Chiaki and the Rising Star Orchestra are now playing Brahms Symphony No.1 in C Minor Op. 68 as their last performance for the concert. As Sakuma watches and listens, he thinks to why Chiaki is so talented and passionate, but he seems to carry such hopelessness. As the performance comes to a close, Nodame is in tears and Kai Down is the first to give applause. Just after the concert, Nodame finds and talks to Chiaki’s mother. A few days later, Nodame has a present she wants to give Chiaki. It happens to be the pocket watch, but before giving it to him, she hypnotises him.
Whilst in the trance, Nodame remembers to what she discussed with Chiaki’s mother and gets Chiaki to remember to the incident on the plane when he was young. Chiaki recalls that an elderly man was sitting across from him on the plane with his wife. He was looking through a pamphlet of Vieira’s concert and says that they should return to Vienna next year. When the plane came across trouble with the elderly man dropped his medicine bottle, with it rolling down the aisle. Unable to grab hold of it, Chiaki could save the dying man. Nodame tells him that it’s not his fault and that he can forget about it. She also tells him that he can ride on a airplane and asks him to try. By the time Chiaki wakes up, Nodame is gone, leaving only the pocket watch in his hand.
With the success of the concert, and the review that Ookawa wrote, Mine convinces Kiyora, Kuchiki, and Kuroki to do another performance, but he is unable to get in contact with Chiaki. Meanwhile, Chiaki is at the airport with his cousin Toshihiko, taking a plane to Hokkaido. He doesn’t remember what Nodame said to him but suggests he goto Hokkaido. It was Nodame’s word that made him calm throughout the flying experience and he now realises he can go abroad now. He also gets the urge to buy crabs in Hokkaido as Nodame also suggested that. Upon returning home, he finds a note saying that Nodame will be gone for a while. In fact she is staying at Etou’s house, practicing for an upcoming competition. Etou thinks that she doesn’t stand much of a chance, but Nodame is determined since the prize is 2 million yen.
Chiaki found out where Nodame went from Mine’s father, and he goes to have a look. Although he happens to run into Etou’s wife, Kaori. After giving her the crabs, Kaori explains that Nodame is going to enter the Maradona competition, and this surprises Chiaki. As he watches the two, he thinks that Nodame isn’t suited to play in competitions and hopes that Etou can fix that, but Kaori also explains that her husband changed because of Chiaki, including his fashion sense. Although Chiaki doesn’t go inside, he thinks that if Nodame is serious about the competition, then he can trust Etou to look after her. That night, Kaori, Etou, and Nodame have crab that Chiaki brought back, with Nodame smiling as she realises that Chiaki went to Hokkaido, whilst Chiaki and his family celebrate Chiaki being cured.
We could all see Nodame being the one that cures Chiaki of hs fear of flying, but I am surprised at how serious she managed to do it as it doesn’t seem to be in her nature to be serious. Though it does make me wonder why Chiaki could be hypnotised by Nodame but not by professionals. It could be that he was in a more comfortable environment when he is with Nodame and that he could be himself. Nodame meeting Chiaki’s mother was a little less impacting than I thought, and the fact that they kept her face hidden until the halfway point seemed a little odd as his mother doesn’t really play a significant role.
The cause of Chiaki’s phobia is also explained and it sounds reasonable. It also shows how strongly Chiaki is linked to music in almost everything. The basis of his phobia could possibly be that if he died like the elderly man, then he would not be able to see Vieira or even become a conductor. But now that he is cured, I wonder what will he do now that he can travel abroad and what will become of the Rising Star Orchestra. Although we probably won’t see anything related to that for a while as we now are starting to see Nodame taking piano playing more seriously. Her reason to enter the competition is for the 2 million yen prize, but I think her reason is more than that and it is probably due to the result of Chiaki being cured of his phobia. So in the next episode or two, we’ll be seeing a change in Nodame and perhaps her entrance into the competition as the pacing has picked up.
Also having went to Kinokuniya yesterday, I quickly browsed through the end of Volume 9 and I think the anime series will end there. I won’t say too much for those who read my Nodame Cantabile posts but it would leave an open ending to allow a second season. And since this is directed by the same director and produced by the same company who did Honey & Clover, there is a good chance.