Friday, November 21, 2014

Recap: Nodame Cantabile in Europe Part 2

Chiaki recognizes Oliver, Elise's henchman, as his abductor and shoves him off. Oliver tries to convince Chiaki to come quietly, then makes a grab for him, prompting a little girl to bring her mother's attention to the "hugging" men. Oliver throws Chiaki over his shoulder and runs off.

Nodame says she didn't receive a notice about the entrance ceremony for the Conservatory. Frank and Tanya explain there is no such thing and realize that Nodame didn't go to orientation, sign up for analysis or make an appointment for her sight-reading lesson. Frank apologizes for not telling her about these things. Tanya accuses him of doing it on purpose to get rid of a rival. After all, she came from the same school as Chiaki.

Frank feels that Chiaki went far away so fast after winning the competition. Nodame is troubled and recalls Strezemann telling her back in Japan, that as it stands now, she can't be with Chiaki.

The analysis class is about analyzing the structure and background of musical compositions. Nodame has to listen to a piece and guess the composer and time period from its characteristics. Then look at the score to analyze its harmony.

Nodame is surprised to see a young boy in the class. Frank explains that there's no minimum age; youngsters can attend as long as they pass the exam, though the maximum age is 22.

The discussion starts and everyone is talking about rhythms, intervals and motifs. Nodame is lost and feels as though the room is full of Chiakis. She's horrified when the kid laughs at her after she can't contribute to the conversation.

Nodame asks why everyone knows so much. Frank explains that he took a similar class at his previous school.

Elise deems Operation Prometheus of the Desert to be a success though she didn't expect Oliver to be so beaten up. He explains that Chiaki is younger and resisted more than Strezemann does. Elise offers Chiaki great promotion with her agency, promising lots of jobs where he will work like a cart-horse and become a great conductor.

Chiaki points out that he won a year of promotion from the competition, but Elise informs him that her agency can do a better job. Chiaki refuses the offer, so Elise pulls out two back scratchers. She relates the story of Prometheus incurring Zeus' wrath for giving fire to humans. He was tied to a cliff where eagles could devour him bit by bit each day. Elise starts tickling Chiaki mercilessly and lets slip that she's avenging Jean's defeat.

Frank tries to cheer Nodame up, telling her that she'll get used to the curriculum. They can't wait for their piano classes to start. Frank is inspired by Chiaki's performance at the competition and says orchestras are nice. Nodame agrees. She's going to work hard so that she can play a piano concerto with Chiaki.

Strezemann comes up behind Nodame and grabs her chest, asking how she is doing. After punching him in the face, Nodame takes him home where he seems disappointed to find that she and Chiaki aren't living together. He asks if they are the same as before. Nodame says they've always been together and she's been doing her best since the competition and exam.

Nodame insists that she's made remarkable progress. Strezemann runs his fingers through the dust on her piano and is not convinced. When he asks about Chiaki, Nodame tells him that he went to see Vieira. Strezemann looks ready to explode.

Chiaki staggers on the street after signing the contract for Elise. He recalls how thrilled she was about finally being able to take a vacation. She told Chiaki that he would be going on Strezemann's concert tour the following day, and gave him notes, schedules and counter-measures for the maestro's erotic adventures. Chiaki wonders what is going to happen to him just as he gets hit by a storm.

As soon as Chiaki gets back to the apartments, Frank tells him that Nodame was abducted by a strange man and proceeds to show him how she was grabbed. He gives Chiaki the address he needs to go to in order to get Nodame back, saying the stranger resembled Strezemann, but there's no way it could have been him; he seemed like a huge pervert. Chiaki knows it was definitely him.

At the address, Chiaki finds a club called One More Kiss where Strezemann is instigating a game of strip rock, paper, scissors.

Just as Chiaki confronts Strezemann about using Elise to force him to join their agency, Nodame comes in dressed as a geisha. The bar hostesses proclaim her the perfect Japanese woman, and Nodame giggles that this look is called Capture Me Already. Chiaki is taken aback.

While Nodame goes to fetch Chiaki something to eat, Strezemann reveals his plan for them to drink all night and take a flight in the morning. Chiaki asserts that he will take the night train to their first performance in Spain. Strezemann feels nostalgic and decides to accompany him.  He breaks the news of the concert tour to a stunned Nodame who has returned with musubis.

