Nodame Cantabile Finale, episode 2 – Nodame the denpakei

Even though Nodame Cantabile doesn’t crack my top 5, if I could marry a show, this would be the show I marry. Why? Because after each episode, I realize that for whatever nitpicky faults I completely adore the characters, their situations, the story and the music. It’s not the sexiest show and it’s not the cutest show, but it hits all the right notes. I get all zetsuboushta when I realize it’s the last season. But enough of that! Let’s focus on the good stuff!

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Note to self: don’t get involved with Nodame’s unconscious mind. There are things that you cannot unsee. While Nodame’s tripping out after learning that she’s going to get to perform in a salon concert (btw, what exactly is a salon concert? Is it like chamber music?), Chiaki’s planning to move out of the apartments into a swankier place of his own so he can get some peace and quiet to prepare for his concerts. It’s a much less drastic move compared to what he’s done before (moving to Paris, traveling around Europe with Stresseman), but I was glad to see him think of Nodame in his own way.

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However, Nodame only finds out about Chiaki’s move when she returns with her celebratory chicken and overhears him talking to the piano tuner. The ensuing conversation between the two is good stuff for the shipper crowd. No major breakthroughs, but I did like that seeing Chiaki explain that he wasn’t moving because of Nodame. I’ve felt that in the past, part of his reason for traipsing around the world was to create some space between him and Nodame, but in this case, I didn’t get that impression at all. Actually, I was thinking that it was pretty bold for Chiaki to be having this discussion while the piano tuner was still around, and lo and behold! It turns out the nice piano BGM during that scene was actually being played by the piano tuner since he had no way of getting out. Kudos! Way to read the mood!

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I think Nodame has been secretly hanging out with Issei. But unlike the disturbed sweater huffer, I completely support Nodame’s shirt huffing habit. I need to go back and change the title to my last post: Winners don’t huff… unless they’re Nodame. But as Chiaki astutely points out – this is Nodame. Eccentric as always. That has never changed about her.

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The first part of the episode was Nodame x Chiaki-centric, but the latter half deftly moves onto show a bit more about Son Rui. Who after much effort, and chocolate-gifts finally convinced Nodame’s teacher, and nude plant model, O’Claire to give her some private lessons. However, those private lessons don’t seem to have the attention to detail that she hoped they would have. Ironically, I’d bet that it’s due to her chocolate gifts. It’s gotta be hard to give a focused lesson when you lose that sugar high. No doubt, O’Claire’s teaching her in her own way though. I see a lot of the same issues in her that Nodame had when she first met O’Claire, albeit in a complete opposite way. While Nodame had spirit and fire, she needed discipline. But while Rui has that discipline, she lacks spirit and fire. She plays like she eats, because she has to, not stopping to appreciate the finer details.

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This becomes even more apparent when Rui sits in on Nodame’s lesson and sees O’Claire teaching her in a completely different way: disciplined and very technical, even bringing Nodame back from her denpakei fantasies. Well, that is until she gets kicked out for distracting the two. After getting kicked out of the lesson, she reflects on why she wanted to come to Paris in the first place. And realizes that she hadn’t done anything she had originally hoped to do. Definitely a common lament for us out in the real world. The grass is always greener on the other side. Until you get to the other side, and realize that you’re just cutting that grass exactly like you’d cut it back on the old side.

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Heh, another note to self: never marry a pianist, unless I plan on hiring a maid too… actually… wait a second, that’s a brilliant idea! Megalomaniacal parents have always really annoyed me, so it was nice to see Rui finally stand up to her oppressive mother, who had made a surprise visit to try to force Rui in doing a few performances for her own "profit."  Between Rui’s displeasure with her routine and old hag-sama coming back to nag her, I’m surprised she didn’t throw a bigger fit.

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Heh, I totally forgot about those bratty ballet dancers. Cracks me up. These kids have no respect these days. But it creates a chance for Rui, because she manages to catch Chiaki just as he’s leaving the practice. Wuh oh. I bet she’s looking for a place to stay. And she’s feeling all depressed and lonely. I just hope she doesn’t mind showing up on Nodame’s hidden CCTVs. Those types of videos where people do this and that have a way of getting onto the Internet.

I think every show should take a lesson from Nodame on a.) how to choose an appropriate ED and b.) how to properly fade out to it. In all three seasons I’ve seen, even with the changes in song, Nodame Cantabile always seems to cut to the ED perfectly. Doesn’t matter if it’s a happy moment, a dramatic moment, or a sad moment. It always fits the mood just right. I don’t know how they do it. But it just amps you up for the next episode. The OP has really grown on me as well, I can’t wait until the full song is released.

10 Replies to “Nodame Cantabile Finale, episode 2 – Nodame the denpakei”

  1. Actually when Chiaki comes out of the room and tells the piano player to leave his shirt is very suggestively untucked. Kinda makes you wonder what else was going on in the room. 😀

  2. I think you’re spot-on in your analysis of the different teaching techniques used with Nodame and Rui. The main thing with Rui is that the girl needs to relax. She talks about having fun and doing all these wonderful things in Paris — she should extend that mindset to the piano. But instead it’s more like Rui is clocking in when she plays on the piano and clocks out when she’s finished, probably because she’s been used as a show for so damn long.

  3. In case somebody wondered: The piece played by the piano tuner is “Nocturne in E flat major, Op. 9, No. 2” composed by Frédéric Chopin.

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