Several love stories... they will make you cry. Definite recommendation.
Love. Tragedy. Sadness. 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.
To 'Not Helpful' voters (and you 'Helpful' voters too): Feedback greatly appreciated =)
“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.
I decided to watch this anime after watching some AMVs. I've always despised the art style of this anime (big heads, pentagonal faces and skinny characters don't really appeal me), but the animation was gorgeous, which motivated me.
The story doesn't pick up until episode 5. I almost dropped watching it because it's boring at first, but it does get better as it goes, and since it's actually a short anime, I recommend watching it all. This anime could be divided in three stories. Sadly, aside from Renji and Chihiro's part, the story is very poor. If you're looking for a more complex, mind blowing
story, I recomend not watching this. While I love drama and I respect the director's decision to stage it in a unique way, some of the most dramatic parts in this anime are laughable, Like when Chihiro falls at the beach and Renji reaches out for her, or when Renji breaks down in later episodes.
Here I devide it in two, visual style and animation. For visual style: 3, animation: 9. As I said before, I'm not fond of deformed characters, with extremely huge heads (like Miyamura's), but it's not for me to state my personal preferences in this review. I really like how a lot of the scenes in this anime look like vectors moving, it was really original and it's what I like the most about this anime (the opening itself is a very good example of it).
I have nothing to say here. It's really good from the very beginning to the very end. All songs are brilliant and it blends in magically. "Euphoric Field" is something you'll want to put in your iPod right away.
For a 12-episode anime, the characters develop pretty well, each following their own pace. Most notably are Kei and Chihiro. Miyako also changes a bit at the end, but overall, she's your tipical annoying, childish girl.
This anime has a very serious problem: you'll find youserlf glued to the screen at some point while watching it (episode 11 speaks for itself), but at other parts you'll just yawn and think about dropping watching it (like when Miyako calls Hiro in episode 7 and 10).
It could've been better written, but it wasn't a waste of time watching it. I'm still in love with it's animation and vector-like style (can I call this 4 wall breakage? I really enjoy that. Google it if you don't know what it means). It's not an anime I'd recommend to others, but if people asked me if it's worth watching it or not, I'd simply say: It's good.
I almost dropped this anime, but since it only had 12 episodes, I kept watching. I'm not saying it's a crappy anime, but I didn't like it. And there are reasons. Lots of them.
The story is pretty easy to follow, even though it's actually more like two stories and not just one. I don't see the idea of having two stories, though. Although they are somehow related, I really don't understand it. That put aside, the story is quite basic with a few things that make it different to your normal anime story, but if you don't think about these few things,
it kind of seems like you have seen the anime before somewhere. The way I look at it, this story doesn't have a plot worth talking about. It just revolves around some teenagers with some problems, and that's about it. Of course the problems might be a little odd, but that doesn't make me rate it any better.
However, I did like the ending.
The background scenery and the drawings were very well made. There were a lot of colors, and the animation worked very good too. One thing I'm extremely dissatisfied with is the overuse of colors to describe how a person feels. Suddenly a person is drawn entirely in black and white, and on other ocassions the same person is drawn glowing red. I fully understand the use of this, but I just.. hate it. I think it makes it far too antirealistic (not that I hate antirealism, I just don't think it fits to this kind of anime). I also don't like the way some of the scenes function. Example: One of the main persons is talking to another main person. Suddenly the camera switches focus to the lips of that person (It's a girl, that's why), and then to somewhere completely else. A few second later there's another change in scenes, and it continues that way. I get the idea, but I think that changing scenes all the time is, well, annoying. It's not that you can't follow what's happening, it's just that I think it's more or less meaningless (especially when it's used all the time).
A lot of people might say that I simply don't understand real art. And that's true. I do not understand art. Period. I just want everything to be simple, yet useful. And that applies to everything in my world - not just anime. And by "simple", I don't necessarily mean drawings without details. That would be a shame. I mean that there shouldn't be anything that's far out with no meaning in particular. That's what I think...
There's not really much to say about the sound. It works. I don't think it's bad, and I don't think it's amazing. It's just plain good. A thing that bothers me is, however, that this anime, like a lot of other animes, used some English lyrics. In my opinion, the English/Japanese mix wasn't good.
The characters were (mostly) types I had seen before, but I honestly don't care about that. There were different personalities, some of them being complete contractions of one of the other characters, while some of them were more similar to each other. All of the characters were well thought up.
As stated earlier, I almost dropped this show. I did enjoy some parts of the anime, but then again, a lot of the time I was just bored. Because this wasn't a comedy, I thought I would have a nice time watching some drama, but I never really liked it. It missed an exciting plot that would've made me watch it with enjoyment. Sure, I did cry a little sometimes, but that's not uncommon for me.
If you think your way of thinking is similar to how I think of thinking (hmm..), I wouldn't recommend this anime.
On the other hand, if you like going to art museums or something like that (to me museums equal hell x 1000), there's a chance you'll like this.
