The Rising Star Orchestra’s final piece is Beethoven’s Symphony No.7, and as he is conducting, Chiaki thinks about what the orchestra means and decides to change the name. At the after party, Chiaki is surprised that everyone knows he is going overseas thanks to Mine, but like wise, Chiaki surprises everyone by telling them that a well known conductor, Matsuda Yukihisa, is replacing him. When he returns home, Chiaki sees the pocket watch on the piano and thinks that he’ll never hear her play again. So he decides to track down her parents number, but failed at that. He remembers what Sakuma said to him about famous musicians being remembered because they meet important people, so he decides to goto Nodame’s home instead.
Nodame in the meantime approachs her family piano and sees that it’s been kept tuned, so she begins to play Schubert’s Piano Sonata No.16 which begins to attract her family and neighbours. Once she finished playing, her grandmother comes to applaud and Nodame remembers how the audience applauded her. She explains what she was playing Schubert and that she entered a competition and claims that it was fun. Chiaki is now on a train thinking about how Nodame rejected his offer. He eventually arrives only to find that there is no train to her hometown, so he takes a taxi. Along the way he finds out form the driver that Nodame lied about her hometown being a large city, but he realises that Nodame always looks away when lying, and she did exactly that when she rejected his offer.
Chiaki then gets a call from Nodame telling him that she is going abroad. Earlier she got a message from Etou saying that she was recommended by one of the judges to attend a school in France, so Etou sent in the application. Chiaki’s taxi at that point passes by Nodame, so he gets the driver to stop so he can get out. Not realising he is close by, Nodame continues talking about how she wants to perform a piano concerto with him like he did with Stresemann and dreams of performing together around the world. Right then Chiaki suddenly hugs Nodame from behind. He feels that she can say those things once she passes the exam for the school in France. Embarassed at first, Nodame then calms down to wish him a Happy New Year, but the two are shortly interrupted as Nodame’s father passes by in his fishing boat.
Afterwards, Nodame’s family accept Chiaki as Nodame’s boyfriend, and Chiaki’s mother is sending him to Paris instead of Vienna because of living arrangement complications. In a conversation with Nodame’s father later, Chiaki feels that Nodame will be fine overseas and admits he likes her piano playing. With that, Nodame yells out Chiaki is an idiot, but calling by his first name.
Just as I thought, the anime ended at the same point as the live drama, meaning it leaves open for a possible second season, just like how Honey & Clover did. Before I had the feeling that the ending would be rushed, and it did with the end, however I am happy on how it ended. In the last episode when we find out about Nodame’s past, I preferred it in the live drama on how Nodame’s father told Chiaki about it in their conversation.
What surprised me is how Chiaki has changed to a point on where he can hug Nodame like he did. Although for him to hug I thought it would only be because he wouldn’t hear her play the piano again, but when I think about it again I think it’s both a relationship and their love for music. Although it was a good thing that it didn’t go beyond that as with all the character development, this is the first we’ve probably seen Chiaki take the initiative. But that part of Nodame yelling out Shinichi was wonderful as it shows that their relationship is building.
One thing I liked about this episode was the flashbacks. I never realised how much all the characters have changed in looks. Seeing all the flashbacks show how much they have matured over the years, but it isn’t on just how they look, everything about them has matured, especially with Chiaki and Nodame.
Having watched the live drama at first, I absolutely loved it. So I had some high expectations of the anime and I can honestly say, it was just as I thought. There were plenty of laughs throughout the series especially all the little Nodame antics and how a lot of things surrounded Chiaki. Though I do feel that Nodame Cantabile couldn’t be what it is like without Kasai Kenichi directing it as it has the overall similar feel to Honey & Clover. Comparing this to HnC is a bit difficult as each are different types of series, but they both have their qualities and I enjoyed them both.
The character development was definitely one of the greatest aspects of this series as we get to see them grow over a long period of time. Although a little odd how the title of this show is Nodame Cantabile, but the focus of the show was mainly on Chiaki and his aspiration to become a conductor. Chiaki is the one who had the most development as I felt he was the most interesting character, and to see him change from his cold, selfish demeanor to how is more open to everyone. But of course this wouldn’t have happened without Nodame as she is what influenced the change in Chiaki.
Nodame has had some great character development, although it was small at first, but towards the end we saw plenty. At first we see Nodame enjoys playing the piano however she wants, but with Chiaki’s influence, Nodame began to learn more as well as being able to appreciate how the music is written. The way her piano playing matures reflects how much she appreciates the music but also find a meaning behind the goal of becoming a professional pianist rather than a kindergarten teacher. But of course we couldn’t love the characters without the seiyuu’s. Tomokazu Seki and Kawasumi Ayako did an excellent job as Chiaki and Nodame. Even though not their best roles, the two brought out the characters personality perfectly.
Nodame Cantabile is definitely an enjoyable series to watch. I myself used to play the piano when I was young, so listening to the classical music was definitely a treat, but you don’t have to be a classical music lover to watch a series like this. However over time you’ll begn to like classical music as well. The performances that I enjoyed the most are:
- Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No.2
- Beethoven’s Symphony No.7
- Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue
- Brahms Symphony No.1
- Purigorata March
Heck I even listen to the Nodame Orchestra LIVE and STORY soundtracks quite often. But still, this is a very enjoyable watch and it is something I do recommend others to watch especially if you enjoyed Honey & Clover. So in the end, I do hope there will be a second season.