let’s go in Chronological order.
A while ago (a few months before the first season aired, I think), I stumbled across this little game called Ef the first tale. With it, I was disappointed beyond words. Naru Nanao’s soft and bright art turned stark and cold, Tenmon’s captivating music was dull and repetitive, and the story? Well. I was pretty happy about how short it was, if it was any longer I wouldn’t have bothered to finish it.
So, when I saw Ef a tale of memories come out, I watched the first episode, got bored, and put it out of my mind.
Through some divine intervention, I picked it up after it finished airing, marathoned it, and fell in love.
This, is a review of the 2 games and the 2 seasons of the anime.
Warning: I couldn’t find of copy of the first tale, so everything involving that is written purely based on my fuzzy memory. This guarantees mistakes, so go easy on me, okay?
The art of the games were nice, and there was an insane number of event CGs (over 1000 for the first game!). But, I was a bit disappointed. Clearly, Naru Nanao (the main female character designer, whom I worship) didn’t have a large influence on the art, as the coloring is very cold and shiny. While I can’t say that I hate 2c Galore’s male character designs, I do hate the way that Nagi looks. Because of the insane number of drawings, the art isn’t as consistent as I would like.
The uniforms look great, however I can’t say the same for the casual clothes. The backgrounds are a bit stark, but scenes involving nature (the sky, plants, and things like that) are very well done and considerably brighter than the man made surroundings.
However, despite everything, the art is still nice, and I’m definitely very picky. In the end, it gets a 8.5/10
The art of the first season, a tale of memories, was impressive. The color palette is considerably brighter and the backgrounds are eye candy. The things that stood out the most was the many visual effects used, which was carefully placed and revealed much about the characters (not to mention it helped to save budget for the animation).
The art of the second season started out even better, with brilliant lighting, breath taking colors, a highly stylish opening, and solid character art. However, the art slipped in a few of the later episodes and the characters look great at times and abysmal at times. The backgrounds, however, remained amazing, and overall it was good. 9/10
The games only had a few tracks, and like most game music, they are repetitive in nature and shouldn’t be listened to repeatedly. Unlike the first tale, which was the sole project of Tenmon, the latter tale had a second composer, Eiichirō Yanagi, and I have to say that with his influence, the music is better overall.
The opening videos aren’t sang with the greatest voice (Hitomi Harada’s voice is too scratchy and breathless, plus she was straining way too much for some of the higher notes), but it was composed very well and greatly boosts the music score. 8/10
The music of the anime was contained remixed versions of the game tracks, but the 2 soundtracks of the first season was stuffed with around 60 tracks, all of which I liked. The sorrowful violin, the the gentle piano, and the assortment of instruments that I will probably never be able to name acted as a beautiful backdrop to the story.
I think that the singing in the opening was good at best, but I really like the 3 ending songs sang by the 3 heroines. All the songs were well composed, and even if the voice actresses aren’t professional singers, they still sound very good. 9.5/10
Much of the music in the second season is taken from the first season, but there are many new tracks. I won’t rate it until the soundtrack comes out, but I can definitely say that it’s good.
There are only 2 ending songs this time around, and while I really like the ending sang by the voice actresses of Mizuki, the other ending is a bit lacking in terms of vocals.
That’s the first half of this review, the second half is coming when I have the time.