Nodame Cantabile Vol. #12 -

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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: 10.99
  • Pages: 200
  • ISBN: 978-0-345-49400-9
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: Nabi the Prototype

Nodame Cantabile Vol. #12

By Danielle Van Gorder     June 09, 2008
Release Date: March 31, 2008

Nodame Cantabile Vol.#12
© Del Rey

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Tomoko Ninomiya
Translated by:Ikoi Hiroe
Adapted by:Ikoi Hiroe

What They Say
Paris is full of young lovers and aspiring artists. Nodame and Chiaki happen to be both, but soon they may have to make a choice! It seems that the more time Nodame spends with Chiaki, the more her piano playing hits a sour note. Will Nodame have to choose between music and love?

The Review
Finally back in Paris preparing for his debut, Chiaki has certain expectations about how things are going to go - both with his symphony and with Nodame. But Nodame is always one to defy expectations, so rather than being her usual exuberant and not entirely socially acceptable self, Chiaki returns home to find a spotless apartment (not the Nodame-mess he expected) and a strangely subdued (and not hungry!) Nodame. The challenges of school and sight reading, and trying to live up to her own heightened expectations, has worn Nodame down, leaving her a shadow of herself without any real confidence in her abilities.

While Nodame struggles to find her music in a sea of expectations, Chiaki's Parisian debut goes off without a hitch. Determined to help Nodame in some way, Chiaki takes her to an art museum in an attempt to help broaden her artistic sensibilities, in the hopes that it will help her understanding of music. And Chiaki isn't the only ally Nodame has - when he notices a change in Nodame's playing after Chiaki's return, an artist who lives in her building comes to her defense and warns Chiaki not to meddle with her. This eventually leads to a very funny scene where the paintings he's made representing the performances of several students are shown to those same students, much to their dismay. Artistic interpretation is in the eye of the beholder, but that doesn't mean the original artist has to like it!

While Chiaki is off to Holland, Nodame is struggling with the precise structure of Bach, which seems so ill-suited to her unrestrained and somewhat chaotic style. Fugue and counterpoint completely baffle her, so a friend offers to take her to a local cathedral so she can hear Bach played on the organ, thinking it might help her. The organist's views might just be the key she needs. But without her even realizing it, there seems to be trouble brewing between Nodame and Chiaki.

Nodame Cantibile is like nothing else out there - not just for the subject matter, but for the way the characters interact and develop as the story progresses. This volume seems to focus on transitions - transitions in Chiaki's conducting style, transitions in Nodame's understanding of the world...and the transitions in their relationship that seem to be building up to something big, for better or for worse. Highly, highly recommended.


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