Nodame Cantabile – 14
Nodame wakes up one morning to the sound of Chiaki’s cell phone ringing, and the person calling wants to speak with him. Chiaki immediately realizes that the person on the line who wants him to return home is his uncle Takehiko. He then notices that he’s in Nodame’s apartment, and she explains that they were drinking after the graduation party. Since Takehiko had assumed Nodame was Chiaki’s girlfriend, he had told her to come home with Chiaki too, so Nodame accompanies him on the visit. Along the way, Chiaki explains that his uncle’s family has looked after him since he was 12. When they finally arrive, Nodame is shocked to see how big the Miyoshi family house is, but she gets left outside after Chiaki’s cousin Yuiko greets him and takes only him inside. She is eventually let in, but by that point, Chiaki and Takehiko have gone off, leaving Nodame with a hostile Yuiko. Before going with his uncle, Chiaki offers to accompany his other cousin Toshihiko’s violin playing, but Toshihiko reveals that he quit.
Takehiko explains that his son is at a difficult age and is studying very hard, but Takehiko actually doesn’t regard Toshihiko’s high grades as being high enough. When Chiaki asks, Takehiko also notes that Chiaki’s mother is overseas along with his wife. In any case, the main reason Takehiko wanted Chiaki to come was because he hired a famous hypnotherapist to help Chiaki get over his fear of airplanes and ships. The hypnotherapist starts with a question about Chiaki’s university life, but Chiaki spends the entire time talking about Nodame. In the end, the hypnotherapy doesn’t work, and Takehiko remains frustrated about Chiaki’s future. He thinks that Chiaki should quit music if he’s not going to leave Japan because he can’t reach his full potential here. Just as Takehiko is proposing that Chiaki join his company instead, a baseball comes crashing through the window courtesy of Nodame and Yuiko. Chiaki goes outside to yell at Nodame and then decides to take her home, but a tearful Yuiko doesn’t want them to leave. Her crying and everything that’s led up to now makes Chiaki question what happened to this home.
Toshihiko meanwhile recalls that Chiaki was the pride of their grandfather, and so, wanting to become like Chiaki, he had started playing the violin. Nodame interrupts Toshihiko as he’s inspecting his chin to tell him that the dinner she’s made is ready. When she notices his computer, Toshihiko explains that his father’s company is currently focused in the IT industry, so it’ll be his specialty too. Nodame’s dinner turns out to be nabe, and it actually seems to draw the family closer together. Takehiko feels that the crab balls are especially tasty, and he is impressed when he finds out that Chiaki actually made them. This once again gets him talking about how Chiaki should join his company to become his right-hand man. Chiaki, however, reveals that he has plans to create an orchestra. Takehiko doesn’t approve of this idea and wants Chiaki to become a professional musician instead, but Chiaki only says that he will someday. It is at this point that Toshihiko speaks up and asks when that will be. Toshihiko knows that Chiaki is Sebastiano Viera’s pupil and questions when Chiaki is going to see his teacher if he can’t fly or take a ship.
Continuing the verbal assault, Toshihiko sarcastically urges Chiaki to join his father’s company because Chiaki can do anything. He then reveals that a long time ago, they came up with a plan to knock Chiaki out and fly him abroad. However, it seems that Chiaki was cursed because his car was involved in a multiple car pile-up along the way and the airplane had to return to the airport because of a malfunction. Toshihiko then excuses himself from the table and buries himself under his bed sheets thinking that no one cares about him and that he can’t compare to Chiaki. Yuiko cried because of what happened at dinner, and come bedtime, she wants to sleep with Nodame. With her head buried in Nodame’s lap, Yuiko wonders if her mother is going to come back or if she’s going to get a divorce. Her mother had felt that the air was stuffy in this house since her grandfather died. Nodame comforts Yuiko by saying that her mother just needed a break. Later that night, Chiaki wakes up from a nightmare and heads to another room to listen to some music because that’s what his grandfather did for him when he was young.
The sounds wake Nodame and so she joins Chiaki in what turns out to be his grandfather’s music room. After Chiaki recalls that music was always flowing through the house when his grandfather was still around, Nodame goes through the selection and finds herself wanting to play. Because of this, Chiaki gives her an Edward Elgar piece that she doesn’t know and has her listen to it first. As the morning sun starts coming up, Takehiko finds himself yelling at someone over the telephone because of business. Takehiko then remembers his father once telling him that he only thought of what’s in front of him and warning him to look back too because otherwise he’d be forgetting something important. This gets him thinking about his wife’s absence. However, a beautiful sound then fills the house and wakes everyone up as Chiaki and Nodame start playing.
The moral of this story is that music solves all problems and has the power to bring broken families back together. Or at least that’s what they seem to be moving towards. Sarcasm aside, this episode also gave a deeper look into why Chiaki can’t leave the country and how his family has tried nearly everything (including one of my earlier suggestions of knocking him out and flying him off). Maybe there really is a curse on Chiaki. On that note, I liked how sudden the transition from the happy Nodame and Yuiko scene was to Chiaki’s nightmare, though I wonder what the significance of the creepy eye guy in the dream is. I think that if there is a curse on Chiaki, it might just take someone like Nodame to cure him.