Managing Editor; Dallas, Texas (@peteramartin)
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What have you been streaming lately?

Carole and Tuesday (pictured at top)
Now streaming on Netflix .

Sometime in the future, two friends seek success in the music industry on Mars. The simple premise sounds quite appealing, as seen in the teaser video below. What's really excited fans, though, is that Watanabe Shinichiro (Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo) is the supervising director. After premiering in Japan back in April, the first 12 episodes have now debuted in the rest of the world on Netflix.

I've breezed through the first four episodes this morning, and the show is a total delight. At heart, it's a comedy about talented teenage girls who navigate through the thickets of the music biz with the help of a washed-up music manager and an AI engineer. As might be expected, the young women are bright and eager to succeed, and the show has good ideas about how present technologies might evolve in the near future.

The whole "why are they on Mars" premise has not been explained yet; the setting feels very much like a typical big city on Earth, but with whiz-bang additions filtered through a comic perspective, i.e. Episode 4 features an AI music director who likes to swill beer.

Carole has grown up on her own, without any parents, while Tuesday has run away from her wealthy family. They bond instantly over their love of music and find that they have complementary talents and personalities. They will need all the help they can get in the Big City, where they strive to succeed.

Mostly, this is a comic series that has definitely tickled my fancy, as well as my sometimes fond memories of the 1980s music scene here on Earth. We'll see where it goes from here, but I'm eager to find out.

Summing up: Super! Fun!

Hero Mask
Now streaming on Netflix .

What appears to be an 80s-style Hollywood action picture quickly shows its true colors.

The first 15 episodes dropped during the holiday season in December 2018, so I didn't pay as much attention as I should have, because this is a terrific show that builds on what comes before. In that sense, it's ideal for binging, as I started doing last weekend with the debut of Season 2's additional nine episodes.

Now that I've watched all 24 episodes, I can offer an enthusiastic thumb's up. Set in and around present-day London, England, the series follows super-duper secret agent James Blood as he follows a bloody trail to unmask the creator of super-duper bio-masks and his/her true intentions. He partners with government prosecutor Sarah Sinclair, who witnesses the death of her best friend on the street and resolves on her own to solve the case.

Summing up: Directed by Aoki Hiroyasu, the series mixes breathless, extended action sequences with quiet, extended "thinking" scenes that allow for breathing space, creating a rhythm that makes it easy to binge.

Cop Craft
Now streaming on Funimation and Hulu.

A human cop and an alien knight are forced to team up to investigate crimes.

Sure, that sounds like Alien Nation (or Bright, if you prefer), with the primary difference being that Cop Craft teams the grizzled human cop with a self-possessed alien female with a finely-tuned sense of justice.

The summer anime series, simulcast in the U.S. on Funimation and Hulu, begins with a case that brings the alien, Tilarna, to the border city of San Teresa and pairs her up with Kei Matoba. That comes to a resolution, but Tilarna stays and continues working and living with Kei.

The initial few episodes hooked me, and the next few episodes retained the tasty mix of action, police tactics, humor, and differing alien/human approaches. The most recent, Episode 8, went to weird, somewhat distasteful body-swapping places, and threatens to continue, but this remains on my must-watch weekly list.

Summing up: A cop and an alien move in together and solve cases as wary partners.

Now Streaming covers international and indie genre films and TV shows that are available on legal streaming services.

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