Fans of the internationally popular josei manga Nodame Cantabile got a pleasant surprise yesterday when author Tomoko Ninomiya suddenly posted a very brief spin-off on her Twitter account which sees many of the familiar characters, many of whom are now living in different parts of the world, reunited, albeit virtually, through a Zoom happy hour. This marks the first time since the 2016 one-shot epilogue chapter was published in the April edition of Kiss that we're seeing these familiar faces again, so it has obviously created quite a buzz online.

Nodame Cantabile remote

The brief spin-off episode is introduced with the following text:

"On a suggestion from Mine Ryutaro, Nodame and the former members of the RS Orchestra decide to have one of the now-trending online drinking parties. Everyone was looking forward to chatting and finding out how they were getting along in France, Germany, and Japan, but..."

And then we can see, from left to right, Ryutaro, Kuroki, Nodame, Kiyora, Masumi, Chiaki, and for some reason, in a bigger window than everyone else, Mamoru Okochi, the former Conducting Department student and self-professed rival of Chiaki. As expected, this provides the initial humor for the manga, as well as a continuing thread since he has more lines in this manga than any other character.

Naturally, the members start by questioning his presence there, most vociferously Masumi, who provides another source of humor in the manga, as he never gets a chance to hear Chiaki speak in spite of his valiant efforts to hush everyone. Kuroki explains that he's the one who invited Mamoru...

...who quickly defuses the tension, saying how he was grateful he was for Kuroki who looked after him in Germany and how much he enjoyed his wife's home cooking. Of course, he's referring to Tanya, who we saw accepting Kuroki's proposal at the end of the series. He also takes advantage of everyone's presence to advertise his new choir. Meanwhile, Ryutaro is seen enjoying very tasty-looking dishes from Uraken, which immediately catches Nodame's attention.

Now even more excited over the Uraken's new menu, Nodame says she wants to visit the next time she comes back to Japan. Meanwhile, Kiyora now seems to be falling asleep as a result of her wine, while Mamoru continues to dominate the conversation, as he shows off a photo of him when he recently attended a concert by Maestro Franz von Stresemann, who "remembered him" (but Chiaki surmises that Stresemann is going to use Mamoru to procure smutty books from Japan). Tanya also shows up behind Kuroki, and seeing Chiaki and Nodame in separate windows, indiscreetly asks if the two have broken up, which Nodame vehemently denies.

Kiyora completely nods off, and Ryutaro goes into full "caring boyfriend" mode, saying it's bad for her neck and that he'll be right over to put her properly into bed. Apparently, Kiyora lives just 10 minutes away...Chiaki drops out of the party, leaving Masumi in shock since he never had a chance to hear his voice even once.

Mamoru then addresses Nodame, telling her about a female member of his choir, whose son just happens to be the producer of Nodame's favorite anime, which he mistakenly recalls to be "Puri Goneta"...

...which Nodame corrects, explaining that the name is Puri Gorota. Her expression reveals that her gears are turning as she wonders why Mamoru is bringing up the subject. As the manga comes to a close, and the dialogue continues in the black space beneath the frame of the party window, she asks him if this producer wants Nodame to compose the theme song for the anime's next feature film. But Mamoru disappointingly replies: "No, that's not it at all..."

It's good to see everyone doing well in 2020... Maybe this short spinoff will get an official translation one day?

By - Ben K.