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Cantabile Tomorrow: Episode 4

Our hero learns the hard way that assembling an orchestra and being given a chance to conduct is just the beginning of his journey, and that there’s an entire component to leading an orchestra that never occurred to him before—the people playing the instruments, and all of their very human foibles and individual problems. For better or worse, being a leader means he has to figure out how to coax the best out of each of his members, even in the face of crippling self-doubt. Oz had Dorothy, and the S Orchestra has Yoo-jin, to show them that they always had what it takes inside them all along. First up: Il-lac the Lion, who needs an ounce of courage to let his fingers fly.

 
SONG OF THE DAY

Vittorio Monti – Csárdás [ Download ]

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LESSON 4 RECAP

After demonstrating that he’s the maestro who can take the same orchestra and create a completely different sound, Streseman kicks Yoo-jin out. Nae-il looks like she’s going to burst into tears right then and there, but Yoo-jin holds his ground and says that he has until tomorrow to prove himself—until then, this is still his orchestra.

Streseman agrees to their original terms, so Yoo-jin picks up his baton for one final rehearsal for Beethoven’s 3rd. No one looks happy to play for Yoo-jin, and again he senses that something is off.

In his head, he picks out the individual instruments that have adjusted according to his notes, and as he thinks that the viola sounds depressing, he hits upon something—the whole melody sounds downright depressing.

In voiceover, he realizes, “I only tried to draw out the sounds. I ignored the feelings that are making the sounds.” This time his notes are kinder and focused on the emotions of the players, and he asks softly for a good performance tomorrow.

As he walks toward the door, the timpanist Su-min calls out, “I’m sorry we’re so bad!” Yoo-jin turns around and replies to the group, “No, it’s not you guys. The problem was me.” Il-lac stops Nae-il from following him out, knowing that Yoo-jin needs some time alone.

That night, Yoo-jin goes over his score sheets again and again, making final adjustments. And next door, Nae-il stays up late too, excitedly making something on her sewing machine.

Dean Mina asks Teachers Do and Ahn to advise the two orchestras as a special favor, and Teacher Do immediately refuses to take on the S Orchestra, while Teacher Ahn is used to being assigned the school’s flunkies and agrees readily to take them.

Mina is concerned about the orchestra battle at the end of the term, and says she wants the students to be kept unaware that the losing orchestra will get disbanded. Great, now Teacher Do has a personal stake in seeing the S Orchestra fail.

The problem is that the school’s main orchestra already heard the news from family connections to the board of directors. Shi-won, the concertmistress, declares that they’ll squeeze in extra practice even without their teacher.

It’s time for Yoo-jin’s final test at the end of his trial week, and he’s a bundle of nerves as he cues the orchestra to begin. But he flubs within seconds and drops his baton, bringing the whole room to a screeching halt. Streseman’s eyebrow goes up in silent dismay.

He picks up his baton and tries to steady his nerves before beginning again, when suddenly Nae-il pops up in a head-to-toe Dalmatian costume to cheer him on. She is so weird. His embarrassment is super cute, and the other kids laugh good-naturedly that she really is their mascot.

Yoo-jin turns to the orchestra to start over, but Streseman interrupts to say that he’s already failed his test—a conductor stooping down to pick up his baton in a real concert would’ve ended the performance then and there. Yoo-jin realizes his mistake and says he should’ve kept the piece going even if he had to conduct with his hand.

Streseman says he failed, but adds that if he really wants to be part of the orchestra, he’ll take Yoo-jin on as his assistant, especially since he’s a package deal with Nae-il. She’s already mad at Streseman and shouts at Yoo-jin not to accept the offer, but he says he’ll do it.

Nae-il trails after him like a puppy, made completely literal with her puppy costume, and Yoo-jin fends her off with the complaint that he’s allergic to fur… and also to her. He seems to realize belatedly that it hurts her feelings, so he stops with a sigh to wait for her to catch up.

She pinches a tiny corner of his sleeve and says she’ll just hold on here, and it’s so cute that he can’t help but smile. Of course it only takes three seconds for her to angle for another hug, which sends him running again.

Dean Mina stops by the coffee shop for a chat with Yoo-jin’s mom, and when Mina mentions that Yoo-jin is making friends at school and even playing piano duets, Mom is eager to know more about his duet partner, and decides to ask around.

Mina has been primping during their whole conversation, and now we see why, as she goes for a walk with Streseman. He smoothly compliments her as a pianist, and says that she still seems exactly the same as she did back then.

But the mood shatters when Yoo-jin suddenly pops up out of nowhere, here to do his duty as an assistant and take Streseman to his scheduled lesson with the orchestra. It’s pretty funny how obviously annoyed Streseman is that he’s being derailed in the romance department, while Yoo-jin is cluelessly eager to do a good job.

Streseman sends Yoo-jin to school ahead of him, and the other students plead with Yoo-jin to help them out because they’re practicing without any direction and the professor is nowhere to be found. So he gives them each notes on their parts, and Il-lac suggests a practice run so that they can find the problem areas as they play.

At their request, Yoo-jin gets ready to conduct, but of course that’s when Streseman enters the room. He takes one look at Yoo-jin standing on the podium and says that only the conductor can stand there, and fires Yoo-jin on the spot. Again? What job titles are left? Shoe-shiner?

Nae-il cries foul at Streseman’s flip-flopping ways, giving and taking jobs without rhyme or reason. So then Streseman turns to Yoo-jin and says, “You be the conductor then! As of this point, I withdraw from the S Orchestra.” What the? Is this a test, or are you really that petty?

He leaves everyone floored, and one by one, the students start packing away their instruments. Il-lac gets up and asks what they’re doing, and they say matter-of-factly that they were the S Orchestra after Streseman, so without him, they’ll obviously disband.

But Il-lac cries, “We’re S for Special!” That’s so corny, but he says it so earnestly, it’s adorable. He argues that other than Su-min, none of them has been in an orchestra before, and that they were all trying so hard because they’d never be asked to join an orchestra otherwise.

Nae-il joins in to say that they have nothing to worry about—they have Yoo-jin! Yoo-jin says he never agreed to anything, but the others murmur in agreement that honestly Yoo-jin is better than a maestro who doesn’t even bother with lessons or rehearsals, and he’s helped them improve a lot. Soon they’re all chanting, “Cha Yoo-jin! Cha Yoo-jin!” and Yoo-jin looks around, gobsmacked.

Teacher Do tells his orchestra that they’re not about to wait around for Streseman to show himself, and says that conducting student Han Seung-oh will lead them in rehearsal. Suddenly everyone’s phones go off with news about Streseman quitting the S Orchestra, and Yoo-jin taking over as their conductor.

Seung-oh is already pretty arrogant to begin with, but that news just makes him grin like he’s got this in the bag. Streseman finally saunters into rehearsal, and notes that this orchestra seems to already have a conductor as well. Are you just not planning to work?

Yoo-jin sits on his bench of angsty thoughts, and Nae-il creeps up behind him to pop a confetti cannon over his head and sing congratulations, not noticing that it’s not really the appropriate response to what he’s feeling right now.

She thinks it’s a happy occasion since he gets to conduct, while Yoo-jin sighs that he can’t figure out Streseman’s intentions. You’re not the only one. To make things even hairier, Streseman gets on the school’s PA system to announce that the school’s official orchestra—which he dubs the A Orchestra—and the S Orchestra will battle it out at the end of the term, the losing team will disband. So much for keeping it a secret.

Nae-il calls Streseman weird (you know you’re really weird if Nae-il thinks you’re weird), wondering if it’s because he’s a master, and Yoo-jin scoffs that he’s just an old fogey. He gets angry when he realizes that this is why Streseman let him conduct so easily, figuring that he just planned to let them fail from the start. That raises his hackles and he says with determination that he’s going to do this—someone else can’t make HIS orchestra disband. Nae-il swoons even more than usual.

Teacher Ahn finds them to ask what will happen with the orchestra in light of the announcement, and Yoo-jin declares with confidence that he’s the S Orchestra’s conductor. Teacher Ahn smiles proudly.

Both orchestras are in a state of panic following the announcement, and tensions flare up even among friends. The S Orchestra members worry that they’ll never measure up against the A Orchestra, and Il-lac says rather unconvincingly that of course they will, as long as they practice.

Yoo-jin comes in already yelling at them for not practicing enough, and cracks the whip with the reminder that they have an enormous amount to learn and they face disbandment if they fail.

Nae-il watches them practice with a sigh, wishing that she could join in. She goes to play piano on her own, and at first Teacher Do grimaces to hear the mistakes as he walks by, but something about the way she’s playing stops him in his tracks.

