ef-a tale of melodies 3: Your Song


…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:

Wait, I thought this wasn't shoujo
Wait, I thought this wasn't shoujo

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…

"I'm bad at prolonging troublesome things like drama" - O RLY?
"I'm bad at prolonging troublesome things like drama" - O RLY?

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.)

Author: gendomike

Michael lives in the Los Angeles area, and has been into anime since he saw Neon Genesis Evangelion in 1999. Some of his favorite shows include Full Metal Alchemist, Honey and Clover, and Welcome to the NHK!. Since 2003 he has gone to at least one anime convention every year. A public radio junkie, which naturally led to podcasting, he now holds a seminary degree and is looking to become Dr. Rev. Otaku Bible Man any day now. Michael can be reached at mike.huang@animediet.net. You can also find his Twitter account at @gendomike.

2 thoughts on “ef-a tale of melodies 3: Your Song

  1. >>”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.”
    That is what I expected from this anime.

    Well, I am a little surprised when they revealed the illness so early but if you were one of those who have seen the OP from the game you might understand it. I love how they chose the direction to develop both story. The story of Yuu & Yuuko is developing from the past to the present which is opposite from Mizuki & Kuze that is developing from the present to the past.

    I actually agreed with you that the background story of Yuu turned out to be more ordinary than I expect but i guess we will have to wait and see.

  2. I think I can see a connection between the Yu/Yuuko and Kuze/Mizuki already, but that’s only from what I’ve seen from the game and OP. Don’t Yuuko and Mizuki have a connection from what I’ve noticed? The whole concept of the little Mizuki and Yuuko? Mayvbe they know each other and that is where both arcs will weave together.

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