Chiaki and Noda start living in an apartment building in Paris, where they meet other music students. Even though they arrived together, Chiaki goes his own way: he joins a conducting concours, gets drafted into servitude to an agency and goes off on a tour with Stresemann. Noda stays behind and has to study her piano playing even further.
Fun enough, but the relationship between the two just doesn't progress past the point where it already was at the end of the first series. There's a breakthrough somewhere halfway, but even though the two say they want to be together, it doesn't feel like they want to (and they certainly don't act like they do!).
To get around this, a new cast of colourful characters is introduced to take some of the focus away from Chiaki/Noda. That's fun enough too, but we don't watch this series to see the lives and times of Tanya and Frank! Sometimes the characters are used to cover some new comedic ground between them and Chiaki or Noda, but there's also lots of banter between these new characters that just don't progress the plot one iota.
Speaking of plot, there's lots of sub-plots that just never get any sort of follow-up. For instance, there's the "Yaki Trio" that Noda forms with two friends -- we see them practise together a few times, and then it's time for the examination, and then that's it. It feels like the writers just needed an excuse to introduce two more characters. And those characters don't even play a big role anyway, which makes it dumb filler.
It all sounds pretty harsh, but it's all funny enough. It just could have been so much more, but instead we just get rehashes of what we have seen before (in the case of Chiaki/Noda) or sideplots that go nowhere (in the case of the exploding cast of characters).
Visually, the series is fine: the drawing style is quite expressive. Sometimes the funny moments get a bit too accented with visual cues, as if we're not allowed to determine on our own if something is funny or not. There are a few episodes that were apparently rushwork: the quality suffers a bit, only to pick up again the next episode.
Chiaki and Noda are voiced by the same actors as in the first series, and they exhibit great form as always.
- Treads the same ground over and over again;
- Exploding cast of characters that doesn't really add anything to the main plot.
At 11 episodes, it's only a minimal time investment, and that's good. I don't think I would have enjoyed two seasons of this. I'll give it a 6.5 because it's just more of the same.