I’m surprised at some friends’ reactions to my new addiction as I wrote in my previous post. A friend from high school said that I appeared to be an intellectual and had never struck her as the anime-loving type. On the contrary, I read anything from comic books to poetry compilations and I look at myself as half-serious all the time.
Maybe the plot, the characters, and the story development of Nodame Cantabile, Nodame Paris, and Nodame Cantabile Finale have struck a chord within me. The themes about love, friendship, food, music, travel, and Europe also speak to me. I find the series extremely funny and whenever I recall my favorite scenes, I laugh out loud. I am inspired by Nodame, not just in her relentless pursuit of Chiaki, but in her growth as a musician, going beyond her comfort zone to prove that she can also hold her own as a concert pianist. I especially like how she did all these on her own terms, under the guidance of her teachers, but not necessarily with Chiaki.
Speaking of Shinichi Chiaki, whom Nodame lovingly calls senpai, he is a role model. He is described as excellent in everything, but he shows that he only accomplishes so much because he exerts effort, and things don’t always come easy for him. I found it moving, even though it is quite predictable, that Nodame is the only one who can help him conquer his fear of flying. His gradual falling in love with Nodame is quite realistic. He could have only been written by a woman, though, for Chiaki is too perfect – he cleans Nodame’s apartment, cooks for her, sight-reads complicated music sheets, conducts orchestras, plays the violin, and, also happens to be drop-dead gorgeous. So much so that Nodame keeps a secret photo album of Chiaki and smells his shirts whenever he is away. As another friend reminded me, Chiaki is only a fictional character and embodies the ideal, not the real.
Just like the characters from the TV show “Friends”, I feel as if the ones in Nodame’s world are my own friends. Because of them, I don’t mind watching the shows over and over again. I wish I could live next door to them. I am interested in their complicated love lives. I… am an addict, I guess.
I have wondered whether I should drop everything and start a new life in Japan, and then Paris, as a freshman in a Conservatory of Music. But reality always hits me and I have to reluctantly go back to my world, where there are neither concerts nor Chiakis; only work and responsibilities.