Shinichi Chiaki, an arrogant, multilingual perfectionist, is the top student at Momogaoka College of Music and has secret ambitions to become a conductor. Born into a musical family, he is talented in piano and violin and once lived abroad in the music capitals of the world as a young boy (namely Prague), but is trapped in Japan because of his childhood phobia of airplanes and the ocean.
In contrast, Megumi Noda, or "Nodame", is a piano student at Momogaoka, notorious for messiness and eccentric behavior. Despite being very talented, Nodame prefers to play by ear rather than according to the musical score; thus, she is regarded as sloppy and playful. When they meet by accident, Nodame quickly falls in love, but it takes much longer for Chiaki to even begin to appreciate Nodame's unusual qualities. Their relationship causes them both to develop and grow. Along the way, they meet some crazy people (like Masumi, Mine, and Stresemann) and make lasting friendships.
Because of Nodame, Chiaki gets the opportunity to lead a student orchestra and begins to have a broader appreciation of people's musical abilities. Because of Chiaki, Nodame faces her fears and enters a piano competition. Opportunities open up as both begin taking risks, stretching themselves far more than they ever thought possible.
– Nodame Kantābire
– 노다메 칸타빌레
– Нодаме Кантабиле
– Нодаме Кантабіле
– จังหวะรัก หัวใจดนตรี
Nodame Cantabile (Japanese: のだめカンタービレ Hepburn: Nodame Kantābire) is a manga by Tomoko Ninomiya.
Nodame Cantabile is one of my favorite series. It’s a feel-good type of anime that can pick you up no matter what mindset you are currently in. It will get you laughing and put a smile on your face if you are having a bad day.
The animation has a water painting type of vibe as the colors are somewhat muted. Don’t be fooled by the style, as it is very similar to cell shading 3C CGI in looks. There are more 3D CGI in this anime than you assume. If you look closely, every scene where they are playing an instrument is in 3D CGI. You’ll see a hand-drawn scene that is mostly still image, and follow by a 3D CGI render of the fingers playing the piano or wind instrument. It was done so well, I didn’t even notice it in the first viewing.
I can’t speak for the classical music scores, but the opening theme “Allegro Cantabile” by Suemitsu & The Suemith is catchy and uplifting. The first ending theme “Konna ni Chikaku de …” by Crystal Kay is also one of my favorite song in the series.
I love almost every character in this anime, especially Nodame. She’s a free spirit that can’t be bothered to do the mundane task like cleaning her trash, just like me. The voice actress for Nodame, Kawasumi Ayako, did a superb job conveying so many emotions with very little, and sometimes not even real, words. This is one of the rare series where there was a live action drama before the anime.
I highly recommend this series to everyone, especially if you prefer anime that touch you deeply. Since this anime revolves around classical music, perhaps the music lover will also appreciate it. Nodame Cantabile contains some violence and suggestive themes/dialogs. Parental guidance is advised.
Similar Title Recommendations
A collection of notable music and song from this series.
TV Season 1
- “Allegro Cantabile” by Suemitsu & The Suemith (eps 1-22)
TV Season 2
- “Sky High” by The Gospellers (with melody taken from the Third movement (Allegro scherzando) of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2)
TV Season 3
- “Manazashi ☆ Daydream” by Yuu Sakai (with a variation on Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring from the cantata Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147 by J.S. Bach)
TV Season 1
- “Konna ni Chikaku de …” by Crystal Kay (eps 1-12)
- “Sagittarius” by Suemitsu & The Suemith (eps 13-22)
- “Allegro Cantabile” by Suemitsu & The Suemith (ep 23)
TV Season 2
- “Tokyo et Paris” (東京 et Paris, lit. “Tokyo and Paris”) by Emiri Miyamoto x solita (with variations on the theme from Ravel’s Boléro)
TV Season 3
- “Kaze to Oka no Ballad” by Real Paradis with Nodame Orchestra
Insert / Image Theme
TV Season 1
- “Onara Taisou” by Ninomiya Tomoko (ep 1)
- “Puri Gorota March” by Kasui Ken`ichi (eps 1, 7)
- “Koi no G Cup” by Ono Ryouko, Yuzuki Ryouka (ep 13)
- “Legend of S Orchestra” by Kawada Shinji (ep 13)
- “Puri Gorota March” by Kondou Takayuki (ep 13)
- “Mojamoja no Mori” by Kawasumi Ayako (ep 15)
A collection of notable videos, ranging from a fan-created trailer, music video, opening, and ending clip.
All images are copyright to their respective owners.
Photo by Nicolas LB, Jon Flobrant, and Yvette de Wit on Unsplash.