Thursday, December 07, 2006

Impression : Nodame Cantabile

Nodame Cantabile (のだめカンタービレ) is an 11-episode Japanese drama based on the same manga written by Ninomiya Tomoko. I was recommended to this drama by Memento, and I must say I'm very impressed with the drama series. As such, I would like to spread the love of Nodame Cantabile ^.^

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Nodame Cantabile centers on an unusual pair of music prodigy: Noda Megumi (Nodame), an incredibly talented pianist whose sloppiness is as unbelievable as her talent for playing the piano by ear, and Chiaki Shinichi, an arrogant musical tensai (genius) who plays violin and piano beautifully, but aspires to be a conductor.

Chiaki, who is the son of a famous pianist, have traveled all over Europe when he was young and watched countless of orchestral music performances and operas. However, he admires the conductor Sebastian Viera, and ever since watching the latter's conducting the Dvorak Philharmonic Orchestra, Chiaki aspires to be a conductor as great as Viera himself, and even managed to be tutored by the great man himself. However, Chiaki's parents soon divorce when he was 11 and having to follow his mother back to Japan, Chiaki pleaded Viera to wait for him to return to Praha and to take him as Viera's pupil. During his flight back to Japan, the plane experienced violent turbulence and due to a forgotten trauma, Chiaki became aviophobic, i.e. developed a fear for flying. Thus, 10 years later, he is now stranded in Japan and unable to fly to Europe to his beloved Viera-sensei.

By fated coincidence, Chiaki met Nodame, who slowly changed his life. The story of Nodame Cantabile tells about how these two met and how they changed each other's lives. And of course, in pure shoujo manga style, Chiaki and Nodame's love story unfolds.

The live-action drama of Nodame Cantabile started airing in October 2006, and will end on Christmas 2006. What I find most impressive in the drama is: cast & music. I must applaud the sterling cast for the wonderful impression of their respective characters; in particular Ueno Juri (playing Noda Megumi) and Tamaki Hiroshi (playing Chiaki Shinichi). Both of them are the star of the show, every bit of the message, emotions and humor of the manga was excellent played out by both of them, if not better. The supporting actors such as Takenaka Naoto (playing Franz Strezmann), Eita (playing Mine Ryuutarou) and Koide Keisuke (playing Okuyama Masumi) added sparkles to the drama.

On the music, I must tell you this drama totally popularize classical music. I used to think classical music is boring (apart from the pieces I used to play), but this drama had me listening to classical music and thinking that it is very cool too! I would have never thought I actually enjoyed listening to Beethoven's Symphony No.7 in A major!!

At the moment, Garten from Memento is blogging the series. I would also like to share my thoughts on this series, and spread the love of Nodame Cantabile!! However, I am watching the raw versions and with my Japanese proficiency being half-baked potato, so I may not be accurate in interpreting the dialogues. Do visit Memento, as I think Garten is doing a great job.