Another review from: Erisu! Don't be mad because I didn't stopped writing my f*cked up reviews, I only do it for the fun, if you like them, thank you very much, if you hate them then you shouldn't read them at all, whaha! =D
If there is an anime with a good story, then it's Ef - A Tale Of Memories. I saw alot of 'drama' animes but I think Ef - A Tale Of Memories is the best so far. At the beginning, you won't understand the story, neither did I. But don't stop after the first episode, it's really gonna get much better and
you'll understand the situation! This is a story where you really could cry about.. If you like drama and romance you'll just gonna love this, wait and see.
The art of Ef - A Tale Of Memories is a very big pluspoint! This anime has a very unique art that's well made. In some scenes something changes, I don't really know how to explain this because I'm dutch, just watch it for yourself. But I never seen something like this before, like I said, it's just unique. Maybe I'll see this as the anime with the best art from 2007, maybe also the best story.
It's hard to say something about this. The songs are awesome, the sound is how it needs to be, and that's everything I can say. But I'm sure that the sound isn't the most important thing for watching a anime.
The characters of this anime are also unique. Each of them has their own story, something that I love. Miyako, Chihiro, Renji, Hiro and the rest are just awesome. BUT the character that I really hate is Kei, who does she think she is?! I'd seen alot of people who also hate her and I can understand, you also will if you watch it. I NEVER saw a character who is so selfish as Kei, I really can't stand the fact why she is in such a good anime. But she doesn't messes it up for me because I'm sure that she's gonna lose and I can't wait to see that! I love every character but just not Kei, you're my friend if you think the same, haha! =D
If you want comedy, then you're at the wrong place. I don't think that this is supossed to be funny, even though every anime has their funny moments. But this is really a drama/romance, mostly drama I think, so if you're not a drama-type at all, don't watch this. I'd warn you! Back at the good part: If you LOVE drama then this is a MUST see anime! I really enjoy this with all my animeheart! =D Let's get our handkerchiefs ready for the rest of this anime!
I couldn't help my myself.. I give it a 10! Some people will call me crazy because maybe they're not into drama, well get out of here! This is my review, muwhaha. All the people who want to watch this now: I wish you a great time watching this awesome anime! <3
I can't even begin to fathom why people love this series so much. The story is incredibly, mind-blowingly generic, and the characters are so typical that I feel like I've seen them in dozens of other shows. On top of that, the "artistic" style of the anime was so distracting and ridiculous. I found myself laughing every time the scene became obnoxiously distorted or the colors changed, because it was so non-discrete and it never quit. Yes, this anime is pretty. But it's pretty in a way that makes it clear that it's trying way too hard to be beautiful and artistic. All in all,
this anime was painful to watch. It was not deep nor creative like it tried so hard to be.
Stumbling across Tale of Memories amongst the sea of eroge adaptations is akin to finding a piece of artwork rivaling the Mona Lisa in playboy. Something so rare that its likely to be met by skepticism by friends till they experience the most unlikely gem themselves.
The premise of Tale of Memories isn't exactly original. It details the story of two guys. One who helps a girl who can only remember events for 13 hours achieve her dream. The other who must get over his indecisive nature before his love triangle becomes School days (i.e, deadly). But then, the Mona Lisa is just a picture
of some chick smiling. The devil is in the details, and Memories tells these stories so flawlessly that you'll likely experience the joy and despair that each character faces first hand.
The second half of episode 7, for example involved a girl whose phone calls went unanswered for a day. While this likely gets a standard 2 minute treatment of a girl acting moe is any other anime, memories combines astounding voice acting with unprecedented symbolic visuals to form a portrayal of mental breakdown so powerful that it'll likely send Chuck Norris into a stunned stupor. Given that I have already given Clannad 10 for animation, memories deserves at least 11.
The artwork in Memories is astounding. While most anime are content to simply use animation to show what is happening on the screen, Memories goes several steps further, playing with everything from color saturation, transparencies, to background abstraction and non-standard cropping to convey powerful emotions in every scene.
This attention to detail permeates through all aspects of the series. The minor differences between episodes in the OP, the sudden scenes without color, everything has a purpose. Memories is one of those rare shows that deserves a immediate rewatch, for it is a joy to notice all the meaningful details you missed the first time round.
Memories only weakness is that like any piece of serious art, it is not friendly towards casual viewers. The first episode, with its unique presentation, and multiple intertwining characters, is likely to confuse. However, anyone who watches past episode 3 will be awarded with one of the most powerful and moving series they'll likely to have ever watched.
Just like the Mona Lisa, Tale of Memories isn't for everyone. It is not light hearted, it is not a romantic comedy, but it is a work of art. While the series is easy to be ignored on first glance, the closer you look, the more impressed you will be.
When I was recommended ef - a tale of memories, I was not expecting much since it looked like another romance/drama show, and in the end it was, but it was not just like any other series out there...this one felt a little unique in its own way. Mostly because of how everything was delievered.
Story: This anime is mainly divided by two main stories happening simultaneously. Most of the episodes would focus half of its airtime to one story and they switch to the other one. IMO this didnt bother me but it does kill some momentum if there is something important going on. This
story is really powerful and has some really shocking, sad and happy moments as well. I'll be honest and say that I favoured Hirono's story more than Renji's even if Renji's was filled with more tragedy while Hirono's had more drama, and that I also didnt really get into this story until after ep 7.
