Nodame Cantabile #2 by Tomoko Ninomiya Manga Review

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Title:  Nodame Cantabile #2

Author:  Tomoko Ninomiya

Publisher:  Del Rey

ISBN:  0345481739

May Contain Spoilers

Poor Chiaki!  Not only does the total slob, Nodame, follow him around like a puppy dog, now timpani player, Masumi, has a major crush on him, too!  When a famous conductor arrives to teach at the school, Chiaki thinks his dreams might finally be coming true.  Too bad he just insulted the lecherous Fraz von Stressmann, and he keeps ripping up Chiaki’s requests to transfer to the conducting program!

What a great read!  Masumi, seething with jealousy when he sees Nodame hanging onto Chiaki’s arm, begins a campaign against her.  Leaving threatening notes in her mailbox, replacing her lunch with locusts, and tossing banana peels under her feet, the claustrophobic music student thinks of Chiaki as his prince.  He wants to continue to worship him from afar, without the slovenly Nodame to spoil the view.  Masumi wants to prove that he’s a better woman than Nodame, and a hilarious contest ensues to win a date with the callus Chiaki.  Masumi is a welcome addition to the cast.  He’s so flamboyant and he’s even more eccentric that Nodame! 

When Chiaki insults the philandering von Stressmann, he can kiss his dreams of being a conductor good-bye.  When a twist of fate places him before von Stressmann’s orchestra of hand-picked students, Chiaki learns that there’s more to conducting than musical notes.  Is it possible that he doesn’t know as much as he thinks he does?

This volume was notable for touching on the evils of the kotatsu.  Representing everything that Chiaki hates, warmth, family and companionship, he is briefly lulled under it’s insidious charms.  When he finds the regime of his life interrupted by the evil kotatsu, he declares war on the wicked snuggly warmth of the table.  Will he preserve? 

The art is still ugly, but the characters and their wacky personalities more than make up for it. 

Grade: B

Rated for Older Teens 16+