Title: Carole & Tuesday Vol. 1
Author: Morito Yamataka
Release Date: December 15, 2020
Publisher: Yen Press
Whether you are into the whole anime and manga subculture or not, some things are just universal cultural icons, and Cowboy Bebop by Shinichiro Watanabe is among those. Watanabe-san’s space sci-fic epic with jazzy undertones set the tone for each of his works. Regardless if it forms part of the narrative or not, music has always been the heart and soul of these titles, and this was particularly the case with Carole & Tuesday, a Netflix Original anime that deservedly met praise and acclaim. With such a great story and beautiful art, it only makes sense to have a manga serialization with the release of Carole and Tuesday Vol. 1.
Penned by Morito Yamataka, Carole and Tuesday Vol. 1 covers the first five or so episodes of the anime, largely following the same structure and sticking to continuity. Much like other manga serializations of established anime series, Yamataka-san looks to give readers a fresh perspective on a familiar story, with a stronger focus on certain characters and pivotal moments. Whether you are a fan of the anime looking to enjoy the characters differently, or someone stepping into its musical world for the very first time, you can’t really go wrong.
Carole & Tuesday is largely futuristic in its setting, taking place on a Mars of all places, where humans have found a way to make the red planet livable. Still, sci-fi stuff serves only as a backdrop, as the premise here is all about the music and is quite grounded. Even with Robots and AIs abound, the characters are still relatable, and everyone uses Instagram on their fairly ordinary smartphones. This works quite well, as the sci-fi elements create a seamless and non-intrusive subtext that doesn’t distract from the characters or their story.
As the title suggests, the manga is about two friends, the titular Carole and Tuesday (apparently she was born on a Tuesday or something). Tuesday comes from a wealthy family, but at the start of the manga decides to run away from home on a train (spaceships and trains are both viable transport in this world) to Alba City, which is basically Mars’ version of New York City. Although she had all the money and riches, she decides to leave it all behind for the freedom to pursue music. Carole lives in the same city, going from one part-time job to the next to keep her musical dreams alive. Thanks to the magical power of fate and music, Tuesday and Carole cross paths, so their adventure begins.
The first volume of the manga builds the early stages of their friendship, in terms of them getting to know each other despite coming from such different worlds, where their shared passion of pursuing music brings them together. In the process of exploring their friendship and musical prowess. More than just pursuing music for the sake of it, they hope to make something of themselves, and so much of the first volume navigates the ups and downs the duo must go through to make their dreams come true.
The story’s pacing is quite smooth, covering a fair bit of ground to really set the scene for the characters and their musical pursuits. Although it makes sense to focus on only the key events from the anime, some things are rushed a little too quickly, as a plot development in the relationship of Carole and Tuesday gets dropped out of nowhere and almost in passing. Perhaps it is deliberate, and hopefully, their complex relationship gets nurtured at the right pace in subsequent volumes.
Much like the anime, the art in the manga is just beautiful, and so this will perhaps be the biggest draw for fans of the show as they get to enjoy and absorb the artwork and character designs. The musical motifs are strong here, too, as the manga references many classic songs and artists, and it can be quite fun to pick up on what they are.
Carole and Tuesday Vol. 1 does a decent job of getting the basic setup out of the way and covering the first few episodes of the anime. Some parts of the volume may come across as an abridged retelling of a much richer story, especially when crucial moments in character development are rushed and mentioned in passing almost. Still, hopefully, by getting the basics of the premise out of the way, subsequent volumes can develop into something more complete, much like the music Carole and Tuesday hope to create together.
This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate Noisy Pixel earns from qualifying purchases.