Art: I mentioned episode 7 because the last minutes of that episode have been one of the most breathtaking, unique, and even scary moments I've seen in any anime...the way the 99 messages where displayed was REALLY powerful and it would leave anyone with their jaws open. Now that I've mentioned that I can say that I'm giving this score to the art but not because of character animation but because of the scenery and the backgrounds. Also this show felt like watching an abstract piece of art in a way, with the way they would invert the backgrounds or even deliver some of the content, an example would be having 3 different ED songs and it would change between the 3 almost every episode, same goes with showed the OP for the first time AFTER then end of ep 2, and ep 12 when the OP was indeed changed with the JAPANESE version of the song...this is IMO the show's best feature.
Sound: I dont have much to say about the sound, other than they really made a great job on using the correct sounds at the correct moments. So in the end this score is mostly about not how good it is but how good it was used
Characters: I never really got attached to any character in the show but every character was really well developed along the conflicts and their reactions seemed to fit their looks perfectly. Chihiro was IMO the best developed character in this show.
Enjoyment: I dont have much to say, this show was really good and i found it quite unique.
Overall this is one of the better drama/romance shows out there and should definitely give it a try since I'm sure you will get amazed at the way this show delivers It's story.
Ef: A Tale of Memories (or rather, the ef series altogether) is what I consider one of the best romance anime out there. It’s not the cliché high school types with hesitant characters. Memories is far greater than any of those from its amazing artwork and unique cast. The characters are blunt and do not beat around the bush to slow down any development. The romance is not rushed, and the anime takes its time showing the memories the characters’ create together.
Memories has two separate stories. It focuses on the development of characters’ relationships while delivering the fantasy/supernatural aspects (e.g. Chihiro’s memory loss). The characters’
meetings are distinct and unexpected, and it becomes valuable throughout the anime. They all create both good and bad memories together to only become attached and inseparable. The story presents everything from all of the characters’ point of views to show how much they care for the other or the struggles of their daily lives. Each character has a dream and works to fulfill it as their significant other shows support. My only beef with Memories is that it is unbearably dramatic in some cases where it appears as a Shakespeare play than an anime with the characters’ excessive body movement during confrontations.
The best part about this anime is the characters’ bluntness. There’s no beating around the bush or annoying hesitancy from their speech. It keeps the drama moving with no unnecessary pauses of anxiety from the characters. Their honesty and monologue throughout the series reveal their hidden emotions and vast personalities. Supporting characters contribute to their relationships and offer advice or even a shoulder during tough times. It also adds to the comedy, seriousness, and uniqueness of the cast.
The Japanese seiyuu suited the characters’ personalities and emotions at appropriate times. The voices are so strong and compatible with the characters that you can grasp and feel the character's emotions. The music and sound effects are remarkable. Violin music and the rest of the background music fit the atmosphere and situations perfectly. Sound effects support the drama with echoes and repetition, such as a phone’s busy tone.
The art itself places Memories separately from other shows. The anime moves back and forth with the different color contrasts, transparency, floating words, illumination of the characters’ outline, silhouettes, all sorts of angles on the characters’ faces, etc. within a few seconds. It goes back and forth, and nothing is stable. It can either be so distracting or just appealing. The character design was good and distinguished the characters. The backgrounds are beautifully drawn. The animation had its moments where it was like an on-and-off switch. For example, one moment you can see movement in the ocean ripples, and the next moment it’s still. Regardless, the artwork and animation fits the characters’ artistic vision and reflects on the emotions presented in Memories.
Ef: A Tale of Memories is a must-watch for anyone who is into romance and tired of the cliché show with indecisive characters, which is why it is one of my favorites. It’s full of surprises and it does not annoyingly include naïve characters that show down the progression of a relationship. The art and animation is unique and fit the anime perfectly. It's indeed a very heartwarming and charming anime.
I recently watched this series after I saw some recommendations about it when surfing the Kimi ga Nozomu eien page. Did it live up to my expectations ? Well, let's see....
First off, please don’t let the first episode turn you away especially if you never looked at summaries or played the games. I admit that I was confused after watching the first episode. After the first 3 episodes, it should be smooth.
Aside from this, the story is excellent. For a 12 episodes anime, the character development is great. By the end, you pretty much know all of the main characters, their past
and why they act in such a way.
The ending is satisfactory although it leaves plenty of intrigue for another season to happen. Also, it certainly has a great replay value.
Lots of things will make a lot more sense when I re-watch it. For example, the way some scenes were edited, the texts and words that come before some scenes and even during the opening songs, the different ending songs all have significance. I still haven’t figured out everything since it was my first viewing but it will be fun to re-watch with another perspective.
Picture perfect. The characters are well drawn and mostly colourful. The places and backgrounds feel real.
The music fits the series well. From the prologue to opening song, the multiple ending songs and the dramatic moments.. It really adds to the story. Great soundtrack.
Like I previously said, the character development for such a short series is tremendous. You really feel like you know the main characters by the end. They made sure to show some flashes of their past throughout the series so you can get a better understanding of the way they’re acting. They all had some kind of trauma in their past that prevents them from doing something or making the right choices.
I would have loved to see more from some of the supporting characters like Yu and Yuko. Even if they were not well developed, you get a feel that there’s more to them than meets the eye.
