Ef- A Tale of Memories is a twelve episode anime based on an adult visual novel. Of course, there have been some decent anime based off of H games, not many mind you, but maybe this’ll be one of them. Let’s take a look and find out.
There are really three loosely connected stories in this. The first is a love triangle with a moron, an idiot and a brainless twit. The second is about a naive moron who meets a girl with a memory defect and the third is about an imbecile trying to make an art film. The only one that had the potential to be interesting is the second and that potential is squandered both by the time wasted on the other two stories and by a major problem with the entire anime, melodrama. This anime is melodramatic to the point of ridiculous. Every minor thing that happens in loose relation to the plot gets needlessly exaggerated in an attempt to make you empathize with the cast which is a futile exercise but more on that later. What isn’t absurdly melodramatic is just dull and drags on. It’s not like there wasn’t room for interesting story in this, the execution just fails.
Now, let’s talk about why empathizing with the characters just isn’t going to happen. The biggest issue is that they’re overly dramatic, dull-witted teenagers. They’re like the people that no one wanted to be around in High School because they turned everything into a huge issue from a teacher chastising them to another girl wearing the same shirt as them. It’s not charming or endearing, it’s annoying. If I wanted to watch high school students being overly dramatic and stupid, I’d be a teacher. Really, the characters needed to be older in this, or at the very least less childish, not to mention more three-dimensional, for the concept to work and that simply isn’t the case.
Talking about the art in this is going to be a bit longer than usual. They try to be artsy with such stunning visual effects as randomly going black and white or cropping out almost everything on the screen to focus on one small thing, but that kind of style doesn’t work unless there’s a coherent reasoning behind it. That isn’t the case with this, the anime isn’t that intelligent. It’s simply trying to appear intelligent through superficial means without actually having intelligent content as such it’s just annoying. It’s the equivalent of that one idiot who tries to look smart by wearing glasses that they don’t need. No one falls for that either. Take away the effects and you’re left with art that’s pretty mediocre with uninspired character designs and scant backgrounds.
The voice acting isn’t particularly interesting or memorable. I don’t blame the voice actors for it since they’re working with a script that fluctuates between melodramatic and dull. Honestly, it’s a bit impressive that they manage to not be completely obnoxious during the melodramatic scenes. The music is so utterly dull that I really can’t remember anything about it even though I just finished the series a couple hours ago as of the moment I’m writing this. Nowadays I give a series about twenty four hours between finishing it and writing the review but that wasn’t the case for some of these.
The yuri factor is a 2/10. There’s a minor character who mentions having a crush on her female upperclassman once, but it’s a throwaway scene that goes nowhere and is never mentioned or alluded to again. Ef- A Tale of Memories: where scenes don’t have to connect to the plot in a meaningful way.
My final rating for Ef- A Tale of Memories is a 4/10. I honestly don’t hate it. It’s a mostly dull and mediocre series with a few annoying factors that make me consider it sub-par overall. I can’t really recommend it to anyone unless you really enjoy high school melodrama.