[Jdrama] Nodame Cantabile

January 3, 2008 at 1:38 pm 2 comments

Nodame Cantabile

Ueno Juri as Noda Megumi aka Nodame
Tamaki Hiroshi as Chiaki Shinichi
Eita as Mine Ryutaro
Koide Keisuke as Okuyama Masumi
Mizukawa Asami as Miki Kiyora
Saeko as Saku Sakura
Uehara Misa as Tagaya Saiko
Takenaka Naoto as Franz Stresemann
Endo Yuya as Okochi Mamoru
Ibu Masato as Mine Tatsumi
Nishimura Masahiko as Tanioka Hajime
Toyohara Kosuke as Eto Kozo
Kondo Kouen as Tamaki Keiji
Sakamoto Makoto as Hashimoto Yohei
Fukushi Seiji as Kuroki Yasunori
Mukai Osamu as Kikuchi Toru
Hashizume Ryo as Kimura Tomohito

Nodame Cantabile is a Japanese drama that aired in the fall of 2006. It was broadcasted on Monday nights on Fuji TV. Based on the manga of the same name, Nodame Cantabile averaged rating of 18.79%.

Nodame Cantabile is the drama for all of us orchestra dorks (or more generally, music dorks). It takes places at Momogaoka Music Academy, focusing on the life of Chiaki Shinichi and his strange relationship with Noda Megumi, nicknamed Nodame. Chiaki is the top piano student at the Academy, as well as a talented violinist, but secretly dreams of conducting. He longs to return to Prague, where he spent his childhood, but feeling trapped in Japan because of his phobia of flying and sailing. He wonders what his future in music will be like, since one must study abroad in Europe to truly have a career as a conductor. Soon after, he transfers to the conducting division of the school.

He and Nodame meet coincidentally and she falls head over heels in love. Chiaki, however, is repulsed by Nodame since she is everything he is not – messy, dirty, and very eccentric. She is also a piano student. Though she cannot even read a piano score correctly, she is ridiculously talented and chooses to play by ear.

One day the famous conductor, Franz Stresesmann, comes to Momogaoka and requests to start a new orchestra. The students are surprised to see that the new orchestra is not made up of all the top students, but all the underachievers! Stresesmann takes Chiaki as his one and only pupil and as Chiaki begins to conduct, he realizes that this orchestra is made up of people like Nodame; talented and into the music, but cannot follow a score or the conductor. It’s the story of an up-and-coming conductor and an eccentric but talented girl who loves him.

Nodame Cantibile is one of the most hilarious dramas I’ve watched. All the characters are so full of life and totally exaggerated. A lot of the manga-actions are also translated into live-action. Like when Chiaki hits Nodame, she goes flying across the room, rolling around and everything. At first, it’s weird, but after a few of them, it becomes much more fun and it sticks out less (especially since everything is so wild).

A huge strength in this story in the uniqueness of each character…they are all very different, so there is no getting people mixed up (which is sad but happens to me sometimes). And since they’re all so different, there should be at least one character you will like. The most entertaining part of the show is the interaction between all the characters; it is so fun and energetic…sometimes I can’t understand how the actors and actresses didn’t just break out laughing with all the extremities of the script.

Even though there is a lot of slap stick comedy, there is also a huge amount of character development and two plot arcs included. I thought the cast was excellent; they all fit and looked the part.

There’s almost no reason to not watch Nodame Cantibile. Well, that’s not true. If you don’t like music, Nodame will be hard to watch (and listen!). If you don’t like comedy, there’s way too much in this story to overlook it. But that’s probably it. It’s a super fun drama with an interesting plot and relatively fast pace.

Buy the boxset: Japan Version

Entry filed under: dramas. Tags: , , , , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. K  |  January 4, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    I loved this drama as well. I gotta say the only reason it took me a while to watch it because I kept seeing the picture of Noda looking up with the tear…anyway I say this is a must watch! : ) It’s the first drama in a while a can say I actually loved and will watch again.

  • 2. kai/kaispiral  |  January 5, 2008 at 9:02 am

    was half-way through e drama, and i must said i love it thus far, all the far-fetched actions just left me laughing like mad. comedy aside, the storyline and character development is pretty good too, love that fact that most of the characters had their fare chance/share in the show.

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