Nodame Cantabile

Title:Nodame Cantabile
Keywords: , , , , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - JC Staff
Original Concept - Kodansha Manga Award Winner
At a top music academy in Japan, Shinichi Chiaki's arrogance is matched only by his top-notch piano playing. But when Chiaki and the teacher get into a fight, he's demoted to the reject class. Chiaki is left to pursue his dream of being a composer while surrounded by a bunch of loser musicians and one annoying girl, Noda Megumi, who has proclaimed herself Chiaki's girlfriend. Nodame (Noda Megumi) is a clueless, dirty girl who doesn't know how to cook, clean, or even has a sense of value. What she has is the ability to replay a song after she has heard it. She latches onto Chiaki and together they might be able to help each other overcome their own personal problems.
Based on the awarded shoujo manga by Tomoko Ninomiya.

23 TV Episodes

1:19min Series Opening - YouTube Video
[edit] The ↗Nodame Cantabile franchise:

Anime: Live Action: Series in a series:
Episode Details 
LA-0, 1893
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 7 7 8 9 8 8 Dreamer [series:1519#2279]
A series purely about classical music? How possibly could this be of any good? Well, it was. I thoroughly enjoyed it from beginning to end.

Art, Animation & Character Designs
Artwork wasn't too bad. At times we had some nice detailed backgrounds and other times, it was pretty bland... in both color and detail. Character designs were on the same level. Although they looked pretty nice for the most part, at times they seem to lose quality. It seemed as if at times the artists rushed through some of the scenes. But it doesn't take away from the series at all.

The OP started off with some nice pianos that lead into a happy alternative piece with male vocals. It was a nice welcome change from the norm. Enjoyable! The soundtrack is filled with great classical music. This is the biggest department that makes this series shine. I mean, you can't go wrong here. Then there's the ED, which is another nice piece with female vocals. It was a pop-alternative piece.

Series and Episode Story
I ended up really enjoying this series. It was mainly due to the fact that it revolved around classical music.... which I'm a fan of. This series definitely doesn't lack in that department. What makes this series good is not only the classical pieces that's found throughout the series, but the plot itself. For the most part... no, as a whole, the plot is linear. That's not saying that it's bad or lacking in any way, but simply that it goes from A to B..... and does it nicely.

Aside from the great plot, this series shines in other departments. It also has plenty of comedy and it's not all slapstick. Nodame is the best. Loved her character and all the silly meaningless words she yells out. Speaking of characters, there's another plus. Character development is great. Especially between our main characters, Nodame and Chiaki. Their interactions and development grows steadily and nicely as the series progresses. But other characters throughout the series also get a chance to develop..... which gives the series a well rounded set of enjoyable characters types.

Overall, this is a great series to sit through. If you love classical music, this series throws 'em out like there's no tomorrow. Great series from beginning to end.

Last updated Wednesday, May 18 2011. Created Wednesday, May 18 2011.
Buy 8 8 9 10 9 10 Silence [series:1519#2939]
Right off the bat, Nodame Cantabile grabbed my attention and sustained all the way to the end. There is comedy, drama, good character development and awesome awesome music. In other words, the complete package.

This series is about love for music and their own personal challenges, as shown through Chiaki and Nodame. In a slice of life manner, whacky moments inspired by the weirdo Nodame are some of the better ones I have seen. Their romance develops very slowly and subtly until the very end, but this series is not so much about their love for each other than overcoming their own challenges to pursue their love for music. Throughout, the classical pieces played are very nice, and even though it gets a little predictable that Chiaki will pull off brilliant performances one after another, it does not imepede my viewing pleasure.

A very well done show, a solid buy. Perhaps I could enjoy it more if I understood classical a little more than I do now. But even so, I had a very fun time watching this series.

Last updated Wednesday, December 02 2009. Created Wednesday, December 02 2009.
Buy 9 9 9 9 9 8 Ggultra2764 [series:1519#1552]
The Pros: Nodame Cantabile is a slice-of-life look into the lives of university students reflecting on their futures much like Honey and Clover delved into. But unlike Honey and Clover, Nodame Cantabile puts a larger focus on exploring these challenges from a comedic perspective while retaining elements of drama. The series explores Shinichi and Megumi’s struggles to press forward with their talents and goals in life, while adding in comedy in the form of secondary characters. The series features a number of students and staff members of the observatory who have their own crazy personality which help establish a balance between the show’s comedy and drama, which include the rock-obsessed violinist Ryutaro Mine and the paper fan-wielding piano instructor “Professor Harisen.” In terms of animation, Nodame Cantabile’s character designs bare a resemblance to the style used for the characters of Honey and Clover as the characters have a flushed-out design in contrast to the bright designs commonly found in most other anime. The highlight to the series is the detailed instrument playing scenes as fingers are animated to play each note perfectly for an orchestra or musical performance. Going along with the show’s themes are actual classical musical pieces played for orchestras, which include pieces from musicians like Beethoven, Chopin, and Bach.

The Cons: Nodame Cantabile’s detailed music playing scenes pushed the show’s animation budget to its limit and it shows during a number of scenes as many of the show’s orchestra and performance scenes mix actual music playing animation with still shots of characters as they play their music. Also some of the show’s comedic characters are a bit over-the-top. These include some of the fangirls in Shinichi’s first orchestra and Strausseman whose perverted character archetype is nothing new to see in anime.

Facts on the Series:

-Based on the josei manga created by Tomoko Ninomiya, which is licensed in America by Del Ray Manga and is still ongoing in Japan.

Last updated Wednesday, January 09 2008. Created Sunday, January 06 2008.
Unevaluated Devil Doll [series:1519#752]
Yep, "Action:None" sounds like I should put it on my "to do" list (where Hachimitsu to Kuroba resides unwatched...). Let's see when I'll have a time slot for watching a whole series - maybe after the next project release?

Last updated Saturday, June 16 2007. Created Saturday, June 16 2007.
Buy Forbin [series:1519#1573]
Analysis : 20 Episodes Watched
  • Drama : Med
  • Comedy : Med / High
  • Action : None
  • SciFi : None
  • Ecchi : None
    • Note : There is a lot of language about sex, just no sex.
Hmm....JC Staff proves that they don't have to draw boobs with nipples. Along comes Nodame and it's set in the same style as Honey And Clover. Very simple with lots of blurring. I am enjoying this a lot. H&C just got on me after a while and I stopped watching it, this might hold me.

You know, this would probably be a good series for Devil Doll to check out. I don't catch it as it releases but as I follow it, I enjoy this series very much. Nodame is a bit over the top but she is real as well as Chiaki is. The perverted Sensei appears to be an idiot, but all his actions are really pointed to improving Chiaki.

5/6 : Now that the sensei is done, we get down to Chiaki and his growth. 6/15 : Whoops some sex...sorta. And no, it's not Chiaki and Nodame, it's 2 other people

Last updated Saturday, June 16 2007. Created Monday, February 05 2007.
Rent Stretch [series:1519#628]
(All episodes watched):

The first impression I got of Nodame Cantabile was that this show knew how to be funny! Really funny--the difference was amazing between Nodame Cantabile and numerous other shows which pass as "comedies", yet garnered little more than a smile now and then. NC features crazy, genuinely funny humor, was unpredictable, and had quirky, likeable characters (even the stuck-up Chiaki). Character designs and a number of other aspects remind me of Honey & Clover. My favorite episode so far must be number four, in which German Maestro Franz Stresemann (aka "Milch Holstein") turns up. The handkerchief gag (parts 1 and 2) cracked me up. Episodes 2 through 4 have tended to introduce one more wacky character each. Gyabo!

However, for some reason I lost a lot of interest in this show since those early episodes. I continued watching it, if you can call an episode every two weeks or so "watching" a series. Somehow it had lost it's "freshness"; maybe because the romance between Chiaki and Nodame didn't seem to be going anywhere, or maybe because it just wasn't as wacky as it was early on, as it tries to tell a more serious story. But the wackiness was what I liked best, and I just was not all that motivated to watch NC anymore. It took it's place in a long list of similar shows, and before I watched another episode of NC I had to watch an episode of every other series as well. Nevertheless, it was still worth watching and I struggled onwards. I was certain there would be 24, if not 26 episodes, so episode 23 being the conclusion came as a pleasant surprise--pleasant because I was eager to wrap this series up, and also because finally we got a semblance of resolution to Chiaki and Nodame's romance. The final episode was pretty good, but I really wish Nodame Cantabile as a whole had managed to maintain the interest it had held for me early on, because I appreciate a series which dares to have a distinctively unusual premise (classical music). I'll assign this an average rating of "Rent".

Last updated Tuesday, October 16 2007. Created Wednesday, January 24 2007.
Unevaluated Jan-Chan [series:1519#967]
With the 2nd episode out, I have to admit that I am enjoying this series. If you looking for a quirky little comedy, then you should check this series out.

This is a story about a miss-matched odd-couple, who somehow seem to complement each other.

Shinichi Chiaki is a disciplined (anal-compulsive) control freak, while Nodame is everything that he is not (and everything that drives him crazy). Nodame can not even read sheet music, but she does have a strange ability of being able to memorize music just by listening to it and an ability to play the piano that Chiaki can not deny.

I should mention that while the animation is by JC Staff, it does not seem to be their best work (or perhaps the original manga was drawn in a simple style that they choose to emulate.)

Last updated Monday, January 22 2007. Created Monday, January 22 2007.
Buy 8 7 9 10 10 8 chibi [series:1519#2380]
Chiaki is a handsome up-and-coming musical prodigy who knows the mechanics of music inside and out, but is struggling to find the essential role of the heart. Nodame is a gifted natural pianist lacking in self-discipline (and personal hygiene!) who lives and plays piano by her emotions, and falls for Chiaki. Throw in a mix of oddball musical students, instructors, and assorted extras, and you have one of the most entertaining and funny stories out there.

What starts out as a great comedy gradually adds more sophisticated sub-plots, as the characters overcome many of their personal foibles through their love of music, culminating in a very satisfying ending. (Which still leaves openings for a second season.) The music, as one would expect, is excellent, and is more of an essential character in the story than just accompaniment. There are lots of classical pieces performed fairly well, though necessarily cut short to fit the show's format. The artwork is very much like the manga and is drawn well, but feels a bit stiff in the anime form, with lots of static images being panned. This especially shows during the orchestral performances, when we almost never actually see Chiaki's baton move. There are a few instruments being played that have been animated with something like a rotoscope, but mostly we're left with just the sound of their music to help us imagine the action.

It is quite amazing to me that a show that exhibits so much empathy for music and musicians originated from the silent media of manga, but the creator's feelings come through clearly in this series. It's an entertaining and inspirational show you shouldn't miss.

Favorite line: "You play [the violin] like you're jacking off!"

(p.s.: If you have the chance, you should also check out the live-action version of the show. It's rare that a manga story translates well to live action, but in this case it just might be better than the anime.)

Last updated Sunday, July 08 2007. Created Sunday, January 21 2007.

Other Sites
Official Japanese Language Web Site
DEL REY manga series (English language)

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