The Rising Star Orchestra’s final piece for the night is Beethoven‘s Symphony No. 7 – the same piece Chiaki first tried to conduct the S Orchestra to play two years ago. Chiaki had failed then, and he feels now that everything starts over again with this piece. As he conducts, Chiaki also thinks about what the Rising Star Orchestra means and decides that he’ll definitely be changing the name. During the party afterwards, Moe and Kaoru make it a point to thank Chiaki for letting them into the orchestra. He wants to tell everyone about his leaving for Europe, but as it turns out, they all already know from Mine. It is also Mine who insists on him finding them a good replacement conductor, so Chiaki reveals that fame young conductor Matsuda Yukihisa will be taking his place. Everyone is overjoyed to hear this, and Chiaki feels that he finally completed his work. However, when he returns home, he notices the pocket watch that Nodame gave him and thinks about how he may never hear her play again. Nodame isn’t responding to calls or text messages, leaving Chiaki with no choice but to try to track down her parent’s telephone number. Failing to do that, Chiaki remembers what Sakuma said about famous musicians being remembered because they met important people. Although frustrated, Chiaki decides to go to Nodame’s parent’s home in Fukuoka, but he feels that if she turns him down again, he’ll never forgive her.

Nodame meanwhile approaches the piano in her parent’s home and starts to play it again, attracting the attention of her family and neighbors. Her grandmother claps for her once she’s done, reminding Nodame of the applause she once got, so she explains how she had been playing Schubert and how she had participated in a competition. On the train heading in her direction, Chiaki is thinking about how she had rejected his offer to go abroad with him. He eventually arrives at his destination only to find that there’s not another train directly to Nodame’s hometown, so he takes a taxi instead. Along the way, he finds out from the driver that Nodame had lied about Ookawa being a large city. This reminds him of how Nodame turns her eyes away when she’s lying, just like she did when she rejected his offer. Right then, he gets a call from her telling him that she’s going abroad. Earlier, she had gotten a message from Etou explaining that the judge named Auclair had recommended her for a school in France, so Etou had sent in the application. Chiaki’s taxi now – by coincidence – passes Nodame on the road, so he gets the driver to stop so that he can get out. Having not realized that he’s so close to her, Nodame continues to talk on the phone about how she wants to play a piano concerto with him just like he did with Stresemann. She dreams about them performing together around the world, and to her surprise, Chiaki suddenly hugs her from behind. He feels that she can say those kinds of things after she passes the exam to get into the French school. Nodame is embarrassed at first, but she soon calms down enough to wish him a happy new year. The two of them get broken up, however, when Nodame’s father spots them together from onboard his nearby boat.

In the aftermath, Nodame’s family accepts Chiaki as her boyfriend, much to his dismay. Chiaki’s mother meanwhile has decided to send him to Paris instead of Vienna because of living arrangement complications, meaning that he’s going to France after all. In a conversation later with Nodame’s father, Chiaki feels that Nodame will be okay going abroad and admits that he really likes her piano playing. Memories sometimes tie up the heart. However, the heart is set free by meeting a new person. And now, it flies away towards the future.

Well they ended the story in what I thought was a pretty good spot and then went through some extra manga material (end of volume nine and prelude to volume ten) during the credits before finally concluding with the conversation Chiaki has with Nodame’s father. I had been worried that they wouldn’t be able to give this a good enough finish, but I rather like how it ended, even with them racing through those non-animated parts in the credits with the opening song playing in the background. I would have preferred to hear Crystal Kay’s Konna ni Chikaku de… again, but oh well. Anyway, Chiaki and Nodame’s relationship had advanced to the point where he could hug her like that, but any more and it’d feel unnatural given the development of their respective characters. Since Chiaki is going to France with Nodame and they’ll both be pursuing their music (as well as perhaps their relationship), I think this was as good as any place to stop, leaving enough open for another series if they should ever make it, a la Honey and Clover II.

Final Thoughts: It’s hard for me not to compare this with Honey and Clover since the two series had so many stylistic similarities courtesy of Kasai Kenichi. I admit that I’m not a huge classical music buff, so I’d actually give the edge to Honey and Clover in terms of music for all its wonderful insert songs. Nevertheless, Nodame Cantabile was still a lot of fun to watch, particularly since it covers the development of the characters over a fairly long period of time, with Chiaki’s steady rise as a conductor and his growing attachment to Nodame in the period of over two years. I don’t know if they will make a sequel to cover the rest of the manga, but if they do eventually, it’ll have to wait until at least after this next season, which will feature the new Mononoke show in the noitaminA programming block.


  1. Sugoooooi!!!!!!!!

    Well, even if the end seems like the manga and the dorama, I really enjoyed, especially the final credits, they really knew how to use every little time of the series. J.C Staff made a very nice job on that serie. I’m gonna miss Nodame and Chiaki, since the mangas are on a very slowly way.
    I really hope the manga end soon and a second season comes, as it was with honey and clover.
    I also have a question: what is written on the ending scene? The last picture above –

  2. WAaah, it’s done…but they end it in a good way. I guess it’s time for me to hunt down the manga! Oh and to answer lillid’s question the last image up, it means towards the future (mirai e)

  3. Thanks for the info, Nozomi!!!!! I’m really expecting a second season in the future =DDD

    jiv – I advice you to read since the vol 09 of the manga, so you can understand the last scenes if you can’t read japanese, just like me… Is the right one currently on the U.S. I thing the vol 10 is gonna be there around july 30!!!!