I enjoyed the series and I’m definitely going to re-watch it . If you like a short series that has some drama , romance, great characters , excellent music and great art, this is for you!!
I gave it a eight. For most parts, it lived to my expectations. However, the thing that prevents me from giving it a higher mark was because I just felt it peaked at episode 11. The ending was good but I found myself on the edge of my seat at episode 11 not so much at episode 12. Aside from that, great series and I’ll be waiting for another season.
This is my first review of an anime or it would be better if i said the first time i though of writing one...
I was attracted to start watching this anime only because of its overall but it seems to be far more fascinating than i expected it to be..
Lets go straight at my impressions as far as the story, the characters and the effects of this anime are concerned.
The first episode, which i tried to watch with a friend but i never finished it, was very complicated for me. There were many blanks at my mind and many
things i just could not understand. Remember that this is not a romance story like others and this can be revealed even from the first episode. As i said i wasnt very attracted by the first episode and so will you. But as the episodes were reaching at the end and as the plot was continuing i stuck at it before i could understand it. It's not just a romance story but also a social modern fairytale which passes many messages to whoever watch this.
Imagine how good and weird (in a good way) the story was that i score it with a 10/10 even if im not a romance or drama lover....
The hint of this anime's success is the fact that the story isnt limited at only one couple of people but much more that take place at the same time...
Its just gorgeous...
I dont like speaking of the end of an anime so i just want you to trust me and discover it by your own.
Art and Sound (9)
The effects are very carefully chosen and some of them are of high importance for the plot.
As i said the story could be described as a social modern fairytale. Each of the characters has its magic and way of thinking which may be wrong and right at the same time.
The protagonists can become from likeable, unlikeable and the opposite.
I went through all the possible ways of experiencing happiness and distress, empathy and dislike so yes i enjoyed myself very very much.
Its not easy for me to score a 10 overall at an anime.
Even when im not a romance lover...
But remember that this one made me write all these imformation to make you watch it...
So its a (9)
To all "helpfull" but also "not helpfull" votes i hope i didnt make you feel tired and of course i made you give this anime a try... And remember!!
As the year today comes to its end...
" Put your wishes into the memories you do not want to forget.."
~ And make them look, like a modern messed up fairytale. ~
" Make them look like your own tale of moments, your own tale of memories"
Are people merely a collection of their memories, or is a personality innately part of one's self? Ef: A Tale of Memories attempts to explore interesting questions like these, and while its heart is often in the right place, its execution ends up being problematic for numerous reasons.
Ef could really be thought of as two tales combined into one, as it follows two different sets of protagonists in their struggles to overcome their life problems. Hirono, an unmotivated high school student and fledgling manga artist, often has to have his longtime best friend Kei pick up the slack for him and make sure he keeps
up with his education. One day however, Hirono encounters a girl named Miyako who frequently attempts to drag him away from his studies, which not only angers Kei for distracting him, but also starts to fuel her jealousy, as Miyako and Hirono increasingly become more attached to each other over time. The other tale focuses on Kei's sister Chihiro, who had suffered from a serious accident early in her life causing her to only retain the last 13 hours of her memory along with the memories she had prior to the accident. As a result, she continually has to relive the pain and realization that she will no longer be able to accumulate memories for the rest of her life. Through a chance meeting with a boy named Renji however, she is presented with a glimmer of hope that the remainder of her existence may not be so miserable as predicted. And that more or less sets the stage for the majority of the plot to come.
I really liked the idea of having two different plotlines essentially running parallel to each other with a completely different cast of characters placed in each thread. It's an interesting way of presenting the narrative that is rarely explored in anime or most any medium for that matter. Unfortunately though, it missed a huge opportunity to explore this concept to its fullest potential by eventually having the two plotlines intersect, which would open up interesting possibilities for the two sets of characters to share insights with each other. For example, Renji struggles with his future not knowing what he wants to do with his life. In contrast, Hirono is already living out his passions as a manga artist. Having the two characters eventually cross paths would have allowed Hirono to offer up some advice for Renji in helping him discover his passion, and likewise Renji--being the more sensitive-minded protagonist of the series--could have helped Hirono understand Kei's feelings better, but none of these possibilities are ever explored. Instead, we are only given a handful of situations where Kei and Chihiro occasionally exchange text messages on their cell phones. Consequently, this leaves the whole dual-plotline aspect of the narrative feeling mostly superfluous, and it just left me wondering why they didn't simply tell the two stories as completely separate anime. Since there was so little attempt at linking the two plotlines together, there wasn't much point in presenting them together when they have no real impact on each other. It merely breaks up the flow of the story unnecessarily. This problem is especially exemplified in the first episode. Because it has to spend time setting the stage for two sets of main characters instead of one, the introductory episode just ends up feeling like a series of jumbled random events that fail to hook you into the story and don't even find enough time to establish that Chihiro has a disability yet.
