ef – a tale of melodies [ep 7]

by eternal on November 27, 2008

A mere week after the biggest twist of the series – and still one of my favourite scenes ever – the Kuze/Mizuki arc shoots forward in leaps and bounds. If you thought it couldn’t get any better, then…well, I suppose you were half wrong. Melodies hasn’t gotten better in my eyes, but then again, how could anything that I perceive as perfect possibly become better than perfect?

Awesome work, Yuu. Way to prove to the audience that you’re not just a gutless harem lead.

The above screencaps were taken over the course of a minute of time in the video file. Imagine that; all it takes is a single minute to convey an almost incalcuable amount of meaning and emotion. Kuze’s decaying body, his physical and psychological struggle as he grows more and more dependent on his pills, his self-defense philosophy that caused him to push Mizuki away in order to avoid pain…and last but not least, the image of Nagi trapped behind the proof of the passing of time and Kuze’s inevitable death, unable to do anything. All of this, culminating into Kuze’s wall of masks as he continues to try to run from the truth, was told through nothing but a quick exchange of words played over a series of meaningful pictures.

And imagine: if you were watching a mediocre shounen for that same time frame, the hero might still be roaring at the bad guy while his hair gets spikier.

Yuuko is still in the picture, but it looks as if the revelation of the truth wasn’t all she needed.

Of all people, who would have guessed that he would wind up being the reserved type? Certainly not me.

Only in the world of ef can it snow rain.

The option he granted her, that she was never able to accept.

I was surprised to see such a stereotypical line bring a smile to my face.

The sheer honesty and blind determination of Mizuki’s love appeals to me, in some odd way. I can’t say that I can relate to her, but I think I can understand her simple goal of wanting to be with the person she cares about, even while disregarding the rest of reality.

I’m also impressed by Kei’s character. As I might or might not have mentioned before, she never made much of an impression on me in the first season, but she seems much more mature and believable this time around. She’s the kind of person one could seek advice from.

First thing that came to mind: a sepia-stained world.

Like I said, her problems can’t be solved that easily…which is good, because we’ve still got quite a few more episodes to fill.

This is how the recent GAR in Clannad should have been done; with black rain, a colourless backdrop, and a clash of emotions epic enough to pierce the heavens.

And here it comes, the highlight of the episode. Note the physical separation between Kuze and Mizuki; her warm colours are unable to penetrate his cold exterior.

Shinbo is at it again. Also, it’s worth mentioning that the haphazard cuts eventually repeated themselves over Mizuki’s body, and later encompassed the entire screen. …Like I said, he’s at it again.

Why do you give me hope?
I felt like crying when I heard that ;_;

And so he pushes her away, his wall of masks winning against her love.

The inner workings of Kuze’s body, depicted quite literally, much like in the old conversation about the musician’s heartbeat.


In a word: brilliant. Like always, melodies delivers, providing me with my weekly dose of drama and heart rate-increasing moments that border on shoujo fangirl-ism. This time, instead of wanting to rip my eyes out to escape from Yuuko’s disturbing confession, I was practically awwwign the entire time – much like when I first watched Honey and Clover – when Kuze and Mizuki were together. I never found anything wrong with their relationship to begin with (funny what the internet does to your head), but even the naysayers must be changing their minds by now; it’s virtually impossible to watch this show and not feel something for those two. Even though it was a bad ending in every possible way, seeing Kuze regain his will to live after remembering the time he spent with Mizuki……

There’s no need for me to rave on about it any longer, but really, it triggered every sense I have at the back of my mind for good romance, and at the end of it, I was halfway between grinning like an idiot and crying. Once more, congrats to Shaft and minori and everyone behind this project for dragging so much emotion out of me in a mere 22 minutes.

On the other side of things, the Yuuko/Yuu route seems to be taking a turn for the worse, with Yuu’s realization of his helplessness. As if he hadn’t hurt her enough already, he finally realized that even with his newfound knowledge, there was nothing he could do – it was her own psychological scars that were holding her back, not her inability to call for help. I’m tempted to tell him to just stab the guy, which is what I felt like doing after episode 6, but we all know that it isn’t that simple. They’re going to have to find a way out of this somehow, but I won’t venture to guess how.

No matter how you look at it, though, this episode was about Kuze and Mizuki, and it marked the biggest turning point in their relationship this far. It was as if the purpose of the entire episode was to define the problems in Kuze’s mind that led him to be indecisive and hesitant, and to reconfirm Mizuki’s feelings for him, because in the end, both of these elements led up to that final heartbreaking scene. Kuze spilled his heart, and by the time he realized just how shallow minded he was being, it was already too late.

But he still wants to live – no one would lick tablets off the ground if they didn’t – and he still wants to see her again. All of his sadness and fear culminated into that one final ambition; to live, and to be happy, just like he should have been. The problem is, neither willpower nor affection can prevent the inevitable.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

M12 November 28, 2008 at 6:07 am

You know that monologue segment? He’s using a lot of different adjectives to express the same thing. It’s fun to be different, but you know, that’s what I think of it.

I really like your analysis, though. It helped me notice some things I didn’t know before :).

I also liked the last scene with Kuze confessing he wanted to live. It’s a nice realisation.

M12s last blog post..Stupid publishe – crap it’s our fault?


ETERNAL November 30, 2008 at 11:04 pm

Hmm…I never thought about that before, actually. Good point. And thanks for reading as always ;p


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