Korea Readying a Drama Adaptation of Nodame Cantabile

Are you guys ready for a Korean version of Chiaki and Nodame? Who could do justice to those two fascinating and eccentric characters? Ready or not Korea is preparing for a drama adaptation of the critically acclaimed manga Nodame Cantabile. I’m not a fan of the mangaka’s drawing or storytelling style so it was through the popular J-dorama adaptation that I got into the story. It’s going to be hard to top the almost perfect J-dorama starring Tamaki Hiroshi, Ueno Juri, Eita, Koide Keisuke, and Mizukawa Asami. The J-dorama garnered fantastic ratings and won tons of drama awards when it aired so it’s almost pointless to try and do a remake when there is already one version that found acting talent to perfectly bring to life the manga characters. If Korea wants to do it, it’s better off doing it with a twist or some updates in either character description or plot. I liked the way The Suspicious Housekeeper veered from Kaisefu no Mita, but that was just a drama remaking another drama but Nodame Cantabile is based on a manga source material so the Korean version may be hand-tied in trying to infuse it with a different flavor. I liked Nodame Cantabile but it’s not one of my favorite J-doramas for a few personal quirks. I’m exceedingly fastidious and I cannot stand messy heroines and I almost had a brain hernia in episode 1 when I saw Nodame’s room. Chiaki’s reaction would be mine, except I don’t think I could ever fall for her somewhere down the line. But once I got over Nodame’s cleanliness or lack thereof, the Nodame Cantabile story is wonderful for the music, the music college friendships and rivalries, and the way the drama actually showcased the music aspect of the story rather than keep it in the background. With episode 1 being titled “Rhapsody of the weird pianist vs. the self-centered conductor”, I think the quirks of the two leads could work in the bicker-friendly K-drama OTP setting but I’m curious how the manga over-the-top elements would be expressed in the K-version. This drama is still in pre-production mode so no casting yet and I’ll bring more news as it arrives. Whoever they find to play the leads will have big big shoes to step into – Hiroshi was magnetic as Chiaki and looked so damn fine in a coat and tails conducting and Juri was like Nodame leaping off the pages of the manga with her body language and animated facial expressions.


Korea Readying a Drama Adaptation of Nodame Cantabile — 63 Comments

  1. Nooooo, we already have the dream team!!! And aren’t the classical soundtrack going to be similar? I just wish the original japanese team keep making specials /:

  2. Noooooooooo! Please, don’t remake this. They’ll just add a love triangle and make Nodame into a super beautiful girl whom gets bullied by the other girls who are jealous. The remake wont have the heart that the jdorama had. Juri and Tamaki were wonderful as was the rest of the cast (Takenaka Naoto, made me laugh so hard in every ep)
    Apparently 1 litre of tears is rumored to also be remade, do they know that Aya even was a real person.

  3. Agreed about your point regarding the bicker-friendly Kdrama OTP setting, it’ll fit right into Kdramaland. It reminds me of Beethoven Virus, actually…

  4. Nooooo. I can’t think of any Korean celebrities that could do justice to play the parts. Juri and Hiroshi are just perfect and my all time Jdorama favorite.

  5. No! 🙁

    The Jdrama adaptation was PERFECT! No matter what they do, they can’t match it!

    They should have looked for other mangas to adapt. I would love a Kdrama adaptation of “Marmalade Boy”, for example.

  6. actress that could be good…

    1.Go Ara(she is natural and flawless as Na Jung in reply 1994)

    2.IU(but maybe too similar with her role in pretty man?)

    3.Jung Eun Ji(she is hilarious)

    4.kim ji won(she is bubbly and lovable in what’s up compare to arrogant-cold in heirs)


    1.joo won(he is talented and busy….)

    2. jung il woo(he got comedic timing in Flower boy ramyun shop)

    3.Kim woo bin?( never found him in comedy but he got a charisma)

    4.Lee min ki(man…he is talented..who can bring him back to dramaland?he is awesome as cameo in shut up flower boy band)

    5.choi daniel(he is hilarious and unique!)

    i’m hoping the PD will be great too! it should be well-executed and got a good soundtrack like what original version has done! PD master’s sun,city could be good or Five fingers,Painter of the wind PD…they should select a good cast and then it all depend on PD to how make this korean version to be top notch… please don’t ruin my japanese drama all time nodame cantabile..n no park shin hye please…she always overacting(she is the only flaw in YAB)

  7. As long as the main actress is not Goo Hye Sun. Her adaptation of Makino Tsukushi (Geum Jan Di) in “Boys over flowers” was so horrible that… I can’t even speak out the abomination!!!