He begins to move his hands and feet to the rhythm, and realizes that they aren’t mistakes—there’s something there that moves a person’s heart. He runs through the halls looking for the source of the music, but just as he’s about to reach Nae-il’s practice room, she runs out to catch a class and they just miss each other.

Yoo-jin leaves practice with the gruff announcement that they’ll meet an hour earlier tomorrow, and when everyone complains, he threatens to make that two hours earlier. Il-lac hurriedly tries to lift everyone’s spirits, and offers to feed everyone at Dad’s restaurant again.

Chef Dad happily feeds the gang, and when the others worry about going up against their school’s best musicians in the A Orchestra, Il-lac blusters that they’re not anything special—they’re just boring rule-followers who are stuck in their ways.

Of course the A Orchestra’s leaders happen to be standing right behind him as he says it, and the situation quickly devolves into an our-concertmaster-is-better-than-yours pissing contest between the two groups.

Il-lac tries not to look spooked when his friends challenge their concertmistress to a battle, but he’s not about to back down now, so he offers to let Shi-won pick the song, acting like he could win this in his sleep.

So they whip out their violins to the sound of cheers. Su-min worries for Il-lac, while Shi-won’s friend wonders what’s gotten into her. She says it’s worth showing them how different their levels really are.

Shi-won chooses Csárdás for the battle, and as Il-lac begins to play, Chef Dad narrates that the Hungarian folk dance is like the free and melancholy dance of a gypsy. Il-lac plays the tune with a mournful touch, and Dad is happy at the strong start.

Il-lac seems confident too, and at first he really does seem to be playing better, at least more expressively. But as they get into the faster and more difficult passes, Shi-won breezes through with ease, while Il-lac grows more and more panicked, until his finger eventually slips. Ack.

Shi-won is hands-down the better technician, and the A Orchestra enjoys its victory with smugness. Chef Dad struggles to hold back his tears, thinking to himself that Il-lac did a good job. Shi-won’s friends ask why she tried so hard, and she admits that for a guy who plays electric violin, Il-lac is pretty good.

Nae-il’s check card gets rejected when she tries to buy a sad instant dinner at the convenience store, but she discovers someone even hungrier standing nearby: the tiny bassist Min-hee (whom she calls Mini Min-hee). Nae-il brings Min-hee over to her place to make her dinner, only when she opens her fridge, it’s totally empty.

She manages to find two measly almonds, and I love that the running gag between these two is that Nae-il is always nice enough to offer all the food she has, but is always appalled when Min-hee takes her up on it.

Min-hee’s nose sniffs out something even better though, and they follow her nose all the way to Yoo-jin’s place, where he’s prepared with a lavish spread. Min-hee digs in eagerly, amazed that Nae-il gets to eat this way every day. Nae-il acts like this is nothing and she gets this kind of special treatment all the time, and Yoo-jin rolls his eyes.

He takes the chance to tell Min-hee to take orchestra practice seriously, and says that she’s always falling behind because she constantly misses rehearsal or shows up late. Min-hee says meekly that she can’t quit her part-time job because she needs it to pay tuition, while Yoo-jin argues rather blithely that she might as well drop out if she’s not going to bother putting in effort at the school she’s giving her hard-earned money to. It’s said rudely, but he has a point.

When Min-hee hems and haws defensively, Yoo-jin gripes, “Do you want a solution, or do you want pity?” Ouch, that’s going a bit too far, and Min-hee actually puts down her spoon and walks away before finishing her meal.

Nae-il follows her all the way to her part-time job (at Mom’s coffee shop), and Min-hee admits that Yoo-jin is probably right and she should quit the orchestra. Nae-il tries to lift her spirits with the loose change she scrounged up to buy kimbap, and tries really hard to stay mad at Yoo-jin, but one phone call sends her running back to help him find something. Hilariously, all Min-hee really cares about is that she leaves the loose change behind.

Yoo-jin opens his door expecting Nae-il, but Il-lac stumbles in drunkenly, accompanied by Su-min. Su-min is beyond thrilled to be in Yoo-jin’s apartment, and lets his nickname for him—Cha God—slip out. The fact that Yoo-jin even knows who he is makes his day, but he basically dies of happiness when Yoo-jin adds that he’s really the only person in their orchestra who plays decently. Nae-il arrives and immediately starts going at it with Su-min, who has officially become her stalker rival.

Il-lac has brought steaks over as payment for private lessons, and begs Yoo-jin to teach him, blubbering, “Best friend, no, Master! You’re all I have! You’re better than Jung Shi-won, right?”

While Yoo-jin tries to get Il-lac to stop drinking, Nae-il and Su-min start cooking in the kitchen, which turns into another petty competition. Eventually they’re just butting heads, literally, and Yoo-jin does his best to stay five feet away from the crazy.

Il-lac is totally down in the dumps now, and says he won’t need lessons because he’s not good enough to be a concertmaster anyway. Yoo-jin can see that he needs words of encouragement, but it’s pretty funny how the discomfort is visible while he searches for nice things to say.

He says that Il-lac is “not bad” as a concertmaster, and when Il-lac prods for more compliments, he comes up with: “You have a good personality.” HA. He keeps saying things about how Il-lac puts the rest of the orchestra at ease, but Il-lac whines that those things aren’t skill-related, and he doesn’t have the right to be a concertmaster.

Yoo-jin tells him to give it up then if he’s so sure, but Il-lac doesn’t hesitate a moment to argue, “No! It’s my first time being in an orchestra. I can’t quit! I won’t quit! I’m the concertmaster. It’s my orchestra and I want to do well.”

Those words sound familiar to Yoo-jin, and he agrees to lessons after all. Il-lac beams, but then slurs that they’ll start tomorrow and dozes off on the couch, while the others chase Yoo-jin around the room with their competing dishes.

At practice the next day, Il-lac shows off the new S Orchestra shirts that he wants everyone to wear, and Yoo-jin has to yell at him to focus on the music instead of the flair. He sighs when he sees Min-hee’s empty seat, but begins without her.

Dean Mina looks in on them and admits to Streseman that she’s worried about the students, though she understands that they’re learning things this way. Streseman just says that when she gave up piano back in the day, he always regretted not protecting her music that he loved so dearly, and tells her to use him in any way that she needs.

Nae-il asks Chef Dad if he’d choose love or friendship, and Dad says he’d choose love because love is how you get a son and that’s the best thing in the world. Aw, Dad. Il-lac comes down and asks Nae-il if she knows how to find Min-hee, and Nae-il catches on that he’s asking for Yoo-jin.

She finds Yoo-jin mid-search and offers to take him to the convenience store where Min-hee works on weekends, and they find her in the middle of being fired by her terrible boss, who tries to take away her contrabass as recompense for the stuff she broke while stocking. Yoo-jin jumps in to defend her and scares the boss by asking if Min-hee kept good records of all her hours and pay, and the cheapskate boss backs off.

Min-hee shows up to orchestra practice on Monday, and tells Nae-il happily that she got a random call from someone wanting private lessons, so she was able to quit all her other jobs except for the coffee shop, and now she has time for orchestra.

Nae-il can tell right away that the private lesson was Yoo-jin’s doing, and she sidles up to him to say that he’s got a good brain, but his heart is even better. She sneaks in a quick hug before he pries her off gruffly to begin practice, though he smiles a tiny smile to himself when she isn’t looking.

Two of the A Orchestra boys try to sneak a peek at the S Orchestra’s rehearsal, and happen to overhear Su-min calming down two members who are fed up with Yoo-jin’s arrogance. One screams that Yoo-jin seems to hate only him, and Su-min counters, “No, no, he hates all of us equally!” Hahahaha.

The entire orchestra spills out of practice in an uproar over Yoo-jin, leaving Il-lac calling after them pitifully. The A Orchestra boys observe with a satisfied air.

Yoo-jin resumes practice, and finds that everyone has improved drastically, and they’re actually playing the way he wants them to… only to realize that he’s not actually conducting them. I mean, he’s standing there waving his baton, but no one is looking at him.

It takes a while before anyone even realizes he’s just standing there closing his eyes, and they apologize for paying too much attention to the score that they forgot to look at him.

That night, Nae-il tries to cheer him up, but Yoo-jin is dejected at the latest turn—he got the orchestra to play proficiently, but doesn’t know what’s missing. Nae-il plays the piano to encourage him to figure it out, and he laughs that she’s playing all wrong as usual, but it reminds him of the things he learned from playing with her and with Il-lac. It finally dawns on him why Streseman chose them: “idiosyncrasies without calculations.”

It’s the morning of the orchestra battle, and Nae-il tiptoes in to wake Yoo-jin. She sees him lying on the couch and whispers that if he doesn’t wake up, she’ll jump his bones, and then she actually does.

