Nodame 5, Fairy Tail 16

Nodame Cantabile 5 brings Tanya and Yun to a crisis, and drags Yasunori into it as well. It’s all because of those damn concours.

Now, I’ve participated in some artistic contests in the past, and they never made any sense to me. To perform art under the pressure of competition goes contrary to the art itself, and when a career might depend on winning one, like the ones in Nodame Cantabile, it seems especially unfair to the people who can’t compete well. And now Tanya (who performed well but wore a dress a judge didn’t like) and Yun (who can’t handle the pressure) are thinking about giving up and returning to their homelands. All Nodame and the others can do is offer sympathy and pep-talks, and to cash-strapped Tanya an offer by Yasunori to move in with him.

The reaction.

So we move from disappointment to regret to (in Tanya’s case) anger. Contrast this with Nodame, who attends the concours as a spectator and falls in love with the Ravel piano concerto. While the others are all despair-despair she’s all joy-joy, and determined to enter a concours herself. Has she forgotten that she did just that in Japan and it nearly killed her?

This is what Ravel can do to you.

Never mind. Her joy-joy turns to despair-anger when Auclair, her teacher, refuses to allow it. So now everybody’s in despair, except for Chiaki and Frank, who are support-staff this episode. Hard to see where this is going next. Nodame Cantibile doesn’t do story arcs the way some shows do. They might even abandon this bit of plot until later. But it’s sad to see these folks in such a condition, even Tanya, whom I disliked when she first appeared.

Fairy Tail‘s story arcs don’t nudge ahead like Nodame Cantabile’s, they just plow forward, and I have to say this particular arc has been plowing forward for too long. How many episodes ago did we first saw Deliora frozen in ice? And the arc isn’t even over yet. But at least …

Finally ...

The trouble with this arc is they overdo the Gray/Leon backstory. We’ve pretty much figured out what their motivations are, and of course they have to duke it out one more time, but they spend so much time making speeches that the fight never picks up a head of steam. What’s more, they agree not to use magic, making it less like an epic battle with tons of explosions and more like Gatti/Ward, both of them punching the shit out of each other, except Gatti/Ward’s fights were far more exciting.

We know, we know! Shut up and fight!

None of the other regulars are used very well. Lucy and Erza are fighting robed people in the forest and by the episode’s end they’re still there, though they might get some important information. Natsu stops Gray from sacrificing his life but then runs off chasing that little guy to no real effect. At least Leon’s been defeated, and Deliora’s been released. NOW maybe the story can get a move on, two episodes too late …

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