There’s a lot packed into Episode 18, ‘Only Love Can Break Your Heart’ but Carole & Tuesday has always been great at balancing its various story elements and characters. With the political undertones of the series taking center stage, Carole & Tuesday is adding a few dissonant tones to its melody.
Riding the highs of their recent successes, Carole and Tuesday are invited to perform at the Cyndonia Festival, this time as main stage performers and not just alternates. This is a huge step up for the girls and their career, but with Valerie and her questionable politics simmering under the surface, Tuesday decides to set the record straight by talking with Kyle. He provides a sympathetic ear for Tuesday and her complicated relationship with her family, which leads the young singer to develop a bit of a schoolgirl crush on the older reporter.
Meanwhile, a local weather plant is bombed, and the incident is blamed on Earth refugees, giving some credence to Valerie’s conservative immigration policies…
Cyndonia Festival Take Two: After their disastrous first stint on the Cyndonia Festival stage, Carole and Tuesday have garnered enough fame to land an invitation to perform at the festival again. This time, they aren’t just alternates, but actual main stage performers!
Tuesday’s Meetings with Kyle: Tuesday agrees to meet with Kyle to talk about her mother. Initially Kyle is sympathetic to Tuesday and her concerns. He gives her a chance to talk about things she hasn’t been able to share with anyone else, including Carole. There’s an openness to the relationship and Tuesday starts to develop feelings for the older reporter.
The Weather Plant Attack: Towards the end of the episode, a weather plant explodes in Alba City. The attack is blamed on Anti-Mars terrorists, which only gives Valerie and her Anti-Earth sympathizers more of a foothold in the city. The political undertones of the city are finally taking center stage, with deeper implications for Earth refugees like Carole and others living in Alba City.
Themes and Trivia
Only Love Can Break Your Heart: All of the episode titles for Carole & Tuesday are references to famous songs. This week’s episode ‘Only Love Can Break Your Heart’ is a song recorded by Canadian singer Neil Young for his third album After the Gold Rush (1970).
On Air Discography
Carole & Tuesday is a music anime, so it makes sense that they’d have a number of great tracks featured in each episode. So, rather than bogging down the other sections with all the new songs, here’s a section dedicated to just the tunes of Carole & Tuesday!
Army of Two: Performed by Carole and Tuesday (Nai Br.XX & Celeina Ann), it’s the girls’ first single.
Threads: Performed by Carole and Tuesday (Nai Br.XX & Celeina Ann), this is the song featured during Tuesday’s dejected walk through the snow after seeing Kyle with another woman.
Things are getting much more political on Carole & Tuesday. Valerie and her Pro-Mars agenda isn’t just a vague concept. The people of Alba City are taking to the streets in support of her radical ideals, which only gain more traction after the weather plant is attacked. I mentioned this last week, but there are a lot of parallels between Valerie’s campaign and the real life Presidential campaign of Donald Trump here in the US. There isn’t a day that goes by when we don’t see reports of ICE raids and new policies that will make it harder for immigrants seeking asylum in the US. It’s a little surreal to see the same thing playing out in a Japanese anime, especially since Carole and Tuesday doesn’t shy away from the implications of the growing anti-Earth sentiments.
Most of the music stuff takes a backseat to the political storylines, but they’re still there. Ertegun and Tao butt heads while they work on their musical collaboration, and it’s nice to see two characters we don’t often see interacting on screen together.
Cyndonia is back again and this time Carole and Tuesday are main stage performers, which is a huge step up from their first heartbreaking performance. Already the girls are light years ahead of where they were at the start of the series and I can’t wait to see their performance on the big stage in next week’s episode.
Now, the elephant in the room… Carole’s doomed crush on Kyle. So, Carole and Tuesday hasn’t had much in the way of romance, but with two teenage girls it was only a matter of time before it showed up in the series. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about Tuesday’s crush, but I have to give the writers props for making it such a realistic (and heartbreaking) experience. Tuesday has always been the ‘naive’ one, extremely trusting when it comes to other people, so it makes sense that she’d be quick to open up to Kyle. He is charming and not bad looking, he listens to her problems, but he doesn’t try to get close to her because of her mother or her musical fame. He doesn’t really ask for all that much from Tuesday, sure he’s investigating her mother, but he never forces Tuesday to talk with him. He doesn’t hound her with questions, rather he gives her a chance to tell her own story at her own pace.
So, when she develops a crush on him, it seems like the natural next step for a vulnerable teenage girl desperate for someone to open up to. Of course, her feelings are one-sided and ultimately end with a broken hearted Tuesday, but at least Carole is there to comfort her friend. The relationship between the two girls has been the most genuine aspect of the show and I love just seeing them interacting together naturally.
Times They Are a Changin’
There are a lot of changes coming to Carole & Tuesday, with the politics of Mars taking the forefront in this week’s episode, ‘Only Love Can Break Your Heart’. The story is evolving into something completely different from the story we started with and like a fine wine… Carole & Tuesday is something that gets better with age!
I’ll be back next week with another Carole & Tuesday review, but in the meantime, be sure to check out MANGA.TOKYO’s other amazing Summer 2019 reviews!!
Carole & Tuesday
Spring 2019 | Anime Info | Simulcast