Nodame Cantabile — Volume 10 Summary, Part 1

Phew! I finally finished mucking my way through the untranslated version of the 10th volume of Nodame Cantabile. It sucked that there is no furigana next to the kanji’s so it took an extra long time to wade through the manga. In total it took 8-weeks for me translate the manga. I think I understood about 85 – 90% of it. There were a few phrases that no matter how I thought about them didn’t make sense in English. It will be interesting to see what the professional translators come up with.

As for the story, we follow Nodame and Chiaki through their last days in Japan (nothing exciting happens in Japan), their arrival in France, and the preliminary rounds of the conducting competition Chiaki has entered. Chiaki and Nodame move into an apartment that Chiaki’s family owns. Their rooms are next to each other separated by a “salon”. In their new apartment we meet Frank and his roomate (come to think of it, I don’t remember her name being mentioned). Nodame and Frank know each other from the entry exam for the conservatory that Nodame is going to enter. Chiaki seems surprised and is a little bit jealous that they know each other. Frank and Nodame hit it off well and bond over anime until Frank can’t stand it anymore. Nodame on the other hand is using Frank’s Puri Gorota tapes, which are subbed in French, to improve her French (after an embarrasing earlier scene in a restaurant in which Nodame orders snails and tells the waiter that Chiaki stole her purse and calls for the police).

Next, Frank tells Nodame that there is an anime festival in his home town and invites her to go. Chiaki protests saying that his competition is occuring at the same time. Chiaki takes back his protest, but Nodame decides to go since the place where Chiaki’s competition is being held is on the way to Frank’s hometown. Chiaki asks Nodame what’s more important: his competition or an anime festival. Nodame answers the anime festival. And off they go on a train to the competition and the theme park where the anime festival is going to be held. On the train they see various coplaying weirdos on their way to the festival and meet Jean, one of Chiaki’s competitors, and his girlfriend Youko, who is a loud mouthed bitch to everyone but Jean. Jean is the hope of France and has won the preceeding year’s contest. Nodame counters that Chiaki is Japan’s hope and starts a loud bitchcraft session with Youko. Chiaki and Jean stop the girls telling them to shut-up so they can sleep. At the station where Chiaki gets off, he boots Nodame back onto train. Nodame said she wanted to watch over him, but Chiaki protested saying the first 2 rounds of competition are not open to the public. However, Chiaki sees, after Nodame has already left, that Youko is going to accompany Jean to the competition. There’s a small look of regret on Chiaki’s face.

At the competition Chiaki meets a fellow Japanese competitor (Katahira Hajime) that has a family he left back in Japan. Katahira has some self confidence issues, but is glad that there is another Japanese person there because he can’t understand French. Meanwhile, Nodame and Frank appear to be enjoying themselves at some place that looks like a Disney theme park. tsuzuku …

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