Brief comments on ef – a tale of melodies
December 26, 2008
So I just watched the last episode yesterday. Akira‘s review here pretty much sums up how I felt about the series and to put it bluntly, it was above average. What was potentially an amazing story with genuinely dramatic moments and great visual/aural aesthetics, devolved into an increasingly forced and shallow drama of cliches and a bad attempt at avant-garde towards the second half. Such harsh words warrant further justifications on my part but I honestly don’t feel like more criticising. The fact still remains that I was emotionally disconnected to the characters’ plights and their melodies fell deaf to my ears towards the end.
One exception to that might be Hirono Nagi, whose story moved me the most despite her role as a side character. There are subtle indications of Nagi‘s attraction towards Yuu scattered throughout the first half of melodies, which Nagi herself isn’t even aware of until episode 6. Confused by her feelings and reactions to Yuu, she resumes drawing.
I’ve always found the notion of “art as a mirror of artist’s inner self” interesting in both memories and melodies. Through introspective look at the kind of world you conjure up in your stories or the kind of person you sketch on canvas, you begin to better understand yourself and the nature of your relationships with others. She draws and draws but images become obscured and something that is not hers. It’s as if to reflect her denial of the kind of relationship she shares and will continue to share with Yuu; that it’s timeless, that within their friendship she can always yearn for a romantic possibility without crossing the threshold. When she does finally come through, drawings for Nagi is no longer a mirror into her inner turmoil but a platform to fully express her resolution. As she sends Yuu off to his loved one and dips her paintbrush as an artist, what can she do but painfully embrace her tears of unrequited love as a woman? It was cruel in its truest sense. Yet beautifully alluring is her transition from that yearning to resignment. This, for me, was the melody of Hirono Nagi.
So how many of you have watched ef? Enjoyed it? Thinks Nagi is made of more love and win than Yuuko and Mizuki \o/? Feel free to talk about anything ef – related.