‘Carole & Tuesday’ is a Science Fiction Anime About the Power of Music From the Creator of ‘Cowboy Bebop’
Posted on Friday, September 13th, 2019 by Rafael Motamayor
(Welcome to Ani-time Ani-where, a regular column dedicated to helping the uninitiated understand and appreciate the world of anime.)
Shinichiro Watanabe has made some of the most iconic and influential anime of the past 20 years, with some of the best soundtracks in the industry. His first show, Cowboy Bebop, was the perfect midpoint of anime storytelling and Western pop culture influences, resulting in an exhilarating sci-fi western with a killer jazz soundtrack. He followed that up with Samurai Champloo which combined Japan’s Edo-era samurai road trip story with a hip-hop soundtrack and visual style. Even his thriller anime series about a terrorist attack, Terror in Resonance, was heavily influenced by the music of Sigur Rós.
All this is to say, if you watch a Watanabe anime, you’re bound to get a blending of genres and visual styles, plenty of references to Western pop-culture, and a fantastic soundtrack – and Carole & Tuesday may have his best musical work yet. The series follows Tuesday, a runaway rich girl who, taking a page out of Cyndi Lauper’s book, runs away from her privileged life with nothing but a guitar and a dream. After finally making it to Alba City, a metropolis on Mars that attracts those who want to become somebody, she meets Carole, an orphan and refugee from Earth who plays the piano and works many part-time jobs. Soon they’ll move in together to start making music and try to make it as singer-songwriters in a world where life has become entirely automated and all art is being made by AI.
From there the show becomes a sweet and optimistic exploration of the power of music and creativity that feels like it could very well be set in today’s New York despite it being set in Mars in the distant future. Oh, and of course the soundtrack has some of the catchiest songs you’ll hear all year – including what should become an anthem for frustrated people everywhere.