Chiaki explains that they're going on a three month worldwide tour. He gives her his room key, asking that she watch the place and giving her permission to use his piano.

The tour starts in Madrid, then they go to Lisbon, Rome, Stockholm, Athens, Istanbul and London. Next they get on the long flight to Tokyo. Chiaki wants to sleep through his anxiety, but Strezemann keeps him awake starting with a big meal, then playing Tetris, watching a sad anime and finally, tossing and turning all night. By breakfast, Chiaki is exhausted.

Once at the venue, Strezemann throws a fit over his brush and towel. Then he wants Chiaki to hang a Nagaoka Mami poster up. Next, he demands mermaid juice which entails blending together a ridiculous amount of ingredients. Chiaki also has to play nurse, as Strezemann is suffering from a cold.

Nodame receives a letter from Strezemann telling her that they're doing their best and are now in Japan. He includes photos of Chiaki with other women. Nodame cries over Chiaki's cheating ways.

When Chiaki enters the hall for rehearsal, Masumi and Takahashi jump on him. Strezemann orders them to take their places and introduces himself as the main guy. He tells Chiaki to make a reservation at a club before starting the rehearsal.

Chiaki happily watches Strezemann at work and wonders what would be left if the maestro did not have music.

Kuroki gets a response to his ad for finding partners to play chamber music. However, he decides against working with the applicant because he was thirty minutes late for their meeting. The guy informs him that being late is nothing unusual in France.

When Kuroki goes back to repost his message on the bulletin board, Tanya sees him there and calls him "C'est glauque". He wonders why she called him blue-green.

Kuroki is overjoyed to see Nodame in the hallway. She's surprised that they go to the same school. Nodame takes him to Chiaki's apartment, but realizes that she left the key in her own room somewhere. Kuroki wonders if they are living together part-time. She explains that her place just isn't livable at the moment. When she opens her door, Kuroki is horrified at the mess. Nodame muses that she shouldn't have had a kotatsu sent over.

Once in Chiaki's apartment, Nodame shows Kuroki the congratulatory message everyone sent. Kuroki tells her that he had thought about calling Chiaki when he arrived in Paris, but assumed he would be busy. He reveals that he hasn't gotten a grasp of French yet, and hasn't made friends. Rather it seems that France isn't a good fit for him. Nodame can relate as she hasn't been able to keep up with her classes. She decides to introduce Kuroki to her friends and cook a Japanese dinner.

Kuroki asks her if she knows what c'est glauque means and she cheerfully tells him that it's slang for dark and gloomy.

Nodame's hijiki doesn't turn out the way she had planned, but she tells Tanya that it's a good low calorie diet food. Kuroki arrives and he and Tanya are dismayed to see each other.

Over dinner, Nodame tells them about Chiaki cheating and not returning for some time. Tanya wonders if Chiaki is really her boyfriend.

Frank arrives totally deflated. He had a piano lesson, but did not get Professor Auclair as he had wanted. He wonders why he transferred schools. Nodame looks at her own teacher assignment and finds that she has Auclair. Frank freaks out and accuses her of going behind his back to get Auclair. Tanya reminds him that students don't get to choose their teachers. Frank runs off and Nodame goes to answer the phone, so Tanya and Kuroki are left awkwardly alone.

Chiaki takes care of a sick Strezemann while speaking to Nodame on the phone. He explains that they returned to the hotel after rehearsal, which is unusual, and he wanted to see if she was alive. Nodame tells him that it seems like he's enjoying himself and he agrees that it's fun and good for his training, not sensing her mood.

Chiaki asks if Nodame has been practicing the piano and she snaps, saying that she is practicing without him telling her to, and to mind his own business. He wonders if something happened.

Kuroki comes in to let Nodame know that he's leaving and she calls after him, tossing the phone aside. Chiaki wonders why Kuroki is there alone with Nodame in his room.

Chiaki is notified that Son Rui from Shanghai is there to greet the maestro. Strezeman tells him to go in his place. Chiaki and Son Rui introduce themselves, but her mother is insulted and leaves.

Tanya points out that everyone is studying abroad to follow their dreams. Even though Nodame calls them friends, they're all rivals. She has to do her best to move towards her goal. Nodame remembers vowing to do her best at the piano so she could perform a concerto like Chiaki and Strezemann.

