Tag Archives: Comedy

Pompo the Cinephile

PLOT: Operating out of the movie capital “Nyallywood,” Pompo has been shooting one B-grade entertainment flick after another that anyone would enjoy. One day, Pompo’s “movie buff” assistant Gene spots a new script written by Pompo, and is moved by its exquisite story. However, Pompo tells him to direct it. Thus, Gene takes on his first directing gig. Meanwhile, Natalie, an ordinary girl who just arrived in town with movie actress dreams, has been discovered by Pompo.  ~ANN

Animation Production: Studio CLAP [ Animation Production on the following works: The Tunnel of Summer the Exit of Goodbye / Animation Production Assistance for feature film BELLE]


  • Takayuki Hirao (Director on the following works: Futakoi Alternative, Garden of Sinners films, GYO: Tokyo Fish Attack, Mahou Shoujo Sisters Yoyo & Nene / Spy X Family Storyboard, Director, Art Supervisor, and Color Script for ending sequence / Director for Texhnolyze’s opening sequence)

Script: Takayuki Hirao

Storyboard: Takayuki Hirao

Music: Kenya Matsukuma (Black Clover OP composition [OP2, OP9, and ED3] / Occult Academy OP Composition for OPs 1 and 2])

Character Designer: Shingo Adachi (Character Designer for the following works: Galileo Donna / Sword Art Online / Director on Lycoris Recoil / Key Animator on Princess Principle)

Art Director: Miu Miyamoto (Background Artist for the following works: B The Beginning / Black Clover [at Studio Rufus] / Candy Boy ONA / Classroom Crisis [at Studio Who and subcontracted at Studio Rufus for episodes 3,4, and 8 through 12] / Demon Slayer [at UFOTABLE in-house] / Eden’s Bowy [at Studio WHO] / Fate/Stay Night Heaven’s Feel III / Fuuto Pi [subcontracted at Studio Rufus] / Geneshaft / M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane / Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation [Background Art and Art Director] / The Promised Nederland Season 2 / The Tatami Galaxy / Weathering with You film)


An idiosyncratic film under the direction of a strongly creative director—-Takayuki Hirao. A little bit of history surrounding this film before I dive right into the content. Around 2017, Hirao was requested by Bandai videogame producer Yusuke Tomizawa about developing a film adaptation of a Pixiv manga series that he believed would suit Hirao’s style. Eventually this worked out because during this time Hirao was working on a novel with Shingo Adachi’s illustrations, and the publisher was Kadokawa. Both whom ended up working on Pompo — Adachi as character designer, which many of you might know his work as the character designer of Sword Art Online and Kadokawa went on to become the main financial backer for the film.

This one is a knockout as a cinematic experience—I really hope that this film garners enough attention because Pompo is the exact kind of film that reminds me that animation works like this one especially when the film’s story holds a variety of influences (much like the TV series Space Dandy held onto) isn’t a normal trend in the industry much anymore. You can really get a sense of how Hirao’s creative freedom was brought on by his predecessor Satoshi Kon. Pompo in my opinion, carries that same level of energy—a sharpness in the quick thick lines and then in the next few frames some of the film’s main characters specifically Gene and Nathalie Woodward contain wacky and very stylish expressions. Considering how well edited this film is and one has to wonder if Hirao is very much Gene himself. The animation doesn’t shine as much as series like Demon Slayer from UFOTABLE or Jujutsu aisen from MAPPA because it’s on a vastly different level—creatively open and unique. A seamless flow of well timed cutting and framing that is obtuse and well-crafted. Perpetuating the flair of this series bombastic and wildly aggressive animated integrity. The film is also complemented with stellar voice acting— establishing the central focal point that its conveying to the audience. Achieving your dreams and capturing the moments that matter.

In the story, Gene is set on making THE film that will make this happen however he doesn’t want to outshine his mentor—-Pompo. She’s an active and highly rated film director and producer that had made her mark with films of wide acclaim (carrying dozens of American and Japanese tropes in its commercialized marketing). The nice thing about this film is it allowed the film’s director, Hirao to unleash his potential both as an animator (as during his start of his career had a tough experience at Studio Ghibli) and as a director to expand his creativity resulting in a film that is messy, cheerful, bleak, and empowering—a story centered around filmmaking. The tour de force about this film is it’s attention to detail—the visual presence pays respects to classic Hollywood films that ultimately inspired the kinds of films that went on to be recognized at an academy level (Oscars, etc.).

Pompo also reminds us how tightly strict and difficult the anime industry is—much like TV anime’s Shirobako presented us a perspective on how anime gets made (in the framework of television broadcasts), this film depicts a timid editor that wants to step outside the bounds of his career and craft a story (with the help of Pompo’s writing) in order to capture that moment for audiences and in this case specifically bring the hotshot producer-writer Pompo to greater heights as both a film creative and a film cinephile. (Hence the title)

It’s extremely fitting how fourth-wall breaking Pompo the Cinephile truly is. Clocking in at 90 minutes (just as Gene’s edited film turns out to be) drives home how personal this film is about creativity within cinema. As much as I wanted this film to be longer, diving into the hearty details of film production at its core–that’s not what this film is about it. Pompo said it best when she said “directing is subjective and editing is objective”. Gene had literally been working himself to death editing a film in order to appease Pompo. I really enjoyed how it were these exhausting moments for Gene to discover he would need to add an additional scene to really capture that defining moment for the film he’s editing. Like he said, it wouldn’t be his film if he wasn’t editing it anymore. Cutting out all of the moments that didn’t matter (in a visually shonen style–slicing through the film reels with a sword) helped elevate the overarching theme centered around what was more important. He would be faced with a challenge by figuring how the film should be edited–objectively or subjectively? Cutting out those scenes with Nathalie Woodward and Martin Braddock hit home with this quite a bit. Ultimately it would be that this editing moment would help Gene to grow as an editor and Pompo acknowledging his skill but this wasn’t about him being accepted but rather what the film he was going to make in order for Pompo to relive her love of cinema as a child.

Pompo the Cinephile relies on creative passion and paying respects to the very films that inspire people to channel their own energy into works of cinema.


On a side-note, my real life obligations have kept me busy and I have had virtually zero time to write for this blog. Hopefully this will change and I will review and as such I am looking for writers for my blog interested in writing for this site. If you are interested in tackling a series and or film(new or current) email me at beatslars@gmail.com

Carole & Tuesday Episode 7


Episode 7 “Show me The Way” [from the same name as the Peter Frampton song]

Production Details

Episode Director: Satoshi Takato [Script on Gokyodai Monogatari film / Series Composition and Script on Kuromajyo-san ga Toru!! / Screenplay on Little Witch Academia Episodes 3, 7, 8, 14, 16, and 22 / Script on Mysterious Joker Episodes 2,4,7,10,12 / Script on The Royal Tutor film and series’ episodes 1,2,5,6, 11, and 12 / Script on Space Dandy Episodes 3, 4, 7, 10, 12, 14, 20, and 23 / Script on Space Patrol Luluco Episodes 8 and 10 / Script on Zumomo to Nupepe Series]

Script: Kimiko Ueno [Script on Gokyodai Monogatari film / Series Composition and Script on Kuromajyo-san ga Toru!! / Screenplay on Little Witch Academia Episodes 3, 7, 8, 14, 16, and 22 / Script on Mysterious Joker Episodes 2,4,7,10,12 / Script on The Royal Tutor film and series’ episodes 1,2,5,6, 11, and 12 / Script on Space Dandy Episodes 3, 4, 7, 10, 12, 14, 20, and 23 / Script on Space Patrol Luluco Episodes 8 and 10 / Script on Zumomo to Nupepe Series]

Storyboard: Takaharu Ozaki [Storyboard on Amnesia Episodes 5 and 6 / Storyboard on Banana Fish Episode 17 / Director on Berserk Golden Age Arc Films 1 and III / Storyboard on  Kekkai Sensen Beyond (Blood Blockade Battlefront Beyond) Episodes 7 and 11 / Storyboard on Card Captor Sakura Episode 63 / Storyboard on Concrete Revolutio: The Last Song Season 2 Episode 24 / Director on Dead Girls OAV / Storyboard on Hisone to Masotan Episode 6 / Storyboard on Ergo Proxy Episodes 10 and 18 / Episode Director on Freedom Episode 4 / Storyboard on Gungrave Episodes 3,9,15, and 21 / Storyboard on Sakamichi no Apollon (Kids on the Slope) Episode 7 / Director, Screenplay, and Storyboard on Kure-nai Series / Storyboard and Episode Director on Master Keaton Episode 15 / Sound Director on Gekkou Shoujo Nozaki-kun (Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun) Series / Storyboard on Boku no Hero Academia (My Hero Academia) Episode 6 / Director, Script on Natsuyuuki Rendezvous / Unit Director on Perfect Blue film / Director and Storyboard on Red Garden / Storyboard on Zankyou no Terror (Terror in Tokyo) Episode 6 / Storyboard on SHIKI Episode 16 / Voice Actor in Red Garden Episode 7 as Kou-sensei]

Chief Animation Director: Yoshiyuki Ito (Character Designer and Chief Animation Director on Concrete Revolutio / Key Animator on Episodes 1, 5, 7, 9, 12, 15, 18-20, 22, 24-26 on Cowboy Bebop / Character Designer and Chief Animation Director on Hisone to Masotan / Planning on GANGSTA / Key Animator on Kaiji Opening Sequence]

Animation Directors:

  • Keichiro Honjo
  • Eiko Saito
  • Nayumi Ogashiwa


The American idol of anime and this episode uses that to its advantage. Not only that but Carole & Tuesday charms its way into giving us more information about the girls–specifically Carole. Director Watanabe certainly knows how to create these small self-contained situations and build them up in extremely subtle ways. Carole and Teusday get ready for the Mars Brightest comeptition, much like American Idol, where aspiring singers/musicians come together, compete and try their hardest to make it big. As before, we know that Carole and Tuesday are from entirely different backgrounds, their chemistry together makes them a joy to watch because of this and here is where we get to see that pay off wonderfully. I am actually really glad their song for the audition is shown because we get a lot more focus on the personal relationships between them. The auditions is where the comedy of this episode shines– the reference to Vistas The 7th Element song comes out of nowhere and lands perfectly! Some extremely varied performers here–the grandmother’s chicken-esque dubstep, the return of IDEA from episode 4, the samurai’s

From what we gathered before Carole is from a refugee camp, raised in a church orphanage never having known her parents from Earth and the creators delicately put this in during their audition creates this huge impact on Tuesday. We know that Tuesday is from a wealthy family, and running away from a rich and sheltered lifestyle says a lot about her. The discovering of Mars and a life she could be living. She’s never had it hard and she’s just discovering that from the first episode of the series.

