On Christmas Eve, Hiro Hirono runs into Miyako Miyamura, a frivolous girl who “borrows” his bicycle in order to chase down a purse thief. After Hiro finds his bicycle wrecked and Miyako unconscious, the two unexpectedly spend their Christmas Eve together, and when they discover they go to the same high school, their accidental relationship develops even further. This sparks the jealousy of Hiro’s childhood friend Kei Shindou, whose pure approach to life catches the eye of Kyosuke Tsutsumi, a womanizing photographer searching for the perfect shot. Elsewhere, Renji Asou, a boy who dreams of being a girl’s knight in shining armor, has a chance encounter with Kei’s twin sister—the overly shy Chihiro Shindou, who spends her time reading alone—at an abandoned train station. The two quickly become friends and eventually decide to write a novel together. However, when Renji discovers Chihiro’s secret, a disability that causes her to have an eternally ephemeral memory, his childish ideals will be put to the test. Guided by two mysterious adults, these youths’ relationships intertwine in a heart-rending tale of love, rejection, acceptance, and memories. – My Anime List
Based on 17 review scores:
If you are looking for romance or a tear-jerker—look no further…wonderful stories, great music,fabulous artwork blended together to make anime to be enjoyed over & over. Personally, I was hooked during the first episode.Tho at times a little confusing, the ending will tear you apart.This one stays in my Q !!!
As this amazing story continues we will get to know more characters, their problems and how they are all connected with each other. Ef is a more drama and story oriented anime, unlike all those other harem/comedy anime game adaptations that flood the market each season for the last 5 years. The unique animation and camera-movements, same as the serious themes and topics that each of the characters are dealing with in their own ways, is what makes this show different and probably the best series this season even while competing against KyoAni’s Clannad and all those second seasons of well established anime that are airing currently.
This is one beautiful Anime, one that I may never watch again because it hurt so much. However, hopefully, one day, I can put on my man pants and watch it again because I truly believe full heartedly that this Anime is worth the watch.
My favorite of the year. It is conceivable that my opinion might change once I finish three other shows from this year, Bokurano, Gurren Lagann, and Darker than Black. But for now, it stands head and shoulders above every other dramatic series I’ve seen this year for its unique and meaningful qualities.
ef-a Tale of Memories takes the stage with all the panache and showmanship of an accomplished magician who knows how to play to his audience’s expectations while also playing to their cynicism in such a way that they actually bring themselves further into the illusion by looking to dismantle it. The series introduces some items which could be seen as the typical tools of the trade and as such the series changes up how the show is performed with its unique storytelling style that forces the audience to concentrate on putting the pieces in order and at the same time bringing them into the illusion in a subtle way. The cynic can note all they want how, when looking at the final product the story doesn’t do a lot that is completely imaginative or new but those with any trace of romance in their soul will find they don’t care as originality is really rare in the grand scheme of things but what really carries the day is the heart behind a series. When a story has heart and then can move one step further and cause the suspension of a good deal of cynicism a tale can go from good to outstanding, and “outstanding” is where this series finds itself. Recommended.
The Outer Haven
Two main stories intertwined in an overall bigger picture set the stage for a classic telling of tragic love!
My Anime List
This show is truly one of the best shows I’ve watched, and I think that anyone who enjoys a tear-jerking show will love this show. Fully and completely.
Ef: A Tale of Memories is one of the finest romance anime you’ll come across. I earnestly urge my kouhais to watch this. Such a simple setup yet a massive depth of story and complex emotions are very rare to come by. So why not give it a shot?
Anime News Network
A Tale of Memories is a predominately serious story whose humor is mostly incidental. It strives to be more mature and realistic in its portrayal of its core relationships, and does have some potentially affecting moments, but it never fully achieves the emotional impact that it sets out for and certainly falls short of the typical Key/Visual Art’s adaptation in that regard. It also has an uneven level of success in its execution of the core relationships; Hiro/Miyako/Kei works best and is the most convincingly hard-won, but Renji/Chihiro seems a little too simple a resolution for the complications involved. It also stumbles on integrating the three central stories as much as one might expect from the way they are interlaced; Hiro/Miyako/Kei and Kyosuke/Kei’s stories overlap some, but Renji/Chihiro’s is so entirely independent that the only indication that their story is going on in the same time frame as the other two is an occasional phone message between Chihiro and Kei. For some, the realism, distinctive aesthetics, and character development will be enough of a draw, but others will find that the talky nature and limited animation offset the series’ other appealing factors.
The Nihon Review
Despite several animation bloopers which leaves the visuals ranging from jaw-droppingly stunning at times to jaw-droppingly bad at others, Oonuma’s effort is a melodramatic masterpiece that has left me eager to see what he can come up with next. In fact, he barely fails to make me forget about my initial reservations, where I thought that someone like Shinkai Makoto would have been better helming this adaptation instead. The visual style may be a hit/miss affair, the story execution may not be as good as it gets, but nothing else in my memory presents emotions so raw and yet so real. For that very reason, ef ~a tale of memories~ is a very worthwhile watch, even if the SHAFT visual style is something of an acquired taste.
I’m not usually that in to the romance genre but this seriously almost killed me. If you have half a heart it will have the same effect on you. I would recommend it to almost anyone as it just punches you right in the feelings.
It definitely has its flaws; the plot is slow to get rolling, the dialogue is sometimes cheesy to the point of being cringe-worthy and the voice-acting (both original and English dub mind you) is largely so cutesy it’s almost unbearable. But, the characters really start to blossom after 3 or 4 episodes. I am, as usual with anime releases, disappointed with the lack of extras, although I am now resigned to the fact that this is the norm in the medium. However, $49.99 is still quite pricey considering this lack of features. Yet, I still highly recommend A Tale of Memories, though maybe not to the staunchest of males out there. The female contingent will love it, and if you’re one who’s secure enough in your manhood to watch a touching love story and not be embarrassed, then you should too.
Sophie’s Japan Blog
Overall, I give ‘ef: A Tale of Memories’ a solid 7 out of 10. It was interesting to see two separate love stories play out together and it probably was inevitable that I would like one more than the other, as most people would. I recommend buying the DVD for the beautiful and at times borderline-existential animation alone. Shoujo fans will love this series and, good news, there’s a sequel called ‘ef: A Tale of Melodies’, which is also coming out from MVM this month!
In that way, it reminds me of Kanon, and come to think of it, whether or not you enjoyed Kyoto’s 2006 adaptation of Key’s game might be a good litmus test for what your mileage with ef will be. A lot of the same elements are still there: some comedy, a lot of drama, really big eyes, and a whole lotta emotion. And while it won’t come close to unseating Kanon as the best v-novel romance, it does pack a strong emotional punch.
ef: a tale of memories is an overall aggravating experience for all but the most diehard of shoujo fans. Even having to write the title in all lowercase is annoying. The series is melodramatic mush filled with unlikeable whiners who would all benefit from simply ignoring each other. You can spend 288 minutes of your life much better than watching hormonal, angst-ridden teenagers dwell and cry over every facet of their mundane lives. The story commits numerous party fouls that entrench its status as one of the more frustrating anime series that I have ever had to endure.