Shinichiro Watanabe’s latest anime CAROLE & TUESDAY is the story of two teenage girls chasing musical stardom on terraformed Mars. Sci-fi action adventures set on other planets are a dime-a-dozen, but it’s relatively unheard of for a show to attempt to depict the music industry on another planet.
The first episode sees Tuesday Simmons, the daughter of a prominent politician, run away from home to be a musician in Alba City, where she meets Carole Stanley, another aspiring musician. The two girls immediately hit it off through their music, and the end of episode 1 sees them taking a selfie together after having completed their first song.
This is where an ingenious bit of marketing from Studio BONES comes into play. If you search the screen name shown during the episode (@carole_and_tuesday), you’ll discover that the account actually exists, complete with that first selfie!
Every week, this account is updated with new pictures and comments from that week’s episode. Sometimes you can see the characters actually taking the photos during the episode, but more often than not, it’s just a screenshot of something that happened. The account always seems to be updated immediately after the week’s episode airs in Japan on Wednesday nights, so if you’re waiting for an English subtitled version to come out, you’d better be aware that there are sometimes spoilers. All the comments on the account on written in English, which might seem an odd choice for a Japanese anime, but I guess it makes sense considering that all of singing and music in C&T is done by overseas artists. Maybe English is the official language on Mars?
So far, the show has been excellent at naturally weaving social media into the storyline. Carole & Tuesday’s first claim to fame is a video of them that goes viral, and that first selfie comes back a few times to haunt the girls, with both Roddy and Tuesday’s brother Spencer using it to track them down in different episodes. Fortunately, it’s not all Internet stalking. Lots of the Instagram account’s contents is fun, silly, or typical Instagram stuff like the girls posting pictures of their lunch. It definitely makes the characters feel more real, and I’m sure a lot of fans are enjoying following them. If nothing else, it seems to have lead to speculation about which characters are going to be shipped based on their Instagram comments!
This week’s Instagram post also gave us some insight into Tuesday’s thoughts as she updated the account’s profile picture. Up until episode 7, the profile picture was left (intentionally?) blank, but today, Tuesday added this comment.
If she thought she was flying under the radar by omitting a profile picture, then she’ll have to rethink that one. However, I’m guessing this was more of a symbolic gesture. Tuesday’s character arc seems to be the story of her following her dream despite the disapproval of her mother. Since running away from home, she’s been trying to keep a low profile, and episode 7 saw her trying to hilariously pull off a Clark Kent disguise with a pair of glasses to avoid being recognized on TV.
However, by the end of the episode, she seems to have made peace with the fact that she’ll have to confront her family some day. She abandons the glasses, and does what any teenager would do after having an epiphany: she posts it to Instagram!
And of course, read out of context, that Instagram post also sounds a teenager girl eloping with her girlfriend against her parent’s wishes 😉