“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 is one of a kind and will most likely remain so for some time to come.
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 story line 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.
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 differently?
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.