ef – a tale of memories – 03
In her diary, Chihiro has a message written to her future self explaining how she’ll lose her memory in 13 hours. This was the result of a traffic accident four years ago that also left her without her left eye. The diary details several things Chihiro wants her future self to do: the first is to read over the diary every morning because it serves as her memory, the second is to write down accurately everything that happened the past day, and the third is to avoid contact with others as much as possible. This latter one was because she didn’t want to trouble others, though she does tell her future self to write down everything about anyone she meets. Chihiro lets Renji read this much of her diary, but she stops him from getting any further. She then personally reveals to him that she has her memories from seven in the morning until eight at night, but each hour after that loses her an hour of memory. This means that by seven in the morning, she’s forgotten everything that happened up until six o’clock the previous evening. Renji thinks that this also means that she’s forgotten about meeting him by morning, but Chihiro reveals that thinking back over and over again to important things allows her to remember longer, so she can do it before going to bed and wake up with the important memory still there. However, the problem is that Chihiro feels that her life isn’t worth living since she isn’t able to do anything.
Returning home, Renji has dinner with his mother who asks him about the future aspirations handout, but Renji still doesn’t know what to write on it. His mother then has him bring some food to his neighbor Kuze who happens to have come back recently. Renji wants to talk with Kuze, but it seems that Kuze has a woman over who’s supposedly naked in bed already, so Renji doesn’t get the chance. In the days that follow, Renji thinks about how he can remember his usual life, but Chihiro can’t. He can meet her with the simple feelings of wanting to meet her, but he knows that she has to prepare herself to meet a stranger like him. On one rainy day, he decides not to go to see her and remembers instead how she had told him that she wasn’t afraid of herself disappearing – she was afraid of other people forgetting about her. In thinking about what he could do for her, Renji remembers how she said her dream was to write a story. The following day, he goes to the station to meet with her again, but he finds Yuu there instead because Chihiro is sick. Yuu questions why Renji didn’t come the day before and reveals that Chihiro waited until late night because of their promise to meet again. After Yuu explains that Chihiro sees these promises as something that connects herself of one day to herself of another, Renji realizes he did something terrible.
Meanwhile, Hiro is exhausted the morning after turning in a manuscript to the editorial department and gets ambushed by Miyako on the roof when she covers his eyes from behind him. She’s glad that he’s here because she wouldn’t otherwise be able to get on the roof since she doesn’t have the key. Hiro, however, refuses to give her the key when she asks for it, claiming that it’s a gift from his older sister. Since he’s not working, Miyako drags Hiro out to town because she feels that it’s more interesting than classes. She clarifies thought that it’s not that she hates school – she just hates boredom. The two are later sitting at restaurant when a girl named Hayama Mizuki spots Hiro and comes over to chat, but Hiro accidentally forgets Miyako’s given name as he tries to introduce the girls to each other. Hiding her anger, Miyako orders Hiro to call her by her given name from now on, and when Hiro tries to get Mizuki to back him up on how he’s being threatened, Mizuki actually blames him for calling his girlfriend by her last name. Of course, Hiro points out that Miyako isn’t his girlfriend, but Mizuki wishes that he had one so that she could have Kei to herself. The two of them then notice that Miyako disappeared sometime while they were talking.
That afternoon, Kei gets a message from Chihiro about her cold and how she wants to see Renji. After Kei messages her sister back to say that Chihiro should do what Yuu says and not to make the illness worse, she receives a message from Mizuki. The next morning, Hiro come to watch her practice basketball, and when he yawns, she starts lecturing him about it. The main thing she wants to talk to him about though is skipping class yesterday. Hiro claims that he went home to sleep, but Kei knows that he’s lying because she found out from Mizuki about him being with Miyako. According to Kei, Miyako has a reputation for cutting class and ignoring what teachers say. She starts badmouthing Miyako, but Hiro won’t stand for it. However, he accidentally reveals that they only just over Christmas, and this causes Kei to realize that Hiro broke the promise with her to see Miyako.
After three episodes, I find myself preferring the Miyako/Hiro/Kei triangle much more than the Renji/Chihiro relationship. Although the latter is developing the whole 13-hour memory aspect, it’s just overall not as interesting to watch. Part of it is that I’m not really fond of either Renji’s or Chihiro’s characters, and part of it is that they just spend too much time standing around talking without enough actually happening. Conversely, the Miyako/Hiro/Kei triangle has the two girls already at odds with each other, and it feels like the confrontation scene from the prologue DVD could erupt any episode now. Chihiro and Renji’s relationship doesn’t have that kind of dynamic, but hopefully at least the 13-hour memory thing will come into play soon in a more interesting way. I am, however, looking forward to how they connect all this together since they continue to divide the episode in half.
As a side note, if you’re curious what the background words in the OP say, see this site.