    I loved Nodame Cantabile, I hope the Korean version would be as good when not better (almost impossible).

  8. Wow….I hope this idea will be shelved because no one can make a better chiaki than hiroshi and nodame, ueno juri nailed the nodame character. Just sub the freakin drama and replay it, its as easy as that!! Kdramaland already ruined hana yori dango, hana kimi and it started with a kiss. Why nodame??!!!

  9. I’m not too sure about this. I wasn’t too happy with Korean remakes of Hana Yori Dango and Hana Kimi so this might not be a good idea, too. Tamaki Hiroshi and Ueno Juri were just too perfect in their roles that it’ll be hard imagining somebody else in them.

  10. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO,i can’t think of any korean actress and actor who can portray chiaki and nodame as perfect as tamaki and ueno is!!!, korean ent really wrecking all good dorama when they remake it!! Hanadan?? hana kimi?itazura?? now they wanna ruin Nodame too? sigh…..i never can past two episode of all korean drama remake and looks like this one will too T___T

  11. I’m conflicted. In one hand, I’m curious how they interpreted Nodame into K-drama.

    But in the other hand, if they make Nodame into some fluffy bickering like your usual k-drama troop, I think I’ll flip some table. Not that I hate some fluffy rom-com, but Nodame is more than that.
    This make me remember how they ruin You’re my Pet with their adaptation. The horror…

    I don’t think anybody can out act Tamaki Hiroshi and Ueno Juri as Chiaki-sempai and Nodame easily. They were awesome there, from their piano playing to the way they acted their characters.

    • Absolutely agree. The j-dorama was almost perfect, down to the tiniest detail such as how each character (not just the main leads) play and hold the various instruments, all of them looked and acted convincingly as talented musicians.

  12. I can see Jang Geun-suk being offered this, maybe… I think that guy is such an awesome actor. He just needs the right project cz I’m watching Bel Ami at the moment and I see the guy I fell in love with in YB there somewhere. I hope he can come back. Don’t care what he does in RL, just pick something good.

    Anyway, I haven’t seen the drama just some MVs online. Not a J-drama fan but it’s hit and miss I think. Sometimes remakes create unexplainable craze and sometimes they just fizz out. I’ll check it out if this goes through though.

    • Even though u arent a jdorama fan, u should try nodame, then u will know why so many fans suggest why they shouldn’t remake this in kdramaland.

    • He tried a project that had a similar sort of vibe – Kimi wa Petto – and that was an utter failure. This sort project is not very likely to succeed, there are too many factors against it, beginning that the original is just perfect on every level – humour (which was very Japanese and is not going to translate), actors (perfect casting), story.

      Nothing against JGS but if he’s clever, he’d not touch this project.

      NC is a very particular kind of drama, it’s actually not for everyone (I don’t recommend it unless you’ve watched already bit of drama and are familiar and okay with their quirky, mangasque kind of humour that is used in some dramas – it takes some getting used to. If you have never watched a drama, you’d probably think ‘What the hell is this?’.)

      • I think I may have worded myself wrong lol. I definitely don’t think JGS should do this, just that I feel he’ll be offered it for some reason. He did mention not wanting to do rom-coms for a while and I’m assuming this is one(?)… He really needs on of those army/police/lawyer roles. Something manly.

        I haven’t really heard about this drama before but I’m not a Jdrama fan. I do think if it’s remade, they’ll add a korean flavour to it like they usually do.

  13. i’d like to be as open-minded as possible but why do i feel like they’re trying to dig their own graves… *sigh*. well, i hope they cast suitable actors. But seriously, we all know how perfect Tamaki and Ueno nailed the characters. I think they have to stray as far from the original to be able to pull this off. Good luck.

    • Exactly, they would have to make something completely else to make it work, but if they make something completely else, what would be the point of doing a remake?

  14. Let me join in the consensus and also let out a Nooooo. I love Kdramas but Nodame Cantabile should not be touched. It’s one of my fave jdoramas and there is a great chance that the quirkiness and heart will get lost in the translation. Tamaki and Ueno breathed life into Chiaki and Nodame. That will be hard to match.

  15. That’s one drama that doesn’t need a remake.

    Nodame Cantabile has everything perfect already. Plus it’s belongs to a certain kind of quirky Japanese kind of genre that Koreans don’t exactly do. They can do over-the-top comedy, but it has a different kind of flavour, yet the flavour that Nodame had exactly constituted its charm. They tried to Koreanize Kimi wa Petto (which falls under the ‘quirky’ category as well) and it was an absolute disaster.

