ef – a tale of memories – 12
With the last episode ending with a twist, I was hoping for something dramatic to happen in order for Chihiro to remember Renji, so I’m a little disappointed in which Chihiro had not forgotten about Renji at all. But as the saying goes, it’s not th result that matters, it’s the journey. Renji’s state of depression over Chihiro’s choice to forget him I believe is better than say Hirono’s choice of having to chose between Kei and Miyako, and much more dramatic. But I also believe that Renji’s resolve and the advice that he received had a better effect than Hirono’s as well.
Hirono’s talk with Yuuko lacked the impact and it felt that the problem he faced was something more simple and that it resolved rather quickly. But in Renji’s case, he had the two opinions of Yuu and Kuze, and each have their two different beliefs. Of course both had their impact on Renji, but his resolve to do something was when he discovered Chihiro’s true feelings about forgetting Renji. At that point he knew he had to do something and it was only him that can help Chihiro. Although collecting the pages was all for nothing, it was the effort that he put in, the effort that he decided to take that one step and bring back Chihiro that he knows. But if there was one thing I didn’t like was Chihiro’s restraining chains breaking so fast. I think it would have been better if it did it at a slower pace, but that’s just my opinion.
The epilogue does a good job of showing that everyone has taken that step forward and they are happy with their respective partners, well except for Kei and Kyousuke, but since her recent conflict and recovery from Hirono, it would be too fast for the two to be together. I find it rather strange how they seem to be all gathered together in the conclusion, but their stories really don’t link together at all. Although I do like how Yuu and Yuuko had finally meet in the end, but I’m still not satisfied in which their relationship is shrouded in mystery, but that probably means that their story isn’t really a key part of the overall series.
Ending Sequence 5
ED5: “Yūkyū no Tsubasa 07mix” by Yumiko Nakajima
When I first heard of ef being made into an anime, I had some pretty high expectations as games produced by Minori are usually deep with a well-written story. At a glance, ef – a tale of memories appears to be just another visual novel turned anime, and it’s true. But what differs ef from other series is the story on where they took a simplistic romance story and changed it to something much more extraordinary via the way the story was presented. With the original ef – a fairy tale of the two game using dark colours and with a lot of shadow tones, SHAFT had taken this to their advantage and produced a different type of storytelling than you would get from other visual novel type series. The use of abstraction helped bring out the characters emotions as well as their personalities, and by matching it with the dialogue, it gave it such a unique, but superb feel to it.
By far, I would also have to say that the soundtrack to ef is by far the best one I’ve heard for 2007. Tenmon must have worked closely with SHAFT and brought out the raw emotions of the show through the music and the scenes that were playing. Each of the girls ending sequences were very fitting for their personalities, but I would have to say Kei’s ending sequence is the best out of the three, followed by Chihiro’s, and then Miyako’s. But right now, I find Chihiro’s ending theme to be the best out of the three as it feels epic to me for some reason, but I think the tune of it matches the overshadowing theme of Chihiro’s memory disorder.
I could say that ef was indeed a rather unique and brilliant series, but it is far from being perfect. Initially at the start I did find the switching between the two stories to be rather annoying and seemed to make the series rather jagged. Not to mention that it feels that majority of the series was focused on the Renji x Chihiro side of things, and a lot of the time its the same recurring theme. However everything started to pick up about halfway through the series as we started to see the conflicts between characters and the problems that they are facing. That is until the concluding of each story which ended in a less dramatic way than I had anticipated.
Overall I found this to be one of the best series of the Fall 2007 season, but an honorable mention would have to go to Myself Yourself as well if it didn’t end so abruptly and if it weren’t for the 10 year time jump. Even though ef – a tale of memories did lack in the development of smaller characters like Yuu and Yuuko, it did flesh out the main ones rather well. Plus with the story switching between the two, it makes it seems like two separate stories in the one series. So a great series, but not something I would remember entirely, unless you want a break from the usual visual novel to anime series and something a bit more deeper in story. But if anything, it’s the music you’ll want to remember from watching this series.