ef – a tale of melodies [ep 10]

by eternal on December 18, 2008

Not unlike a jigsaw puzzle, the pieces of this little fairy tale are finally coming together – but the closer we reach to completion, the more mysterious the final image appears. Somewhere on the line between tragedy and salvation, the story and characters continue to develop, in a world dominated by both both boundless horrors and fantasy-fulfilling saviors. It is on this line that the characters have lived up until now, and whether in the past or the present, neither they nor the viewers know when salvation may arrive or when tragedy may strike.

Time appears to have passed by quickly after Akira’s death, healing the wounds of the couple in question quite well – almost too well, one might say. There isn’t any indication as to how much time passed, but it appears as if Yu and Yuuko have gotten over the scars of their pasts, and they’re now able to live out their blissful lives with one another. Much like the life they once tried to attain when they escaped from Akira, only to be pulled back in the end, the pair was finally able to overcome the clutches of their memories. One might call it illogical – which it is, in many ways – but on the other hand, neither of them have anything to worry about. In the absence of further threats, wouldn’t their wounds heal far quicker? Compared to Kuze, who had nothing to fall back on and no way of overcoming his hardships, it’s no surprise that Yu and Yuuko were able to overcome their problems together.

And then, Mizuki. In a single episode, the entire series comes together, showing us at last Mizuki’s connection with the main characters and the truth behind her past. And as it looks, her past isn’t all too pretty.

Meanwhile, Yu and Yuuko share a heartfelt moment as Yu reminisces on his gone but not forgotten sister. The shackles of his past – their pasts, most likely – still hold on to him, but they aren’t enough to hold him back.

A glimpse into Mizuki’s recurring dream. What kind of psychological wound did her parents’ foolish decision make on her?

And once more, another revelation is made; the source of the true melody, and the transfer of it’s sound from one person to another. Much like the keys to the roofs, the melody of melodies has traveled from the creative mind of a young violinist, to the damaged Yuuko seeking anything that could save her, and then to the slowly healing Mizuki. The song would stay with her for the rest of her life, and as fate would have it, she would one day come in contact with it again – or to be more precise, come in contact with the song’s original creator.

And so it happened: their first encounter, and the “keepsake” that stayed with her for her entire life. It may have only been something as simple as a hairstyle (which is saying something, actually, considering the nature of anime characters’ hair), but it was something important to her nonetheless, and it serves as the proof that she and Kuze met when she was still but a lonely child. I’m certain that none could have guessed at the kind of battle she would be fighting years later.

And finally, the (somewhat anticlimatic) tragedy.

I’ve had nothing but compliments about this show since it started, but I must admit, a scene as important as that could have been done in about a million better ways. The Engrish worked surprisingly well, but for a character this important to die because of a…car? We already know that transportation vehicles (boats included) are the worst enemy of characters in Asian romance/drama stories, so why would any sane person risk walking onto the street that carelessly so close to the end of the show? Something bad was bound to happen. It almost reminded me of Kaho’s route in Hourglass of Summer, where she stupidly (no offence, I love Kaho) tried to undo a full route’s worth of gameplay just because she couldn’t wait an extra minute to see you. Anime characters can be stupid, but this was almost SENSEI! NINOMIYA-KUN!!-level stupidity.

With that said, however, the episode as a whole was both soothing and entrancing. The constant revelations in the story, getting to see the truth behind everything that happened…things like that are the highlight of almost every plot, and needless to say, it flowed by smoothly. Add that to the fact that the characters have finally overcome their problems, and you get an enjoyable 22 minutes. However, the sullen backdrop remained throughout, reminding us that the darkness still existed; the story wasn’t over yet, and the “perfect” ending that both Yu and Yuuko must have been imagining was still far, far off. They would have to wait until the present day to witness the conclusion of their story.

In the end, however, I’m still trying to figure out how any of this makes sense. Is Yuuko dead? I mean, she wasn’t supposed to die, was she? Maybe I missed something here – I’ve been avoiding VN spoilers for the entire season – but something feels a little odd. However, I’m not one to speculate; I have faith in both SHAFT and minori, and I’m sure that it’ll all make sense in the next couple weeks.

Because for now, a greater problem presents itself: Mizuki, the two keys, and one dying violinist.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Choux December 20, 2008 at 2:36 pm

Her parents took her to an amusement park, and on the way back home they drove off a cliff into the ocean. On the way down her mother turned around and chocked her (that was her mother’s hand). Ironically, that chocking prevented her from swallowing too much water and actually saved her. After that, she had this fear for the ocean. And after she saved Kuze’s violin she felt sick not only because of her cold, but because of her dear.

Chouxs last blog post..The thing about jeans


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