This part of the story, specifically this episode with having learned of Carole’s past for the first time shows us that there are people out there that are have had a more difficult time living. Tuesday can’t seem to wrap her head around that just yet. The respect she has for Carole stems from her staying true to herself, never backing down and never ever giving up–something of which Tuesday wishes she’s had all along. She sees how loving Carole can be and for Tuesday finding that warmth inside of her is quite difficult because she is so wrapped up in herself, from running away, keeping her identity a secret, that she lacks confidence that ultimately presents the selfish jealous side towards Carole. It is towards the end of this episode that we get a full view of how inspirational and influential these two can be towards each other. A rock to lean on one another–Tuesday doesn’t recognize the happiness she’s found within herself about singing and playing the guitar because she’s scared of seeing where it might lead. Carole reminds her of this in an honest and heartfelt way that it ultimately leads to Tuesday sharing a bit more of herself. I really am glad to see this happen so early on for the reason that we’ve focused on the music portion and what makes them special together and now we’re seeing this realistic portrayal of friends outside of their element. It’s refreshing.

Then there is Angela Carpenter. We’ve seen much earlier on that she’s been living alone, she’s been invited back home by Mama Dahlia but it’s clear now more than ever that she doesn’t miss her home life–the eye-catches of the family photos, the dry blood on the wall, and most importantly Dahlia’s side-effects to the drugs (presumably from transition) represents the aftermath that left Angela’s sweet and accomplished child-star life in shambles. This causes her to lash out at others and her approach of “I won’t loose to some amateurs”.

Influence seems to play a lot in this show–we’ve had Roddy and Gus become the stepping stones in to getting their music out there, Carole’s landlord becoming understanding of Tuesday’s situation with their first gig and now the guy from the laundrymat during their song “Round & Laundry” from episode 3 shows up randomly.  This creates this influence I mentioned earlier–these girls are slowly building a name for themselves in the smallest of ways. Great moment!

Anyone catch the Cowboy Bebop reference towards the end? “Whatever happens, happens”



Carole & Tuesday Episode 6

Episode 6 “Life is a Carnival” [from the same name as The Band song]

Production Details

Episode Director: Shohei Miyake [Episode Director on A.I.C.O. Incarnation ONA series Episodes 9 and 12 / Episode Director on Hisone to Masotan Episodes 1,6, and 12 / Episode Director on Mob Psycho 100 II Episode 4 / Setting Production on Noragami and season 2 Aragoto / Production Advancement on UN-GO Episodes 3 and 7]

Script: Yuichi Nomura [Series Composition on A.I.C.O Incarnation ONA series / Script on Area 88 / Script on Buddy Complex Episodes 2,6, and 10 / Screenplay on Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion Episodes 17, 20, 24, 25, and 26 / Script on Darker than Black Episodes 3, 4, 15, and 16 / Scenario and Story Cooperation on Freedom OAV / Script on The Girl Who Leapt Through Space Episodes 18, 21, and 24 / Main Writer on Bounen no Xam’d (Xam’d Lost Memories)]

Storyboard: Kou Matsuo [Storyboard on Amnesia Episodes 5 and 6 / Storyboard on Banana Fish Episode 17 / Director on Berserk Golden Age Arc Films 1 and III / Storyboard on  Kekkai Sensen Beyond (Blood Blockade Battlefront Beyond) Episodes 7 and 11 / Storyboard on Card Captor Sakura Episode 63 / Storyboard on Concrete Revolutio: The Last Song Season 2 Episode 24 / Director on Dead Girls OAV / Storyboard on Hisone to Masotan Episode 6 / Storyboard on Ergo Proxy Episodes 10 and 18 / Episode Director on Freedom Episode 4 / Storyboard on Gungrave Episodes 3,9,15, and 21 / Storyboard on Sakamichi no Apollon (Kids on the Slope) Episode 7 / Director, Screenplay, and Storyboard on Kure-nai Series / Storyboard and Episode Director on Master Keaton Episode 15 / Sound Director on Gekkou Shoujo Nozaki-kun (Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun) Series / Storyboard on Boku no Hero Academia (My Hero Academia) Episode 6 / Director, Script on Natsuyuuki Rendezvous / Unit Director on Perfect Blue film / Director and Storyboard on Red Garden / Storyboard on Zankyou no Terror (Terror in Tokyo) Episode 6 / Storyboard on SHIKI Episode 16 / Voice Actor in Red Garden Episode 7 as Kou-sensei]

Chief Animation Director: Naoyuki Konno (Character Designer and Chief Animation Director on Concrete L / Key Animator on Episodes 1, 5, 7, 9, 12, 15, 18-20, 22, 24-26 on Cowboy Bebop / Character Designer and Chief Animation Director on Hisone to Masotan / Planning on GANGSTA / Key Animator on Kaiji Opening Sequence]

Animation Directors:

  • Satomi Kani: [ Key Animation on Ayakashi Samurai Horror Tales Episode 1 / Key Animation on Kekkai Sensen Beyond (Blood Blockade Battlefront Beyond) Opening and Ending Sequences and Episode 12 / Key Animation on Eureka Seven OAV Opening Sequence / Key Animation on Halo Legends “The Babysitter) / Key Animation on Mob Psycho 100 II Episode 1 / Key Animation on Space Dandy Episode 17 / Key Animation on The Tatami Galaxy Episode 5]
  • Kenji Mizuhata [ Key Animation on A.I.C.O. Incarnation Opening Sequence and Episodes 1 and 8 also was the Animation Director on Matter on Episodes 6 and 12 / Key Animation on Angelic Layer Episodes 23 and 26 / Key Animation on Dog of Flanders film / Episode Director on Eureka Seven Episode 14 also Animation Director on Ending Sequence three / Key Animation on Japan Animator Expo “The Ultraman” ONA Episode / Key Animation on Macross Plus Movie Edition / Assistant Animation Director on Michiko e Hatchin Episode 14 / Key Animation on Samurai Champloo Episode 21 / Key Animation on Space Dandy Episode 26 / In-Between Animation on Urusei Yatsura OVA Series Episode 5 / Key Animation on Wolf’s Rain Episode 1 OAV / Animation Director on Bounen no X’amd (Xam’d Lost Memories) Opening Sequence and Episodes 3,8,15, and 24]
  • Kenichi Onuki (Key Animation on Blood+ Episode 30 / Animation Director on Zetsuen no Tempest (Blast of Tempest) / Design on Cheating Craft / Character Designer on Dark Warrior OAV / Key Animation on Darkside Blues film / Animation Director on Dirty Pair Episodes 4,7,16, and 20 / Original Character Design on Hana no Mahōtsukai Mary Bell (Flower Witch Mary Bell) / Character Designer on Golden Kamuy / Character Designer on Gundam Build Fighters series / Key Animation on Jyu-Oh-Sei Episode 10 / Character Designer on Major Series / Character Designer on Samurai Gun / Assistant Character Animation Director on Star Blazers 2199 Episode 5 / Key Animation on Urusei Yatsura: Remember My Love film / Animation Director on X Episode 17]
  • Satoshi Ishino [Character Designer, Chief Animation Director on Akahori Gedo Hour Rabuge / Key Animation on Alien Nine Episode 2 / Key Animation on Banner of Stars Episode 7 / Key Animation on The Big O Episode 2 / Key Animation on Zetsuen no Tempest (Blast of Tempest) Second Opening Sequence, First Ending Sequence, and Episodes 1 and 13 / Storyboard on BLEACH Second and Sixth Ending Sequences / Key Animation on Kekkai Sensen (Blood Blockade Battlefront) Opening Sequence / Character Designer, Chief Animation Director on Captain Earth / Character Designer, Chief Animation Director on Classroom Crisis / Character Designer and Chief Animation Director on Date a Live / Character Designer on Excel Saga]


Song Performances:

  1. [Who am I the Greatest]
    • Performed by: Ertegun
    • Composed by: Taku Takahashi (m-flo)
  2. [Round & Laundry]
    • Vocalists: Carole and Tuesday (Nai Br. XX & Celeina Ann)
    • Composed by: Benny Sings
  3. [unrequited love]
    • Vocalist: Skip (Thundercat)
    • Composed by: Flying Lotus and Thundercat
  4. [Unbreakable]
    • Vocalist: Crystal (Lauren Dyson)
    • Composed by: Evan Bogart and Justin Gray

A practice performance at the music hall, a zombie-esque Ah-Ha music video, and their first gig at the Mars Lounge they finally receive a chance of a lifetime–to become backup performers at the popular Mars’ Music Festival Sidonia. This festival reminds me a lot of the Monegros Desert Festival in Spain. The biggest electronica and rave festival in Spain.

