English: ef ~ A Tale of Melodies
Synonyms: ef: A Tale of Memories Second Season, ef: A Tale of Memories 2nd Season
Japanese: ef - a tale of melodies.
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 7, 2008 to Dec 23, 2008
24 min. per episode
PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
L represents licensing company
Score: 8.291 (scored by 31348 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
SynopsisIn 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.
[Written by MAL Rewrite]
Related AnimeAdaptation: ef: A Fairy Tale of the Two.
Prequel: ef: A Tale of Memories., ef: A Tale of Melodies. - Prologue
Characters & Voice Actors
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!
Taking place after the first installment known as ef- a tale of memories, we now follow the tale of most of the supporting cast from the original I just mentioned. Going into this I was a bit bummed that they didn’t decide to simply go with a whole brand new cast for this, but it actually worked out quite well, as this time around we get to learn more about: Kuze, Mizuki, Yuuko and Yu. (which again were simply the supporting cast from the first ef series) And get a better understanding as to who they are, and also answer questions that were not answered from the original. You will be transported back and forth from the past to the present, as the overall plot can only be understood by doing so. Now watching this series you won’t really find anything particularly new here with the story, most of the events that take place are more along the lines of what you would see in a Soap Opera---in other words, lots and LOTS of drama here. Basically each of the four cast members will (or eventually) fall for one another, each having to face their own personal demons (just a medifore) in the process. Most of them are not quite what they appear to be at first, and as the story progress you get a much more in depth look as to who they are. The way it is told though, is what really makes "ef- a tale of melodies" stand out. You don’t just simply watch the story and love scenes progress like you would a regular anime. This one is told in a more artistic tone. For example: when the characters are in deep thought from a certain situation, you may see them in a room by themselves--or even see them all chained up as a black silhouette, (this of course represents that the certain character is a prisoner either to themselves, or by another) and a lot of it takes place in the character’s mind and not in the physical form. So you can’t go into this series expecting a "what you see is what you get" idea, because this series doesn’t do it that way. Setting the artistic themes aside for a moment, the situations themselves are pretty standard for a drama, which may turn off some people and give the feeling to them that the whole "medifore" idea is simply there to only cover up a more standard fared story. Which quite honestly isn’t too far from the truth, as many scenes tended to last quite long, and sometimes seemed to give a more slower pace to the storyline. Still, what it lacks in actual new material with its story, it makes up for by the artistic way it shows it. It also has a worth while ending too!
The art of this series is so rich and detailed, I would expect nothing less from the "ef" series, in fact just watching the opening scene with the paper airplane gliding along the sunset sky, is truly appealing for the eyes, as is the entire series. The character design (while nothing particularly new) is well distinct. I especially liked the eyes of the characters. The water effects that come from the ocean will seem to just glide across your screen so fluently. And the character animation and backgrounds are truly superb!
I have to say that the sound was the weakest link for me in the anime, the opening and closing were indeed well planned out tracks (both ranging from soft and sincere, to catchy "finger snapping" tunes, " one even sung in English no less) The background music was a bit lack luster though, while you do get nice and appropriate orchestral music that plays in the back during events, nothing ever really stands out too much, with the exception of Kuze’s violin piece. The voice cast was a bit of a "hit and miss" for me too. Most of the deep males voices were nice at complimenting the artistic theme of the anime. But most of the female cast I found to be a bit on the standard side, with the exception of a girl name Yuuko, her’s was well fitting the part. Overall it was a great soundtrack, but it just didn't seem to be quite as good as the original's.
