K-Drama Review: Romance, Music, and Pursuing Your Dream in ‘Cantabile Tomorrow’

Cantabile Tomorrow
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A Korean Drama Adapted from the Japanese Manga, Nodame Cantabile

Cantabile Tomorrow is a South Korean television series adapted from the Japanese manga Nodame Cantabile by Tomoko Ninomiya. The manga received the 2004 Kodansha Manga Award for best shoujo manga and has been adapted as four different television series. The South Korean live adaptation series is starring Joo Won, Shim Eun-kyung, Park Bo-gum, Go Kyung-pyo, and Baek Yoon-sik. The series aired on KBS2 from October 13th to December 2nd, 2014, for a total of 16 episodes.

In this article, Channel-Korea will provide you with a rundown of everything about the review of the K-Drama Cantabile Tomorrow, so, stay tuned!

Cantabile Tomorrow: Review

Cantabile Tomorrow Poster
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The story revolves around Cha Yoo-jin (Joo Won), a perfectionist piano student who has the ambition to become a conductor, and Seol Nae-il (Shim Eun-kyung), an eccentric piano student who is actually very talented. The two meet by accident when the drunk Yoo-jin slumps in front of Nae-il’s door, instead of his own apartment right next door. The two meet again when Yoo-jin changes his teacher from Teacher Do to Teacher Ahn who teaches Nae-il.

Cantabile Tomorrow
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A world-famous conductor, Maestro Stresemann (Baek Yoon-sik) is coming to their school and has a plan to create a special orchestra. He handpicks the members and sends them invitations via text messages. Maestro Stresemann is not allowing Yoo-jin to conduct. Instead, he offers Yoo-jin to become the assistant conductor for one week. However, Maestro Stresemann is fickle as he gives and takes jobs without reason, moreover he suddenly withdraws from the S orchestra and points Yoo-jin to be the new conductor. After facing many problems together, Yoo-jin and S orchestra manage to impress the audience and earn a standing ovation.

Cantabile Tomorrow
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Seeing Yoo-jin’s conducting skills keep improving and the fact that she would be left behind if Yoo-jin goes to Europe, Nae-il starts playing piano seriously and enters a competition. She is determined and spends the entire night practicing. She passes the preliminary round easily. However, she doesn’t win the competition as she played ignoring the rules while battling her trauma.

Cantabile Tomorrow
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Nae-il receives an invitation to participate in an international competition and has the chance to win funding to study abroad if she wins the competition. However, Nae-il flies back to her family in Jeju because she’s sick of everything. Yoo-jin goes after her and flies to Jeju. He has overcome his phobia thanks to Nae-il’s hypnotherapy. In a short time, they submit her application.

Cantabile Tomorrow
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Yoo-jin accompanies Nae-il to her competition in Europe. Later, we find out that Nae-il has won the competition. They come back to Seoul and prepare things for their next study in Europe. The last scene shows the orchestra assembled in the lobby of the school, putting on a performance with Yoo-jin being the conductor and Nae-il playing the piano.

Cantabile Tomorrow
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Overall, Cantabile Tomorrow is a drama that combines classical music with its main characters’ love story. There are many sweet moments between the main characters and the soundtrack perfectly suits the scenes. The series also shows the growth of the main characters respectively, Yoo-jin with his conducting and Nae-il with her piano playing. Moreover, the story is not much different from the original manga. It is highly recommended to watch this series.

Cantabile Tomorrow: The Cast

Joo Won as Cha Yoo-jin

Cantabile Tomorrow: Joo Won
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Cha Yoo-jin is a perfectionist piano student who has the ambition to become a conductor. He has a phobia of airplanes and ocean as he experienced a plane accident in his childhood. He is also a clean-freak, as he often cleans Nae-il’s messy room.

Shim Eun-kyung as Seol Nae-il

Cantabile Tomorrow: Shim Eun-kyung
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Seol Nae-il is an eccentric piano student who is actually very talented. She can’t read music scores and remembers the songs simply by listening to them. She has a trauma due to her mean piano teacher in her childhood. Her room is messy and is often cleaned by Yoo-jin.

Baek Yoon-sik as Franz Stresemann

Cantabile Tomorrow: Baek Yoon-sik
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A world-famous conductor who is recruited to teach at school. He can recognize talents that others might not see. He is close to Song Mi-na, the dean of the school. He has quite a carefree and fickle personality.

Supporting Characters:

  • Park Bo-gum as Lee Yoon-hoo
  • Go Kyung-pyo as Yoo Il-rak
  • Bae Min-jung as Jung Shi-won
  • Min Do-hee as Choi Min-hee
  • Jang Se-hyun as Ma Soo-min
  • Lee Byung-joon as Do Kang-jae
  • Kim Yu-mi as Chae Do-kyung
  • Ye Ji-won as Song Mi-na
  • Ahn Gil-kang as Yoo Won-sang
  • Namgung Yeon as Ahn Gun-sung
  • Lee Joo-hyung as Gu Sun-jae
  • Baek Seo-bin as Han Seung-oh
  • Ah Yeon as Son Soo-ji
  • Cho Yoon-woo as Lee Jae-yong
  • Jung Sung-ah as Lee Dan-ya
  • Lee Ah-hyun as Yang Sun-young
  • Jeong Bo-seok as Cha Dong-woo
  • Bang Eun-hee as Nae-il’s mother
  • Han Min as Jang Yoo-sung
  • Kim Ji-han as Im Jae-jung
  • Moon Hee-kyung as Nae-il’s ex-teacher
  • Choi Kwon-soo as young Cha Yoo-jin
  • Yoel Levi as Sebastian Viera (cameo, ep 1 & 16)
  • Sunwoo Jae-duk as Yoo-jin’s uncle (cameo)
  • Kim Ji-sook as Chairwoman (cameo)