Only when she ends up within kissing distance, she’s the one who freaks out from sudden nerves. She jumps back and sits there awkwardly, and scares the daylights out of him when he stirs awake.

Dean Mina asks the judges to be fair when evaluating the orchestras today, and Teacher Do argues that Teacher Ahn can’t be a member of the judging panel when he’s the S Orchestra advisor. That’s when Streseman struts in, and offers his services as the final judge.

Yoo-jin walks to school dressed in a snazzy black suit and tie (don’t mind me while I swoon), and joins his orchestra in their rehearsal room. They’re all dressed up too, but the mood is heavy in the room, as they listen to a recording of the very impressive A Orchestra’s rehearsal.

Yoo-jin shuts the recording down and tells them not to listen to that, but Il-lac is basically shrinking with every note. He says dejectedly that he didn’t know they where that good, and Yoo-jin asks if they weren’t prepared for that level of skill in their opponents.

The others sigh, feeling the pressure, and wonder if they’ll have to disband. When Nae-il shouts that they can win, Il-lac lets out a defeated sigh and starts flipping through his sheet music rabidly.

Suddenly Yoo-jin walks over, grabs the music out of his hands, and rips it in half. Omo.

He throws the torn paper aside and his voice echoes throughout the tense room: “Everyone, rip up your sheet music!”

 
COMMENTS

Whoo, I’ve been waiting for some kind of revelation from Yoo-jin, who seemed to have forgotten all about the things he learned in playing his duets. Perhaps it’s not such an easily adaptable lesson when it comes to a full orchestra—you can’t expect the room to be full of musicians like Yoo-jin who can adapt to the others in the room. But he seems to have figured out that the key was in communicating with the person he’s playing with, and in this case he figured out that the sheet music was the thing standing in their way—without it, they’ll be forced to rely upon him completely, which means that he can mold their performances to match one another. I’m sure it’s only the first real hurdle that he’s barely figured out how to jump, but it feels nicely earned.

There’s a nice sense of building momentum where Yoo-jin is concerned (perhaps at the expense of all the other characters who essentially weave in and out of his story), because we witness his gradual development in layers—first his desire to conduct, his ownership of the orchestra, his frustration at them, at himself, and finally his moment of clarity. It’s an important lesson for his character, in that he could make them better musicians all day long, but that means very little if they aren’t communicating and playing together.

I don’t know what Streseman’s motivations are, but I suppose that’s the point since he’s capricious by nature, and at least his fickle attitude towards Yoo-jin and the orchestra gives Yoo-jin a chance to figure these things out on his own, instead of always being told he’s a terrible failure. I really like the dynamic that emerges when Yoo-jin takes ownership of his orchestra and begins to fix everyone above and beyond the call of duty. It’s the kind of stuff that I like about ensemble high school dramas, where it’s often the teacher who runs around helping students with their personal problems, building a sense of trust and creating a very real bond. That they’re a bunch of misfits is just icing on the cake.

I really love the way Il-lac is coming into his own as a character, and it’s nice to see that he’s actually a good leader who struggles with how best to play the middleman between fussy Yoo-jin and the downtrodden orchestra members. I think I’ll enjoy his journey as a musician most of all, because he plays beautifully but stands in his own way, always tripping over his feet and believing the worst about himself, when he should just drown out the noise. His bromance with Yoo-jin is already my favorite relationship (though Nae-il and Su-min’s hilarious rivalry comes in second), and I’m anticipating all the adorable ways in which Yoo-jin will build his confidence and make him great.

The first time I felt anything real for Nae-il’s romance with Yoo-jin was in this episode when she pulled away from him for the first time ever. She’s so overly affectionate that it’s often hard to take her seriously, but it was a nice touch to have her feel so much that she actually shied away from skinship. I actually felt her fluttery feelings as resembling real emotions for the first time, when she suddenly couldn’t even look at him or touch him. I hope there’s more of that in store, because the doggie costumes are cute and all, but I’ll take a solid beat of romantic tension over goofy antics any day of the week.

 
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Thank you so much!!!

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Joo Won's facial expressions in this drama are something else. First the neener neener face, then that reaction to the confetti. I don't usually make so much use of my rewind button, but it's hard not to when I laugh just as hard the 3rd time as the 1st.

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Seriously, his reactions have been spot on so far!

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He has been nothing short of fantastic so far. He plays the serious scenes nuanced yet layered. I can see Yoo Jin struggling beneath that quiet facade. But when he is comical, he doesn't overact, his expressions are just hilarious. Even his smaller reactions towards Naeil are very cute.

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I'm in total agreement...I'm now a fan!

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I'm now his fan too ^^ Totally impressed with his conducting.

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Exactly!!!

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Totally agree! Anyone care to make a .gif version of those expressions?

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fan girls comment session. seriously? all of you praise Joo won's facial expressions in this drama? ahahaa..

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But it's true - his face is so expressive, and it's often hilarious - much funnier than Nae-il's ridiculous overacting (I blame direction, not the actress - it's clear she's trying her best).

You can also see his gradual thawing towards the people around him in his facial expressions and body language, which gives the character so much depth. ::thumbs up for Joo Won's acting::

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Who you calling a fan girl? I can't be impressed by his ability to make little moments hilarious without being equated with the likes of Sung Si Won?! I promise you there are no posters of "oppa" on my wall.

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yeah, it's really confusing how your "oppa" brilliant acting can't touch most of audiences feeling and attract attension. I do agree he's a good actor for certain role like in gaksital that's why i had a great expectation on this remake. But hey, what he did here? absolutely disappointment. Pls do serious drama next time joo won. avoid comedy genre, he's not funny at all. like seriously? his facial expression is weird, it's supposed to be funny but end up with cringe-worthy feeling he left for me.

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Troll, party of one? I'm sorry he didn't meet your lofty expectations, but belittling other people's opinions doesn't convince me you're correct. It convinces me that you're an a**.

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wow, so rude? no matter how much you campaign about joo won for this drama, they wont care. why dont you just move on and hope joo won make a better drama next time and except this shitty drama as a failure? he has a long run career ahead. if his fans keep trying to convince everyone with those fake praises, it will harm his career. And you know what? everyone expect good acting from him means he's considered as a good actor. cool down. Even better and senior actors than joo won make wrong decision in choosing project sometimes. so, chill no need to spread bullshit anymore. Accept reality that many dont enjoy this drama remake.

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You're right, I shouldn't have been so rude. I should not have stooped to your level by insulting the person rather than the argument. You are also right in that this drama has not been well received, but that does not mean I am wrong in enjoying it.

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nothing wrong with people who enjoy this drama. At the end, it's only the matter of your taste, what i feel good is not certainly will be good for you. but honestly, i feel annoyed by joo won fans who keep praising him by put so many detail on his facial expression that many couldn't feel. why dont you just make that shipper comment in your own drama thread rather than in blog to gain attention.

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hahahahaha... you think I made that comment to gain attention?! Oh boy, I feel better now. Believe me, I was more surprised than anyone that my comment was so high up on the page.

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"why dont you just make that shipper comment in your own drama thread rather than in blog to gain attention"

Wait....so you mean, those who enjoy this drama can't put their comments here? Oh, come on! Is this site yours?

As far as I know, we all have the freedom to post comments here. Why don't we just respect each others opinions. We enjoyed it, you don't. Period.

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Its not being fan girl its really his expression.. Squeeeee. I see butt hurt"cant take it" people around here, that comment u have was not even necessary.

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The last pic squeel so much.. thank you for recap

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Beside Yoo Jin's steep learning curve and Joo Won playing his emotions spot on, I am enjoying the other characters like Il Lak and Su Min. The girls like Shi Won and Min Hee are wonderful too.

In ep 3, I was kind of disappointed with Ma Su Min, Masumi brought me so much laughter but I realized that though he was hilarious, he wasn't much more than a stereotypical gay character, played for laughs. Here, I see that they are trying to do something different, they are paying more attention to Ma Su Min as a person.

The only parts which irked me are the scenes between Mina and Stresemann, They are wasting screen time because I am just not keen on whatever they have between them. I want to see more of Naeil, Yoo Jin and the other characters.

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Oh good, so perhaps I'm not the only one who watches the Stresemann/Mina scenes wondering the entire time whether I could skip them without any dire consequences.

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Same here...and if there is supposed to be romantic tension between them, I'm not sensing it at all.

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Usually the veteran actors deliver but for this one, I don't like any except for Il Lak's dad, Ahn Kil Kang, I love this father and son pair.

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Ahn Kil Kang could play any of the veterans' characters in this drama and still be better!

