Nodame Cantabile Volume 7 features Noda Megumi frolicking in a field with an oboe. At least, I think it’s an oboe. It might also be an english horn, or maybe Nodame got giant-sized and it’s a bassoon. I’m not too good at identifying weird woodwind instruments. But the important thing is that the cover’s got a frolicking Nodame! Am I right!?
In this volume, Nodame gets the strict harisen teacher. So half of the volume is spent with wacky scenes of Nodame fleeing from her attacker. Meanwhile, Chiaki is trying to get his new orchestra together, but many of the members are too concerned with their other competitions to take the orchestra seriously. This makes Chiaki revert back into “devil Chiaki.”
It seems like Nodame Cantabile (the manga) does a bit of growing up in this volume. There’s still a lot of random wacky humor, but things are actually kind of serious at points, too. Also, there’s tons of hooking up going on in the orchestra. Mine hooks up with the Kiyora, and that oboe dude tries to hook up with Nodame and ultimately fails. Oboe guy, I salute you!
For music nerds, there’s also a lot of talk about oboe reed-making. I totally used to hang out with oboe players and bug them about teaching me how to make reeds, so I can really enjoy this band nerd stuff. I’m not quite sure that any oboe players really believe the romanticized things being said about the reeds, though (“There are no perfect reeds. That’s what people say. That means oboes are incomplete instruments…”). But, yeah, oboe players really are badasses for making their own reeds. How many trumpet players make their own mouthpieces?
As far as Nodame/Chiaki action goes, there’s not too much. Except for this part where Nodame tries to sneak a peek at Chiaki while he bathes, and the part where Nodame feeds Chiaki some pudding. MOEEE~!
Change is not always good in manga. Sometimes a manga will jump the shark trying to progress the story. But I think Nodame Cantabile does it pretty well. The story gets a touch more serious while retaining the wacky comedy (and band nerd stuff) that made me like it in the beginning. I wonder how many more volumes it’ll take before Nodame and Chiaki “do it.” And by “it” I mean play in an orchestra together.