Friday, March 27, 2020

Carole & Tuesday Part 1 - a surprisingly bland story and characters with uneven racial and LGBTQ+ representation (Anime Review)

3/28/20 *after a series of comments/discussion at the bottom of this post, I wanted to make revisions in my review of Part 1 of Carole & Tuesday to clarify my concerns with some racial and LGBTQ+ stereotypes that bothered me. The commenter helped me to better understand the full context of the show (since I had only watched part 1 to this point) as well as the content creation process and representation in the show. I was still bothered and pulled out of the narrative by some choices that were made, but my original review likely took a heavy handed approach in highlighting these issues. I hope this revision is a more balanced and nuanced appraisal of the effort put into this show as well as the feelings I experienced watching it. As always, this is just my experience and others will have very different ones and thus different opinions, that's what makes art art. I will try and mark my edits as I go through and revise this review with brackets and asterisks [*].

Two young women with instruments
Carole & Tuesday Part 1 - [*5/10] (see below for full scoring rubric)

I had really taken my time even starting Carole & Tuesday (something about it had me skeptical - maybe that it was on Netflix) and then it took me a really long time to watch the first 13 episodes that comprise "part 1" because while I sort of enjoyed each episode in the moment, I didn't feel compelled to whip through it like other series.

But finally, amid too much time on my hands during this work closure, I finally finished part 1. I decided to review the series in two parts rather than as a single series, since it was labeled part 1 and 2 (for some reason). I haven't seen part 2 yet [*so there may be aspects of part 2 that put things in part 1 in a different perspective.]  I also found that writing this review was very tough, because there was a lot to wade through with this show. It ended up being a very long review, so I've put BOLD headings along the way if that helps.

REVIEW SUMMARY: The quick summary of my review is that after watching one episode and finding out that the creator of Cowboy Bebop was behind this series, I was super excited. [*While it is clear that much care was taken with the series, from the attention to the animation detail, which is extraordinary, to the number of original songs creators for this, I wasn't overly impressed with the storyline for Part 1. Maybe Part 2 will pull it together in a more meaningful way for me. I found the main characters to be pretty bland and the plot fairly by-the-numbers. I didn't see how being set on Mars or in the future enhanced the show (again, through part 1). It wasn't bad, but it wasn't compelling for me either. There was neither big plot nor deep intimacy (through part 1).]

[*edit: Carole & Tuesday Part 1 should also be applauded for much greater racial, ethnic, and LGBTQ+ diversity than most anime. That being said, and plenty of good representation being found, there were some moments and character choices that really bothered me and pulled me out of the story when they came up. I want to acknowledge the work done technically on this show as well as the effort of the creating team to include a wide variety of people, with all sorts of backgrounds and lived experiences, who helped guide this show. That's awesome, but it didn't always work for me in its final execution as far as Part 1 is concerned. We'll see how  Part 2 tackles this in a future review (once I've watched it!).]

PLOT SUMMARY: The show takes place in the future on Mars. [*At the top of the series, we are told that Carole & Tuesday's music will change the world.] Tuesday is the 17-year-old daughter of a woman running for president of the planet (I think). Her mom is "cold" and power hungry, and Tuesday runs away to follow her (very lose) dreams.

She meets Carole, [*abandoned by her parents and living on her own,] and the two become a singing group, Carole & Tuesday with Carole on keyboards and Tuesday on guitar with both doing vocals.  They meet a bumbling has-been manager, Gus, and an AI specialist (AI does everything in the future!) named Roddy. Together they work to help Carole & Tuesday hit music scene which culminates on getting them into a talent competition called Mars Brightest. [*Part 1 concludes with the conclusion of the singing contest.]

[*Along the way, we meet the singer who is to be their rival.] Angela, is a model and aspiring singer. Her mom gets the top AI music producer on the planet to work with Angela. There appears to be some connection between her mom and the girl's manager, Gus.

THE SETTING: The future on Mars could be a cool setting for a show about music. Everything looks amazing in this show, it is a fairly fully realized world. But unfortunately, it doesn't add anything meaningful to the story [*through Part 1, I hear this will change in Part 2]. There's nothing about the show that couldn't be happening on Earth right now,[*and maybe that's the point. Maybe it is meant to reflect back some of the problems we face. However, mostly through Part 1, the Mars setting feels like set dressing. I hope and expect more to come in Part 2.]

