On Christmas Eve, Hiro Hirono runs into Miyako Miyamura, a frivolous girl who "borrows" his bicycle in order to chase down a purse thief. After Hiro finds his bicycle wrecked and Miyako unconscious, the two unexpectedly spend their Christmas Eve together, and when they discover they go to the same high school, their accidental relationship develops even further. This sparks the jealousy of Hiro's childhood friend Kei Shindou, whose pure approach to life catches the eye of Kyosuke Tsutsumi, a womanizing photographer searching for the perfect shot.
Elsewhere, Renji Asou, a boy who dreams of being a girl's knight in shining armor, has a chance encounter with Kei's twin sister—the overly shy Chihiro Shindou, who spends her time reading alone—at an abandoned train station. The two quickly become friends and eventually decide to write a novel together. However, when Renji discovers Chihiro's secret, a disability that causes her to have an eternally ephemeral memory, his childish ideals will be put to the test.
Guided by two mysterious adults, these youths' relationships intertwine in a heart-rending tale of love, rejection, acceptance, and memories.
Several love stories... they will make you cry. Definite recommendation.
Love. Tragedy. Sadness. And a happy ending. This show has all the basic ingredients that's needed to make me cry. . However, not all shows with those basic ingredients have done so. What made this show so special then?
I guess the characters, and the way they were portrayed. They were all struggling... struggling with their dreams. What to do. Who to be with. That was portrayed in such a way that I completely fell into it, with my entire mind. It was as if I was standing next to them, having to watch them struggle through
their dreams and loves... forcing me to cry, both in the good and bad times they were experiencing. Also, the animation and the way the scenes were made was really beautiful and enjoyable. It was something I've never seen before, and normally I'd probably say that it was weird, I guess. But with this show... it just fit in so perfectly. The ending of this show was also something that was enjoyable. When I started watching the show, I'd never think about the ending it had, and I'd definitely not like the idea of such an ending. However, after having watched it, I msut say that it was indeed the perfect way to sum it all up. It couldn't have been done more beautifully, not the slightest inch better. Not at all.
This show is truly one of the best shows I've watched, and I think that anyone who enjoys a tear-jerking show will love this show. Fully and completely.
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“Put your wishes into the memories you do not want to forget…”
Ef – a tale of memories is one of those anime that will probably stay in your memory and will be used as a standard to compare with other similar series in the future. Why in the future? Because the entire series is so beautifully made that there is only a very small handful of shows that are worth comparing it to at present time. In fact, as far as animation quality and technique are concerned Ef – a tale of memories is one of a kind and will most likely remain so
for some time to come.
The unique animation style is first shown in the first OP. While colourful images and sceneries directly taken out from the anime itself often proved to be an effective foreshadowing device (and a good way to capture viewers attention), the exact opposite apparently also work! With a simple coloured background plus a bunch of text, and some occasional symbolic representation of certain character/event, the OP of Ef – a tale of memories can be quite addictive to watch. Aside from the OP, the anime itself is equally impressive (if not more impressive). Extremely high quality animation is just a standard for this show. What makes it truly unique are the camera angles used in difference scenes, or in some cases the very effective use of repetitive text on the screen. The former often give viewers a greater view of things and present some background of the setting, while the latter case, the simple words and phrases are enough to advance the plot and at the same time depicts the mental state of the characters.
Viewers will most likely find the beginning of Ef – a tale of memories hard to follow. This can be attributed to the introduction of most (if not all) of the primary casts in the first episode. However, it was necessary to introduce all the seemingly unrelated characters at once since the storyline focuses deeply on the various characters’ developments. It should also be pointed out that a few of the secondary characters will actually become the main characters of the sequel, Ef – a tale of melodies. Thus becoming familiar with the sideline characters now will serve as a good foundation for the sequel.
There are two parallel plots occurring simultaneously. The first involve a simple love triangle between a guy and two girls (somewhat similar to True Tears for those who have seen it), personally I did not find this plot particularly well written. However, the second plot is what makes Ef – a tale of memories shine like a bright star among numerous other anime of the same genre (it is also where the title of the anime came from!). The concept of the second story was designed to move ones’ heart. It was built around pity and sadness. It was written in a way such that viewers will unconsciously find the couple destined to be together, yet due to some circumstances, made it near impossible for them to stay together. Overall, the story and characters are there to evoke a mixed array of emotions from us, the viewers.
