JMovie: Nodame Cantabile

The movie version of Nodame Cantabile was created to reflect whatever that happened to Nodame and Chiaki after they went to Paris. The drama version took us from Nodame being in school and falling in love with her Chiaki senpai, and then how she decided to work hard for him instead of just being a kindergarten teacher. The special episodes then took them to Paris, and the movie concludes the entire series.

So I am not too sure if people who hadn’t watched Nodame Cantabile from the start, beginning with the drama, would enjoy such a movie. They would probably not be able to grasp the characters and plot.

Nodame Cantabile, the movie, is also split into two parts, hence it is impossible to fully grasp the idea of Nodame Cantabile if one had not watched the first part. I do not know why, but actually most movies that are based on existing dramas and animes would not seem to be able to stand on its own as a movie. I guess, people actually go on to watch Nodame Cantabile after they enjoyed the drama.

As usual, the drama is full of many different pieces of classical music written by many people, but the one that was emphasised quite often was Chopin. There were a few major performances in the show, and I quite liked them. Spoilers, so skip the paragraph below if you are intending to watch it.

Kiyora’s violin performance in her competition, with an orchestra
Nodame’s rendition of the music she heard in the piano competition, which I liked
Son Rui’s new debut on Piano with Chiaki as conductor (didn’t really like it, most part because Nodame was upset cause she wanted to play this piece with Chiaki as the conductor. Yes, its the one she performed after she heard it in the piano competition)
Nodame’s saigo no performance (last performance) for Franz Stresemann
Nodame’s debut with Franz Stresemann
Nodame and Chiaki’s two piano symphony

Nodame’s last performance isn’t really her last. She was just upset after Son Rui’s performance and her failed attempt at proposing to Chiaki. LOL. So Stresemann came and heard her play and said that Nodame had finally arrived. So he whisked her off and placed her inside his performance and brought her to the skies. And she was afraid that she would never beat that performance and hence she escapes. And Chiaki brought her confidence back with the two piano piece that they played in part 1.

The credits were “short”, at least those without any images. They did show Nodame and Chiaki and what happened after that, so don’t walk away. I doubt you need to stand up even. The two girls who stood up found themselves wondering if they should stand or sit, and for a few seconds my view was blocked. Luckily they sat down.

I can’t voice out how much I love Stresemann that weirdo. He has that weird curly hair and that fake French accent and why in Part 2 he isn’t caught inside a club full of girls by his side? That’s like his trademark scene. He always makes me laugh.

Anyway for a great and detailed analysis on Nodame the movie, I have to wait till Rina’s post come up. She will know which piece of music was played in the different scenes! 🙂

Love Shuffle

400px-Love-Shuffle-banner

I’ve just finished watching this very nice JDrama, which I categorise to my favourites list for it’s good and unique plot. It’s along the lines of Code Blue and Nodame, which are very good dramas which only come out rarely. Most JDramas entertain, but they don’t hit the favourites list because their plot isn’t that strong. But Love Shuffle is totally different from what I’ve seen so far.

Four different people, who live on the same floor but never met, happened to meet in the lift and it got stuck. They made friends after introducing each other, and the first episode was on leading the main character nicknamed Usatan to the concept of Love Shuffle. Basically, each of the four, Usatan, Aiai, O chan and Kikurin have to bring a partner each into the game so it’ll be 4 guys and 4 girls. The idea is simple, like it’s name. Basically they shuffle partners every week, so everyone will get one week of time with 4 people from the opposite sex. So at the 4th week, they shuffle back to their original partners.

It is not necessary that the couples be attached. Usatan brought in Mei, who is his fiance. They have been having some problems so Mei was the only who wanted to join, though Usatan didn’t. Aiai brought in her boyfriend. O chan brought a friend and Kikurin brought his mentally disturbed patient.

What follows is 8 weeks of shuffling around. Yes, the Love Shuffle is conducted for 2 rounds since there wasn’t a clear conclusion after the first. Through the different experiences that they have, each and everyone began to learn more about themselves and what makes them attractive to the other person, and in the end they find out whether their original choice was the right one. The ending was that everyone shuffled after learning who they are more attracted to.

What I find enjoyable in the show was how they experienced different things and grew to know themselves more. And the process of coming to terms that you fell for a new person who’s more suited for you. I find the love between O chan and the mentally disturbed patient very touching.

In short, it’s a great drama to watch if you haven’t done so.

JDrama: Nodame Cantabile Special

Nodame Cantabile Special

This special is the continuation of the Nodame Cantabile JDrama, and has two episodes. Previously, Jia Hao has done a review on the special. The two episodes are 2 hours each, and they are continuous episodes and not stand alone, unlike Densha Otoko’s Alternate Ending Sp and Indiana Jones Sp.