The problems worsen for the series when we examine Hirono's story arc, which mostly rehashes typical love triangle tropes and doesn't do anything particularly interesting with them. Further adding insult to injury, neither of Hirono's love interests are very likeable characters, nor is Hirono himself for that matter. Miyako mostly comes off as selfish and clingy, with very few if any redeeming qualities at all. She has no real hobbies or personal interests that make her unique, and she shows no genuine concern for Hirono and his problems beyond any that pertain to herself, which really makes me wonder why Hirono finds any interest in her at all. Kei is at least a slightly more palatable character, being that she has a talent for basketball and she makes an effort to look out for Hirono, but when her jealous side starts to kick in, she can be almost as cruel and selfish as Miyako. On top of all this, Hirono is painfully bad at recognizing Kei's feelings, and his inconsiderateness similarly makes him unlikeable. The one good aspect to this story arc however was the revelation that Kei had where she realized that she waited far too long to express her true feelings for Hirono. It's something that I could relate to in my own life and it is well-handled in that it shows how people continually delay saying things that need to be said thinking that there will always be a more appropriate time in the future to do so, but in reality that ideal future will never come and there is no better time than the present. All things considered though, this story arc was mostly underwhelming in its execution.
Thankfully Chihiro's story is significantly more worthwhile, offering up more relatable characters and a satisfying conclusion, along with its much more in-depth exploration of the anime's key theme: memories. Watching Chihiro struggle with her memory problems was heart-wrenching and engaging, and Renji, unlike Hirono, actually gives a damn about the things he does and the people he affects; making the characters on this side of the plot a hell of a lot more sympathetic.
Even in spite of Chihiro's tale offering a better story though, both sides of the plot suffer from still more narrative problems. Very little actually happens from episode-to-episode, with many of the characters often trailing off into long bouts of small talk, monologues, and introspections that aren't particularly enthralling or justifiable in wasting your time, and considering that this anime is only 12 episodes long as it is, there really shouldn't be any excuse for such slow pacing. These tedious moments are often further exacerbated by the animation, which seems like it's trying to pass itself off as being "artsy" with experimental abstract techniques, but what it's really doing is just allowing the animators to be lazy and take a break. For instance, at one point in the plot Miyako has an emotional breakdown on the phone when she realizes she can't reach Hirono, so she proceeds to leave a very long series of messages repeatedly begging him to answer. Not only is the dialogue lengthy and monotonous here, but it's all set to an entirely static backdrop with nothing else but text appearing on-screen. We never actually get to see Miyako's facial expressions the whole time, which would have added much more dramatic effect, aside from being more interesting in general than having us stare at a static background for an uncomfortably prolonged period of time. As for the art and animation overall, it seems merely passable when it's doing its job and feels like it's trying to take shortcuts when it ventures into the experimental like the example above. The color palette has a sort of "washed out" effect to it which creates a melancholic atmosphere that was likely done as a stylistic choice to differentiate the anime, but as an unintended side effect it makes the visuals look more dated than they actually are.
As I have only seen the dub, I cannot make a comparison between the two audio tracks, but I will give a brief overview on the quality of the voice acting. If you're a frequent dub watcher, you'll probably recognize that most of the voice cast from Clannad is present in this series, with experienced actresses like Brittney Karbowski as Kei, Monica Rial as Chihiro, and Luci Christian as Miyako. On the whole though, the quality of the dub doesn't quite stack up to Clannad's; in part because Greg Ayres feels miscast as Hirono, who sounds less mature than he looks as a result. Monica Rial also tends to be cast in a lot of moe roles when her voice is far from moe, and unfortunately this is another one of those cases. She is a talented actress, but much like Greg Ayres, she is frequently misused. Regardless, even if Ef had a better dub, it would have done little to alleviate the bigger problems with this anime.
Ef: A Tale of Memories attempts to explore many interesting and relatable themes dealing with love, jealousy, memories, and loneliness. Though sometimes it succeeds, the pointless use of dual plotlines and the often uneventful pacing take a severe toll on the narrative, aside from Hirono's story arc being mostly disappointing to begin with. I can only recommend this series to enthusiasts of the genre, as Chihiro's tale may be just enough to satisfy, but for a more casual romance viewer like myself, it's difficult to justify the time spent.
ef - a tale of memories is another brilliant work produced by Shaft, responsible for Negima!?, Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, and Hidamari Sketch. Based on the visual novel of the same name, ef is split into two different storylines told simultaneously across 12 episodes. As it being a romance story, you can expect many cliches, but this is definitely one of those anime that molds all of that into a brilliant plot.
Story: The plot is split between two stories, both told simultaneously throughout the show. It follows through different scenes of melodrama, emotional distress, and many touching scenes. The plot is slightly slow for the first
two or three episodes but picks up to an amazing finale.
Art: Shaft's presence is definitely noted in this show as well as their other works. The art designs are actually not at all that great but due to Shaft and their experimental style, it generates a beautiful environment and colorful characters. The colors are vibrant and ever changing, fitting in with the flow of mood changes throughout the show.
Sound: The music in this show is simply outstanding. The music is produced by Tenmon, also responsible for the music in Makoto Shinkai's movies (5 Centimeters per Second, etc). The music fits perfectly with the scene and changes at a dime's notice for even more well executed dramatic effect. The soundtrack is definitely one to be picked up.
Characters: The characters here are full of personality. At times you can feel you can connect to them in different ways and at other times, you'd might even hate them. The characters are not exactly the most original created, but they definitely fulfill their roles in an amazing way.
