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Joyful comedy about a pair of talented music students, and their orchestra
One thing I can say about this series is that it's an expensive production with no efforts spared to improve the quality of the show. The actors are top notch, and music is portrayed accurately with interesting points captured to highlight the talents of the performers.
Shinichi Chiaki (Hiroshi Tamaki) is a talented music school student studying piano. His reputation is near cult level amongst the students. Combined with his good looks, he has many girls (and even a boy) enamored with him. One day under duress, he finds himself in his next door neighbor's apartment. His neighbor turns out to be Noda Megumi or Nodame (Juli Ueno) also a student studying piano in his school. She a perfect slob and her room is filled with garbage, and can't even find her own bed. Nodame was a child prodigy and can play almost any music without reading the music, but due to unfortunate incident during her childhood, has no aspiration to improve on her talent. Her goal is to become a preschool teacher. They meet, and Nodame comes to rely on Chiaki. She visits his apartment for food, to borrow a bath (because gas in her apartment has been stopped for non payment of monthly fees), and any excuse to be close to him. Chiaki has one weakness - due to a childhood trauma, he can't take a plane or a boat trip. This prevents him from going aboard to study in great European conservatories. One day a great conductor Frantz Strezemann (Naoto Takenaka) shows up at their school. He's a terrible womanizer but his true reason for coming to their school is - to teach Chiaki (On behest of the school's headmaster). Chiaki is a senior but he decides to change his major from pianist to a conductor. Strezemann starts to collect a rag tag team of flunky (but talented) students to form an orchestra and puts Chiaki in charge as its conductor. Chiaki while disgusted with the lack of discipline of the orchestra, with his talent and devotion, makes it into a credible ensemble of performers. In the mean time Nodame's talent is also discovered and she gets the training that she really deserves, but the only one who's not too excited about it is Nodame herself.
This is a delightful love comedy played on the back of an inspiring story about two talented musician's way to becoming world class performers. The show is both entertaining and inspiring. Hiroshi Tamaki captures the mood of world class composer in training perfectly, and Juli Ueno plays the unlikely partner to the perfectionist Tamaki portrays.
One of best comedy drama to come out of Asia of all times, it's highly recommended for viewing along with its "Europe TV Speciall" and the two "Nodame Final part 1 and 2" movies.
An English subtitled version is available for all audiences.
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