Characters: Nodame Cantabile

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Shinichi Chiaki

Voiced by: Tomokazu Seki (JP), Doug Erholtz (EN)
Live action portrayal by: Hiroshi Tamaki

An accomplished pianist and violinist, but is also known to be a perfectionist when it comes to music and is highly critical of himself and others. As he opens up to others (with much prodding from Nodame), he becomes more caring of his friends and readily lends them a hand should they need help. In university, he's extremely popular among the female students due to his good looks and musical ability.
  • All Work vs. All Play: All Work to Nodame's All Play; while he's obsessed with studying his music and not really capable of enjoying himself at times, Nodame loves to mess around and hates practising.
  • Brutal Honesty: Will not hesitate to tell someone they suck at playing their instrument.
  • Can't Live With Them, Can't Live Without Them: To Nodame. He thinks of her as a pest, but he gets distressed whenever Nodame avoids him and it's even noted he misses the "Weirdo Forest" a bit when he moves out and is no longer Nodame's neighbour in Paris.
  • Chick Magnet: He has many fangirls due to his good looks and talent. He's practically followed by a whole army of them at graduation when he's about to leave.
  • Disappeared Dad: Although not gone entirely, Chiaki's father prioritized his career over his family, leading to the divorce of his parents and moving to Japan with his mother. Chiaki refuses to be seen in his father's shadow refuses to be near him, to the point that he immediately stops wanting to go to Prague when he hears the news that his father has also relocated there and decides to move to Paris instead.
  • Domestic Abuser: He frequently uses physical violence against Nodame and it's Played for Laughs in the manner of a Boke and Tsukkomi Routine. In the live-action version especially, however, it can come across as less slapstick and a bit more disturbing.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: First timpanist Masumi, then the new violinist Takahashi.
  • Inner Monologue: Chiaki functions as the series' narrator via his thoughts and explanations.
  • Japanese Pronouns: Occasionally he refers to himself as "ore-sama", or a more prideful form of "I".
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Chiaki may seem to be an aloof and arrogant Jerkass, but his utter love of music is only matched by the admiration he feels for those who can create and appreciate it. This love of music draws him to Nodame, and helps him to believe in the abilities of the people around him.
  • Loony Friends Improve Your Personality: He starts to loosen up, personality and music-wise, after putting up with Nodame, Stresemann and members of the S Orchestra.
  • Meaningful Name: Chiaki's name in kanji 千秋 also forms part of a Chinese idiom meaning "Each has their own strengths" (各有千秋), which is what he comes to learn through the story.
  • Megane: Chiaki went undercover and got to wear glasses. Needless to say, he looks more hotter. Fetish Fuel galore.
  • Messy Hair: He especially sports one when he doesn't sleep well the night before. It's usually a sign that he's been studying hard or too nervous to sleep.
  • A Minor Kidroduction: In both the anime/manga and drama adaptation when Chiaki reminisces of being in Europe and meeting Maestro Vieira.
  • Neat Freak: He is unable to stand by and leave Nodame's Trash of the Titans apartment as it is not along after he first meets her.
  • Only Sane Man: He's the more level-headed one no matter which group of friends, acquaintances or orchestra he's with.
  • Opposites Attract: Nodame, a carefree ditzy girl, with Chiaki, a serious and stern guy.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Savvy Guy, due to bein the uptight Only Sane Man, to Nodame's Energetic Girl, due to being the bubbly Genki Girl.
  • She Is All Grown Up: Gender-inverted when Vieira reunites with him and he comments how big he's become.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Even when she is, Chiaki still treats Nodame this way, calling her The Thing That Would Not Leave.
  • Straight Man: To Nodame's (and many other people's) shenanigans.
  • Student and Master Team: Formed one with Stresemann during the performance of Rachmaninoff's Concerto No.2 with the A-Orchestra.
  • Supreme Chef: Upon first trying his cooking, Nodame exclaims it's better than her mum's cooking.
  • Surprisingly Good Foreign Language: Due to studying abroad as a child and becoming very invested in music, he knows a few other languages pretty well, notably French and German.
  • Tall, Dark and Handsome: Tall, black hair, dark eyes, attractive enough to have a hoard of fangirls. And snarky too.
  • Technician vs. Performer: Chiaki is the technician to Nodame's performer. He cares more about technique and accuracy, while Nodame plays purely by instinct. By extension, this also includes fellow schoolmates and orchestra members where Chiaki gradually understands that they also have a Nodame-like quality to their performances.
  • Troubled Backstory Flashback: He yearns to return to Europe to pursue being a conductor, but his phobias of flying on planes and traveling by sea prevent him from going abroad.
  • Tsundere: Very much towards Nodame, leaning very toward the tsuntsun (cranky) end, but with frequent, if short-lived, affectionate and sweet moments towards her.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: He has an intense fear of flying and travelling by sea. He eventually is able to take the plane thanks to Nodame's hypnotism, but it still frightens him enough that he shakes uncontrollably and will cling on to someone like Nodame or his cousin.
  • Will They or Won't They?: With Nodame - on one hand, Chiaki seems to reciprocate Nodame's feelings, on the other hand one (or both) of them will face some issue that drives the other away.

