Apparently Nodame has a mean right jab as she cold-cocks Streseman. Because she convinces everyone to let Chiaki conduct, we get to see that, as a conductor, he is adept at the technical side of conducting. Despite the complaining, even Masumi notices that the orchestra is still not up to the task. Being technically accurate doesn’t substitute for experience and the tricks of getting the best performance out of the musicians. While both Chiaki and Streseman both have the ability and the respect for the music, its obvious that Streseman also has respect for the musicians, something that we will undoubtedly see Chiaki learn over the course of the show’s run.
I don’t know who to feel sorry for so far in this show. Chiaki for having to deal with Streseman and Nodame at the same time, or Streseman for being the recipient of Nodame’s right jabs. Overall, an enjoyable episode that was light on the character development side. But it gets us ready for the main action of the show which is the development of Chiaki into a gifted (and less angry) conductor.
Even with Streseman as the official conductor, Chiaki gets lucky when Streseman accepts him as his student and appoints him as the Vice Conductor which gives Chiaki a plum assignment as he gets another opportunity to conduct. It also gives him the unwanted experience of dealing with problems from the orchestra itself.
The big problem that Chiaki faces almost immediately is Sakura the contra bass player. The joke here is that Sakura is short and yet plays an instrument bigger than she is. Because of family’s financial problem, she has to take a part-time job. But the catch is since she works, she can’t practice and since she can’t practice she’s in danger of being dropped. Chiaki analytically asses her situation and suggests that she quit school. This suggestions shocks Sakura and Nodame. What they don’t see and Chiaki fails to mention is that Sakura should quit school and work to save money and then come back. Its an obvious suggestion to Chiaki, but because his “people skills” aren’t as good as his musical skills, it destroys Sakura.
Thanks to Nodame, Chiaki visits Sakura’s home which turns out to surprise them when its shown as a mansion. They met her father whose obsession of collecting antique violins has caused the family’s financial problems. Chiaki redeems himself when he chews out her father for choosing collectibles over his daughter. I thought this was the greatest animated scenes of the show so far.
While the confrontation with Sakura’s father was visually great to watch, Chiaki’s encounter with Streseman and Nodame in a Shibuya escort club was hilarious. Nodame is working on her sex appeal based on Streseman’s suggestion. Based on this I guess there’s a back story to Nodame that we don’t know about. That’s a shame because I’m really enjoying Nodame as a character in the anime and would like to see more of her.