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Carole & Tuesday is a Japanese anime series produced by Studio BONES. It was created and directed by Shinichiro Watanabe of Cowboy Bebop fame. The show began airing for 24 episodes on Fuji TV's +Ultra programming block and Netflix Japan on April 10th, 2019. The first 12 episodes were released on Netflix worldwide on August 30, 2019, while the second half was released the following December.

Set 50 years after humans have colonized the planet Mars, our story starts with the very sheltered and innocent Tuesday running away from home and heading to the largest city on the planet, Alba City. Once there she quickly learns that its not an easy place for a girl with no plans.

Carole is a young woman barely making her way in the city, and has just lost her job, again. With nothing left to do she begins playing her keyboard and singing on a bridge, where a disheartened Tuesday happens to also be and the two girls instantly connect over Carole's song.

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Tropes present in the work are:

  • Actor Allusion: Gus claims that Desmond hates having their shadow stepped on and would die if exposed to sunlight, much like Wamuu.
  • Aerith and Bob: It's right there in the show's title. Most of the cast have perfectly ordinary names, and then there's Tuesday.
  • The Alcoholic: Gus is introduced barely conscious at a bar.
    • Amongst Joshua's many issues, being so drunk off his ass that he can't perform seems to be common occurrence.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: There are clearly AIs who use conman tactics and have their own agency; as opposed to acting on behalf of a behind-the-curtain human puppet master.
  • Alliterative Name: Gus Goldman, Spencer Simmons and Katie Kimura.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Carole seems to be of African descent while Angela could either be African as well or Latino, maybe both. This trope is quite prominent, as Alba City is very cosmopolitan and the colonization of Mars might have blurred a few "racial" lines.
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  • Amicable Exes: Gus and his ex-wife Marie, while have grown distant, are still friendly with one another. Marie believes in Gus' assessment that Carole and Tuesday are something special, willing to work for Gus on the promise he'll pay her back and referring the two to her current girlfriend for costumes. When Marie tells Gus she plans to remarry, he tells her to find happiness this time, baring no ill will.
  • Animation Bump: Whenever a character breaks out into a song, the animation becomes noticeably smoother via rotoscoping.
  • Artistic License – Astronomy: While the size of Mars' moons Deimos and Phobos is realistic enough, the Earth on the other hand looks way bigger than it actually would in the Martian sky. People standing on Mars would see the Earth as a bright star much like Venus appears from Earth, not as a small moon. Depicting it this way helps to enhance the dreamy mood of the scene, however.
  • As You Know: Invoked, and then subverted.
    Tao: 99% of all modern hits were created by A.I.s. I suspect you knew that already, though.
    Angela: Hadn't the foggiest.
  • Award-Bait Song: "Mother".
  • Bait-and-Switch: When Angela confronts her mother after assuming she was the one who injured Tuesday's hand, Dahlia tells her that she only did it for her sake. However, it turns out that she was talking about getting Angela into the soda commercial, not the sabotage.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Angela's casual clothes show her navel. Crystal's performing outfit shows her midsection too.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Tuesday may be the sweetest girl there is, but when Ertegun insults their music without even bothering to listen to it, she calmly burns the letter and sets off the sprinklers in his house. Even she is surprised by the way she reacted.
  • Birds of a Feather: Carole and Tuesday couldn't be more different in appearance and background, but their love of music makes them bond almost immediately.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Tuesday's mother Valerie, a powerful politician, advocates a campaign based on kindness and understanding while being cold and controlling at home.
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • Creamy Cream, a coffee and donut shop similar to the real life Krispy Kreme.
    • There's also the bare-faced eBay knock-off "obay".
    • There's also the Coca Cola knock-off "Mars Cola".
  • Bolivian Army Ending: Downplayed. The anime ends as the cops are preparing to break up the illegal concert.
  • Book-Ends:
    • The series begins with a small-town girl, living in a lonely world, taking the midnight train going anywhere. The penultimate episode is actually called "Don't Stop Believin'".
    • The "Miraculous 7 Minutes" concert mentioned in the intro, and which occurs in the final episode, takes place in the same concert hall in which Carole and Tuesday perform their first impromptu concert in Episode 2. The pair even lampshade this. For bonus points, both concerts are less than legal, but while the first is broken up by security, the second is allowed to play to completion despite the police showing up.
  • Broken Pedestal:
    • Downplayed in the case of Ertegun, as there wasn't much of a pedestal to break in the first place. When the girls visit him to request a collaboration, he immediately looks down on their music without even listening to it. In retaliation, the two set up a fiery prank before quickly making their escape.
