Last but certainly not least, our alleged hard-hitters of the season – let’s see how they stacked up to the hype.
Carole & Tuesday
Carole & Tuesday is certainly one of the strongest debuts of the season, though granted, that’s not saying a whole lot given how the rest of the season has played out for me. I apologise if that sounds overly cynical – it’s just that, while Watanabe Shinichirou is an enormously celebrated director whose work I genuinely love, I’m anxious not to give any given show a pass simply because of the name(s) behind it. I want to watch anime because they’re good/enjoyable titles in and of themselves, not because I feel some kind of obligation as a fan to do so.
Now, there’s still a lot I’m unsure about with Carole & Tuesday, mostly because I feel no immediate connection with any of the characters as yet. I also can’t help thinking that, for a series set on Mars fifty years in the future, surprisingly little has changed about the world as we know it today, with Instagram of all things still apparently king of social media and the biggest technological advance being self-wheeling suitcases. That said, there’s just something about the presentation of all this that feels a lot bigger than what’s revealed to us in this first episode, so I can’t help but wonder if Watanabe is deliberately holding back for some reason. I don’t know why or in what way, but there’s a definite sense of wonder and anticipation in the air, and that naturally makes me want to stick around for more. Needless to say, this is helped along plenty by the lush production values, which are leagues ahead of anything else going on this season. Even if I’m a little underwhelmed by the musical aspects so far, the composition of some of the shots manages to make much of this up for me. Overall, I’d say this is a decent, albeit not amazing start to a show that has at least the potential for stardom. Whether it will actually get there is of course another story, but I’ll be eagerly watching to find out.
I’m not going to bother writing much about this one. Suffice to say I’m just not up to publishing an entire thesis revolving around elaborate metaphors and convoluted symbolism, and all the ways in which they play out via Ikuhara Kunihiko’s stream of consciousness narrative style. Look, I’m not claiming the guy lacks talent, or that he doesn’t put plenty of time and effort into his stories, or that they don’t look good. Far from it. However, I’m also not about to watch something I don’t enjoy simply to be able to meticulously dissect every frame in order to satisfy my inner elitist – and frankly, I didn’t enjoy this, for much the same reasons that I also didn’t enjoy Revolutionary Girl Utena or Yuri Kuma Arashi. I simply don’t have the energy for this shit, though I wish the very best of luck to anyone who does.
Question of the post: What are your thoughts on either or both of these shows? Given that they each have such big names behind them, were you surprised in any way by what they delivered?
7 thoughts on “Anime Taste Testing: Carole & Tuesday and Sarazanmai”
As wierd and stupid sarazanmai felt to me,I’m gonna continue the series cause I enjoyed watching it. Doesn’t makes sense to me but ,that just made it more hilarious.
And Carole and Tuesday , I think I loves the visual and the music for this. And I’m genuinely curious and looking forward to how the MC’s will grow over the series. So definitely watching it.
I didn’t get Sarazanmai and I also didn’t enjoy it, so I’m happy to wash my hands of it. Carole & Tuesday should be very solid though, really looking forward to watching more of that.
Watanabe, to me, is inconclusive. I never got into Cowboy Bebop, loved Samurai Champloo and Kids on the Slope, didn’t care about Space Dandy enough to finish the first season, and was utterly bored by Zankyou no Terror. So far I’m fine with Carole and Tuesday. Not that fond of Tuesday’s character design, and I’d rather have a more modest show, as the big picture stuff that hides in the background is as likely to break the show for me than make it. But I did really like the music aspect, from the muzak you get in the bar (which is on the accessible side of weird, which makes for a plausible future trend, or at least facilitates suspension of disbelief). And when they were playing together they sounded awkward at first, got better, lost it again, until they synched (if that’s not my imagination). It really did sound like they had to get used to each other, which is a huge plus. But then, whatever the show, the music was pretty much always on point in a Watanabe show. (No Kanno this time?)
Sarazanmai? I don’t know yet. I’ve never seen Utena, was on and off with Penguin Drum, and really liked Yuri Kuma Arashi. Sarazanmai seems more accessible to me, but beyond that I have little to say. I guess I’ll see if the ass slime cringe is worth it. At least I found it flowed well and wasn’t boring.
Personally, I’ve enjoyed all of Watanabe’s works so far. I’m not the type to shove them down anyone else’s throat, and I liked some more than others, but in general I love his stories and love his style. I don’t want to just assume I’ll be super into something just because Watanabe is behind it, mind you, so while I’m excited to see more of Carole & Tuesday, I’m not about to scream my praises about it just yet.
I was mildly amused by Yuri Kuma Arashi for a few episodes. Then I got annoyed, and only finished it because by that point I was already halfway through anyway, and ended up pretty much hating it. I had a lot more time for Penguindrum. I’d say that in general, Ikuhara tests my patience more than anything else, and I’m just not in a good head space for that right now. I won’t be watching more of Sarazanmai.
My sole reaction to Sarazanmai on twitter was “BLINK. BLINK.”
I’m standing by that, not sure if I’ll keep watching (the Spring season is often awkward for me because it gets interrupted by SwanCon and I often don’t get back to shows afterwards).
To be honest, I just couldn’t be bothered watching any more. I no longer need to watch anime for academic purposes and while I’m okay analyzing stuff from time to time for my own sake, I dislike having to work so hard for my entertainment. I watch anime mostly to relax, not to write entire essays.
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