Archive for ef ~a tale of memories~

ef – a tale of memories ; again

Rewatching ef anime again, thanks to watching the ef – the latter tale opening by Makoto Shinkai. The sheer cinematography and music coordination of the short clip already shook my soul to tears. Makes me wish for an ef anime made by Makoto Shinkai himself, maybe in a movie form. That would be awesome enough, I’ll say.

I’m curious though, who is that little girl that Yuko picks up in the OP. It doesn’t seem like she’s in the cast until now, but they’re hinting it’s the 4th girl, Hayama Mizuki. Would love to know more about Yuko too, the way she was presented in the clip… made me fell in love with her.

ef - the latter tale

Back to the anime, I have to mention some things that I have left unsaid. First off, the telephone card counting down scene in episode 10 is really damn awesome. I’ll say it again, SHAFT has truly managed to make watching ef a very interesting experience, because of artistic touches like this. When I started rewatching the show, I went, “Ahhh, this really does fit the mood of the scene, in the overall picture of the show”, at quite a lot of parts.

Episode 11 set the bar even higher, with the whole buildup of Chihiro and Renji going on their inaugural date, only to end it at midnight, with Renji reading the surprising ending to Chihiro’s novel and Chihiro “breaking up” with Renji by tearing and throwing away all the pages in the diary of her and Renji spending time together on the rooftop, more especially when I was totally lead to think that Chihiro was going to commit suicide at that point.

ef’s end… is probably the best way to end it, although I still feel it pales in impact to the climax of episode 11. My earlier post about the show are still very much valid. Well, I guess I just wanted enough material to put in one post :).

Now I kinda want to play ef – the latter tale, to see the story of Mizuki, the only girl who’s story wasn’t covered in the anime.

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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.

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