Carole & Tuesday – Ep. 1 (First Impressions)

I’ve gone back and forth about how I want to approach Netflix’s anime releases. I strongly dislike their unwillingness to do simulcasts but as convenient as fansubs can be, I don’t like being beholden to them when blogging is concerned. So generally, I kind of just save their releases for when I have the time to spare. Violet Evergarden I made a huge exception and covered it because I anticipated that series so much and to be fair, it was simulcasted in some places. Carole & Tuesday sadly is stuck in Netflix Jail at the time of writing this post but I decided I’d make an exception for it as well. This is studio Bones’ 20th anniversary project and Shinichiro Watanabe is chief director. Like hell I’m going to wait on this show. Will covering the show be a weekly thing then? I’d like it to be but we’ll see how timely the fansubs can get first.

At the very least, I’m here to give my first impressions on Carole & Tuesday and let me tell you, this show is off to a solid start. Not that I had any doubts. When you have a visionary such as Watanabe, your project ought to be more than just competent. Things do start off on a pretty simple note though. Lead characters Carole (Miyuri Shimabukuro/Nai Br.XX) and Tuesday (Kana Ichinose/Celeina Ann) meet in a chance encounter, they bond, and they decide to perform music together. That’s pretty much Episode 1 in a nutshell. Nothing bombastic or intense so far.

Mind you, that isn’t to say the developing friendship between Carole and Tuesday didn’t engage. There’s a compelling dichotomy going on with these two. On one end, you have Carole who is an orphan who has had to fend for herself in the big city. On the other, you have Tuesday who has lived a luxurious and sheltered life, never once venturing out of her home until recently. These girls have completely different backgrounds but one way in which they are similar is their desire to break the mold and become musicians. By the time they meet, their differences don’t matter at all and what connects the two of them is the music.

What really won me over was the ending where the girls play “The Loneliest Girl” a melody created by Carole and refined by Tuesday. It starts off as a slow, escalating instrumental piece aimed to portray the girls first finding their synergy together before singing the lyrics. Said lyrics also tie into the show’s narrative, reflecting how lonely each character felt until their feelings have reached each other. To sum up, insert song is a terrific, evocative scene that speaks for Carole and Tuesday’s emerging friendship while creating a strong climax for Episode 1.

If I had to nitpick, I’d say that it is going to take some getting used to going from Carole and Tuesday’s Japanese speaking voices to their English singing voices. Not only does neither mode sound alike, it’s simply rare to hear anime characters speak English that fluently. I hardly mean that as a point against Nai Br.XX and Celeina Ann though. Their singing is really good and not going to lie, I’m dying to know when I can buy the soundtrack.

Oddly enough, Carole & Tuesday is actually set in the distant future on a colonized Mars. It kind of feels a little random; I think you could’ve easily have set this story in, say, New York or California. I suppose the more sci-fi themed setting is meant to allow Watanabe and his team better explore the show’s music theme. You are given a glimpse here as also introduced in this episode is Angela (Sumire Uesaka/Alisa), a child actress who aspires to be a singer. After shooting for a commercial, she meets Tao (Hiroshi Kamiya), a music producer who mostly produces music with A.I.s but is hired to make an exception with Angela. I’m assuming the idea is that Angela is selling out and becoming a “puppet” to fulfill her dream which could potentially contrast with the free-spirited, rock bottom beginning that Carole and Tuesday have. I can see that working as the first major conflict in this show’s story.

Whatever the case may be, we have Carole and Tuesday formed and their journey is bound to have its ups and downs. While I’m not 100% sure on covering the show just yet, know that I am looking forward to more of Carole & Tuesday.

ED: “Hold Me Now” by Carole & Tuesday (Nai Br.XX & Celeina Ann)

Seriously, when can I buy this soundtrack?

Thanks for reading!

Watch Carole & Tuesday on Netflix (when it leaves that jail)

Read My Other Spring 2019 First Impressions

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