The 2006 Japanese dorama (live action version) Nodame Cantabile, dubbed in Filipino, is now airing in GMA Kapuso network starting today. Although I can’t get to watch it (because I would still be coming in from work at that time), I would especially be curious as to how they will handle the script which requires a lot of musical jargon. I’m sure a lot of Pinoy fans of Nodame will be curious to hear and see if they can succeed in translating it into Filipino, most especially the Fart Exercise Song–haha!
Nodame stars one of my favorite heartthrobs, Hiroshi Tamaki (who played Sato in Waterboys) as Shiniki Chiaki, a gifted musician who maybe handsome but arrogant. His frustrations brought about by his childhood fear of flying prevent him from pursuing his dream to be a world famous conductor. The title role of Noda Megumi or Nodame for short is played by the talented and award-winning actress, Juri Ueno, who did a great job portraying the gifted and eccentric pianist. The story revolves around their strange partnership that enabled them to bring out the best in each other.
Super Conductor: Tamaki as Chiaki (left)
The drama series follows the manga/anime version’s style of exaggerated and over-the -top acting and slapstick brand of humor. I think the uninitiated (those who are not aware of how the anime or manga comedy works) will raise a brow or two if they view scenes of Chiaki, the male lead, whipping and hitting his supposedly love interest, Nodame upside on the head everytime she does something silly or makes a mistake. In today’s times, this would be seen as inappropriate especially by Western standards. In the Philippines, it would be like Vhong Navarro slapping Pokwang— only that Vhong and Pokwang will fall in love in the end (Hey–Why not?).
I remember the first time I saw a male lead hit the female lead in a Japanese anime. It was a show called Candy Candy! during the 80’s. The scene showed Candy (after being gone for awhile) happy to see her love, Anthony, and greeted him with much ardour. Anthony was furious at her for leaving without telling anyone where she went and as a result had everyone worried so he greeted her back with a hard slap on the face. My jaw dropped in shock! It felt like I saw Cinderella got punched in the gut by Prince Charming. It was then that I realized that if I do watch Japanese shows, Viewer Discretion is definitely required. Meaning, kung anong nakikita sa mga palabas gawa ng ibang kultura, di ibig sabihin na ito ay angkop din sa atin at dapat tularan.
Cariño brutal?: Candy and Anthony (right)
(Digressing a bit–When I was an art teacher, I would cringe everytime I see my young students draw pictures of anime-style girls wearing skimpy HS uniform skirts and with underwear showing. They claim it is nothing, they’re not taking it seriously. And I do hope they’re telling the truth. Again, revert back to kung anong nakikita sa mga sining gawa ng ibang kultura, di ibig sabihin na ito ay angkop din sa atin at dapat tularan.)
But in fairness to Jdoramas, they have cleaned up their act (compared to the manga versions which had more violence and risque scenes) like GTO and Hana Yori Dango in order to comply with a universal GP audience. For example, in HYD, they did away with the scene wherein the male lead tried to force himself on the female lead (but it WAS present in the Taiwanese and Korean version); and I was happy about that (although he gets to beat, punch and push everyone else) because I believe that hitting or molesting the woman you supposedly care for and love JUST isn’t right. Hello, Rhianna?
Chiaki, just hit the right notes please and not Nodame: It is quite ironic that the Nodame story (left) was written BY a woman — manga artist, Tomoko Ninomiya. Gyabo!
Despite the inappropriate hitting (some of the slapstick routine was a tad too much and may be unnecessary), the story was well-crafted and quite intelligent. Nodame is still one of the good Jdoramas/comedies that came about. It is informative as well as entertaining. Imagine–where else can you find a show that tells us interesting anecdotes about Mozart, Brahms, Ravel, and Chopin, and the history and use of a kotatsu table–The Hills? Gossip Girl? 90210? Na-ah!
Tamaki, Ueno (Right) and the rest of the cast brought the manga characters to life as best as they could. However, Takenaka Naoto‘s (also of Waterboys) portrayal of a Caucasian character, Franz Streseman (complete with a blonde wig and fake nose) can be considered akin to a Blackface, thereby (aside from looking like an annoying gnome with an American [WTH?] accent) might be deemed insulting to some.
And most of all, what I am really after are the life lessons to be learned from these Japanese stories. From Nodame, one can learn the following ‘seeds of wisdom:’
- When working with people, give respect to your peers, and you will get respect back.
- Find out what makes everyone different, and learn to give way, cope with or adjust to them.
- Take time to understand and not to judge and be dismissive right away.
- And if you’re a boss, it is better to be not too rigid with rules; and not impose what you think should be done. Nobody’s perfect, including yourself. Learn to relax and just enjoy the work.
See? Watching JDoramas is not a waste of time. Right now, I am finishing Attention Please, although, I still have a grad paper and two work-related reports to finish… I may need to hit myself on the head, too. Mukyaaah!!!
Meantime, enjoy this video of kids dressed up as characters from the show, dancing to Onara Taiso – Fart Exercise, as sung by Ueno. Not a likely dance craze but it’s cute all the same (๑￫‿ฺ￩๑) :