After months of waiting, in August 2019, the United States were finally gifted with the musical wonder of Spring 2019’s anime sensation Carole & Tuesday. The newest anime from Shinichiro Watanabe, the director of Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, and Space Dandy, Carole & Tuesday had some big shoes to fill.
Produced by Studio Bones, the studio behind Full Metal Alchemist, Mob Psycho 100, and My Hero Academia, Carole & Tuesday is set in the future on a partially-terraformed Mars. After Tuesday Simmons runs away from home in order to pursue a career in music, she runs into Carole Stanley, a fellow aspiring musician. Together, the two decide to make music under the name Carole & Tuesday. The show follows Carole and Tuesday as they pursue their career as musicians, and develop both friends and rivals within the industry.
The animation for Carole & Tuesday is fantastic, which is no surprise since it was produced by Studio Bones. The character designs, while still using that thin flexible approach that Watanabe is well known for, are incredibly fluid. They especially are displayed during the musical performances throughout the show. The performances are beautifully animated and each feel unique, especially the “Mars’ Brightest” performances.
It should come as no surprise that a musical anime has a great soundtrack. Most musical/idol anime do not feature too many new songs. However, Carole & Tuesday features at least one new original song in every single episode, if not more than that. The musicians featured throughout the show all have unique voices/styles that lend themselves perfectly to the characters. However, the standouts are definitely Nai Br.XX, Celeina Ann, and Alisa as the singing voices for Carole, Tuesday, and Angela. Even the background music, composed by Mocky, managed to stand between the performances. Whether it be acoustic, EDM, pop, trance, hip-hop or country, Carole & Tuesday‘s original soundtrack truly has something for everyone.
As great as the music is, the show would not work at all if it were not for the characters. Carole & Tuesday are great dual protagonists. Even though they each come from completely different backgrounds, they find harmony in the music they make together. Their friendship feels real, as does their relationship with everyone around them. All of their rivals, especially Angela, each feel like fully fleshed out characters. I would even argue that Angela is the best character in the whole show. Every character, even the secondary characters, such as the other “Mars’ Brightest” competitors, each felt fleshed out. The music and writing worked together perfectly.
The English dub is fantastic. Each voice matches the singers perfectly. With Automated Dialogue Replacement (ADR) directed by Erica Mendez, who also was the ADR director for I Want to Eat Your Pancreas, brought the best out of each member of the cast. Jeannie Tirado and Brianna Knickerbocker, the voices of Carole and Tuesday, clearly had a lot of weight on their shoulders and each brought their A-game here. The other performances that stood out to me were Kyle McCarley as Tao, Ryan Bartley as Angela, Ray Chase as Ertegun, and Zeno Robinson as Ezekiel.
Carole & Tuesday felt like lightning in a bottle procured through the hard work of everyone involved. We will likely never see another anime like this one ever again, and I am perfectly okay with that.