The Memories That Can’t Be Remembered and The Melodies That Can’t be Played: ef – A Tale of Memories and Melodies

Good afternoon~ This post will be pretty long, even though I tried to keep it short and sweet.

This is Week 3 of my Depression Period and I have finished another good show. People who thinks Clannad is the most depressing show of modern anime, think again. This show does reflect on real life issues, if you are lucky, it might pour salt on your wounds.

From a VN… in fact 2 VNs combined to 2 seasons of anime nicely. Both seasons have 12 eps.

A Tale of Memories

This show is one of the most serious anime I watched so far. Its so serious as it reflects on things that real life had. They did a pretty good job cramming 3 story arcs into 12 eps, pacing was just right, it does not feel messy at all, everything just seems to have some sort of link together. The comedy is minimal to none at all, making the atmosphere even more intense. The story keeps picking up at every few eps and you will never get bored but in fact, for some, you might actually reflect on it. The climax does escalate so high that its getting unbearable to watch. The ending was wrapped up nicely, it even tho it was a happy ending, but its very touching to see. Character personalities are wonderfully materialized, I have never seen such characters with such serious backstories. Its melodrama isn’t as dry as you think, in fact such melodrama can only be seen in cheesy romance live action drama nowadays. Overall, its an excellent job, Onuma Shin can do such depressing stories once in awhile.

One thing I hate about the characters is Hirono Hiro. He’s an indecisive, immature asshole with fucked up priorities. He absolutely don’t deserve to have Miyako, or even a girlfriend in that matter. All he does is run away from problems and escaping reality. Even after having Miyako, he’s still haven’t sort out his priorities and grown mature a single bit. He’s the most hated male character of all time for me. He should just shut himself in his room drawing manga all day and never go out to society, he will be a waste.

I respect Asou Renji a lot. Even when he knew its impossible, he will still try to push on. The love of him and Chihiro is so real that I’m totally touched by the ending. He is my role model from now on.

Animations done by Shaft. This show might be the reason why the Monogatari series animation sequences are so trippy. The hypnotic animations are pretty ok, its not messy and random like Monogatari but Shaft at that time did not have the signature headtilt yet, so you won’t see any. The quality is decent, but it feels like the pumped up ver of TNK animating High School DxD. The colors are vivid but it lacks depth and it feels like an old production. They concentrated a lot on the background instead. Character designs is somewhat similar to Natsu no Arashi but its better, still need time to get used to it. Overall, its still a solid production, and their hypnotic animations made the show even more fitting and serious.

Music is extremely well composed. The OSTs are solid. OP is done by Elisa and ED is done by the 3 main girls with different endings each eps. OP has a Japanese and English ver by the way.

OP English Full ver.

OP English TV ver

OP Japanese Full ver.

The OP is incredible, both the Jap and Eng vers. The OP animations are so trippy it feels damn suitable. The last ep OP is exceptionally sweet, see if you wanna know what I mean. Elisa’s vocals in the OP is nice.

VAs is a long list. Takagi Motoki, Shimono Hiro, Taguchi Hiroko, Okada Junko, Yanase Natsumi, Nakajima Yumiko, Aoki Sayaka, Goto Mai, Touchika Kouichi, Nobiki Kaori, Hamada Kenji, Tai Yuuki. Motoki’s voice for Renji isn’t that suitable, his voice spoils the serious mood sometimes for some reason. You can tell that they are very serious with their voice acting and it brings up the mood.

A Tale of Melodies

This season isn’t exactly a direct sequel as it does not pick up to where Memories ended. This season features people who are not really in the spotlight during Memories. This show combines a flashback and modern time. 12 eps for 2 story arcs sounds easy and its excellently done for its 12 eps of time frame. Pacing is slower now too.

