Thursday, October 16, 2014

Recap:// Nodame Cantabile Episode 4

Nodame decorates to celebrate Chiaki's appointment as conductor to S-Oke, but he's not happy at all. However, he reasons that many conductors have no chance to conduct, so he resolves to make S-Oke sound good.

When Chiaki arrives at practice, the members are excited to show him the t-shirts they made.

Nodame grills fish to make Chiaki the Beloved Wife Lunch Box. Maki points out that Chiaki probably thinks of her more as a dog than a wife. Nodame thinks about all the things he does for her... and all the times he has rejected her, and her mood comes down. And incidentally, the fish catches on fire.

Mine leads the violins in dramatically posing while playing, and Chiaki stops practice to demand that they play properly. Mine argues that he wants to express music with his whole body and add some rock into it, Jimi Hendrix style.

Everyone agrees that they can't beat A-Oke by playing the conventional way, so they all want to be a rock orchestra. Chiaki yells corrections at them and insists that they play it according to the score.

The teachers dining at Uraken, discuss disbanding S-Oke before they embarrass the school. Tanioka says it should be interesting with Chiaki conducting. The other teachers agree to let A-Oke beat them before disbanding S-Oke. Mine's father indignantly points out his new menu item, Beat A-Oke Ramen.

Chiaki reflects on S-Oke and wonders why they can't play accurately. Nodame interrupts his reverie with Operation Love Food Delivery. She insists they make dinner with the hotpot package her family has sent. Chiaki grudgingly prepares everything while Nodame sets up the kotatsu from her apartment.

Chiaki has never used a kotatsu before because his family lived in Europe when he was young. Then when he came back to Japan with his mother, they lived in a western style home. He slides into the kotatsu and the warmth relaxes him instantly. Nodame announces that she will feed him since she's the wife.

When Chiaki awakens, he decides to put off cleaning up and studying the score until later. The kotatsu, popular since the Muromachi period, will cause him to suffer later.

Chiaki wakes up distressed to find it's the afternoon. He sees Nodame in her pajamas, watching the TV which is now on the sofa. She explains that it was difficult to see from the kotatsu, so she moved it. When he tells her to go home, Nodame simply says the kotatsu is here. And, since there are so many ingredients left, they should cook hotpot again. She offers him a beer that she got at the convenience store earlier, and Chiaki appreciates her thoughtfulness.

At the library, Mine reads Orchestra for Beginners to fulfill his role as the concert master. Kiyora comes in and teases him. She recites the book's definition of a concert master from memory, to his amazement.  Kiyora tells Mine that she studied like crazy when she first started the position too.

Chiaki finds it hard to get out of the kotatsu. When he wakes up again, he is shocked to see how messy his apartment is.

Chiaki gets up to clean and finds Nodame sleeping comfortably in his bed. As he's kicking her out, Mine and Masumi arrive with lunch. They are surprised to see Nodame dressed in pajamas, and Mine asks if they are living together. Masumi promises to kill Nodame. Chiaki demands to know why they are there. Masumi explains that Mine is taking the job of concert master seriously and wants to be close to Chiaki to support him.

Chiaki tries to study the score, but the others keep making noise and messes, not to mention passing gas under the kotatsu. He decides that the root of the problem is the kotatsu. The warmth of it dulls the senses of body and mind, corrupting everyone beneath it. He bribes the others to go to the convenience store, then quickly takes the kotatsu out to the garbage pick up area.

Unfortunately, the others took the key along with them, and they bring the kotatsu back in. Chiaki ends up yelling at them, and kicking everyone out.

At practice the next day, Chiaki yells at everyone, bringing morale down.

A-Oke's practice goes well, but Strezemann cuts it short. Kiyori asks him to teach them more, but he says he has an appointment and leaves. Outside Ookouchi asks Strezemann if he can conduct A-Oke. Strezemann asks what gift he will give him under the table for such a favor. Taken aback, Ookouchi has nothing to offer, so he goes to take a peek at S-Oke's practice.

Nodame guards the door to S-Oke's practice room and asks Ookouchi if he's a spy. The members of S-Oke burst out into the hall, upset at Chiaki's treatment and talking about boycotting him. Ookouchi is triumphant that Chiaki is nothing to fear, since good character is the first requirement of a conductor.

