Nodame Cantabile Vol. #09 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: A-

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  • Art Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A-
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Released By: Del Rey
  • MSRP: 10.95
  • Pages: 194
  • ISBN: 1-4012-1078-3
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Nodame Cantabile Vol. #09

By Eduardo M. Chavez     May 23, 2007
Release Date: May 01, 2007

Nodame Cantabile Vol.#09
© Del Rey

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

What They Say
Nodame's grueling lessons with her teacher have paid off: at last she agrees to play in a piano competition. Too bad there's not enough time for Nodame to learn all the required pieces...

Meanwhile, Shinichi has mysteriously overcome his fear of flying and finally decided to go to Europe to further his musical studies. Out of the blue, he asks Nodame to join him - but she turns him down. Determined, Shinichi travels to Nodame's hometown. Will the challenge prove too great, once he finds out about Nodame's strange past - and her wacky family?

The Review
Ninomiya's musical dramedy has always been part orchestral performance part irreverent sitcom. With volume nine of Nodame places itself among the upper echelons of translated girl's manga. What sets Nodame apart is how versatile this manga can be. At any given moment this series could be a musical, a sitcom or a high drama romance. This volume turns Nodame into a battle manga with Gone with the Wind influences. Chiaki might not be Rhett to Nodame's Scarlet, but this crew is strong, proud and just as vulnerable as those southerners. And there is so much adversity these two had to overcome. Piano contests on one side and concerts on the other, every note and every sonata expresses the emotions and state of mind these characters are in better than any dialogue can. Family troubles and personal shame also weigh heavily on these two. And despite all the pressure on them, they are able to bring life to Schubert, Beethoven and Brahms to purpose to their struggle.

With Nodame and Chiaki preparing for their final performances of the year, probably the biggest performances of their lives, the two young talents are at a crossroads. Their attitudes are taking them in different directions, when their talent could bring them closer than ever. Fear and uncertainty has finally caught up with Nodame. She thought her purpose in life was to be a teacher. Music was fun and there is no doubt she has a gift, but music also means pressure. And she has never been able to properly deal with that. Right now the only thing that can bring these two together is music though. Will Nodame be able to take that stress? Can Chiaki admit to Nodame that he needs her? Maybe he can say it with music...

After experiencing the live drama, I feel this is a great point to come into the series if you haven't been keeping up Megumi and Chiaki troubles in the not so glamorous world of classical music. With the narrative picking up a bit and Ninomiya's great sense of humor, enjoying Nodame has never been easier. Ultimately though, it is the music that sets the tempo and really makes this volume shine. I was able to really see Ninomiya had fun rendering the music in her art. The visuals were great. Dialogue also helped build up a sense of appreciation and musical comprehension that enhanced the experience.

Great title overall and good place to start the next arc in this on-going series.


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