Professor Auclair's assistant asks him what he's going to do about the recital.

Nodame answers Chiaki's phone and hears from Yuko that Chiaki has made his debut, taking over for Strezemann in Tokyo after the maestro fell ill. She wonders why Nodame told her that Chiaki was Milch Holstein's apprentice when he's actually Strezemann's. She thinks Nodame deceived them so they'd let their guard down at the competition.

Nodame is distracted as she looks up the news online and finds that Chiaki performed Rachmaninoff's Piano Concert No. 3 with Son Rui.

Nodame thinks about their happy performance as she stands alone in Chiaki's room.

A celebration of Chiaki's competition victory and professional conducting debut is in full swing at Uraken. Chiaki is overrun with members of R.S-Oke, while the boys flock to Son Rui.

Chiaki acknowledges that he's been really fortunate and is thankful to all the members. Masumi kisses him, then keeps Takahashi from doing the same. Mine reports that Rising Star hasn't had a concert because Matsuda is really busy. Kimura asks if Chiaki has seen Kuroki, and Chiaki seems alarmed to confirm that Kuroki is in Paris.

Mine asks Chiaki if he has Kiyora's teacher's address so he can write her a letter since he can't get in touch with Kiyora by phone. Masumi asks after Nodame, since no matter how weird she is, living in an unfamiliar environment must be tough.

Chiaki suddenly stands up to make a phone call, but Son Rui interrupts him to say that she's having fun; everyone is nice and it's her first time partying with people her age. Concert tours are stressful, but Chiaki made it pleasant; it seemed he was telling her to play the way she wanted.

Nodame goes to Frank's room and he apologizes profusely for the way he acted. Nodame just wants to know who Son Rui is. Frank shows her a concert video from the previous year, and explains that Son Rui has been performing all over the world since she was ten. She lived in America during her childhood to study music and is in the top class among young performers.

Frank points out that she's only 20 and has amazing transcendent technique. Nodame stares hard at Son Rui playing Liszt's Transcendental Etude.

Meanwhile, Son Rui is happily shopping and tells Chiaki that it almost feels like a date. She drags him into a jewelry store and he looks at rings, thinking of how Nodame had requested one after his competition win.

The saleswoman comes over, but Chiaki is resistant to buy such a suggestive gift. She brings out the matching pendant and Chiaki says he'll take it as he hurriedly backs away. Son Rui remarks that she's surprised Chiaki's girlfriend likes cute things; she was expecting her to be the beautiful intellectual type. Chiaki claims it's just a souvenir, and she's not his girlfriend. Son Rui guesses it must be a one-sided love, then. When a man gives a woman jewelry, it indicates his desire to have her to himself. Just like buying a collar for a cat.

Late that night, Frank tells Nodame he can't take it anymore. He offers to give her the video if she'll just leave. Nodame responds by turning up the volume; rewatching Son Rui play and telling herself that she can do it too. 

Nodame finally goes home and starts practicing.

Chiaki comments that it was fortunate that Strezemann recovered in time for Son Rui to perform with him. Son Rui tells him to take her shopping again in Europe. Her mother grudgingly tells Chiaki that it was a good performance.

After they leave, Strezemann comes out from hiding and says that Son Rui is nice, but her mother is the worst; no sex appeal at all. Chiaki wonders if Nodame would have turned out like Son Rui if her mother had been more supportive. He relates that Nodame's parents are seaweed farmers who like sewing and singing folk songs. Nodame was left alone. Then after a violent incident with her first teacher, she was left alone again.

Chiaki recalls how Nodame had only played for fun before she met him. He thinks about all the resistance she gave him when he tried to get her to aim higher.

Strezemann points out that if Nodame had turned out like Son Rui, Chiaki wouldn't be spacing out thinking about her right now. Chiaki denies it, but Strezemann tells him that he's left Nodame alone again and it's shameful how he keeps doing that. Chiaki protests that it's not the same thing, but the maestro instructs him to separate those things clearly. Chiaki wants to know who took him out of Paris, and Strezemann blames Elise.