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YES! The pairing is just too sweet. I generally like the dad in everything, but especially in this show he is growing on me more and more. I thought he was supposed to be scary because of the first episode but he's a complete softie and it's great to see how much he cares for his son...and also how much he believes in his music.

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I find their scenes so boring. I don't like to skip parts of shows but they have me really tempted. I think it's because regardless of his maestro capabilities, I still find him to be creepy. I don't want him to have a romance and I don't care about his previous relationship with her. He seems just as creepy back then as now. Meh.

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Word.

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The actor playing Streseman is not doing the character justice, and comes across as awkward and stiff. I agree Streseman/Mina scenes are so boring, and mars this fun adaptation.

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Me too! I don't like the "Stresemann x Mina" love line here, the same thing that I didn't like the teachers' love line in "Heartstrings." They were way too boring, and Stresemann and Mina are boring me as well.

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I wonder how Yoo Jin will react when Nae-il starts to reduce all that skinship for him. I don't know if they'll actually go there, but I would love to see Joo Won react to this. I'm not sure if it's Eun Kyung or the Nael Il character but I'm just not feeling it.

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I thought about the same thing. I woud love to see his reaction to this!

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Sadly, the Korean version isn't really doing it for me. I'm not laughing as much as I did when I watched the Japanese version. I liked the first episode, but I'm giving up on this one.

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Perfect recap! I pretty much agree with girlfriday's sentiments above (and you're not the only one who swooned over Yoo-jin). I like that we are spending more time with the supporting characters now, most especially Il-lac.

By the way, Mini Min Hee is such a cute nickname; I look forward to hearing it every week!

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i'm watching this with an open mind, so i'm really loving this drama! i love the character developments, the rivalry, and bromances. it's so much fun!

i know some epic things from the original works are missing, which somehow takes the fun out of this kdrama adaptation. but i still like this project anyway. though there are so many criticisms for this project due to comparison. but if it's too similar to the original work, then we lose the adaptation term. on the other hand, if the production tried to hard to deviate from original that they're willing to remove the epic parts, then it's not right either. it goes both ways.

there's no preview for episode 5. i hope the production is using this opportunity to rethink their drama direction. a lot of aspects can be improved by the production, and the viewers should give this drama that chance to improve.

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Like you, I'm also enjoying this drama, mainly for Joo Won's performance/interpretation.

I totally agree, however, that "some epic things from the original works are missing" (like some of my favourite scenes). I know some people find the comparisons distracting, and at most annoying, but I don't think you can really avoid the comparisons completely, since they didn't even say that they were going for a very different take on the original (a la Face Reader). It does indeed go both ways.

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It's either Jung Sung-Ah (pouty viola girl with nice hair) plays the instrument for real, or she's just on helluvan actress.
Dem girl's bowing game is strong!

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*one

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I totally agree. She was so awesome!

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Wait...are we talking about the same girl? I meant the actress Bae Min Jung who plays Jung Shi Won, the A orchestra concert mistress.

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Oof, nope. The one I was pointing out was Lee Dan Ya, she's not hard to spot, she always pouts her mouth and makes these cutesy-cutesy faces, kinda annoying, but she overthrows all the string actors with her bowing. Like a pro. AWESUHM.

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OMG...is this her?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EMRJA3nDO4#t=43

She is part of a pop group TOP IC and she plays for real

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The same girl that's in Boarding house no 24

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It's common for the male leads in dramas to have the better character, where they are the main focus. And that sucks for the female lead, and that's the main problem I have with this adaptation.

From the episodes so far, Nae Il only seems to have a comedic purpose? The writer/director or whoever isn't putting enough effort in regard to her character, and I find that so disappointing. You don't waste a character like Nodame like that. This fourth episode is better, at least they're giving her some screen time playing the piano and what not. And I hope it gets better, because it's supposed to be about her and her impact on Chiaki/Yoo Jin and how she inspires him to do better, by her music. I just wish this adaption was better in that aspect.

That aside, I'm still liking it a lot. As a fan of the original work, I guess I have more tolerance than some. I'm already there for Nae Il too, even if SEK's portrayal isn't the best. I'm rooting for her.

I'm not so sure if Nodame would miss that opportunity for a kiss though, she would've jumped him for sure. But I don't mind it I guess, I like it as a part of their romantic development, in a way.

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This is why I'm quitting. Nae Il isn't a character, she's just there to be a Yoo Jin's love interest. Her whole life is about him right now. And.. that's just not acceptable to me. I'll just go watch the anime/Jdrama again.

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Thus it is not rocket science why the fans of Nodame Cantabile (either manga, anime, or Jdrama) are turning their backs on this Korean remake and criticizes it... The reason why fans liked/loved Nodame Cantabile was somehow lost in translation as pointed out by a lot of people (exposition of the story, characterizations, plot, even the set itself among other things).

This Kdrama version seems the same on paper, but it is definitely not. What a waste (of cast, production money, time and effort).

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I understand what you're saying and I agree with you. I think SEK, who we all wanted as Nodame, is criminally wasted here. I personally think she can do a much better job. This version could have been better, obviously. It has been criticized a lot, everywhere. However, that doesn't mean people can't enjoy this version for what it is right now.

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I'm enjoying this (although not loving it) and I never saw the Japanese version...but I would agree that SEK seems more wasted than it being bad acting. A lot of people seem down on her, but I mostly feel like this was a director's choice. I can see her working as a sort of character/manga figure but I find it hard to imagine her making any deep connection with anyone at this rate. As she was described before....she's mostly like a cute puppy. It's a bit frustrating. I imagine there's supposed to have a two-way romantic feel later but I just don't see that as plausible right now.

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Original Nodame was an abused (by her teacher) and traumatized character, she was also very shy and strange (but endearing and warm). The undecurrent story under jdrama was her struggle to find her place under the sun, and the possibility of a bad decision (become a kindergarten teacher, quitting the piano and losing her chance to be with Chiaki) to end her possibilities and her inocence. That added a lot of stakes that I don't see here.

This childish Nodame is enjoyable but lack in deep, she is madly in love with Yoo-In but he is not the reason nor her incentive to become a better self. Anyway I am having a good time with Nae-Il. I hope they improve and render all the four Nodame arcs.

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"Her whole life is about him right now" - as a friend put it: That's like 90% of kdramas. That may be a harsh assessment, but it seems apt for this remake.

It's shocking the lack of understanding about the essence of the main characters, especially Nodame. She's not a buffoon or school idiot. But that's what Naeil has turned out to be. As for Yoojin, mopey suitor would be more like it.

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This issue. Male lead has more development than female lead. I think you have to wait because nodame character develop after some time of the show. If you dont believe me, go check the jdrama again. It just the same. The first part mainly focus on chiaki, only when nodame see how succesful chiaki is give her the paradigm shift to be a better musician. So yoo jin develop first then naeil. Thats how things roll. Plus, since we see the show through yoo jin naration, thus it did look like it has more biased toward yoo jin character. If you ever read sherlock holmes, all the naration came from dr. Watson, but really the real hero is still sherlock holmes. There goes the same with nodame, she is the star of the show. Please do wait guys.

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I totally agree. I went back and checked the J drama, Nodame has as many scenes as Naeil here. It was also not as if they were doing different things. Some comments are quite misleading. Nodame did the same things around Chiaki as Naeil did with Yoo Jin.

Till this stage, the focus is on Chiaki, leading the S-orchestra and his less than rosy start with Stresemann. Nodame is just a mascot and actually has no part to play in the orchestra. Without even spoilers. the focus will shift more to Nodame in the coming episodes. The K version shifted the order of some scenes and made some changes however, it was not necessarily true thatl they turn whole story to focus on Cha Yoo Jin only, this is as far as I can tell because that's how the J drama started too.

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Although I think Nodame was a little more present personality-wise in the J drama than Nae-il currently is, I do have to agree that her back-seat status is part of the S Orchestra story line. She becomes much more of a hero character in the second half of the J drama, and the K drama seems to be setting up that development.

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I agree with all of you guys. That's why I'm still liking the drama and following it for now. I definitely want to see their approach to Nae Il's storyline. But you have to admit, they could add more depth to her character.

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I don't quite agree. The number of scenes is similar, but the scenes aren't all the same ones and those that are the same/similar aren't always developed the same. Nodame doesn't do exactly the same things, nor do others around her do the same things (that can make a difference too).

