Nodame Cantabile: An Overview


Just when I dedicated a blog to the negative aspects of Japanese dramas, I find a great one which, though quintessentially “Japanese” in format and acting, is too charming and adorable to stop watching.

In case you aren’t familar with it, let me give you a small summary: It’s about this music school in Tokyo, and the crazy students that are apart of it, namely Nodame (Ueno Juri) and Chiaki-sempai (played by Tamaki Hiroshi) and their “romance” (which is almost non-existant it is advancing so slowly). Anyways, it’s about this misfit group of students who make up an orchestra, and all the hilarious things that happen to everyone, as well as emphasizing the underlying theme of individuality and following your dreams.

So, I didn’t think it sounded particularly interesting, and I only watched the first episode because I was forcing myself to watch something Japanese in the hopes it would be good. And though at first I was hesistant if I liked it or not, it just keeps getting better and better, and I am officially invested in this sweet comedy now.

When it comes to humor, this one is a killer. Though I typically hate the over-the-top ridiculous, obnoxious, slapstick comedy routines that belong in an anime, somehow, in this drama it just works. It is so annoying, crazy and unrealistic that I am endlessly entertained by all the ridiculous antics of these characters.

Though it is named after the character Nodame, it seems to focus almost entirely on Chiaki. WHICH IS FINE BY ME. I am continually astounded by his beauty. At first, yeah he was just a hot Japanese guy, but his charm is growing on me at such a rapid pace that I am now questioning just what really hooked me: the drama, or him. He is a complete jerk in the show, but you can forgive all his pissy moods when occasionally you get to see him smile (which is more of a weird half-smile, like the actor himself is trying to restrain himself from actually smiling). And his crazy eyes, which are both hilarious and strangely gorgeous, just add to his character. God, I’m in love.

As for Nodame, she is so overwhelmingly annoying that it’s just adorable. Her borderline grandmother-esque outfits I find ridiculously cute, and while at times her over-the-top comedic routines leave me starving for good acting, I can’t develop any anger for her, she is simply too darling.

The show centers almost entirely around classical music. The idea of constant orchestral background music and heavy emphasis on instruments may initially sound unappealing, but if you thought classical music was boring before, you need to watch this drama. I never saw classical orchestra performances that were quite as exciting and fun as the ones in this drama! This show seriously makes classical music way more awesome.

This show is no Korean drama, and if you’re looking for deep romance (or any serious plotline or acting WHATSOEVER) this is certainly not that show. However, despite it lacking all things I normally require in a good drama, I am endlessly entertained, and I laugh throughout the episode. It is cheerful and hilarious  (the character Stresman absolutely kills me! He is so funny with the way he talks!! AHAHA! >_<). Overall, it is like a great anime acted out by real people, with all the same weird charms of an animated show, and it tends to be more of a live-action than an actual drama.

Try it out! You won’t regret it! 😉



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