Enjoyment/Overall: I am personally not a big fan of serious romance drama so I gave it an 8 for Enjoyment. Even so, the story and style was extremely done well. The show just completely oozes of romance and it certainly delivers. A definite choice for a romance drama for those in search for one.
I'm not quite sure how I should write this. More or less, this series had the potential to be either a grand slam or a game ending triple play. In fact, the first time I watched it I thought it was pretty bad. I dropped it after watching half of the second episode. However, I picked it back up on a whim and boy was I surprised. This epic drama is probably the perfection of Greek drama on top of the romantic expectations in this day and age. But here is a warning, ef - a tale of memories demands more of the viewer than
the average drama does.
In most dramas, you can predict a lot of the things happening. There will be "X" love triangle, there will be "Y" incident, etc. In a sense, one of the two stores in ef -a tale of memories does that (the one reloving around Hirono). However, it is the other strand (the one revolving around Renji and Chihiro) that makes this drama. The complexity of their story will probably move you to tears (or close enough). Though it is an extraordinary situation, it hits home hard. Without Renji and Chihiro's quest, I doubt this anime would be any different than the scores of romances and dramas out there. It was their relationship that had me glued to the computer screen watching all of ef - a tale of memories. Of course, saying any more would reveal this wonderful plot.
The story line was great. Though it is confusing to start, once the story begins to reveal itself, it absorbs you and you want more and more of it. Some of it is predictable, some of it is a surprise, and some of it is predictable but still delivers the same blow as a surprise turn in the plot would.
The character art could leave a bit to be desired but overall, the creators used color transitions, black/white, different drawing styles, color overlays, etc. in a beautiful manner. I couldn't really ask more from a show than this.
Now the soundtrack wasn't the greatest in the world. It wasn't bad, it was good, but I felt that it had its ups and downs. There were times when it was right on cue and enhanced the scene. There were times when I thought that it worked but something different would have been much more effective.
The characters all start a bit confusing but their development is fun to watch and it is their development that enhances the story. They aren't a bunch of static or stereotypical characters. Each one fits his or her role perfectly and work amazingly with the plot.
I enjoyed ef - a tale of memories a lot. In fact, it is probably one of the best dramas I have ever seen. So I think its worth a try whether you are interested in this genre or were just looking for something to watch.
I was inspired to write this view to provide an alternative viewpoint on this good, but not great, show.
Story - 4:
The story suffers from trying to cover too much. By covering six main characters, the show dilutes the huge potential it had. In the first half of the series, the story abruptly jumps from character to character requiring jarring adjustments of the mindset of the viewer. Although it is possible to jump between situations and tell a good story, it is a difficult task that ef has failed to meet. I believe that, given more time to develop context and maintain fluidity, this show could
have been a perfect ten.
Of the two main stories told, the relationship between Chihiro and Renji is the most enthralling. The emotional struggle over the value of memories, while a familiar topic, is presented in a invigorating way through romance. The exploration of the concepts of memory and its part in defining identity give ef weight that could easily cause one to reflect on their own life.
Hiro's story, by contrast, is a massive letdown. He is confronted, oddly and without warning, with a choice between two girls. Kei's situation is common in anime, but left underdeveloped by ef, causing it to be forgettable. On the other hand, Miyako's character is refreshing, but an emotional connection to her is sabotaged by gross underdevelopment. Overall, ef is fortunate that Chihiro's story overshadows this one, because this part of the story is utterly unremarkable.
The positive reaction received by this show makes you wonder what it could have accomplished if it had decided to tell a single coherent story.
Art - 9:
My weakness in understanding of technical side of anime, I thoroughly enjoyed the artwork here. Every scene felt natural to me, lacking clutter or voids. I particularly noticed colors doing an excellent job of supporting the mood at any given moment. Various effects used during the show (static in the library comes to mind) were overused without explanation, but besides that, the abstract presentation used at times did wonders for setting the theme of the show.
Sound - 8:
I don't have much to comment on. The music never detracted from events, but it never managed to push emotionally when it could have. Outside of the show, the OP was excellent, but I never saw the ED.
Character - 10:
I feel that the characters are what truly shine in ef. The cast as a whole is struggling between their pasts and their future dreams. Despite the disappointing amount of time available to explore the characters, many of them seem to have truly developed over the course of the show. As implied in the description of the story, Chihiro and Renji shine as the most interesting and endearing characters.
Enjoyment - 6:
Although I did enjoy ef, my experience was hampered by the erratic story telling and the unexplained random text and scenes used to fill the screen (and this is coming from someone who thinks the original ending to NGE, while not pretty, was excellent). The potential for great enjoyment here is lost do to the schizophrenic pacing not allowing the viewer to settle into the show.
Overall - 7:
ef - a tale of memories is a good, even if overrated, show. The show suffers heavily from an underdeveloped half of the story (that of course being on Hiro's side). While the half of show focused on Chihiro and Renji was a masterpiece in my eyes, the contrived nature of the drama and romance surrounding Hiro knocked the shows feet from under it.
This is a must watch for serious fans of drama and romance, but casual visitors to the genre will be much better served by finding a more lighthearted show or something easier to follow such as Clannad (specifically after story, of course).