CHARACTERS: It's tough to know whether this is a "plot" show or a "character" show. It sadly doesn't do much on either end [*through Part 1 - again, I hear this changes in Part 2.] The two lead characters are so bland. Tuesday in particular is just a blond haired, old-fashioned dress (why?) wearing, rich girl who wants to stretch her wings and sing. But that's it. She's just meek and quiet, and all sorts of bad "feminine" stereotypes. She's only problematic in the sense that she isn't a real, fully realized, person. She's as vanilla as it gets.

Carole is somewhat more interesting. First, and quite admirably, she is black. An anime with a black lead female character is astounding in its rarity, so that's cool. She also has more personality than Tuesday and more inner conflict, and we see that in a hard exchange with Tuesday at the end of the 11th episode [*as well as some trauma from her parental abandonment.] But overall, Carole and Tuesday don't get much character development time. So they don't really change or grow, or learn about themselves or others [*through Part 1]. Some shows are like that, but then they had better have a really meaty plot instead. Maybe there will be more growth in Part 2?

[*PLOT: Sadly, most of the episodes in Part 1 never created an urge in me to immediately watch the next one and just binge through. The plot of Part 1 is pretty conventional: two folk singers paying their dues in slightly quirky situations until they get their big break. So on these elements of character and plot alone, Part 1 was fine, but nothing special.] 

MUSIC: I do want to talk about the opening narration which positions Carole & Tuesday's music as world changing. This sets up the "stakes" for the show as greater than whether they get a record deal or become popular. I'm intrigued by this, especially since I consider "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" in my top 5 favorite movies of all time and which has guided me my whole life: that the arts represent the heights of what the human condition can create and can have such a profound impact as to change the world.

And what Bill & Ted gets right about this premise, Carole & Tuesday doesn't. Importantly, crucially, we never really hear the music that changed the world in Bill & Ted, it's always some amorphous distant thing in their future. Because there is no actual way that the people involved in that production could actually write music that rose to that level of importance. If they could, they would have, and they would have brought lasting peace to the actual world. But they couldn't, so they made a move about it, but smartly never tried to show us what that music would be like.

However, we get all of Carole & Tuesday's music. And it is very good. It is very sweet. But it's also very blandly nice. Their voices are nice, but they aren't unique in any way. Every truly great singer has something special in the sound of their voice. [*What some would call an imperfection, but that perfect imperfection that elevates them.] The singer/voice actresses don't here. 

The songs and melodies are good, but they don't have the risks and quirks and nuances that get at your soul. There's a reason everyone has a different favorite song, band, or genre. To get deep into a person's soul with your own art, means you can't possibly get into everyone's soul. Carole & Tuesday's music is nice bland local coffee shop music sung and recorded in the least [*risky] way possible so as to be as universal as possible. It's just that to be universal in music means to not rise to any great heights. Rising to extraordinary heights means not universally connecting to all people (as we all have different lived experiences and thus respond to different things). It's a terrible catch-22 for art.

I have two theories and responses to the decision to actually include their music in the show. [*and a reminder, this is a review of Part1, I haven't seen Part 2 yet, so things could change.] 1) In a world where all music is written by AI, maybe the simple, hand-crafted music of Carole & Tuesday, which seems bland to me now, would be revolutionary to those listeners. 2) The creators wanted the music in the show, they knew they couldn't actually write to that level, so the creators just want us to suspend disbelief and imagine that the music is even greater. So it's almost like what is in the show is a pretty placeholder for our imaginations. I get it, it's a music anime, they couldn't not have music in it. But it's a little hard to believe that these two 17 year olds with their simple songs will change the course of planetary history. 

RACIAL REPRESENTATION: As I mentioned above, this show features a black lead female. That is awesome and amazing. [*There are also a wealth of other POC in the series as side characters and in the backgrounds of scenes. Probably most significant other than Carole through Part 1, is Benito, one of the judges on Mars Brightest.]

