‘Carole & Tuesday’ isn’t just a cute show, it’s #woke too
We loved the music and fashion, now let’s talk about real-world themes By Jacqueline Arias
September 10, 2019 at 7:50 pm

“Carole & Tuesday,” one of the newest shows on Netflix, is an anime about two young women trying to make it big in the music industry on Mars. If you saw the trailer, you’d think it’s merely a cutesy cartoon with good fashion that only teens would appreciate. But really, it has real-world that adults and society in general could resonate with.

Whether you’ve watched it or not, it’s definitely a show that you should closely pay attention to because it tackles abuse, LGBTQ+ relationships, and technology’s role in our lives. We’re listing down some of them (with light spoilers) below.

AI takeover

You may have heard people say that robots would take over the world. Although that hasn’t happened (yet) and even in the futuristic universe of “Carole & Tuesday,” we can already see how much technology has evolved. In “Carole & Tuesday,” citizens of Mars Alba City rely on artificial intelligence (AI) to do their daily tasks—even their robotic pets double as alarm clocks. AI also plays a huge role in how artists create music, which is why people find it unusual for Carole and Tuesday to compose their own songs.

“Black Mirror” season five previously tackled this in “Rachel, Jack, and Ashley Too,” and there are actually AI softwares now that make it easier to compose music. Cuepoint notes that people in the modern era are gravitating towards Soundcloud artists who post remixes created with a music program. We see this with DJ Ertegun in the show, and also Mr. Tao when he writes and produces Angela Carpenter’s songs using AI.

Abuse in the family

Model-turned-singer Angela, who competes in the same singing competition as Carole and Tuesday, has a weird relationship with her momager, Dahlia. At first, you’d think it’s because they work together. But in one episode, Dahlia hints at her abusive behavior—it was unclear if it was physical or verbal—when Angela was still living with her. “It’s the hormones, I promise,” she says, also revealing that she’s Angela’s dad who transitioned into a woman.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it’s estimated that up to one billion children aged two to 17 years old have experienced violence every year. This can be caused by their peers (bullying), a partner, or their family members.

LGBTQ+ themes

Just like “Carole & Tuesday,” many cartoons now have smart humor and themes that relate to real-world situations, including the experiences of LGBTQ+ people. There have been recent shows like “Adventure Time” and “Star vs. the Forces of Evil” which featured same-sex kissing—something you wouldn’t normally see in a children’s cartoon. This just means that LGBTQ+ themes are now normalized in today’s media.

In Japanese animation though, same-sex relationships aren’t new. “Carole & Tuesday” features a lesbian relationship between Marie (the ex-wife of C&T’s manager) and Anne. In one episode, Marie even tells her ex-husband about her plans to marry her girlfriend. Yay for love!

Social media obsession

An Instagram-like platform still exists in the “Carole & Tuesday” universe, and social media star Pyotr is obsessed with doing livestreams on it. He’s the type who would point the camera at people without their permission because ~content is lyf~.

You could brush this off as regular behavior from a young man like Pyotr (millennials and gen Z kids could attest to this), but his character may also be reflective of people’s obsession with documenting EVERYTHING on social media. According to HuffPost, this could lead to negative effects, from feeling bad about self-image to maintaining self-care because you’re too busy focusing on your screens.

Dealing with manipulative stalkers

When Carole and Tuesday entered the singing competition “Mars Brightest,” they meet Cybelle, who claims to be the latter’s biggest fan. Right off the bat, her behavior is creepy because she starts sniffing Tuesday’s hair and almost kisses her seconds after meeting. Her obsession continues for a few episodes, and Tuesday couldn’t bring herself to push her away because she sees it as mere kindness she needs to repay.

What’s disturbing about this subplot is how Cybelle would threaten to hurt herself until she got what she wanted from Tuesday. This is a typical manipulation tactic, which, according to One Love Foundation, is a stalker’s go-to tool to lure you in.

They can also become violent when they are turned down, the same thing that happened after Tuesday declined Cybelle’s duet offer. She later ended up with burnt hands after her stalker sent her a boobytrapped package.

***

Have you seen “Carole & Tuesday”? What are other themes we missed? Share it with us @preenph on Twitter.

Photo courtesy of @carole_and_tuesday’s Instagram account

For the latest in culture, fashion, beauty, and celebrities, subscribe to our weekly newsletter here  

Follow Preen on FacebookInstagramTwitterYouTube, and Viber

Related stories:
We’re taking style noted from anime, ‘Carole & Tuesday’
‘BoJack Horseman’: Bringing sexual harassment cover-ups to cartoons
She-Ra is the cartoon character little girls need
Sorry to destroy your childhood, but here’s the truth about your fave cartoon character

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.