Nodame Cantabile Finale – 11 (END)

And so ends Nodame Cantabile. Despite the talk before the season of Nodame‘s ending being unsatisfactory, I found the comment of reader Rikku in my ep4 post to be accurate: The second half of the episode (which comprises the events of the final chapter) is not exactly exciting in comparison to the climax of the first half (which is pulled off quite well), but it does fit the tone of the series and the personalities of its leads. I’m perfectly fine with the conclusion of Nodame. It works.

Probably the best moment in this episode — aside from the hug, of course :p — is Nodame going all Serious Business and playing the piano for the kids, whereupon the animation quality kicks up a few notches. Nodame swaying back in forth, perfectly in rhythm to her playing to the point where even her hair seems to be flowing in tune to the music . . . it’s just a beautiful moment, and it’s doubtful that Nodame herself as ever looked more gorgeous than she does when that Beethoven piece. And when Chiaki is about to knock on Nodame’s door but then hesitates because he hears her playing . . . it wouldn’t be surprising to know that in that moment he could picture exactly how Nodame looks playing the piano to a tee.

Speaking of Chiaki, it is great to see him come to his senses just before he barges in on Nodame. Before he goes to visit Nodame, he seems conflicted about what he actually wants despite his resolute tone regarding his decision to propose to Nodame and accept whatever decision she makes about her music. Then he actually hears the warmth and love that has always been present in her music, and he remembers why he fell for Nodame in the first place, and he also realizes that he cannot let her quit reaching as far as she can with her talent, whether she plays in concerts or not. Of course he wants Nodame to play in a concert with him, but . . .

. . . It’s a hell of an idea for Chiaki and Nodame to come full circle and play Mozart’s Sonata for Two Pianos, which is the first piece they played together way back when in Japan. Chiaki already realizes how much he and Nodame have grown, because he hears it every time Nodame plays a piece on the piano; however, Nodame is so wrapped up in all the drama of her life — which is of course understandable — that she doesn’t really have such a clear view of how much she has grown and connected with Chiaki, though of course she certainly has a good idea (which is why she asks God if all she has done is finally good enough).

Just as hearing Nodame play continually reminds Chiaki about all he loves in music, playing with Chiaki melts away all the fears and insecurities that had built up in Nodame about the perfect setting and the perfect performance. She searches for that one moment of perfection where life is as grand as we read about in fiction or see on TV or the movies or whatever, but all that buildup simply frustrates Nodame instead of giving her something to look forward to, since things keep cropping up to dash her dreams. But by playing with Chiaki here, Nodame is able to connect with him in a way that only she can, and she is able to once again feel just how fun it is to just play music.

And again, that hug at the end is too heartwarming. Love it.

As for the ending itself . . . well, it’s not particularly dramatic, but it is good to see everyone moving forward with their love of music driving them. It feels fitting for this series; and it is good to see Nodame herself come to an understanding about what exactly she wants out of her musical career, and why she plays music. She understands that she wants to touch people with her music, and she is able to give back to the audience and fully utilize her talents without becoming completely burned out on the business side of things.

And of course Chiaki is able to make it to Nodame’s concert this time. Bet he couldn’t apologize enough for missing the previous concert.

Finale is a fitting conclusion to Nodame Cantabile. It starts off a bit rough and seems at first closer in tone to Paris Chapter than the first season, but it makes a fantastic turn around the middle of the season and becomes, I think, the best show of this season along with Durarara!! The saga of Chiaki and Nodame is one of anime’s best romantic comedies, for sure.

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10 Responses to “Nodame Cantabile Finale – 11 (END)”

  1. It was sad that Nodame is finished now. I’d love to see more of the pair. I generally consider Finale superior to Paris but I marathoned the first 2 and the live action so I love em all. Can’t wait for the live action films for finale.

    Have you seen the live version of Nodame? I was skeptical but I think the 60min format fits it better than the 30min of the animation. I love it equally if not a tiny bit better than the anime.

    • I watched a couple of episodes a few years back when I went to my college’s anime club. It was pretty cool; I remember liking it a lot.

