Carole & Tuesday Episode 10: Disaster strikes

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Being Roddy is suffering

It does almost feel like this series is powering through the performances at this point. The performances are fun, but the episode seems to be introducing some drama in the end. I get that the overall theme is that Carole and Tuesday run into obstacles on their path to success, but I’m honestly hoping it’s not drawn out too much. At a certain point, it feels unrealistically like the world is literally out to get you, right?

Ertegun joins the crew

Well, I definitely wasn’t expecting Ertegun to make a surprise appearance. I know he’s supposed to cause trouble for Carole and Tuesday in particular, but I don’t particularly mind this development. He can be pretty funny, so I actually look forward to seeing how he interacts with the girls when they actually get a chance to perform.

GGK comes back to life

Yeah, that GGK origin story goes about as well as I would expect it to go. I have to agree with Catherine in this episode somewhat. For me, it’s hard to distinguish GGK’s first performance from her second one. Once again, Angela’s song isn’t much better, but at least it’s a more memorable performance.

Tao changes the song

I feel like this stuff with Tao would be more meaningful if we knew more about him. I get that his personality is supposed to be mysterious, but his actions seems to imply that he recognizes Carole and Tuesday as a legitimate threat. So, some hints of that would be nice.

Carole can't find Tuesday

I kind of forgot about Tuesday’s birthday until the end of the episode. But looking back, I missed an entire subplot of Carole attempting to give Tuesday a birthday gift. That explains why she complains that the two aren’t on the same wavelength. It’s a small thing, but I think it’s nice.

Pyotr tells his story

Maybe it’s a terrible bias, but I still have a hard time taking Pyotr seriously. This is meant to be a heartfelt story about his past and where he came from, but it sounds too much like pandering to me. Perhaps I’m just too cynical.

Tuesday receives a gift

That doesn’t look good. Presumably, something about this present is meant to interfere with Carole and Tuesday’s performance. It is a bit strange, though. Cybelle seems like the obvious candidate given her creepy tendencies and the fact that she specifically asked about Tuesday’s birthday in a previous episode. But then again, there was also that weird moment with Angela’s manager staring at Angela’s phone. I’m not sure what to make of that.


Spring 2019 Grab Bag Week 10: Kono Oto Tomare

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Hiro begs for help

Kono Oto Tomare Episode 10

To be fair, a lot of the interesting character development happens in the previous episode, but this week’s episode went well too. This is not the kind of show I would expect to have a training camp, but here we are. Honestly, I’m enjoying the character focus in the series so far. Many of the developments tend to be small, and we get a larger change like Takezou’s every now and then.

Takezou asks Takinami

It’s a small nod to the previous episode, but I liked seeing Takezou stand up to Takinami in this episode. It’s nice to see Takinami’s “cool guy” act cracked by Takezou’s new resolve. It’s about time he was taken down a peg, and this episode seems to start him on a journey to becoming a more sympathetic character.

Chika learns from Satowa

I’m a little bothered by the fact that Chika seems to be a natural talent in this series. I know it creates a gap with his delinquent tendencies, but I’d be more on board if he wasn’t so quick to learn. I don’t have a problem with him being good at copying Satowa, but he should still struggle, rather than getting it right on the first try. Maybe I’m being too harsh.

Hiro worries about her teaching

While it’s severely subversive, I do like how Kouta’s troubles are handled in this episode. It’s not overly dramatic, and everyone seems to react in a reasonable way. Hiro’s own reservations show that she continues to feel worried about her place in the group. She doesn’t know Kouta as well, so she makes a logical conclusion when he disappears.

Kouta is found

Meanwhile, Kouta’s friends correctly figure out that Kouta isn’t one to wallow in his insecurities. Instead, he shows some surprising strength by going off to work on his own. I guess I admire that the series doesn’t force him into that using the other characters. He’s more self-motivated.

Takinami tries to teach

I’m kind of hoping Takinami has a general music background, rather than experience with the koto. I know it’s not going to be case, but I get the feeling that too many people are koto veterans in this show. I know it’s Japan, but the instrument seems too niche for that.

