ef ~a tale of memories~ ends

ef ~a tale of memories~

Without a doubt the best show of Fall 2007. This is probably going to be my favourite show by SHAFT for a long while, closely followed by Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei.

ef started rather humbly and pretty unimpressively too, after the initial hype for it that I was exposed to. Hearing SHAFT was doing the animation wasn’t too much of a reassurance as well, since SHAFT’s works are rather hit-or-miss for me, even if they have some impressive animation techniques. In fact, for the first 3-4 episodes, I won’t deny I gave it the moniker ef ~a tale of Photoshop filters~.

The turning point of ef for me was probably the start of Chihiro’s novel writing endeavors, and her fantasy writing was very obviously a metaphor of her own feelings towards her life, ruled by the 13-hour prison. The series managed to present Chihiro’s conditions in an extremely emphatic way that very much showed the sufferings and life of Chihiro and her 13-hour prison, which undeniably got me hooked to the show for real.

ef’s climax for me was Chihiro’s tearing of her diary pages from the time she met Renji until the day she tried to break up with him. That was really a pinnacle of SHAFT’s artistic style for me, and the execution was no less than impressive. The emotional impact was impressive as well, as it was literally a “suicide” of sorts by Chihiro, by destroying the very happiest moments of her life up till then.

While the real star of the show for me was Chihiro, the other arc of Miyako, Kei and Hirono also provided much drama while Chihiro was having some of the happiest times of her life. Miyako’s persistancy was initially a bit scary, I admit, but after the heart-wrenching unveiling of her own past, my feelings soon turned in the sympathy for her. Well, all in all, I’m glad it didn’t escalate to a school-days-esque development. I guess that fear has been instilled in us all for this genre of shows.

Another thing I would like to give credit to is SHAFT’s artistic style, while initially I disliked, but I soon loved it as it has been a real star by it’s own, as it managed to convey itself very well and also added to to overall fantasy-styled setting of ef, giving it a more fantastic feel. Kudos to SHAFT for executing it’s style in such a way. This just really shows me that SHAFT’s potential is still very much unexplored fully.

Overall, best show of Fall 2007, in terms of artistic quality and story telling. It’s a must-watch, I tell you.

24 Comments

  1. Avisch Said,

    December 29, 2007 @ 11:32 am

    I loved ef from the first episode becuase of it’s atmosphere. Though the atmosphere wasn’t emphasized in the later episodes I still loved it.
    I personally enjoyed the Hiro/Miyako/Kei/Kyosuke side of the relationship. I thought that Hiro’s and Kysokue’s love of art was interesting and how it was used to understadn their relationships in the series.

    I loved the colors when they were used to show symbolism (the auras used to show the relationship connections, and Miyako’s fear of “losing color” in her life)

    GO SHAFT!

  2. korosora Said,

    December 29, 2007 @ 11:41 am

    agreed.

  3. beamknight87 Said,

    December 29, 2007 @ 1:49 pm

    Yeah… THE show of the season ^^

  4. Siva Said,

    December 29, 2007 @ 2:18 pm

    All i can say is “speechless”

    >>”I guess that fear has been instilled in us all for this genre of shows.”
    BUT NOT ME

  5. 0rion Said,

    December 29, 2007 @ 2:38 pm

    SHAFT’s style is always a mixed bag, but I think they’ve shown that they can really shine with it when given shows that are a good match, like ef and SZS.

    While I wouldn’t go so far as to call it the best of the season (Moyashimon), it certainly was an excellent and well-executed series.

  6. Chumara Said,

    December 29, 2007 @ 2:59 pm

    I agree best show of the year, hell its the best thing I’ve watched since Haruhi, and Sola up till now had that spot. Brilliant production great style and storyline.
    After every ep of this series I really felt discouraged to watch anything afterwards, it all seemed to pale in comparison.
    I do hope the game gets a translation, spanish or english I don’t care and I’ll definitely be buying the DVD’s when they come out.
    Thank you SHAFT I hated you till now.

  7. ZmmCool Said,

    December 29, 2007 @ 7:14 pm

    Yeah ~ Great Show !

    Now… all I have to do is wait for the OST… Tenmon

  8. Owned4eva Said,

    December 30, 2007 @ 1:41 am

    Woot!? The Opening For The Last Episode Was Sung In Japanese Instead Of English ^^

  9. Kyne Said,

    December 30, 2007 @ 11:19 am

    ef really has been a fun ride.
    Out of the two stories, I liked the HIro/Miyako/Kei story more since it has a more realistic feel to it; like it can really happen in real life compared to Chihiro and Renji’s situation.
    I also have to applaud the opening song used since that was one of the reason why I got so hooked up in the anime. Overall, I have to say that SHAFT did a great job and I’m looking forward to its future projects.

  10. Kaisos Said,

    December 30, 2007 @ 12:19 pm

    I just started watching this.

    Awesome.