  2. It really was a great franchise. Although I never saw any of the manga, I loved the anime (especially season 1, but every season was worth watching IMO), and the live dorama version was fun, too (Mizukawa Asami was perfect for Kiyora, first violin, & Mine’s girlfriend).

  3. Hi. :)

    I don’t know if it was my comprehension, or the scanlators of the manga but I think the anime presented the ending much much better than the manga.

    (they have the same ending, tomake it clear)

  4. Great review. Have a lot of similar feelings about the series. Thought the ending can across as well done and pretty sweet really.

    Just a slight correction though, the first piece they ever played together was Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 2, not Mozart’s Sonata for 2 Pianos. Nodame wanted to do a concerto with Chiaki after hearing him with the orchestra but Chiaki understanding how it’s not possible for her to do so with her usual style of improvisation dragged her to play together to hear her “progress after practicing”.

  5. Me too! I love the two couple so much besides, Nodame made my mind up that I’m going to study piano despite of my age. I like to perform just like her. To inspire and to touch through good music.
    I am still hoping that they will make another episode, more romantic and crazier just like it used to.

  6. Lauren Says:

    Whoa, no one has said anything in over a year! But hey, I just discovered Nodame Cantabile and your reviews, so I thought I’d throw my two cents in here as well!
    Once I started watching this show, I wasn’t too thrilled at first. I thought it was going to be another anime where the guy is a cold-hearted man who doesn’t come to his senses about loved the heroine until the very end of the show altogether. But, I truly enjoyed Nodame and Chiaki’s romantic development. It was so beautiful and heart wrenchinly sad at the same time. It took the two a while to completely connect with eachother. At times when they seems like they were connecting, something would happen and they would end up back where they started. I feel like Nodame’s insecurites especially got in the way of things. The ironic thing is though, is that he, as well as Rui and others, were jealous of her, like how she could be so carefree with her piano playing, yet she stayed so focused and ended up playing beautifully. She had something special that no other talent could match up to.
    It was wonderful watching Nodame grow, as well as Chiaki. He started to loosen up and he learned to let others in. Nodame allowed him to see an entirely different perspective of music that he never saw before. He changed her as well, giving her inspiration and love, without spoiling her too much. Even though, and many of the characters pointed this out, she is and always will be weird, she definitely did grow up, even if she didn’t realize it. On a different note, It was so adorable seeing how much Chiaki really loved her, even if he didn’t always show it. I loved how their relationship wasn’t lovey dovey, and they just had a few beautifuly romantic moments that made my heart ache a little. (I want a Chiaki! Dx) Haha but seriously, I’m so happy I discovered this anime. My favorite part has to be in the Paris season where Chiaki breaks up with her, and instead of her just crying and running away, she beats the hell out of him! It was such a beautiful and hilarious scene! Ah I loved it. It was so different than any anime I ever watched. I never really felt too threatened about love rivals, because anyone who was interested in either Nodame or Chiaki soon realized that they had a special bond that nobody could match up to.
    I doubt anyone will see this, but I just had to get my thoughts out there!!
    au revoir, amis! ~~

  7. basith Says:

    Very sad

    thats what i think about the end of finale 11. i want to see nodame and chiaki wedding party , tanya and kuroki concour result and anything else,

    why this finale is not complete happy ending, become half happy ending is frustate me sometimes

    T_T

    i hope they create the next nodame manga or anime,

  8. Yinnie Says:

    I just finished all 3 series. It was fantastic!!!! I love the relationship between chiaki and nodame and it was so wonderfully portrayed. It was very romantic despite romance not always being the focus but those moments where it was romantic really got to me. Their interactions with each other was hilarious. I love the fact he always ending up cooking and cleaning for her and preparing food when he goes away….so sweet and funny. I think one of my favorite moments of chiaki is when he was buying the necklace for her….it was fantastic to see him being shy and stammering. I would love to see more moments of him being like that. I also love the fight they had on the bridge and really shows that Nodame is not a pushover. One of the best romantic anime couples around. (My fav would still be Tomoya and Nagisa from Clannad / After story) but then that is my all time favorite anime.

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