Reviewed by: Joe
Released by: Netflix
Age Rating: 15
Region: 1 - North America
Length: 288 minutes
English Dolby Digital Stereo
Japanese Dolby Digital Stereo
The first half of anime series Carole & Tuesday has just hit Netflix in 190 countries and regions. We've caught up with the show and are ready to give our verdict on studio Bones and Shinichirō Watanabe's latest musical offering.
Carole & Tuesday is the latest offering from anime studio Bones. Renowned anime director Shinichirō Watanabe (Cowboy Bebop) is the supervising director of the show and also credited for the original story. Motonobu Hori is credited as director.
The show tells the tale of Carole a resourceful, broke teenager who meets rich runaway Tuesday. They instantly bond over their love of music and decide to form a band. Hijinks ensue as they attempt to get famous.
Shinichirō Watanabe has always been about the music. He created one the most highly regarded anime titles of all time Cowboy Bebop, which has music in it's very soul. He's also done anime that about Jazz with Kids on the Slope, anime with digital idols and fighter jets with Macross Plus and anime with a very Icelandic soundtrack in Terror in Resonance, along with anime that blends hiphop and Samurais with Samurai Champloo. Carole & Tuesday seems like a natural progression of Watanabe's works.
The series is set in a futuristic colonised world of Mars. The setting for the show is a cosmopolitan city of Alba. The sets are rich and lavish. They all feel like very real locations with a lot of attention to detail. Although the setting is in a sci-fi world, the science fiction doesn't dominate and there's no technobabble. Technology is present in the form of the occasional robot or super computer or robot pet, but apart from that, it's really just in the here or now. Just on Mars!
There's also so much detail in this show. The character design, even minor supporting cast members have had a lot of thought put into them. Lesser shows just won't show any faces or have more generic character designs. We feel there are past nods to Watanabe's other works too, with singer Crystal looking a lot like Sharon Apple.
The sound track stands up by itself and means that each episode has at least one captivating performance.
The first few episodes grab you as you'd expect for a show with a pedigree from studio Bones and Shinichirō Watanabe. There are nods to other shows as well. Spot the homage to Kiki's Delivery Service! The pacing is perfect as we're slowly introduced to this futuristic world where AIs do all creative work, Carole & Tuesday's own human written songs are seen as a novelty.
But then the show starts to lose its way track around episode 8. It feels like they've run out of money and a story arch that could have been one or two episodes is stretched across 4 episodes. Character development is put largely on hold and we see a lot less of Carole & Tuesday themselves. The show starts to use every not so subtle animation shortcut possible. We've got long freeze frames of characters watching performances, with camera pans or constant repeated use of the same animation frames. It gets frustrating to watch as you'd expect more from an experienced animation team. Especially after such a magnificent start. These episodes feel like a slog, but you're 8 episodes in and committed now. It feels strange to see such a quality drop. Even the ending to the first half of season one seems too brief, like they've run out of time to cover everything.
While currently Netflix have only released the first half of season 1. Despite its faults we're really hoping the second half of the show picks up quality wise. We've got mixed feelings, we're eager to see more of Carole & Tuesday's adventures, but just hope they don't take any shortcuts like they have in the first half.