  11. wildarmsheero Said,

    December 30, 2007 @ 2:21 pm

    Best Shaft show is Tsukuyomi, closely followed by Pani Poni Dash.

  12. ACro Said,

    December 30, 2007 @ 5:45 pm

    agreed, For me this is the best show of its kind so far.

    actually you can say its a new type of a show, telling two stories at the same time was great, espcialy the way they connected them togeter;
    Mei was doing to Hinako the same she did to her sister in the past…
    that was one of the best parts for me.

    any way, Great show, you said every thing already. must watch :P.

  13. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    December 30, 2007 @ 7:16 pm

    >>Best Shaft show previously is Tsukuyomi, closely followed by Pani Poni Dash.

    Corrected.

    >>Mei was doing to Hinako the same she did to her sister in the past…

    Wait, who’s Mei and who’s Hinako…?

  14. FlameStrike Said,

    December 30, 2007 @ 8:01 pm

    Overall a great must watch show. I liked the ending alot, unlike Kanon there weren’t any miracales that don’t make sense, only people trying their best and doing what they can. Renji’s devotion was truely touching. I liked the Chihiro arc a little bit more in the end, but the Miyako arc was no worse.

    If I were to compare it to other shows this season of somewhat similar genera, I’d say ef wins so far. It’s more intresting than Myself;Youself, and more dramatic than Clannad. Although Clannad is funnier by far, ef’s 12 eps were more intersting to me then Clannad’s 12 eps (and this is coming from a kyoani fan), but hey things can change.

  15. ACro Said,

    December 31, 2007 @ 2:36 am

    OMG, I that was realy realy dumb XD.

    I confused the names from another show … gya*. (never do more then 2 thing at the same time: noted)

    Hinako is Miyako and Mei is Kei …. so it should be…

    >>Kei was doing to Miyako the same she did to her sister in the past…

    I now feel a shamed XD.

  16. Avisch Said,

    December 31, 2007 @ 3:57 am

    Kurogane:
    >>Best Shaft show previously is Tsukuyomi, closely followed by Pani Poni Dash.

    All signs point to me needing watch Tsukuyomi sigh….

  17. wildarmsheero Said,

    December 31, 2007 @ 4:29 am

    Kurogane: As well done as ef was, I only enjoyed it half the time. I guess it’s a personal thing. I enjoy Shaft more when they’re being off the wall rather than serious.

  18. sadakups Said,

    January 1, 2008 @ 2:44 am

    Awesome series. Never had seen an anime this emotional in months. Great VA work, nice music, awesome visuals = classic.

    Renji’s story > Hiro’s story

  19. The Hordesman Said,

    January 3, 2008 @ 3:31 am

    Because of this post’s final words (since I usually see short sentences in the end as non-spoil) it inspired me to take a look. After seeing it, I can now easily say it’s the best drama I’ve seen so far.

  20. Sang Said,

    January 4, 2008 @ 2:15 pm

    Tried to watch this show, I really, truly did. I’ve sat down and tried my hardest to get through the first episode on three separate occasions. First time I got really bored and annoyed at the show’s style, and this comes from a fan of Zetsubou and PPD! Second time I got angry when I realized I just wasted my time watching the stuff that made me angry the first time around. The third time was when I showed it to me friend, but we both quit and watched Baccano instead.

    I can’t imagine the show getting so much better than the first episode to chage my mind, but power to the people who enjoyed this pretentious dreck.

  21. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    January 4, 2008 @ 2:59 pm

    You’re just judging the book by its cover then.

    In fact, I gave up Baccano! on the first episode initially myself, before I actually finished it much later.

    Give ef another try, skip the first episode if you want to. The real deal of ef is towards the middle and the end.

  22. Xellos-_^ Said,

    January 5, 2008 @ 1:17 am

    @kyne

    Just want to point out Chihiro’s condition while rare is not unheard of. The amount of short term memory retention varies case by case but the condition Chihiro’s condition does exist and there are even extreme cases then Chihiro’s.

  23. MonsieurKirby Said,

    January 5, 2008 @ 7:26 pm

    I certainly agree with Kurogane-san. I enjoyed Chihiro’s side of the story a lot.
    That scene at the school roof scared me though, I took her idea of “suicide” to be quite literal.
    I thought ef had a lot to be praised for. The animation and story telling was really distinctive and really really well done. The music was also exceptional. But what I really liked was Chihiro’s novel. I found it quite intriguing.

  24. Setsukyie Said,

    January 6, 2008 @ 9:39 pm

    When I first watched it, it was boring..
    Especially in the first 2 episodes..
    And I even thought of dropping the anime..
    Glad I didn’t do that..
    It got better at the end..

    The animation is great and the music is good too..
    Unlike in other bishoujo games/anime, there are more than 1 male lead character..
    Above all, I like the idea of of putting 2 separate stories together..

    Definitely one of the best anime of Fall 2007..

RSS feed for comments on this post