Episode 2 “Born to Run” [from the same name as the Bruce Springsteen song]
Episode Director: Shōhei Miyake
Script: Deko Akao
Storyboard: Manabu Okamoto
Chief Animation Director: Naoyuki Konno
- Kenichi Ohnuki
- Kenji Mizuhata
Marvelous. This show is really something special. The amount of production that have gone into these first two episodes has been spectacular–Shinichiro Watanabe got a lot of talent even from his days on Cowboy Bebop, including sound effects by Shizuo Kurahashi! I really can’t see how Studio BONES can maintain quality each episode on a show like this, it looks so beautiful. On top of that they’ve been producing a lot of animation for quite a few anime series as of late. From Mob Psycho 100 Season 2, Bungo Stray Dogs Season 3, and in the Fall 2019 Boku no Hero Academia Season 4. But then again it’s clear they have a lot of talent at their disposal. BONES has 5 sub-studios that work independently of each other where the staff (which a lot of them are freelance animators) very rarely crossover for anime produced by BONES.
The runaway Tuesday ends up staying at Carole’s apartment and we get a small view of life outside of the introduction from the previous episode. When it comes to Carole and Tuesday you can clearly see a big gap between them. Tuesday is a rich girl and it is apparent in this episode where we see her mention that her maids cleaned the mansion for her and the effects of this are quite humorous. On the other hand, Carole is already showing signs that she’s gradually growing up. Love the reactions she gives Tuesday after she tries to clean the apartment. At least she tried. That’s what counts, right?
There is a lot of influence when it comes to pulling together in episode with director Shinichiro Watanabe. A perfect example of this is Angela’s fashion shoot. Everything was timed perfectly using the camera shots as the downbeat! Mocky’s score gives off this 80’s feeling and it’s great to see a cast of characters that aren’t in the same clothing all the time. From Angela’s modeling job to Tuesday’s comedic cleaning it is nice to see that this show isn’t heavy on the music so early on. We actually can see these characters have lives way before this show even began. Heck, even Carole attending a funeral not to mention a lot of the people that were hired to attend by the client (which in this case is actually the deceased) drives home this fact that life can become very automated and we just have to go with the motions by behaving a certain way. The manager’s performance so to say is a tried and true example of the saying “putting on airs”. It’s in this moment that we get to see a part of Carole’s childish behavior and that there is still quite a bit she doesn’t know about being an adult. A nice strong lead in to that is we get to see a little bit of her past.
From the get-go, this Tao guy seems to be a bit misguided when it comes to people–he’s surrounded or rather isolated himself with AI and computers to guarantee success when it comes to producing music. Creating that perfect song by using older songs and emulating famous artists. This show carries a lot of warmth to it especially with Carole and Tuesday–most of which their scenes have these lighthearted guitar pieces and piano chord progressions–especially in this episode with the girls at the apartment. Is it just me or does her place look a little like the Bebop from Cowboy Bebop? The couch totally reminds me of it! Like I said before, the two girls have a lot of warmth in their scenes and in their music I am glad by this second episode that it’s effectively noticeable between Tao’s dull lab. From the moment I saw Angela I can tell she’s being held back but wants to be the best there is, at least have the best song there is that speaks to her. She will use anything at her disposal to make that happen and with this world set in the future it’s no wonder that Angela might have bitten off more than she can chew with her agreement in working with Tao on her songs. That chair looks terrifying!
When it comes to music and reminding us that this is just the beginning, Watanabe certainly took his time with his staff to ensure they spend a lot of authentic “practice” time with Carole and Tuesday. They played the song once at Carole’s apartment in the previous apartment and out of excitement we get to see how far they will go in wanting to practice on a larger scale! This is evident after their song The Loneliest Girl receives quite the attention from various people at the stage. One in particular, Roddy and the eventual introduction of that guy at the bar from last episode, Gus. Oh my gosh! That ending really reminded me of Bebop! Too funny!
Since this is a show about music, (the girls made a few name drops including Cyndi Lauper) and Carole’s favorite Crystal (shown in the cast as voiced by Maaya Sakamoto!) Speaking of music, the soundtrack in this episode is absolutely shining. I’ve been listening to Mocky’s previous albums, etc. and I can see why they picked him to do the score. He’s ambitious. A multi-talented instrumentalist that has a wide range to work with. It’s as if Nujabes collaborated with Michiko to Hatchin’s composer Kassin to create this psychedelic collection of texturized sounds, a blend of guitar pop sound riffs, and smooth hip hop keyboards layered onto thick drum beats. It doesn’t stop there because he’s been able to effectively capture each scene nicely–from the church to Carole’s apartment, the DJ’s techno/electronica performance (while at first seems ridiculous) however it illustrates how dependent music can become with technology and then that incredible scene right after the girls practice on stage! Loneliest Girl is without a doubt one of the most beautiful songs I’ve heard in an anime and it’s still being fine tuned by them!
I really want to see the Dropkix (Dandy and Johnny’s band from episode 20 of Space Dandy) make an appearance. That would be icing on the cake for me!
OP: “Kiss Me” by Carole & Tuesday (by Nulbarich feat. Nai Br.XX & Celeina Ann)
Directed by: Bahi JD
Storyboards: Bahi JD
Concept Art: Tadahiro Uesugi
Backgrounds: Jun Kumaori
Animation Supervisor: Bahi JD
- Jonathan Djob Nkondo
- Chengxi Huang
- Spencer Wan
- Yuuki Yonemori
- Hakuyu Go
- Masami Mori
- Takashi Mitani
- Takafumi Hori
What a powerhouse staff that worked on this opening! And a positive vibe this opening gives us. Based on image board art by Tadahiro Uesugi by blending this style of 18-century and urban city life with an edginess that holds a lot of heart and warmth. You can see a few of them below.
Especially in the movement of its characters. I absolutely adore the color choice in this. We shift from the 18th-century that carries shades of blues and off-white to an urbanized city-life with Carole’s side that holds a lot of different colors. Overall the visuals have this chalky feel to it.
Awesome! We finally get to see the band Nulbarich’s work on this show! The music takes this effect from the very start with a light guitar and shifting with small hip-hop beats. The dance sequence with the girls (and the eventual crowd) is an attractive way for this show to lure the viewer with its music performances. Great tie-in to the overall encompassing theme about “creating music for yourself” and it’s very strong at the end of this incredibly animated opening sequence! I really like the flow of this entire sequence, from the character animation right down to the song, just everything is so smooth! These worldwide auditions paid off. Nai Br.XX and Celeina Ann were great choices for this as their voices in this work together beautifully!
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 11/10
And it’s certainly NOT A TYPO! THIS EPISODE WAS PHENOMENAL!