“True Colors”

Carole & Tuesday just premiered and even though legendary director Watanabe Shinichiro is at the helm, I shall remain cautious about the series. I don’t want to put all my eggs in one basket. The story of ‘young girl who runs away from home’ or ‘young girl who desperately seeks recognition’ has been done before. Take Nana for example. I will always remain a faithful fan to the series for its music, story, and characters. The stark differences between the girls is what drew them towards one another and created a friendship that could surpass this roller coaster we call life. It was, for me, what really got me into anime back in the 2000s. As for Carole & Tuesday, although it gives off similar vibes, it hasn’t wowed me just yet. There’s a similar meeting where two girls with different background meet in a large city and decide to support one another’s dreams. But what about this series will make it stand out from the rest as the season progresses?

For one, I’d say their world is pretty interesting and allows for a whole new setting. Did anyone else notice that Carole (Shimabukuro Miyuri) had to drink water out of a plastic jug? Based on the environment, I assume humans spent a certain amount of time terraforming the planet, building cities, and developing the necessary infrastructures to sustain life of Mars. Even so, it seems as though something as common as filtered tap water is a luxury many live without. I like sci-fi but I don’t think the series will linger on the details revolving humans moving to Mars. We might get some brief flashbacks or mentions about the reasons why, but I’d be very surprised if we got an in depth history of the event. This isn’t unlike Watanabe. It’s the subtle details that first caught my attention in Cowboy Bebop, just as they are now, and I’m hoping this Martian world expands because of these little specs of information.

Something else that caught my attention was the date Tuesday (Ichinose Kana) wrote in her diary as she rode the train into the city: April 11th, 0049. This subtle reminder of the show’s premiere date connects us (the audience) to their universe, which we discover is not so different from society in the west as we know it today. In fact, citizens in Alba City communicate, or at the very least, understand English based on the signs and ads I recognized throughout the scenery.

Shifting into supporting characters. We’re introduced to quite a few in this first episode which I found difficult to keep track of. As luck would have it, most of these stereotypical characters can be found in other series. First, you have spoiled Angela (Uesaka Sumire), who essentially had a similar upbringing as any Disney child star would. She’s arrogant and brash but has a strict agent a.k.a. ‘mama’ Dahlia (Horiuchi Kenyu) who disciplines her when she’s out of line. If this mama’s harsh demeanour makes regular appearances, I’ll be having nightmares like when I first encountered Yubaaba of Spirited Away. I can’t be the only one… Then you have the typical drunk mentor, Gus (Ootsuka Akio), who wastes his days in bars because he lacks any life purpose. With decades of music industry experience, he’ll most likely take the girls under his wing and help them navigate the industry with his savvy knowledge. It’ll be interesting to see how he butts heads not only with Dahlia but with Tao (Kamiya Hiroshi), a big name AI music producer who wants to use Angie (Angela) as a front for his music.

And, finally, we have our main heroines. Tuesday, gentle, sweet, and naive, runs away from a wealthy home and family, which includes a protective older brother Spencer (Sakurai Takahiro) and what I imagine is an overbearing mother, to pursue her dreams. Carole, independent, reactive, and vibrant, grows up as an orphan and now finds herself living alone in Alba City. What these two girls have in common are: they live on Mars, they are determined, and music is their life force. It doesn’t matter that the foundation of these characters is generic. In an AI-centered world where classic musicians are obsolete, it’s their relatability and humanity that will hopefully win over the hearts of both Earthlings (us) and Martians everywhere. Tuesday was inspired by the Cyndi Lauper hit “True Colors” and Carole wants to prove she has a place in this world. At first I thought it weird that they bonded so quickly, but then, rewatching the moment they meet on what I think is an exact replica of London’s Millennium bridge, I understood that, even without words, Tuesday grasped the emotion Carole was trying to convey through simple melody.

But it wasn’t this unlikely encounter that captured my heart. Instead, it was their uncovered jam session. It was then that we got a glimpse into their individual worlds. Tuesday writes, thinks and expresses herself through words whereas Carole creates melodies to voice her emotions. I was happily surprised by the lengthiness of the scene. It was drawn out just enough for these two flickering lights to join into one vibrant flame as they collided into the chorus of “The Loneliest Girl“, even if just for a short while. That right there is what I call a teaser created from meticulous work. It wasn’t thrown together. It was meant to capture a moment in time and that’s precisely what happened. The whole episode revolves around this one very raw scene. Music is at the base of this series and I expect it won’t disappoint in upcoming episodes.

Perhaps this first episode wasn’t the home run I was hoping for, but that doesn’t mean it won’t build into something greater.

Will this series catch us off-guard? Perhaps, but perhaps not. One thing’s for sure though. In terms of music production, animation quality, and direction, there’s a great team behind this story. They’ve established a setting where both the music, the characters, and even world can evolve. I wouldn’t put it past C & T to become the Nana of this hyper connected/disconnected generation. A show with a friendship for the ages and music to boot.


ED Sequence

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


  1. Finally

    Man, I have to say this season has been reaaaally dissapointing. Everything just seems so mediocre, or worse. Up until this point, I had yet to see a single show that was really truly good, not just watchable, but memorable.

    This opener just blew me away, top notch. This is the kind of opener/series that Spring/Fall are suppose to be full of. Is it perfect? No. It certainly has flaws, but, based on this premier at least, it’s far superior to the other offerings this season.

