Archive for ef – a tale of melodies

2008 in Review: The Good, the Bad and the WTF?!

2008 in Review

This post is dedicated to the good, the bad and the WTF’s of this year. It’s really been an interesting year…..

Heh, I was supposed to post this yesterday, but with all the shopping, satelite tracking, celebrations and epic rickrolling, I only finished it today. I guess this will be my first real post of 2009, hehehe.

Anyways, the point of this post is to relive the more memorable moments of 2008 for me, in terms of anime and such. Another year filled with good things, bad shit and “just WTF were they thinking?!” craziness.

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ef – a tale of melodies ends

ef - a tale of melodies

I didn’t like it as much as memories, but at least melodies ended things off well. I honestly lost interest after the irritating emo arc of Kuze and Himura around after the middle of the series. Yuuko’s sudden death also didn’t help out…. T_T.

Well, for an ending episode, it’s pretty much just as planned, with present-day Himura finally getting to meet spirit Yuuko in the original Otowa city. The final scene of them both on the school rooftop was really touching and both of them really deserved better after knowing their backgrounds.

That said, melodies didn’t impact me as much as memories did, mostly because of the “draggy” feel of the story. Especially hated Kuze for being an asshole for most of the past 5 episodes, while Himura was just so undecided at times. They should’ve given Miki-chan more than just one episode of airtime too, sigh…

Speaking of Miki, nice kick there, Mizuki-chan!

ef - a tale of melodies

Overall, I think I’ll still reserve judgement on whether melodies was on or below par until the DVD-rips come out. But I can say for certain it’s a bit disappointing after the expectations I had for it.

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ef – a tale of melodies 10

I kinda skipped posting about ef-melodies due to the sheer emo-ness and stupidity of the story after episode 07. Also the fact the male characters were either asses or idiots didn’t really help the case either. So thank god that we’re finally out of that phase (hurr hurr) and in to something more… uplifting?

ef - a tale of melodies

First off, we finally get to meet Miki! She’s really Mizuki when she was still a child then. It turns out she’s also an orphan after she survived a suicide attempt by her parents at sea and thanks to that, she’s closed off her heart to others. However, Yuuko has her way with children and she manages to establish a connection with her, bringing her out of the shell. Damn she’s cute. I have too much maternal instinct for 2D children.

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ef – a tale of melodies 07

ef - a tale of melodies

Yuuko T_T.

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ef – a tale of melodies 06

ef - a tale of melodies

…………… man I’m stunned.

I knew this episode was going to have major revelations when I put it in the MPC-HC playlist and the OP rolled w/o vocal tracks and the characters in the animation. I was certain for sure nothing good would be in this episode.

However, it seems even with the mental preparation…. this episode still hit me quite hard.

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ef – a tale of melodies 05

ef - a tale of melodies

Chihiro and Kei are finally reunited after 5 years of separation. Both of them have finally reconciled fully with each other, especially now that Chihiro has Renji and Kei has Tsutsumi, while Hiro-oniichan got snatched away by someone else, www.

Yuuko’s story continues to get darker and darker on the other hand. She actually gets angry for the first time in the series and more disturbing revelations between her and her brother continue to give me the creeps about both of them.

I wish we get more Nagi focus though…

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ef – a tale of melodies 04

ef - a tale of melodies

More colors in the OP this week. Honestly, I don’t really pay that much attention to it. It seems they’re actually expanding the scope of the show a bit to cover the old characters as well too.

The past, Himura and Yuuko:

The both of them go on a date to buy Yuuko new shoes. Himura wants to skip lunch but Yuuko persuades him to eat as well, showing her prowess at flirting with Himura (lol). Both of them enjoy the day until Yuuko decides to head for the church and they bump in to Akira and he warns Himura about “possessing his sister” in a very creepy, possessive sort of way. Is he infatuated with Yuuko? After he leaves the lovebirds alone, Yuuko reveals that Akira also lost his sister in the same disaster that claimed Akane.

Himura, on his way back, is “ambushed” by Nagi, who demands to know about his day with Yuuko, whom she knows thanks to Akira, in jealous, possesive sort of way. Himura sure is popular despite being a loner. Later that night, there is a longer flash back of when he bought Akane the red watch and how she was killed in the disaster when Himura flashes back on it. Yuuko is surprised by her brother too, and a look of loathing? maybe anger? crosses her face.

