Ryuutarou Mine is a violin student who favors the electric violin and whose father owns the Uraken Chinese food restaurant near school. However, his friend warns him about his upcoming violin juries and potentially being held back. The problem is that Mine’s accompanist was going to be Chiaki, but Chiaki walked out on him after hearing him play. Mine is further interrupted when Nodame trips over the power cord, but when he finds out that she is actually a pianist, he wants her to be his accompanist. That night, Chiaki finds himself feeding Nodame again, just like he’s been doing for the past two weeks. After eating, she asks him if he knows Beethoven’s Violin Sonata No. 5, which he recognizes as “Spring.” Nodame reveals that she’s going to be accompanying someone, so Chiaki helps her learn it. The following day, Nodame and Mine’s practice goes so well that he tells her she has soul. He brings her to the Uraken and has his father feed her, though unbeknownst to both of them, Chiaki sees them there. Chiaki ends up eating alone and feeling pissed off that Nodame would go anywhere she’s fed. To calm himself, he listens to his mentor Sebastiano Vieira conducting the Vienna Philharmonic, but gets interrupted by the doorbell. The person at the door turns out to be Saiko, and Chiaki brings her into his apartment.

Unfortunately, Nodame saw Chiaki and Saiko together and assumed that she was his girlfriend. Because of this, she’s completely lifeless during her practice with Mine the next day. She tells Mine about her love and how she saw Saiko leaving with Chiaki this morning, meaning that Saiko stayed the night with him. Upon figuring out that she is in love with Chiaki and that she is competing with Saiko, Mine suggests Nodame give up and practice instead. What they don’t know is that Saiko is spending all her time with Chiaki complaining about how she lost a part to a girl she didn’t consider her rival. But when Saiko starts coming on to Chiaki, he leaves her and says the same thing that she said to him last time: he hates losers. Nodame doesn’t know this and is still out of it later that night, so Mine suggests she steal Chiaki away. By the time Chiaki comes back and hears them making a commotion, Nodame has put on a dress and a ton of makeup. After knocking Nodame down with a box, Chiaki asks Mine if he truly feels that he’s good. Mine does feel this way and backs it up by saying that he placed third in the national junior competition. In response, Chiaki picks up Mine’s violin and plays a part of “Spring,” afterwards revealing that he won a junior competition in Vienna. Mine, however, hates classical music and leaves. Chiaki then has Nodame listen to how “Spring” is supposed to sound, and practices it with her. He’s both impressed and frightened by the fact that she can play the piece so well after listening to it only once on a CD.

Since Nodame was wondering why Mine said their playing together felt good even though they didn’t match very well, Chiaki tells her what he thinks. Nodame in turn goes and reveals to Mine the next day what Chiaki said: it’s because Mine plays like he’s masturbating, meaning that it’s just to satisfy himself. She also lists off all the other problems that Chiaki saw in Mine, but adds that he had a few good things to say too. With Nodame urging him to play “Spring” like a field of flowers, Mine decides that he sees it instead as the shining joys of youth and lightning. The two continue practicing together, but when the day of Mine’s jury arrives, he finds that Nodame is too sick with a cold to play. Chiaki ends up volunteering to accompany Mine, and while they’re waiting for their turn, Chiaki reveals that he’s been playing violin and piano since he was three years old, particularly the violin which he practiced until he bled. Because of that, his piano skills weren’t that great, and therefore he entered the piano department in college. Chiaki’s dream is to become a conductor, so he studied various things, but he feels that he still doesn’t have anything to show for it. When it comes time for Mine’s turn, Chiaki tells him not to worry about technique and instead to listen to Chiaki’s playing. Aside from that, Mine can play however he likes. During the violin jury, Chiaki finds Mine as reckless in his playing the violin as Nodame is with the piano. Nevertheless, Chiaki matches Mine and gives Mine incredible feelings with how Chiaki is there when Mine wants him to be. Reminded of a field of flowers, Mine enjoys the feeling so much that he breaks up his band and decides to focus on classical music.