  4. Question: Did they explain why Chiaki gave up on his violin career? The goal of becoming a conductor is noble and all but few would give up on a chance to be a violin soloist.

  5. I do fancy Nodame Cantabile. But if I were to compare it to Honey and Clover. I think Honey and Clover is still better. But then again, they are very different in a way. Honey and Clover is like ‘Friends’. They focus on the trial and tribulations of all the characters. And how they look out for each other. Can’t forget Shinnobu Morita…..He is one crazy but yet very complicated character.

  6. I do agree with you, Violet! Honey and Clover is still much better than Nodame, I guess cause they foccus on a more realistic way of life, and problems of a group of people, so we will eventually recognize ourselves on one of them. But I really like Nodame too, I have almost fun as I had with Morita Shinobu jajajaja

    And I really expect for the extras on DVD of Nodame. The kotatsu’s scene is one of the most beautiful on the manga, and there wasn’t on the anime… =(( I hope they’ll put it!

    answering to dsong’s question, what Chiaki explained on the begining of the series is that he decided to study piano on the university, because he wasn t as good on it as he was on the violin, and he wanted to learn as many intruments as he could to be a good conductor… weirdo guy isnt’t him?? just kidding… =xx

  7. Thanks, lillid; my guess is that Chiaki realized his limitations on the violin, which is why he took up the piano and decided to become a conductor… it is unfathomable that ANY violinist who has a chance to become a world-famous soloist would give it up in favor of a conducting career. Especially when that path is still open down the road, as many soloists have gone one to become successful conductors.

    The few samples I got from Chiaki suggested that he was a competent professional, but lacked what it took to be among the truly elite. I just thought it was an element that was missing in the anime; the moment when he hit a wall and realized he just didn’t “have it”.

  8. hey omni i just was think, if they do live-action sequel first would you blog that?

    since the anime + show leave off at the same point…

    PLEASE?! i still feel the drama is superior in terms of entertainment.

  9. Some of these posts baffle me. Chiaki may well not be a truly elite violinist, but it was always his dream to be a conductor originally. The scene when he was a little boy in the first episode I found to be was quite charming, when he first asked Viera to try conducting.

    Conducting is a separate course of study in music schools and conservatories. It requires a strong grasp of tempo, dynamic, and showmanship. Very few are qualified to do it because it requires an immense amount of knowledge and skill to harmonize so many components. Chiaki with his skills should be a conductor. He’s not trying to be a conductor just because he wasn’t good enough at the piano or violin.
    Also, I don’t necessarily agree with going the route of a soloist as the sole means to gain international recognition. Fans of classical music will recognize the names of Sir George Solti, Alistaire Neale, and Zhubin Mehta. More contemporary examples would be John Williams and Michael Tillson Thomas, and Jan Pascal Tortellier. He would gain as much recognition as a Music Director of a famous orchestra.

    Yuri Rocks
  10. Drama sequel…
    mostly filmed in Paris?(should cost a ton of money!)
    with so many actors for characters from France, Russia, and America, all speaking Japanese?
    or all those characters played by Japanese actors?(Heh, whatever)
    Nah, I do expect an anime version sequel, but just don’t see a drama one coming.

  11. Omni, do you think you’ll be doing a blog post on the live action? I’d love to hear your thoughts on that.

    I still like the drama better, but the anime was fun to watch. It was true to the manga, and we got to see other scenes and hear other music pieces that weren’t in the drama.

    As for a sequel, I think I read somewhere that the author would prefer that they’d not make another season until the France/Europe arc is finished, unfortunately.

  12. Chiaki wants to be a conductor because that’s what he wants to do. It has nothing to do with his skill at piano or violin, which we have seen time and time again is damn good and probably as good as the people he conducts. He’s basically a musical genius and could do anything he wants to do.

    I don’t get comparing it to Honey and Clover either. They are two totally different shows.

  13. dsong I don’t get that at all. In fact I think he does have IT or he wouldn’t be able to impress people like he did conducting with really no real training. He was able to do tests with Mine and Masami with no practice. He was able to show others how he wanted things played. He played the piano in an Orchestra. Chiaki was only limited by the fact that he was stagnate and not moving forward, not because of his talent. The whole last arc was about him facing his fears and moving forward. He was so talented and was wasting it all sitting in Japan doing nothing. Are you sure we watched the same show?

  14. You do know they have a special episode out now for the anime. Plus, I think there’s two special episodes in the drama where Chiaki and Nodame are in Europe. You should check them out.

  15. Can’t wait to the next season! I watch this ep yesterday on Animax, and this is one of my favorite anime after blood+. Does Chiaki loves Nodame? Well he seems, but if he does, why didn’t he confess his feeling to Nodame?


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