…is a song of death. And is that really all Kuze’s story is–another terminal illness melodrama?
Like in the first season, there are two main plots/couples in ef-a tale of melodies. One is always more soap operatic than the other: in the first one, it was the Hiro/Miyako/Kei triangle. It appears in this one, it is the Mizuki/Kuze one. I was, to tell the truth, a little disappointed that the illness thing was revealed so early and we got such a climactic event on the (very same) beach once more. Complete with sparkles, and a glow:
My guess, and my hope, is that by revealing it this early the writers have something more complex up their sleeve. But for the moment, I just don’t feel the same resonance–har har, a musical term–for Kuze’s condition the way I did for Chihiro’s condition, which tied itself strongly to the theme of memories lost and found. Again, I’m confident they’re going to try something to make it more complex. We’ll see if it succeeds, because I’m going to be disappointed if it turns into one of those kinds of stories where the death is long and drawn out, with maudlin speeches and weepy music. (The beautiful violin theme I heard in the previous season, it turns out, is in fact Kuze’s theme. Good to know that something positive carries over into this season.)
The backstory of Yuu is turning into a more ordinary, down-to-earth narrative about his friendship with the young Kuze, the Hirono sister (who has the potential to be a fascinating character if we see more of her–and I don’t mean her skin), and the clingy Yuuko. For some reason I immediately thought of Shuji and Hagu from Honey and Clover when I learned of the relationship between Amamiya the art teacher and Yuuko, especially given that Amamiya-sensei is trying to convince Yuu to join the art club. With its focus on that and on Yuuko’s subjection to bullying, it seems that out of all four plotlines that the ef franchise has given, this one is the most realistic thus far, and the one that I’m tentatively favoring for now. The feeling that we are in some kind of suspended Never Never Land is still there overall, though now we know the country isn’t Japan and Renji may very well have been telling the truth when he told Mizuki in episode 1 that they are in Australia–which leads to all kinds of other questions about why they are there and not in Japan, and why we haven’t met any Australians. But in either case…
Eventually, the two plotlines dovetailed together somehow by the end of a tale of memories. So far, these two stories haven’t shown a strong connection, but I’m confident they will meet at some point. The common thread then was artistic creation; the artistic theme has not disappeared by any means, but given that the two stories take place in different times altogether I wonder how they are going to pull it off. We’ll just have to wait and see, I suppose.
(If I sound a little weary–perhaps I am. For one thing, it’s late. :) Also, I’m used to ef and its schtick now. And there are some exciting new shows this season that I’m following that offer more discussion fodder for the moment. I really hope that by the end of the season I won’t be forced to write a review that said it was simply more of the same.)