ef ~a tale of memories~

Genre: Romance
Length: 12 episodes
Score: Excellent

This series focuses on two protagonists, Hiro and Renji, both high school students.

Renji’s a fairly uninteresting high school student (though seemingly a good cook). At an abandoned train station, he meets a girl named Chihiro. He soon learns that as a result of a car accident in her past, Chihiro suffers from a type of amnesia where her memory essentially returns to that of herself aged 12 every 13 hours. Over their meetings at the station, he discovers Chihiro’s dream of writing a novel, the chains that her condition imposes on her, and her dependence on her diary to “rediscover” the her of yesterday each new day when she wakes up.

Hiro’s an ever-broke chap who juggles his life between catching the odd day or two at school and drawing shoujo manga for a living. He’s helped through the trials and tribulations of like (i.e cooking and cleaning) by his childhood friend, Kei. One cold Christmas night after meeting a very strange woman in church, his bike gets stolen by another strange girl, Miyako. He runs after her and finds her collapsed on the street. A complicated and emotional love triangle ensues between Kei and Miyako.

This is an absolutely brilliant love story – definitely one of the best I’ve seen for a few years. Each protagonist in each couple is developed in great depth – particularly their fears, which in the complicated relationships they find themselves in are especially poignent. There are some truly brutal moments in the series – Renji/Chichiro’s story particularly, and it’s not for the faint hearted. There’s at least one moment that gave me the same kick in the guts that the end of Mahoromatic did – it’s that powerful.

If you enjoy a good love story, go and watch this. You’ll struggle to beat it.