Nodame Cantabile Vol. #10 (

By:Eduardo M. Chavez
Review Date: Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Release Date: Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Ninomiya Tomoko
Translated by:David & Eriko Walsh
Adapted by:David & Eriko Walsh

What They Say
Look out, Paris! Nodame and Shinichi have arrived in the City of Light to study music. Unfortunately, Nodame focused so much on passing her conservatory exam that she forgot to learn the language. How do you say "Duh!" in French? And one of Shinichi's neighbors, a French otaku, seems to be filled with amour toward Nodame.

No matter how hard Shinichi tries to concentrate on the upcoming conducting competition, the budding romance keeps getting in the way. He wants to feel his music more deeply - but are there other feelings he needs to face?

The Review
With their ambitions leading them abroad, Noda and Chiaki leave Tokyo for Paris. There they hope to continue to gain momentum as they raise their musical talents on a larger more challenging stage. However, going to a new country poses a number of challenges. There are language and cultural hurdles to overcome. Then there is the cost of living abroad on a journeyman?fs salary. Do not forget about homesickness and the complete lack of free chukka ryori to mooch off! Maybe Noda should have thought this over a bit more. And maybe Chiaki should have decided to live away from Noda if he intended to ever earnestly become a great conductor in the vein of the great Vieri-sensei! ...Europe sure is not all chocolate and wine, that's for sure.

The France-arc begins... And honestly, I am disappointed. After so much build up leading to Noda and Chiaki's decision to take their talents abroad, little of the preparation was discussed. Instead, Ninomiya fresh from a trip to France, jumped right into this next chapter, occasionally looking back to mention that Noda dropped out college due to poor attendance and she briefly studied in Paris on her own leading up to her move. Apparently, Chiaki is not moving to Bavaria or Bohemia, either. Instead, he has moved in next door to his muse and is searching for his calling in a new continent. All of this could have happened in Tokyo! The bread eating and the anime conventions could have taken place in Shibuya. Chiaki's conductors contest could have been hosted by the NHK. Transplanting the two leads into a new setting doesn't change anything except the number of gaijin jokes.

Nodame's charm was its ability to juggle a huge cast to make them come together for comedic and romantic purposes. Without the Miike's and such, this title loses a lot of its edge. Noda is funny and Chiaki is stiff. But what really made them special? It had to be that orchestra. Without that, France is looking as dull as Oita-ken.

A few words on the presentation?c The cover is monstrous but this is really Ninomiya's fault. The source material looks pretty poor as Megumi quite a bit off model. I also felt Del Rey was grasping for straws with their translator notes. They stretched 6 notes (one describing otaku) over three pages. The Akihabara and cosplay notes were the same and I didn't feel they needed to write a note on Nodame's name 10 vols into the series. Notes about French otaku or conductor contests would have been appropriate but were missing.

Mania Grade: C
Art Rating: B
Packaging Rating: B
Text/Translatin Rating: A
Age Rating: 16 & Up
Released By: Del Rey
MSRP: 10.95
Pages: 196
ISBN: 0-345-49398-9
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left
Series: Nodame Cantabile