After the concentrated intensity of episode 7, the writers smartly decided to largely lay off the emotional intensity (save for one final scene near the end, though it hardly comes as a shock). Too much drama can be bad for the viewer as well as for the soul.
This, one of the best episodes in what is already a fine show, takes both the relationship and the artistic conflicts up a few notches and sets up the characters for a high-stakes climax. There were so many memorable images and memorable scenes that it’s hard to know where to begin.
ef~a tale of memories continues its march toward artistic and romantic harmony with this episode, which in many ways is about the beginning of the stages of writing–no wonder it’s called “Outline.” I should know, because like Chihiro, I myself have written far more outlines and half-finished stories than completed ones, and it is the outlining process which gives the most joy and pleasure. Even though, in the case of Chihiro’s story, it is a reflection of terrible pain and sadness; it is her cry of life nonetheless.
This is quickly shaping up to be not only the most original, but also the most ambitious show of the season. Shinbo is definitely going to be heavily represented in the Originality Awards at the end of this year…and, if the emotional promise that this show makes is delivered, it just might be one of the more meaningful and affecting ones too.