Why I don’t love ef
I had planned to watch ef ever since some bloggers started talking about it, but I also firmly etched in my mind that I will wait until the final episode of ef has been aired. Since the final episode aired some time ago, I started watching ef three days ago. By then there were eleven episodes subbed, so I dutifully downloaded each one. I ventured to marathon the series, but changed my mind after I watched the first episode: it was heavy and relatively emotional without the light-hearted interpellation that characterized Honey and Clover. Consequently, the first episode cemented my decision to view the series piecemeal, one to two episodes at most in one sitting.
These are ef’s main girls.
I was ready to give up by the second episode. I usually give series three episodes to prove their worth (to me) before I dispose of them as trash or simply not to my proclivities. Watching the first two episodes was a test of patience. I found Chihiro and Miyako to be utterly unbelievable, and I did not have an ounce of empathy towards them. This was most definitely an omen.
However, I valued korosora‘s opinions since I have had protractedly chatted with him online and I believe his tastes in anime series were quite good. He told me to be patient until episode seven, since that was when the series began to be awesome: I acquiesced with his request, and so I kept on. Unlike him, however, my appreciation for the series took a nosedive instead of accreted: I hated the bathos, which magnified the series’s lack of originality, at least for me.
The multitudinous messages from Miyako was nothing but an atavism to Tokimeki Memorial ~ Only Love‘s Yayoi Mina. If I remember correctly, she also sent Riku a plethora of messages that were sent because of her anxiety. They were, to my recollection, also unanswered. The primary difference, however, between Miyako and Mina was that I was besotted with Mina. Although she changed for the worse as the show progressed because of her obsession with Riku, her facial features were more appealing, and more importantly, her attitude was, also. I know that most romances are unoriginal nowadays; in fact, one may argue that nothing is original nowadays, only that this is magnified with romance series. This cliche struck me more, however, because I was already initially dissatisfied with the series. I guess there is a truth to the saying that one’s eyes grow bigger whenever one is critical of something: one tends to want to see more as well as truly see more because one is not blinded by one’s biases. I would admit, Honey and Clover has quite a significant number of flaws, but I just cannot see them right now seeing as how I am besotted with the franchise. Likewise, Guncannon cannot see any flaws with anything involved with KEY primarily because he loves the company and its products dearly.
Yes, these are Google Image results because I could not open any image board when this was posted.
With that said, the storyline behind Chihiro and Renji is reminiscent of 50 First Dates. I do not know if someone else has written of this, but their story has become cliched because of that. In case one is unfamiliar of the popular, feel-good movie, Drew Barrymore is an amnesiac akin to Chihiro. Instead of a 13-hour memory, however, Drew Barrymore has a memory that does not disappear so long as she does not go to sleep. Adam Sandler struggles with his feelings toward her, much like Renji did. To conclude simply: it had been done before.
I will not compare the show with Honey and Clover. My bias towards that show is inexorable. I will, however, compare to ef’s peer which is Kimikiss ~ Pure Rouge. I think these two are better suited juxtaposed with one another. First, both involve two primary male leads: there is Renji and Hiro for ef while there is Kazuki and Kouichi for Kimikiss. Second, both are set in a high-school environment. Third, Hiro has to deal with two women, and so does Kouichi; Kazuki has his eyes only on Eriko (as of episode twelve), and Renji has his eyes only on Chihiro also (as of episode seven). I am pretty sure that there are many other parallelisms that can be found, but I am simply trying to drive home the point that the two shows are proximal enough in terms of the genre and the setting to allow proper comparison. After this, however, is opinion, so feel free to disagree.
Kimikiss evokes in me a sense of empathy for the characters. I can understand and comprehend their struggles without these struggles seeming superfluous. On the other hand, ef, from some parts of episode four, to almost the entirety of episode seven’s second half, made me cringe to the extent of expecting something sanguinary occurring in the following episode. It was overwrought, affected, and quite frankly, simply bathetic. Bloodletting was in the air, like Sekai’s performance of Makoto’s involuntary hara-kiri: I expected someone to die within the episode itself. The show is much better than School Days, most definitely, but when one thinks of such occurrences, it is impossible for one to think highly of the show. Kimikiss, at least, does not make me think of these things. Kimikiss allows me to reminisce the quaint occurrences of my high school life, and I love the show for it. Of course, I also appreciate the romances, but that is merely topping on the cake.
There’s Sumire, however, a pretty older woman.
I am not averse to avant-garde animation. I love Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, and I love Mononoke as well as Ayakashi‘s Bakeneko arc. I also watched and liked Kemonozume. I know that the abrupt changes in color symbolized and suggested many ideas, but I felt that they simply did those changes for the kick of it. It was simply jolting in a bad way.
korosora, I am sorry, but I have watched and “absorbed” episode seven with barely any changes in my initial opinion: the show is decent, but not awesome. Everything seemed to be a rehash, only done worse and with less taste.