Carole & Tuesday Episode 9: The other bracket

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Carole finds out about Tuesday's mother

Memes aside, this week’s episode was another fun string of songs. As far as I could tell, there wasn’t all that much more to it, though. The episode seemed to be setting up a couple of potential plot threads, but it seemed like pure talent show otherwise. I think the main question I have from this episode is about Tao’s interaction with the girls, since it was something I didn’t expect at all.

Cybelle questions Tuesday

If Cybelle wasn’t strange enough last week, she took it up a notch this week. I did like how Tuesday attempts to resolve things within the episode, eventually turning down Cybelle’s offer to start a separate group. But I can only imagine that Cybelle will return in a bad way in the future. From her introduction in the talent show, it sounds like she has a superficial attachment to Tuesday’s appearance, which seems a bit simplistic.

GGK starts to perform

I’m not really one for this kind of “mystical” jargon, so I might have started with a bad impression of GGK. From what I could tell, her music was nice, but her singing didn’t fit with the background song. As a result, the performance felt discordant, which didn’t appeal to me. The Mermaid Sisters may have performed a meme song, but it was admittedly much more catchy. It was definitely a more memorable song too…

Tao finds the girls

From context, I mostly gathered that Tao was in disbelief when he heard that Carole and Tuesday write their own music. Otherwise, it doesn’t make sense that he would ask them who wrote their songs. It was something clearly stated before their first performance. Tao’s response to them was extremely cryptic, so I’m curious to see how he proceeds. I’m not sure if he’s meant to have a character arc, so I was expecting him to be more adversarial.

Angela is recognized

From a musical perspective, I got the sense that Angela’s song was meant to emulate a typical pop song, so it’s reasonable for it to get the enthusiastic reaction from the audience. While it’s not what I’d usually listen to, I would probably still favor Angela’s song over Cybelle’s song. Anyway, I’m still wondering if Angela will actually get the chance to compete against Carole and Tuesday. I’m looking forward to it.

Carole & Tuesday Episode 8: The tournament begins

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Angela meets her new manager

I’m surprised that this singing competition to be such an extended arc. I guess I’ve gotten used to the one-shot nature of the girls’ previous ventures. I’m looking forward to seeing how they’ll grow from this. I’m still thinking it’s too early for them to win, but it sounds like we can get a lot out of this endeavor.

Tuesday meets a fan

I’m not sure what to make of Cybelle so far. I think it’s funny that Tuesday has her own stalker right now, but I get the sense that Cybelle exists to cause trouble for the main pair. However, I don’t know how that’s going to happen when Cybelle is currently pit up against Angela in the first round. My assumption has been that Angela is meant to win this competition, so it seems like a death sentence.

Pyotr just wants some followers

Pyotr has an insufferable personality, but his performance was surprisingly entertaining. I get that he’s meant to be a stereotype and all, but it’s absurdly hard to listen to him talk. It should be interesting to see how the girls deal with him, I suppose. He seems a lot more formidable than their first opponent.

The girls write songs without AI

This point still feels like the weirdest side point. I understand that it’s hard to realistically represent what a world of AI-generated music would sound like, but it would be nice to have some idea of what’s different. From what we’ve seen so far, I think the judge is right to call them out on that being their hook, because it almost seems like a gimmick.

OGBulldog is not a gang member

Compared to past performances, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Carole and Tuesday’s song in this episode. Granted, I don’t like opera music at all, so I think it was better than OGBulldog’s performance. It’s not surprising from a story perspective, since it gives the two room to improve throughout the competition. But then again, that’s just my take on it.

Angela doesn't like their song

I’m happy to see Angela confronting Carole and Tuesday, though. This is pretty much the interaction I expected them to have, since it establishes that the two are now aware of each other. With how much the story contrasts them, it should put things into a better perspective.

Spring 2019 Grab Bag Week 8: Kono Oto Tomare

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Chika can play the koto freely at home

Kono Oto Tomare Episode 8

This series has some rough competition in this season, but I’ve still been finding it fun. One thing I’ve been finding interesting in the series is how it seems to intersperse its character stories. The beginning of the series was largely focused on Chika, but that’s largely shifted after the club’s first performance together. Takezou and Satowa are thrown into the mix, and each character seems to get touched on in the episode.

