Would You Like To See My Pianist?
"An anime about classical music? Ugh, no thanks" is what you might think upon hearing the subject matter of Nodame Cantabile. In fact I was pretty skeptical about it myself, until I was persuaded to try the first episode and loved it. Nodame Cantabile revolves around two main characters - the eponymous Noda Megumi ("Nodame" is a nickname, being both a contraction of her family name plus the first syllable of her given name and also a pun on the Japanese word "dame" which roughly means "no good") and the hard-working but arrogant Shinichi Chiaki. In the first episode, things aren't going well for Chiaki; although he's top of the class in piano he got disqualified from the piano competition because of a disagreement with his instructor, and he was also passed over for a chance to go study overseas, and the final straw was that his girlfriend dumped him for another guy. This is when he meets Nodame. At first he is appalled by her slovenly approach to life - her apartment (which happens to be right next to Chiaki's) seems like one big garbage heap with a piano in the middle - but once he hears her play he realises she has great potential and decides to stick with her, for the moment at least.
Among other things, Episode 1 also contains a complete performance of the first movement of Mozart's Sonata in D major for two pianos, which in my opinion was a great choice for the first episode as its liveliness and energy proves that classical music can be interesting and fun, and the fact that it's for two pianos showcases the possibilities for teamwork between Chiaki and Nodame. All in all, Nodame Cantabile is definitely worth checking out even if you wouldn't normally consider watching someone's pianist...
At the time of writing, Nodame Cantabile is not licensed in North America and is being fan subtitled by C1Anime, Anime-Keep and Froth-Bite. Please support your domestic anime market by purchasing this title on DVD when it becomes available in your territory.
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