Few reasons on why I wanted to watch this initially were: a friend told me that it was funny and I knot that the story is about classical music, something that I like.
After finishing the whole series, I am pretty disatisfied with it. The jokes are more of 'lame' than 'funny' to me. And I hate guys who treat the girls rudely, be it with loud voice or rough actions, even though they are for humor sake. So the funny parts are a bit of no-no to me (the guy on guy jokes maybe quite hilarious but I have enough of that from the previous doramas I finished so it did not quite work this time for me). The classical songs featured in the movie are also not very grand to be performed (but that's only my opinion) though I pretty like the orchestra performance scenes.
As the title suggests, I would expect that the main focus of the story would be Nodame. But in the show, it seems that the main character is Chiaki. Most plots revolve around his orchestra and conducting. Nodame is sidelined until the last few episodes and the fact that piano is not featured in orchestra, it is not possible for Nodame and Chiaki to perform together. That is another minus point from me.
I hate the storyline to be honest. It was rushed towards the ends and the story just became weird nearing the end (Nodame sulking and the events leading to final performance was rather shitty). I feel that the S Orchestra part is nicer and serve as a better ending as compared to the Rising Star Orchestra. To me, a group of underachievers being handpicked by a famed Maestro to form S Orchestra (perhaps the only chance for these underachievers to perform in their whole university life) and to put up a concert is sweeter than watching a group of great students putting up performance just for the sake of money, fame, and gratitude towards Chiaki before he leaves for Europe. In addition, I like the S Orchestra performance so when it was repeated again at the final episode, it was boring.
I also hate Nodame's parts in the stories. It is just lame for her to procrastinate few days before her competition and she managed to do well. I know she is talented and all but it is just too good to be true. It becomes even more ridiculous that she went through the second round even though her first song was played horribly. And I absolutely hate her expression (moody, sad, emo) as she performs. Yuck yuck yuck..
The character development is rather pathetic too. There are so many characters but so few stories revolving about them. It seems that they are just there to fill positions for the orchestra and nothing else. I do not understand why near the end, they introduce another guy (who also like Chiaki) in the orchestra. Isn't one gay character to make the humours enough? But I have to admit that the long-haired violin girl is very pretty and feminine :) Hehehe...
A few good things which I can say about the show is: the Maestro Stresseman. I love his accent, funny but yet cool and classy. Lol.. Other than that, my favourite part is the S Orchestra performance. They put some 'show' which is not normally found in classical music setting. I always like the ideas of breaking the norms to inject novelity to the boring normal thingys :) So bravo for that.
After watching this show, I conclude that I absolutely have zero talent in music. Furthermore, I think I can no longer think that those people doing music are happy, nothing much to do, and just doing what they like. I am absolutely wrong. I see the music scores and oh la la.. I wonder how they can memorise and play those complicated and fast running notes accurately. Wow.. Bravo bravo!!
The show is also trying to portray classical music in a fair way. From Chiaki point of view, he learns free expression and personal intepretation in playing classical songs. This eventually leads to beyond normal S Orchestra's performance. From Nodame point of view, she learns that there are certain 'normal' ways to present classical music so despite of free expressions etc, there are some basic things which she has to follow. I guess this is applicable not only to classical music, but also to all aspect of life. We always need a balance between "following rules/traditions/tried and tested ways" and "doing something new/creativity".
Watching this also made me recall few musical experiences from my life. Before I studied in Singapore, I went for organ classes and there were always annual concert. I remembered those early days when I had to play in ensemble (during "It's a Small World" I was daydreaming and thank God I was sharing the melody with somebody else, otherwise it would be empty at the start), own solo concert (I was so stressed and stiff.. so ugly to watch as compared to a friend of mine who expressed his song through his swaying and body movements.. definitely much more pleasurable to watch), to my messy "Lemon Tree" song (it was my very last concert before quitting the course and yet people still clapped for me lol). I also remembered the time I did harmonica in JC. As assistant section leader, I was quite nasty. I barked at people though not to the point of pinpointing error to the persons who made them like what Chiaki did lol.. I remember my juniors asking me why I hated the harmonica box so much because I always banged it like crazy during practice when I did the beatings. LOL.. and I was especially anal when it came to ZEROs (yah.. it was absolutely ugly and confusing when people did not stop at the rests). And of course I was glad to see the beyond normal small group performance went through successfully. Well, harmoc is damn cheenah and you know how cheenah people are: very boring, do the same things, and do not want to do new things. So it was great to successfully force my friends to play a song while dancing at the same time. Though perhaps it was done pretty desperately (like in the movie) to cover up our weaknesses (I admitted the song I chose did not come out as what I had imagined when being played in harmonica) by showing light hearted and fun performance to make people laugh (and thus they misheard our mistakes if there were any).
Aaah.. such good old days.. One desire that I still cannot get is to be a conductor.. Lol I almost wanted to apply as student conductor for angklung but then the state of the club made me think that it was wiser if I ran to be a vice president to rectify commitment and latecomers problems. Haiz.. but still, I think it is quite cool to conduct things :D