[*It sounds from the comments below on the original version of this article, that lots of work was done to help the writers be informed and involve people of color from around the world in the creation of this series. It is important to do research and include authentic voices when trying to write diversity into a project and the creators should be applauded for their efforts at doing that.]

[*Despite its diversity, Part 1 doesn't tackle race head on in any way. I wonder whether Mars in the future replicates the systemic injustices of Earth or charts a new path? I hope that Part 2 addresses this more, because it's a fascinating setting and the diverse setting could open possibilities for this. I would love to see more main-stream animated projects tackle these issues as a way of moving our society forward.]

[*Even with a lot of positive representation in the series, and certainly more so than just about any other anime, there were some choices for how characters were depicted that felt stereotypical and that took me out of the moment emotionally as I wrestled with interpreting the point of these stereotypes.]

[*There were a few times where the visual and personality depictions of people of color felt more like caricatures than real people.] And caricatures of black and other marginalized peoples have a long long racist history in media. [*When using caricatured features, it is important for creators to decide whether they are reclaiming, commenting and critiquing, or reifying these stereotypes, and I'm not exactly sure what I was supposed to take away from some of the ones in this show.] 

[*Sometimes these characters, such as the hip-hop act at the outdoor festival, and as we'll discuss in a moment, the Mermaid Sisters, simply presented black men or non-binary individuals as physically intimidating and scary. Other times, black women were presented with exaggerated features such as big lips and big butts.]

I had a particularly conflicted experience with GGK, a black female singer in the Mars Brightest competition. In many ways, her music and performance were highly praised by the judges and interesting to watch. But, her personality was depicted almost like a caricature of Erykah Badu and her spirituality. But instead of understanding and appreciating that world-view, it made it comic. [*I wish her spiritualism wasn't a source of mockery. Her character was actually pretty cool representation that the internal world chose to mock.]

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: Well, the good news is that there is [a lot of] LGBTQ+ representation in this series. [*The bad news is that some of it felt hurtful to me as a transgender woman.]

[*On the plus side, we meet Gus's ex-wife, Marie, who appears to be bi or lesbian. We see her kiss another woman, we learn she's marrying a woman. And she's just a random character in one episode, so I applaud the team for including a gay woman when it wasn't strictly "necessary" to the main storyline. I am a little surprised that Carole and Tuesday are shocked by her. It wasn't clear if they were shocked about being asked if they were dating anyone or that they were specifically asked if they had boyfriends or girlfriends. But the sense I got was that they weren't really comfortable with her.]

[*I also on first viewing, missed some quality LGBTQ+ representation. As our commenter below mentions, Benito, one of the judges is bi. I'm not sure where or how this was pointed to in the show, but it's good information to know. Also, Pyotr's (he's another contestant) song about coming out is really a great moment. I actually like him as a character even though he annoyed me at first. Also, DJ Ertegun is also apparently bi. Again, I missed this if it was actually in the show.]

[*On the more problematic side, specifically for me as a trangender woman, was the way gender was explored in Part 1. In episode 6, at least in translation (I always do subtitles) the term "hermaphrodite" was used to describe Angela's mom. It isn't clear in Part 1 whether Angela's mom is intersex or transgender or otherwise gender non-conforming. We do get a flashback through Angela's eyes that shows when her mom was still presenting as male and it is clear Angela has unresolved feelings towards her. But it was the term hermaphrodite that bothered me. That's a pretty old-fashioned and derogatory term now, on our planet. It seems a weird choice for Mars in the future and I wonder if it was a poor translation choice. Does anyone know the original Japanese?]

Also, Angela's mom is explained as having twice injured people which plays on the stereotypes that gender non-conforming people are out to hurt others and are dangerous. There's a later reference to Angela's mom's actions being on account of medication she's on (is this an attempt to say that it isn't related to her gender? Or is the medication part of her transition? Either way, yuck). 

[*Also, at least through Part 1, her mom is presented as somewhat villainous.] This a classic trope: throughout time, if there has been representation of an LGBTQ+ person at all in media, they are always the villain. And at least through Part 1 of this series, nothing of Angela's mom's history ever comes back in a meaningful way to explain why they even need to villianize her this way. I do have a wild hunch that Angela's mom might actually be Gus's former music partner, but we'll see if that goes anywhere in Part 2.

