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 a hand to his friends should they need help. In university, he was 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.
- Can't Live with Them, Can't Live without Them: To Nodame.
- 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 and the news that his father has relocated to Prague automatically means he himself will be residing in Paris.
- 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 comes across as less slapstick and a bit more disturbing...
- Even the Guys Want Him: First timpanist Masumi, then violinist Noriyuki.
- 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.
- Loony Friends Improve Your Personality
- 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.
- Messy Hair
- A Minor Kidroduction: In the live-action series when Chiaki reminisces of being in Europe and meeting Maestro Vieira.
- Neat Freak
- Opposites Attract: With Nodame.
- Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Savvy Guy to Nodame's Energetic Girl.
- She Is Not My Girlfriend: Even when she is, Chiaki still treats Nodame this way.
- Straight Man
- Student and Master Team: Formed one with Stresemann during the performance of Rachmaninoff's Concerto No.2 with the A-Orchestra.
- Supreme Chef
- Tall, Dark, Handsome and Snarky
- Technician Versus Performer: Chiaki is the technician to Nodame's performer. 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: Towards Nodame.
- Will They or Won't They?: With Nodame.
Megumi "Nodame" Noda
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.
- 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
- Brilliant, but Lazy
- Clingy Jealous Girl
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander
- Cosmetic Catastrophe: When she tries to make herself pretty for Chiaki, this happens.
- Covert Pervert
- Cute Clumsy Girl
- Dogged Nice Girl
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: When Nodame is severely dejected and Chiaki attempts to console her, she responds like this.
- Friend to All Children: Nodame has a very easy time making friends with children.
- Genius Ditz: She can even learn French just by listening to it.
- Girls Love Stuffed Animals: And puppets and figurines. Much of the mess that makes up Nodame's room is this.
- 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
- 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
- One of the Kids
- Only Known by Their Nickname
- Opposites Attract: With Chiaki.
- Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Energetic Girl to Chiaki's Savvy Guy.
- Self-Proclaimed Love Interest: She actually declares herself Chiaki's wife. Expect Chiaki to follow up with She Is Not My Girlfriend.
- Skilled, but Naive: 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
- 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 Versus 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
- Through Her Stomach: 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.
- Verbal Tic: Nodame often uses nonsense exclamations like "Gyabo!" and "Mukya!"
- Will They or Won't They?: With Chiaki.
- Woman Child
- Yandere: A relatively mild case. In the Paris Chapter, when Chiaki wanted to break up with her, she beat the crap out of him (on a bridge overlooking the Seine!) until he changed his mind.
Maestro Franz von Stresemann
Live action portrayal by: Naoto Takenaka
An elderly, highly-respected internationally famous conductor who comes to Momogaoka Music Academy as a guest instructor.
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 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.
- The Lancer: To Chiaki, both as the concertmaster in the S-Orchestra and eventually as his self-proclaimed best friend.
- Love at First Sight: Found Nodame cute upon their first meeting, and made several hints in that chapter/episode that he felt attracted to her/wouldn't mind dating her. He gets over it though and becomes her best friend instead.
- Nice Hat: Begins to sport one after the original series.
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 joined Chiaki in the Marlet Orchestra in Paris
Live action portrayal by: Asami Mizukawa
A prodigious violinist Chiaki met at the Nina Lutz's seminar.
Live action portrayal by: Keisuke Koide
A 4th-year timpanist (percussion) and an okama. He developed a crush on Chiaki and always admired him from afar.
- Ascended Extra: Unlike the anime/manga he still occasionally shows up in Paris-hen of the drama and even went to Paris 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
- Straight Gay: Neither camp or over-the-top macho.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: He's claustrophobic.
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.
Live action portrayal by: Saeko
A double bass player in Chiaki's S orchestra, whose family was in financial trouble because her father's business was about to go bankrupt.
- Advertised Extra: Normally found on the drama posters and other teasers with other main and 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
- 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.
- Older Than She Looks
Live action portrayal by: Kosuke Toyohara
A piano teacher also known as the "harisen teacher" (Paper Fan-sensei). He was Chiaki's teacher at the start of the story, but after Chiaki blew up at him for scoffing at his dream of being a conductor, Etoh threw Chiaki out of his class.
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.
Live action portrayal by: Osamu Mukai
A womanizing cellist and one of the founders of the Rising Star Orchestra.
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.
- Love at First Sight: He couldn't stop thinking about Nodame after she met him and went back to Japan after the entrance exam. He grows out of it after he sees her otaku side and has to deal with her watching the same Purigorota episode over and over again - in his room.
- Occidental Otaku
- Surprisingly Good Foreign Language: In the drama where he is heard speaking French temporarily.
Tatiana "Tanya" Vishneva
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.
A Chinese piano player who lives in the same apartment complex as Nodame and Chiaki do in Paris.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Is entirely absent from the drama adaptation. Any of his parts left in is given to other characters instead.
- 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.
- "Well Done, Son" Guy: His parents have high expectations of his piano playing, and it's mainly why he came to Paris to study.
Live action portrayal by: Yu Yamada
A world-famous Chinese pianist who is making a gradual comeback.
- Child Prodigy
- 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.
- Well Done Daughter Girl: She's often irritated by the pressure from her mother, but she really does love performing just for her.
Live action portrayal by: Giry Vincent
Another of Vieira's students, who also works in Paris and considers himself a rival to Chiaki.
- Jerk Ass: Subverted. Despite being Chiaki's rival and his girlfriend's enjoyment in gloating in their faces, he's a genuinely nice guy who thinks well of Chiaki and even comforted him after his embarrassing performance in the 3rd round of the conducting competition, and scolded said girlfriend for being rude about it.
- The Rival: To Chiaki.
- Surprisingly Good Foreign Language: Giry Vincent was the only non-Japanese actor that didn't need a Japanese voice-over in the drama adaptation and spoke quite fluently. He studied Japanese in university and is a fan of the culture.
Live action portrayal by: Manuel Doncel
An esteemed and well-known professor of piano at the Conservatory where Nodame studies.
- 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.
Live action portrayal by: Michiko Kichise
Stresemann's hard-nosed agent and business manager.
Live action portrayal by: Zdenek Macal
A world renowned conductor and Chiaki's mentor.
Chiaki's mother, who retained custody of Chiaki after her divorce with Chiaki's father.
Chiaki's father and a famous pianist. He left Chiaki's mother when Chiaki was still a young boy.
The conductor Chiaki chooses to replace him as conductor of the Rising Star Orchestra.