“Carole and Tuesday” is a powerful anime that falls short of completion

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Sabrina Ngu

Genre(s): Drama, Music 
Release: 2019
Status: Completed
Seasons: 1
Episodes: 24
Rating: TV-MA for language

Introduction: 

“It was practically a miracle. It would certainly go down in the history of Mars as the ‘Miraculous 7 Minutes.’ This is the story of the two girls who set it all in motion.” 
These were the words narrated at the beginning of every episode of “Carole and Tuesday.” 
The two titular protagonists lived different lives – just with the same dream – before their fateful encounter. Carole Stanley is an orphaned Earth refugee who plays the keyboard on the streets while working part-time jobs she’s constantly getting fired from. Tuesday Simmons is the daughter of a politician who runs away from her wealthy lifestyle with only a guitar and a suitcase in hand. 
When the two meet on the streets of Alba City, the futuristic, artificial intelligence-filled city of the partially-terraformed Mars, the aspiring musicians team up to become a singing-songwriting duo. They began creating music without the use of A.I., a commonality amongst the other musicians of Mars, under the name “Carole and Tuesday.” 

Plot: 8/10

The plot is very simple and it’s not completely original, but the execution is solid. The events eventually led up to another, and most of them connected through the episodes fairly well, aside from a couple of exceptions. Overall, these episodes built up to the finale, giving us that “OH!” realization that the very man narrating the opening sequence was Carole and Tuesday’s manager, Gus, the whole time. 
What makes things very refreshing is that Carole and Tuesday took hours, even days, in order to write one song, and even then they still wouldn’t succeed. This feels like a more natural process of making music, as in most of the media I’ve consumed, musicians almost always nail their song in the first try, it becomes a hit, and win numerous awards. That’s not the case for Carole and Tuesday, and I like that a lot. 
While the plot is alright by itself, I think the main issue with the anime plot-wise were subplots. Some subplots were unnecessary, others were forced, and some were even cut short and forgotten. For example, there’s this one subplot where one of the protagonists – who is a minor at the time – develops a crush on a side character, a man who is much older than she is. This lasts for only two episodes when the protagonist finds out that the man she’s been crushing on had a girlfriend, one that is of age. After this, it’s not spoken about again. This subplot added nothing to the story, nor did it incite character development. This issue speaks for the other subplots.  

Characterization: 6/10

The characters in the anime are loveable, whether they were a protagonist or a minor background character. They have charm, whether it was for their music or for their personalities, in some way they are loveable, with a few exceptions. After all, there are always a few nasty people, whether it was in American television or anime.  
However, there isn’t a whole lot of distinct character growth and development. This is something expected from side characters, but definitely not from the titular protagonists. While the protagonists have their strengths and weaknesses, they were never mentioned again. There wasn’t much growth for their characters in all of these 24 episodes.
If there was character development, then it is sudden and rushed. There are even some cases where character arcs end in such an abrupt way that it’s very disappointing to see how incomplete their stories are. 
If there was more development and complete character arcs, then the anime would’ve been significantly better. But unfortunately, characterization is one of the weakest points of the anime.

Pacing: 8/10

The anime isn’t based off of any manga, so there’s no need to worry about the pacing. For the majority of the anime, the pacing is consistent. 
The abrupt character backstory and development in the final episodes of the anime was a reason behind the pacing category missing the perfect ten. This development could’ve had some better build-up rather than it being shoved into the viewer’s faces in the series finale. 

Animation: 10/10

Breathtaking and beautiful to look at, everything is fluid. An easy ten in my book. 

Sound: 10/10

The main highlight of the anime is the soundtrack. With a diverse range of people living on Mars is a diverse range of musicians and genres of music. Genres such as pop, rhythm and beat, indie, and rap get their shine, and there are so many other different types of music beyond the ones listed. The only odd thing is that in Japanese dub, songs are sung in English. Nothing to take points off for though. 
The voice acting in the anime does the job, Japanese dubbing wise. It doesn’t stick out, and it is in no way outstanding or significant, but it does the job just fine. 

Personal Opinion: 

Besides the music – which can be easily found on YouTube and Spotify by typing the words “Carole & Tuesday” – what I appreciate the most about the anime is the diversity. The anime is inclusive of people from the dark-skinned and LGBT+ community, and even the lack of Asian people shown in the anime is redeemed by the amount of Asian people behind the scenes. 
This is a rarity to see considering the fact that when it comes to diversity in anime, it is lacking because the characters would be Japanese or light-skinned origin. If dark-skinned characters were featured, they are represented stereotypically, especially back in the early days of anime when they were caricatures. I’m glad that the creators included darker-skinned people in the anime without portraying them in a bad way, and I hope we see more of these in the future. 
What really ruined my enjoyment of the anime were the issues that I described about the anime, story-wise. 

Conclusion:  

By no means is “Carole & Tuesday” perfect. The story and the characters aren’t the best, and even by the end of the anime some questions are still left unanswered. However, with flaws are strengths, and vice versa. The music is beautiful, and the characters, while lacking in development, are still lovable, entertaining, and diverse. 
The anime also gave birth to a legendary, but explicit meme. This is what I mean: Mermaid Sisters Song 
The anime was less about story or characters, but more about delivering a message, the message that art has the ability to connect with others and even change the world. Despite the flaws, “Carole & Tuesday” is still an enjoyable anime that anyone can watch, whether you’re a music lover or an anime fan. 

Grade: 42/50 => 84 => B