I think the most beautiful scene in the whole episode was Hirono and Miyako on the beach, kissing. Sure, implied sex is fun, but that scene was just perfect. I wish all visual novel conversions were as touching as this, but, sadly, they seem to be in short supply. I know there’s happy, positive, romantic visual novels/eroge out there SOMEWHERE; why must us old-fashioned types be so maligned in our quest for cute girls falling in love? ef is exactly the kind of romantic drama I’d like to see more of in anime–mature, but not without heartfelt emotions behind it. Considering when I first heard of it I thought it’d be yet another silly eroge conversion (this was before I heard about Shinkai Makoto’s involvement in the original game, though). I posted about visual novels before in reference to CLANNAD and Kanon; ef is another one of those pinnacles of the format that needs more imitators. And subsequent anime spinoffs.
And speaking of romantic drama, Renji got pretty “angsty” over Chihiro there at the end. “Angsty” in quotation marks because I’m one of those rare people in anime fandom who isn’t turned off by a character not being in control of his emotions–it only serves to deepen my empathy for them. Renji crying while telling Chihiro an outright lie and then collapsing on the beach in agony was also a wonderful scene. The Chihiro arc is my favorite, and it’s also the one I expect is going to totally destroy me with heartbreak and sorrow. Maybe I’ll even cry; catharsis is always good, and I’m man enough to break into tears. The Miyako arc I expect will have a happy ending, with Kei forgetting her sorrow at the loss of Hirono to Miyako with Tsutsui, which might provide a wonderful antidote to the anticipated bittersweet of Chihiro.
At any rate, we only have three more episodes to go. I will be sad when this one is over.