Megumi "Nodame" Noda

Voiced by: Ayako Kawasumi (JP), Kate Higgins (EN)
Live action portrayal by: Juri Ueno

A free-spirited second-year music student. She is depicted as a complete slob: her cooking and cleaning skills are atrocious to the point of having mushrooms growing on her clothes and poisoning anyone who dares to eat her food (yet she's never been poisoned). However, she is an incredibly talented pianist who primarily plays by ear, in a cantabile style. She is in love with Chiaki and she follows him around constantly, claiming to be his "wife", and leans on him to help her get through sticky situations.
  • All Work vs. All Play: All Play to Chiaki's All Work; while Chiaki's obsessed with studying his music and not really capable of enjoying himself at times, Nodame loves to mess around and hates practising.
  • Bad Liar: Is known to give excuses rather than admit if something is troubling her. Chiaki figures this out after a fashion.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: She may be great with children, enjoys piano and willing to help random strangers she just met but if you go too far with her, especially insulting how committed she is to something will cause you to face her wrath and god help you if you do.
  • Big Eater: She always steals her friend's food, always eats at Chiaki's place and is easily persuaded by food in general as Chiaki realizes when he witnesses her eat at Mine's dad's restaurant in exchange for becoming Mine's accompanist.
  • Brilliant but Lazy: She has a natural talent for piano but rarely practises.
  • Child Prodigy: She started taking piano lessons at 5 years old and could play really difficult pieces in no time. The fast Chopin Etude she plays in her competition is actually a piece she first learned at that young age.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Played for Laughs most of the time; otherwise there are actually many instances where she is reasonable and understanding toward Chiaki's relationships with other people, especially when it involves his musical career. The only time she is genuinely jealous is when Son Rui is concerned - and not because of potential romance but because she gets to accompany Chiaki orchestra a few times, which is what Nodame wants to do.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Her Gyabo's and Myuka's, fart exercises and Moja Moja Suite should already be a pretty good indicator of this.
  • Cosmetic Catastrophe: When she tries to make herself pretty for Chiaki, this happens. It makes a comeback now and then such as when she dolls her up to meet his extended family.
  • Covert Pervert: She isn't above trying to unbutton out-of-it Chiaki to prepare him for his bath or secretly taking photos of him that include of him with his shirt off.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: A cute and attractive girl who's also a ditz that trips a lot.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Gender-inverted, Chiaki always rejects her overly-affectionate advances. At first anyways.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: When Nodame is severely dejected and Chiaki attempts to console her, she responds like this.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: She doesn't like it when Auclair calls her Bebe-chan, seeing it as condescending (she's not wrong but it's sort of more affectionate on his part). She's thus very excited the first time he calls her Megumi.
  • Friend to All Children: Nodame has a very easy time making friends with children.
  • Genius Ditz: She's clumsy and out of it, but she also has knack of learning songs or languages such as French just by listening to it.
  • Girls Love Stuffed Animals: Along with puppets and figurines, much of the mess that makes up Nodame's room is this. She rejects strongly when Chiaki cleans up and considers throwing them away.
  • Hidden Buxom: Nodame usually wears extremely loose fitting shirts and sweaters. That's why it comes as a surprise to Chiaki that she's actually quite well endowed.
  • In-Series Nickname: Nodame, which is used by everyone except for family, friends and Kuroki.
  • Lethal Chef: With the exception of her onigiri and several less-comical instances, Nodame generally handles cooking as well as she does cleanliness of her residence.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl
  • Older Than They Look: Not long after first meeting her, Tanya finds it hard to believe she's 22 and older than her and Yunlong since she looks (and acts) much younger.
  • One of the Kids: She gets along well with children because she has the mind of one.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Nodame is her preferred name and so she and most people use it, to the point that Frank assumes "No Dame" is her full name and calls her Dame at first. The only ones who use her first or second name are her teachers, family and Kuroki.
  • Opposites Attract: Her, a carefree ditzy girl, with Chiaki, a serious and stern guy.
  • Otaku: She is a big fan of the in-universe anime Puri Gorota.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Energetic Girl, due to being the bubbly Genki Girl, to Chiaki's Savvy Guy, the uptight Only Sane Man.
  • Self-Proclaimed Love Interest: She actually declares herself Chiaki's wife. Expect Chiaki to follow up with She Is Not My Girlfriend.
  • Skilled, but Na´ve: She has a splendid ear for music and can play in a crisp cantabile style. However, she hates reading scores, has little knowledge of musical theory and history, and has humble dreams for herself, refusing to play for competitions and wanting only to become a kindergarten teacher.
  • Stalker with a Crush: After first encountering Chiaki she follows him around everywhere. It doesn't help they two are next-door neighbours, unfortunately for Chiaki.
  • Team Pet: Is literally the "Mascot Girl" recruited into Stresemann's S-Orchestra. She then plays this literally in her mongoose costume for Rhapsody in Blue.
  • Technician vs. Performer: The Performer to Chiaki's Technician. Although sloppy when it comes to playing by the score, there is a unique quality to her performing style that has the potential to really capture her audience.
  • 10-Minute Retirement: Nodame seems to give up totally on the piano after she messes up her first piano competition.
  • Third-Person Person: Constantly refers to herself as Nodame.
  • Through His Stomach: Gender-inverted. Nodame's crush on Chiaki could perhaps be largely attributed to Chiaki's outstanding cooking skills, which save her from eating instant ramen for dinner every day.
  • Trash of the Titans: Her apartment, even only days after Chiaki cleans it.
  • Verbal Tic: Nodame often uses nonsense exclamations like "Gyabo!" and "Mukya!"
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: After the dress her mum made for her rips, she opts to dress up as Mozart at her first recital in France since she performs his songs.
  • Will They or Won't They?: With Chiaki - on one hand, Chiaki seems to reciprocate Nodame's feelings, on the other hand one (or both) of them will face some issue that drives the other away.
  • Woman Child: Her interests and way of thinking is very much like a child rather than a 20 year old.
  • Worthy Opponent: Nodame respects Rui's skills despite also feeling jealous, and she aspires to reach her level of competency so she can also play with Chiaki. Little to Nodame's knowledge, Rui views her as one - despite being a Cloud Cuckoo Lander, Nodame's interesting, erratic and spontaneous playing and her ability to draw people with it is what makes Rui both jealous and interested in her, and she's determined to become a better performer like her.
  • Yandere: A relatively mild case.
    • In the Paris Chapter, when Chiaki wants to break up with her, she beats the crap out of him (on a bridge overlooking the Seine!) until he changes his mind. She somewhat justifies herself during the right as she makes a valid point—every time she thinks they're getting closer, Chiaki pulls away from her. Chiaki knows she's right, and it's implied that it helps cause him to relent just as much as him wanting the pain to stop does.
    • Played for Laughs, in the first season when they try to cure Chiaki with hypnosis, she also tries to hypnotize him...into being her boyfriend. It fails.

