Cantabile Tomorrow vs. Nodame Cantabile


Korean Version


Joo Won plays Yoo-Jin, a very talented musical genius, who aspires to be a conductor even though he is in the piano department of the school. Joo Won portrays Yoo-Jin as an intense and even arrogant young man who believes that his talents lay elsewhere. However, after meeting Nae-il, Yoo Jin learns to tolerate those with a uh..lets just say a much different style of living. With the Korean version, Joo Won’s piano playing act is passable, but conducting acting lies more on the dramatic side. However, his adorable smirks and helplessness more than balances his act. Sometimes, Joo Won’s Yoo-Jin seems like he is on the edge of a bursting into a fit of passion.


Nae-il plays Shim Eun-Kyung, the genius piano player who has a much messier lifestyle than the neat Yoo-Jin. Nae-il takes on a more of a fangirl approach when in the presence of Yoo-Jin. She is utterly obsessed with him to the point where she sacrifices her own health to be with him. As of Episode 2, even though she is acting more on the level of Jan Di from BOF, I can’t find it in my heart to be annoyed and the slapstick acting just yet. I hope that her character shapes up to be more just weird rather than acting like a fool.


I watched the Korean version before the Japanese version. As for the plot, it follows pretty similar, almost act by act to the Japanese version.  However, the Japanese version flows faster where every 2 episodes of the Korean version equals 1 episode of the Japanese version. However, we do have more fanservice such as piggybacks and other cute romantic gestures in the Korean version.


As with most Korean dramas, we have a vocal OST at the end of each episode. The songs itself are happy tinkling music where I think a one geared more towards classical music would have fit better.

Japanese Version


Tamaki Hiroshi plays Chiaki who seems to be the broodier version of the two versions. Tamaki chooses to be more subtle in his expressions when he is being serious. However, his moodiness is oddly juxtaposed with extreme slapstick at comedic scenes. Sometimes, it feels like the slapstick comedy feels out-of-place. However, his musical acting such as piano playing and conducting seem more well versed and realistic than Joo Won’s version.


Ueno Juri plays Nodame who thankfully comes off more as an odd girl rather than fangirl obsessed such as Nae-il. Ueno also has experience playing the piano which also makes her acting more realistic on that front. Ueno’s Nodame also seems more mature and less child-like than Nae-il’s version.


Though the Japanese version is shorter, the episodes do not feel rushed at all and flows very well. I would say that the Japanese version has that consistent extreme comedic style that can be seen in other doramas, but doesn’t seem out-of-place like it would in a Korean romcom.


The music in the Japanese is much better suited to the drama than the Korean version. It focuses heavily on the classical style which relates to the content. I also find it interesting that the two dramas play different pieces of classic music in their stories.

8 thoughts on “Cantabile Tomorrow vs. Nodame Cantabile

      • The manga won award and is widely popular. The artwork maybe not appealing enough for its simple strokes, but the story is very amazing. If you have time, you need to pick it up.

        As someone who grew up reading the manga and drama, I couldn’t help but comparing every single scene as I was watching the Naeil. What makes Nodame great is that the musical aspect within the story is pretty much accurate. Tamaki’s and Ueno’s acting is even praised by the pros. But I can’t say the same thing for Naeil. It wasn’t fully able to deliver the life of classical musician from inner-thought, for both the story and acting. While Naeil may please some audiences for its own charms, I believe, it won’t be as spectacular and world-wide known as Nodame. Naeil is entertaining, but Nodame is legend.

  1. to be honest nodame always wins… but its doesn’t mean i hate the naeil version. naeil is so adorable.. but nodame is the love of my life. xD

    i wonder if we got the same mind.. i dont need to repeat anything as i agree most of your comments, especially about joowon. i just love his smile and ‘smirk’, its really warm 🙂 but… i still having a hard time to accept his musical scene, especially conducting and the violin scene.. uurrrghhh.. its too obvious that they use double for his scene.

    though nodame version’s slapticks sometimes seems to be out of place but there none of them that i didn’t enjoy, i love all of them.

    what’s dissapoint me the most in korean version is the older casts.. especially the fans teacher (i love japanese HARISEN!!! he’s cool), and milch. :(( the one that i can tolerate is the bald teacher, and yoojin’s mom is cool too.

    whatever it is, im still looking forward naeil version till the end. coz they follow the manga instead of the drama jdorama script, i feel like watching a new set of drama. its refreshing

    • We do have a lot of the same opinions! Joo Won is so adorable in his role!

      I think after I watch some more of the Nodame version of the drama, i will get used to its type of comedy!

      Ahhh I see. I haven’t focused too much on the older cast yet for either.

      The korean version does feel fresh and spring-y though! Very light and breezy!

      • joowon is toooo sweet… his dimple.. ah…. i keep calling him orabang just like naeil… 😀

        the nodame version is too comical… if you watch the anime, its like they copy everything…including the screenshot. i love how they use mannequin to make the ridiculous slaptick scene… XD

        cant wait to watch ep7~8

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s