I do agree that the focus in both version is presently on Chiaki/Yoo-jin with him narrating, but the J-version still manages to convey that there's more to Nodame than just Chiaki. Her obsession with food is emphasised more, and it's an obsession that has nothing to do with Chiaki. She's got at least three food stealing scenes (usually involving the same two girls), Naeil has none. Naeil's food scenes nearly always revolve around Yoo-jin – eating this food, bringing him food (when she meets Min-hee one sandwich is for him; twice when she wants to console YJ with food; when she eats with Il-rac she decide to stop mid-meal and take the rest of the food “to go” to share with YJ) or distributing his sandwiches.

There are also more scenes about her being bullied by an unknown person (Masumi of course), where we get more of a sense of her character independent of Chiaki. In fact, the scene where she finally flips because of the bullying is interesting: in the J-version, she finds a note in a lunchbox she’s stealing from a girl, in the K-version it’s her own lunchbox, her “love lunchbox” for consoling Yoo-jin. In both scenes she goes crazy (very much in character), but in the J-version the impetus is that her food has been stolen, the K-version it’s the lunchbox I especially prepared for my orabang. THIS is why people are getting the impression that her whole life is about Yoo-jin.

Finally, the sense of that she's a musical genius is stronger – a sense that people aren't picking up on in this version. She doesn’t get to play much more really, but Mine is in awe of her piano in one of those scenes, with Il-rac the practicing session only involves talking about Yoo-jin and does little to highlight her musical talent.

It’s also worth noting that these four episode actually cover the same material as three episode of J-Cantabile do (with episodes 2 and 3 actually being only 45 minutes long), giving K-Cantabile an extra 1.5 hours. That’s time that could have been used to feed us little details about Naeil and establish her as someone with more than just a pawn in a love-game with things she does on her own, independent of Yoojin, but much of that extra time seems to have been used for padding – the Streseman/Mina love line, more school politics and Yoojin's mom are some of the additions.

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Totally! I think in short, the writers really lost the essence of the original. I think for those who have not seen the original (manga or jdorama), it is probably enjoyable but when you are remaking a prior production, there should be a certain respect paid to the source material, and I am not talking about tone, over the top comedy elements or even screen by screen reproduction that they can choose to follow or drop, but the soul of the original that should still be there, the characters themselves and the music.

From the way Nodame's character, Neil is portrayed like the campus idiot to the way Streseman is portrayed as bland and colorless to the portrayal of how both main leads are in explicably linked through their love of music and their epic clash in personalities.

They key development in Chiaki's character, Yoojin comes from his discovery and appreciation of neil's ability or playing style. That does not comes out clearly, and as a result, most only see the neil's character as only a love interest, supporting character for yoojin, which is sad.

I do want to give it a chance for it to find it's footing on it's own for its own merits but it really gets harder. I am still keeping my fingers crossed that it will find it's footing to become more about the music and the people than the romance really.

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But it not the same. Nodame Cantabile was told through Chiaki's eyes right up until the very end (Nodame's performance with Streseman and dissappearance). As Chiaki became more and more aware on Nodame we learned more about her personality. Nodame (not just drama, manga and anime as well) was never the lead character, she was a central character in Chaki's story of self-discovery. But for some stupid (in my opinion) reason someone has decided to take that out of Korean version e.g. instead of discovering the purpose of two-piano exercise through Chiaki's experience we literally get two professiors talking about it.
IMHO, forget about acting, directing, music, Koreanisation or whatever else people are complaining about. They took the essence of the story out and that is the reason why this adaptation is a failure. Nodame is not supposed to feel like a simple romantic interest, there was so much more to her that could only be told through Chiaki's eyes.

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@alua: great example with the bento box!

I get the feeling that they're setting everything up as a shortcut to The Romance between Naeil and Yoo Jin - even down to having him play the hero for Mini Minhee at the convenience store. As if Naeil needs any more reasons to adore him! They've already cut down their workload by making Yoo Jin pretty likeable already,

As for the Other Romance (ie, Stresemann-Mina), not sure why they're spending so much time on this line. If it were any other drama, I'd start suspecting birth secrets and terminal illness right now!

Above all, Nodame is supposed to be about the celebration of music, and I agree, I'm really not getting it right now.

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Yeah, it seems to be directed towards the romance development.

Yoojin saves the day for Min-hee (standing up for her and getting her a job), after realising he needs to care for his orchestra members. In J-Nodame he's also realises that he has to care about his orchestra members beyond their playing, but it's not him alone that saves the day for the bassist – the others go along to her parents' house too, and not one specific person saves the day. Also, the bassist's poverty is linked to her father's obsession with his violins and it's Mine that plays the violin there – the sort of little things that keep classical music a lot more foregrounded. Well, it's possible they'll still reveal the reason behind Min-hee's poverty in ep. 5, but since they've already solved her issue, I'm not counting on it.

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Neither am I :(

This was why I got all excited that they cast Do-hee in the first place, but her big moment came... and went... without much screen time for Min-hee. I hope they find other ways of putting her back in the picture!

I'm really bummed, 'cos the backstory about her dad and his collection and that One Violin That Shall Not Be Named was hilarious! It also kept to the theme, since her dad also really cared about music, in his own unique way, but he wasn't crash hot about her playing contrabass, and his parental ambition made a stark contrast with Mine's doting dad (thanks for reminding me btw, it wasn't the cello at all, oops. String instruments aren't my thing - I grew up with the piano!)

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Exactly what I felt !!!

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I'm loving this drama. Nae-il is still the odd-character out with her cartoonish ways (though I kind of feel like Su-min is just as cartoonish and even less multi-dimensional it's just that as a secondary character we don't care as much) but, as I've said in the previous recap, I don't mind this since I feel like being a musical genius gives her an automatic pass with the zaniness.

At this point my biggest concern is that the drama's not doing a great job of building the Nae-il/Yoo-jin romance very much and I think it's still because we don't know very much about Nae-il except that she's a weirdo. I'm OK with this as long as the eventual drama does not centre around their romance. If it's all about the orchestra, music, etc. then awesome! No worries, keep up with the slow-simmer of companionship to romance. Buuuuut if the kdramaland powers that be are going to attempt to tear this couple apart then I'm going to need more character development to stick with them. I kind of hope that the drama DOESN'T come from romance-related angst 'cause I'm finding this drama so un-kdrama-like that it's refreshing! I would love it if turns out to be more of a story on friendship, growth and passion for your art than one of a budding romance between an uptight stud looking for someone to unwind him and crazy weirdo looking for someone to ground her.

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I agree, this drama is so un-kdrama which is why it is not getting the kind of raves it should have among K viewers.

The fans of NC expect it to be as wacky as the Jdorama. Some cannot see the Koreans doing it and so decided they aren't on board with this. Those who stick around and still expect the same wackiness are not getting it. I can say the same for viewers new to the story but heard about how crazy the show was.

Another thing is I don't see the Koreans being excited about a show that centers around music especially classical music. The Japanese are different.

Shows that are very kdrama like with chaebol heir and candy girls would probably work better even if it's an overused theme. The older viewers want their makjang and family dramas.

I think this drama is a gem albeit with flaws and all. At least, it is a fresh and uplifting story about music and how each character embarks on his/her journey. Even if it is not what the viewers are looking for, at least it tries. Otherwise we will have the same old kdramas or the ever more outrageous themes that producers are putting out next.

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Actually the Jdrama wasnt about the romance until they went to Paris. I really do hope they find a way to put some of that in the show it was wonderful and brought the story together u know

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I don't actually know the original material at all so I wouldn't know! I never read the manga nor watched any of the other adaptations so I have nothing to compare it to. I doubt that a Korean adaptation wouldn't give the romance side of things a lot of play-time, though. It's what Korean audiences (and, let's be honest, us too!) want and with only so many episodes to tell an engaging story they're going to have to adapt it accordingly. I'm just enjoying the story so much as it is that I just hope that when the drama hits the fan it's not due to/caused by the romance side of things only. Obviously it will affect it in some way but I hope that the story (and therefore eventual drama) continues to be more about their friendship and art than about their romance.

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I was trying to mostly agree with you, but my response instead somehow became comment 17. I'm not sure I would categorize this as un-kdrama-like though. I see many elements in it that I've seen before. All the different aspects are individually very familiar (except perhaps the music?), but I do think it's unique in where it puts its emphasis. And I, like you, hope it keeps it's focus on the budding friendships, careers, and ambitions and doesn't let romance conquer all.

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Almonds!

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I've finally realized why I'm not in love with this show as much as the Japanese version......The Characters aren't wacky enough...... In the J version everyone was insane and lovable ...... This version Nodame is the only wacky one while everyone else is normal.... Stressman is supposed to be IN FREAKIN SANE ...... But to me he just feels like a old pervey man not in a Funny haha way but a Ewwwwww werido kinda of way ....... Another thing Mine (idk the Korean name ) is suppose to be super energetic.....Like I said them being normal is making SEK look like she's overacting hopefully next week is better if not I'm definitely dropping this

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It is obvious that the K version is not going down the wacky path. I can see why because that all out wackiness you love, I couldn't stand it in the Live Action. I had to force myself to continue as I wanted to finish it before this one aired. Don't get me wrong, I did laugh a lot but I did cringe too. J humor doesn't work for me.