Last time this show points out that there aren’t necessarily evil people in this show, just that these people have real human emotions trying to attain something out of life. Ertegun is a prime exampe of this. He’s clearly in a league of his own in terms of musical style (Thanks to M-flo’s superb Taku Takahashi, the composer for the main soundtrack to Space Dandy) but with a superficial personality that sceams he HAS to be at the center of everything. A man wrapped up in his own head about how important he is and that he’s extremely crucial to Mars’ music industry. He is quite the contrast to our lead girls Carole and Tuesday. They just want to share their music with the people of Mars.

This episode defines the path these girls were on and where they are headed. We’ve seen a few times where Tuesday can’t process things well when it comes to her emotions–pointing to us that she’s lived quite the sheltered life of luxury. Having confronted Ertegun out of anger, burning up their sheet music, she dissociates with society. And from the get-go in this episode receiving news that they might take over for the performance slot from Joshua’s injury she faints, gets sick, and becomes deathly worried about finally getting that chance to be in the spotlight.  Carole is her rock–and it now makes sense if you go and rewatch the first two episodes. She’s stands firm in her beliefs and how she should be true to herself and this definitely comes out in their music. A solid balance of the two and this episode defines the strength these two share between each other–they even go to play their pop song “Round and Laundry” at a rock concert! What drive these two have! The performance is good on a multitude of levels–the faster tempo, the angry fans throwing things at them is just another way to establish disparity between their music and the top musicians of Mars.

Speaking of differences I am really glad that the creators decide to showcase a few different styles of music and personalities here. Skip has this smooth, Skip, Joshua’s band Omega (reminds me a lot of Yoshiki, (sharing the same birthday and the singer for last year’s season 3 opening of Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan) where he drinks, uses foul language and falls off stage, a comical and somewhat crazy musician!  Then there is Crystal, the Beyonce of Carole & Tuesday. Skip has some past with Crystal and I really like how this translates through their music–they both long for each other but with time has changed them in ways. They’re singing about their past and what they want out of their futures. I hope to see more of them in upcoming episodes! It is good to see Carole and Tuesday relate with the encouraging words from Crystal–you can have ups and downs when it comes to music but she shares with them that their courage (songs) can help reach people even if they don’t feel they did a great job. Classic fans in a nutshell–Carole and Tuesday bounce right back after seeing one of their idols cheer them on.  Skip’s encouragement says a lot about this show’s regular music performers–that you can’t lose sight of what made you love playing music in the first place.



Carole & Tuesday Episode 5


Episode 5 “Every Breath You Take” [from the same name as The Police song]

Production Details

Episode Director: Noriyuki Nomata [ Animation Unit Director on Danganronpa The Animation (Episodes 1,3,5,7, and 9 more specifically the Animation Punishment Movie) / Episode Director on Baby Steps Episode 13 / Episode Director on Hitsugi no Chaika (Chaika The Coffin Princess) Episode 5 / Episod Director on Cross Ange Episodes 4 and 11 / Episode Director on Flip Flappers Episode 2 / Episode Director on Misone to Hasotan Episode 11 / Assistant Episode Director on Monsuno Episode 16 / Episode Director on PSYCHO-PASS Episode 17 / Episode Direction Cooperation on Kuzu no Honkai (Scum’s Wish) Episode 8 / Episode Director on Show By Rock!! Episode 11 / Episode Director on Show By Rock!! Season 2 Episode 10 / Episode Director on Star Blazers 2199 Episode 25 / Episode Director on Unbreakable Machine-Doll Episode 2]

Script: Deko Akao (Script Writer and Series Composition on Akagami no Shirayukihime episodes 1, 2, 4, 8, 9 and 11 / Series Composition and Script on Etotama / Series Composition and Script on Amanchu! / Script Writer on Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun episodes 5, 8 and 10)

Storyboard: Manabu Okamoto [Storyboard on Akame ga Kill!’s Ending Sequences / Episode Director on Akame ga Kill! Episodes 6 and 17 / Director and Script on Gamers! Episode 12 / Episode Director and Storyboard on The IDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls Ending Sequence for Episode 8 / Storyboard and Unit Director on Matoi the Sacred Slayer Episode 6 / Storyboard on Qualidea Code Episode 11 / Storyboard on ReZero: Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu’s  Second Ending Sequence and Episode Director on Episode 8]

Chief Animation Director:  Yoshiyuki Ito (Character Designer and Chief Animation Director on Concrete Revolutio / Key Animator on Episodes 1, 5, 7, 9, 12, 15, 18-20, 22, 24-26 on Cowboy Bebop / Character Designer and Chief Animation Director on Hisone to Masotan / Planning on GANGSTA / Key Animator on Kaiji Opening Sequence]

Animation Directors:

  • Koichi Horikawa [Animation Director on A.I.C.O. The Incarnation ONA series Episodes 3, 8, 9, and 12 / Animation Director on Ayakashi Ayashi Ayashi Divine Comedy Episode 1 / Animation Director, Key Animation and Design Cooperation on Kekkai Sensen Episode 2 / Key Animation on Bubblegum Crisis Episode 6 / Key Animation on Carol OAV / Key Animation on Cowboy Bebop Episodes 1,3,5,7,9, 10,13,15,17,18,19,20, 22,24,25, and 26 / Key Animation on Crusher Joe: The OVAs Episode 2 / Animation Director on Hisone to Masotan Episodes 1,4,6,9,10,11, and 12 / Key Animation on Eikyuu Kazoku (Eternal Family)  / Animation Director on Eureka Seven Episodes 8, 16, and 23 / Assistant Animation Director on Eureka Seven Good Night, Sleep Tight, Young Lovers film / Animation Director on Eureka Seven AO Episodes 2,7,11,14,20, and 23 / Animation Director on Hagane no Renkinjitsushii (FullMetal Alchemist BROTHERHOOD Episodes 57 and 64 including Episode 1 OAV / Animation Director and Key Animation on Ghost Slayers Ayashi / Animation Director and Key Animation on GOSICK Episodes 8, 16, and 22 / Animation Director on Boku no Hero Academia (My Hero Academia) Episodes 2, 9, 12, 38, 54, 59, and 63 (Key Animator) / Animation Director on Noragami Episodes 2, 8, and 11 / Animation Director on Noragami Aragoto Episodes 4, 10, and 13 / Animation Director on RahXephon / Key Animation on Scrapped Princess Episodes 21 and 24 / Animation Director and Key Animator on STAR DRIVER Episode 7 / Animation Director and Key Animator on UN-GO Episode 2 / Key Animation on Witch Hunter Robin Opening Sequence / Animation Director on Wolf’s Rain Episode 2 and Key Animator on Episodes 1 and 4]
  • Shinya Yamada [Key Animation on Koi wa Ameagari no You ni (Episode 3) / Animation Director on Amanchu! Episodes 5, 10, and 12 also Key Animator on Episode 2 / Key Animation on Shingeki no Kyojin Episode 22, 25, and 28 / Key Animation @ Seigasha on Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad Episodes 2 and 13 / Key Animation on Bungo Stray Dogs Episode 2 / Web Production on Kekkai Sensen / Animation Director on Kekkai Sensen BEYOND Episodes 5, 9, and 11 / Key Animation on Code Geass: Akito The Exiled OAV Episode 1 / Key Animation on Mobile Suit Gundam AGE Episode 31 / Key Animation on Nodame Cantabile / Animation Director on Nodame Cantabile Paris-hen (2nd Season) Episodes 3 and 8 / Animation Director and Key Animator on Nodame Cantabile FINALE (3rd Season) Episode 6 / Key Animation on Mawaru Penguindrum Episode 15 / Key Animation on Subete ga F ni Naru (The Perfect Insider) Episode 1 / Key Animation on Puella Magi Madoka Magica Episode 6 / Key Animation on Ristorante Paradiso Episode 1 / Key Animation on Samurai Champloo Episode 23 / Animation Director on Shimoneta Episodes 5 and 8 / 2nd Key Animation on STAR DRIVER Episode 9 also a Key Animator on Episodes 12, 18, and 20 / Character Designer, Chief Animation Director and Animation Director on Trickster Episodes 1 and 24 and the show’s opening sequence / Key Animation on Yuri!!! on Ice! Episode 1 / Key Animation on Yurikuma Arashi Episodes 3, 7, and 11 / Animation Director on Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso (Your Lie in April) Episodes 4,7, 16, 19, 20, and 21]


The animation is a bit off at times but nonetheless another marvelous episode. While last week was filled with comedy this episode pushes the story further along in a more serious matter and still these girls are an absolute joy to watch! Now is where we can finally see how realistic this show is–Carole’s power gets cut off at the apartment and the girls have to look for jobs to stay afloat. While many shows would neglect these details it’s great to see an anime series handle this realistically.

With Roddy’s efforts to get the girls a gig through Beth the owner of the Mars Lounge club, unlike previous episode have taught us about Carole and Tuesday wanting to become famous it is clear now more than ever that even if these girls don’t make it big they would still jam together with no one around to hear it.

Like in the episode’s title, the focus here is undoubtedly what the voice can do and how it can reflect an overall song. In order for Tao to gain the 12 million woolong he brings Angela along to investor Schwartz. This says a lot about Tao– in order to get the upper hand on Angela’s mother Dahlia and secondly gain more money for his research in mind control. He goes to quite lengths especially here–does background on Dahlia, Angela’s acapella performance shows that Tao is putting faith in Angela’s voice. Another method in getting Angela to trust him more. Still though, with Dahlia’s past slowly revealing itself and her having been angered by it you have to wonder how long it will be until she snaps and Tao’s true colors are shown.

Carole & Tuesday would probably be an average show if it were set in today’s world however with this anime set on Mars the story becomes something special. An over-arching theme of accomplishing your dreams in a world of AI culture and the fight to create something for yourself (and if you can let it out for all the world to see and hear).

