Anime Series like Nodame Cantabile

Shinichi Chiaki is a first-rate musician that has dreams of playing among Europe’s elite. However, due to his fear of flying, he has remained firmly grounded in Japan. In his fourth year at Japan’s top music university, he meets Megumi Noda, or Nodame, as she prefers to be called. At first she seems unkempt and without direction, but when he hears her play, everything he thought he knew about her was wrong.

Like many music-based anime, Nodame Cantabile is a gem for having a mature romance story that is both beautiful and not overly dramatic. If you are looking for more anime recommendations like Nodame Cantabile, then head on down below.

For Fans of Music Students

Your Lie in April

Although once a child prodigy in the music world, pianist Kousei Arima is left in a downward spiral after his mother’s death, unable to even hear the sound of his own piano. Even after two years, Arima has all but left the music world behind, disappointing fans and rivals alike, and living in a colorless world. Then one day that that all changes when he is introduced to the beautiful violinist Kaori Miyazono who brings color into his world once more.

If you want something with more drama to it, then this is your best bet. Both series are about classical music played by two people who view music differently. One is rigid and traditional, the other is experimental and wild. Together they change each other.

La Corda d’Oro: Primo Passo

In Kahoko’s school, it is split between the normal students and the musical students. Kahoko is a normal student with no musical knowledge, but one day she meets a fairy that grants her a magical violin that anyone can play if they believe they can.

While La Corda is quite a departure from the reality in which Nodame Cantabile lives, both of these classical music series are all about finding the true concept of music. It’s a difficult thing to describe, but music in each series is so much more than just playing or hearing it. These series both explore that.

Kids on the Slope

After moving around his entire life, classical pianist Kaoru Nishimi has abandoned all hope of fitting in as he arrives in Kyushu for his final year of high school. However, that all changes when he meets the thuggish drummer, Sentaro Kawabuchi, a man with an immeasurable love for jazz. Over the music they bond together and Kaoru learns that music should be something to bring joy to others, not something dictated by hundreds of years of technique.

Though the genres of music are different, the premise is actually quite similar in a way. Both of these music series feature an uptight sort of classical guy that meets someone that is so completely opposite to them. It rocks their world view and it rocks their musical view.

For Fans of Opposites Attract


This is the story of two girls, both of which are named Nana. Nana Komatsu is a naive girl addicted to love who is moving to Tokyo to chase after her boyfriend going to school there. Nana Osaki is a proud punk rocker that is moving to Tokyo to become a rock star. By chance they meet on the train. By even bigger chance they end up wanting to rent the same apartment only to decide to rent it together.

Well, obviously both are anime series about music. However, while they have that in common, both are also stories about opposite people. In Nodame Cantabile, the opposites are the main couple while in Nana the opposites are the two roommates. You watch bonds form despite differences and watch as these characters have a profound effect on each other.

Arakawa Under the Bridge

Kou Ichinomiya, as the son of a wealthy businessman, has vowed never to become indebted to anyone. However,when he falls in the river under Arakawa Bridge, someone dives in to save him, thus he owes his life to this person. She is a homeless girl named Nino who wants only one thing – to fall in love. In order to pay her back, he accepts her offer to be her boyfriend, thus moving out of his home and starting a new life under the bridge.

Nodame Cantabile is about personalities clashing while Arakawa is more about worlds colliding. Both shows however do feature how different characters can help each other grow in interesting ways. Of course, Arakawa starts off really quite strange, though.

My Little Monster

Shizuku Mizutani cares little of others and only about scoring top marks. However, when she is tasked with taking something to her desk neighbor Haru Yoshida, her world begins to change. Haru, too, knows little of human nature and hasn’t been to school for awhile due to fighting. Yet, it is the lack of friends that they both have that soon forms a friendship between them.

While Nodame Cantabile is the more fleshed out romance, My Little Monster has the same sort of relationship, but in reverse. The boy is wild and the girl is stable in My Little Monster. Both shows do have nice moments in which one will temper the other in a way.

For Fans of Talented But Broken

The Pet Girl of Sakura Hall

Unable to resist taking in abandoned kittens, and amassing quite a collection of them, Sorata Kanda is forced to move to Suimei high School’s infamous Sakura Hall. This dorm is used to house all the misfit students that don’t quite fit in the regular housing. There Sorata meets an array of different oddballs that inspire him to work towards getting back into the regular dorms. However, when a new transfer student moves in, he meets the incredible artist Shiina Mashiro. While talented, she is completely incapable of taking care of herself, and so, Sorata brings her into his care and his strange days truly begin.

Both Shiina in Pet Girl and Nodame in Nodame Cantabile need someone a little more stable to take care of them. They get that in the male main character to varying degrees. Furthermore, both series also focus on students that pursue more artistic pursuits in their schooling.

Honey and Clover

Honey and Clover follows a group of college students who meet Hagumi, an artist with a tremendous amount of talent that transfers to their school. From there on, Honey and Clover tells stories about the joys of falling in love, the pain of letting go, and the journey to discovering who you really are.

Anime tends to make it so anime character are dramatically broken. However, both Honey and Clover and Nodame Cantabile feature people who are the normal sort of broken. In each series, there are some characters whose life is kind of a hot mess. They need a little help, but their problems are similar to our own problems.


After losing his temper on a critic, renowned calligraphy artist Sieshuu Handa is exiled to the Goto Islands by his father for a period of self-reflection. There he seeks to find new inspiration for his art, but finds that his neighbors and some neighborhood kids keep getting in his way.

While Nodame needs someone to kind of reign her in and take care of her, the kind of broken that Handa is in Barakamon is different. He is angry and frustrated, and thus he needs someone to mellow him out and lift that red veil over his eyes.

If you have any more series like Nodame Cantabile, then let fans know in the comments section below.

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