Hitting all the right notes

Hitting all the right notes

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By Barry C Chung

To call Nodame Cantabile 2 a sequel is not quite accurate. Rather, it's more the second half of the original released last year.

Musical geniuses Nodame Megumi (Juri Ueno) and Chiaki Shinichi (Hiroshi Tamaki) are living together in France. Chiaki tells Nodame he wants to move out and devote more time to his music. He is then offered an opportunity to conduct a concerto with the beautiful and precocious pianist Song Rui (Yu Yamada) - which he accepts.

After the two perform brilliantly, Nodame feels a need to cement her status with Chiaki and asks him to marry her. He refuses, believing it's just one of her games.

But eventually he realises her true intent and rushes off to salvage their relationship.

Even those not inclined to the quirky humour common in Japanese films will enjoy the clumsy love affair between the leads . At times the acting can be overly stylised - and even overly dramatic - but that doesn't spell ruin for a film with manga roots.

Nodame would benefit from trimmer musical performances which can seem dragged out but may be welcome for classical music lovers. Still, the film is accessible even to people who don't follow the series, and the love story pulls you in.

When the final note is played on Nodame's piano, you'll be rooting for episode three.

YP rating: 3/5

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