Spencer Simmons. We have only seen him a few times and after seeing the preview with him in this episode I was extremely worried we would get some huge falling out between him and Tuesday’s love for music during the gig. An amazing tender song about finding your journey and never be scared of where you are headed. At the very beginning he is determined to bring Tuesday back but then towards the end he finds her by chance, performing at a small club. There are a lot of things that could have happened–Spencer  disrupts their performance ruining any chance Carole and Tuesday have at their first gig but he doesn’t. He listens to it, accepts what she is doing and leaves. Instead of following his mother he believes in his sister and supports her. This show is so fantastic because there hasn’t been anyone particularly evil and this episode reminds us of that.




Carole & Tuesday Episode 4


Episode 4 “Video Killed the Radio Star” [from the same name as the Buggles song]

Production Details

Episode Director: Tsuyoshi Tobita [Episode Director on A.I.C.O. -Incarnation- Episodes 3, 8 and 12 / Episode Director on Accel World Episodes 6, 9, 14, and 21 / Episode Director on The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan Episodes 2, 10, and 16 / Episode Director on Girlish Number Episodes 2 and 8 / Episode Director on Kaguya-sama: Love is War Episodes 5 and 10 (Also the Unit Director on its Opening Sequence) / Storyboard on Log Horizon Episode 13 (Also Episode Director on Episodes 5, 13, and 22) / Episode Director on Boku no Hero Academia (My Hero Academia) Episode 12 (Also the Unit Director on its First Ending Sequence) / Episode Director on Noragami Episodes 6 and 12 / Episode Director on Noragami Aragoto Episodes 1, 6, and 13 / Episode Director on Grancrest Senki (The Record of Grancrest War) Episodes 2, 5, 12 and 13 / Episode Director on Sword Art Online Alicization Episode 1 / Episode Director on Wotakoi Episodes 3 and 10]

Script: Kimiko Ueno [Script on Gokyodai Monogatari film / Series Composition and Script on Kuromajyo-san ga Toru!! / Screenplay on Little Witch Academia Episodes 3, 7, 8, 14, 16, and 22 / Script on Mysterious Joker Episodes 2,4,7,10,12 / Script on The Royal Tutor film and series’ episodes 1,2,5,6, 11, and 12 / Script on Space Dandy Episodes 3, 4, 7, 10, 12, 14, 20, and 23 / Script on Space Patrol Luluco Episodes 8 and 10 / Script on Zumomo to Nupepe Series]

Storyboard: Tensai Okamura [Storyboard on Zetsuen no Tempest (Blast of Tempest) Second Ending Sequence / Director, Storyboard  on Ao no Exorcist (Blue Exorcist) First Opening and First Ending Sequences + Episodes 1, 2, 6, 18, 20, and 25 / Storyboard on Cowboy Bebop Episodes 6, 7, 12, 13, 15, 22, and 24 / Original Creator, Director, Series Composition, Script on Darker Than Black entire series + OVAs and manga / Storyboard on Uchoten Kazoku (My Eccentric Family) Episodes 4 and 9 / Storyboard on Darling in the FranXX Episode 8 / Storyboard on Emma: A Victorian Romance Episode 2 / Key Animation on Ghost in the Shell (1995 film) / Storyboard on Guilty Crown Episode 20 / Storyboard on Hanasaku Iroha Episodes 5 and 7 / Storyboard on Iroduku: The World in Colors Episodes 8 and 13 / Animation Director and Key Animation on Jiku Boken Numamonjaa OAV / Director and Storyboard on Kuromukuro (the storyboard on first opening sequence + Episodes 1, 2, 4, 11, 18, and 26) also Key Animation on Episode 26 / Director and Storyboard on Medabots / Animation work on My Neighbor Totoro film / Episode Director and Storyboard on Neon Genesis Evangelion Episode 13 / Key Animation on Ninja Scroll film / Storyboard on Ouran Highschool Host Club Episode 3 / Director on Project Earth Blue SOS and Storyboards for Episodes 1, 3, and 6 / Episode Director on Episode 1 / Storyboard on RD Senno Chosashitsu (Real Drive) Episode 25 / Storyboard on Samurai Champloo Episode 23 / Director on Nanatsu no Taizai (The Seven Deadly Sins) / Director on Wolf’s Rain (and its OAV) (also Storyboard on Episodes 1-3, 7, 11, and 12]

Chief Animation Director: Naoyuki Konno (Character Designer and Chief Animation Director on Concrete L / Key Animator on Episodes 1, 5, 7, 9, 12, 15, 18-20, 22, 24-26 on Cowboy Bebop / Character Designer and Chief Animation Director on Hisone to Masotan / Planning on GANGSTA / Key Animator on Kaiji Opening Sequence]

Animation Directors:

  • Manabu Nii [Key Animation on Aikatsu Friends! Opening Sequences / Key Animation on Aria the Natural Episode 7 / Sub Character Design and Chief Animation Director on Bakuon!! Episodes 3, 5, 7, 9, 10 and 11 / Animation Director on Yagate Kimi ni Naru (Bloom Into You) Episode 6 / Key Animation on Deadman Wonderland Episode 9 / Animation Director on Garakowa film / Key Animation @ MANGLOBE Studio on GLASSLIP Episode 10 / Ke Animation on March Comes in Like a Lion Episode 8 / Key Animation on Tsuritama Episode 8 / Animation Director on The World God Only Knows Season 2 Opening Sequence and Episodes 1, 7, and 12]
  • Hideko Sato [Key Animation on 91 Days Episode 8 / Animation Director Assistant on Boku no Hero Academia (My Hero Academia) Episode 35 / Key Animation on Kekkai Sensen (Blood Blockade BattlefrontEpisodes 8 and 12 / Animation Director on Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinju Episode 7 / In-Between Animation on Kizumonogatari Part 1: Tekketsu film / 2nd Key Animation on Kizumonogatari Part 3: Reiketsu film / 2nd Key Animation on Tokyo Ghoul Episodes 4 and 5 / Key Animation on Tokyo Ghoul:re Opening Sequence and Episode 8]

This is the kind of episode that tells us to keep watching this show. It has everything! Zombies, a music video, a dance sequence, a cameo from Space Dandy characters (QT, Honey, and the other Boobies’ waitress Candy)  and lots of other references! For the show itself, it looks incredibly amazing because it shows us how this world is much like our own when it comes to social media and how to generate attention through the net.

Having the plan with Ertegun not working out–the girls and Gus decide that a music video could be a way for them to garner attention to their music. Glad to see that the ending song finally lands a spot in this series’ story, as it’s featured in the repertoire of these girls’ songs! As far as the girls go with music I find it very neat how Roddy and Gus have impacted their lives as musicians. At first, the girls wanted to play music just for themselves and last time we got to see that they want a song that will take the world by storm. In other words, they want to become famous. Sharing the same intentions as Roddy and Gus.

This entire episode is a commentary on our way of life today–from ” in real life” relationships and how we use new media to create connections with others through the means of social networking and viral distribution. I think it would be a really cool thing to do if the creators implemented the use of a QR code in an upcoming episode that offered a download for a song they’re writing. It would certainly hit a mark.

So the group purchases a robot named IDEA to direct their DIY music video. I really like how we have this wide range of ideas for the video between Carole, Gus, and Roddy and Tuesday. Gus wants a video straight out of a Marvel film, Carole wants Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Roddy being the nerd that he is with his robots and tech equipment all through his apartment wants a music video akin to A-ha (more specifically the music video for “Take on Me”, All Tuesday wants is a cool video with a slight reference to Kevin Costner’s film “The Bodyguard”. A charm of this episode is that we have this robot combining all these referential ideas all a bit too easily. How situationally ironic this is. The entire show has been A.I. and robots doing the jobs that humans do and here we have a robot (an AI director named IDEA) relaxing watching an anime of another robot (QT from Space Dandy) relaxing. What makes this really funny is that both robots (Idea and QT) share the same voice actress. A self-proclaimed director, that drinks beer, takes a bath while drinking beer, watches anime (awesome that it turns out to be Space Dandy) and bullies Giggy (Carole’s pet robot owl). On top of that is where Roddy becomes the butt of the jokes during video production. Have to love Ertegun’s reaction at the end! As far as Ertegun goes, we have to wonder what his relationship with Roddy really is. He shoes affection towards him–he doesn’t want him falling into a trap whether it’s with Carole and Tuesday or not.  This factor works for the show’s benefits as it adds more layers to this futuristic world we’ve been presented with. Especially a world that closes its doors to human performers and showcases A.I. as the real creative geniuses behind all entertainment.

When it comes to a show like this you have to learn a little bit more about the characters to get a great story. Shinichiro Watanabe did this same thing with Space Dandy and all his other works before it. Deliver somewhat episodic content and subtlely toss in small details about the main cast. This episode, in particular, uses Gus and his connections within the industry to help these girls become stars. In order to fulfill all these unreasonable requests from director IDEA, Gus turns to his ex-wife Marie for help. Their chemistry is real. A well-grounded relationship with her ex. We don’t have to spend a few episodes seeing her character grow.  While she can receive further character development one thing is quite clear: she already has the life she wants. Without even showing us a single scene while they were married we can already tell that they had their ups and downs, but with time have gotten over it and have become closer than they ever have before.  She wants the best for him and he shares the same sentiments. I really like how the creators didn’t shove down the fact that she’s getting remarried until much later on in the episode. She’s bisexual and they establish this very naturally. It isn’t until we see the girls out shopping and getting makeovers that this is the case. She has this large change in her life, discovering who she is and finding happiness with a woman, who turns out to be hair and makeup stylist Anne.  It is out of her respect for Gus now more than ever that she chooses to help these girls with their music video. The scenes in this episode with Gus and Marie are about the best this show has so far. Very authentic especially with its production. Light jazz score and casually warm color choice, and extremely detailed bar backdrop.

