Anime 
TL;DR
Nodame Cantabile Season 1
のだめカンタービレ (Nodame Kantābire)

Synopsis

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.
Directed by
Written by
Screenplay by
Music by

Rating

  • The overall rating of the show.

Poor < Fair < Good < Great

Animation

  • Animation quality and consistency for that time. 

Poor < Fair < Good < Great

Story

  • How well the story flows and keeps you engaged.

Poor < Fair < Good < Great

Pros

Character design
Character development
Dialogs
Music
Plot
Visual

Cons

Slow-pace
Visual

PROs CONS

Overview

Nodame Cantabile was serialized in Japan by Kodansha in the magazine Kiss from July 2001 to October 2009. The series has been adapted as four different television series: as an award-winning Japanese live-action drama that aired in 2006 followed by a sequel television special that aired in January 2008, as an anime series spanning three seasons with the first broadcast in 2007, the second in 2008 and the third in 2010.

Alternative title

– Nodame Cantabile
– のだめカンタービレ
– Nodame Kantābire
– 交响情人梦
– 交響情人夢
– 노다메 칸타빌레
– Нодаме Кантабиле
– Нодаме Кантабіле
– จังหวะรัก หัวใจดนตรี
– วุ่นรักนักดนตรี
– Nodame
– noda
– โนดาเมะ

TL;DR Review

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.

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Featured Music

Nodame Cantabile Season 1
Playlist

A collection of notable music and song from this series.

Music

Opening Theme

– “Allegro Cantabile” by Suemitsu & The Suemith (eps 1-22)

Closing Theme

– “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)

Insert/Image Theme

– “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)
Chiaki
"Senpai, I know I'll have the performance of a lifetime with you someday. But... It won't end there. We'll both go back to music and try to top that."
Chiaki
"No matter how painful, no matter how much solitary struggle awaits us, because we have joyous moments like this, we can face the challenges over and over again."
Nodame
"I will play it once. So memorize it with those ears that you're so proud of."
Chiaki
"For someone who says all those sweet things, you don't even take me seriously. Just like how you treat music. I can't keep up with you. Go find a man from your own planet."
Chiaki
"You can't sit around envying other people's worlds. You have to go out and change your own."

Credits

Photo

All images are copyright to their respective owners.

Photo by Nicolas LB, Jon Flobrant, and Yvette de Wit on Unsplash.

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