Having arrived in Paris, Nodame and Chiaki head to his mother’s family’s apartment building and move into adjoining rooms. After seeing the place, Nodame starts playing Ravel‘s Miroirs on the piano in Chiaki’s room, and all the other residents of the apartment building hear it. This includes two students named Tanya and Frank, and Nodame recognizes the latter because they had already met at the Conservatoire entrance exam. That night, Chiaki and Nodame go to a concert being conducted by Vieira, and although Chiaki is quite touched by the performance, he doesn’t go to see Vieira afterward because he wants to first test himself by taking part in a conducting competition. He and Nodame also go out to dinner, but Nodame has hard time with the French menu and language, so she screws up ordering and says some embarrassing things. She gets depressed, and her frustrations boil over in a drunken outburst about how Paris is like Chiaki’s hometown. After bringing her home, Chiaki watches Nodame sleep and reflects on how she didn’t have time to learn language because she worked so hard in her piano studies to get here.
The next morning, Nodame is back to her normal self and wants to go sightseeing. Chiaki, however, needs to practice for the competition and refuses to accompany her. In lieu of this, Nodame pays a visit to Frank’s room and finds him and Tanya arguing over how he’s an otaku and how she has no luck with men. When Nodame notices that Frank has her favorite Puri Gorota anime playing, she immediately sits herself in front of the TV and starts reciting the episode’s script in Japanese. Since what’s playing is in French, she’s able to use this to learn the language. Tanya meanwhile pays a visit to Chiaki and gets him to connect her laptop to the Internet. While he’s working, Tanya tells him about how Nodame and Frank are busy talking about anime, but Chiaki denies that Nodame is his girlfriend. Tanya sees an opportunity in this and starts telling Chiaki about how she came from Russia and about her failed relationship. Thinking about how Tanya has been alone since she was young, Chiaki asks to hear her play the piano. Unfortunately, Tanya isn’t very good, and Chiaki spends most of the afternoon yelling at her and making her practice. To Chiaki’s surprise, Nodame later shows up at his door and uses her newly learned French on him, and he makes her dinner.
The new OP and ED are alright, but I really prefer the ones from the original series, especially the CRYSTAL KAY song. Of these two though, I like the ED a little better. I thought the OP was rather disappointing all around, and it made me unsure of how good the series would be.
Despite the OP, I was actually pretty happy with how the first episode of the Paris chapter turned out. It might be nostalgia talking, but I was rather charmed with the series and enjoyed all the jokes, especially the scene where Nodame says in French that she was raped. And despite following the manga fairly closely (albeit with some jumping around), they even threw in a few Shana references as part of Frank’s otakuness. The only thing that was detracting from the episode was the fact that the animation felt a bit different compared to the first series. I’m not sure if that’s because of the influence of the new director or just a change in the animation staff – the backgrounds maintained the same watercolor-esque flavor as the first series, but character faces and other little stuff just weren’t as detailed.
If this were airing in a different season, I’d probably commit to blogging it from just the first episode, but since this season’s Thursdays are so overloaded with good shows, I can’t quite do that yet. Hopefully, episode two of the other shows will help me decide.