With only six days left until the concert, the S Orchestra still can’t play up to Chiaki’s expectations, particularly not Mine in the concert master role. The other teachers in the school have started discussing disbanding the group since they don’t think very highly of the students in it, but they end up deciding to let Stresemann’s A Orchestra win the competition first. A Orchestra is actually holding their rehearsals too at that time, but Stresemann leaves early to go on date. On his way out, he’s approached by a conducting student named Ookouchi who wants to be given the chance to conduct the S Orchestra, but Stresemann surprises him by asking for a bribe. Ookouchi then goes to check out the competition by spying on the S Orchestra. When several of the musicians – including Mine – run out in tears because of how Chiaki is treating them, Ookouchi feels that he has nothing to worry about if the S orchestra hates Chiaki.
That night, while Chiaki is trying to figure out what to do with the orchestra, Nodame feeds him her homemade onigiri and makes him watch an anime called Puri Gorota. It’s about a bunch of kids who go to space and has a moral at the end that says humans can’t live alone. Nodame compares him to one of the characters name Kazuo, but Chiaki doesn’t think much of it until the next day when he finds that everyone has improved considerably. The problem is that none of them are keeping an eye on his conducting, and Chiaki gets a feeling of being alone before he briefly faints. When he later thinks about how the orchestra is finally doing what he told them do, he can’t help but also feel that something is missing. He finally figures out what it is after Nodame starts playing her rendition of Beethoven’s 3rd Symphony. Just like Nodame, Chiaki realizes that the S Orchestra’s playing is pure, uncalculated, and individual – this is why Stresemann put them all together and why Mine is the concert master.
The next day, Chiaki tells the S Orchestra to forget everything they’ve done so far and allows them to play in the way that Mine originally wanted. They practice really hard right up until it’s time for the concert and don’t even have time to go home to change out of their S Orchestra t-shirts. After telling everyone to have fun, Chiaki starts conducting the S Orchestra’s version of Eroica. Partway through, Chiaki notices that Mine wants to do the synchronized violin raising that he and the other violinists had previously demonstrated. Though not entirely gung-ho about it, Chiaki finds a spot in the music and allows them to go through with it. Everyone, including the teachers, ends up being quite impressed with the S Orchestra’s performance. Stresemann even feels sick after having seen all that and decides to let Ookouchi take his place in conducting the A Orchestra. Ookouchi’s first outing as the conductor of the A Orchestra subsequently ends in a complete disaster. In the aftermath, the teachers have decided not to disband the S Orchestra and now admire Chiaki’s abilities. Nodame meanwhile finds Chiaki asleep on a bench outside. She steals a kiss and then runs away before he wakes up, but it turns out that Chiaki was awake the whole time and let her kiss him as a thank-you.
I believe the Puri Gorota anime shown in this episode is the same one from the drama version of Nodame, though it’s the first time I’ve seen it. There were a lot of familiar voices in there, including Kugimiya Rie and Kudou Haruka, the latter of whom is extra interesting because it’s another connection this show has with Honey and Clover. In any case, it’s good to see that Chiaki finally gets a taste of success as a conductor this episode, partially thanks to the realization that everyone in the S Orchestra is somewhat like Nodame. Actually, that reminds me that although the show is named after her, I feel like we haven’t gotten to see enough of Nodame (when compared with Chiaki) in the past few weeks. In many ways though, I guess Chiaki is the main character and Nodame is more like his muse.
Anyway, next week starts volume four of the manga, and someone comes to take Stresemann away.