1 Jun 2012

ef - a tale of melodies Anime review

English: ef - a tale of melodies
Synonyms: ef - a tale of memories second season
Type: TV
Episodes: 12 + 12
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 6, 2008 to Dec 22, 2008
Producers: Shaft, Sentai FilmworksL
Genres: Mystery, Drama, Romance, Seinen
Duration: 24 min. per episode
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or older

Well, ef - a tale of melodies is sequel of ef - a tale of memories.
I dint watch ef - a tale of memories. I directly started with tale of memories. I couldn't follow at the beginning because there was a huge network of relationships. So i suggest you to start with memories. I know it will be as amazing as melodies because i can surely say  that watching "ef- a tale of melodies" is not like watching a regular anime, but more like an artistic painting come to life. It really is a unique experience!
And the violin in the anime will definitely leave you in awe.

In a story set years in the past, Himura Yuu is a studious and diligent young man intent solely on maintaining his top academic position at Otowa Academy. One day, he meets a mysterious girl named Amamiya Yuuko, who, to his surprise, recognizes him. Memories of a distant childhood, memories rather left forgotten...meeting Yuuko again will force Yuu to confront the regrets and sorrows of their collective pasts and presents.

In the present, Kuze Shuuichi may seem like a womanizer, but upon closer inspection, is a man who would rather be left alone. Hayama Mizuki, however, is not the type of girl who would let him be, especially after hearing the beautiful sounds of his violin performance. As Mizuki attempts to become closer to him, Kuze attempts to push her away - the tale of their budding relationship is darkened with undertones of an imminent tragedy.

The story is not far away from being a masterpiece in my opinion. It was a lot times better than the story of the prequel "Ef - A Tale of Memories" due to the mysteric way of presenting real circumstances in everyday's life. A person who is condemned to die early and his desperate struggle to find a 'conclusion' for his life in order to experience a kind of fulfillment; and another person who has to reflect on his actions he made out of desperation and fear, which finally led to something even worse.. that is the kind of story I would definitely call a true drama. From the beginning up until the end there's no time to release one's mind. Just like in the prequel the recipient get bombed with extremely well reasoned dialogues, creating a thick and heavy atmosphere and encourage the viewer to reflect on the behavior and actions of the protagonists.

As it can be assumed when looking at the title, in "Ef - A Tale of Melodies" the sound/music plays a very important role. In my subjective interpretation, those "Melodies" are first based only on music, later the whole story building (including the end) gives this "Tale of Melodies" a new meaning, some kind of "life melody" with images as well as music. But this doesn't concern at this point.

The melancholic music of this anime, primarily composed by Tenmon is perfectly fitting into the story and underlines the atmosphere created by the plot. The fact that Kuze is musician and plays his violine makes me feel of the music as a firmly integrated part within the story - and that makes it even more fitting.

The opening is not one of my favorites, but that's not important at all. The ending music changes from episode to episode making the anime appear more dynamic. Something I've rarely seen before.

Characters, what do I have to say? The protagonists both totally convinced me in their train of thought, in their actions and behavior - you can mean that the author himself experienced these cruel situations - and especially in their appearance. Kuze and Yuu are two very different human beings, both struggeling.. Yuu with his dreadful past, Kuze with his fearsome future. Both try to find a way out of desperation, but they have to learn that it's not possible to solve one's problems that easily. While Kuze slowly abandons everything around him, Yuu seems absent from the world itself unless he meets Yuuko. Remember, those two storylines take place in different times - Yuu's story in the past, Kuze's story in the present of the prequel "Ef - A Tale of Memories".

The development of those two characters influenced by feelings from other people and its outcome of finding strength and courage is the thing that makes me consider this anime as something 'real'.
"Miracles don't exist in this world. There are only coincidences, inevitabilities, and actions that people take. I'll just have to make this miracle into an inevitability."
Well, it's not something new at all, but it's just perfectly shown in this anime.

The side characters also play a very good role and round the whole thing up.

This anime is indeed a really great work of art. With some simple means it creates a terrific atmosphere which is absolutely necessary for this kind of story. The drawing is well-done, the animation authentic (especially the wind flowing through the hair and partially the movements), and the character design also really good. But the fact that makes this anime to something very special regarding the arts is the style of blending the images, using many different colors and shapes, implementing words and sentences from romanian languages and telling a parallel story besides the animation's story by using just these technical means. At this point it's pretty sad that some of those screens fade too fast so that the viewer has to pause the video in order to read what's written on the screen (and especially to think about the relation to the story).

Anime opening titles:

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