Masumi tells Kiyora that the orchestra sounds really bad and the members want to boycott. She tells them to work hard, and Mine says that she's cold for not helping them more. She advises him that it's the concert master's job to help the conductor when he's in trouble.

Mine takes Kiyora's words to heart. Although the S-Oke members complain that Chiaki will never be satisfied, Mine convinces them to practice.

Nodame makes rice balls for Chiaki and has him watch her favorite movie, Puri Gorota. It's an anime about Gorota, an elementary school boy who is always lazing about. Whenever he's in trouble, he relies on the magic power of Puririn, a fairy from outer space. One day, the two of them plan to go into space, but Kazuo the bully and his gang tag along. Kazuo gets into trouble and Gorota saves him. Kazuo apologizes and says that he has realized that people cannot live alone; they need love and friendship.

Nodame asks if Chiaki doesn't understand how Kazuo is feeling since they are similar. Chiaki is incensed at being compared to an animated bully and throws Nodame and the Kazuo puppet down. Nodame holds her Gorota puppet and tells him that he's being Kazuo.

Editor Kawano from Classic Life tries to get her office to pay for Strezemann's nightclub bill. Meanwhile, Strezemann shows off the concert review poster, but it backfires on him as the hostesses gush over the tiny picture of Chiaki. Kawano cozies up to him, asking if there is a special reason why a great maestro like him would be at the academy. Strezemann is distracted by an incoming call from a scary woman named Elise.

The next day, Chiaki finds the Kazuo puppet on the floor and asks why he has to be Kazuo. He grabs one of Nodame's rice balls and though it tastes bad, he eats it anyway.

At practice, the orchestra assures Chiaki that they came prepared. They do sound a lot better but Chiaki soon notices that none of them are looking at him; they are all staring intently at their score sheets. He feels like he's drifting in space and faints. When he revives, Mine apologizes, saying that the members just wanted to live up to his expectations.

In the shower, Chiaki reflects that everyone was playing well aside from not looking at him. But he's wondering if that was the No. 7 he was seeking afterall. Nodame plays No. 7 on his piano and he realizes that even though her playing is sloppy, it's amazing. It finally registers that the members of S-Oke have pure, uncalculated individuallity. Strezemann had chosen them because they are all like Nodame in that way. He now understands why the maestro had made Mine the concert master and gave them a nameless piece to play.

The next day, Chiaki apologizes to S-Oke and tells them that though he had previously wanted them to only express the music with sound, he now wants them to show their power, uplifting spirits and individuality.

Strezemann thanks Kiyora for bringing A-Oke together and tells everyone to beat S-Oke at the concert the following day.

S-Oke arrives at the concert venue in their t-shirts, unbathed after sleeping over at the school to practice. Chiaki tells them to forget about the duel and just enjoy their first stage performance. Everyone is uplifted when Chiaki takes off his dress shirt to expose his S-Oke t-shirt.

During the performance, Chiaki lets them do their rock postures and thinks that although a fair evaluation is now out of the question, it's fun.

Editor Kawano asks Professor Eto who the conductor is.  The chairwoman wonders if they've always played this well. Strezemann watches the performance looking pleased.

S-Oke receives a standing ovation and Mine asks Chiaki if it's his imagination, or is the applause mixed with laughter. Chiaki assures him that he's not mistaken, there's definitely laughter.

Ookouchi throws a fit about Chiaki acting cool and giving a vulgar performance. Strezemann finds him in the hall and asks him to conduct A-Oke on his behalf because he's going home with a stomachache.

S-Oke celebrates after defeating A-Oke and comments on how it was due to A-Oke's conductor self-destructing. The members feel lucky to have Chiaki as their conductor and reflect on how hard he made them work.

The teachers decide to keep S-Oke intact and praise Chiaki for doing a great job and having a good influence on the members. Mine's father reveals the Long Live S-Oke menu set.

Nodame finds Chiaki sleeping and takes the chance to kiss him. Afterwards, she runs off rejoicing.

Chiaki continues to feign sleep as he silently tells her, "Baka, that was to thank you, okay?"

Episode 5

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