My anime buddy and I were having a talk the other day and of course we went over the good and bad regarding the recently finished "Hibike! Euphonium"（響け! ユーフォニアム）which had 2 full seasons and at least one movie about the trials and tribulations of the members in a band club in high school. Then, just a few days ago, I was reminded of another anime involving young folk and their instruments from a decade prior. That was "Nodame Cantabile" (のだめカンタービレ) and I started going over the various listings through "TV Tropes".
Now I think even "Hibike! Euphonium" has yet to realize the full multi-media spectrum that "Nodame Cantabile" did. There was the original manga, an anime and even a live-action version for both Japan and Taiwan. And I think there was even some sort of Nintendo DS game! However for me, it was always really just the manga. My former student-turned-friend was kind enough to lend me the English-language version of the manga to me over a period of several weeks which I started to enjoy as I read about the adventures of Shinichi and Megumi at Momogaoka College of Music.
For whatever reason, I never got into the Fuji-TV live-action drama starring Juri Ueno and Hiroshi Tamaki（上野樹里・玉木宏）although I remember catching one pivotal scene involving Tamaki's Shinichi in conducting mode. There was also the anime from which I caught a couple of the episodes. However since that was broadcast on Fuji-TV in the wee hours of the morning (I was a working man after all) and no longer had a VCR to tape the show, I also didn't cotton onto that either. So it was just the manga which I also enjoyed for its depiction of student life at a suburban university. There was just something very comfortable about flipping through the pages and seeing the kids live and study in that neighbourhood.
As I said, I was only able to catch a couple of the episodes from the anime adaptation. However, from reading on "TV Tropes" about the opening theme song, a memory engram suddenly flashed in my head and checked out the link leading me to the above video. Instantly, some very nice feels flowed back into my ears as the singer-songwriter with the unusual nom de plume SUEMITSU & THE SUEMITH started pounding on the piano to perform "Allegro Cantabile e.p.".
Originally named Atsushi Suemitsu（末光篤）, the Hiroshima native liked to combine classical music with rock into something called Grind Piano Rock, and as for his intense playing style, he got that from Jerry Lee Lewis, according to his J-Wiki bio. Seeing him in the music video, I kinda think he would have been a perfect fit for the cast of "Nodame Cantabile". Speaking of the video, it's rather sad that a piano was indeed harmed during the filming, though.
Still, "Allegro Cantabile e.p." reflects all of the joy and intense hard work that the characters went through no matter the medium. I may have only appreciated the printed version of "Nodame Cantabile" but whenever I read through the pages, it's still SUEMITSU & THE SUEMITH that I hear as I do so.
The song which was written and composed by Suemitsu reached No. 20 on Oricon after its release in February 2007 as the singer's 4th single. It was also recorded onto his first original album as a major act, "The Piano It's Me" which peaked at No. 18.