Warning to everyone, this is a biased review, this Anime I believe is a beautiful Anime and it’s really hard for me to talk about an Anime that brought me to tears.
Ef: A tale of Melodies, the SEQUEL to ef: A Tale of Memories. The ef: series is an example of how a sequel should be, outstanding. In fact, I loved the A tale of Melodies a heck of a lot more than A Tale of Memories.
This Anime, hurt me a lot. As the story itself was a really dark and painful one to watch. Like Anohana, this Anime made me cry so hard. What is even crazier is that I only watched the last episode to this Anime without ever knowing of this Anime and I cried without knowing the actual story.
The ending to this Anime made me cry and hurt me to so much that to this day, this is one Anime I cannot watch more than once, out of fear that it’ll hurt me again. But do not worry, I did watch the whole Anime and it hurt even more now knowing the story.
The animation is in my opinion, outstanding for an Anime released 9 years ago. The Anime made use of many colors giving the series a feeling of warmth or coldness when appropriate. Characters are well drawn and emotions are very apparent at times, basically, expect what you saw from Memories (Which you should watch also).
I thought the Animation really shined during the darker moments of the Anime, I thought it was outstanding. It really drilled home that this Anime excels in the Drama department and the art style reflects it.
The OP is done by ELISA just as in Memories. Though the song is not as vibrant as in the previous series, it still has the same general feel to it. It’s in somewhat broken English, which I think is really cool. It carries a calm yet not quite a friendly feel and compliments the atmosphere created by the artistic style and animation. There is a repeated theme that is played throughout the series. It starts as a fragment of a memory and develops slowly into a complete song by the end of the series, again a great execution decision that adds to the climax.
Yu Himura, Yuko Amamiya, Kuze, and Mizuki were all supporting character in Memories. Now they take center stage as their past and present are told in an intricate tale that also links to relationships in the original Melodies series.
As in the original story, the story takes place in two cities, one in Japan and one in Australia. The two mirror cities is a theme that will be exploited greatly and finally explained incompletion by the end of the series.
The two main stories are the history of Yu Himura and Yuko Amamiya and the present development between Kuze and Mizuki. Both stories are told in unison, similar to the original season, the only difference being that Yuko’s story is in the past.
There aren’t episodic cliffhangers, as the entire series is a whole is a cliffhanger. Many of the characters have a very dark past and/or present and these are explained in excruciating detail, giving the viewer a sense of the character’s pain. It is because of this that this Anime isn’t really for a younger audience as there are some really graphic scenes. All that being said, the Anime does leave a very philosophical and hopeful message at the end. The conclusion explains many of the happenings in both Memories and Melodies and gives a very satisfying sense of conclusion.
The development of the main characters takes the majority of the series as the viewer listens in to the character thoughts. It is very difficult to say much here without spoiling parts of the story but suffice to say all the characters have had significant difficulties in their past that they are trying to overcome. The exposition of each character is wonderful (yet painful) and the main characters from the previous series also return to explain how their roles are actually related to the main stories in the present.
Without a doubt, this Anime is a definite MUST WATCH. This is an extremely dark Anime, as I’ve said already. But above all that, it’s one that is also extremely beautiful and has a wonderful story. This is also an Anime that should get a ‘re-mastered’ version because I think now with how Animation has evolved and has gotten better, it will only benefit the Ef; A Tale of Melodies.
This is one beautiful Anime, one that I may never watch again because it hurt so much. However, hopefully, one day, I can put on my man pants and watch it again because I truly believe full heartedly that this Anime is worth the watch.
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