(Please note that this review was written within a day of completing the series. I worry that my views may be colored by having, in the past few weeks, completed two shows that have become my favorite drama and my favorite romantic comedy. I will likely rewatch the show and revisit this review later this year and update to reflect such a possibility.)
ef: A Tale of Memories. An anime that I had never heard of yet somehow made its way into my list.
In my abruptly deceased quest to find a show that could move me, I stumbled upon this gem. It was a coincidence really, I can't remember clearly but there it was, in the MAL top user recommendations for a certain drama anime that I enjoyed.
So I got curious, checked out the synopsis and art. Looked good. Checked some scores and they were even better. What could possibly go wrong?
Well, everything did.
Now with the uninteresting prologue finished, I'll move on to the actual review.
introduced to a fairly small cast of characters, split into two different and simultaneous story arcs that never connect between each other despite having characters of the same family in both.
The first arc, is about a love triangle between a manga artist, her newly found obsessed girl who is all over him, and a childhood friend. The second one is about a girl with a condition that prevents her from remembering anything at all for longer than 24 hours, and how she meets a guy named Mr. Plainy Plainster. There are a few other support characters who have a story of their own I guess... none of them are worth mentioning.
About the first arc, it's your overused love triangle. No, there are no special twists. The male main character is as plain as you can be, with his only defining trait being his talent for manga drawing. He lives in the house of a female childhood friend (who is sister of the girl with memory problems in the second arc) that is also in high school. He then meets an apparently popular and perfect-on-the-surface female, and chaos ensues.
And if you thought there were few characters in the first arc, allow me to introduce you to the second one. Two characters total. The girl that can't remember things for longer than 24 hours, and a male lead that makes Kirito from SAO look like an interesting man full of virtue.
The story (or, stories) had some potential, but sadly always failed to be anything more than a laughable attempt to be deep or metaphorical. It would be less embarrassing if a mediocre show didn't try so hard to be something it's not. What I'm trying to say is, that this was made by SHAFT, so expect flamboyant and unnecessary animation. The artsy environments and overused symbolism are present everywhere, and they can be amazing additions to amazing shows, however they can also be a double edged sword if the content it tries to enhance simply fails to meet any expectation. This was the case with ef: a Tale of Memories.
So little happens in the actual anime that trying to delve deeper into the story arcs would probably spoil the minimal plot points that ef has to offer, so I won't do that. Just know that this anime was based off an eroge, so needless and random sex themes are around just enough to break any possible immersion. Oh, I forgot that supernatural themes are also present for no damn reason too!
To conclude, the only things that you'll find in ef are: the worst kind of melodrama, unnecessary fanservice and suggestive themes, pointless supernatural elements, hilarious attempts to make this disappointing anime seem deep (through different means), and a very diverse cast of boring, bland and whiny characters.
Detailed analysis below:
-Atmosphere 2/10 --- This is a lackluster tale about teenager love. The repetitive 'cute' backgrounds and symbolism are simply out of place.
-Characters 1/10 --- Completely unlikable cast of characters. I couldn't feel ANYTHING at all for any of them.
-Story development & ending 2/10 --- I laughed at the ending. And I don't have a heart of stone or anything, like I said at the beginning I started this because I wanted it to toy with my emotions, and the only thing it did was to toy with my laughter. Unexpected results.
Art 7/10 --- The actual animation is nice when it isn't trying to be 2deep4me
Soundtrack -/10 --- I actually didn't pay any attention to the sound. And the version I watched lacked any opening sequence so I won't comment on this aspect.
Voice acting 3/10 --- Whoever did Chihiro, aka the girl with defective memory, needs to quit voice acting.
Priority (How eager I was to watch the next episode) 4/10 --- To be honest I was expecting for something to happen...
Memorability 7/10 --- I'll never forget the worst show I blindly ventured myself into.
2/10 --- Horrible
I wouldn't recommend this piece of anime to anyone... maybe to some enemies? It was the first and last time that I actually take MAL's user recommendations seriously.
The themes in here can be quite inappropriate even though this show seems like an innocent tale about teen romance. Out of place scenes and dialogues that do not fit with some of the characters' traits are included just to be faithful to the source material, I suppose, which added to the overall hilarity. Not recommended for 14 y/o or younger.
There's also a second season or rather, a spin-off called ef: a Tale of Melodies. Based on the minor characters of this one. Needless to say I didn't bother to watch it, nor will I ever do it.
This has been my second review, which was more in the verge of becoming a rant, but it had to be said. Don't watch this.
I loved this anime very much. It is extremely emotional and very well written. First of all, this was NOT a typical romance/love triangle anime.
The story is very well thought out. It can be confusing at times, but is quickly cleared up. It is full of surprises, morals and everything a fan of anime would love to see. Its split into two parts with two stories following extraordinary events (damn, sometimes i wish i was him.) and is set in the same place. I believe that the time of the stories were different, however, it is plain
to see if you watch this series which i highly recommend. Despite the switching between the two "stories", it flowed extremely well with each other. A climatic event may be coming up soon, but it suddenly switches. This was perhaps, the only flaw that i found in the story. To me, this bother was so miniscule that it didn't impact my viewing experience in anyway. Hirono, the manga artist, had an awkward love triangle story going on, which brought frustration. Despite this, it is highly amusing and intriguing to watch. Renji's story was different; it brought depression and sadness. Metaphors are used EXTREMELY effectively in this story. Together, the series is overflowing with human-problems that it seems like it will be difficult to conclude the series in an effective way. This was quite the opposite. Through the drama, frustration, sadness, romance and jealous, the story concluded shockingly well. One of the best I've seen. Many shows try to incorporate many different themes, but have failed. This is one that succeeded.
