As Nodame continues to practice for the competition, Etou is frustrated that she isn’t playing as according to the sheet, but it turns out that she is worried about people cheating. Though to her relief she finds out that they can’t. Chiaki gets a mail from Nodame saying that Schubert’s not easy to get along with. At that time, he is getting ready for rehearsal with the Rising Star Orchestra and is surprised to find Kai Dunn as the concertmaster. During their practice, his skills and directing of the fellow members impresses Chiaki. Later on with a private conversation, Kai is surprised that Chiaki got instructed by Stresemann. Although Chiaki respects Stresemann’s music, he isn’t going to Europe because of him, but he will go next year.
That night Nodame gets a mail from Chiaki saying that she should listen to what Schubert is saying and that she has to face the music. This reminds her of something similar to what Stresemann said and with her practice, she remembers what Chiaki had told her about every note not being wasted and that the music flows. Thus upon her first round of the competition, she impresses the judges and audience with her rendition of Schubert’s Piano Sonata No. 16 in A minor D.845 and has passed, and ends up mailing Chiaki the results. At that time, Chiaki is getting ready for the Rising Star orchestra’s second concert. He vows to do his best as there are things he still needs to do in Japan.
This time they went with a cello concerto with Kukichi and the concert is well received. Afterwards, several musicians come to ask to audition for a position, with one particular person, Noriyuki Takahashi, is already talking with Chiaki as he is undressing. As he list his credentials and he feels that he can do better than Kiyora. But he also develops a crush on Chiaki as he witnesses him undressing his shirt. Nodame in the meantime is checking a list of piece’s to memorise for the second round, and she reveals to Etou that she already knows Chopin’s Ã‰tude Op. 10, No.4.
During the competition, she plays the Chopin piece enough to scare Etou. Her second performance of Lisztâ€™s Transcendental Etude No. 5 â€œFeux Folletsâ€, she plays it as though she doesn’t want to play it. Though this shocks most of the judges except one and she makes it through the round. At dinner that night, Etou’s other student, Tsuboi comments on Nodame’s techniques and even thinks that she could go head on with Segawa Yuuto. Though upon hearing this name, he expression changes. The next day, the third round, Nodame is to be performing Debussyâ€™s Lâ€™Isle Joyeuse. Kaori explains that Debussy composed this piece after abandoning his wife and running away with his new lover. Nodame then gets a mail from Chiaki promising that he’ll be seeing her perform in the finals, and with these feelings she carries them onto her performance.
Just like at the start of the series, I am really impressed at Nodame’s piano playing and at how well she can adopt to a piece with such ease, even if it is sloppy. But like in all music, they way it’s played reflects how the performer feels and we see that with Nodame from how she didn’t like the Liszt piece to how she used her feelings for Chiaki in Debussy’s piece. Though how she expresses her performances I think is a result from Chiaki’s teaching. With her practicing at night as if Chiaki was there, I think Nodame is the one who understands Chiaki’s sense of music better than anyone and that she has adopted his sense as well, but with her own style.
Now the pace of the story is indeed going at a very fast rate but I don’t feel as we are missing too much from Nodame’s performances as we can feel her expressions even from a small sample. With the story now focused on Nodame’s story, we’ll soon come to understand her a bit more. Though her reason for entering the competition appears to be that she wants to be with Chiaki, hence her flashback to what Stresemann said. However there still surrounds the mystery of the door which appears to relate to her past. Speaking of her past, it appears that Segawa Yuuto plays a part in it since she was mumbling a class number during dinner.
Next week’s episode preview shows a new character, most likely Segawa Yuuto, with a shocked Nodame. I wonder how her performance will turn out once she meets him and I wonder if the mongoose costume will make a return.