As Chiaki and Stresemann walk onto stage together for their concert, the writer Sakuma questions Chiaki’s ability. However, when the orchestra and Chiaki start up the Rachmaninoff piece, he and the entire audience are instantly hit with how good they are. Sakuma even starts crying because of it. As the concert progresses, Chiaki thinks to himself that there’s more he wants Stresemann to teach him, more that he wants to hear, and more that he wants to feel from Stresemann’s music. Afterwards, Stresemann asks for cigarettes as he and Chiaki lay exhausted on sofas in a private room. Chiaki tries to convince Stresemann cut back on alcohol, cigarettes, and women so that he can live longer, but the maestro insists that he’ll die without those things. Back in the concert hall, Sakuma stays seated even after everyone else leaves and asks Keeko if he can still change his article this month.

Nodame meanwhile runs home with the need to play the piano. She ends up playing a rendition of Rachmaninoff, and she gets paid a visit from Stresemann. He finds her version interesting, but he feels that she can’t play with an orchestra like that. Stresemann tells her that she has to face the music or else she won’t really enjoy it from her heart. He then realizes that it’s time to go and leaves even though she yells for him to wait. When Nodame opens her eyes again, she is on the floor of her own apartment and wonders if it was a dream. Chiaki is also waking up, but he finds himself in a hotel room surrounded by women. After he remembers that he and Stresemann have been spending the past four days out having fun, one of the women tells him that a scary foreign woman took Stresemann away. Chiaki then notices that he has a note from Stresemann in his pocket that asks to pick up a Christmas photo collection.

Back at school, Saiko is in her opera class, but she’s criticized by her teacher for not singing with enough feeling like one of her classmates Suganuma. Saiko doesn’t take very well to this, and she thinks that she would be embarrassed to perform like Suganuma does. She then hears Chiaki’s piano teacher Tanioka talking with Chiaki over the phone about how he has a cold, so she rushes over to his apartment. In actuality, he’s not really sick as much as he is just hung-over. Saiko gives him some water to drink and then talks about how she saw his concert. Chiaki also saw Saiko’s performance and he liked how she sounded, but he felt that Suganuma made a bigger impact and he suggests Saiko show more of her mean personality. As Chiaki goes to take a shower, Saiko thinks to herself about how music has always been more important to him than her. They had always fought, but she knows that he has more talent than anyone and pushes himself harder than anyone. Saiko then heads to Chiaki’s room to lie down for a while and wonders if giving up on her music would allow them to get along better. She’s soon woken up by the sound of Nodame outside. Looking extremely gaunt after having practiced piano for so long, Nodame asks Chiaki to allow her to play with the S Orchestra. Chiaki, however, notices how bad Nodame smells and forces her to take a bath. While she’s in there, he cooks her a meal and then forces her to eat it when she gets out. Watching secretly from the hallway door, Saiko can’t understand what’s going on.


I have mixed feelings about this episode because of the way they paced it. I enjoyed hearing all the Rachmaninoff, but the transition to Saiko’s point of view after the hotel scene felt almost too abrupt. Perhaps it wouldn’t have felt that way if they had used that point to go to commercial with the eye-catch. I’m really not a huge fan of Saiko’s character, so I kinda wish that they had made the concert shorter so that they could fit the rest of Saiko’s material into this episode and start the story from the next volume of manga next time.
Speaking of which, the next episode of Nodame Cantabile will not air on Fuji TV until April 12th. The schedule isn’t entirely clear about other channels, so there’s a chance that KTV may become the first airing of Nodame Cantabile if they don’t also take a break like Fuji TV. If that becomes the case, then episode 12 will air first on KTV on Tuesday, April 2nd.


  1. You do not know how disapointed with this series. I liked the live action so much better. The main reason is the character designs. Why are their eyes so small with big faces? Acturally thats the only reason I really don’t like it. It’s just the animation wasn’t at all of what I had in mind.

  2. Here are my criticism of the Rachmaninoff played in this episode.
    1. The beginning was too slow
    2. The narration occured too fast. They were meant to be for the later times when the music rapidly changes tempo up and down.
    3. The first fast part wasn’t fast enough and accents weren’t strong enough.
    4. The pianist does better with slow lyrical passages
    5. Again it drags when it needs to speed up.
    6. Overall tone quality was good and clear. I think the orchestra was good but there were problems in interfretations by the conductor and the pianist.
    7. Things got better at the second fast passage. The sound is bit more relaxed as if they took off a heavy coat. The pianist got better and the dynamic contrasts got better as well.
    8. On more dramatic and dynamic portions, still showed tendency to drag.

