Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Drama Review: Nodame Cantabile

Juri Ueno as "Nodame" Noda Megumi
Hiroshi Tamaki as Chiaki Shinichi
Eita as Ryutaro Mine

I am not a classical music lover, but I am slightly addicted to it at the moment because of this Japanese tv show. (I'm currently listening to Sonata for 2 Pianos in D Major 1st Movement) The series itself aired in 2006 and a two-night two hour a piece special aired early this year. I just breezed through the show, because after I watched the first episode I was completely enchanted.

Nodame (Noda Megumi) is a spacey, outgoing, emotional woman who is a very talented pianist that plays according to her moods more than following the exact music at it is written. She meets her sempai at a well-respected music college and he is disgusted by her personal habits, but intrigued by her playing. Chiaki Shinichi (Chiaki-sempai!) is a pianist by major, but aspires to become a conductor. He is regarded as the most talented student in school and is very strict, and well manured. Together, they embark on a new journey to learn from one another. Nodame learns to play consistently and with more accuracy, while Chiaki learns to feel the music and enjoy it with his soul. There is a great ensemble cast for the rest of the characters including Eita as Ryutaro Mine, Keisuke Koide as Masumi Okuyama, and Naoto Takenaka
as the wacky conductor Franz "Milche" Von Streseman.

I have rarely enjoyed a series as much as I have this one. The 11 episodes of the original series are wonderfully fun. I found the two special episodes to be a bit of an emotional roller-coaster. I explored the manga after watching the series, and what I have read so far seems to be accurately portrayed in the live-action series. I am currently waiting to start watching the anime that aired in 2007. There is another anime coming out this October in Japan, but I am unsure if it is a continuation, or a re-vision of the entire story. I'll let you know when I find out. But for now, whether or not you enjoy classical music, you should check out this series, it's a fun show about finding your dreams, and following them, friendship, and eventually, love. I'd give it my top rating. 5 out of 5 stars~!