    • Subverted when Carole meets Flora, the singer who originally inspired her to become a musician. Flora is a jaded, burnt-out wreck who is implied to have been driven to alcohol and drug abuse by how the music industry treated her, and has lost her desire to sing. Carole still admires her anyway, and covers Flora's song "Give You The World" in concert in a successful attempt to lift her spirits.
  • Butt-Monkey: Episode 4 is hard on poor Roddy, who's not only forced to dance for the music video (which he has no talent for), the luxury car he borrowed from Ertegun gets utterly wrecked and his beloved limited edition robots get destroyed by IDEA. He's also the one who recommends IDEA to Carole and Tuesday in the first place, and by the time he realizes it's a scam, it's far too late.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: The Mermaid Sisters' song Galactic Mermaid is one of these to the tune of a barbershop quartet number. It gets them quickly eliminated from Mars' Brightest.
  • Cool Shades: Afraid her family would recognize her on TV (even though her performance isn't televised), Tuesday wears a pair of shades Gus "borrowed" from another contestant during their audition for Mars' Brightest. She ditches the shades later though when she actually does appear on TV.
  • Cute Machines: Carole has her alarm clock, Ziggy. He looks and acts like a northern white-faced owl (including making himself thinner when startled) so he's treated more like a pet than an appliance. Subverted with IDEA, who looks and sounds very cute but whose personality is closer to an evil spawn of Bender.
  • Character Blog: In addition to having an Instagram account in-universe, Carole and Tuesday have one for real as well.
  • Contrived Coincidence: In Episode 16, Carole and Tuesday are taking a walk while discussing their latest song. Carole remarks that she wants to add a rhythm section to it, but they'd need a backup band willing to play for free. They then immediately run into a group of musicians jamming on the street corner with exactly the instruments Carole needs for her rhythm section.
  • Dark-Skinned Blonde: Joshua has blonde hair and dark skin, which fits with his eccentric artist image. Crystal also seems to have tanned skin and blonde-green hair
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Cybelle asks Tuesday to form a duo with her after the Mars Brightest contest, and Tuesday is too nervous to immediately refuse. When she does say no, Cybelle takes this as a cruel betrayal on Tuesday's part. In vengeance, she leaves a birthday present full of dry ice that burns Tuesday's hand, which is going too far even if the transgression wasn't imaginary.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Both opening themes are performed by Carole and Tuesday in their singing voices.
  • Dramatic Wind: Parodied in Episode 4. While shooting the duo's first music video, IDEA takes them to the top of a crater, hoping to get footage of them standing at the cliff edge, complete with dramatic wind. Instead, it's so windy that the pair can barely stand up straight, let alone play their instruments, and IDEA himself gets blown away.
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita: Tuesday's long dresses are clearly inspired by the "casual lolita" style. She might only wear this style though because that's what she is used to wearing for most of her life, and not to make an actual fashion statement.
  • Everyone Has Standards: In the final episode, as the police barge into the concert hall, guns drawn, to shut down the "Miraculous 7 Minutes" concert, Gus asks them to just stop and listen to the song for a minute. They oblige.
  • Failed a Spot Check: When Roddy looks online for an AI to compose their new music video, he somehow misses that it has thousands of reviews and a 1-star average score.
  • Foil: Gus and Tao, while both musicians' managers, are opposites in just about every way. Gus is a heavy-set, enthusiastic older man, Tao is a slim, emotionless young man. Gus is a jaded alcoholic who's been out of work for years, Tao is a modern acoustics technician in popular demand. Gus prefers old-fashioned songs and wants to promote Carole and Tuesday for their authentic music, Tao prefers his A.I.-manufactured songs, and forces Angela to conform to them.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • At the start of Episode 4, when Roddy suggests having the IDEA AI create a music video for the duo, you can see on its store page that it only has a 1-star rating over 2000 reviews. None of the protagonists notice this, though Carole is suspicious of the cheap price. IDEA turns out to be a scam artist.
    • The story of Flora's breakdown and burnout is eerily similar to what happens to Angela just a few episodes later. The difference is that, while Angela has friends around her who help her recover in a matter of days, Flora had nobody and didn't even begin to recover until Carole and Tuesday came along.
    • In Episode 19, one of Angela's security guards at the Cydonia Festival very obviously resembles Black_Knight. Since the protagonists don't know what Black_Knight looks like, they don't realise (and it's not revealed properly) until the episode's climax.
  • Former Child Star: Angela Carpenter is a former child star and model who intends to break through as a singer. According to herself, Dahlia used to be one too.
