ef – a tale of melodies 01

ef - a tale of melodies

Finally, a sequel to memories that deals with the other half of the ef cast!

The episode is separated in to two halves neatly; the first half about Himura and the second one about Mizuki.

In the first half, we’re brought back quite some years to the time of Himura and Shuichi’s high school days, when they’re both classmates. Himura’s involved with Hirono Nagi in the Arts Club as well, and she’s er… quite liberal. Amamiya Yuko also makes her appearance as well as Himura’s junior and quite shockingly we find out that she’s Himura’s younger sister as well and that she has some “grudge” on him.

ef - a tale of melodies

ef - a tale of melodies

Second half brings us back to present time and Mizuki is the lead here. Staying over at her aunt’s place, she gets to know that a famous violinist, Shuichi Kuze is their next-door neighbour and gets them to introduce him to her despite cousin Renji’s protests. Mizuki spends the day over at his place and even tries out Kuze’s “extensive” cosplay collection too. It’s hinted that Kuze is facing a slump in his playing as well as suffering from some sort of chronic heart disease, but meeting Mizuki seems to awaken something inside him.

ef - a tale of melodies

ef - a tale of melodies

So far, I can say melodies is proving to be a more engaging watch than memories initially was. I guess it’s attributed to the fact that we’re dealing with a sequel here, so viewers are quite familiar with the characters already. In fact, for me, in many ways back in memories, the main cast of melodies was quite enigmatic so at times, I did feel a lot more interested about their stories and melodies is pretty much the ultimate extension of that curiosity since we’re getting a whole series dedicated upon them.

Mizuki was pretty under-utilized in memories, but she finally gets her spotlight here. As revealed, she’s Renji’s cousin and they’re actually quite close with each other and this relationship is revealed and explored here. Mizuki’s personality is quite cheery and friendly yet not too overbearing so I’m immediately liking her a lot. There is also the fact that she is connected to Yuko as well in her past too, and I’m personally more interested in that.

The really new characters so far include Hirono Nagi and Amamiya Akira, both of them who seem to play a huge part in Himura’s past. Nagi’s relation with memories’ Hirono is still unknown, but it remains without doubt they are connected since both have a talent for art. Nagi also bears a resemblance towards Kei as well, yet her attitude is much more daring as she doesn’t even mind drawing in the nude and being seen by Himura. Having Itou Shizuka as her seiyuu also gives her that extra “oomph” to it much. As for Amamiya Akira, he is apparently Yuko’s brother too, as revealed in the melodies pre-airing special (ugh, damn crossplay) and he seems to be the advisor of the arts club, based on his conversation with Himura.

So far so good. Ahhh~~ melodies is definitely making me want to spoil myself by playing the games with all the mysteries being unveiled around. SHAFT’s signature style is also much more refined this time and seems less “shocking” than back in memories too when everyone was calling it “ef – a tale of Photoshop Filters”. Then again, I might’ve gotten much used for it this time round, since memories made us realize at its end on how symbolic those effects were used throughout the series.

Once you get used to it, you can actually derive a LOT of subtext than what is presented on the surface, especially on the character’s feelings and their hidden thoughts as well, thus giving the discerning viewers a much more empathetic view of the characters. I actually find it very much well done this time around and it gives a real depth to each of the characters.

Musically speaking, it’s even more influential now to be in line with the title of “a tale of melodies”. There is liberal usage of violin title pieces for foreshadowing(?) in the second half with Mizuki and Kuze. This probably mirrors how the “memories” part was the main thread in Chihiro and Renji’s story. I can’t say I understand much of the terms for now but it does add another level of emotional subtext to the show.

The soundtrack is pretty much the same as memories as well. No need to change what’s working, eh. The OP, ebullient future by ELISA is still sung in English again and it’s similar in feel to euphoric field as well. The animation text is mostly in German this time… competent German understanding quite required there it seems. No ED played this time though.

Right, enough rambles for now. Another week more for the next episode….

10 Comments

  1. Kresnik Said,

    October 7, 2008 @ 8:34 am

    ebullient future is not as good as the other ef songs though..
    I wonder how they’re going to put this into one full season, since I don’t think there’s enough material to be transformed from the game into the anime.

  2. TS Said,

    October 7, 2008 @ 8:41 am

    Lovely episode.
    I wholeheartedly agree with you on this one, I definitely wanna see what’s up with Yuuko and Himura.
    Seems like this’ll get fun later on :3

  3. totali Said,

    October 7, 2008 @ 9:16 am

    woe tawo; ihawo ghgjha qok#$^J#^ oaihg;ofga SHAFT

  4. omo Said,

    October 7, 2008 @ 9:41 am

    liberal is lol.

    they’re going for the balls right off the bat i c.

  5. Logeres Said,

    October 7, 2008 @ 9:45 am

    I’ll try to translate the animation text…

    “Memories, that reawake
    locked in this chest
    The distant sky across the window
    observing the unreachable clouds”

    “With a smile
    way home
    searching for
    my sometime lost voice (in German, that line is just as akward)
    when the darkness
    carves the memory
    even now
    it doesn’t stop”

    The text scrolling across the screen is the same lyric (?) as above.
    “Even now, it doesn’t stop
    from heaven descends (apparently nothing oO)

    I’ll translate that long ass text some other time. ;)

  6. luckyhuh? Said,

    October 7, 2008 @ 10:36 am

    Ahhhhhhhhh i wasn’t remotely interested in the first aside from renji and chihiro, but with this i am definely hook up, i was really left on the dark because i really wanted to know much more about what kind of relationship yuu and yuko had, and then it there was the mention about mizuki and kuze witch peek my interest as well.
    overrall i prefer this season sence it seems it will deal with a much more mature relationships cause the adults are the ones involve :D
    still i don’t now for sure about it though
    yukoyuu
    mizukinagi

  7. Hayate-sama Said,

    October 7, 2008 @ 3:38 pm

    Just figure out the the opening uses for the first tale (eternal feather) ,the latter tale (emotional flutter ) , memories (euphoric) , melodies (ebullient future) and the ending of the latter tale (ever forever) , their first letter combine is EF.

    And is Yuu and Yuuko are really blood related sister ? From them same parent or relative ?

  8. Avisch Said,

    October 8, 2008 @ 3:58 am

    This is my show for the season.

    Im not sure Yuu and Yuuko are blood related Kuro. She did call him “onii-chan” but that can mean other things. But I could be wrong.

  9. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    October 8, 2008 @ 8:09 am

    @Logeras: Thanks for the translation.

    @Kresnik: Hm, there isn’t enough stuff? I had the impression the second game had quite A LOT of stuff, though I’ve not played it yet.

    @Hayate-sama: That seems to be theme with their theme songs for this series. It’s somewhat their trademark I guess.

    @Avisch: Yeah I didn’t make it clear, but it wasn’t stated that they’re blood-related. From what’s hinted, I’m making a conjecture that they were once related by parental marriage but then their parents split and they went their separate ways. But judging by the hint of “it’s been 10 years already”, it is still very possible they are blood-related siblings. SHAFT is sure good at teasing us.

  10. 瀬名 Said,

    October 11, 2008 @ 9:45 am

    If anyone’s Yuuko’s onii-chan, it’s Akira :3
    glad to see that SHAFT kept his Shinji-ish feel intact (F/SN not Eva)

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