, but after coming to terms with the fact saying anything other than exactly what I did would’ve been outright dishonest, I realized this was the only way I could’ve gone forward in good conscious. Carole & Tuesday is just that bad and with that few redeeming qualities. The bits and pieces of Watanabe’s personal direction were nice if quaint like the laundry mat scene, but he was Chief Director, which for those of you who don’t know, is effectively an oversight producer who audits the actual directors’ work, so any personally directed scenes from the man himself were few, far between, and hard to appreciate or even identify given just how ugly the show looks on a second to second basis. I honestly don’t blame him at all for distancing himself from the production as much as possible though. MAPPA busted their asses back in 2012 to bring he and Yoko Kanno’s vision to life in Kids on the Slope—talk about actually innovating on and bringing to life rotoscoped artwork and being a show about instrumentation with actually good musical numbers—and seeing the horrendous work Bones was doing this time around probably did little more than kill any and all motivation he could’ve had going in, as it most certainly killed any and all motivation I had to put myself through any one more god damn second of it too.

Thank you for reading, and I’d like to kindly invite you to visit the aforementioned Carole & Tuesday cringe comedy image gallery I’ve posted on my profile. I’m hosting it on catbox dot moe if you’d like the download, but I had to remove the link I had posted here. Speaking of which, shoutout to everyone who reported this review such that the mods had to contact me about censorship and editorial. Thanks for your engagement, if not your love.