  • Formerly Fit: Marie shows Carole and Tuesday a picture of a younger Gus, who was quite thin and good-looking back then.
  • The "Fun" in "Funeral": One of Carole's part-time jobs involves fake-crying at a dead guy's funeral to give the impression there are plenty of people missing him. This being Carole, she sees a butterfly land on the priest's head and bursts out laughing like a madwoman.
  • Generic Cuteness: Carole and Tuesday are supposedly rather plain-looking girls, but you wouldn't be able to tell this by their character designs.
  • Grew Beyond Their Programming: Desmond's AI attendant. As each other's sole companion for twenty years, the AI developed an understanding of human emotions and shows genuine care for Desmond.
  • Hair-Contrast Duo: Carole is a dark-skinned girl with black hair while Tuesday is a white-as-snow blonde with freckles.
  • I Call It "Vera": Tuesday's precious guitar is named "Hummingbird". That's because it is a Gibson Hummingbird.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each episode is named after a Western rock or pop song. A full list of song references can be found here.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Cybelle bears a pretty uncanny resemblance to Maika Loubté, who provided her singing voice. Same with Carole and her vocalist Nai Br.XX;,
  • Interclass Friendship: Carole is an orphan working various odd jobs to get by, while Tuesday is a child from a wealthy family. They connect with each over a love of music and form a band.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: When Marie tells Gus that she's remarrying, he's surprised but neither jealous nor upset, and simply wishes her to find happiness with her wife.
  • Jealous Pet: Ziggy the robotic owl alarm clock has an AI advanced enough to be annoyed about how IDEA monopolizes the time of her owner.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Ertegun rejected and dismissed Carole and Tuesday’s music without listening to it, dashing their first option of making it big. It’s only appropriate that they accidentally wreck one of his cars for their failed first music video, which was supposed to be their second option.
  • Last Episode, New Character: Though we get a few tiny glimpses of him towards the end of the series, Lonesome Clarence doesn't make a proper appearance until the finale.
  • Left Hanging: The show ends with Carole and Tuesday holding a protest concert on New Year's Day with a large group of other musicians, with the police breaking into the building while everybody is on stage. The show even plays around with it, declaring "Carole & Tuesday will continue..." before adding "...in your mind."
  • Little Miss Badass: As a little girl living in an orphanage, Carole head-butts and flying kicks a bigger boy who was being mean to her.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: "Galactic Mermaid", the infamous song that the Mermaid Sisters sing for Mars Brightest, is a catchy a capella number with lyrics that are exclusively swear words. The amount of foul language used in the 40-second song was enough to bump the show's rating up to a TV-MA.
  • Mood Dissonance: Played for Laughs in-universe. Episode 4 has the team shooting a Zombie Apocalypse-themed video (amongs other things)... for "Hold Me Now", a light, peppy pop number. To the surprise of no-one but themselves, the result is... lackluster, to put it gently.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: One of the auditioning singers in Episode 7 bears a resemblance to, and sings a lot like Vitas.
    • Similarly, GGK is a shameless (if loving) interpretation of FKA Twigs, and fans have taken to calling Crystal "Space Beyoncé" for good reason.
    • Valerie Simmons is basically Hillary Clinton… with the political platform of Donald Trump.
    • Several of the other musical artists have similarities to famous musicians in looks, music style, and even backstories. For instance, Desmond’s glam rock-inspired singing and look resembles David Bowie, and Flora’s music and downward spiral in her life is eerily similar to Whitney Houston.
    • During the Mars Grammies show in Episode 22, the presenter calls out to a man named Steve. The camera then cuts to a man who looks like Steve Aoki.
  • Not So Different: In spite of how Carole and Tuesday seem to be total opposites in looks, fashion style and upbringing, they become best pals almost instantly based on their shared love for music and surprisingly compatible personalities.
  • Parental Abandonment: Carole was abandoned in a church as a baby and has no memories of her parents. It turns out her father, Dann, was in prison for a Crime of Self-Defense, and her mother passed away shortly after giving her up. Carole meets Dann in episode 13, but he does not tell her who he is until the following episode.
  • Passive-Aggressive Kombat: Gus and Dahlia indulge in this, complete with extremely fake smiles, after Mars Brightest gives Angela and Carole and Tuesday record deals, forcing them to be around each other more.
  • Pinball Protagonist: Carole and Tuesday, and even Angela to an extent, are mostly dragged around from one gig to another without making much of their own decisions − outside of consenting and performing as best as they can. The only notable exceptions are Carole and Tuesday's impromptu performance in a concert hall in episode 2, which drew the attention of Gus and Roddy in the first place, and the "Miraculous 7 Minutes" concert in the finale, which was their idea.
