Many thanks to my 19 year old daughter for introducing me to this little gem in 12 episodes, two special episodes, and two films that will come out toward the end of the year (in Japan, of course). It is the second Japanese series that I have fallen in love with in a year, and I told her : "Whoah, not too many series" because I don't want to become a no-life...(Some people would raise the question as to whether I am not ALREADY a no-life. If I am, my no-life is not FILLED with the computer, but with many alternative activities...) In Japanese, a no-life is a "okuyu", if I remember correctly.
I gave up on American television when I was 19 because... I found it boring, stupid, whatever. Even public TV had some kind of aura that just couldn't capture the interest of someone who was reading Thomas Hardy, Alexander Pope (link back to Hell...), sci fi. American TV was monumentally shitty.
And when I came to France, and discovered the TV of 1979, whoah, I fell back into it, because French TV at that time was CLASSY CLASSY. When Mitterand handed our first network over to the private sector in 1982 or so, it went downhill really fast, and I will no longer watch it either.
But... back to Nodame Cantabile.
I am putting my human ethology hat on, for a few comments.
The series is about a group of kids in a music academy. There are the "normal" kids : competitive, little robots that are on a running track to fame and fortune in an orchestra, or as soloists. They get along well in an elitist world where they are ground into the ground by the competition, pushed to the limit in... the world that WE have created in OUR vision of the way things... SHOULD BE. (You know, the best of the best, etc, you KNOW the dominant ideology these days, don't you ? If you don't, just take a little stroll on... Sudden Debt, and you will see it playing out...)
And then there are the... NOT normal ones. The sensitive ones. The.... EXTREMELY gifted ones who don't survive OUR ideology. They CAN NOT or WILL NOT become little submissive robots, evacuating all their emotions. BUT... their gifts are tremendous.
And the series shows what happens when... the not normal kids are ALLOWED to BE WHO THEY ARE, to do things THEIR WAY, to develop at THEIR pace, and not at OURS, at the teachers' pace.
It also shows what happens when the "normal" and the not normal get together.
EVERYBODY gains from this experience.
And another thing : the series shows people who are feeling and expressing emotions : tenderness, pain, love, people who can openly express their... fragility, (not weakness...).
Thai, this one is for you : IN ORDER FOR THERE TO BE COOPERATION, PEOPLE MUST RECOGNIZE AND ACCOMODATE THEIR OWN FRAGILITY, AND THE FRAGILITY OF OTHERS.
They/we must recognize OUR interdependance.
Nodame is a joy, because the series is joyful and not cynical. The characters are HUMAN, not... robotic. And... it WILL transform Japanese society. BECAUSE : when we see people behaving this way, even if it is a fiction, we identify with them, we share their emotions which become our own. And the MORE we see people feeling and expressing emotions like tenderness, the more it will become ACCEPTABLE to feel and EXPRESS publicly these emotions.
And... our society will CHANGE, as it MUST, on this point.
Last comment : I am sharing Nodame with YOU, and with other friends, but NOT... my spy friends. These people are... forensic pathologists who snip and clip, peel back the skin, and DISSECT, DISSECT EVERYTHING.
I'm... tired of dissection. It was a family... trait that I no longer want to continue.