As anime fans, we all have our pet peeves with the medium; things that doesn’t sit with us well and things that just piss us off. We can be bugged by things like an “unusual” character design (Some people just don’t like designs for Kanon or Noein for example, though I have no problem with them), overdone character archetypes (I’m not really a fan of the whole tsundere “boom” that’s been promoted recently), an eschewing of real physics (Though it is anime. LOLsingularityexposure), and the like. Oftentimes, these are really minor, insignificant things that are blown out of proportion by whoever is getting pissed off. When you watch shows that manage to avoid those problems, I feel like you can enjoy them much more than usual, like Nodame Cantabile does for me. 😛
To be honest, I really hate it when characters are supposed to be playing music, typing on the computer, etc. (You know… actual moving instead of still shots with noise in the background…), and the the results don’t match what they are doing. If you keep on typing the same three frigging keys on a keyboard (Which I also hate… show some variation people!), I expect to see just those letters and those letters only on the screen or printed out, not a 247-pg thesis on antibodies! And if I see you playing slowly on that violin, I don’t like hearing music you “play” come out at twice that tempo because it’s obviously not you playing it like that at that moment! Even though it might kill the budget by matching sound/appearance to action, it kills me when I don’t see companies making the effort to animate that stuff. At the same time, when companies take that chance or have a nice budget to spend, the effects can be wonderful, such as with Haruhi Suzumiya’s godly performance with “God knows” by KyoAni, and in Nodame Cantibile, with (mostly well done) CG that shows people actually playing the music that you are hearing (you know what I mean). And that’s one of the reasons why I’m feeling this show this season.
Done by the same company/people who brought you the Honey and Clover anime, Nodame Cantabile seems to incorporate some of the former show’s traits in character design, and happily, in these individual’s “OMG” reactions to the situations that unfold in front of them. I really like the music (which helps since if you don’t like classical music, this wouldn’t necessarily be a good watch) in the background as well as the OP/ED, and the atmosphere feels welcoming (obviously college isn’t supposed to be a frightening place ><). In the six episodes I’ve watched so far, there is a really interesting cast of characters that is being set up, yet for the moment, it’s really all about the main pair, Chiaki and Nodame.
I feel that Chiaki is a poser. As a student in a music college, he’s damn good at music, but it seems like he feels as if that gives him the ability to be harshly critical of the talent of everyone else around him. And he longs to be a conductor, but lacks the experience, and probably also the will, to do so just yet. I call him a poser because while it seems like he wants to expand his knowledge and familiarity with music, he’s still self-consciously preventing himself from doing so. For example, while fear of travel makes sense as to why Chiaki hasn’t tried to go overseas to follow his conducting idol, it shouldn’t be a limiting factor. He should still make every effort possible to overcome any obstacle he might have in order to achieve what he wants. Chiaki’s just an asshole, and he’s no House either; he needs to be able to back up his personality with skills that complement it (in a good way). And yet I still like him anyway. :3
Even if I hated everyone else in Nodame, I couldn’t hate the namesake herself. She’s passionate about music and passionate about Chiaki, though so far he doesn’t feel the same for her. It’s quite touching, and often funny, to see the antics that she tries to set up in order to help further Chiaki’s progress/further her progress with Chiaki, as well as the situations that occur because of them. It’s also interesting to see how she unconsciously draws Chiaki, who’s initially very aloof, into meeting new people and trying things he wouldn’t have done before. Oddballs just seem to gravitate toward her, as she’s one herself. Ayako Kawasumi does a great job voicing the many quickly changing emotions of Nodame, as well as her awesome random sounds and exclamations (Can you imagine Nodame’s voice coming from other Kawasumi roles such as Saber or Lafiel?), and J.C. Staff does a great job animating those emotions.
It will be interesting to see how Chiaki and Nodame’s relationship will develop as we go along, but with the wacky situations, wacky people, and cool tunes they will meet and play along the way, it should be an enjoyable ride.