I really liked each and everyone of the characters, nobody ever came off as annoying, or would make you feel that they tossed one in just for the sake of doing so. I was especially captivated with the character "Kuze, " he is a musician with a quite interesting past, and the turmoil he goes through is quite sad--yet exciting at times. The character chemistry was a bit rushed for one of the couples, but seemed to be pulled off appropriately at the end. Since half of this title is all about back story, you get a pretty in depth look into the character’s lives and can really connect with just who they are, and will feel what they feel!
ef - a tale of melodies is a truly satisfying experience if you can appreciate it’s approach in things. It's debatable as to whether this one surpassed the original or not. It can at least be said however, that this is truly an outstanding sequel! If you prefer a simple and casual romance themed anime then it would probably be best to avoid this one. As many of its extended medifore scenes may tend to drag out and frustrate some viewers. But if you’re an anime fan with a taste for the arts, or perhaps looking for a new way of viewing a romance title, then this series is for you. ef - a tale of melodies is not spectacular in what it shows...but how it shows it!
Side Note: If you are interested in watching this title, I would recommend watching the prequel first. As some of the original main characters from the first make an appearance here, and the whole overall story can only be understood fully from both sides. read more
*Please watch ef: A Tale of Memories first, because there is a continuation of the love stories presented in the prequel. Feel free to read my review for Memories also.*
After watching Memories, you probably asked yourself these questions:
- Why does Yuuko pop up out of nowhere and disappear before you can blink an eye?
- How do Yuuko and Yuu know each other?
- How do Renji and Chihiro; Hiro and Miyako; and Kyousuke and Kei's relationships continue?
ef: A Tale of Melodies will answer all of those questions as it introduces the background of vague characters from Memories: Mizuki, Yuuko, Yuu, Kuze, and Nagi. There is a brilliant connection between those characters and the ones from Memories. Just like in Memories, there's drama, psychological history in characters, brutal pasts, and everlasting romance resulting from someone refusing to let go of the person they love.
The anime shows three stories:
- Yuuko and Yuu have one of the most romantic histories in the series, mainly because they knew each other since childhood. They met each other in an orphanage when they were younger. Yuu lost his little sister in an earthquake in Japan, and he rejects Yuuko because of his grievance. Once they meet again in high school, Yuu regrets how he treated Yuuko after he finds out how brutal her life became after she left the orphanage. Determined to protect the woman he loves, he goes through all odds to hold onto her.
- While visiting her cousin Renji in Australia, Mizuki was introduced to Kuze by Renji's mom. Mizuki heard a beautiful song played by the violin one day, and Renji's mom insisted that Mizuki and Kuze spend time together. Mizuki and Kuze spend the next few days together in Kuze's nearly-empty house. After confessing her love for Kuze, their relationship began to blossom. Shortly, Kuze began pushing Mizuki away to avoid hurting her, even though he loved her, too. Despite Kuze's medical condition and his rejection, Mizuki is determined to stay by his side no matter what it takes. You should see all of the crazy yet romantic things she does to make him happy.
- Relationships from Memories continue...
Art and Sound: The art and sound fit perfectly together. It is more museum-like with the mirrored bodies and masks. As the art is displayed, dramatic music is played simultaneously. Kuze's violin piece and Yuuko's improvised lyrics fully explains the moral of the entire series. In order to avoid confusion, the anime presents footnotes at the end of each episode to describe certain terms and references mentioned in the episode. Also, it attaches the time so you can recall where you heard the reference.
- Yuu is an artist and draws quite often. He never desired to join the Art Club, but he drew amazing landscapes and portraits, especially of Yuuko. His dream is to create a beautiful city filled with kind people, which is why he stayed in Australia.
- Yuuko was Yuu's lover in the past. She is now the magical advisor that appears before the main characters to bring happiness to them all. With the same dream as Yuu, she is located in Japan.
- Kuze is a famous violinist and Renji's next-door neighbor. He struggled with a personality disorder ever since he had a heart spasm during a concert. As he awaits for his death, he attempts to end all relationships in an attempt to make it so that he simply disappeared.
- Mizuki is Kei's close friend and appears off and on in Memories. She's quite energetic and refuses to shed a tear in front of others. After graduating from Otawa Academy, she moved to Australia to live with Renji (her cousin). There is when she met Kuze.
