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: 8.311 (scored by 29262 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
Tale of Melodies is like watching Leonardo Di Vinci paint a sequel to the Mona Lisa. He's technical skills has improved, his techniques more refined, but does he have enough soul to mold a creation that matches the sheer brilliance of the original?
Note: If you have not see the Tale of Memories, do not read this review. It'll be rather meaningless.
Make no mistake, Tale of Melodies is definitely not a mediocre sequel. Judged by itself, Melodies would fit the true hallmarks of a classic. Watching episode after episode is akin to surfing upon waves of pure emotion, there will be scenes that are guaranteed to even make terminator a little teary.
Like its original, Melodies is an utter masterpiece of both visual and melodic artistic direction. The visuals accentuate the emotions in every scene, the speech often feature rhythmic and even poetic undertone; when you watch Melodies, you do not feel like you're just watching an anime, but rather appreciating an awe-inspiring piece of art.
Where's most anime are content to have the animations fluidly and attractively portray an event, Melodies goes five steps further. Each and everything scene, including even the placement and subtle variations of the OP, are the way the way for some subtle purpose. There's little else to be said but to experience it. If Clannad for a 10/10 for art, Melodies surely deserves an 11.
In terms of technical and artistic talent, Melodies arguably surpasses its original. Yuuko's suffering in Episode 6 for example, ups the ante even in comparison to the famous phone messages of Miyako in season 1. So what keeps Melodies from rivaling memories?
It's certainly not the art or the music, nor is it likely the characters. The dialogue and characters remain strong, with a subtle since a humour that'll be familiar to anyone who enjoyed memories. The story, at outset, looks to have at least equal potential. On the one side, you have Mizuki, whose must find a way to bestow her love (Kuze) with the will to live and fight against a terminal disease. On the other, you have Yuu, who must save Yuuko from a history of abuse.
Yet, in watching the entire series, one can't help but feel something's missing. In the final episodes, there was just not quite the rush of anxiety one experienced when Chihiro tore out the pages of her diary. Perhaps some of the sudden twists in Melodies was too sudden and lacked the anxious suspense the original; perhaps it was the lack of something to rival the powerful metaphor delivered by the tale of the only girl in the world. The episodes of Melodies, while individually excellent, didn't appear to quite to weave together as flawlessly as the original.
Or perhaps it is just inspiration, or soul.
Just as Leonardo developed better skills after painting the Mona Lisa, SHAFT's technical capacity only improved after memories. Yet Melodies just has that little bit missing...
It's not quite the masterpiece memories was, but remains a brilliant piece of art. 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 melodies will help you enjoy ef- a tale of melodies 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.
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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