     Other Japanese characters 

Ryutaro Mine

Voiced by: Shinji Kawada (JP), Grant George (EN)
Live action portrayal by: Eita

4th-year violin student in Momogaoka. He is something of a primadonna whose violin technique is seen by himself to be deeply personal but by others to be simply sloppy. He sees Chiaki as a rival for attention.
  • Beta Couple: With fellow violinist Kiyora.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Music-wise; when introduced he's much more into playing rock and hates classical music with a passion because of how limiting it is to him, but has a change of heart after meeting Nodame and Chiaki and breaks up his band to focus on classical music.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: He proclaims himself to be Chiaki's best friend and is very attached to him, to the latter's chagrin (but he otherwise does appreciate their friendship).
  • The Lancer: To Chiaki, both as the concertmaster in the S-Orchestra and eventually as his self-proclaimed best friend.
  • Large Ham: He is loud and very flashy in both personality and his violin playing style.
  • Love at First Sight: Finds Nodame cute upon their first meeting, is very grateful to her after he finds out how perfect she is as his exam accompanist, and makes several hints in that chapter/episode that he feels attracted to her and wouldn't mind dating her. He gets over it though and becomes her best friend instead.
  • Nice Hat: Begins to sport one after the first anime.

Yasunori Kuroki

Voiced by: Masaya Matsukaze (JP), Joe Cappelletti (EN)
Live action portrayal by: Seiji Fukushi

A talented oboe player who falls for Nodame at first sight. He tends to be phlegmatic and quiet, other people think he has a Zen-like aura. First seen as part of The Rising Star Orchestra, then later went to study in Paris where he also joined Chiaki in the Marlet Orchestra.
  • Ascended Extra: Starts off as a minor character in the first anime while Chiaki and Nodame are in Japan; however he gradually becomes a major supporting character after Nodame and Chiaki move to Paris as he also eventually moves there and joins their new gang, effectively replacing Mine.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Tanya. He has an awkward first encounter with her when she calls him "dark and gloomy", and they start to bicker a lot after he joins the gang. This doesn't stop him from becoming attracted to her.
  • Beta Couple: With Tanya very, very eventually.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: After his Love at First Sight encounter with Nodame, he starts to give her things and help her out in hopes of getting her attention. He's still nice to her after finding out she's crushing on Chiaki, though his crush promptly ends when he encounters her Trash of the Titans apartment in France.
  • Love at First Sight: Towards Nodame, after she gives him food to share with the orchestra and acts a lot more feminine and polite than she normally is. To Chiaki's horror.
  • Only Sane Man: He's much more reserved than the usual loud and quirky characters he's surrounded by, whether it be the Rising Star Orchestra or his new Paris friendship group (Nodame, Frank, Tanya and Yunlong).
  • Opposites Attract: Tanya, a flashy and fierce Russian, and Kuroki, a calm and socially-awkward Japanese.
  • The Stoic: Moreso at the start where he holds a good poker face, doesn't speak much and isn't nearly as expressive as his Large Ham acquaintances, which makes people think he has a Zen-like aura. He loosens up after falling head over heels for Nodame, and he is especially more expressive after moving to Paris, though he still remains the Only Sane Man.
  • What Does She See in Him?: Gender-inverted, Chiaki has this attitude towards Kuroki crushing on Nodame. When he asks Kuroki what he likes about her, Kuroki answers with a perfectly valid description of a polite and lovely girl... which is the exact opposite of who Nodame really is. Despite Chiaki's best efforts to get Kuroki to see the light, he fails.