    I can easily see this becoming my favorite for the season, and the runaway pick for AOTS.

    Sucks it’s being monopolized by Netflix though

    1. Why is bad the fact that is produced by Netflix? They are taking risks doing more original shows than the rest of traditional producers and it’s paying off with the most interesting animes lately.

      The anime industry needed someone to put more money on non formulaic animes and give us fresh air. And if it’s Netflix doing that then I welcome them.

  2. >sheltered white girl oblivious to everything
    >sassy black girls who know the ways of the world

    i can see clown haired people from where i sit.
    oh well, let’s hope the ost will save this (((anime)))

  3. The episode gave me goosebumps. Coming hot right after Bang Dream.

    Looking at the paths taken by Angela and CT, you can pretty much draw a few things from there.

    Indi v Corporate
    Vocals v Synthesia (or what ever its called)

    I’m looking forward to see how it comes to blows.

    Henrietta Brix
  4. And this is another proof that anime can do marvelous things and be engaging if their creators stray from its natural draw to overused anime tropes. I hope this helps to air the room.

  5. I was a bit disappointed. I can’t expect japanese animators to be current with the issue of western racial tropes but ignorant white rich girl and street-wise black poor girl is …. well, super tropey in a cringey way. Even in the future on Mars we can’t get beyond white = rich, non-white = poor?

    Oh, but despite coming from nothing and nobody and reliant on a string of crappy jobs she can’t keep, I’m impressed by how massive Carole’s home is. How does she pay for it??? I’d expect housing on freakin Mars to be a luxury but she has that massive space to herself? I’d expect a scrappy, hard-working street kid on an off-Earth colony to swing a capsule room, at best. Is the fantasy here that the Japanese staff imagine a martian colony would have more available floor space than Tokyo?

    Also, overall painfully twee. Shame, the visuals are great. I’ll stick it out a little while but, at the moment, this has none of the zing Watanabe has managed before. I didn’t expect high-energy, zany humor but I hope for some sharp, funny contrast to the semi-dour, soft depression of this first ep.
    Or perhaps the show just needs more Carole and less Tuesday. (oh, and rich white people still be naming their kids funny ofc)

    1. why not now just enjoy the pictures and later begin to fill your mind with these thoughts, because right now your hide the fun behind an wall of fog

      Enjoy the sun, ask the clouds later (for now)

    2. I was a bit disappointed. I can’t expect japanese animators to be current with the issue of western racial tropes but ignorant white rich girl and street-wise black poor girl is …. well, super tropey in a cringey way. Even in the future on Mars we can’t get beyond white = rich, non-white = poor?

      Honestly, this seems very “Western” so far almost as if it is a Japanese company making a Western written/produced show.

      But hey, if any Japanese director can do it believably, it’s Watanabe Shinichiro/

  6. When I see this… I would really think of something like…

    Maybe Tatsuki (you know the director of Kemurikusa) might learn something from this…

    But again who knows… Anybody else there?

  7. The story of ‘young girl who runs away from home’ or ‘young girl who desperately seeks recognition’ has been done before. Take Nana for example.

    I hope it’s not just a “Nana” clone.

    The question is how do they handle the subtext of same sex attraction? For that, I’ll be comparing it to Banana fish that did it very well. Even the recent anime adaptation went for emotional subtlety and depth over making it a not-so-subtle plot point rather than an integral element of the overall plot.

    I like the premise of bringing back actual human made music in a world where the synthetic stuff dominates, and the director is someone who could pull this off very, very well. It’s well done so far, and though the music isn’t what I usually listen to, I can tell that it is being approached with the dedication and attention that it needs to be.

    1. I’m sure it won’t be a Nana clone. But so many other series come to mind when I first finished watching the episode… At this point, I think I’m really in it for the music. I’m not sold yet on the characters, neither am I taken by the story. The world & music though, perhaps. It isn’t the kind of music that I listen to either but I do appreciate the art form and how these girls play together.

    2. “I hope it’s not just a Nana clone”

      The first episode didn’t seem to have the originality, verve, or charm of Nana, so I don’t think that’s too likely, though it may grow. On the other hand, it was pretty nicely animated.

      Probably the weakest point is the Mars setting. I can buy a terraformed Mars, but no way will terraforming change the fact that Mars has one-third’s Earth’s surface gravity.

      You will NOT walk the same way on Mars as you will on Earth. A live action series has an excuse that you can’t simulate that. For an anime series to ignore that is just lazy, and shows the decline of Japanese animation in the current era. This isn’t something they would have forgotten in the 1980s, when even mass-market toy-shilling mecha series like Gundam had the pride to do things realistically.

  8. I really liked the first episode. I personally have never seen Nana so I am not sitting here and comparing anything.

    The first episode’s title seemed to be a basis for the start of Tuesday’s journey. I had to look up that Cyndi Lauper did indeed run away from home at 17. Then add in a chance meeting with Carole and some really nice singing from Nai Br.XX and Celeina Ann and we get this appealing start. One thing I personally thought held back a series like Beck was the English lyrics in their songs and this series hit the mark for me.

    Coming from watching the other episodes and making a comment late really shows that this series is looking to a diverse and technological future. I think they set it on Mars because they want this “Miraculous 7 Minutes” to not take anything away from the amazing performances that happened on Earth.

    BTW the Story of Miracle Vol 1-3 on their YouTube is an amazing look at the behind the scenes.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *