Nodame Cantabile – Anime First Impressions

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I’ve been looking forward to watching the Nodame Cantabile anime ever since that one Gin Iro no Chord anime disappointed the band nerd inside of me. So is Nodame Cantabile the band anime I’ve been waiting for?

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I’ve been looking forward to watching the Nodame Cantabile anime ever since that one Gin Iro no Chord anime disappointed the band nerd inside of me. So is Nodame Cantabile the band anime I’ve been waiting for?

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Nodame Cantabile is the story of Chiaki Shinichi, a top pianist who wants to become a professional conductor. He kind of ruins his whole school career by fighting with his piano instructor, but it’s okay since he doesn’t want to become a professional pianist anyway.

By chance (and by chance, I mean passed out while drunk), he meets Noda Megumi, or “Nodame” for short. She takes him into her super messy room and begins playing piano to cure his hangover. Or something. Chiaki promptly escapes and finds out that his apartment is actually next door.

The next day at school, Nodame runs over to Chiaki bringing him his belt that he left at the apartment. Rumors and speculation abound. “Nodame and Chiaki-sama did what!?” While lounging at home, Chiaki gets a whiff of some crazy funk and finds out it’s Nodame’s room. He actually goes in there and cleans the place up for her.

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Later on, Chiaki finds out that his new teacher is also Nodame’s teacher. He instructs them to play a piano duet, Mozart’s sonata in D major K448 together. It’s the same one that Tamaki plays in Ouran High School Host Club! They get 8 minutes to practice, and when they start, Nodame totally screws it up.

Chiaki forces Nodame to practice with him, and also washes her hair. Yeah, Chiaki is kind of a clean freak. They end up playing the duet well for the next lesson, though Nodame is noticeably “doki doki.” She ends up thinking that she might be in love with Chiaki! Chiaki flat-out denies this.

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I’m fairly convinced that this’ll be the anime for me to watch this season. Forget about the lolis, this is an anime about music! I hope they start doing Yakitate-style explanations of music theory!

It’ll really be interesting to see how Chiaki’ and Nodame’s opposite personalities will interact. Like Nodame will totally mess up her room only a day after Chiaki cleans it. I really think Nodame is a really interesting character. She’s actually cute in that “what a weirdo” kinda way. She makes some pretty weird faces when she plays. Plus her piano bag totally owns.

The animation quality is what you would expect from J.C. Staff. The backgrounds are the typical watercolor ones that they like to use. I like the attention they paid to detail. Like the piece of music they showed was the part that they were actually playing.

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The OP and ED are surprisingly not piano duets! The OP is this electronic-ish rock. The ED sounds like something you’d hear on a DDR soundtrack. At first I didn’t like the ED, but it’s grown on me. I’d say that I like the OP and ED equally now.

Download the OP: “Allegro Cantabile” by SUEMITSU & THE SUEMITH
Download the ED: “Konna ni Chikaku de” by CRYSTAL KAY

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Sure, I’ve only seen about four of the new Winter 2006 anime, but I’m thinking Nodame Cantabile will be the one I stick with. I’m not sure how many anime I’ll be able to watch, but this one goes at the top of my list for now. I mean, how often does an anime about music come along? All they need is an awesome trumpet playing character now.

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10 thoughts on “Nodame Cantabile – Anime First Impressions”

  1. Hopefully some great subbers will pick this up ๐Ÿ˜€ I can’t wait to watch it now… I’ve a feeling it’ll be a weird transition from watching the jdrama to the anime, but it looks like it’ll be a fun ride.

  2. OH looks good! I’m been extremely busy and unable to watch new anime much, so recently these first impressions post have been very useful. Well done Hung! I will watch this for sure.

  3. I’ve watched the chinese subs and I think for the 2007 year, it’s the best for now.Since i’ve watched the live-action drama plus the manga,excluding the OP and ED(they are good), if i were to give A for the OST and music in the drama then i’ll give A- for the anime. This is because the music from the drama give a stronger impression(or maybe because the shooting scenes just sychronise better than the anime).However, there is one important thing which is the voice actors for CHIAKI and NODAME are perfect,better than the drama.Furthermore, i like the way how the characters interact.They are not as exagerrating in the drama,particullarly Chiaki’s personality. Abt the storyline, I’ve no complains at all. We’ll just see how much minor stuff they will cut from the manga.

  4. The manga translations are up to to vol. 7 (with 8 due out in a month or so). I’ve been intrigued by this since the time I bought the Japanese edition of the first volume of the manga. This is a bit uneven — but the best parts are very very good. Nodame is a darling (if frustrating) heroine. I’d say that this, Cat Street (Yoko Kamio’s follow-up to boys Over Flowers) and Yotsuba & (Azuma’s follow-up to Azumanga Daioh) are pretty much the best of the current crop of everyday life manga.

    I found Ep. 1 of the anime version a bit more likeable than the live action series.

  5. I am TL’ing for one of the fansub groups for this project. Funny, I TL’ed for a competing group on Eureka 7 for a bit. How I got involved was while I was visiting my folks over the holidays, my folks were hooked to the drama series aired by FujiTV. (My dad, who is in his 70’s hung up on me when I called him in the middle of the show. LOL). Although I did not see everything, I probably watched about 6 shows total. (first 3, and last 3). I got in touch with fansub group, which I TL’ed couple of things like Honey and Clover, and told the gan we need to do this one! Don’t worry, there are at least 3 groups working on it.

    Rating:
    It’s going to be tough. TV Series (non-anime) were so popular and left a really good impression based on Japanese forums my father goes to. My folks’ opinion, which they said is pretty much what everyone else on Japanese forums, is that it’s not in par with TV series. I think the goal is to go beyond 16th episodes (not volumes). Content wise, I’m reading the manga for expisode 1 to proof my TL (in Japanese), and except for the very beginning part, it looks pretty much the same. Will people be happy with 3rd version of this series? I hope they can be patient and wait past episode 16. What may be exciting is because of success of TV series, this anime could attract non anime watchers and perhaps introduce them the world of Anime. (But how can they not, when there are dozens of semi-monthly manga magazines published in Japan?)

    Translation (AKA TL):
    Is tough. There are lots of artistic comments and lots of symbolism, and Nodame uses lots of words based on sounds. (There is a word for this, but it’s slipping my mind). Also, foreign words translated into Japanese, that needs to be translated back. Things like “Korrete ‘fall in love’ desuka?”? Trying to figure out whether to represent ‘fall in love’ in English in French, Italian, or maybe Japanese. (Have to look at the anime in whole, and culture). That said, I hope first episode will be out in a bit. (I think they are waiting for the final edits on song… Ending song is a bit tough.). If all goes well, episode 1 should be out in

  6. I love your little synopsis of episode 1 ^_^ I haven’t watched the drama, nor have I read the manga before, so the anime really stunned me…it’s SO GOOD. So I frantically read all of the manga available up to vol.16, and hope that they are going to make seasons of this series, it’s so worth it. I think this will at least be same as Honey & Clover, which has 36 episodes…and Nodame hasn’t even ended yet, so they better keep making it like NANA XD

  7. oh Nodame cantabile is an amazing anime , and i really love it , you can’t compare it to K Corda because it’s aboring anime
    but Nodame is more realistic and the drama live action is amaaazing tooooooo it’s a MUST WATCH of this year !!

  8. I thougth this was the best anime I’ve seen this year, It’s true that you don’t always get a Music Anime often. I thought the plot was somethign that could stick to someone who wasn’t in to classical, if they were into wacky characters, this would be the anime to watch, ne? Nodame and Chiaki = match made in heaven? xD Well, I loved their wacky encounters x3

  9. Eureka!
    i have only started watching anime for a year or something and a couple of months ago i searched for an anime about classical music but didn’t had any luck.
    Anyway, looks like my prayers have been heard!
    Great preview, thx! ๐Ÿ™‚

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