Kiyora Miki

Live action portrayal by: Asami Mizukawa

A prodigious violinist Chiaki meets at the Nina Lutz's seminar, and becomes the concertmaster of the Rising Star Orchestra.
  • Beta Couple: With fellow violinist Mine.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: She's briefly seen at Nina Lutz's seminar when Chiaki's conducting - he's impressed by her playing with the orchestra and they share a smile but she otherwise holds no importance then. However she's officially introduced later when she reunites with Chiaki - and it's her who proposes that they create what would become the Rising Star Orchestra.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Some chapters, adapted in a Finale OVA Special, focuses on Kiyora meeting up with Chiaki and Nodame and her competition in Paris. The start of the second live-action movie also covers the final round of the competition.
  • Embarrassing Nickname/In-Series Nickname: Mine attempts to enforce the nickname "The Orient's Bright Red Ruby"/"Crimson Ruby of the Orient" when promoting her. He thinks it's cool and reflects her perfectly, Kiyora not so much.
  • The Rival: To newcomer Takahashi, who asks to join the Rising Star Orchestra specifically to replace Kiyora as the concertmaster because he thinks he plays better than her. Kiyora is then encouraged to return to studying overseas so she can get good results in competitions and come back to one-up Takahashi.
  • Tsundere: She's a bit aloof and can be easily irritated, but she genuinely does care for her friends. This is especially the case with Mine - he often provokes her due to his Large Ham tendencies and her cold personality sometimes worries Mine that she doesn't care about him much, however it is clear she does love him and really misses him while she's overseas.

Masumi Okuyama

Voiced by: Yoshinori Fujita (JP), Steve Staley (EN)
Live action portrayal by: Keisuke Koide

A 4th-year timpanist (percussion) and an okama. He has a crush on Chiaki and used to always admire him from afar.
  • Ascended Extra: Unlike the anime/manga, he still occasionally shows up in the drama after the shift to Paris and even goes with Mine to visit Nodame and Chiaki and see Kiyora perform.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me / Love at First Sight: Chiaki's concern and stopping Masumi from falling while carrying his timpani up the stairs made him less depressed about moving to Tokyo and was what started his crush.
  • Berserk Button: Really, anytime someone gets too up close and comfy with Chiaki, Masumi is sure to come running. Hilariously Played for Laughs when Mine and Kiyora discover the violinist Noriyuki has an extreme crush on Chiaki. Kiyora only needs to holler loudly for Masumi to come barging through the door.
  • Funny Afro: Sports quite a big one at that.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Wears on, which he made himself, for the S Orchestra's performance of "Rhapsody in Blue" in Episode 10.
  • The Rival: To Nodame and Takahashi for Chiaki's love. Especially Takahashi who is also gay.
  • Straight Gay: Neither camp or over-the-top macho.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: He's claustrophobic.

Saiko Tagaya

Voiced by: Hitomi Nabatame (JP), Cindy Robinson (EN)
Live action portrayal by: Misa Uehara

Chiaki's ex-girlfriend. Coming from a wealthy family, she majors in singing (more specifically opera). She is the "belle" of the school due to her looks and voice.
  • Jerk Ass: Mostly at the start, where she's a bit too proud, quick to bitch about her opponents and breaks up with Chiaki because "she hates losers". She grows out of it as her Hidden Depths are revealed and when she gradually accepts that Chiaki's moved on.
  • Love at First Note: Her singing is implied to be how Chiaki first became attracted to her in a flashback.
  • Ojou: A wealthy and well regarded opera singer at school, being called their "belle".
  • Pet the Dog: She resents Nodame at first due to her relationship with Chiaki; however when she first encounters a drunk Nodame in the restroom, she gives her her shawl to keep her warm on her home. After she smacks her for being too touchy-feely anyways.
  • Technician vs. Performer: Minor, at one point she and her rival Suganuma are singing the same song in their lessons; while Saiko has better technique than her, she lacks the dynamics and emotion that Suganuma has and is criticised for it.
  • Unrequited Love Switcheroo: While the two were a couple prior to the series, in the first chapter/episode Saiko promptly breaks up with Chiaki, saying she hates losers. In the next episode she approaches him again and asks to get back together, but Chiaki rejects her saying he hates losers.

Sakura Saku

Voiced by: Mamiko Noto (JP), Karen Strassman (EN)
Live action portrayal by: Saeko

A double bass player in Chiaki's S orchestra, whose family is in financial trouble because her father's business is about to go bankrupt.
  • Advertised Extra: Normally found on the drama posters and other teasers with the main and other side characters but plays a much smaller role than Mine and Masumi. She still has more presence here than the anime/manga though (see her Ascended Extra entry).
  • Alliterative Name: Not only in English but in Japanese too - Sakura Saku.
  • Ascended Extra: Hardly seen again after her arc in the anime/manga but is more present in the drama, even going on to join the R☆S Orchestra.
  • Big Eater: She won't hesitate to eat someone else's unwanted lunch even if it's been dropped and she finishes one of Chiaki's dishes in seconds, showing her to be a bigger eater than Nodame. Justified as her family's financial crisis doesn't let her eat much and she's starving half the time.
  • Older Than They Look: She's constantly mistaken as a young student due to her petite size a 148cm. It doesn't help she's often seen with her double bass which makes her look even tinier.
  • Starving Student: She has to work at night just to help out her family let alone keep her in school. As a result, she has no money for food and is thus starving half the time, and she also has no time to practise her double bass which badly affects her playing in the S Orchestra.