Chika rejects Satowa's offer to eat lunch together

I’m really enjoying watching Chika and Satowa’s relationship. The two are becoming a great pair, with Satowa inspiring Chika and Chika conversely supporting Satowa from the shadows. This scene where Chika refuses to eat lunch with Satowa is a nice one, as he subtly pushes her towards making new friends outside of the koto club. I’m looking forward to seeing where this couple goes.

Hiro makes amends

I was a bit skeptical when Hiro (Kurusu) showed up, but her story came around well. I also like that she contributed to Satowa’s growing comfort in the club in addition to her own story, despite trying to do the opposite. While I’d still probably have trouble forgiving her despite seeing her past, I’m glad that there was more to her. She doesn’t get much of a scene in this episode, but I liked that she commits to making amends despite the personal cost.

Chika finds out about his grandfather's song

Honestly, I think Chika’s insecurities surrounding his grandfather’s koto have been a bit overplayed. It’s not that I don’t understand his worries, but I feel like the series doesn’t have to dwell on it so much. Just let him play his special koto already, right?

The girls arrive for a challenge

With the arrival of Kazusa, I guess we’re finally diving deeper into the koto part of this series. It was only a matter of time. I’m curious to see how that will affect the koto club. The preview for next week’s episode implies that they will be motivated to change their goal of just aiming for nationals.

Takezou fails his exam

Takezou’s story pops up at the strangest moments. That aside, I think he’s interesting so far. His personal trepidation makes sense given his failure to get into his preferred school, so I’m looking forward to seeing how he’ll grow from it. We’ve already seen him acting as a solid leader for the club, despite his own rejection of that idea.

Carole & Tuesday Episode 7: Mars got talent

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Tuesday is curious

I’m happy to see this episode addressing a dynamic I thought was missing in this series, the relationship between Carole and Tuesday. The series has been fun, but it was a bit strange given that they’re the central characters. After seeing Tuesday’s brother appear to accept her decision, it’s nice to see Tuesday herself gain some resolve for her chosen path. I was also expecting the talent show to be a bust, but it honestly looks like the girls are headed for an encounter with Angela, which should make things interesting.

Gus finds a shortcut

Given previous trends, it’s funny to see Gus advocating for the shortcut to fame in this episode. It kind of breaks with the tone of the previous episodes in that it actually seems to work this time, but I guess it’s still too early to tell. With their current track record, it wouldn’t surprise me if this performance fails miserably as well.

Angela is entered into the talent competition

I’m looking forward to seeing the confrontation between Angela and the main pair. I’ve enjoyed seeing Angela contrasted with Carole and Tuesday throughout the series, so it should be cool to see them interact. In addition to developing the relationship between Carole and Tuesday, this episode did a good job of showing a bit of Angela’s past as well. While she’s clearly coming from a background of fame, the episode makes it clear that her journey hasn’t been easy either.

Tuesday tries to hide her face

I liked seeing this episode build on the previous episode, showing that Tuesday’s nervousness doesn’t come from a typical sense of stage fright. It makes sense for her to be afraid of being discovered, and it’s also why I think it would have been better if her brother had revealed himself when he found her. But that aside, it was funny to see her to reference a tried-and-true disguise technique by covering just her eyes.

IDEA auditions

Most of the performances in this episode were pretty cringe, but I thought that the return of IDEA was hilarious. I have a soft spot for the robot from its introduction in the past, and I liked how he was basically making fun of vocaloid music.

Tuesday admits to being selfish

It was great to see Tuesday starting to open up to Carole. I’ve been wondering for a while how much the two knew about each other, and it turns out that it was practically nothing. I guess Carole respected Tuesday’s privacy, and the two have a tendency to go with the flow. I found it interesting that Carole doesn’t make a big deal about her past, effectively saying that she can’t miss what she didn’t have. Normally, the feeling of jealousy or loss comes from seeing what others have, which makes me question Carole’s relationships with others.