The present, Mizuki, Kuze, Nagi, Hiro and Miyako:

Kuze’s condition is worsening and he is slowly running out of time. He pays a visit next door, only to find out that Mizuki fell sick and he shares an intimate moment with her. “Artificial respiration” LOL. The next day comes, Kuze and Mizuki spend a day just lying outside in the sun under a tree, letting the day pass by them. Himura appears and in his usual fashion, dispenses his advice to Mizuki. Mizuki asks him to bless them in the way priests do and while denying he’s a priest, he does the gesture anyways but replaces it with “May the Force with you.” (LOL). Evening comes around and Kuze tells her to stay away from her.

On another Otowa, Hiro is having trouble with his deadlines so he asks his elder sister, Nagi, for help. Looks like both he and Miyako’s relationship are doing just fine.

Thoughts:

Eh, well, things are moving slower this time round I guess, but there is still substantial development in both timelines.

Akira is hinted to have an “unhealthy” relationship with Yuuko, and I really can’t imagine what he has done to her to give her that expression when all the while she has been very much cheery and smiling despite being in a hard position. I think it’s pretty much the first time we’ve seen Yuuko having a negative expression, really. Whatever is it, it must be pretty bad.

Nagi’s also… showing some similarities to Kei, particularly in her possessiveness towards Himura, which pretty much validates her interest in him. Adult Nagi makes an appearance in this week’s episode, and she does look a lot more mature now as well as having reaching a stature of fame. We’ve also solved the mystery of her relationship with Hiro, and it turns out she is Hiro’s elder sister, so that cleared another thing up for me. It seems she’s heading for Australia too, will she cross paths with Kuze and Mizuki?

It was also fun to see Miyako back to, even though it was pretty much a few scenes, including one that seems to give some form of resolution to her own feelings now that she’s going out with Hiro. I’d always thought their arc ended a bit too short.

On Kuze x Mizuki, well… it’s still like that I guess? Rather painful to see really.

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ef – a tale of melodies 03

ef - a tale of melodies

Himura and Yuuko:

  • The smoking sensei is officially revealed as Yuuko’s adopted brother to Himura.
  • Himura notices certain signs in Yuuko, and finds out that she is being bullied thanks to Kuze and Nagi’s help.
  • Nagi really loves being naked in school, doesn’t she?
  • Himura suddenly gets protective and wants to square off with the bullies, but Yuuko stops him, as she doesn’t mind this “little pranks”.

Hints begin to emerge more that point to the conclusion that Yuuko has suffered quite a bit in her 10 years away from Himura. When she commented about how the bullying was just “medium level”, I can’t shake off the feeling that she’s actually used to even more worse things. Plus the fact that the “brother” feels really shifty contributes to my pessimistic views a bit too.

That said, Himura seriously needs to be a bit more truthful to his feelings, but I guess he still has the trauma in his head and the lack of courage to go further. The way I see it, the fact that he’s still concerned about Yuuko while telling her to stay away is just going to hurt her a lot.

ef - a tale of melodies

Kuze and Mizuki:

  • Mizuki finds herself given the cold shoulder by Kuze.
  • Walking around town, she meets Himura who gives her the same warning as he did to Renji back in memories.
  • Mizuki bumps in to Chihiro at the train station (\o/) and promptly molests… engages in some skinship.
  • Mizuki finds out from Chihiro and Renji about Kuze’s condition, it’s cardiomyopathy. He collapsed in the middle of concert half a year ago.
  • Kuze decides to “make a conclusion”
  • Chihiro passes a message from Himura to Mizuki, telling her to go to the beach if she wants to hear Kuze’s final performance.
  • Mizuki rushes to the beach and catches Kuze just in time to see him play his violin one final time before he burns it.
  • Panicking, Mizuki attempts to put out the fire with her hands and successfully kicks it in to the ocean before any major damage is done (it seems).
  • Kuze and Mizuki share a tender moment together.

On this side, the Kuze-Mizuki relationship has probably just started for real, as Kuze faces a deadly heart disease just as Mizuki starts to realize her emotions for him. I’d say the development’s a bit too fast, and I would’ve liked to see it being developed a bit more before it reaches this stage, but I guess there’s still a lot more story left to tell.

It’s also good to meet back Chihiro again and it sure is a weird feeling to see her playing a side role. Nevertheless, nice hug there by Mizuki, and I lol’ed when she commented that she was about to get a nosebleed, haha.

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ef – a tale of melodies 02

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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.

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