And so begins the spoilers:

The story takes place in Europe now, when Chiaki has managed to be able to sit on an aeroplane and fly there with Nodame (Noda Megumi). The main story is about Chiaki deciding to only contact Viera Sensei when he has won a prestigious conducting competition. Chiaki meets another person who’s Viera’s pupil, as well as another Japanese, and together they enter the competition. At the same time Nodame is alone with 2 other house-mates (live in the same “house”) and trying to learn french. Nodame found herself to be weaker than the rest of the students in terms of analysing the background of the music.

Chiaki finds himself getting the perfect score along with Viera’s other pupil, and in the 3rd round, they are both going to perform the same song. Chiaki is performing after the guy, and he became stressed out when he discovers that the guy performed well. During his own performance, he screws up by making the orchestra dislike him, and the orchestra played the piece without even looking at the conductor. Despite that, Chiaki managed to enter the fourth and final round.

Chiaki enters the Nodame depressing mode, where he has a whole hair full of “flies” blabla to signify he didn’t really have the heart to even bathe. Nodame arrives to cheer him up and because of certain events, he cheers up and gears himself for the final round where he corrects his mistake. He reminded himself to respect music and hence then will the orchestra respect him too. With his superb performance in the final round, he emerged the winner. It is also declared that Chiaki intends to contact Viera and possibly enter his performance tour. However..

Stresseman, henceforth knows as the DOM (Dirty Old Man), is doing something behind Chaki’s back. Chaki gets kidnapped by Oliver, a bodyguard I think, and subjected to cruel torture of tickling, of which Chaki succumbs by signing the dreaded contract, of which he will immediately go with DOM for DOM’s performance tour. Chaki actually doesn’t mind, because it’s a great opportunity, and he leaves Nodame alone for about 3 months.

During which the DOM sent Nodame photos of Chiaki in bed with skimpily clad woman, whom Nodame Cantabile’s watchers should know that they belong to DOM, and Chiaki is probably there in the wrong place at the wrong time.

DOM got sick in the Tokyo leg of the tour and Chiaki takes over and leads the orchestra with a piano performance by this young girl whom I forgot the name. Nodame got jealous and her piano playing got screwed up. Her own tutor asks her, “What do you come here for?”, and she cannot answer that questions.

Chiaki came back for a short half day and caught Nodame in a jealous and bad mood. He didn’t have time to do anything and continued with his tour.

When the 3 months ended, Chiaki came back and had a fight with Nodame. They patched back after some manga style fighting, and everything goes well. Nodame does her first piano recital to great success, and Chiaki did his Europe debut with success too. They share their first kiss and things go happily ever after (unless they do a 2nd SP and break them up).

Heartwarming story. Do watch it.

JDrama: Nodame Cantabile

Nodame Cantabile Photo

Nodame Cantabile is a romantic comedy and I really recommend people to watch it. For starters, this is one of the rare times in which I remember the lead character’s names. In certain cases like Galileo, I seem to not be able to recall the character’s names.

There are two leading characters, the first being Nodame, which is short for her real name, Noda Megumi. (See I remember even the full name). Nodame’s ambition is to be a kindergarten teacher and she is in the piano division in the music academy. She composed a “fart song” for her future students. Who the hell wants their kids to learn a fart song, I don’t really know.

The second is Chiaki-senpai, where senpai just means senior. Nodame is Chiaki’s junior, so she calls him Chiaki-senpai. Chiaki’s dream is to go to Europe to be a professional conductor. However when he returned from Vienna when he was young, there had been an emergency landing and he has an aeroplane phobia since then. Hence he is unable to fulfil his dreams because he can only stay in Japan.

The whole drama is a manga adaptation, so be prepared for manga style things happening like Nodame getting whacked and flying a huge distance before hitting a big rock.

The whole drama is about Nodame’s love for Chiaki and how he eventually “accepted” her love for him. It shows how Nodame helped Chiaki overcome his fear of planes, and eventually Chiaki is able to fly to Paris to further his studies as a conductor. It also shows how strong Nodame’s love for Chiaki is, because Nodame decided to immerse herself in music more and even attended competitions for him, something she said she will never do. In a way, she is giving up on her kindergarten teacher dream by working hard. (She has natural talent at piano also).

There is this character called Stresseman (Hope I spelled it correctly), who’s got to be one horny ah pek. But he is actually the Maestro, one of the superb conductors around the world. He’s super lame because he keeps going to parties and immense himself in the company of female escorts. He also likes reading Japan’s Magazines, the kind where skimpy clothing rule.

There are two episodes of SP to be watched after you complete the 11 episode drama. But that’s for another post. I give this drama 8.5/10. I enjoyed laughing at it. Seriously.