Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.

3 January 2009: Nodame Cantabile: Paris Chapter nearly passes Kannagi on the homestretch

Nodame and Chiaki
Noda Megumi and Chiaki Shinichi, paper doll edition.

Nodame Cantabile: Paris Chapter started out as my favorite show this season and would have finished first in my End of Season Rankings (more on that later) were it not for a very solid season of Kannagi. Others offered some complaints about Nodame Paris, mostly regarding the new characters (and absence of old ones) and the look of the 3D orchestra. These issues don't bother me because my primary interests surround Nodame herself.

Nodame and Chiaki
It is unwise to toy with Nodame. She'll fuck you up.

It is nice to see her relationship with Chiaki has advanced. These are baby steps to be sure, especially if they've known each other four years already, but by anime standards they are leaps and bounds. At least they're officially a couple now. Granted, they aren't especially affectionate, but compared to other shows where couples act like total strangers even after one of them literally fucks loves the other one into a coma, Chiaki and Nodame are practically playing grab ass in the street. Okay?

Chiaki and Nodame
Chiaki helps Nodame relax.

I'm okay with new characters. It's better than keeping the original cast around forever and adding more and more new characters with each succeeding episode, diluting the screen time for all of them. StrikerS, I'm looking in your direction. Plus it wouldn't make sense for Nodame to feel homesick if everybody she knew in Japan happened to follow her following Chiaki to Paris. Pari-Hen is very much about Nodame adjusting and maturing as a person and a musician, and keeping her alone serves to promote that goal with the additional benefit of revealing just how needy and lonely Chiaki can be.

Arima and Miyazawa
Gainax and J.C. Staff try to save a little money.

The 3D orchestra does look bad, and I hope J.C. Staff learns from its previous partnerships and uses some of Gainax's cost-cutting techniques during season three should the budget get tight. E.g., paper dolls, still frames, and black & white scenes. I find those to be better options than re-using stock footage or leaning on brutal CGI. That's right, there will be a season three (really just season two part two, seeing as how Paris was only 11 episodes. I have every confidence the next Nodame Cantabile will be a must-see show and I'm looking forward to it already.

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