Kouzo Etoh

Voiced by: Kazuya Nakai (JP), Dave Mallow (EN)
Live action portrayal by: Kosuke Toyohara

A piano teacher also known as the "harisen teacher" (Paper Fan-sensei). He's Chiaki's teacher at the start of the story, but after Chiaki blows up at him for scoffing at his dream of being a conductor, Etoh throws Chiaki out of his class. He later takes interest in Nodame's skills and becomes determined to polish them himself.
  • Cool Teacher: He wishes he's this, but his stern approach and reputation as a strict teacher gets in the way. Though Tanioka does take up one student who thinks Etoh is admirable due to his prestige as the best piano teacher and would rather have him as her instructor instead, which Tanioka finds odd.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Minor, but he becomes less of a Jerk Ass and gets rid of his Paper Fan of Doom when he becomes Nodame's teacher and tries to get her to take proper lessons.
  • Paper Fan of Doom: He always carries one during his class which uses to punish his students for their mistakes. He's even named after it with the nickname "Harisen", and he also receives a new one as a graduation present from his students.
  • Stern Teacher: He's said to be one of the best piano teachers in the school, however he's also known for using his paper-fan to discipline students when they don't play right and his stern attitude is what leads him to arguing with Chiaki and kicking him out of his class. Even after his Heel-Face Turn, he most certainly will not let Nodame get distracted or go off track under his nose. Nevertheless Nodame comes to respect him, even going to him to help her with the competition.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Not really ugly but he is no bishonen and has a rather off-putting and brash personality, whereas his wife is quite attractive and much more cheerful and appealing than he is.

Hajime Tanioka

Voiced by: Mitsuru Ogata (JP), Robert Buchholz (EN)
Live action portrayal by: Masahiko Nishimura

A piano teacher at Momogaoka, said to specialize in "drop-out" students. He is Nodame's first teacher and also becomes Chiaki's teacher when Etoh kicks him out of his class.
  • Cool Teacher: He's a kind teacher who gives his students some freedom in what they do in class, for example helping Nodame work on her Moja Moja Suite.
  • Secret Test of Character: His first assignment for Nodame and Chiaki is to perform Mozart's Sonata for Two Pianos. Chiaki thinks it is a lesson for the technically inept Nodame, but after the performance is a success, it's revealed that it's also a lesson for himself, in learning to cooperate and work with others.

Toru Kikuchi

Voiced by: Junichi Suwabe (JP), Peter Doyle (EN)
Live action portrayal by: Osamu Mukai

A womanizing cellist and one of the founders of the Rising Star Orchestra.
  • The Casanova: He can be heard talking on the phone to different girlfriends, and said girlfriends won't give up on him even after discovering each other. A Running Gag is for his three girlfriends to be fighting each other in the background while he's talking to someone.
  • Chick Magnet: His good looks and prestige has gained him many admirers, and he constantly two-times.

Seiko Miyoshi

Voiced by: Kotono Mitsuishi (JP), Cindy Robinson (EN)

Chiaki's mother, who retained custody of Chiaki after her divorce with Chiaki's father.

Masayuki Chiaki

Voiced by: Kenyuu Horiuchi

Chiaki's father and a famous pianist. He left Chiaki's mother when Chiaki was still a young boy.
  • Disappeared Dad: Is not seen at all in the series, only mentioned. Chiaki avoids contact with him after the divorce.

Yukihisa Matsuda

Voiced by: Hiroki Tochi
Live action portrayal by: Shosuke Tanihara

The conductor Chiaki chooses to replace him as conductor of the Rising Star Orchestra.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He's a womanizer-wannabe who keeps a "future diary" of what he thinks he will (but mostly doesn't) accomplish, but he isn't a well-regarded conductor whom even Chiaki admires and chooses to become his replacement for the Rising Star Orchestra for no reason.
  • Casanova Wannabe: He really likes to talk about women and attempts to two-time with his girlfriend in Japan and whoever else he can find, however one of his flings breaks up with him when in Paris so he's only left with his girlfriend whom he doesn't even like anymore.
  • A Day in the Limelight: A few chapters, adapted as an OVA prequel to the Finale season, focuses on him going to Paris to conduct and reuniting with Chiaki.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: The new concertmaster of the Rising Star Orchestra Takahashi pretty much becomes his Stalker with a Crush, even following him all the way to Paris in the pre-Finale OVA.
  • Jerk Ass: Minor one, as seen when he goes sees Chiaki conduct the Roux-Marlet orchestra for the first time in the manga and laughs at him, and later tells his orchestra how he's no good at all.