RACE AND LGBTQ+ INTERSECT: Both the racial and LGBTQ+ stereotypes in this series come to a head during the Mars Brightest auditions. I know that the series is making fun of the people in real life who audition for reality shows, and some of these were funny like the ventriloquist doll who sings metal, but some of the others were [*problematic.]

One of the most disturbing situations came up with a group of gender non-conforming individuals known as The Mermaid Sisters. The Mermaid Sisters end up in the actual competition and tell the judges that they are neither male nor female but a "new race." Why race? Shouldn't it have been a new "gender?" Was this a problem with the subtitle translations again? Does anyone know what was used in the original Japanese? 

[*Here I was, thinking it was pretty cool to have some definitely gender-non-conforming people make the finals. Wearing their very cutesy, hyper-feminine clothes and makeup they perform a song called "Fucking Bullshit" which they explained as very core to their experience in the world. And sadly, they are booed for it. Mercilessly. It was at that moment where it went off the rails for me. They tore off their dresses and exposed big, broad, muscular chests and then terrorized and destroyed the set causing the need to go to commercial break.]

It's really really hard to know from this what the creator and writers' gender politics are. But we have assigned male at birth people who present as hyper-feminine coded [*(it's unclear exactly what term they would use to self-identify).]Then, during a time of anger, they reveal their "true selves"- savage and barbaric - playing up the stereotypical "male" and "black" qualities. This essentially tells the viewer that they are really male inside no matter how they might identify. It also plays on those racist fears of black men being dangerous.

[*This felt hurtful to me on several levels. I struggle daily with people seeing and hearing the "man" in me even though I know myself to be a woman. Depictions like this, that transgender woman (and I know the Mermaid Sisters might not identify that way) are just men pretending to be woman in media fuel the beliefs of right-wing bigots who try to limit the rights (healthcare, education, military services, etc...) of trans and gender non-conforming people. No matter what nuance the creators wanted, the broad picture was of assigned male at birth people who were coded feminine "reverting" back to being men when push came to shove. That hurt.]

[*Perhaps most interesting when examining how I reacted to the various LGBTQ+ people in the series: why were the most visible depictions the negative depictions (Angela's mom and the Mermaid Sisters) and the most positive depictions the ones that I missed on first viewing (Benito and Pyotr for example)? Was it that I was looking too hard for problems with representation, or was it that whenever harmful stereotypes are used, they tend to drown out the positives?]

SEXUAL ASSAULT: Then, although it might be a considered relatively minor part of the series, a character bites Tuesday on the neck in a sexual way (they are not in any sort of relationship), and describes it as putting her mark on Tuesday. This is a clear violation and clear sexual (and physical) assault, and certainly there was no consent by Tuesday. 

This woman does have some other mental health problems which cause some drama during the final episodes of part 1, but it is a sexual assault and any potential trauma that Tuesday might have experienced (due to this, or later events with this woman) is never addressed. It's a very random moment but it still really bothered me, even more so since Tuesday is only 17 years old and there didn't appear to be any real emotional repercussions for Tuesday from such a violation.

QUEER BAITING: [*note: I removed this whole section so as not to appear to be sexualizing situations or reading subtext that wasn't there. There is a moment or two between Angela and her former manager that suggests something. But overall, I think in my personal desire to see open lesbian relationships on screen, that I may have read into subtext where there was none to read. Sorry about that. I own that.]

MUSIC PRODUCTION: Let's talk more about the music. Putting aside whether the music we're hearing is actually life changing (because we can suspend some disbelief on that for narrative's sake), the actual production of it, especially during the Mars Brightest competition, was very strange. 

I spent my 20s as a recording engineer and small-time freelance producer, so I have some decent sound recording chops. Every time the pop/hip-hop/dance genre performers on the show would sing, I felt like the mixes were really subdued and that their singing was also really subdued. I wanted them and the music to hit and let loose at critical moments, but it was very under sung and under mixed. 

I don't think this strange production style of the music was the point, but I wonder if the voice actors were coached to undersing this way in order to not totally overshadow Carole & Tuesday? It really bothered me that for GGK, Cybelle, Angela, and Pyotr, whose music should have had some epic moments, never rose up to match their potential. Those four are all doing types of pop where moments should get big and the singing too. 