    Japanese people have also told me that NC (both the drama and the anime) single-handedly introduced a whole lot of people to classical music. Given that many Koreans will have likely watched the originals, it’s not going to have that as a magical side-effect either.

    • I totally agree with you. There’s this vibe that j-doroma has that sucks you in the tiny moments, which Korean dramas often lack. I’m not too sure how this will fare in ratings since the story is a slow burn (having seen all the seasons of the anime). It does take a few episodes before you can appreciate it.

  16. I know u r sooo dam right koala
    Hiroshi tamaki did an awwesone portrayal if chiyaki and his white shirt looked so good in him
    And true juri was like nodame
    In between I dint get the story by I live it because of it and other animeI want to learn to play piano and watch a live orchestra.

  17. NOooooo! Nodame Cantabile manga to live-action transition was spot on, you couldn’t possibly find a better cast. I am usually open to remakes, but Hiroshi Tamaki IS Chiaki. Among dozens of very talented Korean actors I can’t think of a single one who would be convince me otherwise. I love Korean dramas, but they would never be able to pull it off. Never. They’ll try to Koreanize it and while it may work for other dramas it won’t work for Nodame Cantabile. Yes, it is a rom-com, but it is very music-centred. I can’t think of a single k-drama that was able to successfully tone down the romance and concentrate on other things.

  18. I have to unlurk for this…I feel really strongly about a Korean remake of Nodame Cantabile. It was so deliciously wacky and heartwarming, I don’t see how it would properly translate to a K-Drama. It is very dear to my heart, perfect as is. There are other Manga adaptions up for grabs that would fit lovely as a Korean remake.

  19. The manga/anime and j drama is perfect already and was perfectly cast so there is no need for this. I don’t have much faith they could put some spin on it and make it better. Plus Group 8 has a terrible track record. Don’t ruin Nodame please.

  20. I don’t think I can see anyone else portraying Nodame and Chiaki the same way Hiroshi and Ueno did, because they owned them. I have high expectations for this because of the Jdrama so I honestly think it will be a huge letdown. But good luck to them trying to recreate not only the amazing chemistry between the leads but with the rest of the cast. They have huge shoes to fill.

  21. i have mixed feelings..i just can’t envision this as a “kdrama” especially it’s so mangaish and when it was remade to a live action, japanese dramas really know how to give it a “manga” feeeeelllllsss…like i can’t really imagine a kdrama version especially we all know how eccentric can nodame be…hahaha imagining chiaki hitting/throwing nodame across the room in a kdrama is just unheard off…it’s just sooo lol not normal and i can only think of doramas pulling it off
    well let’s see if the kdrama gods can do justice on this remake…they really have big shoes to fill in..hopefully fresh faces who can play the piano and can act will be cast!

  22. OMG!!!! i don´t know what to think! tamaki hiroshi and ueno juri were PERFECT!!! if they change the story too much i will not like it at all!
    for me it is perfection! is my fav drama at all!
    but i´m curios of the adaptation too!
    hope it give it justice to the history! that I LOVE!

  23. if there really have to be k drama version of Nodame Cantabile i just hope they cast those who can actually play the instrument or at least can pretend to convincing-ly.. fake playing ia such a turn off.. (yes, im looking at you Allan Joo)

  24. I think I am one of the few that will say :”Do it”.
    I quit the Japanese Nodame Cantabile on episode 2 or 3.I can not remember why but I found it very predictable.Maybe with the Korean try I will have a chance to see the whole story.

  25. lol, How does a messy room get in your way of enjoying a drama? Honestly, it’s kind of pretentious of you to not like the drama just because the heroine was messy.

  26. Please do not remake this! I watch the drama thrice and no one! No one can actually surpassed the Nodame’s casts and the team! They are SUPER PEREFCT! It’s not just Juri & Tamaki but the rest up to even the supporting casts who have make this drama a success. Not to say that everyone of them actually learn to play like pros. And their fingerings are so correct! Arghhhhh~~~I cannot imagine the Kdrama remake. They tried Beethoven virus. It’s a good show but it didnt leave me wanting more like my ALL-TIME FAVOURITE NODAME!

  27. Uhh, what? Stop Korea, you can’t do it. Nodame Cantabile is way too out there for a k-drama. Translating the zanginess of a manga to a drama is one thing that Korea hasn’t figured out, so I can’t see them doing NC justice. That, and Ueno Juri was Nodame, I just can’t see another actress playing her.