Nodame goes to her first piano class. Auclair apologizes for putting off their lessons due to his concert tour. He calls her "Baby-chan" and she corrects him, though he ignores it. She gives him sweet buns from her mother which they both enjoy. When she asks Auclair if he thinks she has prospects, he says that everyone does, but doesn't know if it's too late. He asks her to play her favorite piece.

Nodame plays Liszt as she thinks of Chiaki performing the piano concerto with Son Rui, she recalls him winning the competition, the kid laughing at her in analysis class, and Chiaki leaving. Auclair tells her that it was no good. He hadn't meant for her to show off her skills. Besides, there are lots of people who can play difficult pieces. He asks her what she came there for.

Chiaki finally returns in November and asks Elise (who is still vacationing in Dubai) for a day off. She threatens to give him tickle torture if he doesn't return on time. She also informs him that the concert to commemorate his competition victory is set for the start of the year. It will be his European debut.

Chiaki wonderes if Nodame is still at school. He wants to tell her about the Tokyo performance as well as his upcoming debut. But first he'll need to clean. When he walks into his apartment, though, it's neat and empty. He knows she was there when he called before, but is confused as to why she left. He somehow thought everything would be okay if she were there playing his piano.

Chiaki thinks about all the events that have happened with Nodame. Meeting her in front of his door, the invasion of the kotatsu, letting her kiss his cheek, asking her to study abroad with him, going to her family's home, choosing to live in the same building, taking her hand, and giving her his key. He's always refrained from looking ahead. But he thinks about it now and sees the Weirdo Forest which is alarming.

Chiaki sees Nodame on the staircase where she welcomes him back and congratulates him on his debut. Then she says she's full and goes into her apartment. Chiaki follows her, asking if something happened. She says that she couldn't do anything. She couldn't follow the others. Everyone is younger than she is at school, but amazingly intelligent and really know their music. She was even laughed at by a child.

Chiaki tells her that she's known about her lack of intelligence, but she still passed the exam. Nodame thinks it was just an error. Her lesson was horrible and the teacher said she was no good, calling her Baby-chan even though she's 22.

Chiaki is afraid that she played her Fart Exercise. He drags her to the piano and orders her to play exactly as she did for the teacher. She starts Liszt and Chiaki wonders why she's playing the way she is. Then he notices her Son Rui CD and realizes that she feels pressured. He stops her and holds her, but she throws him off, asking what he's doing when he wanted to hear her piano.

Chiaki tells Nodame that he loves her piano. She counters that it's no use if he's the only one who likes it. She's frustrated that she keeps missing the target. Nodame says that if he's going to pity her, he should just give her money. She demands that he leave her alone already and throws him out. Frank and Tanya who had been listening from the staircase awkwardly welcome Chiaki back.

Chiaki is upset thinking about the things Nodame said. Then he recalls Strezemann telling him to separate these things clearly. He thinks about how when he's faced with a score, he always feels like there's a huge wall too. But he just has to overcome it one by one. Chiaki grabs some clothes and leaves.

In class, Auclair comments that Nodame seems completely lost. He suggests that she play in the year-end recital at Rowal. Every year one of his students performs there. Nodame says there are lots of people better than she is. Auclair asks why she came if she didn't want anyone to hear her. And why she's playing the piano.

Auclair's assistant, Majiro, gives Nodame Mozart and Ravel to play in the recital. While Auclair is busy, Majiro starts Nodame on sight-reading and Nodame is terrible at it. Majiro asks if she's done analysis yet. She goes on to explain that Mozart was born in 1756 in Salzburg, Austria. He's one of three masters from Vienna along with Haydn and Beethoven. His 18th piano sonata published in 1789 is said to be his last. While it has his characteristic cheerful and showy tone as a base, it is a mature profound piece of great significance. She says that although analyzing his pieces from his later years is difficult, analyzing his period and people's mentality is essential in playing his music. Nodame practices at home and in class.

Majiro asks why Nodame's Mozart is so sad, and asks if she hates him. Nodame explains that it's not fun and she doesn't have confidence. She can't do analysis or sight-read. She's never had this type of training before. Majiro is surprised since she knows Nodame had attended a music academy in Japan, but tells her to just try. Nodame wonders why she's playing piano. Majiro tells her to quit then; to return to Japan and play what she wants, how she wants.

Nodame goes home and looks at photos of R.S-Oke and her family, her Fart Exercises and Nodame-sensei's Guidance Plan. Under Nodame's Music Guide is written, "Nurture a pure heart for kindergarten music." One of the cartoons she had drawn in her book was Chiaki proclaiming to be the husband. She starts to call him, but remembers Strezemann telling her that she can't be with him and hangs up.

In Berlin, Strezemann suggests Brahm's 1st as Chiaki's European debut piece. It was the first piece Chiaki had conducted with R.S-Oke and Strezemann is looking forward to seeing how much he's grown. He happily opens the score, then decides to call Nodame, but she doesn't answer.

Majiro tells Auclair that Nodame is already 22 as a first year, and asks how he plans on nuturing her. She says she may have said too much; Nodame might end up returning to Japan.

Auclair arrives to find Nodame playing Mozart after having stayed all night. She feels close to understanding him. Then  Auclair notices the copy of La Suite Moja moja that Nodame has on the piano. He sits down and plays it to a delighted Nodame. He points out that the piece becomes anxious with someone causing a fuss. Nodame explains that it's the Moja Tree who stinks. Everyone hates him and even insects won't come near. He was sick of a life of just standing and was happy to see a storm coming. Moja Tree joyfully scatters his worries all over the forest. Nodame explains why the piece is  played the way that it is.

Auclair asks her to play it and points out that she didn't write forte on the score. Nodame says she forgot. He points out that just as she has a lot to say in this piece, other composers do as well. She understands their messages only instinctively and sensuously. He asks her to take a closer look at what Mozart was thinking and feeling. However, the Schubert she played at the competition was very good and Auclair asks her to play it for him.

As Nodame plays, she remembers Chiaki's guidance in getting to know Schubert. He had told her to not just talk about herself, but listen to what the other person has to say. Auclair is pleased.

Nodame is attracted to the sound of a choir. Outside the church, Luca, the kid from her class, taps her and says he comes here every week with his grandfather. Luca identifies the song as Mozart's Ave Verum Corpus, the only church mass piece that he completed in his later years. Nodame soaks in the architecture and atmosphere as she listens.

Tanya and Frank are surprised that Nodame will be playing at the Rowal Castle. Nodame says that Mr. Bunoit, the organizer of the recital is formerly a count from a family with a long history. She's not sure if she can get there on her own and invites them along. Frank hopes to perform there the following year and wants to preview it. Tanya just wants to stay in a castle and meet rich men.

Tanya asks what Chiaki is doing, but Nodame doesn't know when he'll be back. Frank thinks she should tell him about her first recital. Tanya tells him that it's Nodame's time to grow while Chiaki is gone. She encourages Nodame to invite a man with prospects for her, and is happy that Nodame already has someone in mind.

Elise and Chiaki are on their way to Japan where Strezemann is holding a party to celebrate the end of the concert tour. Chiaki guesses correctly that he's being forced to go just to keep an eye on the maestro. Strezemann enters with a train of women and tells Chiaki to go back to Paris. If he comes along, he'll steal all the woman and Strezemann wants to be the star of the party. He asks Chiaki to give his regards to Nodame.

Chiaki returns with Jamon Serano (Spanish ham), caviar, and the necklace as souvenirs. He wonders how Nodame is doing and remembers how strange she was acting. Traffic is bad as it's Christmas, so Chiaki gets out of the taxi and runs home. When Nodame doesn't answer her door, Chiaki wonders if she's jumped off of someplace high like the Eiffel Tower. He's in a panic when he hears her in his apartment.

Chiaki enters to find a huge tree crammed into his place. Nodame explains that she and Kuroki are planning a trip for the end of the year. She invites him to come along. Aware of an obvious misunderstanding developing, Kuroki attempts to explain, but Chiaki tells Nodame to do whatever she wants and storms out. Nodame sadly looks down at her score.

Chiaki wonders if he should just go to Strezemann's when Nodame catches up to him and asks why he's ignoring her. He wonders who is doing the ignoring. Nodame guesses that he's mad that she put the tree up without his permission, but he never called, so there wasn't time to discuss it. He points out that she could have called, but she says she didn't have anything in particular to talk about, and she was busy too. She urges him to go home and decorate the tree to highlight their love.

