Posted by psgels on 19 December 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews


Well, it’s not fun to be harsh against a series that I originally fell in love with, but I have to be honest: The Paris Chapters of Nodame Cantabile are not as good as the original Nodame Cantabile series. It’s still a fun and engaging series, but in the end it didn’t live up to the expectations that were created by the stellar first season.

The cause of this is definitely not due to the main characters: Nodame and Chiaki are still wonderful characters, and the best jokes about them are still downright hilarious, in the same fashion as the first season. In the Paris Chapter, we can explore both of them as they try to break through in the professional classical music business. It’s a tale about young adults, just like you’d expect from Noitamina and it works wonderful.

But in the end, it feels like something is missing. To start with, the side-characters just aren’t as interesting as the side-cast of the first season. It may be because the second season was only handed half of the airtime when compared to the first one, but even then they feel really bland and one-sided when compared to the colourful side-characters of the first season. These people managed to make an impact from the first moment they appeared on screen, which is what I missed here a bit.

And then there’s also the matter that the second season just covers a bit more boring part of the life of the main characters. It’s all pretty straightforward here: you know these guys are going to break through, when compared to the first season where they had much more and bigger problems to deal with.

The animation quality also seems to have decreased: the motion-capture is even more apparent, and the regular animation feels that it was blessed with a smaller budget. Still, don’t get me wrong: this series still is very good. A rating of 82,5/100 for me is still a really enjoyable series, and it’s still really fun to watch. It just doesn’t live up to season one, which was just too good for this series. Sure, the Paris Chapters serve as a good build-up, but as a standalone series you do not want to expect the same quality as the first season.

Storytelling: 8/10
Characters: 9/10
Production-Values: 8/10
Setting: 8/10

8 Responses

  1. Avatar biankita says:

    i cannot agree with you more! things went downhill ever since episode 2, but they recovered in following episodes but never in the same caliber. i can’t believe the day would come where i would say that the jdrama version is better than the anime season. -_-”’

  2. Avatar senerikfred says:

    YOU’RE BACK!
    It’s not like I got bored out of my mind without being able to spam you or anything.

    I watched and loved the first series, but it looks like I made the right choice in not jumping into the Paris chapter just yet. The next season is already in the works according to ANN, so I’ll wait and see how that turns out.

  3. Avatar Marmoset says:

    I really enjoyed how the first series obviously had a love for classical music that it wanted to share and didn’t patronise nor feel too aloof. It dabbled a bit too much in lazy and cliched storylines (way too much time spent on tragic childhood stories) to be a classic but it had a charm and unusual subject matter that made it enjoyable.

    Subs have 3/4 episodes to go but I’m not on the edge of my seat for them. It hasn’t just been that the new supporting characters are boring, they get far more screentime than the first seasons secondary character. Even if Nodame is in the title, the main protagonist (and most interesting character) has always been Chiaki and he barely seems to be in season 2.

  4. Avatar pgal says:

    I am so disappointed. The problem is that they were rushing through the manga. I thought that since the third season was announced, they would slow down.
    I saw the raw for the last episode, even though I do not understand Japanese, and was horrified. They placed eight chapters into the final episode. They skipped some stuff and made some modifications to make everything seem to fit together.
    As I said, I do not understand Japanese so I can’t fully comment on the episode. But I am disappointed that they placed a really good arc, and one of my favourites, into one episode.

  5. Avatar Doug Napoleone says:

    I am also very very disappointed with this season. Especially when compared to the Live Action version of this arc. The Live Action Paris ‘specials’ were shot on location in Paris and were fantastic. The story was much, much shorter as well. The Live Action version of the first series was 26 hours long, while the Live Action version of the second was just 4 hours long.

    It really feels like they took the very popular Live Action Paris specials, and then tries to make a second series out of them, and fell horribly flat. Actually there is nothing ‘like’ about it, that is exactly what they did.

  6. Avatar Khan says:

    I thought that the series would have been great if the producers had waited until they had more of the story to work with. The relationship between Chiaki and Nodame wasn’t satisfying at all, especially with all the buildup going on in the first season.

  7. Avatar DuhMightyBeanz says:

    I was going to comment on NC’s first season but yeah…What the heck,its better to comment here cause its the second season and its better for comparison’s sake.

    I agree that NC’s first season was actually MORE engaging than the second.The focus of Classical music was more on the first season than the second focuses more on the love life of Chiaki and Nodame.Its not a bad thing but the second season just lost its appeal because of it.It feels sort of rushed too because of the fact they skipped the ENTIRE conducting competition.Well,only Chiaki’s bit stayed and some of the character’s choices of what to watch stayed but still it felt like Classical music was not appreciated nearly as much as its first season counterpart.This is coming from a Classical music aficionado.

    I wouldn’t have rated it 82.5 for that fact.I probably would have crowned it at about 75.

  8. Avatar dragonballgo says:

    It lyrically fuses together the real and the supernatural worlds into a satisfying allegory, where both worlds seem to exist side by side.

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