- Nagi is the elder sister of Hiro, Kei, and Chihiro. She used to crush on Yuu in high school but lost to Yuuko. She later became engaged to Kuze.
Just as Memories, you're in for some deep romantic stories. read more
Without giving too much info and spoiling, both female protagonists are somewhat going through similar circumstances. What is quite interesting is they have the same first name... Yuuko Kanoe and Yuuko Amamiya (ef - A tale of melodies), and similar features (hair/color, body)
NOTE: However this recommendation is a SEQUEL so it is suggested to watch the prequel first (ef - A tale of Memories) and understand the story.
Tasogare is pretty much a rip-off of ef melodies. If you enjoyed the concept in Tasogare but found the ending to be rather 'cheesy', then you may find ef melodies to be your cup of tea.
Tasogare Otome x Amnesia is the biggest rip-off I've seen any anime pull off, quite successfully as well.
The director for both franchise is the same, and he didn't change a single thing about the two besides removing one arc from Ef a tale of melodies, and changing the characters' functions in the plot around a bit.
Romance in Tasogare is weakly structured due to its lack of originality in trying to mimick Ef a tale of melodies' route too much, especially the ending. Tasogare aired after the Ef series so it's obvious who copied who. A show solely for comedic purposes is tasogare; and for any actually heart-striking plot Ef a tale of melodies is the better of the two. Generally speaking, the Ef series achieves better than most romance tales, and I highly recommend it over rip-off series like Tasogare.
Also, the background in both anime is highly comparable in its visuals and purposes.
- Both are touching romance stories that can make you cry
- Both envolve the supernatural
- Both anime have very similar beautiful art
- Both heroines envolved in a similar story and in both anime the main character is trying to help the heroine and ends up falling in love with her
- Both heroines are long black-haired girls named Yuuko, and they both often stand on a school rooftop flying paper planes
It will be spoilerish to say why, but ef has a similar romantic concept.
However, while Tasogare Otome X Amnesia takes on a lighthearted tone quite often, ef- a tale of melodies is way more serious and psychological.
PS; Watching ef- a tale of memodies will help you enjoy ef- a tale of melories more.
Both approach adult conflicts in a very human way (Clannad AF: aftger episode 8). Both are drama + romance + slice of life and both will probably make you cry...XP
Both have hard hitting drama and lovely tales of romance. Just like After Story, Tale of Melodies isn't for the light of heart. It's not a light and fluffy rom-com. It will make you cry. That being said, both series are excellent. The story lines are incredible and definitely make you want to keep watching. Really great animes that have a very similar feel.
Plots are different, but there's drama and supernatural mystery involved on both. I loved them and cried on the few last episodes.
Both are sequels to their respective drama series. These series are imo the pinnacles of drama anime; if you liked one of them you will no doubt love the other.
the sequel of ef: a tale of memories completes the story of the two cities and fascinates again with a real sad but still satisfying story, awesome artwork and good characters
Opening Theme#1: "ebullient future (English)" by TENMON featuring ELISA (eps 1-5, 7-9)
#2: "ebullient future (Instrumental)" by TENMON (ep 6)
#3: "ebullient future (English 2nd. Version)" by TENMON featuring ELISA (ep 11)
Ending Theme#1: "Egao no Chikara (笑顔のチカラ)" by Mai Goto (eps 2-5, 7, 9, 11)
#2: "Negai no Kakera (願いのカケラ)" by Yumiko Nakajima (eps 6, 8)
#3: "ebullient future (English)" by ELISA (ep 10)
#4: "ebullient future (Japanese)" by ELISA (ep 12)
#5: "ever forever" by Mai Goto, Yumiko Nakajima, Hiroko Taguchi, Junko Okada, Natsumi Yanase (ep 12)
Which fansubbers do you like the best? Click + to approve of their subs for this show. Click - if you don't think they did such a great job.
Gosurori [Gosurori] (Brazilian Portuguese)
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