ef – a tale of melodies [ep 8]

by eternal on December 5, 2008

Fear the power of psychological breaking. We all knew this guy was messed up, but it looks like he’s messed up and smart, which is a bad combination for our tragic couple. It looks like this is the beginning of the end – and it’s an end that I’m both anticipating and dreading.

Taking a break from the melodramatic scenes with over-elaborate visual effects, Shaft presents us with a rather mellowed-down episode this week – mellowed-down, but powerful.

It makes your heart hurt, doesn’t it? It should, if you’re human.

And so it begins: Yuu’s “brilliant” plan to escape with the one he loves. It sounds impractical – and really, it was impractical – but can anyone really blame him? At least he was brave enough to try and do something, because he certainly couldn’t stand by and watch her get hurt.

They just teleported to the town from AIR.

Is it just me, or is the animation…normal?

Yuuko kinda reminds me of Matsuri Shiho with that hat. They’re both designed by Naru Nanao if I’m not mistaken.

The relationship between Yu and Yuuko reaches a whole new level with these developments. Away from the watchful eye – and much worse – of Akira, the couple is given the opportunity to live their lives as they please. Almost like a pair of newlyweds, they’re experiencing the joys of living together for the first time; however, this entire segment was giving me Saikano vibes, and I can see that my fears weren’t unfounded.

Meanwhile, Kuze finally lets his emotions loose, effectively cursing the fact that he’s in love with Mizuki and that he can’t do a thing about it due to his circumstances. It was interesting to hear him admit directly that he was “broken”, but even after realizing that, he’s unable to change anything. How can he, when it’s his body that’s failing him, not his mind?

Getting back on track, Yu and Yuuko’s paradise was soon shattered.

Akira proves to be smarter than he appears, psychologically destroying Yuu without even trying.

And so, they return to square one.

Back in the present day, Mizuki receives Kuze’s violin and plays it one last time.

Brilliant. Truly brilliant. This has to be the single greatest quote I’ve heard all season.

Ultimately, Mizuki realizes that she’s the only one capable of saving him.

Like I said at the beginning of the post, it seems obvious to me that this is the beginning of the end; both arcs have passed their climatic conflict, and now both have reached their turning points where the protagonists are fighting to obtain that ever elusive “good end”.

Needless to say, the main focus this time was on the Yu/Yuuko route, with their elaborate plan to escape reality and live their lives by themselves failing miserably at the hands of Akira. While I believe that the pair may have overcome their problems eventually – all wounds heal with time, or so I’d like to believe – the addition of their one continuous curse was too much for them to bear. Not only was Yuuko afraid of her brother, but even Yu himself was wounded by the man, given how disturbingly similar their situations are; it didn’t take much for Akira to utterly overpower him. Add that to his age and general experience in life, and it’s no surprise that he was able to play on Yu’s weakness without even trying.

After being “abandoned” by the one person she was depending on, Yuuko effectively reverted to the state of a child, searching for her “brother” and thus making her psychological scars even more obvious. I don’t doubt her feelings for Yu at this point – why run off with him if she only wanted to make him suffer? – but the damage done to her since her childhood runs even deeper than that. Much like how Yu lost sight of reality when he was reminded of the death of his sister, Yuuko’s loneliness and subsequent fear of loneliness kicked in the instant the person she relied on was taken away.

On the other side of the story, it was mainly a restatement of facts: Kuze cares about Mizuki but can’t bring himself to do anything about it, and Mizuki thinks that she’s already lost. However, being the ever-genki girl that she is, it didn’t take much to get her back on her feet, and it looks like she’s going to be fighting for him until the very end. Having seen that Yu and Yuuko are still separated as adults, one must wonder how things will ever work out between them, but the entire story seems to be coming together, and it’s only a matter of time before we have our conclusion.

And we can only hope that it will be a good conclusion.


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

animekritik December 5, 2008 at 9:49 pm

Throughout this episode I found myself questioning Yuu’s feelings for Yuuko. Is he really in love with her, or just doing what he thinks is right??

animekritiks last blog post..Last Ditch Propaganda Effort for Marmalade Boy


M12 December 6, 2008 at 1:21 am

Nah my heart doesn’t hurt. I’m not human. Nah just kidding.
Bah that guy who abuses Yuuko. Should’ve killed him last episode!
Yeah, that love quote is pretty good. It’s sad because it’s pretty much true, too.

M12s last blog post..Saturday Night Fiesta!


ETERNAL December 7, 2008 at 10:23 pm

@ animekritik: Indeed; given his position, he didn’t really have much of a choice, regardless of his feelings. Of course, that would only make it worse for her in the end.

@ M12: I’d like to think that killing him would solve everything, but whenever I do, I remember how I thought the same thing about Akito from Fruits Basket and how my opinion completely changed by the end…


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: