In the world of live music, the boundary between Japanese anime and real life is slowly slipping away. First, holographic animated idol Hatsune Miku was slated to perform at Coachella. Now, the musical talent behind Carole & Tuesday is on the performance schedule for SXSW.
Nai Br.XX and Celeina Ann are the singing voices for the titular heroines Carole and Tuesday, respectively. Their English-language repertoire provides a soundtrack to this science fiction anime about two underdogs scraping their way to the top of the Mars music scene. It’s a particularly synergistic announcement given that the protagonists they voice performed at a fictional version of SXSW in episode 16 of the show. (The comparisons to reality didn’t stop there, either. The show also featured a Martian version of ICE, called MICE, as antagonists, so it’s clear it doesn’t shy away from real-life commentary.)
Carole & Tuesday finished airing in 2019 in Japan only, but American viewers only recently got access to its second cour on Netflix in late December. This is because Netflix delayed releasing the weekly show, opting to publish it in two parts to better fit its binge-watch-friendly model. It led to a longer wait for the highly-anticipated latest project from Cowboy Bebop director Shinichirō Watanabe, but it also means Carole & Tuesday‘s music is fresh in the memories of many potential SXSW attendees. The SXSW event will be the first time Nai Br.XX and Celeina Ann have performed the music of Carole & Tuesday for an overseas audience.
Though their music originates from the soundtrack of a niche Japanese anime, I predict the Carole & Tuesday performance could find widespread appeal at SXSW, just like the animated protagonists did in the fictitious Martian version of the festival in the show. For one, all the songs are in English already, so there’s no language barrier. For another, these songs are bangers: catchy pop R&B songs brought to life through Nai Br.XX and Celeina Ann’s well-matched harmonies and obvious talent. I would especially like to hear “Hold Me Now,” the anime’s first ending song live—the stripped-back accompaniment makes these vocalists’ melodies shine.
Catch the Carole & Tuesday performance at SXSW on March 17 in Austin, Texas.