Oct 2, 2019
Stark700 (All reviews)
With nearly three decade span of experience, Shinchiro Watanabe once again takes the stage as a director for a new original anime project. It’s well known that Shinchiro Watanabe’s Cowboy Bebop managed to garner an international audience and achieved universal success. Carole & Tuesday won’t likely have the same level of success but the premise is worth to think about. Considering that there’s not many 2-cour music-drama these days, the idea of Carole & Tuesday sounds like a refreshing experience.

The first time we see Carole and Tuesday is two characters with different backgrounds and personalities. It’s easy to get the image of these two girls into your head as the main characters thanks to their contrasting images. Carole has a cool, rebellious type of look while Tuesday is designed with more feminine delicacy and innocence. On-screen, both characters displays a remarkable amount of realism, characteristics that can be easily relatable in our society. First, there’s Carole Stanley, an orphan with keyboard skills and somewhat of a rebellious attitude. Working various part-time jobs, she’s a common type folk you can probably encounter easily on the streets. On the other hand, we also meet Tuesday Simmons, a timid rich girl with talent of singing and the guitar. After running away from home and into the city, it’s where she encounters Tuesday and their incredible journey begins.

This is a character driven story, one that tells what humans can do when they put their minds into making their dreams into a reality. From the start, both Carole and Tuesday display remarkable potential for their skills although with a lack of experience in a professional environment, they need to push themselves. The first few episodes both shows and tells of their character personalities. Carole is the confident one who isn’t afraid to speak of her mind. Tuesday is the timid girl of this pair and for her to work in a professional environment would require commitment and discipline. The character chemistry is surprisingly compatible given their contrasting looks and personalities. Throughout the story, both characters come to learn and understand each other as part of the youth experience. Let’s face it, they’re young and have a long journey of life ahead of them. Making a career in the music industry will probably be one of the biggest challenges in their lives. They’d have overcome the fear of anxiety, build a strong audience, and promote themselves to be world-class superstars. Not to mention, being in public also requires supreme self-confidence, something that Tuesday need to realize and accept. Early in the show, both girls also get into trouble and having to run away to avoid consequences. The truth is that they don’t really know how the adult world works. It’s part of the reality of this show that performs so well. Honestly, the more I watched Carole and Tuesday, the more I felt attached to this anime. There’s even a feeling of nostalgia when you realize how inexperienced both girls are when dealing with adults and this new world they decided to step into. Thanks to their share of love and passion in music, Carole and Tuesday builds a great amount of trust and bond in their relationship.

Thankfully, both characters evolve as they face obstacles. From dealing with the pressure of competition to harassment from a stalking fan, Carole and Tuesday shows that they have what it takes to be in the business. Their personality shows change too as Carole matures into a more sensible person while Tuesday displays a growing confidence in herself. It’s the type of character evolution that makes this anime worth investing into. Growing up is not easy after all in our own society when we have to make decisions ourselves. Carole and Tuesday learns that when making decisions, there’s usually a risk and they have to face the challenge head on. They also have to realize the impact it would make for their lives. Welcome to reality, girls.

Being a music entertainment industry also has its competitive atmosphere. Meet Angela Carpenter, a former child model who wants to make a name for herself in the music business. With strong self-confidence and talent, Angela becomes a foil to the main characters. She exhibits a great deal amount of charisma and comes into industry with a focused sense of commitment. Some of the early comments Angela makes in the show suggests that she wants to truly prove herself although her words often come across as intimidating. In fact, during one of the competitions, she mocks Carole and Tuesday of their music. Even after the competition, Angela doesn’t seem to truly accept Carole and Tuesday as equals or friends. To me, a character like Angela represents the type in anime that protagonists must overcome or at least earn their respect from. She’s a type of realistic character that you may have encountered in your life. Indeed, the anime unravels colorful personalities of different people. It’s the type of personalities that garners an audience and create the sensation of a competitive environment.

Outside of the two main cast, the show does put some value into characters such as Gus Goldman. While he may be overlooked at times, it’s characters like Gus who makes an important asset for Carole and Tuesday. Without him, their careers would not have been possible. Introduced later in the story, Flora is a character that is a source of inspiration for Tuesday. Indeed, music artists are usually influenced by others and it should come across as no surprise that’s also the case in this anime. Unfortunately, the anime doesn’t put enough emphasis on the others such as Cybelle, Dahlia (Angela’s agent), Tao, or even the judges. Most of the contestants are forgettable although it’s easy to say the Mermaid Sisters made an explosive impression when they dropped the F-bomb.

Perhaps the most prominent element in Carole & Tuesday is the music and songs. From the very beginning, the show consistently manages to craft consistency with its soundtracks. With 24 episodes, the show featured many different songs ranging from its OP and ED themes to the various stage performances. I’m not going to list them all but the first album consists of at least 20 different tracks by various musicians. The first OP song “Kiss Me” contains a coming of age feel that brings the reality of characters growing up and is no doubt one of my favorite in the series. When it comes to the character performances on stage, every song artist or group brings their unique talent. The choreography combined with the visual elements is nothing less than spellbinding creativity. Carole and Tuesday's talent also synchronizes perfectly to bring the best out of each other during their performances.

Honestly, you don’t need to be a music nerd to enjoy Carole & Tuesday. The experience of watching this show can easily be felt by what the staff wanted you to see. They managed to capture the essence of the music industry and make it as real as it can be. And while the show contains plenty of drama, there’s also room for comedy and joy. Music is a source of empowerment that draws people to feel and can even change lives. Carole and Tuesday is a duo with lives connected by their passion and love of music. We can learn more from them in this anime, even if you don’t agree with their choices. Honestly, Carole & Tuesday is so much more than just an anime.