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Paperback Nodame Cantabile, Vol. 1 Book

ISBN: 0345481720

ISBN13: 9780345481726

Nodame Cantabile, Vol. 1

(Book #1 in the  / Nodame Cantabile Series)

The son of a famous pianist, music student Shinichi Chiaki dreams of studying abroad and becoming a conductor like his mentor. Unfortunately, his fear of flying grounds his lofty plans! As he watches other classmates achieve what he has always wanted, Shinichi wonders if he should quit music altogether. Then one day he meets fellow student Megumi Noda, also known as Nodame. This oddball girl cannot cook, clean, or even read a music score, but she...


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Customer Reviews

4 ratings

A Treasure

Classical music has never been as accessible as it is portrayed in "Nodame Cantabile". The main characters of the story are Noda Megumi, who goes by the nickname Nodame, and Chiaki Shinichi, and aspiring conductor. Both attend the same music school. Nodame is a very unique character. Her only dream is to be a kindergarten teacher, and she spends all her time writing children's songs. Since everyone at the school is aiming for a career in an orchestra, she seems like a fish out of water. Chiaki, the son of a famous pianist, dreams of nothing but becoming a world-class conductor. Living in the shadow of his estranged father, Chiaki has a lot of personal issues and isn't the most friendly person to be around. However, Nodame falls for him, and despite his adamant rejections, she never gives up. The best thing about this series is that it is enjoyable by both men and women. Women will be attracted to the love story. Men won't be turned off by it because the author takes a very comical approach to it. Also, don't let the classical music theme turn you off if you're not interested in classical music. The author makes it very approachable, and you'll find yourself looking for a few CDs after reading this comic. Give it a chance and you just might find yourself pleasantly surprised.

I never knew the essence of music could be conveyed without a sound!

Nodame is an offbeat title from the word go, and that may be one of it's best points. The idea for the story as explained by the author sounds like what's happened to inspire many good story artists. Another famous manga artist who does her own stories, Rumika Takahashi, started one of my favorite manga's, Maison Ikkoku, because she observed some weird people in a neighboring run down apartment building apparently having fun, and began to think about what must go one there. Nodame started with the authors view of a picture, of a music students room, that was filled with trash surrounding a piano. Normally a more orderly picture comes to mind with most, of us about the discipline, plus many hours of practice required to play good music, and the messy room thing just doesn't fit. From that small observation of an actual Nodame character, and her trashed out dwelling, the author develops an interesting story. The story is a bit different again, in that it does not focus on the main character. In truth, if we followed the logic, and day to day activities of Nodame, it would have made for a quirky, offbeat, but also somewhat disjointed story. I doubt that kind of story would not have attracted much of a readership. The author instead creates a brilliantly conceived lead character to focus on. One who is more like the concept of the supremely talented music student, but then gives him some nearly fatal flaws. Those flaws are helped in the story by the Nodame character, who ultimatly sees him as her boyfriend. He invaribly, or perhaps inexplicably to him, helps her but does not acknowledge them as a couple. What is intersting even more, is that the main characters as they play music, talk music, and interact at a music school can make this series about music interesting, without hearing a single note of it. There is an anime, I discovered later in fansub that is not yet licensed, and even a live action version, that can be had on popular auction sites, these both have music. I found out that it was just as interesting to read it than to listen to it, but getting both is still not a bad idea. I spoke of Nodame's character, so she should be discussed a bit more as an unusual character. She makes up words, tells white lies about herself to avoid confrontation, steals lunches, and is a constant mooch. She rarely takes baths, doesn't wash her hair, or groom it, and has a facination with a kiddie animated TV show. Her goal in life is to become a kindergarden teacher, yet she's on a maturity level of most kids of that age. Still as a person, she's incredibly talented without having any discipline, warm and caring, especially for the main character, and somewhat selfless. This is definately one of the oddest pairings in all of manga, but it's fun, and somewhat real.

A brilliant work inadequately translated

I saw that an earlier reviewer said this was a good translation. I suppose that shows how standards have plummeted in recent years, as publishers have stopped paying reasonable rates and opted instead to draw on the huge pool of self-styled "fan translators" who are willing to work for peanuts. This may be good enough for works targeted at teens or pre-teens, but in a work like this, aimed essentially at adults, readers are (I hope) more discriminating. True, this is a challenging work to translate, particularly because of the heroine's unique (and hilarious) style of speech, but that makes it all the more important to do it right. Still, the brilliance of this work manages to shine through the flat translation. Five stars for the original, three for the translation.

It about "Hari-sen"

Thank you so much for publishing this series in English. I just obtained Vol.12 from Japan, and am enjoying with my friends here; and in there finally Chiaki kissed Nodame-chan for the first time. (^^)v I'm wondering how American female readers find this comical love story. Chiaki is quite an arrogant man from American girls view, although his type is not unfamiliar to Japanese female. Translation is quite good. Some interpretations are really good like "No-dummy," or rotten cream stew is depicted as toilet swirl, and more. A few confusing or different interpretations, but it is still good. But, one big part I have to point out: "Hari-sen." I know all the dictionaries refer it as "Hari-sen-bon"(A thousand needles=a blow fish). In fact, "Harisen" means the tool (?) that Professor Eto always carries at the lesson (to whack his students when they make mistakes). The shape is like a large fan. This is from Kansai(Osaka)-area, if I'm not wrong. That is why Chiaki yelled to him to go back his home. Most of Japanese don't use it! (I thought only Yoshimoto Comedian Enterprise used it on TV.) Fold the paper such as newspaper or a construction paper like a fan, but 1-1/2' to 2' wide. Open it and hold or wrap one end for holding, and whach! (Not the way you use the regular fan, but side-way.) It sounds loud, but it doesn't hurt much. It is good for discipline a dog(?). That is what it is. And when this series goes on, Professor Eto has to give up his favorite tool when he wants to take in Nodame-chan as his student. At that time, this "blow-fish" translation will contradict. And he doesn't look like a blow fish. (The translator should be puzzled when translating.) I'm looking forward next volumes. (^^)
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