I wonder too if the compression artifacts of both TV and Netflix streaming made the music not hit harder, but then again, there is plenty of hard hitting music in other TV shows that don't suffer from this strange sonic blandness. I can't quite put my finger on it, but there is a softness and a mildness to the sound of the music that was also reflected in a "holding-back" quality to the vocals. In many ways, the vanilla sound of this music and singing was reminiscent of the entire show being sort of vanilla and safe (other than it's terribly misguided attempts at representation). Very very strange sound, and not at all important to the story, but something that struck me.

SOME GOOD POINTS: First the animation truly is wonderfully done and consistently strong throughout all of part 1. [*Also, having a black lead character is phenomenal. I also really appreciated the overall respectful way that women were visually depicted without the blatant and hyper-sexualized fan service of a lot of seinen anime.]

I also really liked the final resolution to the Mars Brightest contest, and I won't spoil what that is, because it is both rewarding to the viewer without being unrealistic. It allows for the series to continue but was satisfying on its own. It is a pretty good decision by the writers and a smart decision by the judges within the show. I was impressed by that plot choice.

While Carole and Tuesday don't make any real personality growth and aren't very interesting anyway, there is some minimal character growth in a surprisingly interesting character, Angela. Angela, their rival, shows some maturity by the end of part 1, wanting to win the competition the right way, and wanting to face Carole and Tuesday specifically in the finals, she knows she needs to go against these two to really matter and prove herself. She's the most interesting character in the entire series by far. She's not a goody-goody like Tuesday, nor the cut-out spunky but bland Carole. She's a complex and imperfect person who is changing based on her experiences in the series. I'm curious to see what they do with her in Part 2.

Another plus is their first music video. It's Gus's idea for them to film a video. They buy a cheap third-rate AI robot to make their music video for them. The trash he comes up with is actually really amazing in a completely awful way. Cardboard instruments, zombies, special effects with flying robots suspended from wires, it's just every 8 year old's home movie experiments mashed togther and it is a truly light and fun moment in the series. It might not work out of context, but here's the AI video:

One final plus, and this might be my favorite small moment. Tuesday (or Carole, I cant remember) folds her pizza slice in half the long way when she eats it. That's how a real person eats pizza. It's a small detail, but I loved it!

CONCLUSION: Whew, that was probably the longest review I've ever written, and it's only half the series. [*I also want to again thank the commentors who provided me with information and other perspectives that helped me to rethink my experience with Part 1 and make revisions to this review.] So on the plus side: great animation, decent music. On the middling side: nice enough plot, nice lead characters, but it's all actually pretty bland. On the problematic side: [*despite a lot of good racial and LGBTQ+ representation, there were also some problematic moments.] So this was a really really complicated show for me to review and digest. Part 1 of Carole & Tuesday gets a very complex [* 5/10.]

SCORING RUBRIC [*(applies only to PART 1 of Carole & Tuesday)]
  • Story interesting (0-10): 6 - it's remarkably bland and by-the-books given its director
  • Characters interesting (0-10): 6 - Tuesday is beyond bland, Carole is a little better, Angela is actually really fascinating. There are some fun side characters.
  • Quality prose/writing (0-10): 5 - a really mixed bag. Some moments are great, others are disgusting and misguided, other parts just boring and predictable.
  • Emotionally plausible (0-10): 7 - When people are allowed to actually have feelings, they do work. Angela in specific is fascinating. But Carole's fight with Tuesday in episode 12 was also important.
BASIC SCORE (avg.): 6/10

  • Emotional insight/depth (0-5): 0 - these leads are totally bland and the show itself isn't opening my eyes or heart in any way.
  • True LGBTQ+ representation (0-5): 2 - [*more than in most shows, but the positive were easy to miss and the negative depictions were pretty front facing.]
  • Female agency (0-5): 0 - why do Carole and Tuesday rely on the washed-up has been Gus? They don't seem really in control of their destiny in any meaningful way. 
  • Character growth/change (0-5): 1 - I'm giving it a 1 only because of Angela and her development. The leads are static.
  • Quality art (0-5): 3.5 - really strong art.
  • Other (0-5): 3 - the music might not be world changing, but it is really pretty good for the genre. Also, there is a black lead character in an anime and lots of diversity everywhere!
BONUS POINTS (sum/8): +1.25

