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Nodame Cantabile Wrap-up


I posted about Nodame Cantabile at the beginning of the year; it was my Winter 2007 pick. Nodame Cantabile was an extremely solid series in nearly every aspect, and I was very glad to have experienced such a series this year.


Nodame is not a series easily comparable with others, though I would consider it romance-comedy, with a tiny bit of slice and shounen. Still, I have trouble relating it to another series off the top of my head because the characters and development are on another level than most series. In comparison to the live-action, I do believe the anime stand much firmer in my mind, and though the L-A was awesome, the anime had a more complete vibrancy to it; including two major plot points of the Lutz Music Festival and the trip to Chiaki’s home at his uncle’s.


I thought some of the stronger themes were self and love, of course, but power of emotion was a surprise. Emotion played out intensely with Nodame’s competition, her mood fluidly ran from heart to tones. Also, one of my favorite scenes was when the silver Mozart turned pink; another point on the power of emotion. Love of course was rampant throughout, but self was probably the most dominant theme. The characters are all coming to terms with “their” realities and abilities, and the recurrence of characters was enjoyable.


Heavy focus on music and the abundance of still scene/shots could take away from the viewer’s experience. My grandfather was sitting in the living room as I finished the final 10 episodes this morning and his one comment was, “Every time I look [at the picture] I see the characters still, with their mouths wide-open.” That’s verbatim.

Personally, I enjoyed the music of Nodame. Of course, I am not an expert in classical, but I know when I enjoy something, say Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto #2, which I’ve actually been late to an exam on account of it’s 47 minute length and sitting in my car to enjoy it… instead of going to class. I understand though, that not everyone would see the amount of music as moderate, and possibly too much in the series. A fair claim, because I felt the musical pieces were over 50% of the series, but they did well to bring about reflection and understanding among the characters. Also, I think I only disliked one of the many pieces.


A viewer’s accessibility to the series can be attributed to the characters. The characters are perhaps the strongest aspect of NC, and while there isn’t a massive development of many characters (such as in H+C), the development of many secondary characters is modest. Secondary characters are likeable, somewhat in the sense of Lovely Complex’s secondary characters, so it was very nice to have a wide array of them.

The primary character development though, Chiaki and Nodame is superb, with just enough depth. Amazingly, Chiaki is a good character to watch as he progresses through the series, but Nodame’s path is rough. Nearing the end, when it seems the composure of the Nodame and Chiaki has gain in every direction, Nodame’s explosion scatters the tone of the story and I was left wishing for a positive resolve in the final episodes. While, Chiaki and Nodame share the focus equally, I can only acknowledge that Nodame’s story was more moving and heartfelt.

With brilliant characterization, Nodame Cantabile is positively among my top 10 of 2007 (which I’ve yet to post about).

Ryan A

Categories: Final Thoughts, Out of Season, Winter.

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Continuing the Discussion

  1. [...] of similarity to something I would normally watch. To be honest, I don’t hear of it much, but when I do hear about it I hear good things about this show which revolves around music. As someone who knows [...]