    • Deconstructed in the case of Angela. Being dragged about by Dahlia and Tao takes its toll on her, until finally she snaps and tells Dahlia she's had enough of being treated like a doll. Dahlia then suffers a fatal heart attack, and with Tao having been arrested and no-one left to pinball her around, Angela is left at a loss for what to do and enters an almost-fatal downward spiral until she forces herself to take the initiative for once and joins Carole and Tuesday's concert.
  • Product Placement: The show is sponsored by Gibson and Nord, so naturally Tuesday's acoustic guitar is a Gibson (a Hummingbird, to be precise), and Carole plays on a Nord keyboard. Instagram is also visibly used, rather than a Bland-Name Product version, and appears to be identical in look and function to the present day, in spite of the sci-fi setting.
    • After Carole & Tuesday and Angela release their debut singles, Roddy tracks their chart positions on the real-world Billboard chart.
  • Protest Song: "Mother", written expressly In-Universe to protest the ongoing censorship of music as well as the xenophobic immigration policies being pursued by Tuesday's mother as a presidential candidate. Since Spencer succeeds in revealing the truth to Valerie about her campaign manager engineering the bombing of Alba City's weather control machine to aid her divisive rhetoric, and she both fires her manager and drops out of the campaign, the song instead morphs into a heartfelt plea for humanity to come together. The concert is still considered illegal, however resulting in an appearance by the police to break it up; it's not revealed how this turns out, but Gus's ending monologue at least suggests things get better from here on out, so it remains a literal protest. Some of the imagery, and the coming together of countless musicians with varying styles to support a single cause, is also reminiscent of We Are the World, but no actual money is raised by the event.
  • Reality Ensues: At a concert, standing in for a musician who for whatever last-minute reason is unavailable to play will not be received well by the audience, who paid to see them. Carole and Tuesday learn this the hard way when they try to stand in for Joshua, as they get ruthlessly booed off the stage by angry audience members.
  • Red Herring Twist: Tao tells Angela they’re both Designer Babies, and she’s version 2.0. ...aaaannnnd that’s where the arc ends. This happens at the very start of the final episode.
  • The Reveal: The second half of the season drops two big ones regarding Angela's parentage. As it turns out, Dahlia is not Angela's birth parent, she adopted her from a man named Professor Zeeman. Even still, Zeeman isn't even Angela's father by birth. Rather, she was one of two Designer Babies that he had fully developed, with the other child being none other than Tao.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots:
    • IDEA the robot director not only drinks beer like a human, it also likes to take baths and watch television. It also happens to be a scam artist.
    • Ertegun's AI butler not only robs his owner blind, he spends all the money on parties and women.
  • Rock is Authentic, Pop is Shallow: The show presents a variation. The musicians in the show all run the gamut of genres, but the one of the central themes is the conflict between music that is composed by artificial intelligence (all but omnipresent in the show's setting) and Carole and Tuesday's homegrown, authentic, self-composed, raw sound. Musicians are also torn between signing with high-powered producers (a faster route to fame and success, but at the loss of their creative freedom), and making it on their own or with lesser-known teams.
  • Rotoscoping: Every musical performance is rotoscoped, making it easier to accurately animate characters singing, dancing or playing instruments in time with the music.
  • The Runaway: Tuesday leaves her affluent life because while she has everything she could want, her family will not allow her to be a musician.
  • Running Gag:
    • An early running gag was Carole and Tuesday having to run away from locations after getting in trouble. Carole even lampshades it after they escape from Ertegun's mansion in Episode 3.
    • Carole and Tuesday not knowing who various "legendary" industry figures are. It gets to the point where in Episode 15, after receiving an invite from the legendary reclusive musician Desmond, Roddy bets Gus twenty woolongs that the pair won't have heard of them. He's absolutely right.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Spencer manages to track Tuesday down in Episode 5, but after seeing how happy she is performing, he can't bring himself to tell their mother where she is.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Carole and Tuesday go through a lot of trouble to participate in the Mars Brightest contest, only to still lose over some silly technicality to Angela. Sure, they win a chance to debut, but that doesn't appear to come with funding for actual producing their debut, leaving them high and dry.
  • Shared Universe: Carole and Tuesday possibly takes place in the same universe as Cowboy Bebop and Space Dandy as the currency is also woolongs. The former moreso, due to Carole and Tuesday's setting of a colonized Mars in the future, in Alba City no less. As Mars is a young colony rather than the economic center of the solar system and interstellar travel doesn't exist yet, it obviously takes place far earlier than either of the other two.
