Nodame Cantabile has ended and for once I’m feeling content with an ending. Not disappointed, but not overly excited either and I think that pretty much sums up my overall feeling for the show too. Even though I’m happy with the show in general it took some getting used to because of skewed expectations as I expected something romantic, but after accepting that there would be very little of that I started enjoying the show for a completely different reason; I actually started looking forward to seeing Chiaki progress in his music career.
To be completely honest I felt that Nodame was a very one dimensional character and I had a hard time thinking of her as a real person, and because of this I couldn’t really feel any romance between her and Chiaki. The exception might be the last episode, and the ending which I felt was pretty fitting and nicely done. It didn’t feel like it came out of the blue either, despite how I felt about deepness of Nodame’s character. For most of the other episodes however she felt lacking in substance and only had gag or slapstick moments, and generally just used for comedic relief and I felt this if anything was a bit of a disappointment. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the comedy parts she brought forward, but I think for her prominent role in the show it wouldn’t have hurt to flesh her character out more and earlier. Despite this disappointment I learned to appreciate the show for other reasons as mentioned above.
Now Chiaki on the other hand was a really interesting character that I think they really succeeded with. They even managed to avoid being trite with his constant successes that is a danger in every show where the protagonist succeeds in almost everything he does by showing how extremely hard working he was. Every waken moment was spent practicing or thinking of music and how to improve himself. They didn’t attribute his success to him being some kind of fantasy genius and this is what really clicked with me. No matter how natural something comes to you, you always have to practice to be the best.
So is Nodame Cantabile among the best shows I’ve ever seen? Not really, but even if it’s not it’s close enough to the hall of fame to be considered a must see if you enjoy slice of life kind of shows. It managed to deliver with almost all episodes and was always among the first shows on my too-see list for the season plus it managed to have a pretty good ending for a slice of life show.