The problem I see for this K version is that they might have dialled down the humor too much at times. Fans of NC expect an all out funny show besides the music of course. But if they compare it with the J version, they will be disappointed with the lack of over the top wackiness.

For me, I hope this one will up the humor bit but without the J wackiness. First 2 episodes really cracked me up but ep 3 and 4 has taken a more serious turn.

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It's not just that the Korean version isn't wacky and funny, but I feel like the writers don't have a very firm understanding of who Nodame is....or the drama as a whole in my opinion. The Japanese one, whilst very funny and out there, had a lot of soul. The emotional journey that we went with the characters is what cemented my love for it. However, I don't feel anything in this adaption. The interpretation is so shallow and I'm not invested in any of the characters at all. It's just a big disappointment to me.

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::laugh:: I'm having the opposite reaction - I want the wacky stuff gone. I'd love for this to be a serious (or even mildly humorous) drama, with Nae-il written as a 'mildly quirky' upbeat girl instead of shrill, awkward, and (apparently) mentally six years old.

The whole thing would work so much better if her skinship was unconscious and just because she was friendly instead of that weird, stalkery declaring she's in looooove (it makes me so uncomfortable to watch.) Then her discovery of her heart pounding would have had weight and meaning, and her rivalry with Su-Min could be a bittersweet counterpoint to her romance with Yoo Jin.

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Mini Min-Hee, that is so perfect because the girl group that Dohee is in (Tiny-G) calls their fanbase "Mini-me"!

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I'm so glad to see her in this. I loved her in Reply 1994.

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She's my favorite character in Boarding House No. 24.

My favorite OTP is KEn and Do Hee!!!! <3

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I lol'd at the Almond and fridge product placement.

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LOL!! I was waited for it.

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But two puny, shriveled-up ones? I guess a reminder to always be stocked up on almonds?

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Nah...she just needs to go next door to Yoo Jin's

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i'm dropping this drama...that's it...

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Yeah, I dropped it too....couldn't bring myself to watch episode 3 or 4....I am curious to read the comments and see if this changes for the good at some point....

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I do worry that my enthusiasm for this drama is based almost entirely on Joo Won's performance and the character of Yoo Jin. Right now, that's enough, but as you say, if the second half looks like the second half of every drama EVER, then Nae Il's gonna have to get fleshed out in a hurry or this ship is gonna crash and burn. I do appreciate that her zaniness was toned down a little this week, and also that she came across a bit more like a person rather than an actress trying really really hard. I would never want her to completely transform into your standard drama heroine (perhaps nominally quirky, but completely vanilla by ep 8), but some flashes of sanity are appreciated, if only so that it might be possible to relate with her and sympathize with her. I still hold out hope that she will become her own entity complete with hopes, dreams, a path, and a purpose (even if they're ones that revolve around him... just as long as she's working towards something... anything). Even if all that comes to pass, I can't say that I want the romance to come to the forefront. Unless she can stand on a much more equal footing with him in terms of writing, depth, purpose, passion, and quality of performance, their relationship could never carry the weight of the entire show. Besides, it would mean shunting to the side a myriad of other characters and plots with at least as much, if not more, potential.

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This was meant to be a response to DaniDani a few comments up... whoops...

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I found your response (yay!) and I agree. Joo Won's performance is amazing.

I think they're already (hopefully?) working towards making Nae-il a person unto herself by having her friendship with Mini Min-hee play such an important role in this ep and what will surely become her entering into Prof Fan's concert now that he's heard her play. I just hope that this becomes fully realized and not just a half-assed attempt. I men, by this point, do we actually know anything about Nae-il? What does she want to do with her degree in music? We know there's a mom but if there a dad? HOW THE HELL is she paying for that apartment but doesn't have enough money to buy dinner from the convenience store?

I really hope that the second half doesn't become a stereotypical kdrama but part of me can sort of see how it could? They have enough of a plot to create superficial conflict for our main characters (in such a competitive environment I could see miscommunication and/or short moments of moral ambiguity having huge repercussions) and I can imagine how they may choose to go down that path if ratings continue to be low and live-shoot scheduling ends up making everything far too complicated. I really hope that's not the case. I'm so excited about this drama I'm just so afraid it'll get messed up!

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I was actually just thinking that. What do we know about Nae Il? She likes food and Yoo Jin? She plays silly songs on the piano? I too think her coming to Prof Fan's notice could be a good sign for her development. Anything that challenges her to find her own drive or at least define a little bit better who/what she wants to be. I do think you're right and the way they've set up the drama doesn't allow for the romance to completely take over (phew), but I'd be very very surprised if they didn't shift the emphasis in that direction by ep 12. It's just the kdrama way, and very very few dramas go against it.

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Actually, if I remember correctly, there is a very plausible reason she has that apartment but still runs out of funds....besides the impression that she spends way more on food than your average student. lol

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If I didn't remember wrongly... She overspends her money on her fav anime collectibles... she's an otaku... lol :p
I think she also has a heavy hand when she cooks that's why she can deplete her supplies super fast... big plate of seaweed in jdrama version, haha :p

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Finally, Nae il's over-the-topness has been reduced quite a bit, at least for me. Please continue the improvement. Also, I really like her friendship with Mini Minhee (cute) and rivalry with Ma Sumin. Now, all I ask is for the Stresemann-Mina relationship to be gone, because I don't care about it hahaha

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face it, its not going to be as good as the original. But its okay, if you take it for what it is a remake. Any expectations will fall flat.

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Saying to have a opening mind and actually doing it is two separate things ...... Like For instance I tried to have a open mind with the Liar Game but the show went so Far in left field I couldn't help but to compare it to the original..... And comment on how bad it sucks

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Funny you say that, I just finished watching the first episode of Liar Game and was pleasantly surprised - I liked it because it was so different. Hear me out - I love Liar Game more than Nodame Cantabile, so my expectation for the remake was MUCH higher, that being said, I think any remake they attempted to do very similar to the original would have failed my expectations, instead, they cleverly use the same plot "loosely" but create a completely different situation around it and I get it.

I'm so on board with the new Liar Game because all along they kept saying it wasn't going to be a complete remake and thus, I am not disappointed but actually enjoying it.

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Sucks? I thought it was awesome. Very different from the Jdrama version, but still interesting.

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Hmm, i actually think it's quite good so far. I was expecting not to care for the game show aspect but realized it made sense for a korean audience seeing how powerful Netizens opinions are in S. Korea. Also, the female lead is not as annoying but they could have done a better job showing (instead of telling us) how naive and trusting she is.

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Having watched the J version and 4 eps of this, I would say that my ideal would actually be a mix of both.

Fans of the J version may disagree but I don't think their over the top wackiness was to the taste of everyone. Having said that. I sometimes do wish this K version has a little bit of that wackiness. There's a lot of laughs in this one but I could do with more whereas the Jdorama's was too much. On the other hand, I prefer the emotional tone of the K drama. It tugs at my heartstrings more and make me feel for the characters.

I like this version's take on Yoo Jin and Joo Won is rocking this role so I have zero complains about the character or actor. Loving both. IMO, I prefer Yoo Jin to Chiaki

But I agree that they could do more with Naeil. There's something amiss which I cannot put my finger to. Maybe I have not seen how much she loves her music? I compared the 2 and it is not really that the J version had more scenes of Nodame playing the piano or something. Maybe it's the way Ueno looked when she played the piano. Technically, I have no problem with SEK play acting on the piano or actually playing it but by just a wee bit, Ueno seemed totally engrossed when she was playing.

Masumi made me laugh but Ma Sumin is less of a caricature. I actually felt his devotion to his Almighty Cha this ep.

For Stresemann, I think both versions are off. He was unbelievably crazy in the J version and mostly creepy in this. At the moment, I would take the J Stresemann because I can tell he's a pervert from far. Here. I am more wary, LOl.

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Oh please show more of Mini Minhee.. she's so cute ^^ and when Mini Minhee is with Naeil, it's double cuteness!

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Now I know why it is titled tomorrow cantabile. This is yoojin's journey with Naeil haha

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I actually think this episode picked it up a bit. Hopefully it continues going down the same momentum.

Anyway, can you guys tell that SEK's acting seem to have toned down just a wee bit? I think this is actually filmed after the 1st week were aired and she read the comments about her overly exaggerated acting of Nodame. Don't get me wrong, I love that girl but I did think that for the 1st 3 episodes, she was a bit over-the-top and look more dumb than 4D. Glad she's getting better!

