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xxKurumi's Nodame Cantabile Tv Review

Nodame Cantabile

Nodame Cantabile tv Review

Nodame Cantabile is a shoujo romance comedy set at a music university.

When Shinichi Chiaki was little, he traveled the great stages of Europe with his father, absorbing classical music. Although he learned to play piano and violin, his ambition was to one day become a world famous conductor like his mentor, Sebastien Viera.
Now a piano student at Momogaoka University, Chiaki still harbors ambitions of returning to Europe to study conducting under Viera, except for his fear of flying (and traveling by ship.) He turns his frustration into his music. Every at the school is awful, he thinks, until he meets a strange girl named Megumi Noda (Nodame), who is incredibly skilled at piano - and who turns out to be his very messy neighbor. The two don't hit it off, but are forced to take a piano lesson together anyway.
Meanwhile, the clandestine arrival of famous German conductor Franz Von Stresemann sends the school into disarray as Stresemann decides to create his own orchestra consisting of what the school assumes are its misfit students -- and Stresemann taps Chiaki to conduct. Through a series of lessons, mishaps, performances, and trials, Chiaki, Nodame, the students of Stresemann's orchestra and the rest of the school learn more about the classical music they're studying as well as themselves.

Story & Characters

In a sentence: a breath of fresh air. If you feel like resting from the onslaught of recent mecha and high school anime and manga, Nodame Cantabile is a nice place to spend your vacation. It's clean and endearing, with an eye for the little things and an ear for originality. Nodame Cantabile borders the blurry line of shoujo/josei, so it ought to appeal to both audiences. And you won't mistake Noda Megumi — Nodame, she prefers — as your everyday well-meaning, clumsy, adorable heroine. She is one in a bizarre cast of characters, colorful and eccentric as they come, but ever-enjoyable. While rather plotless, I was rarely bored with the series that, from beginning to end, charmed.

Nodame and her unwitting friends attend Momogaoka Music Academy, a college for the musical arts. Nodame, the peculiar but endearing main character, is a greatly unknown talent, spending her days playing songs like "Boom, Boom Fart" with the school's remedial professor. Most of Nodame's problems arise due to the fact that she cannot properly read sheet music, but instead learns by ear. Moreover, she pays no credence to hygiene or acceptable social barriers; she hates taking baths and can't clean to the point where her apartment overflows with rancid garbage, complete with molding mushrooms and spider colonies. Despite her talent, she is an aimless student.

Enter Chiaki Shinichi, top student at Momogaoka, studying both violin and piano. That said, most his peers are unaware that Chiaki's true dream is to conduct. Though due to a fear of flying, Chiaki is unable to pursue his dreams abroad in Europe — the only place where he can be a fully realized conductor. Chiaki's fear of the ocean, additionally, makes his only alternative transportation a no-go. So, he's marooned in Japan, rather miserable that he has no way to see his European instructor, Sebastien Viera. Chiaki met Viera as a child while in Europe and was one day promised to be his apprentice. If only he could find a way to Europe.

Due to general patheticness and depression, Chiaki is dumped and called a loser, drinks too much and stumbles into Nodame's life. After finding him outside her apartment — the two are unknowingly next-door neighbors — she brings him into her disheveled home. Chiaki awakens to find himself in Nodame's filthy apartment, and, thinking it a nightmare, flees. But not without some recall of hearing her playing moments before. He'd also heard her the day before without knowing who was playing and noted her style, while sloppy, rather remarkable ("cantabile"). Shortly after their disastrous meeting, Chiaki quarrels with a no-nonsense professor and is made to join Nodame in the decelerated class. It is here where their lives begin to, quite literally, clash.

Their time together marks the beginnings of an odd 'friendship' — more-or-less, Nodame freeloading meals from Chiaki and semi-living (much to Chiaki's chagrin) between her apartment and his, him attempting to teach her to read music properly and to bathe. But, unwittingly in return, Nodame begins to showing Chiaki what he's been missing.

Together, and with a few friends, Nodame helps Chiaki once again discover the joy of music.