Chiaki points out that Nodame says she loves him, but remains superficial and doesn't face him seriously. She's full of ridiculous delusions. It's the same attitude she takes towards music. As he walks away, Chiaki thinks it's better this way. Nodame should have a sense of crisis and rethink her attitude toward him.

Nodame runs up and kicks Chiaki down to the ground, telling him not to be a coward. She says she's dumping a man like him. Chiaki gets up and flips Nodame, asserting that he's the one doing the dumping. Nodame in turn trips him with her scarf and follows up with choking. She screams that she's always serious and demands to know why he's running away. As soon as she thinks she's getting closer, he leaves. Music too. Chiaki says he hadn't planned to leave, but Nodame points out that he was leaving her again just now and starts strangling him in earnest.

Chiaki says he understands her feelings. Nodame hugs him and he wonders how it happened that he was the one to change his attitude. Meanwhile the crowd that had gathered when they were fighting, applaud them making up.

Tanya is excited that they're finally going on vacation. Nodame vows to do a good job so she doesn't look shabby against Chiaki's European debut. Chiaki looks forward to her recital and thinks they should get married while at the church. Then he snaps at Nodame telling her not to dub his thoughts herself.

Tanya wants to stop and eat, but Nodame reminds her that they're meeting someone at Rowal Castle, so they have to go straight there. She confirms that the mystery man is handsome with good future prospects, in fact, he's a genius.

When Tanya sees Kuroki waiting for them, she strangles Nodame. However, Nodame introduces her to Luca, the 10 year old genius with a promising future. Frank finds it all very amusing.

They arrive at the impressive castle and the lord greets them in costume. He's a Mozart fanatic as they will soon find out from the inner decor.

Nodame and Chiaki share a room as Nodame had said that her husband would be accompanying her. She can't zip up her dress and Chiaki asks if it isn't the dress her mother made for her when she left Japan. His statement that she's gained weight is followed by a loud ripping sound.

Tanya is surprised that they have to pay 12 euros to attend the recital. When claiming to be guests of the lord doesn't give her free entry, she calls the French stingy. She proceeds to borrow money from Kuroki since she has only seven euros left after buying the new outfit she's wearing. 

Kuroki tells Tanya that her clothes are tacky. She counters that she doesn't want to hear about fashion from him and calls him rude. He points out that it's rude to go around appraising men. She says she can't help it and tells him not to worry because he's not her type.

Nodame appears dressed as Mozart, to the audience's amusement. She introduces herself, promising to make it a fun performance and urging everyone to try hard to enjoy it. Tanya tells Nodame that she's supposed to do her best, not the audience. Nodame starts off with Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

Chiaki realizes that Nodame really understands the piece, the acoustics of the church, and Mozart. It's said that Mozart spent ten of his 35 years of life traveling. "Musicians who don't travel are unfortunate." he was known to say. He was exposed to lots of people, languages and music. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star was inspired by a chanson; a lyric driven song containing more than one melody.

Tanya recognizes Nodame's music as perfectly round beads of beautiful sound. The lord deems the performance lively like a fish that has just been caught.

Nodame plays Piano Sonata No. 18, Mozart's final piano sonata. It has a baroque counterpoint reminiscent of Bach. Unpredictable, but with a perfect balance that Nodame has come to understand. Kuroki feels drawn into a different world.

Tanya says that she too has been practicing piano like crazy and it's been extremely painful. She has been alone and became afraid that the loneliness would continue on. Now she feels she's not cut out for it. Kuroki starts to protest.

When the Mozart portion comes to an end, the lord immediately falls asleep on his butler's shoulder. However, he is awakened as Nodame starts playing Ravel's Mirror, the song of a clown in the morning. It was the first piece she played when she came to Paris. Chiaki notes that she's playing the mezzo forte part in fortissimo.

Only a few months have passed since Nodame was so discouraged. Chiaki contemplates the fact that just when he thinks she's getting close to him, she moves away. She suddenly does things beyond anyone's comprehension. He tells himself that he should probably be prepared for things like this.

Nodame receives the audience's enthusiastic approval and the lord decides that Ravel is nice.

The lord offers up a toast and Chiaki wonders why everyone is dressed in period costume. Kuroki appreciates the opportunity and says it's not unlike wearing a tux. Chiaki disagrees.

The lord's butler asks Chiaki to play the violin since Nodame had told them how skilled he was. Chiaki shoots Nodame a dirty look but she pretends not to notice.

