Harsh, Chiaki. Harsh.

Summary: This episode introduced Mine Ryuutarou, a violinist who is preparing for a violin jury seeking a pianist to accompany him playing Beethoven’s Violin Sonata No. 5. Chiaki had been set to be his partner before, but quit after insulting his skill. Nodame trips over the power cable for the amp his violin is plugged into; Mine notices the sheet music sticking out of her bag and asks her to be his partner. That evening, Nodame is at Chiaki’s place for dinner, as she has been for several nights after finding out that his cooking, unlike hers, was non-terrible. After a bit, they get to the piano, and Chiaki begins coaching her in the “proper” way to play the sonata. The next day, Chiaki happens to be walking by the restaurant owned by Mine’s father owns, and sees that Mine is the one Nodame is going to be playing accompaniment for (and seems to have at least a small fit of jealousy).
Then the series of misunderstandings begins. While enjoying his first peaceful night in a while, Chiaki hears his doorbell ring repeatedly. He opens the door yelling at Nodame (calling her “eyesore”). However, it’s ex-girlfriend Saiko at the door. Nodame walks in on the two of them talking, though, and has a misunderstanding-based fit of shock and jealousy.

Obligatory relationship-related misunderstanding for romance shows.

Seeing the two walk out of Chiaki’s room the next morning does not help her feelings. She ends up being unable to play with these thoughts going through her head; Mine tries to intervene, only to see not only that the object of her affection was his enemy Chiaki, but also that her opponent was the attractive, talented, and rich Saiko.

Later, at the bar, Saiko tells Chiaki of what’s been bothering her and proposes that the two of them really do get back together, but Chiaki returns the “I hate losers” line she used on him in the previous episode and leaves. He walks into Nodame and Mine trying to figure out how Nodame could “steal” Chiaki, and, to Mine’s surprise, demonstrates how the violin part of the sonata should be played. Mine leaves disgruntled, while Chiaki plays with Nodame. To his surprise, she is able to play the song “correctly” after just listening to a recording once. The next morning, Nodame tells of Mine using verbal jabs obviously conceived by Chiaki, but then is told that Chiaki did not say that he actually was bad. They then continue practicing.

Unfortunately, the next morning, Nodame ends up being sick. Much to Mine’s surpise/chagrin, Chiaki volunteers to be her replacement, and says the same “play however you like” line that he did to Nodame towards the end of the first episode. As before, Chiaki keeps up despite his partner’s “haphazard” play, and the jury is impressed with Mine. He disbands his rock band shortly afterwards, stating that he is going to focus on classical music instead.

Impression: This show continues to be quite enjoyable. The light humor scattered throughout was just as in Honey and Clover – amusing, but never disruptive to the flow of the episode. Mine’s change in attitude towards classical music from the beginning to the end was interesting to watch, as was seeing more of Chiaki’s development into the world-class conductor he aspires to be. Seeing that Chiaki seems to at least care about Nodame a bit was an encouraging sign of him beginning to “open up” and perhaps start returning Nodame’s feelings for him. The selection of music was good again as well; in addition to Violin Sonata No. 5, selections this time included excellent works such as Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 and a distorted version of the “Moonlight” sonata.

In short, this show continued to be a very enjoyable watch, and looks to continue being that way.