  • She's Got Legs: Carole, while being more of the tomboy compared to Tuesday, often shows off her long legs by wearing hot pants, usually combined with Zettai Ryouiki.
  • Shown Their Work: Aside from the upper tier, serious contestants actually being pretty good by real world standards, there’s also a scene during the talent show where DJ Ertegun is interacting with a tablet. Those familiar with DJ software interfaces would recognize that he’s organizing sound sample layers on a time table.
  • Singing Voice Dissonance: In episode 6, the deep, booming voice of Hiroki Yasumoto is replaced by the high-pitched, honey timber of bassist Thundercat when Skip's song starts.
  • Sleeper Hit: Carole & Tuesday's debut single, "Army of Two", is an In-Universe example. It doesn't get anywhere near as much promotion as Angela's debut single and doesn't even crack the top 50 at first, but one episode later it's climbed to #18, seemingly through word-of-mouth alone.
  • Spoiled Sweet: Tuesday is one of the sweetest, most polite girls ever, but she's painfully naïve and knows next to nothing about cleaning or cooking. She admits to Carole that, before coming to Alba City, she assumed everyone on Mars lived as well as she did.
  • Stylistic Suck: The music video IDEA makes for "Hold Me Now" in Episode 4. Carole, Tuesday, Gus, and Roddy pitch about a dozen different concepts, without even knowing what song the video would be for; IDEA just mashes them all together without even trying to make something coherent out of them; and then it proceeds to execute every one of those concepts with laughable ineptitude. Unsurprisingly, IDEA turns out to be a scam artist, and the resulting video is scrapped - but not before we get to see it in all its hysterically-bad glory.
  • Surprisingly Good English: For the Japanese original dub, all of the songs are performed in English by native speakers. The English dub left it alone since it was that good.
  • Technician vs. Performer: An underlining plot of the series, with Former Child Star Angela as the Technician who uses A.I. technology and current trends for music, and Carole and Tuesday as the Performers who really just want to make music together.
  • Terraform: The planet Mars was terraformed into having a breathable athmosphere and a really cozy climate somewhere in the past (likely not too long ago, but far enough in the past so that an actual Martian sense of national identity emerged including the nasty side of it, namely nativist sentiment and enmity against (Earth) refugees) and is maintained by weather control (e.g. when a weather control facility was blown up in episode 18, the temperature in Alba City started to drop).
  • Translation Convention: As all written language is in English, and Alba City is patterned as a futuristic New York City, it can be assumed that everyone is actually speaking English, not Japanese. This is further proven in that every song including the OP and ED is sung in perfect English.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Carole is the Tomboy and Tuesday is the Girly Girl.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: Angela's story is largely unrelated to Carole and Tuesday's at first, it's not until episode 8 that Angela even meets the two.
  • Weather-Control Machine: Mars' artificial atmosphere is regulated by "Weather Plants", which keeps the planet in warm, summer-y temperatures. Alba City's plant is bombed in episode 18 by Valerie Simmons' political party, which causes snow and winter weather to appear for the first time in Carole and Tuesday's lifetimes.
  • We Need a Distraction: In order to let Tuesday escape from her house, Roddy makes a ruckus at the gate. It works when the gates open and Tuesday gets out while the robots electrocute Roddy and the security guards tackle Gus, allowing Carole and Tuesday to get away.
  • Write What You Know: In-Universe, many of the songs' lyrics are about the characters' own feelings about their situations. When Carole and Tuesday visit Desmond, they discuss how music is the only way they can get their feelings out.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Dahlia has purple hair, which is her least outstanding feature. Marie has violet hair, although it seems to be dyed and Crystal's is a combination of green and blonde. Pyotr has mint-green hair while Catherine also has lilac hair.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Subverted, but Angela fears this when she learns Tao is developing an AI replica of her, especially when he hesitates before reassuring her otherwise. When the replica is completed, it turns out Tao merely intends for it to train Angela until she's at the same "perfect" level. This is still the final straw for Angela, however, and her rejection of the AI (and by proxy, Tao and Dahlia) is what kickstarts her downward spiral.
  • Youthful Freckles: Tuesday, the less worldly of the duo, has faint freckles on the bridge of her nose.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Carole tends to wear Grade A, which she combines with hot pants.

 
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Galactic Mermaid

The Mermaid Sisters' song for Mars' Brightest is nothing but profanity sung in an upbeat tune. Unsurprisingly, they are quickly disqualified from the competition.

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