Frank tells Tanya that she's amazing and she says she'll be a Marie Antoinette of this castle. She starts looking for the lord's son in hopes of a love connection. When the lord introduces Nodame to his son, Roman, who is single and looking for a wife, Tanya rushes over. Her enthusiasm is deflated, though, when she finds that he's the "stingy" ticket taker.

Roman asks Nodame if she would come for another recital. One of the guests approaches and invites her to perform at a salon party. The lord tells her that she must accept, and that Auclair always says that art grows further when it's exposed to people's eyes and ears. Nodame is thrilled.

Tanya reflects that without piano, she's just a country girl from Russia. Kuroki urges her to perform and promote herself. He reveals that not long ago, he couldn't stand to be alone in a foreign country and tried to escape. However, he gained courage from Nodame's peformance. Music is universal. He notices some other musicians and approaches them suggesting an oboe quartet.

The quartet plays for the reception and Tanya seems taken with Kuroki's performance.

Nodame catches Chiaki leaving the party to change his clothes. He's happy to hear that she received invitations to perform. When she asks what he thought about the recital, he tells her that it was bad for his heart and wants to know what she was doing in the beginning of Ravel. But it was great and he admits to crying.

Nodame snaps a picture of him, calling him Andrei. Suspicious, Chiaki grabs the camera and finds that she's been taking multiple photos of his legs. As they struggle over the camera, Frank and Luca watch from across the way. Luca says they're playing and that Frank wouldn't understand. But eventually Frank covers Luca's eyes as the sight is not for children. They both run off to play the piano in hopes of being scouted for next year's recital.

Chiaki tells Nodame that he didn't realize she could play the way she did. She reveals that she had special training at school. Auclair had picked Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Nodame says he's a Yoda. She asserts that she'll study lots of things from now on so that everyone can come and listen again. She wants to entertain them and someday, she will play a piano concerto with Chiaki.

Chiaki thinks about how it's always been this way; it seems like they're always together, but it's not necessarily so. Nodame went off on a journey of her own and returned before he knew it. Chiaki kisses Nodame, deciding that it's fine as long as he doesn't lose sight of her.

Uraken celebrates the new year and Nodame's recital. They look forward to Chiaki's European debut. Kimura mentions that Kiyora won third in the violin competition in Vienna. Mine looks downcast because he hasn't heard from her. Masumi urges him to call her; she won't call after only placing third.

Mine tells Kiyora that she did a good job, but she insists that she was no good. He asks if she got his New Year's card. She tells him that she got a lot of mail from him and she can't read any of it because his handwriting is so bad. Mine tells her that it's okay to be stubborn, but to call when she's having a hard time. He reminds her of all her good friends and holds up the phone. Masumi shouts out encouragement and everyone yells greetings.

Mine wishes Kiyora good luck in the next competition and tells her that she just started. If she does all she can and it doesn't work out, then she can come home. He urges her to call him when she feels lonely. Kiyora tells him that she's not lonely and won't return until she gets good results.

Mine announces to the members that they have to start working on their next concert. At that moment, Matsuda arrives at Uraken. Mine shouts that it's time to have fun with music and everyone agrees.

Kiyora looks through Mine's encouraging words and thanks him before grabbing her violin and going to practice.

Chiaki has his debut with the Wiltfort Orchestra performing Brahm's 1st Symphony. The composer took 20 years to complete the majestic symphony. When Chiaki was filled with despair in Japan, this piece saved him. He had long given up on ever coming back to Europe and standing on the stage as a professional conductor. With support from many people, he's come this far and feels he must put all his gratitude into this performance, and start again from here. From this piece to a new stage, from tragedy to hope and salvation. 

The audience is filled with friends including Katahira, Jean and Yuko. Nodame wears the necklace that Chiaki bought for her.

Nodame runs out of the hall as soon as the concert ends to meet Chiaki backstage before he even takes his bow. She asks for his autograph and also tells him that she doesn't remember the kiss well from the other day. She requests that he do it again, closing her eyes to receive it. Chiaki looks at her tenderly, then proceeds to draw spirals on her cheeks.

Chiaki is called to take his bow, but rushes back to hug Nodame. He's had his European debut, and at the same time, he's off to the Weirdo Forest.

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