     Foreign characters 

Maestro Franz von Stresemann

Voiced by: Shinji Ogawa (JP), Terrence Stone (EN)
Live action portrayal by: Naoto Takenaka

An elderly, highly-respected internationally famous conductor who comes to Momogaoka Music Academy as a guest instructor.
  • AcCENT Upon the Wrong SylLABle: His speaking style in the live-action series is like this to emphasise his foreign origin.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Even after his true identity is introduced, Nodame still calls him "Milch" from the false German name he told her ("Milch Holstein", or "cow's milk"), to the point she doesn't even remember his real name.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: To Minako Momodaira, the director of the music academy, likely due to her illness in her younger years which lead to their current Better as Friends status.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: One of the world's most famous maestros... is a perverted and strange old man. Just about no one recognises him when first meeting him.
  • Can't Act Perverted Toward a Love Interest: Is near-foul with other girls but is very polite to Minako.
  • Demoted to Extra: Compare his screentime when in Japan (first season of the anime) to that of the chapters/seasons that followed.
  • I Wished You Were Dead: Played for Laughs when his friend and maestro Salvatore Lippi is announced dead, and a depressed Stresemann thinks it's because he told him to die. Elise retorts he's been telling him that for the last 40 years and Stresemann says he thought the people you hate never die.
  • King Incognito: Does this to Nodame and Chiaki when he first meets them, claiming to be just a foreign tourist who wants to go out to host clubs. The ruse is dropped the next day when he goes to the university and it's revealed that he is a world-famous conductor.
  • Ladykiller in Love: Stresemann, who is a borderline Dirty Old Man, genuinely loved the school's principal when they were younger and decided to remain Just Friends. It's implied his feelings for her had never changed.
  • Life of the Party: He often takes the orchestra members to parties and he sure gets them all worked up.
  • Lovable Sex Maniac: A big one, almost a Dirty Old Man. Mozart's "Requiem Dies Irae" playing during such scenes of this does not help.
  • Mentor Archetype: Towards Chiaki. He's a worldwide famous conductor who shows his aspiring yet inexperienced conductor student how to get along with a orchestra and how to become more of a performer than a technician on stage.
  • Surprisingly Good Foreign Language: Converses in Japanese perfectly fine in the anime/manga with people who aren't Elise and Chiaki (with them he speaks German), for no particular reason.

Frank Latoine

Voiced by: Shintaro Asanuma
Live action portrayal by: Eiji Wentz

A French piano student who lives in the same apartment complex as Chiaki and Nodame.
  • Ascended Extra: Gets to do a bit more in the drama than the anime/manga, such as going to Nodame's recital and taking some of Yunlong's parts.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Looks after Nodame when she struggles finding her way around during the conservatory entrance exam and is super affectionate to her when she moves in, even hugging and kissing her on the cheek.
  • Hero-Worshipper: It's revealed he started greatly admiring the well-respected Charles Auclair after he attended one of his seminars, and he actually transferred music schools just for the possibility of him getting Auclair as his piano teacher at the Paris Conservatoire. He's devastated when he finds out he's assigned to a different teacher, and even moreso when he finds out Nodame has Auclair instead.
  • Love at First Sight: He couldn't stop thinking about Nodame after she met him and went back to Japan after the entrance exam, and is overjoyed when he finds out she's moving to the same apartment complex as him. He grows out of it after he sees her otaku side and has to deal with her watching the same Puri Gorota episode over and over again - in his room.
  • Occidental Otaku: A Frenchman who's also a straight example of an otaku. However since it's Nodame and Chiaki who moves to his country instead of the other way around, he technically only speaks French in the series and has no knowledge of Japanese, unlike most other examples. Similar to other foreign characters, he's only heard speaking Japanese so viewers/readers' don't have to read subtitles all the time.
  • Otaku: A big one, being an avid Puri Gorota fan who often attends anime conventions and owns a lot of manga, anime and other merchandise. Tanya considers him lame and teases that it's why he has trouble dating, and Frank initially attempts to hide his merchandise so he won't embarrass himself inviting Nodame over. This is before he discovers he's actually nothing compared to Nodame, who is a much bigger Puri Gorota fan.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Frank? Franc? Actually it's officially Franck, but the other spellings (especially the first) are much more common in the fandom and out.
  • Surprisingly Good Foreign Language: His non-French actor in the drama where he is heard speaking French temporarily.