As for the final music video production, it is wonderfully hilarious! Filled with lots of references from Michael Jackson’s Thriller music video to The Breakfast Club to Marvel, Money for Nothing music video, and there are a few in there I recognize but can’t quite figure out what they’re from. Carole & Tuesday is effortlessly hilarious and we can really see that with the countless ways they made the music video look amateurish. Tons of rough cuts–bad transitions and unfinished CG (not to mention their instruments are made out of cardboard) plus the framing is entirely off the wall where random people show up on camera (by accident) front and center.  They get scammed by an alcoholic robot (IDEA) into making the worst (best) ripoff music video. The video gives a good look at how songs might be produced by A.I.. We haven’t really heard much aside from Ertegun’s music but from what I gather from this video the music might be done in a similar style. If this is the case this would be a fascinating method to explore this theme.



Carole & Tuesday Episode 3

Episode 3 “Fire and Rain” [from the same name as the James Taylor song]

Production Details

Episode Director: Satoshi Takafuji [Episode Director on Kiznaiver Episode 10 / Episode Director on Boku no Hero Academia (My Hero Academia) Episodes 21, 25, 30, and 36 / Episode Director on PSYCHO-PASS 2 Episode 4 / Assistant Episode Director on Ring ni Kakero 1: Shadow Episodes 2 and 4 / Episode Director on Yozakura Quartet -Tsuki ni Naku OAV 3]

Script: Yasuhiro Nakanishi [Series Composition on Kaguya-sama: Love is War / Script on Iroduku Episodes 7, 9, and 10 / Story and Art on Shiawase Restaurant Manga / Screenplay on Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinju Episodes 4, 7, and 11]

Storyboard: Naomi Nakayama [Storyboard and Episode Director on Kekkai Sensen (Blood Blockade Battlefront) Opening Sequence and Episode 9 / Storyboard on Casshern Sins 2nd Ending Sequence / Setting Production on Casshern Sins / Storyboard on Arslan Senki First Ending Sequence / Episode Director on Arslan Senki Episode 24 / Setting Production on Kemonozume / Storyboard on Boku no Hero Academia (My Hero Academa) Ending Sequence / Series Director on Orange / Storyboard on Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinju Episode 6 / Storyboard on Steins;Gate 0 First Opening Sequence]

Chief Animation Director:Yoshiyuki Ito (Character Designer and Chief Animation Director on Concrete Revolutio / Key Animator on Episodes 1, 5, 7, 9, 12, 15, 18-20, 22, 24-26 on Cowboy Bebop / Character Designer and Chief Animation Director on Hisone to Masotan / Planning on GANGSTA / Key Animator on Kaiji Opening Sequence]

Animation Directors:

  • Atsushi Hasebe [Chief Animation Director on Black Bullet Episodes 1-7 / Animation Director on Kekkai Sensen (Blood Blockade Battlefront) Episodes 5, 11 and 12 / Key Animation on Kekkai Sensen (Blood Blockade Battlefront) Episodes 10 and 12 / Animation Director on Bungo Stray DogsEpisode 10 / Assistant Animation Director on Cardcaptor Sakura: The Movie / Animation Director on Concrete Revolutio: The Last Song (second cour [Season 2]) Episodes 15, 21 and 24 / Animation Director Support and Key Animation on Cowboy Bebop: The Movie Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door / Key Animation on Escaflowne the Movie / Animation Director on Eureka Seven Episodes 19, 25, 27 (assistant to animation director) and 33 (as mechanic designer) / Key Animator on Eureka Seven First Opening Sequence / Key Animation on Planetes Episode 18 / In-Between Animation on Porco Rosso film / Key Animation on Scrapped Princess Opening Sequence / Animation Director on Soul Eater Episodes 11, 20, 30, 39, 47, and 50 / Series Key Animator on Soul Eater / Animation Director on STAR DRIVER Episode 23 / Animation Director and Key Animation on UN-GO Episodes 7 and 11 / Key Animation on Wolf’s Rain Episodes 2 and 10 / Animation Director on Yuyushiki Episodes 4, 8, and 12 / Eyecatch Animator on Yuyushiki Episode 9 / Key Animator on Yuyushiki Episode 1]
  • Haruka Iida [Key Animation on 91 Days Episode 8 / Animation Director Assistant on Boku no Hero Academia (My Hero Academia) Episode 35 / Key Animation on Kekkai Sensen (Blood Blockade BattlefrontEpisodes 8 and 12 / Animation Director on Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinju Episode 7 / In-Between Animation on Kizumonogatari Part 1: Tekketsu film / 2nd Key Animation on Kizumonogatari Part 3: Reiketsu film / 2nd Key Animation on Tokyo Ghoul Episodes 4 and 5 / Key Animation on Tokyo Ghoul:re Opening Sequence and Episode 8]


The universal Shinichiro Watanabe trademark of his shows makes an appearance in Carole & Tuesday–the woolong currency. When we get a new Shinichiro Watanabe series I am giddy with excitement. All of his works are so good! Carole & Tuesday is shaping up to be a spectacular series especially with its two lovable lead characters Carole and Tuesday.

Gus Goldman, whom we’ve seen at the bar drinking his sorrows away for the past two episodes finally gets a chance to shine in this episode. It’s great to finally get to see this guy in action–he was super funny at the end of the previous episode (with that nod to the film The Shining) so I was eager to see how he would handle becoming their manager.

While Carole & Tuesday’s song (Loneliest Girl) gets the attention of A.I. technician Roddy (along with many of his Instagram followers) this episode points out to us that these girls still have a long way to go if they want to make it big in the music industry. This entire episode teaches us that not everything cannot go the way as planned.  I get the feeling that Gus is traditional with his methods–he’s qualified (supposedly according to Wikipedia) having been in a band and we clearly can see this as he’s meeting the girls for the first time at a restaurant. He fell to alcohol finding new hope with unknown talents.  Boasting about familiar artists (name dropping left and right) he has worked with in the past is a bit too hard to believe however his passion and determination make up for it. Especially when it comes to helping these girls get their songs heard– he is admirable and honest from the get-go.  This is big here because it establishes this disparity between independence and reliance. In the first episode, Angela becomes this puppet under the management of media mogul Tao. It’s where we get to see how A.I. systems neglected Angela from the very moment they met and their relationship isn’t exactly great. The restaurant scene here is where we have genuine interactions between the talent (Carole and Tuesday) and the management team (Gus and Roddy) A nice touch is the mention of the tomatoes on their pizza are grown above the restaurant.  Drives home how real Carole and Tuesday are to themselves and how their music is particularly old-fashioned, in the sense of this world’s A.I. defined culture. A strong way for the anime’s creators to depict that even though they live in a society structured around A.I from its products to its entire way of life that there are and still can be places on Mars living in the old ways that don’t have technology do everything for them. It is back to that whole “reliance” idea I spoke about earlier.

I am so glad they waited for three episodes to do this for two reasons. They didn’t cram so much in the premiere episode by introducing us to too many characters for the girls to meet. Secondly, these girls can’t have it happen in a flash. They have to work hard for what they are trying to do with their music. It takes a lot to build a reputation and Roddy’s happenstance gives us a better idea of the world.  While this show is built with a futuristic setting, Carole & Tuesday still holds onto a lot of common themes around pop culture. The use of social media (Instagram, Wikipedia, etc.) These are lots of avenues to take to become successful and this anime uses that to its advantage by giving us a “What if” scenario — Music was written by people has been long gone and with it so has people’s appreciation for it.

Speaking of appreciation, how about that new song “Round&Laundry”? Fantastic. What makes this song even better is its build up. Finding inspiration all around them (hence the title). Heck, even the random guy sitting between them joins in for the beat drops! So authentic! The scene plays like a music video illustrating Carole & Tuesday’s friendship a bit more. Which I certainly hope we get to see more of in coming episodes! This segues nicely into a practice session toying with this idea that the artists of this world might not be happy with A.I. inventing their own music. Especially Angela. Angela’s mother is living vicariously through her daughter and so far it looks like with the best of intentions. he 37 questions is a nod to Vogue’s “73 Questions with Hailey Bieber”  I can really see her performing with the girls in a future episode!

As far as performers go we got a glimpse of DJ Ertegun in the previous episode but it isn’t until now that we can see the hold A.I. can have on its artists and their fans. Ertegun is obsessed with being rich and his image as a DJ. He’s arrogant, patronizing and quite the playboy. His apartment tells a lot about his personality not to mention how muddled the artistic expression has become. The shredded painting on the wall is an obvious reference to Banksy’s “Girl with the Balloon” plus the emphasis on the way it is shown was another homage to the hot topic last year of the same painting presented at an auction. The shredding of the “Girl with the Balloon” which we see in the anime is actually what happened in real life to the popular work (by Banksy himself) after it was successfully bid on. If you are interested in the story you can read about it here.  This really shows us how well-researched this show is even with its visual details. The rest of Ertegun’s apartment is wildly modernistic–the emoji’s stacked together says a lot of about artistic freedom. Ertegun’s narcissistic behavior towards the girls isn’t exactly positive for them–leaving them a bit on edge.  It makes sense why he doesn’t appreciate Carole & Tuesday stepping on his business. He is well-known and appreciated and wouldn’t want to have anyone rising above him. He’s insecure about his own music from the looks of it and wants to maintain his appearance and his “own” music as he says– in the world that doesn’t accept music made by people instead of A.I makes Carole and Tuesday’s songs to be rarer than anything he’s probably heard before. He doesn’t even take a glance at their music! This adds more fuel to the fire that even if others (like Ertegun) shoot down their music they will get up again and play because it’s what they are passionate about. They are two entirely different people that share the same level of enthusiasm and love for music, which is why they have great chemistry together on screen! Like I said before they play to express the emptiness they feel inside. To create something miraculous out into the world even if no one is listening.

