Noda Nodame Megumi (野田 恵 Noda Megumi) is a pianist and one of the main protagonists in the anime.
Nodame is a pale-skinned girl with short light brown hair and light brown eyes. She is usually seen wearing casual dresses rather than a uniform. In the S-Orchestra, she wears a mongoose (beary-like) outfit.
Nodame is depicted as a complete slob: her cooking and cleaning skills are atrocious to the point of having mushrooms growing on her clothes and poisoning anyone who dares to eat her food (yet she's never been poisoned). However she is an incredibly talented pianist who primarily plays by ear, in a cantabile style. In love with Shinichi Chiaki, she follows him around constantly, claiming to be his "wife," and leans on him to help her get through sticky situations. She sometimes compulsively needs to play the piano, neglecting everything in order to do it. As well as that, she seems to enjoy childish manga and movies. She is constantly hungry, and is fed dinners by Chiaki; she also steals many lunches from her fellow friend, Maki. Nodame has a tendency to speak cryptically (sometimes she doesn't even understand herself), often refers to herself in the third person and uses nonsense words like mukya and gyabo. Nodame is initially very dependent on Chiaki in terms of ambition - she has little intention of becoming a professional pianist, despite her remarkable talent, and wants to become a kindergarten teacher, though many feel she is too reckless and lacks the appropriate sensibility to be responsible with teaching children. Her piano style is considered to be completely haphazard, diverting from original intent at both dynamics, rhythms and even themes. Realizing that her current attitude towards music will eventually drive her apart from Chiaki, Nodame gradually develops the necessary drive to pursue music for her own sake. Her attitude towards music is largely due to an incident in the past where she was hurt by a teacher who demanded her to play music "as it's written". Despite this, several people have commented on how captivating her piano is, and how she is able to draw rich, expressive notes from the piano.
Nodame found Shinichi Chiaki in front of her apartment door. She took him inside her apartment room and played a Beethoven's song which woke Chiaki up with her beautiful playing but instantly shocked him to see the room full of garbage. Later, the two are assigned to the same class and are asked to play Mozart Son'a'ta in D Major for Two Piano. The experience of playing the piece with Nodame changed Chiaki's mind and returned his passion for playing piano while Nodame developed a feeling for Chiaki.
Later on, Nodame met Ryutaro Mine, a 2nd year violin student with a passion toward rock music. Mine first thought Nodame was cute and asked her to accompany him for his make-up exam. But on the day of the make-up exam, Nodame got sick and Chiaki had to replace her to accompany Mine in his performance. Nodame then received constant pranks (her bentou disappearing, a note stuck on her back, a rubber arrow being fired to her forehead, etc.) from an anonymous person. Working together with Mine, she managed to catch the culprit, who turned out to be A-Orchestra's timpani player Masumi Okuyama, who had a crush on Chiaki. After Masumi got humiliated in front of Chiaki, she finally gave up on pranking Nodame and together with Mine, the three played a piece written by Chiaki himself.
Nodame then met Maestro Franz von Stresemann who tricked her on the street, making her believe that his name was actually 'Milch Holstein' and almost getting her to spend a night out with him if not for Chiaki's interference. During Franz Von Stresemann's stay in Japan, she was appointed as the Special Orchestra's mascot girl and helped Chiaki, begging Stresemann to accept his transfer. Although Stresemann demanded a kiss from her as compensation, Nodame responded with a hard punch instead, knocking Stresemann unconscious and incapable of conducting. Taking the opportunity, Nodame took Chiaki to conduct the Special Orchestra instead. During Chiaki's work with Special Orchestra, she helped him resolve various problems like Sakura Saku's problem and changed his attitude in conducting the orchestra by showing him a Purigorota episode.
By Stresemann's order, Nodame, Chiaki, Mine and Masumi ended up going to a seminar in Nagano. There she was tutored by the famous Nina Lutz, who then dismissed her for her lack of practice and enthusiasm in music. Depressed, she practiced the required piece (Bartok's Allegro Barbaro) and managed to throw a unique performance. But when Nina rushed to the practice room to find who was playing that Bartok, Nodame was already gone.
When it was set that Chiaki would be playing Rachmaninoff with A-Orchestra, Noda was busy preparing for her performance for the school festival. She dressed up in a mongoose costume and played pianica along with the orchestra. Later when she watched Chiaki's perfomance she got depressed and was confronted by Stresemann saying that 'If she doesn't take music face to face then she won't be able to enjoy it'. Being depressed even further, she asked Chiaki to play Rachmaninoff with her and their performance managed to catch Kouzo Etoh's attention.
After Chiaki's graduation party, Nodame was invited to Miyoshi Family's residence where she learned more about Shinichi's family and past. There, she befriended Shinichi's cousin Yuiko and Toshihiko and managed to help Chiaki changed the house's atmosphere by playing a piece by Edward Elgar. After she got back to college, she found out that her teacher has changed to Kouzou Etoh instead. Feeling dissatisfied with Harisen's teaching, she fled and ran away from her class. Meanwhile Chiaki's orchestra finally had it's first gathering.
During her skipping out of classes, Nodame went to visit Chiaki's new orchestra and met oboist Kuroki Yasunori, who fell for her almost immediately, despite the effort of other orchestra members who tried to convince him of Nodame's weirdness. Chiaki was suspicious of Nodame's strange act and later found out that Nodame had been assigned to Harisen's class instead. Seeing Harisen's unsuccessful attempt in teaching Nodame, Chiaki gave him various tips on how to lure Nodame and after being caught by Harisen, Nodame decided to make a deal with him which includes helping her finish her Mojamoja piece.
When Chiaki was facing a difficulty in conducting the now called Rising Star (RS) Orchestra, Nodame helped taking care of him by doing various chores. After Chiaki's first successful concert, she met Chiaki's mother and found out about his trauma, which hindered him from going abroad. She then hypnotized Chiaki to face his fear of going on a plane and left to Harisen's house to prepare for a piano competition.
To prepare for the competition, Nodame went through harsh training and depressing states but managed to pull it off to the semifinal. During semifinal, a text message from Chiaki managed to lighten up her mood and helped her in throwing a performance good enough to impress everyone. But on her break time she met her childhood rival Segawa Yuto and thus messed up her next performance. On the final, she had barely enough time to learn all the songs completely and even got sick. She managed to finish her Schumann performance but due to the lack of time for training, she messed up her later piece, Stravinsky's Three Movements of Petrushka. Depressed after losing the competition, she decided to leave but was confronted by Chiaki who asked her to go abroad with him, though she refused.
After the competition, she went back to her home town and almost gave up piano. But then she got an offer by Charles Auclair, an instructor in Paris Conservatoire and decided to take him up on it. After that, she met Chiaki who had chased her all the way to her hometown and got found out by her father when he went an hugged her. After Chiaki learned more about her trauma in the past, they went back to Tokyo to prepare for their departure to Paris.