Tatiana "Tanya" Vishneva

Voiced by: Shizuka Ito
Live action portrayal by: Becky

An attractive Russian senior piano student who lives in the same apartment complex as Chiaki, Nodame, Frank, and Yunlong. Her piano playing is somewhat mediocre and she lacks confidence in her ability, which seems to be the reason behind her fixation on finding an affluent boyfriend in France.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Kuroki. When first encountering him she calls him "dark and gloomy" (without him knowing what it means) and they start to bicker a lot after Kuroki joins the gang, but it doesn't stop her growing attraction to him.
  • Beta Couple: With Kuroki very, very eventually.
  • Ms. Fanservice: She's quite fine with showing skin and will often dress to show off her body. She's first seen wearing a bikini top, which Frank makes her change out of before meeting Chiaki and Nodame, and the first thing Chiaki sees when she's at his door is her chest in a revealing top.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: She is always referred to as Tanya, and never by her first name.
  • Opposites Attract: Her, a flashy and fierce Russian, and Kuroki, a calm and socially-awkward Japanese.
  • The Rival: Minor, she sometimes clashes with Yunlong and the two find themselves competing in the same piano competition later on.
  • Surprisingly Good Foreign Language: She's fluent enough in French to converse with everyone in Paris including Frank - it's a given since she has to know enough to be able to study at the Conservatoire. Also applies to her non-French actress in the drama where she speaks French temporarily.
  • Tsundere: A mild case of this towards Kuroki - she finds him to be irritating and is grouchy towards him, but at the same time softens up to him. Kuroki seems to take it in stride, mostly because he is clueless of Tanya's true feeling towards him.
  • Uncanny Valley Makeup: She loves her makeup a lot, especially in the drama adaptation where Frank complains about her wearing too much. Leads to a hilarious moment in the manga and drama adaptation when Chiaki tries to compliment her on the spot:
    Chiaki: Hahaha uh... you're not wearing that much makeup today!
    Tanya: (giggles) Good joke!

Yunlong Li

Voiced by: Satoshi Hino

A Chinese piano player who lives in the same apartment complex as Nodame and Chiaki do in Paris, though he attends a different music school (which Frank used to go to).
  • Adapted Out: Is entirely absent from the drama adaptation, presumably due to content constraints. This is even though he does play a role that, while not big, is just as important as fellow friends Tanya and Frank. Any of his parts left in are given to other characters instead.
  • Big Eater: When he's not nostalgic over his mother's cooking he really likes going out to eat, and he often fights with fellow big eater Nodame over the portions of the food they share.
  • Fragile Flower: Easily homesick and sentimental especially with anything related to his family. The manga even introduces him as a "Worried Chinese".
  • Imaginary Love Triangle: His friendship with Nodame that developed during Chiaki's absence plus some out-of-context information are the reasons why Chiaki initially becomes wary of him. It ends when the two actually meet for the first timenote  - Chiaki sees Yunlong really is just her friend, while the latter nonchalantly remarks, "Oh, so this is the boyfriend."
  • Momma's Boy: He greatly cares about his mother, complains about not being able to eat her homecooking and is once shown worrying over her food poisoning while complaining that she might die without him by her side. Tanya lampshades it, saying he's always been doted on since young.
  • Mr. Exposition: Gives Nodame and hence viewers some information on Son Rui, who like him is from China, and shows her a video of one of her performances.
  • The Rival: Minor, he sometimes clashes with Tanya and the two find themselves competing in the same piano competition later on.
  • Stoic Spectacles: He can be more aloof than everyone in the apartment and he takes his piano study quite seriously.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: His parents have high expectations of his piano playing, and it's the main reason why he came to Paris to study piano. His motivation for playing the piano is that he enjoys playing for his family.
  • Work Off the Debt: In the manga when his credit card is stolen and he and Nodame are without money at a restaurant, they offer to play piano there in exchange for a group of men there to lend them money. However Yunlong accompanying the owner singing is enough for them to be pardoned and their performance is accepted as payment.

Rui Son

Voiced by: Sayaka Ohara
Live action portrayal by: Yu Yamada

A world-famous Chinese pianist who is making a gradual comeback.
  • Always Someone Better: A former Child Prodigy who's been performing since 10 and is said by Yunlong to be the idol Chinese parents wanted their children to look up to including himself. She is especially this to Nodame.
  • Child Prodigy: Started performing in concerts worldwide at age 10.
  • Demoted to Extra: In the live-action adaptation, most of her issues and character development are non-existent, and she only exists as Nodame's rival.
  • Hair Flip: Does one before she begins to play. Nodame imitates this in attempting to perform a piece as well as Rui in video footage.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: The reason Rui postpones her concerts to study in Paris is so she can take a break, experience a normal life and basically have some freedom.
  • Meddling Parents: Her mother in Season 2 and even moreso in Season 3 as she tries to dictate her life choices such as where she goes and who she performs with. An example is when she calls up her landlady and she finds out Rui's hardly at home, leading her to assume she's playing around too much - she forcibly takes her away from Nodame and Chiaki while muttering that it was wrong to let her get her own apartment in Paris.
  • Trash of the Titans: Chiaki once visits her apartment in Paris and finds out that she's just as messy as Nodame. He has to stop himself from instinctively trying to clean it up like he did with Nodame's old apartment.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: She's often irritated by the pressure from her mother, but her mother is also her inspiration to play - she really does love performing just for her.
  • Worthy Opponent: She's one to Nodame, who feels threatened by her but also respects her, strives to do as well as her and even attempts to imitate her playing style the first time she watches her play. Little to Nodame's knowledge, Rui also views her as one - despite being a Cloud Cuckoo Lander, Nodame's interesting, erratic and spontaneous playing and her ability to draw people with it is what makes Rui both jealous and interested in her, and she's determined to become a better performer like her.