I hadn’t noticed it before until I re-watched the last couple of episodes but the lyrics from the episode titles are very much in tune to what is happening in each episode. Last time, the song “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen has the following lyrics:

Oh, someday girl I don’t know when
We’re gonna get to that place
Where we really wanna go
And we’ll walk in the sun
But till then tramps like us,
Baby we were born to run

and taking a look back at that particular episode we see that Carole wants to play on a real piano so they sneak into a concert hall where their song is recorded and becomes viral. And then the final lyrics here “Baby we were born to run” — they ran from the police in the first episode after Carole is seen playing real music on the bridge and then in the second episode we see them running again on the same bridge after their session in the concert hall. This third episode follows this trend a little bit with the James Taylor song “Fire and Rain”.

Just yesterday mornin’, they let me know you were gone
Suzanne the plans they made put an end to you
I walked out this morning and I wrote down this song
I just can’t remember who to send it to
I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain
I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I’d see you again
Won’t you look down upon me, Jesus
You’ve got to help me make a stand
You’ve just got to see me through another day
My body’s aching and my time is at hand
I won’t make it any other way

These lyrics follow towards what happens in this episode. Tuesday had been lonely all this time which is probably why she has run away from home. The sunny days refer to her time with Carole and all the fun they are having even outside of their element of music. Making a stand probably refers to Gus Goldman’s management help. We see the Simmons know that Tuesday is in Alba City and her mom not allowing the police to get involved illustrates the mother/daughter relationship is less important than her political PR campaign. The reversal here is Angela’s mother wants the very best for her but with Tuesday it’s the opposite she thinks this is just some kind of phase and she will be coming back. Carole and Tuesday go to this weird religious cult-like place that isn’t at all what the girls nor Gus would imagine voice training would be correlates to the title’s verse “Won’t you look down upon me, Jesus”.

Personally, I think it would be very funny if this entire show is just one long Space Dandy episode. A spin-off from multi-verse episode in Space Dandy episode 14 (you can read my review on that specific episode here) and it would add even greater comedy if the big reveal is that Tuesday is Honey’s character. I am just waiting for the Dropkix to show up! Just wishful thinking!



Also if you want some more information about this series, The staff has released “Making of videos” entitled Making of a Miracle into three parts. You can view these below. They are in Japanese only and do not contain any English subtitles.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

If you want to support this show, the first Vocal collection album is up for preorder, you can find it here, and it’s opening/ending CD single can be preordered here with an Amazon Japan bonus (also available on vinyl)  both of these albums release on May 29th.


Carole & Tuesday Episode 2

Episode 2 “Born to Run” [from the same name as the Bruce Springsteen song]

Production Details

Episode Director: Shōhei Miyake

Script: Deko Akao

Storyboard: Manabu Okamoto

Chief Animation Director: Naoyuki Konno

Animation Directors:

  • 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

Key Animators:

  • Jonathan Djob Nkondo
  • Till
  • 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. D4apWZLUcAENY0b


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!




Carole & Tuesday Episode 1 [Initial Impressions]




PLOT: Fifty years have passed since mankind began migrating to the new frontier: Mars. It’s an age where most culture is produced by AI, and people are content to be passive consumers. There’s a girl scraping a living in the metropolis of Alba City, she’s working part-time while trying to become a musician. She’s always felt like something is missing. Her name is Carole. There’s another girl. Born to a wealthy family in the provincial town of Herschel City, she dreams of becoming a musician, but nobody around her understands. She feels like the loneliest person in the world. Her name is Tuesday. A chance meeting brings them together.

Animation Production: BONES [Animation Production for the following works: A.I.C.O. Incarnation, Akagami no Shiraiyukihime (Snow White with Red Hair) Angelic Layer, Kekkai Sensen (Blood Blockade Battlefront), Bungo Stray Dogs, Captain Earth, Chaika The Coffin Princess, Concrete Revolutio, Cowboy Bebop the Movie, Darker than Black, Hisone to Masotan, Escaflowne: The Movie, Eureka Seven, FullMetal Alchemist and BROTHERHOOD remake, Ghost Slayers Ayashi, GOSICK, Jyu-Oh-Sei, Kurau: Phantom Memory, Mars Daybreak, Mob Psycho 100, My Hero Academia, No. 6, Noragami, Otona Joshi no Anime Time Episode 2, RahXephon, Show by Rock!!, Soul Eater, Space Dandy, Star Blazers 2199, STAR DRIVER, Sword of the Stranger film, Tenkai Knights, The Skull Man (animation assistance on Episode 11 with MANGLOBE studio), Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, Towanoquon film series, UN-GO, Wolf’s Rain, X’amd Lost Memories, Zetsuen no Tempest (Blast of Tempest)] [In-Between Animation on Episode 1 of Real Drive / 2nd Key Animation on Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru (Run with the Wind) 

Chief Director: Shinichiro Watanabe [Director on the following works: Blade Runner: Black Out 2022, Kid’s Story OVA (part of the Animatrix Stories), A Detective Story OAV (part of the Animatrix Stories), Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, Baby Blue OVA, Kids on the Slope, Zankyou no Terror [Terror in Tokyo], Space Dandy] [Music Producer on Michiko e Hatchin] [Opening Sequence Director on STAR DRIVER OP 1] [Storyboard on Episode 12 of Birdy the Mighty Decode / Director on Death Parade Ending Sequence / Storyboard on Episode 19 of Ergo Proxy / Co-Producer and Music Producer on Michiko e Hatchin / Music Director on Mind Game / Director on [cancelled project T.A.T.u.] opening sequence / Storyboard on Episodes 5, 8 , 12, and 16 of The Vision of Escaflowne / Episode Director on Episodes 3, 7, and 9 of Dirty Pair / Music Producer on Lupin the Third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine / Storyboard on Episode 22 of Noein]

Director: Motonobu Hori [Key Animator on Episode 11 of Atom the Beginning / Storyboard, Episode Director, Animation Director on Episode 24 of Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad / Storyboards on the BERSERK films / Key Animator Episodes 1 and 3 of FLCL: Progressive / Unit Director, Key Animator, and Prop Design on Ghost in the Shell: Alternative Architecture Film / 2nd Key Animator on Episode 7 of Kemonozume/ Key Animator on Episode 16 of Michiko e Hatchin / Storyboard Episode Director and Key Animator on Episodes 2 and 8 of Paradise Kiss / Key Animator on Episode 8 of Paranoia Agent / Key Animator on Re:Cutie Honey OP Sequence / In-between animator and Clean up Animator on Spirited Away film]

Series Composition: Aya Watanabe [Digital Painter on Berserk films 1 and 2 / Finish Animation on Episode 8 of Demonbane / Finish Animation on Episodes 1-4 of My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU TOO!] 

Character Designer: Eisaku Kubonouchi [Original Creator and artist on the following manga: Cherry / Chocolat] [Original Creator and Character Designer on Sono Toki, Kanojo wa TV anime] [Character Designer for Cup Noodle ads featuring 17-year old Kiki from Miyazaki’s Kiki’s Delivery Service]

Original Creator: Shinichiro Watanabe

Music: Mocky (Canadian singer, music producer, songwriter and composer) (Co-writer on the following songs: Bittersweet Melodies, Graveyard, and Caught A Long Wind” off the album Metals by the artist Feist.)

Chief Animation Director: Yoshiyuki Ito (Character Designer and Chief Animation Director on Concrete Revolutio / Key Animator on Episodes 1, 5, 7, 9, 12, 15, 18-20, 22, 24-26 on Cowboy Bebop / Character Designer and Chief Animation Director on Hisone to Masotan / Planning on GANGSTA / Key Animator on Kaiji Opening Sequence /

Episode 1 Production Details

Episode Director: Motonobu Hori


  • Motonobu Hori
  • Shinichiro Watanabe


The time has finally come. Another Shinichiro Watanabe anime series. It has been five years since Space Dandy and Zankyou no Terror have aired and with that time of absence it has given the acclaimed director plenty of time to craft together his next story. Carole & Tuesday. The story of two girls from entirely different backgrounds that find a connection to the meaning of their lives through the use of music. Singing and songwriting specifically.

Shinichiro Watanabe holds a special place in his heart for music. He used jazz in Cowboy Bebop–this not only put his name on the map as a sensational director and creator but also for Yoko Kanno’s career as a composer. Bebop was a huge hit in the United States (in its original run on Japanese TV not so much) and this allowed the viewership of Japanese anime to expand to a wider market.

With his next series, Samurai Champloo he infused the traditional sounds of Japan–the shimasen, taiko drums, etc. with Nujabes, FAT JON, and many others using hip-hop against a samurai backdrop with a story of a girl in search of a samurai that smells of sunflowers.  In 2012, he turned to Yoko Kanno once again to Yoko Kanno for her acclaimed work on Bebop’s jazz score in order to faithfully adapt Yuki Kodama’s award winning manga Sakamichi no Apollon (Kids on the Slope). 2014 was high big year to shine, because he put together two series in the same year. Zankyou no Terror, a story about two teenagers on a journey of retribution. This time Kanno’s score turns to Icelandic atmospheric music to setup a modern day drama. Now we’ve got music at the forefront again and this time in a very special way. One might notice that this show maybe shifting it’s musical influence towards pop music.  Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors” (the name of this episode title and also shown in the intermission artwork) becomes Teusday’s inspiration in the pursuit of music.