Rating: 9

Art

Overall, the artwork is mighty simple, highlighted by clean lines and soft colors. It reminds me of older anime to a point, with its simplicity and general style and approach. It's nice, clean and fluid animation, deviateing little from the orignial manga; truly one of the better aspects, as many anime adaptions fail to do so. I like that it was not complicated or flashy, but that it let the characters tell their story without distraction. And I've got to say that the way they chose to animate several of the instrumental movements — almost CG like — was smart. Occasionally there would merely be a still image of Nodame or one of her friends playing, but at other instances the quick and exact movements of the musicians were animated very— sinuously. All quick and precise, really doing the complexities of playing an instrument justice.

All I can say is, very appropriate animation choices.

The opening and closing animations were basic, but very nice.

Rating: 8

Sound

Music is what really defines Nodame's animated world.

I was doubtful how the studio that picked up Nodame Cantabile was going to handle the plethora of musical numbers included in the manga, or how often Nodame would actually be playing, but I was quite pleasantly surprised. Without spending half the episode blaring Bach or Mozart, the viewer will have their fill of the classics, and really understand Nodame's musicality. Nodame's gift for a cantabile style of playing was something I thought would be very tricky — it's one thing to tell your reader she's talented, but another to actually manifest it. But I must say, "Well done." Just excellent.

But seriously: the voice acting blew me away, Nodame especially. Having a seiyuu voice such an oddball character, with all her quirky words and sounds, was beyond me. But Ayako Kawasumi was just — perfect, delightful... perfect. She really just made the series for me. I can't even tell you. As for the others: Chiaki's, Mine's, Masumi', etc, respective voice actors/actresses did equally marvelous jobs, true to their characters and all that a viewer could ever ask for.

Rating: 10

Presentation

I love Nodame Cantabile, for all that it is and all that it isn't.

It's quirky, entertaining and, on occasion, takes itself seriously. That is, when it needs to. It is not the anime you've seen seventeen times before, nor will it be the one you see seventeen times after. It is itself, relying on its own characters to tell a story and compel us to watch. And it really did, because the cast is rather odd, but they still ask for you to pay attention. They've got something to say, problems, fears, motivations. They've got stories to tell, music to play.

It may not be the first choice for a viewer wary of the shoujo/josei universe, but I would still recommend it. Mostly because it's got a bit of everything — music, friendship, everyday struggles. But, more importantly, It's got heart.

And, really, it's a worthwhile visit into the joy of music.

Noda Megumi is based off of a real, live person.

Rating: 9

Final Verdict

9.00 (very good)

Reviewed by xxKurumi, Aug 05, 2007

Comments

  1. shinsengumi Retired Moderator Aug 06, 2007

    xxKurumi, accolades to you for an excellently-written review. I find it very interesting how even though both of us found much to like about the series (and gave very similar scores to each of the categories), we focused largely on different aspects in our reviews. Perhaps that just goes to show that there is much to like about the series regardless of what perspective you're approaching it from.

  2. eonir Sep 07, 2007

    Excellent review. Now, I'm completely convinced to watch the series. Write more often! The more reviews you write, the higher an average MT review level will be.

    merged: 09-14-2007 ~ 05:58pm
    After reading this review, I couldn't help but watch the series. And I'm completely satisfied. This anime is an excellent piece of music, comedy and romance.

    And I actually almost shed a few tears, which is extremely unusual for me. It's a masterpiece.

  3. peta14 Dec 23, 2008

    Wonderful review! I could not agree more. Nodame is a fantastic series! Now that you have mentioned it, the animation style is reminiscence of old school animation.

  4. beryl0402 Mar 15, 2009

    my friend follows this series. how do you read about music!? hahah.

  5. pigmypuff Jun 03, 2009

    lov the music

  6. Onlyrockman Aug 01, 2009

    Wow, it sounds great according to your review, I'll give it a try lolz. thx

  7. SchRita Aug 24, 2009

    Thanks for the review!

  8. nainoi Sep 13, 2009

    i love nodame cantabile.

  9. SchRita Oct 31, 2009

    Thanks for the review!

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