Posts Tagged 'ef – a tale of memories'

ef is Probably Going to Break My Heart

Which is a good thing, because that hasn’t happened in a while. I don’t think it’s properly happened since I read Bokurano.

There are spoilers in the following, so if you’re squeamish around spoilers, watch the episode FIRST.

I certainly didn’t expect Chihiro to lapse past the 13 hour time limit. The question now, as I see is, is if Renji is MAN ENOUGH to stick by a girl who runs a constant risk of lapsing back to the mentality and memories of a twelve-year-old. If he is, that’s for the better–that’s the kind of bittersweet conclusion I love.

I don’t really have any “predictions” or hopes for the Hiro/Miyako relationship, although the fact that they ended on that phone call was probably a sign of terrifying things to come. And Kei was still such a vindictive bitch in that opening scene. The best part of that scene was the water in both scenes–the fountain representing the torrent of emotions that Miyako was currently feeling,  the solitary drip of water representing the complete apathy of Kei. I kind of want Miyako to be happy, as she seems to have absolutely nothing going on (notice how when we’re seeing through her eyes the art is monochrome), so I feel sorry for her. She’ll probably jump off a bridge or something by the end of the series, though, for tragic++. Who knows.

I don’t really foresee a truly happy ending for this show. :)

You probably already know this, but…


ef 7 was masterfully done. It had a budget of approximately $27.44, but man, was it awesome. I think Shinbo/Ounuma Shin had been holding back for the last six episodes to accentuate the absolute devastation in this episode. My opinion of this anime shot up about a point and a half in the past three or so episodes. If the drama resulting from this turn of events is wonderfully delicious, as I fully expect it to be, we have ourselves a winner.

Hidamari Sketch: Turning Point for Shinbo?

Okay, this one might take some explaining.

First, I think we all know by now that Shinbo Akiyuki is nuts. He did SoulTaker, which I’ve heard is a very bad show, but it certainly bears his directorial imprint. He did Tsukuyomi ~Moon Phase~, which I kind of like, and kind of don’t (haven’t finished it yet, though). He did Pani Poni Dash, which I’m equally ambivalent about–I find the episodes pleasant to watch, yet I didn’t find it uproariously hilarious like many other people seemed to. Negima!? was basically Pani Poni Dash Part the Second.

And then Hidamari Sketch aired.

It was like he’d finally found his footing. Hidamari Sketch had a tiny budget, but you don’t give a shit because Shinbo is just having a grand ol’ time cutting corners and turning it into art. From the “stair-climbing animation” to the “door opening animation” to the cuts to “X” when Yuno is talking to the almost total lack of backgrounds, it’s very delightfully abstract. And it certainly doesn’t hurt that while watching episode 5, when Yuno is down with fever and sleeping all day in her room (having crazy fever dreams, of course) I actually sat there and thought about how nice it would be to be sick.

I’m not kidding.

The whole show is a pure pleasure to watch, a drastic upset from the tedium experienced in Pani Poni Dash. Rather than trying to force comedy, as Pani Poni Dash seemed to do for me, Hidamari Sketch is less trying to be a wacky comedy and more trying to be a cute, fun slice-of-life series with some light humor thrown in, which it succeeds at adeptly.

And hot on the heels of Hidamari Sketch we have Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, a quality manga (it won a Kodansha manga award for shounen) turned into a quality Shinbo anime. Here, Shinbo’s visual antics can only enhance the experience, including what is probably the best Shinbo OP sequence ever (lesbians, anyone?). I said it in an earlier post, but Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei is one of the most consistently hilarious anime I’ve seen (“I am a MASTER at avoiding eye contact!”)

And, finally, there’s ef – a tale of memories. I’m not very far into the series yet, and Shinbo isn’t directing so much as supervising (I prefer to think of it as “instructing fresh blood in the fine art of being totally insane”), but, again, he’s bringing his distinctive visual flair into the mix, a fitting way to approach an anime based on a visual novel that used the talents of Shinkai Makoto to animate the OP sequence.

In short, I feel Hidamari Sketch was a true turning point for Shinbo, at least in my eyes. I think it just goes to show you shouldn’t write off any one director on a permanent basis.


I cannot understand those that take anime seriously, but I can love them, and I do. Out of my love I warn them to keep clear of this blog.

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a ridiculously long and only partially organized list of subjects


May 2022