Nodame Cantabile Vol 4 by Tomoko Ninomiya Manga Review

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Title:  Nodame Cantabile Vol 4

Author:  Tomoko Ninomiya

Publisher:  Del Rey

ISBN:  9780345482419

May Contain Spoilers

Forced to participate in the Nagano Music Festival, Chiaki’s plans for a peaceful summer break are ruined.  First he’s dragged to the beach by Nodame, Mine, and Masumi, and he’s forced to confront his fear of the ocean.  Then, he gets to play nursemaid to the moody Milch when Elise, Milch’s secretary,  abruptly takes a vacation.  Suffering through all of these trials, Chiaki doesn’t feel that he’s any closer to realizing his dream of becoming a conductor!

Ah!  Don’t ever go to the beach with these guys!  First, Nodame and Masumi playfully ruin the sleeping Mine’s quest for the perfect tan, and then they try to drown Chiaki!  Unwilling to open himself to the teasing of his classmates, Chiaki refuses to confide his fear of the water with them, and instead finds himself stuck on an inflatable boat in the middle of the ocean.  When he’s made the prize in a tug of war between Nodame and Masumi, things don’t end well.  Poor Chiaki!  Both Nodame and Masumi annoy the hell out of him, and they both seem determined to kill him in this chapter.  Chiaki’s ego has a lot to blame for his misfortune.  If he wasn’t so concerned about looking like a coward, he never would have found himself in the very situation he was trying to avoid!

At the music festival, Nodame is so busy pining for Chiaki that she can’t play the piano.  Combined with her poor command of English, she’s quickly tossed out of the class.  Chiaki finds some of the success that Nodame fails to attain after Milch is too hung over to conduct.  Put in charge of the rehearsal, his ambition to become a conductor flairs to renewed life. 

This was another solid installment of Nodame Cantabile.  The art may be a tad on the unattractive side, but the character interaction makes this a series worth reading.  Tomoko Ninomiya doesn’t hesitate to put her characters in some really embarrassing situations, which results in some delightfully funny moments.   

Also included is a humorous peek into Nodame’s childhood.  For somebody so gifted at the piano, she sure knows how to get out of having to play!  I was feeling so sorry for her instructor.  I am starting to suspect that Nodame is a space alien.  That can be the only explanation for her outlandish behavior.

Grade: B+

Rated for Older Teen

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