Ef: A Tale of Melodies — Complete Collection Blu-ray Review
- Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
- Audio Codec: Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo, English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo
- Subtitles: English
- Region: A (Region-Locked)
- Rating: TV-MA (DS)
- Discs: 2 (2 x Blu-ray)
- Run Time: 300 Mins.
- Studio: Sentai Filmworks
- Blu-ray Release Date: March 20, 2012
- List Price: $69.98
Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures
(All Blu-rayDefinition.com screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
In Ef: A Tale of Melodies all the characters from the first installment of this anime adaptation of the visual novel, Ef- A Fairy Tale of the Two, return, but the focus now shifts to a different set of characters. Now the story zooms in on Renji’s neighbor Kuze who has been spending time with Renji’s cousin teenage cousin Mizuki. The two begin to fall in love, but Kuze has a terrible secret – a fatal heart condition that will soon end his life and he doesn’t want to leave with ties to the world. Meanwhile, Yuu Himura, Kuze’s longtime friend, is remembering his teenage love Yuko Amamiya, and through a series of flashbacks, the story of their ill fated love is told. Yuu, who still carries the weight of his love for her on his shoulders, can never be free unless he can find some closure in the present day – can her love reach him across time? It’s a story of love, loss, and hope with intertwined characters and developments.
Unlike the first series, Ef- A Tale of Memories, I found this one to be awfully difficult to follow, somewhat ponderous and ultimately predictable in its storyline. While the animation is still quite compelling – beautiful use of lighting and color – the character development didn’t move me at all here, making this a disappointing second part to this franchise.
It’s nearly impossible to find fault with anything in this AVC/MPEG-4 1080p/24 encodement of Ef: A Tale of Melodies from Sentai Filmworks. The animation is as pure and sharply detailed as one would imagine the creators intended. Apart from some color banding that looks to be part of the original animation rather than a consequence of the compression, there are no artifacts or visual distractions to speak of.
While the original Japanese mix and English dub in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo don’t allow for as immersive an experience as a surround mix would have, they are both rather strong, solid experiences providing clean dialogue, a good sense of directionality, and nice dynamics.
There’s nothing here, really, besides the typical clean animations and additional trailers from Sentai.
The Definitive Word
I thought A Tale of Melodies would be as moving as A Tale of Memories, but it wasn’t. Ultimately the unnecessary complexity and trivial nature of some of the character developments left me feeling cold. It’s a beautiful production that didn’t live up to its potential.