Ef - A Tale of Melodies (Review, No Spoilers!)

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Ef - A Tale of Melodies (Review, No Spoilers!)

Post by thedarkconquerer »

Wow. Just wow. It is absolutely breathtaking. Before I continue, I do want to emphasise that this anime is a Drama/Romance - so for those of you who are not *that* into those genre's, I'd stay away as it will sadly take away from the beauty of this anime.

If you haven't been able to tell by my totally subjective language thus far, I really did love Melodies. Melodies is the second season of the wildly popular anime "Ef - A Tale of Memories". As a reviewer whom I highly look up to once said "Oonuma Shin's Ef - A Tale of Melodies is like Leonardo da Vinci trying to better his Mona Lisa." This describes the situation Oonuma Shin has been put in; trying to do better than a masterpiece.

Story: 9/10
This anime, rather than focusing on the Teenagers, as it did in Memories, focuses more on the Elders in the towns - thus giving you an insight into their history and how it directly relates to their present and even future. In other words, it focuses much, much more on Yuuko, Yuu, Kuze and suprisingly enough Mizuki. If you'll remember, Mizuki was a character who featured in one episode of Memories - and this was to emphasise a relationship between two different characters. Personally I was more than pleased to see Mizuki, afterall, that small glimpse of her made you wonder a lot about - Melodies answers all that. The overall storyline of the anime has lived up to everything I could have hoped and wished for in a sequal to Memories - it answers every and all questions you may have about any of the remaining characters, thus finishing off the Ef Saga appropriately. The only thing I can say let the overall storyline down was the fact that it was "Solid" not "Great" - it was the... dare I say it...? Stereotypical shoujo anime. Lots of Romance, lots of Drama, lots of Suspense and it all tied in neatly together... but it could have been something more for it to have been labelled as "Great".

Art: 10/10
Haha, oh my god. Do I even need to explain? Well, this is a review so I guess I do - but still - its greatness is too good to be ignored. Its so rich, powerful, emotive. I will give you example images in a minute - but beforehand I'd like to direct your attention to the OP of the anime - now usually the OP is made to look great in any anime - and I understand that - however; this is the artistic prowess that Oonuma Shin uses throughout the entirety of the anime - not just the OP.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUX-W8kw ... -fresh+div
Now, the use of this art is seemingly useless unless it draws the watcher in - unless it divulges information about the Character - unless it shows the true emotions of a character; the emotions hidden deep within. Oonuma Shin successfully completes this monumentous task beautifully, a few mere examples are as follows:
1) To emphasise a character feeling trapped, Oonuma often used 'chains' wrapped around the sillhouette of the character thus holding them down.
2) To emphasise the many 'faces' the many different 'personalities' a character may have, Oonuma uses duplicates of the character wearing different 'masks'.
These are just two examples, there are many more - if you watch the anime. Now onto the example images, as I'm not able to physically post pictures here, I'll link them; they're totally worksafe and computer-friendly links.
http://fc06.deviantart.com/fs38/f/2008/ ... apsora.png
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_485YA3c9vf0/S ... dies-6.jpg
http://img20.imageshack.us/img20/715/vl ... 524lx4.png
http://memories-of-eternity.com/wp-cont ... s-06-3.jpg
http://memories-of-eternity.com/wp-cont ... -06-20.jpg

Sound: 9/10
Sound too was very good. Now, please don't misunderstand - by sound I mean all things you hear - not just Character Voices or Music or Sound Effects. All in all there isn't too much to say about sound - I mean sure I could go into great detail and mention all the voice actors names, all the songs that were in the anime and such - but I don't feel that it is required as knowing all that won't make you want to view the anime any more than you did before knowing it. However, what you would want to know in regards to the sound is that it all fits perfectly well together, the voice actors work perfectly with the situations their characters are in - the music is always a great backup to what you're witnessing and it alone can bring you to tears at points in the Anime. Overall, very well done.

Characters: 9.5/10
Ahaha, the characters. Yeah, this I had a lot of trouble rating. Do I give it a nine due to my own biases? (I will explain shortly) Or do I give it the ten that I believe it would have gotten had my personal feelings not gotten in the way? So, in the end I split it right down the middle and gave it 9.5 - as it is my review. Now, the characters are all very well developed - all of the characters who were left 'unfinished' or were left in the dark throughout Memories have been thrust into the spotlight and their past, present and futures have been looked at with remarkable depth given its a 12 episode season. The main focus is on the relationships of Yuuko/Yuu and Kuze/Mizuki, this is a page out of the book of Memories (Focusing on two relationships that are going on simultanously that is), but thats not really a bad thing - why change a winning formula? I did believe that the character of Mizuke was made out to be a lot more annoying than she should have been and this took away from the seriousness of the Kuze/Mizuke relationship somewhat... however, these were just my personal feelings and thus I believe should have been given less of a focus in this review. In the end, all characters featuring in this season were very well done and Oonuma has succeeded in portraying everything he wished to in that regard.

Overall 10/10
Overall, this anime is a masterpiece. Does it surpass the original Memories? Well, that is very much debatable - but as a freestanding anime is is great. When you watch it you feel as though you're watching a beautiful piece of artwork come together rather than an anime. This is attributed to all the hard work and commitment put in by Ef's director Oonuma. As I said earlier, as long as you come into this anime with a clear head, open to whatever Drama/Romance plot may emerge you will love this anime - its practically impossible not to love it.

Anime Otaku.

Pure and simple.

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Re: Ef - A Tale of Melodies (Review, No Spoilers!)

Post by Pink Supervisor|EL »

i must agree with you... over all a very well peiced together Anime ^_^ artistically tasteful and also very well done storyline ^_^
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