Chiaki is twenty-two years old and a 4th-year piano student at Momogaoka Music Academy at the start of the series. He is an accomplished pianist and violinist, but is also known to be a perfectionist and highly critical of himself and others. He comes from a distinguished and well-off family, and is a fairly good cook. He seems to think that most "poor" people (such as Sakura Saku) are like the little match girl. While he dreams of studying abroad and becoming a famous conductor like his mentor, Sebastiano Viera, he must overcome his fear of flying and the sea to do so. He is dismayed to discover that this freakish but talented girl, Nodame, lives in the apartment next door to him. However, he develops a sort of empathy with Nodame as he discovers her hidden potential to be a great pianist, and he begins to transcend his perfectionism and begins to enjoy his music and the music of others.