Starting in May 2008, Japanese serialization changed from biweekly to monthly because of Ninomiya's pregnancy. Serialization went on hiatus starting October 2008 following the birth of her son and Ninomiya's subsequent diagnosis of having carpal tunnel syndrome, but resumed again with the 10 March 2009 issue of Kiss on an irregular schedule depending on her continued recovery. In June 2009, the series went on hiatus again when Ninomiya was hospitalized with acute appendicitis, and resumed serialization in the 25 July issue. In July 2009, Asahi Shimbun reported that the manga was scheduled to end in the spring of 2010, coinciding with the release of the final live-action movie. However, the series ended with chapter 136 in the 10 October 2009 issue of the magazine.
Starting in late 2009, a sequel titled Nodame Cantabile - Opera Hen started running in the same magazine. It ended in September 2010. The numbering of the volumes follow right after the original series so they start at volume 24.
Popular piano student Shinichi Chiaki has almost given up his dream of becoming a conductor because his international career prospects are crippled by his fear of flying, and his despair affects his playing. His life drastically changes upon encountering his eccentric and frighteningly messy neighbour, Megumi "Nodame" Noda, who plays piano in a beautiful cantabile style. When they are assigned to play a Mozart sonata for two pianos together, Chiaki reluctantly helps Nodame memorize the score to compensate for her bad sight reading and finds himself encouraged by Nodame's joy in music to resume his dream of becoming a conductor. However, he is dismayed to find that Nodame has fallen in love with him, and expresses her love in an unusual manner. When Mine, an unconventional violinist who loves rock music, tries to help her win over Chiaki, Chiaki winds up helping Mine pass a critical exam, after which Mine decides to dedicate himself to classical music.
Chiaki and Nodame finally return to Japan. Nodame prepares for a solo concert while Chiaki works with Mine and Suganuma to put produce an opera accompanied by the Rising Star Orchestra. Familiar faces return and new faces arrive to participate. But with a tight budget, constant bickering during rehearsals, and the stuffy heat of summer... can R☆S and the White Rose Troupe put on a successful performance?