As previously mentioned, the entire show is beautifully executed. This includes the music as well. From the BGM in the prelude episode to the OP to the BGM throughout the series to the ending, they all fulfill their purpose very nicely and matches perfectly with the particularly scene at that particularly moment. Personally, it was the amazing OP (plus stunning animation from the OP) that caught my attention to this series. The music are largely composed by Tenmon who happened to be the music composer of other great shows such as 5 Centimeters per Second, Voices of a Distant Star, The Place Promised in Our Early Days, et cetera.
Ef – a tale of memories is truly a great romance anime that all romance suckers should not miss. From unbelievably stunning animation to music to characters to story, there is hardly anything to complain about this show (aside from the lack of “big name” seiyu which some people care about). On the whole, Ef – a tale of memories is, without a doubt, one of the top romance anime of the decade.
ef - A Tales of Memories is a Psychological, Romance, Drama that may seem like all the other romance anime based of a visual novel (dating sim), yet there is something special about this one.
The first episode of the series may seem pretty confusing and hard to follow, as the viewer is dragged, from one situation to another. However once you’ve grasped the concept, it quickly becomes clear that this series is made up of two separate, main stories. From then on the show becomes easy to follow and to enjoy, for its uniqueness. There are so many twists and turns that are able
to turn any anime cliche into a work of art.
The characters are great and very well defined, as they all developed in their own way, throughout the story. You will have some that are involved in a tangled web of romance, others with their own psychological issues and one in particular that is suffering from an illness (which I must say, has never been portrayed so well in a long time). These characters are then able to show a mixed array of emotions and in turn, makes us viewers feel a mixed array of emotions whilst watching them.
The animation and music quality are one of the best points as it illustrates scenes in such a way that you’ll forget this anime was based of a visual novel (dating sim). This is just another one of the few SHAFT works that boast superb and somewhat unique artistic animation style and quality. The music is pretty amazing in its own way, with some really catchy OP and ED themes and during the show itself; there’s also a wide collection of piano and violin melodies.
Overall ef- A Tales of Memories proved to be a truly captivating romance anime that excelled, far above expectations. Having to go up against the mighty titan that is “Clannad”, this short anime series proved to be a worthy opponent. It’s a very enjoyable series to watch, as each episode brings forth an interesting development however some of these developments can make anyone feel slightly disturbed. But it's this that sets the anime series apart, from all else. If you have a soft spot for romance anime, then there is no chance you'll be disappointed with this work of art.
ef - a tale of memories had everything to be just another harem show adapted from an eroge. The season also brought the incredibly antecipated Clannad, so many wouldn't have given this show a second thought. However, the way such a simple story was developed is different from any other eroge adaptation that has seen the light of day so far.
The story isn't that original if you think about it. Dependable girls that simply need the protagonist, a dose of drama here and there. You're certain you've seen it all before until there were twists you weren't expecting. Somehow, the distant story feels all the
more reachable, that it doesn't seem like just another story anymore. The hurt, the love, the helplessness, it is easier to connect to them than you'd have thought, and although the pacing may be a bit fast, you'll be caught thinking "Hey, if it were me, would I do diferently?"
The art is unique. Some may question it, say that it ruins the atmosphere of drama and turns it into another "SHAFT Freak Show". But that is not true. The colors are so vivid, it's like you're watching the emotions themselves. The facial expressions, the sky, the ocean. Everthing looks so bright and detailed, you wonder why no one thought about doing this before. Dark colors when the characters are down, shining colors when they're bursting with happiness. It's like a moving portrait. A work of ark.
The sound in ef is essential. Due to the eccentric art, there are times you can feel the tension rising through the background sound and the work of the seiyuus. The sound is sublime and as touching as the story itself. It's unpredictable and touching, and completely fitting for every situation. Each girl has their own theme, which show their hopes and fears. Not to mention the theme of the anime, Euphoric Field; even though it may have Engrish lyrics like so many others, it's shows completely what the show is about: hope.
The characters are more than they seem to be. What's most impressive about ef is how you can easily connect to the character's feelings. There are some flaws, yes, in the development. But the feelings are easy to connect and comprehend, the jealousy, the desperation, the love. The girls may be but princesses waiting for rescue, but their feelings can be dark and shadowed by real human flaws. And as each episode passes, you can see them grow, their emotions grow.
All in all, ef had everything to be 'just another show'. But between the two main stories, you're caught wanting more. It succeeds where many others have failed, at some times, being more touching than the big hit Clannad. But don't let the fact that it's a small series trick you. Have an open mind and embrace the emotional wreck that is ef. There are funny moments? Sure, why not. It's like the calm before the storm, and they lighten up the mood, almost trying to not prepare you for the worst. But ef is a drama series, and at that, it succeeds. And between all other 'drama' shows this season, it is the number one.
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