The girls are selected

As I mentioned before, I’m looking forward to seeing the girls face off against Angela. I’m sure that something will go wrong with the competition, but I think it’ll be worth it as long as the two manage to meet Angela. We can’t have them successfully giving their performance to a large crowd yet, right?

Carole & Tuesday Episode 6: The almost performance

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Gus gets a gig

This week’s episode seemed like the first of what I’m guessing will be many false starts for our main characters. Given how much the opening monologue emphasizes their eventual full performance, it’s hard to take a big opportunity like the one presented in this episode too seriously. That being said, I liked how the gig was approached. One last overall comment about this episode is that the music festival generally makes me wonder more what the current state of music in this world really is.

The girls meet Skip

Specifically, I’m curious about the conversation the girls have with Skip. He makes a general comment about musicians losing a certain spark as they become more established, but I’m curious what it’s meant to mean in this world. At face value, it’s a not-so-veiled comment at the current state of popular music, but it seems to be missing the context within its own story.

Crystal talks to Skip about his song

This is a random tangent, but I definitely didn’t understand the lengths the episode took to hide Crystal in this scene. I didn’t even recognize her after her face was revealed, so it wasn’t exactly a shock to see. Maybe it’s just meant to be as simple as adding some mystery to a celebrity relationship.

Skip sings his song

But back to my main point, I find it interesting that Skip dedicates a song to Crystal in a world where songs are supposedly designed by AI. I don’t think it’s necessarily inconsistent, but it’s a point where context is helpful. For example, AI could create music to match a musician’s lyrics. Alternatively, the musician could add some basic input parameters to trigger the generation of the entire song. Maybe it’s just because of my personal interests, but I’d like to learn more about how the show envisions that.

Carole and Tuesday recover from the performance

I think the takeaway for the performance was handled well. It would be unreasonable for a massive audience like that to come around to Carole and Tuesday’s song given the type of music they came to hear. The two would have to be truly impressive to override a mob mentality. Instead, Crystal’s view of the performance is a nice, grounded way to look at it. There are people within that crowd who may have taken their song to heart even if they couldn’t express it in a way the girls could see.

Carole & Tuesday Episode 5: The big time

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The girls need money

It’s nice to see another wholesome episode, as the girls finally get something they could call their first performance. I also think it’s interesting that the series seems to focus more on its side characters than its main characters. We get weekly montages of the two girls interacting, but I feel like I understand what drives characters like Gus and Roddy more than Carole or Tuesday. I’m sure there’s still more to come, but it’s a fascinating thing to note.

Everyone ignores Gus

The opening of this week’s episode made me realize that the last two ideas were Roddy’s ideas, so it’s nice to see Gus’s input here. Even though Gus inevitably fails to set anything up himself, it does give a sense that he had the right idea all along.

Tao has some trust

I’m also enjoying the disparity between the girls and Angela as we continue to see more from her perspective. There’s this sense that Angela’s past gives her the advantage, which ends up working out for pacing. Her progress is marked by industry veterans and important people, which means that she has less trouble making progress. As a result, her screen time goes down, allowing the focus to naturally shift to Carole and Tuesday.

Roddy tries to vouch for the girls

I liked seeing a bit of Roddy’s thought process in this episode. I’ve been wondering for a while what motivates him, and he goes into it a bit this week. As he pretty much states, he mostly comes off as a fan with a general sense of adoration. He wants to help because of that, and he just happens to have some connections that come in handy.

Carole and Tuesday perform for the bar

Carole and Tuesday’s performance was a nice one. It’s nice that we get these weekly performances, and I like the atmosphere of the series. If I were to make one comment to the contrary, I’d say that this setting feels like it has a lot of potential for exploration that hasn’t really happened yet. It’s still early, though, so it’s more of what I’d like to see.

