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Let me preface by saying this is one of the best anime series I've seen. I anticipated good things considering the comments and reviews I'd read, but I had no idea how much I'd really enjoy it even though I'm not particularly a fan of either the piano or classical music (I do appreciate both but I'm not the type to go buy a cd or something).
From the theme song to the closing credits it was a great ride and other than a few tiny things I'd say it's a near perfect anime.
Positives: The animation, music, characters, and story are all really great. There was also a lot of humor in the early episodes and I will admit that I laughed more with this show than I do at a lot of animes that claim to be comedies. But it also has a deeper side to it and it's just a fun ride watching Chiaki and Nodame and everyone grow as the story develops.
You also can't help but enjoy much of the music which at times is so well combined with the story that you don't realize you just listened to a whole piece of classical music with only a few words beings spoken until it's already finished. I also had a number of occasions where I really had goosebumps from the music which is pretty impressive for an anime let alone any piece of media.
Negatives: Not really much to complain about unless you really don't like music to the point where a show about music would turn you off. I'm not that guy since I love music, but let me find a few flaws. There are a few moments that aren't as good as the others though I can honestly say I enjoyed every episode. The one thing I wished could have been a bit different is the humor started to fall off in the later season which is pretty standard for a show of this nature. There were still funny moments, but not the laugh out loud ones that I enjoyed in the first 10 or so episodes. Other than that I really can't think of anything I didn't like about it.
So the bottom line is this. Go watch this anime. Seriously, it's that good that I can recommend it to most anyone who isn't so anti-classical music that they won't give it a chance. It's in my top 5 favorite animes of all time if not right near or at the top of the list as well.
I'm pretty excited to watch the second season though I hear reviews on that are more mixed. And the good news is if I enjoy that then there's apparently a third season coming out in 2010 as well. Good stuff!
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