Voices of music-loving lovers show us that they’re sheltering in place, and that we should too.

Though health experts and government officials have been asking us to stay home, a large number of people are still out and about in Japan. But if people won’t listen to doctors or mayors, perhaps they’ll listen to two of the most popular anime/manga characters of the past 20 years.

Creator Tomoko Ninomiya’s Nodame Cantabile started as a manga in 2001, and built up an even bigger fanbase as it was adapted into an anime series and live-action TV drama. The story follows aspiring pianist Megumi “Nodame” Noda and orchestra conductor Shinichi Chiaki in a tale of opposites-attract personalities falling in love. The manga came to its conclusion in 2010, but this week Ninomiya gave fans an update through her Twitter account (@nino0120444) showing how Nodame and Chiaki are coping with sheltering in place during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Nodame and Chiaki are also staying home. I drew a four-panel manga. Sorry the art is rough.”

The first glimpse of what the pair has been up to since the surprise bonus manga chapter that came out in 2016, the panels show the couple sharing a quiet moment at home, with Nodame’s laid-back attitude and Chiaki’s more stringent standards bubbling to the surface as she prepares a pack of instant yakisoba noodles for dinner.

The characters’ surprise return had fans excited, but one reaction was very special, since it came from Tomokazu Seki, the voice actor who played Chiaki in the Nodame anime, who tweeted:

“I want to add my voice to this.”

This then prompted a new wave of Twitter commenters to say they wanted to hear Seki’s voice paired with the new artwork. Of course, you can’t just bring Chiaki back without his ladylove, so Seki and Ninomiya then reached out to Nodame’s anime voice actress, Ayako Kawasumi, and once she was on board, they made the following video, which adds dialogue and music to the scene!

Nodame: Senpai, I’ll cook dinner tonight.
Chiaki: What’re you making?

Chiaki: THIS is what you call cooking dinner?
Nodame: Yes,it is!

“Thank you. This is like a dream come true,” Ninomiya tweeted out to everyone involved with the impromptu project, a sentiment that was echoed by many fans.

Oh, and as for the video’s title, a caesura is a pause in a poem, usually coming in the middle of a line. It’s also a good metaphor for the quiet, stay-at-home days many of us are having as we wait for life as we knew it to start moving again, but Nodame and Chiaki’s casually romantic moment shows that the pause isn’t all bad, and also that there’s a way for manga creators’ work to reflect the current health crisis.

Source: Twitter/@nino0120444 via IT Media
Top image: Twitter/@nino0120444
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Follow Casey on Twitter, where, personally, he thinks anyone who complains about you making instant noodles for them is welcome to shut up and cook for themselves instead.