Tomorrow’s Cantabile is based on the hit manga by Tomoko Ninomiya. It’s filled with hilarious moments between the two main characters, Cha Yoo Jin (Joo Won) who dreams of being a conductor and his crazy, obsessed classmate Seol Nae Il (Shim Eun Kyeong) who loves playing music by ear only. Though Yoo Jin first dislikes her behaviour, he gradually finds out she may have been the missing cantabile in his life. When famous maestro Stressman comes to their school, he decides to turn everything around and create a new orchestra.
Cha Yoo Jin (Joo Won) is one of the best students attending the Music Academy however he’s majoring in piano instead of pursuing his childhood dream of being a conductor. Due to a past incident he can’t even travel abroad so he is left stuck. However he meets Nae Il who turns his boring life full of studying upside down.
Seol Nae Il (Shim Eun Kyeong) is a crazy girl who Yoo Jin happens to come across and later on they find themselves in the same class. She dislikes cleaning and has an overflowing love for food. But her bigger infatuation with her beloved ‘Orabang’ (as she likes to call him) begins and as she continues to encourage and help him, she finds it may be more than just a mere crush.
Franz Stressmann ( Baek Yoon Shik) (or Milch as called by Nae Il) is a highly respected and famous conductor from Germany who comes to the school due to a request from someone special to him. He takes a liking to Nae Il very quickly; however he dislikes Yoo Jin. He also creates a school orchestra called "S Orchestra", S standing for Special. Everyone discovers he’s quite different to what they had expected from a world famous Maestro. He sure knows how to woo the girls with those lines.
Yoo Il Rak ( Ko Gyeong Pyo) (or Mr. Rock as called by Nae Il) is a violinist who becomes a friend of both Nae Il and Yoo Jin after they help him. His relationship with his father is particularly really touching.
Why you should be watching this
I found myself laughing in every episode, which only happens when I find a really good drama. These two actors are perfect to play these characters.
You will notice how the characters develop. The cold Yoo Jin slowly opens up his heart to people around him which leads to him learning things from his friends, which was unimaginable at the start. All of the musicians at the school show their passion for classical music and work hard to gain better skills. Off screen too, all the actors practiced hard as revealed by Joo Won in an interview “I practiced every day for the past 5 months.” Shim Eun Kyung also shared, “I would practice [playing the piano] 2-3 hours every day" (source: conpia [translation here]). The acting in this drama is top-notch.
Not even one episode drags on: for proof I marathoned the first 4 episodes in one go! At the end of every episode, there is something waiting to happen. For that reason I couldn’t help but watch the next one straight away (good thing I waited a while for lots of episodes to air before starting it)
( Ueno Juri and Shim Eun Kyung)
“But I hate drama re-makes!” This K-drama is the first adaptation of Nodame Cantabile I’m watching so please take that into account. If you’ve seen the manga, anime or J-drama previously then it’s inevitable you will most likely make a lot of comparisons. But please remember that adaptations are meant to be different and have their own twist. If they all were the same then what is the point in remaking things? It’s good because it can appeal to a wider range of people too.
If you haven’t given this drama a try, what are you waiting for?!