“Carol and Tewsday”: How the creators of the anime “Cowboy Bebop” paint a picture of a fantastic future, not so far from reality

Anime series Carole & tuesday (“Carol and Tewsday“) directed by the director Shinichiro Watanaberesponsible for creating titles such as “Cowboy bebop“and”Samurai Champloo“, last year won the hearts of the mass of viewers. The events of the picture take place in a not so distant, but quite futuristic future, in the city Alba City, one of the megacities of the planet Mars, which is now suitable for human life. The setting immediately meets with contrast: on the one hand, we are faced with a high-tech unfamiliar world, and on the other, many of its elements do not look absolutely fantastic.

In the center of the plot is a girl Tewsdayborn in a rich and very influential family. Pursuing her dream of giving music to people, she runs away from home to meet the unknown. Tewsday soon meets an orphan Carol, keen on playing the keyboard, which now and then have to live from one part-time job to the next. Very little time passes, and the newly-made duet begins to write music together, the fact of which is extremely surprising for the inhabitants of Mars, who have long been accustomed to the fact that music is now almost always created exclusively with the help of artificial intelligence.

And despite the fact that the scenery of Mars of the future is difficult to correlate with our lives, many of the technologies and ideas that we can observe in Carole & Tuesday are already a real reality today.

Artificial Intelligence Writing Music

This idea is not new in itself; as far back as the decade before last, David Bowie was involved in creating a program that automatically mixed different lines of text, which could potentially help when writing new songs. Today, AI algorithms have taken a big step forward – machines can create instrumental compositions, taking into account data from existing tunes.

Dani Deal, editor of the publication Verge, in his article on the future of the music industry, describes how virtual composers work as follows:

“Almost all of these systems work on the principle of machine learning, thanks to the analysis of a huge amount of data. You give the AI ​​access to music, whether it be dance hits or disco classics, and then the computer starts looking for sequences. Any sequences: chords, tempo, duration of notes, their combination. Gradually, the program begins to create its own compositions. But it varies a lot from program to program, the type of music being created, the principles of instruction and other components. “

Of course, the variations of this technology shown at Carole & Tuesday are much more impressive. In the anime, artificial intelligence is able to work in tandem with a person or create completely finished works, where absolutely everything, including vocals, is generated using digital computing.

Smart Luggage

An unremarkable, but curious element of life that the series shows us is the smart case of Tewsday. Self-propelled storage can not only accurately follow its owner, but also overcome obstacles, such as stairs, and find its way home. It is very important if the cargo was lost.

Recently, several companies have immediately expressed their interest in implementing such technologies. The solutions are offered a variety of – suitcases with built-in batteries for charging gadgets and even robots similar to the case of the Tewsday, able to follow you on their own without any effort. However, the real technological miracle of an anime suitcase is its legs, thanks to which it climbs the stairs. Manufacturers of hand luggage cannot offer such a system yet.

One Wheel Electric Skateboard

In the series, this is Carol’s favorite vehicle. And at the same time, another example of technology that is extremely close to our reality. Today you will not surprise anyone with various types of monowheels and gyro scooters. In turn, Carol’s skateboard has a rather interesting form factor. But here you can find an analog in the form of an electric board Pint from company Onewheel. On the other hand, even this option is still far from the dimensions and general convenience of a fancy anime vehicle.

Animal robots

Throughout the entire Carole & Tuesday series, we can now observe a variety of mechanisms and systems with artificial intelligence, and all of them are noticeably different from each other. Carol lives with an eagle owl robot, whose main function is to act as a live alarm clock. But even he is disposed to certain thought processes and solving simple problems. In the series, this is not limited to, and a little later we come across an AI producer in the body of a robo-dog, who not only acts as the host of the TV show, but also behaves almost like a living person.

Unlike many of the things mentioned above, modern animal robots are very far behind their fictional anime counterparts. You don’t have to go far for examples, just look at the baby robot at least Lovot or assistant Jibo. Perhaps the closest option to the series is the iconic Sony electronic dog – Aibo, very popular at the beginning of the millennium. Modern versions of AIBO are expensive toys that, relying on voice commands, touches and built-in cameras, can respond to the actions of the owner, as well as report to him what is happening at home at this moment. But even this robot is just a miserable semblance of real living machines that various science fiction writers often dream of.

Holographic special effects at concerts

A significant part of the concert performances at Carole & Tuesday is not very surprising. The familiar things are shown to the viewer – large screens with vivid visualizations, laser shows and pyrotechnics. But later, the picture changes when the character Crystal appears in the frame, whose show is replete with complex holographic effects, like soaring birds.

Today, all such projections are based on the well-known technique called Pepper’s Ghost, using an optical illusion based on the reflection of light, which creates the effect of the presence of a translucent image in space. This trick is often used by directors of various shows, for example, at live concerts dedicated to music from Splatoon 2where the heroines of this vibrant game Pearls and Marisha were able to almost truly appear in front of an audience of fans. Some experts prefer other approaches, for example, augmented reality technology, but there is a significant drawback – no magic can work without additional devices.

If you try to find a direct analogue with scenes from Carole & Tuesday, then the HOLOSPHERE show looks the most appropriate answer. It is based on a giant sphere hung with programmable LED lamps, due to which the outer part of the sphere can visually turn into different objects while the musicians are doing their thing in the inner part of the ball.

Touchscreen Tables and Robot Cooks

Many restaurants and other establishments in Alba City are equipped with tables and bars, with built-in touchscreens. This allows visitors to immediately get acquainted with the assortment of menus without the need to interact with waiters. An interesting point is the fact that despite the significant automation of the processes, such positions as the waiter and bartender in the series still remain relevant, largely due to the fact that the machine simply can not replace human communication.

In the Carole & Tuesday universe, robots are also involved in cooking. In the real world, there is also significant dynamics in this area; in the USA there are several establishments where culinary procedures are carried out by robots. Not completely, of course, but the types of work that can be performed without human supervision are now the prerogative of AI.

Thus, based on how things are going today, tables with a touchscreen are a much bigger element of a sai-file than a computer that prepares food.

For a while, Microsoft created a large display table called Surface, but today only the name is left of the project, which now marks some models of tablets and laptops. And in 2016, one French company created a coffee table worth half a million rubles with a waterproof screen built into it.

Japanese giant Sony there were also ideas around this innovation, which consisted of a projector that could potentially turn any flat surface into a touchscreen, but this idea has not yet found wide application.

After watching Carole & Tuesday, it’s hard to get rid of the idea that almost all the technological wonders of this anime got their start in truly existing technologies. This also serves as an aid to the main plot topic – the idea that the human element can be completely removed from the process of creating musical works. To this end, director Watanabe created a world where such a scenario is possible. But he just needed to give him attractiveness and a certain earthliness, so that it was easier to believe in him.

Thus, it is easy to explain the aesthetics of the scene in the person of Alba City. The city is only about 50 years old, it is on another planet, but it is not much different from the modern metropolis with the architectural delights of a century of history. Watanabe had previously used a similar trick when working on Cowboy Bebop with its retro design. The events of this anime take place in the distant future, when interplanetary travel is a gray daily routine. But almost all visual features literally scream about the television stamps of the 80s and 90s. The series does not literally quote pictures that can be seen outside the window, but rather modifies them so that they convey a sense of the world of the future, which manages to remain believable.

Carole & Tuesday follows an identical structure, where they tell us very little about the local world, but there is no need for a prolonged exposure. About the world where you want to dive headlong. Especially when you realize that the portal to it is right under your nose – in devices, technologies and ideas that are already with one foot in the unknown future.

See also: Top 10 most motivating anime.

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