Just to be clear, none of the following is to say that Carole & Tuesday is by any means a bad show, or even a below average one. There are numerous excellent aspects I’m happy to praise, including of course its general style and overall aesthetic, which is (unsurprisingly) far more sophisticated than any other title this anime season has to offer. More to the point, I’m enjoying watching it every week and am glad it’s going to have 24 episodes, which will hopefully be used to really flesh out its cast and do a solid job in terms of pacing.
But. My biggest problem with Carole & Tuesday is the one I never thought I’d say about any show with Watanabe Shinichirou at the helm: the music.
It’s not that I’m anti-pop. It may not be my favourite genre of music, but there are plenty of pop artists I like, both indie and mainstream, English-speaking or not. I also don’t think viewers necessary need to be fans of any particular genre of music to be able to enjoy it in a film or series – case in point, I really don’t tend to like rap or hip-hop, but I grooved to Samurai Champloo just fine. No, the issue I have with Carole & Tuesday is that the music just isn’t especially unique or memorable – a pretty major issue when the entire plot revolves around two girls who, according to the narrator, manage to create such a truly ground-breaking and inspiring musical experience that it literally makes history. Kinda hard to forget that part when we’re reminded at the start of every episode.
Now I’m sure plenty of anime viewers would argue that not all of Watanabe’s shows have featured iconic, or at the very least extremely memorable music, so why would I be singling out Carole & Tuesday? Respectfully, I completely disagree. There’s not a single Watanabe-directed show out there in which I’ve failed to remember the music specifically as one of its best qualities, and not a single one where I can’t recall a handful of tracks, discounting the OP/ED just to be generous. That goes for those titles in which the music itself was not an integral part of the story, including Zankyou no Terror (man that has a great soundtrack) and Space Dandy. I may not have liked all the tracks equally, but they sure as hell got stuck in my head, and for the most part in a great way. Even Carole & Tuesday’s OP/ED strike me as fairly lacklustre though; inoffensive, to be sure, but far from any of the words I associate with the music in all of Watanabe’s shows, no matter who was sitting in the composer’s seat: distinctive, organic, infectious, innovative, impactful. Even just plain old ‘catchy’ would be stretching it a bit for me.
The good news is, Carole & Tuesday still has 20 episodes as of this writing in which to render my above mini-rant completely void. And personally speaking, I’m greatly looking forward to eating my words.
Question of the post: What are your thoughts on the music in Carole & Tuesday? Do you have a much greater appreciation for it than I do, or are you also waiting for something with more impact?