Jean Donnadieu

Live action portrayal by: Giry Vincent

Another of Vieira's students, who also works in Paris and considers himself a rival to Chiaki.
  • Bishōnen: Tall, slim, a pretty face - everything about his looks has everyone smitten, including Elise and Tanya.
  • Nice Guy: He's both Chiaki's rival and the favourite to win the conducting competition and has a girlfriend who enjoys gloating in Chiaki's face thus has the potential of being a snobby opponent; however he's a genuinely good-natured guy who thinks well of Chiaki and even comforts him after his embarrassing performance in the 3rd round of the conducting competition, and scolds said girlfriend for being rude about it. He also gives Chiaki Vieira's contact details after he finds out he's also his pupil and hasn't seen him in a long time.
  • The Rival: To Chiaki, during the conducting competition when they both become the favourites to win, and also afterward when he sees Chiaki as a Worthy Opponent.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: With Yuuko his girlfriend - they are not shy with public displays of affection, to the disgust of those around them, and are frequently surrounded by hearts or sparkles.
  • Surprisingly Good Foreign Language: Giry Vincent was one of the few non-Japanese actors (if not the only one) that didn't need a Japanese voice-over in the drama adaptation, and he spoke quite fluently too. He studied Japanese in university and is a fan of the culture.
  • Worthy Opponent: Despite displaying some traits of a musical Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy, he's this during Chiaki's first conducting competition in France as both strive to do better than the other while also respecting each other's abilities. It's actually his girlfriend Yuuko who does most of the trash talking, much to his chagrin.

Charles Auclair

Voiced by: Motomu Kiyokawa (JP), Terrence Stone (EN)
Live action portrayal by: Manuel Doncel

An esteemed and well-known professor of piano at the Conservatory where Nodame studies.
  • Brutal Honesty: He's kind but also not hesitant to tell Nodame when she's not playing well; for example the very first time she plays for him in their lesson he straight out says it was no good at all. Of course, this is more for her sake than anything else.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He has his quirks which weird out others, but he's a well-respected pianist that teachers at the Conservatory and was a judge at Nodame's piano competition.

Lucas Beaudry

A young French prodigious boy who attends the same conservatory as Nodame.
  • Child Prodigy: A lot younger than his classmates at the conservatory. Nodame does a double-take when she first spots the 10-year-old boy in her analysis class, and he ends up tutoring her a bit later on.
  • Demoted to Extra: In the Japanese live-action adaptation he only appears in the 2nd special episode, and not often.
  • Homeschooled Kids: Due to him attending the conservatory, he doesn't get to attend primary school like other kids his age, and so he has a tutor teaching him the usual school subjects at home. Despite Nodame'c concerns, Lucas isn't bothered by his special upbringing since he loves music and his grandfather taught him to cherish his talents.
  • Love at First Sight: Instantly falls for Chiaki's cousin Yuiko when she visits Paris.
  • Precocious Crush: Develops a crush on the much older Nodame, though to be fair she is a Woman Child and a Friend to All Children.
  • She Is All Grown Up: Gender-inverted, his puberty physically progresses throughout the series as he goes from age 10 to his young teens. In particular, in a Finale OVA Chiaki snarks at the thought of Nodame going on a date with "that little kid". Cut to Nodame opening the door to a much taller and more bishonen-like 15-year-old Lucas, and it's enough to make Chiaki feel threatened and freak out over how much bigger he's gotten.
  • Surprisingly Good Foreign Language: His Japanese voice actor when speaking French in the Finale OVA.


Voiced by: Tomoko Kawakami (JP), Karen Strassman (EN)
Live action portrayal by: Michiko Kichise

Stresemann's hard-nosed agent and business manager.
  • Beleaguered Assistant: Streseman would get nowhere if it weren't for her constantly chasing him up and her management skills.
  • Fangirl: She's a big one for Jean and roots for him to win at his and Chiaki's conducting competition. Even after she forces Chiaki into signing with her company, she still gloats about Jean to his face, prompting Chiaki to wonder if she's his or Jean's manager.
  • Noblewoman's Laugh: Especially sports one when she becomes Chiaki's agent by forcing him to sign the contract in the second season.

Sebastiano Vieira

Voiced by: Masashi Ebara (JP), Steve Kramer (EN)
Live action portrayal by: Zdenek Macal

A world renowned conductor and Chiaki's mentor.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He's a world renowned conductor... and also obsessed with toys.
  • Cool Teacher: Back when Chiaki was studying in Europe. He's a world-famous conductor who took in a young Chiaki as his student (after the latter kept pestering him anyways) and even let him go to his rehearsals.
  • Parental Substitute: Due to his dad being away and working so often, Chiaki saw Vieira as a surrogate father back when he was his student. He was much more upset about leaving Vieira than leaving his own dad when he was about to move back to Japan with his divorced mum.
  • The Rival/Unknown Rival: Stresemann sees him as such and treats him like the plague whenever he's brought up. Vieira doesn't think all that well of Stresemann but otherwise doesn't really care enough to see him as a rival.
  • So Proud of You: This is his attitude when he finds out from Jean that Chiaki, whom he hasn't heard from in years, is a finalist in the conducting competition. He also clearly shows his happiness and admiration for Chiaki's achievements when the two finally reunite.