  28. Oh god no they’re so going to butcher this. Korean dramas tend to take themselves too seriously and I just can’t see his working. Then again, I’d be happy to be proved wrong.
    Jung Yumi might make a decent Nodame…as for Chiaki…Sung Joon? At any rate it’ll be hard to top the perfection that is the J-dorama

  29. Let them try… And fail spectacularly! Of course i love to be proven wrong but jdging from previous jdorama remakes from korea, the romance will be uber heightened in expense of the colorful side characters and musical journey. And the latter two are what makes Nodame Nodame!

    Still, if it can pull a Dream High – all camaraderie and goal-chasing while creating a beautiful romance in between, I’d be up for it.

    Chiaki: can we have Jo In Sung? He’s like manga coming alive and so intense and will be different enough from Tamaki’s portrayal. Can also be: Seo In Guk (surely he plays piano irl), Lee Jong Suk, So Ji Sub who was a hoot playing irritable anti-social genius.

    Nodame: after seeing Go Ara improving in rm94, she’s a worthy contender definitely. Or Lee Yeon Hee, Sooyoung, Park Bo Young, and going even younger and less a banner name but I believe she’d be
    perfect is Shim Eun kyung. You need to watch her performance in Sunny to know what I mean! She’s Nodame in petite form!

    • i think you are right with Jo in sung playing chiaki, he can pull it off except it he is not a believable 21 year old but he has the charisma.
      as for nodame, i think that Go Ara can potray it

  30. Oh no!
    Oh HELL NO!
    Oh please no…
    Just no no no no noooooo
    very very bad idea.
    I love this drama, it’s on my fave dramas of all list. Chiaki and Nodame were perfectly cast, like the anime/manga characters leapt to life and surrounded by wonderful music. Like others have mentioned, it reminded me of the wonder of classical music and exposed me to some I have not heard before.
    I don’t think kdramas have quite got the knack of adapting zany, quirky, off the wall humor in mangas/anime into live action like the jdramas can. Some have mentioned their track record so far. I just hope they stay away from this one and pick something less well-loved, less perfect-as-is. Less risky that way for everyone all around.

  31. I have actually been waiting for this. I knew it would come around–Nodame Cantabile is just too good a drama to not have remakes. I am very interested to see the attempt, but also very worried. After what they did to Hana Yori Dango . . .BOF was cute and all but it was NOT Hana Yori Dango! Like everyone else, I’m afraid they will weaken the heroine, make the hero a spoiled jerk/prince, and take out all the musical emphasis until you forget the characters are even supposed to play instruments. But it CAN work, so long as they cast talented actors over popular idols that they are trying to promote. I have seen many a decent script ruined by terrible acting from some pretty-faced singer who should have stuck to singing. Give me talent over looks any day.

  32. No. Please please no. Tamaki and Juri were ABSOLUTELY real life versions of Chiaki and Nodame. The jdroma was perfect in every sense. Well except for the ‘blond’ lecherous conductor…but at least he was funny. I can’t see how a korean version will work. Jdoramas are wacky in general…but kdramas cannot carry that kind of vibe and expect to engage the local audience. It will probably tank in ratings…

  33. When I heard about this, it was quite a mixed emotion. I love Nodame. I would watch it even without subs. Been re watching it too; as it is one of those few dramas when i’m in a lull of drama watching, it just creeps on me to want to watch it. But I wonder what they would do with the music– will it be the same classical pieces? I can’t imagine anyone to take Nodame and Chiaki’s characters other than Ueno Juri and Tamaki Hiroshi. But the Korean production team is behind some addicting dramas like Goong, Coffee Prince, etc.. If this has to come to reality, I guess Go Ara will be good. For Chiaki’s role, Joo Won (the one in Gaksital) comes to mind.

  34. nodame cantabile is one of best live adaption from a manga. And seeing how so far group8 has produced an amount dramas, really doubt they will able to produce a good remake even more for this manga. Better they cast the truly talented young actor/actress!

  35. I want to c what will they come up with. I love love Noda and CHiaki but to me it needed more love out of him. Yet it was amazing. So i want to c what Korea will fo out of it. Playful kiss was terrible yet there was something that made me watch the whole thing. I am ready for this yet the Jdrama is my fav.

  36. Sandara Park! :)) I just hope they’ll have auditions to pick for the right actors and not to bring the ratings using the actors/actress.


    The J-drama is already heaven and I dont need you to send me to hell by watching your remake or anything, because you certainly will:

    – Put Nodame – Chiaki – Mine in triangle love
    – Put Nodame – Chiaki – Mine – Kiyora in rectangle love
    – Cast dozens of idols who are popular but half-baked in acting, so they can’t grasp the beauty of Nodame at heart

    *Hope Korean production team read this*

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