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Sadly, I'm still not feeling Nae-Il :( I agree with people saying that it looks like she's there for comedic purposes and stalking Yoo Jin only. Though Nodame's character has that characteristic, there's still so much about her. I also think Shim Eun-kyung is acting a bit a overboard that sometimes it feels fake but there are times when she feels natural (when she's not being too wacky).

I'm fine with this drama even if it's not that wacky like the jdrama. The problem is that some of the characters are not written well. I'm still not giving up on this. It's a struggle but I want to see if this get better. I know the story will shift focus on Nae-Il's story sooner or later so I'm praying it will become better.

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But I do thinks episode 4 improved a lot. Hoping episode 5 will be better

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me too think so

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I'm still hoping for more depth to Nae-Il's character! Like what some people have said, the show seems to focus on Yoo-Jin, maybe because he's narrating also and we as the audience don't get to hear Nae-Il's thoughts. C'mon Nae-Il, you can do it! I hope you'll develop too and not just help Yoo-Jin develop.

But I like all the other side characters,even though they have less screen time than Nae-Il, their characters don't feel two dimensional. I'm very impressed with Go Kyung Pyo. Keep it up dude! And i also like this adaptation's version of Ma Su Min, he still has that craziness but to me he doesn't seem stupid or slapstick. You can imagine someone like that in real life. I hope this actor gets more roles in other dramas! I'd love to see him in other productions.

I'm hoping that Shi-Won is the Kiyora character. i LOVED the Kiyora-Mine couple, and I can totally see Il-Lac and Shi-Won's relationship progressing from rivals to something more romantic.

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Yes! Loved Miki Kiyora, and I'm so glad we've got a fiery Il-rac-Shi-Won rivalry going on already! They've even got a "couple song" now...

One of the episode highlights for me!

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I love the Jdrama version. And I have read and enjoyed the manga and anime. So watching this Kdrama will not be about the suspense of the story. The element I am looking forward to is the Chemistry between the leads. The Japanese are much more reserve in expressing their true emotions. They can seem very cold at times. The Koreas are very different. They are very expressive and very passionate. Thus I look forward to seeing the relationship development between the two leads.

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I agree here. In the Jdrama, while I enjoyed it very much because of the character portrayals, I felt that the mains did lack in romantic chemistry. I thought the friendship and camaraderie were well expressed but I had a hard time believing Chiaki had any romantic feeling toward Nodame. I agree that it may be attributed to the cultural aspect. The focus wasn't on the character's feelings for each other but rather their development as musicians and as a person.

In this kdrama, I feel Naeil's character acts very childlike but we see hints of her discovering emotional depth (like that almost kissing Yoo-Jin but stopping). Her character seems very one-dimensional and over the top right now as it should be, but I'm looking forward to see her growth as the series progresses. Moments of her maturing on a romantic level, I think, is something the Jdrama did not showcase and that is something I'm curious to see how that is done (if it's done at all).

Joo Won though is playing this character very well. Nothing more to say on that.

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Gu Kyung Pyo! <3

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I had a crush on him ever since "Jungle Fish 2." <3

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Dropped it after 2nd episode one big disappointment.

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It is watchable for me, when I skip all the old-people-scenes. It is not the best drama out there right now, but it is not tedious enough to make me want to stop.
And they still do great music.

What I have a problem with right now is Il-Rac. He is portrayed like a total doofus, which is endearing, but also doesn't make him a strong male - one that say can get a girl like that concert mastress.
Now, they managed to tone Naeil down in the past 2,5 episodes, so I hope they give Il-rac a testosterone boost some time soon.
And I can't help but compare his ways to Eita, who was goofy, yes, but in a cool, manly way.Ahh, Eita <3

Mini Min Hee is awesome by the way. She is the character I enjoy the most right now. Go, Do Hee!

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I feel you, I also like her best.

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It is watchable for me, when I skip all the old-people-scenes

Ouch. ::clutches chest:: I'm older than everybody in this drama except the actor playing Stresseman.

::mutters:: "Old people". Pfffft. ::heyyoukidsgetoffmylawn::

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:D

Of course not because of their age but because of their boring storylines :D

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This! Thank you. ^^

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If people want to compare, let them be. There are also people that have never seen the jdrama version and do not like this drama. There are also quite a few people, both that have seen and not seen the jdrama version, that like it. You can't force your tastes.

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I agree too. You dont have to compare, if you dont want to. That is your personal choice but it is human nature for most to compare. It is the same with food, you may like burger from one shop but when you walk to another that still better quality burger, you will be incline to compare. It is human nature to search for something they like better and enjoy it.
The drama is still very popular, so even with the comparison, the drama is still doing well. That is positive things. I do compare the two version. And both has its strength and weakness. But those are my personal opinion and I will not impose it on others.

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I agree with you. But when someone still compare and complaining after she (he?) say (write) that she/he was dropped this drama on last recaps (episode 3-4), I think it silly and wasting time LOL it show how shallow and childish she is. She/he try to forced her/his taste.

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yep!! I agree with you dramagoddes....

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This is a mixed rave/rant. ** And be warned: there are jdrama comparisons, so just keep scrolling if you'd rather not see them!

Rave: really liking Yoo Jin and Il Rac. True, Yoo Jin is nowhere near as arrogant or haughty as Chiaki, but I'm finding that a slightly softer Yoo Jin ain't a bad thing. Perhaps it's because they're taking time to build a solid character and getting good screen time, as others have said.

The story's certainly moving a bit faster than the jdrama, but I'm guessing that's due to the kdrama structure having less episodes?

Rant: I dunno whether they're tiptoeing around the jdrama version, but we're definitely getting less of the memorable beats (like the story behind Sakura Saku's cello), and a whole lotta school board meetings, the Franz-Mina angle, and the Yoo Jin-mother angle. (Even though Ye Ji Won looks lovely - she looks like she's in a fashion show)

I'm willing, wanting, and waiting to be charmed by this show, but the dial's stuck on "underwhelming" at the moment. Kinda like the piano in Yoo Jin's room (I wouldn't have expected Yoo Jin to own a Yamaha) - it feels a bit flat.

Will still continue watching - after all, it's a great storyline - but though it's the same "song", a different conductor certainly does make a big difference.

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I agree that the story feels a bit slow, but then again I think that about most of the kdramas I've watched. It's difficult for me to maintain my interest because the focus seems heavy on character development and not moving the plot fast enough.

Because I've watched the Jdrama as well I know what kind of plots are upcoming so I only have that to look forward to. What I like about the Kdrama that the Jdrama didn't do for me was go more into depth about the characters. This is probably the Kdrama's forte, in my opinion, which is bringing added depth (even if it's not required), to the character. That may include playing the romantic angle, like that for Stresemann.

As far as Sakura Saku's cello? Well it's only episode 4. Maybe they'll include it later. Maybe not. If a faster plot is what you desire then I'm not sure talking about her cello (or did you mean bass?) will help accelerate that, though it is a good insight to Sakura/Mini Min Hee's character.

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Yep, it was the contrabass. My bad :)

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For me I think they should have just gone totally thier own Korean way. They have so water down..pretty much everything from the J version, that so many scenes just do not work or make any impact at all when you watch it. it if they just ticking off points from the J version but not bothering to put any life into the scenes and they done in minutes with no emotional impact or value. It is a great drama, no, is it a watchable drama....just and fading fast at lest for me

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I wonder if Yoona or IU wouldn't have been a better choice in this role considering how Group 8 has butchered not only Nodame's character but the overall focus of the original story.

I'll give Shim Eun-kyung a pass and lay the blame fully on Group 8 and their minions at KBS.

Joo-won on the other hand has done well in his role as Yoo-jin.

In other K Drama makeover news, Liar Game is a nice surprise, but that's tvN for you, not KBS.

I would have liked to have seen how tvN would have approached this story.

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Episode 1,2 and 3 are just so so.. as a clue, i'm not eager for the next episode from 1 to 2, and 2 to 3. Keep watching just because i'm still hopin. But i'm feeling it for 4. I'm eager for 5. Haha.. can't wait to watch..

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Oh, this drama has me now.

It totally suxxors that I have to wait a week though for Ep 5.

How can they do this to me? Two episodes a week is NOT enough.

sigh.

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I'm glad they are finally toning down Naeil - though she still acts more like a child than an adult. I know that kdrama values Aegyo - but there's aegyo charm and just downright childish baby talk which can be quite irritating.

