ef – a tale of memories – 02
The night after meeting with Renji again, Chihiro heads to the church and speaks with Yuu about how she had fun. He tells her not to push herself too hard and starts to suggest that she not to get involved, but she finishes the line for him. When she wonders if she shouldn’t tell anyone about herself, Yuu says that he won’t go against it if it’s something she’s decided, and Chihiro responds by noting that if she makes a mistake, she can’t even regret it. The next morning, Kei finds Hiro sleeping at his desk, and when normal methods of trying to wake him up fail, she jump kicks him. She scolds him for sleeping that way, but Hiro feels that it can’t be helped because he’s got a deadline coming up. Even though she thinks that his main occupation is that of a student, he thinks that it’s being a mangaka. On their way to school, she berates him for his attendance record, and the two also talk about reading his manga.
At school, Hiro ends up running to the roof and sitting there admiring the sky, thinking about how he feels there’s something missing. Whenever he looks at the world, there’s always one particular color for him, but he doesn’t know what that color is and can’t find the answer even if he wants to. He then dreams of a brief encounter with Yuuko, and when he wakes up, it’s actually Miyako who’s standing beside him. She claims to have come here just to see him, and they talk about how they’re in the same school. Miyako admits to having had to prepare her heart to see him again since this was their reunion after spending Christmas night together, but Hiro mainly remembers how they went to karaoke and family restaurants until morning and how he had to pay for it all. Miyako then apologizes for seeing what’s in Hiro’s notebook, so he goes ahead and reveals that he’s a mangaka. When she starts making him out to be more important than he really is, Hiro tells her that if she has the time to praise others, she should put in her own praised effort. This causes her to call him bossy, so Hiro notes that there are even more bossy lines in his manga, and the two end up laughing about it.
Meanwhile, Renji goes to the station one day and finds that Chihiro isn’t there yet. She appears soon enough and explains that she had been reading since lunch, but when he asks her what book she was reading, she claims that it was a boring one. Chihiro eventually is willing to tell him about it, though she wants him to keep it a secret. The truth is that Chihiro had actually been writing rather than reading, but she doesn’t want Renji to see what she’s written. Renji can relate because he had thought of writing as a career too, however Chihiro doesn’t want to become a novelist – she just wants to write stories. As the two then walk to town together, Renji complains about how he doesn’t want to go to school tomorrow, but Chihiro likes hearing about school stuff and reveals that her twin sister talks about it a lot. If she actually went to school, Chihiro would be a first year in high school, and upon learning this, Renji offers to call her by the more formal Shindou-san because she isn’t younger than him like he had thought. Since Chihiro still wants to be known by her given name, Renji convinces her to call him Renji-kun in return.
As they part ways, Chihiro seems to have something to say to Renji, but after she decides not to, Renji calls out to her to suggest that they play together again tomorrow. Soon after Chihiro happily runs off, Yuu shows up and comments on how Renji is the person seeing Chihiro. He warns that if Renji wants to be with her, he should prepare himself. Chihiro meanwhile returns home and writes in her journal about the promise to play together with Renji, and she reads a message from her sister that hopes she’ll be happy. She has her own doubts about it because she’s not even sure she’ll be here tomorrow. When she does meet with Renji the next day, Chihiro asks that they go somewhere where there are few people, so he takes her to the beach as the evening sun is setting. It is here that Chihiro finally admits that she’s got a memory disorder – she can only preserve her memories for 13 hours. Based on that, the her that he met yesterday and the her right now are different people. She’s been this way for a long time and feels that she’ll remain this way for a long time too.
OP: euphoric field feat. ELISA
Watch the OP! Mirror 1, Mirror 2
I’m pretty sure this is supposed to be the OP (it’s labeled as such on the official site), but the actual credits call it the theme song. With the way they’ve been using opening and ending sequences, it wouldn’t surprise me if we never actually got a real OP. I really like the song though, even if I can’t for the life of me make out what the actual lyrics are.
Parts of this episode looked amazing, and but there were a few scenes that left me feeling like I might as well have been listening to a drama CD because they had only audio in front of a relatively static image. Yes, the clouds were still moving slowly, but that didn’t exactly help make it more interesting. This contributes to the main problem I’m having right now with ef: a lot of the dialogue is, well, boring. I understand that they need to develop Renji and Chihiro’s relationship, but there’s got to be a better way to do that than having them converse for half the episode (in addition to everything that was said between them last week).
It didn’t get really interesting until Chihiro admitted her memory disorder. But just as I was feeling better about understanding the plot (“so that’s why this show is called a tale of memories“), they raced through two-dozen different shots in about 5 seconds before immediately cutting away to the OP. That left me wondering all over again what the heck was going on, albeit for a different reason than before. I doubt they just ran out of time and showed what they had animated, so it had to have been intentional. All in all, I’m enjoying the visuals and can see potential in the story, but the boring dialogue and some elements of the stylistic approach aren’t working so well for me. Hopefully it won’t be like this the entire rest of the series.