  • Homophobic/transphobic (0-5): 2.5 - [*I really struggled with how Angela's mom was villainized and described, plus the Mermaid Sister's depiction.]
  • Misogynistic (0-5): 0
  • Fan service (0-5): 0
  • Child/adult relationship (0-5): 0
  • Exploitative (0-5): 0
  • Other (0-5): 2 - really mixed on the racial representation. [* While it's awesome to have a black lead character and lots of people of color as side characters and in the backgrounds, there were also some stereotypes that promoted black men as dangerous and that mocked black women.]
PENALTY POINTS (-sum/2): -2.25


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  1. The dub step grandma and fire bros were old stereotypes.Women worked on the show and wrote some of the script too.

    black people and POC worked on the show too so are you saying they are racist to themselves?

    There is some good LGBT rep in Carole and Tuesday. It’s not really transphobic. The mermaid sisters are not even trans, they are non-binary . Tobe is more violent than the mermaid sisters. He swings a axe when we 1st saw him.

    -Gus’s ex wife is bi with her lesbian girlfriend

    - Benito (male bi Dark skinned judge)

    - Pyotr ( his 2nd song love yourself ) is about him coming out. Listen to the lyrics

    - Both Desmond and Dahlia are androgynous (Netflix's translation in incorrect)(source: ) and Dahlia is portrayed as neutral in the end not bad.

    - the DJ is bi. ertegun said in the same episode he was introduced. He likes both men and women (forget his exact words)

    Bad queer people exist in real life

    and no C&T is not queer bait because 2 girls are allowed to be friends.

    *sincerely a black non binary fem

    1. Thank you so so much for providing an important counter point to my observations. You have given me a lot to think about and made some great points.

      More than anything, I want to apologize if in my attempt to highlight continued marginalization in society, that I replaced the voices I meant to amplify. I sincerely apologize for that. And I really appreciate the time you took to add your voice to this.

      Thank you for the link about the POC used as video models. I think it's great they included them. I wonder though, and I couldn't find anything on this, whether they used POC as writers or as sensitivity/diversity readers of the script? From what I can tell, it was an all Japanese writing team.

      I really like your points about queer representation. First, you are totally right that queer people, just like everyone, come in all shades of moral and ethical expression. True representation would mean a diverse group of queer people including those that are not awesome. But sadly, since queer rep is still so few and far between, I worry that some of the way individuals are presented here reifies bad stereotypes.

      I appreciate the added info on Benito, Pyotr, Desmond and Dahlia as some of that wasn't obvious or clear to me and I didn't want to make assumptions. It's interesting how the "loudest" or clearest rep was more negative than the more positive ones.

      I also am sure I missed a lot relying on the apparently untrustworthy subtitles. It sounds like the ways Dahlia is described and referred to in Japanese was very different than the English subtitles. I wonder who was doing the quality control on those?

      Also, your point about not sexualizing females friends is really really important. In my own need to find more mirrors for my own experiences, to see more positive lesbian relationships, I may have read into subtext that didn't exist. I totally own that. On the flip side, I'm always concerned about the way young women are depicted in seinen anime and manga, and I do worry about these two given how little actual personality or agency they have in Part 1. I'm just not sure who the audience is or what they are supposed to take away from how Carol and Tuesday are depicted as young women. But my role in that, I need to own, and I'll be more careful not to make accusations when it might be my own issue at play.

      More than anything, I really appreciate that you took the time to respond and add important points to this dialogue. I hope you will continue to offer your thoughts as that will help me be better at interpreting these series and clarifying my own thinking. If you ever wanted to write a counter-review or a guest review, just drop me an email! Thank you again so much for contributing.

