Classical music orchestra is Serious Business!
As mentioned in the last review, Nodame Cantabile Finale is the fourth 2010 anime title reviewed here for the ongoing ‘Anime of the Year 2010’ audition. This anime is chosen specifically because I’m tired of seeing an application of a certain animation technique. Does this 2010 title utilized it just like the what the three other previous audition participant had? Or maybe should I worry about something far more important? Like the storyline, for example?
The two main protagonists of this anime, also the best of them all.
After all the events in the preceding two seasons of this series, the two main protagonists are still doing their things in Europe. The main male protagonist conducts more orchestras while the main title female protagonist plays more piano. 13 episodes and plenty of omitted manga materials later, this anime ends, for good.
As a recap, in the first season, about 9 or 10 manga volume worth of materials was spread in 24 episodes with very minor omissions. The first season is so good it held the ‘Anime of the Year 2007’ title for more than two years, beating many illustrious challengers such as Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann and Kaiji before being deposed recently by Bokurano.
For the second season, about 6 or 7 manga volume worth of materials were crammed into a pithy 12 episodes, with a little bit more omissions that in the first season. This has two effects; first the pacing of the second season is faster than in the first, way faster. Secondly, the fast pacing combined with the various omissions from the reference manga caused the storyline to be disjointed, therefore unable to develop and flow smoothly. The biggest problem that the second season has is not the quality of the storyline (the manga is excellent, one of the best I have ever read) but the method of adaptation and its presentation.
And for the third season reviewed here, few things has changed. The episode count is still limited at 12 (13 if the non-canon episode is also counted) and whatever manga material that is still left unaired are crammed into them. But this time, the director slowed down the pacing by removing huge amounts of very important plots. The most striking example is the story arc that sees the main title female protagonist meeting with the main male protagonist’s father, who is also a pianist just like her. This directorial maneuvering helps improve the pacing and the development of the remaining storyline, at the cost of quality.
This sir, is not acceptable.
Regardless of the fast pacing and somewhat incoherent plot flow that plagued the second season, its story is still good and awesome. That’s why the second season scored 8 out of 10, which is a respectable score around this part. Even the previous 3 participants of the currently running ‘Anime of the Year 2010’ audition doesn’t score that high. The sacrifice of storyline quality for a better presentation IMO is not worth it. For those who doesn’t read the manga and only watched the anime, the improvement in presentation should be worth it though because the remaining plot-lines that survived the wrath of the director were executed and storied very well. The solid yet awesome ending is a good example of it.
Character developments continues very well in this third season, but if the arc about the main male protagonist’s father is not completely omitted, could have been better. That missing arc would have helped advanced the main male protagonist even further. The saner pacing in this final season also helps the developments of other dwellers in Nodame’s apartment. The best characters remains the two main protagonist of course.
Barging into the shower while the main male protagonist is still inside is our heroine's specialty.
My comments from the first season still applies. They are as excellent as ever and a positive aspect for this anime.
The music in the third season has recovered from the minor blip that happened in the second season. The OP theme and OST are great as usual, and the ED theme is the best song theme that this series could ever have. A positive point for this anime.
While Mr. Director Chiaki Kon is definitely a destroyer of franchises, at least he is sane enough to not use that abhorrent blurry animation technique I have mentioned in the previous three consecutive reviews before this one. Animation in this anime is still as slick as ever, with virtually no fast-scenes and choreography that I can comment on whatsoever. That is probably why Mr. Director doesn’t use it in this anime.
Mr. Director really dropped the ball with his decision to omit major story arcs out from the final season of this series. He would have done better if he just stick to repeat what he has done in the second season, if following the footsteps of the director of the first season (not Chiaki Kon) is too hard for him. But then again, not using the animation technique that I hate is very good decision too.
7 out of 10. Currently the best anime reviewed in the audition to date, despite the fact that both Arakawa Under The Bridge and Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu also scored the same amount of points. 6 anime titles left to review…
Attempts by the main male protagonist to do the same doesn't work though.