The art is beautiful. The scenery (sunsets, beaches, etc) was gorgeous. The desperation shown by one of the characters was amazingly portrayed. The last few minutes of that episode was so nervewracking (in a good way) and was shown with a fading screen. Very powerful. The opening scenes during the theme songs were very colorful and bright. It was very pleasing to the eye. The characters were also very well designed and colored.
The sound? I guess i could say the sounds were used effectively. When doors slam shut, all you here is the slamming; there is no useless background noise. Also, to emphasize the sounds, the screen fades to black so you can focus.
The character development was very good. I fell in love with many of the characters, but that is just me. Piece by piece the information concerning each of the characters comes. By the end, you will know everything about each of the characters. Development was great, we knew what we needed to know about the characters in order understand what was going on and why it was occuring at that specific time. Each of the characters were unique, there was no character that acted the same way another character did. Chihiro was my favorite character because her past seems so clouded and mysterious, i got hooked. Her 13 hour amnesia makes room for a hugeee character development. There are so many things that could result of this one small detail. Also, the art of the characters are very good.
Ah, how do i describe this. You are presented with morals and things you can do in reality to make your life better. Never give up, follow your dreams, yeah yeah sounds repetitive. Wrong. Instead of mindless nonsense, characters state their respective problems, then pursue them to correct them. I enjoyed the series very much also because of the story. It never lost my interest. It is one-of-a-kind. How often do you watch a accident-victim who can only remember 13 hours of memories?
As previously stated, it is very unique, effectively incorporates romance, sadness, happiness, frustration, jealous and morals. The art was amazing, story was topnotch, characters were lovable and most importantly, the ending was so well done, i don't think i've watched any anime that concluded such a perplexing storyline so well in 12 episodes.
Being able to watch how a character reacts in a love triangle can be very informative, and funny at the same time. This is one of the best drama/romance/slice-of-life shows i have ever seen, so i highly recommend you watch it. It sure is a tear-jerker and this is one i will not forget in 13 hours. ;)
"Letting go of a bond that you have created will cause you the same pain as having your body torn apart."
Bonds and dreams- they are two of the things which connect human beings on a universal level. Humans are social creatures, they need bonds in order to keep on living, and they also need those bonds in order to strengthen their confidence in themselves when things do not seem to be going the way they wish them to go. Unfortunately, life works that way sometimes and as result, the bonds formed between lovers and even friends are at times necessary to remind us of who
we are and that which we wish to become.
"Ef- A tale of memories", is an anime that showcases these ideas beautifully and in a way that is instantly relatable to the viewer who is watching it. These ideas are conveyed through the story, art, sound, and characters within the story.
Story- The story of "ef" follows a group of individuals and their relationships with one another. However, the story is different then a lot of other anime's because of the way in which it is told. For example, while in most anime's it is not surprising to see multiple relationships viewed from different perspectives, I find myself hard-pressed to find another show where it is as nicely done as it was in "ef". However, much of why the story was good has to do with the overall presentation of the show, since without it, the story would not have been nearly as outstanding as it was.
Art and Character development- Words cannot describe the importance of the art direction in "ef". It is the element which makes ef, well...ef. Interactions between characters take place in front of a backdrop that is constantly changing, seemingly reflecting the mental state of the characters as they interact, and often times the viewers thoughts as they are watching the scene. In addition, the incredible art direction seems to foster a deeper connection between the viewer and the characters within the story, a connection that is quite different then any other anime I have seen. The existential themes of the show are very much reflected in scenes where characters are left alone and given a chance to reveal their thoughts and feelings unabashedly- in such scenes, faces contort and change, and the color palettes of these scenes follow suit. It is truly an incredible thing to see.
Sound- The music in "ef", is just as effective in conveying the themes of the show as the art direction is. Music, like art, is an essential part of most peoples lives- much like dreams and bonds are- and the creators of ef did a great job in using this to their advantage, creating an almost unconscious connection between the show and viewers. For instance, in the real world there is a sound for every feeling, a music for every mood, and in ef these ideas are realized splendidly. To illustrate this, one need only look at scenes dealing with Chihiro and her dream world, since without the music that accompanied these scenes they would be nowhere near as effective, and let me tell you, anyone that has any emotional capacity whatsoever will know what I mean upon watching these scenes. Voice actors are also incredible in this series, doing their part in making ef's presentation a thing to see.
All that being said, I enjoyed this show very much and I don't think I have had as much of a connection with an anime as I did with ef. But it must be noted that the show needs to be watched multiple times since if it is only watched once, viewers will lose many of the subtle nuances that make ef the show that it is. In conclusion I give "ef- a tale of memories", a 10, and while I do realize that I did not say to much about the actual story of the show, I must say that it is something that needs to be experienced rather than simply read about. So what exactly are you waiting for? Watch it, I guarantee you that you will not regret it.