Tuesday's brother leaves

Tuesday’s brother was also surprisingly interesting in this episode. He initially seemed like he might take after his mother, but he ends up leaving Tuesday alone after he finds her, seemingly content to know that she’s okay. I like this idea that he could be an ally in the future, and it breaks from the character archetype I was expecting. I think it might have been cool if he’d taken the opportunity to talk to Tuesday before leaving, but it’s kind of a small point.

Spring 2019 Grab Bag Week 5: Kono Oto Tomare

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Chika is afraid of a nice Satowa

Kono Oto Tomare Episode 5

There are other people still watching this series, right? For me, this series has generally not taken much priority for watching, but I still think it’s doing a good job with hitting its high notes. Immediately after the opening, the series kind of dips into a bit of spiral where it understandably needs to introduce its cast. However, I think it’s been coming together a lot better with the recent couple of episodes, and it reaches a satisfying resolution of sorts in this episode.

Satowa regrets her behavior around Chika

Satowa as a character has been somewhat of a strange one. I’ve found it hard to empathize with her, and it’s not really just her attitude. It’s nice to see her come around to appreciate Chika’s true nature, but it also feels a bit forced to me. It might just be a pacing thing, but her change of heart comes too quickly for my liking. I thought the series was doing a good job building to it, though, having her realize that his true play style was gentle despite his appearance.

The granny gives some advice

I also like the granny as a side character. Presumably, she acts as a stand-in for Chika’s grandfather in many respects, but I like how she’s been guiding the characters. Her line here about how music can be used to communicate things for people who have trouble communicating was a nice one. It somewhat reminds me of my own past with music. But nowadays, I’m great at communicating in writing, right?

The school hears about the deal

This scene kind of bugs me. I guess it gets to its point, but there’s something about a teacher declaring his plan to destroy the koto club that’s hard to believe. I get that students are typically indifferent, but this one doesn’t seem too hard to pick up on.

The club members play together

I enjoyed the visuals throughout the song a lot. I don’t know much about koto, but it was a cool performance. I also liked how the performance interlaced scenes of Chika’s past to give his character some more focus. He ends the episode on a pretty solid sense of resolution, which is surprising for this point in the story.

Carole & Tuesday Episode 4: Reading reviews is important

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Roddy suggests making a music video

I’ll be honest. I thought this episode was a lot of fun. I’m not sure it did much more than develop Gus as a character, but pretty much every moment was entertaining. I really liked the comedy surrounding the IDEA robot. But more than that, I thought that this episode used subtlety well, even to set the tone of the entire episode. It made the enjoyment of the episode feel earned, since I wasn’t just being told things.

The group finds a video editing robot

I liked that the episode immediately prepared the audience for the episode with this simple shot. While none of the characters are suspicious, it’s clear to the audience that using IDEA is a mistake. I mean, let’s be serious. Who would buy a product with a 1-star rating on Amazon after 2058 reviews?

Roddy gets nervous in Carole's apartment

I also thought it was funny that the episode broke down Roddy’s “cool guy” act by emphasizing a more nerdy personality. He’s nervous around the girls, and he’s shown to have an interest in anime and collectibles. I think that’s decent for character background.

Gus reunites with an old friend

Seeing GUs meet with someone from his past was interesting. I don’t think I got a clear sense of how much I was supposed to get from those interactions, but I think it’s generally meant to show that he’s a decent person whom the girls can trust.

Giggy is suspicious

My absolute favorite part of the episode was the interaction between IDEA and Giggy. It’s mentioned a couple of times in passing, but there’s a clear rivalry between the two despite their limited screen time. I thought it was hilarious to see, and it made the episode way more fun than it should have been.

Roddy has to dance

The convertible in this episode was also a surprisingly entertaining aspect. At the end of the episode, it’s clearly in tatters, but there’s a clear indication of this earlier in the episode. While Roddy is resting and the girls are running around, you clearly hear a window smash and Roddy reacts negatively to it. The episode doesn’t need to make a big joke about the car being damaged, but it’s an easy conclusion to make.

The robot is a lie

I guess the series is taking it slow with getting to its big “miracle” moment, but I’m glad that it seems to be keeping things light in the meantime. I totally don’t have any issue with this style, and I hope it keeps it up.