I’m sure most of you, my readers, have already seen a long list of anime during the course of your anime fandom. It doesn’t really matter how long you’ve been watching anime, I bet there’s at least one anime that had influenced your life at least a little. It could’ve influenced your decision making criteria/process, your outlook in life, your approach to certain things and so on and so forth.
Bear in mind, I’m not talking about the emotional attachment you have with the anime. I know some of the anime titles create a form of lingering attachment among viewers. Those usually don’t last long. I’m talking about anime – it could be more than one – that caused a change in you. In a good way.
Personally, I think Nodame Cantabile has positively impacted me the most. It changed the way I approach music.
I always had a love/hate relationship with music and the instruments. Mostly with the instruments. I enjoy indulging in any songs or pieces that provide me the listening pleasure. I never cared about the arrangements or even listening carefully to what instruments were used in a particular song/piece. As a trained pianist, I should appreciate even these tiny little things. But I didn’t.
I stopped playing the piano more than a decade ago. It’s quite simply cuz I lost interest and I hated the rigid playing rules. I always thought of music as an art. It’s suppose to be a form of self expression, a way for one person to exhibit his/her individual style. That wasn’t happening with those classes I took.
Looking back now, I can only asked myself one question. What was I thinking? I was actually being selfish. I didn’t really think about the reason behind a musical piece. I was only concentrating on the sound. I didn’t take time to understand the composer, the history, the culture during the era in which a particular piece was produced. I was only thinking about what I want – which can be interpreted as taking the easy way out. I was playing the way I wanted without considering the real reasons behind all those movements. I was amazed by the understanding of the students in Nodame Cantabile regarding each of the pieces they played. They really know their composers. Sure, I’ve read about Mozart and Beethoven but I didn’t take the time to know them.
Music is a part of me, and it runs in the family. My grandfather was the master of all Chinese musical instruments while my grandmother can play music by ear. Most of my cousins and siblings can play at least one musical instrument, usually more. I love music since I was a little kid but lack the motivation to perfect my skills due to the reasons I’ve mentioned before. After watching all the three seasons of Nodame Cantabile, I’ve recently started playing the piano again. Although my piano is not in a very good condition anymore and my fingers no longer graced the keys as they used to, but I’m going back to basics and learning to appreciate those masterpieces a little bit better. Playing the instrument by understanding why the composers compose the pieces the way they did may not be an easy task, but again, I’m willing to learn to understand. Seeing how Nodame struggled and overcame her weakness has given me the confidence to face the music the way I’m suppose to.
Of course, the underlying theme of the series is also about having dreams and doing all that we can to attain them. Seeing how Chiaki trying all that he could to eliminate his fear of flights just so he could be a conductor can be an inspiration sometimes. I’ve seen similar themes in other anime before like Naruto, One Piece, you name it. The reason why I resonate more with Nodame’s version is cuz I feel that its way of presenting it is much more realistic. It’s something I can relate to.
So basically, Nodame Cantabile is an anime that has influenced the way I approach music, especially classical music. I’m currently also into songs or any music with strong emphasis on electric guitar. Who knows I might actually pick up guitar next.
Care to share with me the most influential anime in your life? It doesn’t have to be only one. Looking forward to read your story =).