I love the atmospheric tone of this drama. The scenery and lighting is just superb and creates it's own vibe for the show. I haven't watched the Jdrama and have no desire to do so, so I'm not really invested in discussions about comparing both dramas, however I have read some comments that have merit like:

How's Naeil able to afford such a huge space in a three level townhouse close to the campus, when she barely has any money to feed herself? The drama wants us to believe that she's poor, that she's able to live in a place like that with a stipend and a part time job makes me wonder how realistic it is.

I love the relationship between Il-rac and his dad. Their bond is so touching to see. Dare I hope for a romance between both concertmasters? Even though there's was competition between them, there was also mutual respect. I can't wait for Il-rac's arc to be more developed so he can have more confidence in himself. He is so endearing and one of my favorite characters in this show, and the way his dad dotes on him is so cute. Joo won has nailed his part down completely. His varied expressions are priceless and hilarious!

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I think this show has its own potential. There are some differences in interpretation between the manga and this K-version, but hey, it's a fun show to watch regardless.

I hope to see more of the Ne-il role in helping yoo-jin's revelation about his music, his passion and his interaction with his orchestra and vice versa. Because, aside from the wackiness of the presentation of the story, that is the whole essence of Nodame Cantabile story, a strong weaving of emotion support between the two main characters that make both of them grow as persons, musician and lovers.....and of course the friendships they have in their journey together...

In the last episode, I started to see that showing, but we need a bit more of it.

I will definitely look forward to see where this version is taking the story, and as a big fan of Nodame, I am trying not to compare this too much with the original version, and as usual enjoy the ride!!

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My kind of crazy! Nae Il cracks me up. Haha

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hey! Are they overusing the colloquialism orabang because it's one sound away from norebang and they like the punny connection to singing??

Don't know if anyone has proposed that before, but it just occurred to me.

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Not one sound away, but very similar sounding.

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I still think it's lacking in charm/heart (hasn't gripped me yet) but I'm hoping it'll come into its own. There's still a long way to go with everyone. So good to see Nae-il actually touch a piano this episode, though!

And if I never had to see another Stresemann/Dean Mina scene again I will be so happy, oh my god. Talk about bland...

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girlfriday you are so witty!
Loving the characters and their growth. Though I'm still waiting for Nae-il to step it up. Fighting!!!

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I'm still enjoying this show. I think the main issues people have are if they've seen the Japanese version...which I'm suddenly thankful I have not. I'm not loving this show but I am certainly enjoying it and happy to see where it would go.

For me I'm still mostly excited about the side characters. The main pairing I just have a lot of trouble with seeing how there could possibly be a romance between them. And Stresemann still creeps me out and I wish he wasn't part of this show. *shudder*

But I love Il-rac and his father!! And the side characters in general are starting to become more and more developed. They have their quirks but aren't over the top and I'm looking forward to seeing how they all come together and grow as a group.

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Nodame was described to be free-spirited, not just weird and genius. So to me, Nae Il is doing fine. She goes with the flow of her emotions, but since she acts upon it in a childish way for her age, she is seen as an oddball. Example, she wants to cheer up YJ, she made and wore a dog costume to go along with her cheer. She's not fazed by the fact that YJ might not have liked it or the S-oke seemed to laugh about her antics.

I think the problem is that most who have watched the Jdrama saw the main cast match Nodame in her antics by being as wacky as her. Kdrama just remembered that Nae Il is supposed to be the only 4d character.

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FYI... I just read that She’s So Lovable episode 11 was cancelled today due to baseball semi-finals.

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Although it's really difficult for me, I couldn't stay away from an adaptation of my favorite manga. I'm an avid fan of the manga. the anime and the Japanese live-action, as well as appreciate how all of these give ample space to the music I love. I have to say, I don't like the casting aside from for Rak and Mini Min Hee. Yes, the Korean version had to be different, but it all seems to be missing warmth to me.

And also missing a Nodame. Nodame is quirky and everything, but she has charm. In every version except this one, you could feel her overflowing with talent, and part of her character is her fantastic inner-world and her ability to see things in her own colorful way. As crazy as she always was, her performance touched your heart. The Korean Nodame, I'm sorry to say, I find off-putting, even when she plays with dolls it seems fake.

It also broke my heart that they decided to go with Beethoven symphony no. 3 for S-oke's piece and not no. 7!! That's a major plot change and really doesn't fit with things that happen later on in Paris. I think at least they should have stayed loyal to the music from the manga! There's a reason for every piece and it just doesn't fit!

The show is lacking in love and appreciation for music, I think some of the characters were made needlessly evil and petty which makes them very one-dimensional. I disagree with everyone who thinks this portrayal is more realistic. Yes, they give a lot of screen time to administration/political discussions, but from what I experienced, college life and a musician's life are closer to the Japanese versions. Yes there's a lot of competition and jealousy involved, but you meet only one person in 100 who is as mean as some of these characters are being.

And I think in the end this cold, flat version is why its reception in Korea is so problematic and not because Koreans love how foreign the Japanese drama was.

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ERins... I am also Huge fan of the J-drama version and I totally agree with you... I'm thinking of dropping it because of the korean Nodame and the lack of chemistry between all characters in the drama. The drama is somehow taking the typical k-drama direction, plot wise.. For me personally in Korean drama most actors and drama director's don't know how to make wackiness in a way that is fun and touching.

That aside they really casted the rung actress to play Nodame... She is probably great in other roles, but not this one..

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@ERins, I agree with everything you said especially your comments about the choice of music. Each piece of music was given a background to its origins and how it relates to the real life of its composer. The story in itself connects with the lesson of that particular episode. When they changed those song choices, there is a disconnect on what the episode was trying to emphasize.

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I agree, technically, Nodame in the JDrama seem more talented and really in her own special world with her piano. In the KDrama, it is very lucking and there are very few good scene of her playing piano with the same concentration and passion.

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I agree 100% with all of your points. This show is just so cold and the lack of emphasis and understanding of the musical pieces is just so disappointing.

I'm also very irritated by the fact that they glammed up everything and made everyone seem so wealthy. Especially for a show about classical music which already has this image of elitism about it, it just misses the point of Nodame Cantabile which is that everyone can love and enjoy classical music regardless of who you are and where you come from. I find it so hard to believe that Naeil is poor when she lives in a huge apartment or that Min Hee is starving and working herself to death trying to earn money when she's attending such a fancy school. And everyone dresses like they're about to hit a runway!

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<that Min Hee is starving and working herself to death trying to earn money when she’s attending such a fancy school

Actually, Min-hee's character in the original is from a rich family (they live in a mansion), it's just that her dad has temporarily gone into debt because a cursed violin in his secret collection of extremely valuable violins is keeping him from selling those violins... hence the family is currently starving and the character working part-time jobs to feed herself. The K-version hasn't explained this (and it may not).

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If you do not like the cast, especially the leads Joo Won and Shim Eun Kyung I think the battle is lost even before the drama starts. Our heads do not want to admit it but rarely do people watch shows that cast actors they do not like.

I do not think the K version is inferior to the J drama. It only loses out in terms of wackiness.

I did find the J version funny but it was missing in warmth. I was waiting for the characters to touch me but they did not. So I have a totally opposite reaction to yours. One man's meat is another man's poison.

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I really love the drama as of now it's only episode 4. They expecting too much and saying what they think should be based on original... ah i dont care about ratings and reviews, i personally like it! i love the drama!

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Streseman's antagonistic to Yoo-jin was pushed to its limit. It's kinda bit annoying to watch because he wasn't really like that in original but I guess there might be a reason why the directors did it that way. (A might spoiler*) I'm guessing that maybe the reason why they put so much antagonistic of Streseman to Yoo-jin is because Streseman doesn't take any students before (this was mention on the original). So maybe Streseman might consider Yoo-jin as his student after performing Beethoven Symphony no. 7.

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Not only annoying, it is also frustrating! K- Streseman looks kinda psychotic, what with the blank, soulless way he stares at everyone, including at himself (he was looking and winking at his own reflection, and instead of making me laugh, it gives me goosebumps). I'm pretty sure I'm not watching a psychological thriller drama. Then, ige mwoya??

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Yes, I feel K-Strese is straight-out nasty towards Yoo-jin. J-Strese did similar things (refusing to allow Chiaki to change his major), but he was so bat-shit crazy that it came across more like a whim on his part. Here, I feel like it's a personal grudge and everyone around him is aware of that too – like he hates Yoojin, while with J-Strese it more seemed like one of his mad games.

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Oh my god, i'm sharing the same sentiments with you. It made me cringe so badly when everyone (those who don't like this drama) seems to pinpoint the fault in this drama is K's Chiaki and K's Nodame. If there is any character who is inconsistent, it's K's Strese.

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