A SHAFT sequel that really needs no introduction, ef – a tale of melodies. seemingly continues where ef – a tale of memories. left off, except this time the story revolves around some of the other characters. Referred to as “ef2” by minori, the story thus far appears to revolve around two separate tales, with one being Himura Yuu and Amamiya Yuuko‘s, and the other Kuze Shuuichi and Hayama Mizuki‘s. With Yuu and Shuuichi sharing a common past, it’ll be interesting to see how their stories intertwine, especially with a new character to the anime series—Hirono Hiro’s older sister, Nagi (…which probably explains where Hiro’s pen name “Shindou Nagi” came from). Voiced by Itou Shizuka and having a new take on nude art where the artist draws in the buff, Nagi has already become the most interesting character in my eyes. Thus far, she’s only been shown in Yuu and Shuuichi’s flashbacks though, so it’ll be interesting to see how much of a role she plays in the overall story. With Yuu and Yuuko’s mysterious presence being felt throughout the first series, I’m looking forward to seeing the story between those two as well. Shuuichi on the other hand is bearing a secret concerning his past as a professional violinist, hiding behind masks (figuratively speaking), and taking medication (supposedly). To hopefully uncover what his seemingly dark secret is Shindou Kei’s number one fan, Mizuki.
Visual-wise, we’re treated to backdrop after backdrop of jaw dropping sunsets and vast skies, but any source of light in ef seems to give off that surreal effect. Definitely no complaints in that department. Music-wise, TENMON and ELISA return to compose and sing the opening song respectively, so “ebullient future” sounds a lot like “euphoric field” at several parts. I would imagine this was done on purpose though, especially seeing how the words “euphoric” and “field” appear in the opening sequence. Personally, I love how the two songs tie together so well, since it makes this series really feel like a direct sequel in every aspect. The one different thing that I noticed though is how bold the girls are this time around, with Nagi baring it all in front of Yuu, and Mizuki willingly dressing up in Shuuichi’s strange collection of female uniforms. It works for me though as I really like the female characters in this series, so the more nude drawing and cosplaying the better. On a separate note, I was surprised to see Renji have a part here, as I thought him, Hiro, and Kyousuke wouldn’t show up this time around. However, I guess that can’t be avoided in Renji’s case, being Shuuichi’s neighbour and all. As such, I hope to see Hiro and Kyousuke sometime down the road (at least briefly), but we’ll have to wait and see if they show up at all. There was a paper airplane in Yuu’s past though, so perhaps they’ll tie in Hiro with Nagi somehow.
I think it’s only a given to follow this sequel if you were a fan of the first series, so it’s really a no-brainer in that regard. With SHAFT in charge of production and TENMON in charge of music, I feel rest assured that we’re in store for a surreal, emotional, roller coaster ride of a season again. The image of Yuu being crucified in the opening sequene is kind of severe, making me wonder if that’s supposed to be foreshadowing anything. Last but not least, the first episode title was “ever”, with the next one being “read”, so it doesn’t seem like they’re spelling out the opening song title “ebullient future” this time around. Any guesses as to what they’re going to spell out with the first letters of each episode title?
– Amamiya Yuuko (雨宮 優子) : Nakajima Yumiko (中島 裕美子)
– Himura Yuu (火村 夕) : Toochika Kouichi (遠近 孝一)
– Hayama Mizuki (羽山 ミズキ) : Gotou Mai (後藤 麻衣)
– Kuze Shuuichi (久瀬 修一) : Hamada Kenji (浜田 賢二)
– Hirono Nagi (広野 凪) : Itou Shizuka (伊藤 静)
– Amamiya Akira (雨宮 明良) : Furusawa Tooru (古澤 徹)
– Shindou Kei (新藤 景) : Okada Junko (岡田 純子)
– Shindou Chihiro (新藤 千尋) : Yanase Natsumi (やなせ なつみ)
– Asou Renji (麻生 蓮治) : Takagi Motoki (高城 元気)
– Asou Sumire (麻生 すみれ) : Aoki Sayaka (あおき さやか)
– Miyamura Miyako (宮村 みやこ) : Taguchi Hiroko (田口 宏子)
– Hirono Hiro (広野 紘) : Shimono Hiro (下野 紘)
– Himura Akane (火村 茜) : Shimeno Junko (〆野 潤子)
– Izumi Emi (泉 絵美) : Nobiki Kaori (野引 香里)