    2. Ok. Thanks I’m surprised how lightly you took my response.

      Anyway singers and songs writers from all over the globe worked on Carole & Tuesday who are not all Japanese but I’m sure they all watched the anime themselves if the worked on it. Some of them are listed on the website:
      And are big fans of the director. The director had a lot of different ethnicities work on the anime so it only made sense to reflect that in the show. I don’t think he was trying to be woke or anything. The singer for Carole is black and American the singer for Tuesday is half Japanese and American (mixed race). The director even talked about the lack of dark skinned representation in anime before here:

      As for the writers yes it’s all Japanese writers but a good amount of women wrote some of the episodes. And Japanese people are still POC. There was a Japanese Stereotype in the mars brightest auditions (small guy who is half bald with his eyes closed & playing an instrument). Compared to the directors previous works this barley has any female fan service because cowboy bebop, space dandy and samurai champloo were full of women being sexualized or just being eye candy.

      I think the LGBT rep is handled way better than the director’s previous work cowboy bebop. Which only had 2 that I can remember. Gren (a intersex character like Angela’s in bebop) being the only named one wasn’t really given any chance of Redemption compared to Dahlia in part 2 of the show. Dahlia might have done some bad things but she indeed cares about her daughter. Here you get both good & bad rep. And yes Subs and dubs for anime are not always Translated right.

      And part 2 of the show actually Tackles racism. We se earth refugees (who are POC like Carole) been discriminated against. The final song of the anime had mostly women, POC and at least one queer person who’s also Physically disabled. The 2nd part has less jokes and it mirrors most of the problems that’s going on in America. As someone who is a POC myself I was more moved by C&T compared to the directors previous works.

      If the show really wanted to be racist or queerphobic. Every single person would be pale white and Marie wouldn’t ask C&T if they have a boyfriend or GIRLFRIEND, but only boyfriend. And black people Rarely get a chance to work on anime like this or any anime in general

      OG bulldog from mars brightest has some of the biggest lips and he is not even black or a POC.

      We got probably got more bad straight/cis white guys then we did anything else. Like
      Schwartz, jerry, Black_knight (a much worse stalker than Cybelle), that one white cop who Arrested 3 black musicians who were just walking.
      Tobe who is not really bad but a joke the whole way through and swears way more than the mermaid sisters did and gets away with things he shouldn’t have but hey maybe he has white Privilege being the Texas stereotype he his. ����‍♀️

      Anyway I think that’s all I have to say for now.

    3. That's awesome information about both part 2 and more of the background creators. I'm going to think about how I can rewrite my column to reflect this. I don't want to take it down completely because that would also remove your comments and I want to preserve the information you provided.

      In no way did I mean to take your thoughts lightly. We each have ways that material we experience on screen affects us and I was routinely pulled out of the narrative by some of the trans/gender non-conforming and black stereotypes I saw on screen. I'm glad to know not everyone was affected by those as much as I was, but that doesn't mean they didn't bother me. However, in both your comments, you do point out important pieces of balance that the show had that didn't stick out to me or that I didn't research enough to be aware of, and that's important to acknowledge. I wasn't trying to be dismissive in any way, but only to honor the way I was disturbed by some of what I saw on screen (coupled with a relatively bland plot in the first part.). I can't wait to see what they do in part 2 and I will continue reflecting on how I might revise my main post about part 1. Thank you again for challenging and for providing much needed counterpoints and information. Keep it coming.

    4. 3/28/20 9:45am - I edited and updated my original review of PART 1 in light of the feedback, information, thoughts, and views expressed in the comments.

      After editing, I really feel I was able to better articulate why FOR ME, I was bothered by aspects of the show while also doing a better job highlighting the work and effort that makes this show more diverse, more representative, and a step forward in many ways.

      My prior review had been so focused on the few elements that really bothered me that I neglected to give credit where credit was due. I also missed things in my first viewing of Part 1 that the commenter helped elucidate for me. I appreciate this dialogue because it helps me to become a better writer.

      I look forward to watching Part 2 of this series and seeing where the series goes from here and how it may make me rethink my experience in Part 1. Thanks! Keep the comments coming.

    5. For a really great conversation on discussing problematic media, particularly anime and manga:


Remember: please talk about the work, and offer counter points to others' analyses but DO NOT ATTACK THE PERSON whose analysis you are countering. (no ad hominem comments) Thanks! <3