Friday, April 2, 2010

Nodame Cantabile: Finale - anime review

I have surprised myself and finished this anime in three days. On the other hand, it has only eleven episodes. And of course, it is a great and very watchable anime, so I shouldn't be so surprised.

I was just thinking, am I maybe a bit too uncritical, since most of my posts were recommendations? But, I had two books from already established series, that I know it would be good. One book was a reread - also knew it was good. Three mangas I read, all had an anime version that I liked. And I must say I had luck with choosing anime this year - most were good. Last year I wasn't so lucky and has some bad choices. So it's not surprising that I liked everything I wrote about.

Source: AniDB

"Nodame Cantabile: Finale" is similar case to books: it's a third season of anime that I know I like, so no one should be surprised I will recommend it, too (at least to those who liked previous seasons). For now, it looks that this will also be a last season, since manga is not ongoing anymore. There is one special volume, so I presume there is good probability for OVA, but we'll see. Though, there was no actual ending here, so maybe manga will be continued sometime in the future. I, for one, wouldn't object it at the least.

Anime continues story from previous seasons: it follows life of a large number of classical music students, performers, conductors and so on. Two main protagonists are Nodame and Chiaki, young Japanese couple (or "couple"), that are currently studying and working in Paris. Nodame is light, wacky and irresponsible, while Chiaki is strict, hard-working and sometimes insensitive, but they are connected by their love for music. There are many supporting characters, each with distinct characteristics and nature - they are all described very well and in details. This season doesn't introduce any new characters and focus on old cast from "Paris Hen" chapter.

This is a josei anime, so you should know what to expect here: light humor, slice-of-life episodes and romance. There are no tense action scenes or mysterious bad guys - most of time we follow characters performing music, studying music, practicing music and relaxing from these activities. So, you will not stay up late because you really must watch only one more episode, but you will watch this and realize that you just spent two hours watching anime. That is, if you like this type of anime.

Quality remained same: light and pastel colors, constantly blushing faces, everybody tall and pretty. Sounds and music are what you would expect from anime that depicts classical music students. All musical pieces are real: Bach, Chopin, Mozart, Beethoven... It interesting that this anime is actually inspired by real Noda Megumi; this is also true for some other characters. If you like classical music, this will be a bonus for you. I don't consider myself a classic fan (neither music nor literature), but I appreciate it and think that it's good to know it at least on level of recognition.

To summarize: if you liked original "Nodame Cantabile" or sequel "Nodame Cantabile: Paris Hen" you will like "Nodame Cantabile: Finale". If you like josei anime, you will probably like this too - it's like "Hachimitsu to Clover" but with much less pain and suffer. If you think these are girls-anime, then better avoid it.

In next week, I will read some manga, but I'm still undecided which.

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