Carole & Tuesday was initially announced in March of last year as a 10th anniversary Flying Dog and 20th anniversary Studio BONES production. Worldwide auditions were held for the lead characters (Carole and Tuesday’s) vocal parts. And we get the fantastic Tokyo born Japanese pop and R&B singer Celeina Ann for Tuesday and  Nai Br.XX (from New York) for the role of Carole’s singing parts.

Now onto the premiere episode!

Tuesday is a shy and timid girl trying to make her life something special–with her guitar and robot luggage she begins her journey to Alba City for a different life. Did anyone catch some of the callbacks to Shinichiro Watanabe’s previous series? The narrator portraying a more integral comedic part for this show indicates the callback to Space Dandy’s narrator. The robot charging was an homage to QT from Space Dandy running out of power–the comedy in that was pure genius and we get this first glance at how Tuesday reacts to things that don’t exactly go as planned. Tuesday is this shut-in living life in a rich family household but even in the first five minutes of the show we see her struggle–this is especially reflected in the character animation and expressions.

Carole’s introduction is wonderfully timed–Mocky’s soundtrack (which is reminiscent of Michiko e Hatchin’s score by Kassin) fits this perfectly as we clearly see her wildly cool energy she gives off. Heck, the framing in this compared to Carole’s is heavily angled (especially during her skateboard sequence) to establish her character a little bit more and this “I live on my own, have a job, so I’m forced to be an adult out of circumstances). She has her own place and her early adulthood gives us some inkling that the parental situation is something of a stepping stone for her through her music. The restaurant sequence provides a nice look at how nefarious people can be–balance that is foreshadow to the next scene with Tuesday. It seems to me that one of the larger motifs in this show will be the empowerment of teens being true to themselves and singing out their hearts. Tuesday is breaking away from the sheltered life that she has been living up to this point. Carole yearns for a brand new life— from the boy trying to steal to the men treating her like trash in the restaurant outlines this quite clear. It wasn’t until the commercial actress Angela is riding in the car with her mother that the motif hits the nail in the coffin for this series. Trying to reach your dreams. Her mother not wanting to achieve singing pours out this fact that she’s playing right into the hands of her family as some doll. I’m glad we get to see the parents already and they aren’t shoved into the story too late.  Given the mother’s reaction that the guitar is missing might suggest that Tuesday is an AI. Angela’s mother mentions how she could turn all of her managers into AI, and the fact Mr. Tao’s line of work looks more than meets the eye validates this theory I have about Tuesday. AI’s are replacing the singers of the entertainment business, in Carole and Tuesday it is a story of a world without music and art. A world tied by the boundaries of society dependent on emerging technologies–many of which that have removed any kind of free thought of expression with a voice to shout out with. I find it really intriguing when Carole starts playing on the bridge that no one notices her singing and the police officer chasing after them just adds more cause to this. Confined by the companies that have built these AI’s on a higher pedestal than human entertainers.

The chance encounter between the two girls, Carole and Tuesday is well timed. The soft grainy editing is a smart choice to quickly introduce us a meaning behind their dreams in becoming musicians. An entire episode focused on a heartfelt buildup to their first song performance at Carole’s place. One that is beautifully animated by Takashi Mitani. These two girls aren’t creating music for some higher meaning or fighting off society rather it is how they want to express themselves. We clearly see the beginnings of this and a blossoming friendship where Carole posts their very first selfie on Instagram. A real instagram for Carole_and_Tuesday was created some time ago  which you can check out here (As of writing this its at 21.3k followers within the span of a few days!) and follow Carole and Tuesday’s journey together! Keep in mind that this series’ backdrop is set in the future with some incredibly detailed art but I want to point out how the new media affects the society structure and people’s interactions with others. That small instagram post allows for these two smaller artists to gain traction. Social media can be skewed in favor to those that have money and the resources–it’s who you know and in Carole and Tuesday’s case this is only the beginning of their influential change to the world(s?) and their popularity.

Like I said before this show is about spreading the freedom to express one’s self and for these girls it goes from a small indoor practice session to shouting at the rooftops just learning that they can be anything they want to be even if society won’t accept it.

Also want to say how shocked I am that this show is going to be 2-cour! 24 episodes!


ED: “Hold Me Now” by Carole & Tuesday (Nai Br.XX & Celeina Ann)


Directed by: Norimitsu Suzuki

Storyboards: Norimitsu Suzuki

Animation Supervisor: Norimitsu Suzuki

Animators: Norimitsu Suzuki


Norimitsu Suzuki is a freaking awesome animator. Having animated the UN-GO ending sequence, the adorable Soul Eater ending 2 with Maka’s walking cycle, among many others! His walk cycles are incredibly fluid and give a lot personality and physique through the attention to a character’s clothing and movement in the arms and legs. He animated this entire sequence by himself. Incredible. This is a treat because the song gives us an idea of how their music might turn out in future episodes once they are heavily produced. The lyrics that bubble through the background shows this off as some kind of pop music video. The grey transition into color of Carole and Tuesday and its background choice sets a charismatic tone that adds layers to their music to greater heights!



Did I do a typo? I think not!

Sangatsu no Lion Episode 1 [Initial Impressions]

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PLOT: The protagonist Rei is a 17-year-old professional shōgi player, who lives by himself, not having a real family, and has scarcely any friends. Among his acquaintances is a family, which consists of a young woman, Akari Kawamoto, and her younger sisters, Hinata and Momo, who also keep several cats. As the story progreses, Rei deals with his maturing as a player and as a person, while developing his relationships with others, specially the Kawamoto sisters.

Animation Production: SHAFT


  • Akiyuki Shinbo
  • Kenjiro Okada

Series Composition: 

  • Akiyuki Shinbo
  • Fuyashi Tou

Character Designer: Nobuhiro Sugiyama

Original Creator: Chika Umino [ Honey & Clover]

Music: Yukari Hashimoto

Episode 1 Production Details

Episode Director: Kenjiro Okada

Storyboard: Shinsaku Sasaki

Script: Yukito Kizawa

I decided to change things up a bit and not post so much information on production staff regarding previous anime they’ve worked on.  Hope you all enjoy it!

One of the most anticipated series of the season finally arrives! This adaptation is quite different than what I expected from when it was first announced. This turned out to be quite a solid piece of work.

An incredible use of sound and SHAFT uses creator Chika Umino’s slow-paced story to its advantage with director Akiyuki Shinbo at the helm!  Per Umino’s request! From the trailers and now this first episode I can tell that SHAFT put a lot of restraint on how they typically animate their shows like the Monogatari series.  The first half is a beautifully animated and very subdued long morning for the protagonist Rei Kiriyama.  SHAFT certainly was the right choice in this because they were able to breathe life into Rei’s dark objectified view of the world and flip it with a superb second half.  The animation is simply designed–using a solid palette structure for its backgrounds.  At first glance this isn’t an anime with a large budget like what we’ve been seeing with Yuri!!! on Ice! , but when you see this episode you can clearly get a clear indication that a lot of time was spent on the direction of the animation.  Closeup shots of objects (especially the drinks) and facial expression techniques.  The most important develop of this show is through its use of sound effects!  From the very first scene it’s clear that there is a certain level of discomfort in Rei’s home. He’s internalized all of his emotions (if he has any) and through a very smart stylistic choice in visuals and sound direction that Rei is suffering.  Without the addition of music until the shogi match illustrates a larger picture that Rei enjoys his isolation.

I think it says a lot when a series chooses little dialogue to capture an audience into its narrative. We don’t know the man he’s playing is his father until he sees a news report later on from a tragic unrelated event. Sound was crucial here–the report established Rei’s disconnect from his own circumstances perfectly!

This transitioned nicely into the Kawamoto family’s introduction. Bubbly music score and strikingly bright animation.  Hues of pinks and yellows represents how lively the family is–the antics with the younger children remind me of 7-year old Naru from Barakamon.  The animation in the second half of this episode reverts from the dismal and dark tone that Sangatsu no Lion originally went for!  You either like the style or you don’t. 3-Gatsu no Lion is different than what we’re used to seeing with shows like Honey & Clover.

Akari Kawamoto, the oldest of the three sisters notices Rei’s disconnect from society–it is seen when she, right after Hinata had texted him, requests that he pick up vegetables for the dinner. I like how this show doesn’t force the interpersonal relationships down our throats–we given small details in doses.  The news report, the text messages, even by the end of this episode we see that Rei is gradually crawling out of his shell through the use of shadow effects and dream-state imagery.

I’m actually quite glad that this premiere didn’t shove Shogi matches to explain his character in-depth.  Using a visual narrative and a down-to-earth family to establish his grounding in the world succeeds wonderfully!  Posters of the manga on the train, Sangatsu logo on the grocery store sign. Perhaps SHAFT was taking the source material advertising a bit too literal.  Although, it certainly is one way to do it.

OP: “Answer (アンサー)” by BUMP OF CHICKEN

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Directed by: Naoyuki Asano

Storyboards: Naoyuki Asano

Animation Supervisor: Naoyuki Asano

Key Animators:

  • Hironori Tanaka
  • Tsutomu Shibuya
  • Shintaro Douge
  • Kazuki Ito
  • Atsushi Saito
  • Nozomu Abe
  • You Yamamoto
  • Naoko Masui
  • Tomohiro Shinoda
  • Naoto Nakamura

Notable Key Animator: 

  • Hironori Tanaka [ BLEACH #166 (specifically Ichigo and Grimmjow fight sequence)
    • Known for character acting and expressive animation particularly with line-work animation and hair animations.

