At last, it’s out of Netflix jail: Carole & Tuesday, which has been building a loyal fan base in Japan, is finally legally available to watch stateside . The new series has been getting press coverage since its inception, covering everything from its impressive voice cast to its even more impressive musical team, which just made it all the more aggravating to have to wait for.
So don’t sleep on it now that it’s here:, the music-centric series makes for a great weekend’s watch. Hardcore anime fans will probably not need a lot of convincing. But if the delay has left you lukewarm, allow me to light the fire again. Here are six — out of many — reasons it’s time to get watching.
It’s the latest from Shinichiro Watanabe.
If you’ve been following anime since the late 90s, the name “Shinichiro Watanabe” will automatically be exciting. If you can’t place the name, here’s one you probably can: Cowboy Bebop.
While he’s got plenty of other projects under his belt, Watanabe’s jazzy space adventure from 1998 is one of the most recognizable from his CV. It’s also an encapsulation of what he brings to the table as a creator: blending of genres, a diverse cast of characters, and a soundtrack to die for.
His other projects — from Edo rap epic Samurai Champloo to retro jazz love letter Kids on the Slope to the beautiful weirdness of Space Dandy — reflect those same qualities. And Carole & Tuesday is no different, telling the story of two girls from different social backgrounds as they make music on a terraformed Mars. Speaking of the two girls…
The lead singers belong on your playlist.
The leads of Carole & Tuesday are voiced by Miyuri Shimabukuro and Kana Ichinose, respectively: two active and well-known voice actresses. But to make these aspiring stars really shine, Watanabe held a global audition to find their singing voices.
The results were two singer-songwriters who are absolutely worth your time, in and out of the show. Carole’s musical tones are supplied by Nai Br.XX, a Queens-based R&B singer who got her start collaborating with Sensei Bueno. Singing for Tuesday is Japanese-American singer/songwriter Celeina Ann, who made her professional debut in 2015. The duo perform all their characters’ songs, as well as themes for the show (like the first opening, “Kiss Me”).
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There’s talent from around the world — and lots of it.
Besides being a writer and director, Watanabe is a music producer and listens to all sorts of styles. As a result, his shows tend to include a diverse array of music and artists — but Carole & Tuesday outdoes even his usual range.
In the weeks leading up to the series’s Japanese release and beyond, trailers announced half a dozen musical acts or more at a time. Talents span the length of the indie music scene and include Flying Lotus, Thundercat, Taku Takahashi of m-flo, Alison Wonderland, and Mark Redito, just to name a few.
Naturally, this means there’s a lot of music. How much? The first 12 episodes alone have more than 20 original songs in them. And yes, there’s a soundtrack CD on the way including all of them.
You’ll finally have context for that Mermaid Sisters meme.
In case you’ve seen a certain video floating around featuring a song with some pretty straightforward lyrics… well, now you can see it in its natural habitat. (And if you haven’t, allow me to fix that.)
This cheerful musical group is the Mermaid Sisters. They’re passionate about their music and its message, and they’re here to try to win it all on Mars’s Brightest. Spoiler: they don’t win. And they were robbed.
We need a show like this right now.
Look. You don’t need me to tell you that things are not great. Sometimes it feels wrong to consume media that isn’t on the bleeding edge of where we are as a society. But honestly, we need a show like this.
We need to listen to good music, watch pretty animation, and see two ladies (both of whom are solid contenders for Best Girl and should probably share the honor) chasing their dreams together. We need to listen to new-to-us indie acts making fantastic new anime music. And we’ve waited long enough for it to become available in our region.
Whether his shows are dark or light, Shinichiro Watanabe has a way of injecting a massive dose of creativity and joy into our watchlist. Nai Br.XX and Celeina Ann are perfect together; it would be easy to believe that, like Carole and Tuesday, they debuted side by side. Plus, there’s plenty more to discover and enjoy. You can watch Carole &Tuesday on Netflix now.