This season features double of everything that Memories had. Double the seriousness, depression, sadness, love, hypnosis, tragedy, melodrama and monologue dialogue. The topics they are showing here is even more realistic than Memories and it picks up nearly every ep. The romance here is even deeper and touching than Renji X Chihiro, as all the characters here have a very deep history with one another. This season proves to be even more depressing with its deep and monolouge dialogue, a bit screwed up personality of the antagonist and horrible choices made. The characters personalites are same old realistic as Memories but the deep history shows their real nature. There isn’t much climax as every ep is as high as it is. The ending is pretty sweet but it still touches my heart. Overall, this entire franchise is definitely more depressing than Clannad, because you know you are crying for a reason, a reflection of your real life.

Animations by Shaft again. After a year, they did improved the animations here. The colors now has more depth, backgrounds are even better drawn and the trippy factor has increased a lot. Its even more trippy than Memories.

Music is still nicely composed. OP1 is better than this one for me as Elisa’s vocals isn’t really suitable for the song, this song needs more powerful vocals like maybe Okui Masami or even Marina and I can tell Elisa is pushing it a little too hard. ED is the same old different songs in a few eps. All of them are good.

OP English Full ver

OP English Piano Full ver

OP Japanese Full ver

Cant find the TV ver tho. But if you see it, its extremely trippy. They changed the animations every few eps.

VAs is pretty much the same but with a bit more added cast. Itou Shizuka, Furusawa Tohru, Shimeno Junko, Nobiki Kaori. All of them are well done as usual, but I think the voice acting here is more serious now because there is more dialogue with more sensitive topics. It feels trippy sometimes too.


Story: 8.5/10 (Memories), 9/10 (Melodies)

Art: 8/10 (Memories), 8.5/10 (Melodies)

Music: 9/10 (Memories), 8.5/10 (Melodies)

VAs: 9/10 (Memories), 9.5/10 (Melodies)

Highly recommended. Its pacing is similar to Clannad and other slow depressing shows, but this show is so serious that there is little to no comedy at all. Those who are looking for laughs should not try this one, it will bore you out. It will be nice if you are very patient. There isn’t any best girl here because all of them looked so nicely paired and I don’t wanna be the third-party and ruin all of their relationships…

My most depressing show of all time. After watching this, Clannad doesn’t feel that nice anymore, but I don’t think I will rewatch this again. It feels like how I felt during NagiAsu, but NagiAsu strikes me more with that accurate Kaname pouring salt all over my wounds.

For this show I think Kuze reflects on me in real life. No, Im not dying, but his personality, the way he thinks and decides and talks, he’s like me. Now I hope I have someone like Mizuki in my life, she’s like the perfect girl for me, especially at a period of depression.


4 responses to “The Memories That Can’t Be Remembered and The Melodies That Can’t be Played: ef – A Tale of Memories and Melodies

  1. And here I recall my younger self thinking that he resembled Hiro Hirono in some way.
    What a joke.
    I’m really glad you got around to viewing all of Ef. Many people stop after the first, but you went all the way. I dare say that takes guts, but then again I haven’t seen the ‘wah wah saddest anime ever — Clannad.’ I’m also stoked to here that you think it was more depressing and dramatic (and simply better, I surmise?) than Clannad. Part of this is my pride for the home team, ya know? As you dissected, Ef isn’t like most drama anime because it’s got sadness and emotional characters — It’s the ever-expanding, ever-complicated story that reflects the many aspects of our lives, the many (terrible and joyful) things we encounter as humans. If your depression phase were celebrated as a “Week of -” sorta thing like I always do on my blogs (or try), then you ended with a damn good one. While other shows may be good because they made us feel ’emotions,’ I believe Ef is tough to love BECAUSE it is tough love. It’s characters’ selfishness is what I believe sets it apart from Nagi Asu, as them sea folk were pretty humble about the L word. I think I still like Nagi Asu more, however, and that could just be because I recently watched it, where as Ef was one of the first anime I ever witnessed.
    Sorry for the long monologue there, your review just got me goin’. I’ve been having a blast catching up on your posts BTW!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Melodies was too depressing for me, but I did enjoy the first series (particularly the story about the girl with the memory problem.)

    Liked by 1 person

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