Hironori Tanaka animated many of the opening scenes for this, notably, Rei’s drowning and the majority of sections featuring water sequences.  A bit of history about this animator. He’s well-known in the world of sakuga having worked on some very popular series including School DaysFate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade WorksGurren LagannBakemonogatari and one of my favorites The Tatami Galaxy.   I believe what stands out best as his best work as a key animator is on director Kou Matsuo’s Kure–nai.  Episode six to be exact–featuring a musical sequence.  Sometimes there doesn’t need to be -in-between frames when there are many key frames used.  Typically TV Anime do not produce this level of quality, however, there are times when this style of animation is utilized. This seems to be Tanaka’s style resulting in a very smooth flow to his sequences. He’s one of a few animators to be experienced and designs scenes with a purity to them . I say pure because he is able to draw 50 to 80 frames just to get a sequence nailed down properly.

Sangatsu‘s opening has very beautiful animation with varying shades of blues and other dark tonal colors that mesh together with a powered pigment influence.  BUMP OF CHICKEN are back for the anime adaptation reprising their role in 3-Gatsu no Lion material with both a well-designed opening and ending sequence.  They definitely delivered an emotionally-charged and well-written indie-styled rock song that matches these visuals beautifully.  Rei is drowning without a pathway to follow in life–the visual cues with the doorways represents that he has many choices in life but doesn’t have a grasp on his own life yet. I really like how the song gives an uplift with the chorus and suddenly the animation changes to firefly visuals and the family that has taken a chance on him might just give him the push he needs to figure out his life goal.

Yuri!! on Ice Episode 1 [Initial Impressions]

Yuri!! on Ice effortlessly ignites an engaging story about figure skating with fluid animation, a compelling soundtrack, and a creative charm that works perfectly.

PLOT: Yūri Katsuki carried all of Japan’s hopes on his shoulders to win at the Gran Prix Finale ice skating competition, but suffered a crushing defeat. He returns home to Kyushu and half feels like he wants to retire, and half feels like he wants to continue ice skating. Suddenly the five-time consecutive world championship ice skater Victor Nikiforov appears before him with Yuri Plisetsky, a young Russian figure skater who is already defeating his seniors. Victor and both Yuris take up the challenge on an unprecedented Gran Prix series.

Animation Production: Studio MAPPA [Sakamichi no Apollon [Kids on the Slope]TeekyuZankyou no Terror [Terror in Tokyo], Garo: Honoo no Kokuin, Shingeki no Bahamut: GENESIS, PunchLine, Ushio and Tora, In This Corner of the World, Days, Hajime no Ippo: Rising [co-produced with MADHOUSE])

Director: Sayo Yamamoto [Storyboard and Episode Director on Samurai Champloo Episodes 5,11, 18, 22 and 26 / Storyboard on Death Note episode 22 / Series Director and Storyboards on Michiko e Hatchin / Storyboard on Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin Episode 11 / Storyboard and Episode Director on Space Dandy episodes 2 and 7 / Director and Storyboard on PSYCHO-PASS‘ first opening sequence / Director and Storyboard on Shingeki no Kyojin [Attack on Titan]’s first ending sequence / Director and Storyboard on Space Dandy‘s ending sequence / Director and Storyboard on Shingeki no Bahamut: GENESIS‘ ending sequence)

Series Composition: Sayo Yamamoto

Character Designer: Tadashi Hiramatsu (Animation Character Design and Animation Director on Cutie Honey [Live-Action Film] / Director, Storyboard, Animation Director [OP; episode 1] on Re: Cutie Honey OAV / Key Animator on Darkside Blues film / Key Animator on Master Keaton episode 28 / Key Animator on Neon Genesis Evangelion episodes 15,19, 21, 23, 24, 25 and 26 / Storyboard and Assistant Animation Supervisor on Mushishi episode 8 / Key Animator on Mushishi episodes 16 and 20 / Storyboard and Episode Director on Denno Coil episode 10 / Key Animator on Kimi ni Todoke episode 5 / Key Animator on Space Dandy episodes 2 and 17 / Animation Supervisor and Character Designer on Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakkuritsu / Storyboard on Kuromukuro episode 5)


  • Taku Matsushiba (Composer for the following advertisements and animation projects: Asahi The Dream, Oono he Kaerou, Yokai-Watch “puni puni”, Toyota Vitz, JR Toukai, Nissin Cisco, Mix Channel)
  • Taro Umebayashi (Composer for the following works: Space Dandy [credited as ‘milk’]

Episode 1 Production Details

Episode Director: Jun Shishido (Storyboard and Episode Director on Sakamichi no Apollon [Kids on the Slope] episode 6 / Storyboard on Kingdom episode 32 / Series Director and Storyboard on Hajime no Ippo: Rising episodes 1,2, 21 and 25 / Storyboard on Kiseiju: Sei no Kakuritsu episode 11 / Episode Director on Death Parade episodes 1, 6 and 11 / Storyboard on Death Parade episodes 3,6 and 11 / Director on Ushio and Tora‘s first and second opening sequences /

Storyboards: Sayo Yamamoto

Script: Sayo Yamamoto

From the director of Michiko e Hatchin and Lupin the Third: Fujiko Mine comes a story about competitive figure skating.  Originally this project by Sayo Yamamoto was created as a music video entitled “Endless Night” for the Japan Animator’s Exhibition project from Studio Khara [Neon Genesis Evangelion] and Dwango last year.  The visuals are stunning and some of the best this year has to offer. I knew this season would be huge considering that my favorite genre Josei [Sangatsu no Lion and Fune wo Amu] would be getting the spotlight but this knocked out just about every show that’s aired so far out of the water!  Yūri Katsuki is a timid 23-year old skater admiring the talents of skating legend Victor Nikiforov.  This episode does a fine job in establishing Yūri Katsuki as someone with much to learn.  He’s more relatable than many male protagonists and adding to this realism are a few qualities that outlines director Yamamoto’s attention to characterization–he has problems managing his weight. Not to mention the effects of his dog’s death weighing on him too. Which I’m sure the anime will explore this avenue later on.  His issues can clearly be seen as we see him crying in the bathroom and during the childhood segment alongside Yuko–he’s emotional and hasn’t quite come to terms with his loss at Gran Prix. Russian figure skater Yuri Plisetsky didn’t help the situation either. However, it does set up a nice rivalry between the two of them.  We also see how affected Yūri is after losing at the competition through the episode’s stylistic direction affixed on Yūri’s own physical appearance.  This is highlighted in his face perfectly.  From a downward spiral to an ultimately uplifting skating performance that turns out very rewarding in the second half.  As the story progresses we see that Yūri still has passion for figure skating.   Spending the remainder of this episode at the Hasetsu skating rink and an unexpected encounter at the hot springs provides a solid start to the story.

The visual quality is superb–the cast is attractive and this comes across during the skating scene as well.  Transitioning from Yūri and Victor Nikiforov’s skating performances.   MAPPA and Yamamoto didn’t mess around with staffing for this anime.  Picking  two time Japanese national ice skating champion (now retired) Kenji Miyamoto to choreograph all of the skating scenes and the visual appeal is breathtaking.  This isn’t the first time Miyamoto has choreographed either as he’s choreographed show programs for Japanese figure skaters Shizuka Arakawa, Daisuke Takahashi, Akiko Suzuki and Yuzuru Hanyu.  Working as a coach and choreographer gives him a chance to shine on projects like Yuri!! on Ice!

The ice skaters move freely across the screen–extremely life-like.  From hand gestures to flowing hair, Yūri and Victor’s curvatures and clothing embellish a style that’s physically charming and sensually engaging. In other words this is a fine example at what animation can achieve–a physical style that comes off more beautifully than to sexualize its characters through fanservice framing. What’s interesting is how artistic the entire sequence is–you can see his passion through his skating and this is depicted in his slimmer figure on the rink and top-notch performance.  The animation choice during this scene was beautiful on purpose.

Off the ice, this show explores body language in a variety of ways–closeup shots of expressive facial animation and quick comedic caricatures capture ballet teacher Minako-sensei and Yūri perfectly. Hopefully, we will get to see a ballet performance from Minako in a later episode accompanied by a originally-composed Taku Matsushiba piece.  This show couldn’t be all pretty like the previews let on. The goofy animations were done by famous Ranma 1/2 and FLCL animator Hiramatsu Tadashi.  Reminding us that we’re still watching a Japanese anime.  The background designs are a pencil-sketch style and very colorful. Object are highly detailed as well.  These characteristics in animation transitioned nicely to the natural movements of the characters giving off the idea that there is beauty outside of ice skating.

Overall this was a beautiful piece of work that is an extension to “Endless Night”.  One that I highly recommend checking out.  A charming additional to the Fall 2016 Anime lineup!


OP: “History Maker” by Dean Fujioka

Directed by: Sayo Yamamoto

Storyboards: Sayo Yamamoto

Animation Supervisor: Sunghoo Park

Absolutely incredible. This is one of the coolest openings I have ever seen. Beautifully animated and on-point with the song by Dean Fujioka!  I love his voice it’s very smooth sounding and his English is amazing. The song was written in cooperation with Taku Matsushiba.  His style is astounding–this song is heavily inspired by classical and contemporary pop music. Providing a nice introduction in the anime’s backdrop–a modern day skating story.  Very inspiring lyrics and visuals that are filled with huge amount of artistic passion!

ED: “You Only Live Once” by Wataru Hatano

Directed by: Yoichiro Hayashi

Storyboards: Yoichiro Hayashi

Animation Supervisor: Tadashi Hiramatsu

This was a surprisingly good ending.  Really good. Coming off from the modern day musical styled opening sequence this one focuses on life outside of the ice skating element.  An entire sequence of instagram posts of the famous figure skaters featured in Yuri!! on Ice! Looks like a sequence taken from  FREE! but with a lot more heart to it.  This ending comes off super smooth with the addition of an electro-pop sound for the ending song and seiyu Wataru Hatano’s singing. Enjoyed this ending a lot. Anyone notice the “bae” acronym? Very funny.