I got the same feeling this episode that I got from the premiere: despite knowing the story, it still made me laugh and entertained me quite a bit. In fact, I’d even say I’m laughing more watching it than I did reading it. Though Mine was the focus here, Nodame (and Kawasumi Ayako) stole the show. What did surprise me though was how fast they’re going through the manga material. In just two episodes, they’ve covered all of volume one, though they have skipped some parts of the dialogue and a few scenes. This anime is scheduled for 23 episodes, so that conceivably takes us to around volume eleven or twelve of the manga, assuming they don’t do something original to finish out the anime.
Next week is the introduction of the afro-haired Masumi.


  1. Sailor Enlil, that was correct translation. It does sound a little less harsh in Japanese or Korean.
    It is clear that the musical quality of the anime series is inferior to the live drama. I have heard hundreds of Vienna Philharmonic recording and I can clearly tell that Beethoven’s 7th symphony recording they played was not done by Vienna Phil. Violin playing was at level you would expect of high schoolers, not top notch college student. Were the voice acting not good, I would have been terribly disappointed at this episode.
    Nodame Cantabile really depends on convince its viewers/readers that something wonderful or funny is happening with music. Music is one of things not many people notice consciously, especially in anime series. If they don’t improve the music qualities, one by one, people will start not watching this anime series, usually citing reasons other than the music. It is incredible how good music can transfigure mundane scene into something fantastic. It is equally easy for inferior music to dampen the splendor of visual image and lessen the impact of good dialogue. Even for normal anime where music is shoved to the background, this effect can be clearly seen, as I have witnessed from series like AIR, Koi Kaze, Yoake ( Crescent Love ), Gift, and Saiunkoku Monogatari ( I will leave it up to you to discern which are the example of music making the series better, and which are the case the music brings down the overall quality of the series ). If music affects our judgement that much even though it is hidden in the background, imagine how much of influence it can have when it is the central issue of the whole series. That is why I feared much for this series, I thought the success of the drama would mean that the animators will have access to the same music at the least, and while the 1st episode received a B- grade from me, this episode gets D+, and I wonder what they will do as the musical demand will get even tougher according to the manga.

  2. Yeah, it’s fun to watch the anime and drama side by side. But it’s obvious that Ayako is going to steal the show in about every episode. Now that I hear it more, I’m really glad that they decided to cast her as Nodame.

  3. I totally agree, Likkun. I love Ayako Kawasumi’s work. The ony problem is the first thing I ever heard her voice was Aoi Sakuraba in Ai yori Aoshi. Then I picture Aoi making fart jokes and scratching her head because she hasn’t washed her hair in a week… That thought always gets me smiling. In terms of seiyuu, she’s one of my favorites along with Romi Paku and Satsuki Yukino.

    Yuri rocks
  4. BTW, did you listen to “24 – Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 14 In C Sharp Minor Moonlight” that played in teh background when Mine and Nodame were talking about sex appeal; I really like that version they played.

    Ayako-sama will always shire, especially when it comes related with something that she really loves. Remember, Ayako can really play piano. She did it in “Piano” and did it well.

    Syaoran Li
  5. OMG!! I love Nodame Cantabile! Great that you’re doing the write-ups for this. I think you are the only one so far! Whoa…if this is done by the guys who do H&C, then I think this anime is going to be great! 🙂

  6. From hearing the various performances…

    Chiaki would have to be considered a excellent player, at least at the collegiate level. Not quite good enough to be a soloist, but if he puts in the work, he could make a living playing the violin.

    As for Mine – he has some skill, but his interpretation of Beethoven’s “Spring” is nothing short of appalling. Even so, his current level is far superior to that of the vast majority of high school students.

    With that said… neither of them would even sniff the top three in an international junior competition. I know a 12-year-old in the area that can play circles around both of them – and once had the opportunity to play in the same program as another violinist in the area that could play at a much higher level at the age of 13.


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