Well, given that I'm a big fan of Nodame, I have to have some input here! lol.
I started off with manga actually, and was delighted when I heard about the J-dorama (was it just me or Son Rui looked very south-east-asian or "minor ethnic group" rather than oriental han
chinese? I refer to the Europe special episodes)
Chiaki was in short a perfectionist. So much so that he expects everything to be no less than perfect ~ he pushed himself to the limits all the time, and he expected everyone to be like him (which is a little too much eh?)
Nodame was pretty much a polar opposite. It didn't matter to her things are not perfect, orderly or whatsoever. Her sloppiness VS his anal-retentive behavior. ^o^ But somehow along the way we see Chiaki relaxing a little, and Nodame actually putting in serious effort to catch up.
I have the manga up till vol 20.
For some reason I cannot find the sales of the anime series around. DAMN! I'd previously found some downloads but only managed to obtain ep 1&2. EVILNESS!!!
Although Saiko came off as a bit of a materialistic b***h in the beginning, one cannot help but pity her later on. I guess she really regretted breaking up with Chiaki, it was more like said in a spur of anger. She had high expectations of him, and she was too proud to recognised that her boyfriend was going through such a crappy phase. It was evident that she was too proud for her own good, and hence she was unable to "breakthru" that singing barrier.
She just wanted to sound perfect, good, and refused to show or acknowledge the uglier side of her. Same goes, she was good at snubbing and reprimanding Chiaki, instead of consoling and standing by his side. Something that Nodame was capable of, but not Saiko. I guess in her own way she really liked Chiaki but she doesnt stand much of a chance anymore with Nodame in the way. LOL.
Another thing is, I always wonder how Chiaki ever got to be with Saiko? I cannot remember if its somewhere in the manga that shown him to have been impressed with Saiko's voice back in highschool or something. I'd always suspect Saiko might have been the more initiative person, given that Chiaki has placed music above everything else. Perhaps he just think shes talented, enjoyed her company well enough. Chiaki is quite asocial in a way, and unlikely to really go after girls. Just my impression. So when she dropped him, he'd just accepted it. Initially a little grudgingly because she dated someone Chiaki considered his inferior, and also a "rival" in a sense, but noticed that Chiaki got over it really soon.
He was not that preoccupied with "losing his gf" all that much, and was more preoccupied with Nodame?! It really goes to show that, he might not have liked her all that much, and might just be dating her as a "matter of convenience".