    Final conclusion: Apparently the pianist and the conductor knew what was written in the manga, but failed to grasp the fact that Chiaki and Stressemann were supposed to give textbook perfect concert. The manga suggested more contrast to the tempo, but what we heard was bit extreme, with many passages played too slow and melodramatic. They should have relaxed more and let the music flow as Stressemann suggested. They hired some good talents here, but it was partially wasted by poor directing.

    Nodame version: Wow! that was fast. No way orchestra can keep up with that. Just like Stressemann said.

    Saiko singing: Hmmm, the voice suggests dramatic soprano, but it may be closer to mezzo turned soprano. The voice did lack neccessary emotions, as the teacher said.

  3. Stressemann did order Chiaki to play slower in the previous episode, in order to play with more emotion.

    Anyways, that Rachmaninoff sequence is one of the best 2D+3D animation I’ve ever seen.

    Watching the ending sequence, I suddenly realized this; While the CrystalKay’s ending song is somewhat for the Nodame-Chiaki relationship, it is more like for the Saiko-Chiaki relationship. Saiko has loved Chiaki since their Highschool days, but now Nodame is getting something Saiko has never got from him. It maybe not really a love, not just yet, but he showed he really cared Nodame, which deeply shocked Saiko.

  4. God, I think it’s my favourite Nodame episode so far. The Rachmaninov sequence was simply STUNNING, I only wish other orchestra concerts in the anime looked like that. You really come to understand why Chiaki’s performance made such impact on Nodame. And morover, I really like this Saiko’s mini-arc, she isn’t a main character of the show, but she’s portraied well, as for a short screen time she receives. It will show especially in next episode, I suppose. And when it comes to next ep: Show Spoiler ▼

  5. This episode finally animated the keyboard, and took great detail as to the finger placement for arpeggios and chords. The other music themed anime,La Corda D’Oro does this a little more consistently, and if Nodame can continue this quality of animation for all other performance scenes, I would be extremely happy.

    Also, one additional thought. While the theme is in fact classical music, because it is an anime, I think it is a bit unfair to expect all performances to be equivalent to concert level performances. An anime can’t really supplant the experience of a live concert of a virtuoso or a recording by a reputable symphony.

    Yuri Rocks
  6. Expecting all performance to be high level is asking too much, but this is the most important concert in the manga, so far. This concert changed the lives of almost every character in the manga/anime, thus it is one concert that needs to be the best it can be. I believe Nodame’s piano and Saiko’s singing was in accordance to what was written in manga and the dialogues we heard in the anime, thus I’m satisfied with these. It just that, the most important concert dragged too much in the beginning, only to show tantalizing good moments at the later half, which gets cut off due to time constraints. Had I not heard those good passage at the later moments, I could just say ” they just didn’t have it to start with.” My problem, and a very personal problem, is that I did get to hear that it was possible for the performance to be better in the beginning as well, and when I realize that the orchestra and the pianist did have the potential for better performance, the disappointment and the angst became bigger.

  7. I just watched the episode after begging my brother to let me sit on the computer…

    It was obvious that they invested much in the creation of this episode… the sound was amazing and the animation was great… the shading was so great that some of the instruments even looked real… I was very impressed that they even managed to really capture piano playing… most of the time we have to imagine the hands flying all over the black and white keys… chiaki was amazing…

    I can’t wait for episode 12… I think that there is a level of angst in nodame building up… especially when she begins to realize that perhaps playing to your own beat is not the best thing… chiaki is moving farther and farther away from her… gawd, its so depressing… milch had better have good reason for trying to show up her fantasy world…

  8. Is it true? Is there a 2 week break to episode 12???
    Saw the air-date on the main anime site and it says 4/12/07.
    LoL gotta wait 2 weeks thats Bs!
    Just wanna stab someone >

  9. O man I am having Nodame withdrawl… I need to know what happens next. I am amazed by this series so far. Its a great addition to the semi-bad other than a couple of amazing anime season. I must say, they threw in some amazing anime… then you have a whole lot of crap. I’m going to enjoy Nodame to its fullest… ONLY 2 MORE DAYS TILL NEXT EP!

    Thanks for your hard blogging work!


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