ef -tale of melodies- : Episode 10 – Part 2

[continued from before]

Summary

With Yuuko committing herself to be Miki’s friend, the two girls were often seen together… though Yuu had yet to realize that.

With the three of them holding hands, they looked like family…

During their walk, Miki made a promise to Yuko. The older girl reasoned that if she remained sad, more sad things will happen. However, if she tried to be happy, then she’s bound to find happiness.

Hearing her words, Yuu was inspired to create a better world, a perfect world without any sadness or suffering.

Back at home, Yuu and Yuko found a letter addressed to them. It was from Kuze. He wanted to let them know that he’s returning to Japan back for Christmas.

While on the subject, Yuko asked if he was busy that day.

To her disappointment, Yuu said that he’ll be working.

But because he shifted hours, Yuu could leave early, opening up time for a Christmas date.

When that day arrived, Yuu bought a bouquet of flowers for Yuko. On the way back, he bumped into Nagi.

Seeing what’s in hand, she lamented about how they don’t suit him. Before he could get too riled up, Nagi noted that they would definitely match Yuko.

At the same time, Yuko was preparing her gift, the scarf she knitted while waiting for him in church.

In another place in town, Miki was waiting for them when she heard a familiar song.

Entranced by it, she ran toward the source, eventually finding Kuze playing his violin.

A sudden gust of wind blows through and Miki struggles to keep her hair out of her face.

Seeing her struggle, Kuzu took off his ribbon and tied it on Miki.

Arriving at the church, Yuko was a bit early. Meaning to wait, that changed when a gust of wind blew by. After recovering, she spotted a ball that rolled onto the street.

Seeing it brought back childhood memories. She remembered the times when Yuu and her played together.

Reaching for it, Yuko neglected to check the street… failing to see a car speeding her way. By the time she noticed, it was too late.

Back with Yuu, Nagi was about to leave when they spotted Miki. The girl pointed at the skies, seeing the sunlight streaming through the clouds. Nagi explained to her that it was a “Stairway of Angels”, symbolizing the descent of angels onto Earth.

Contrasting sharply from before, Yuko leaned against a tree, barely conscious as her wounds continued to bleed. In her final moments, she tried singing her song of courage…

But she couldn’t finish, her body giving in to the dark embrace of death. Her final wish… was to see her lover again. Her feelings must have carried through since the very same ball that took her life rolled toward Yuu.

That was when Yuu and Miki noticed her prone form… and then tragedy really took heart.

And that OP, usually found at the beginning of the episode, starts playing in an melancholic tone. Only the piano accompanied the singer… making the song sound hollow and sad.

But that’s not the last of Yuko… as we see a grainy memory, a time when she entrusted a key to him.

It was the key to her haven, the place she sought when she was lonely. Yuu took it, promising to give it to someone who needs it [season 1].

Impressions

Yuu and Yuko’s story seemed better than Kuze and Miki’s, far more emotional and painful to read. But never did I expect such a random ending. I knew that Yuko would die but envisioned a more provoking death than a mere hit-and-run. But that being said, everything else seemed to fit the heart-wrenching goodness that’s expected of ef.

The episode was bound for a bad end right from the start. ef always foreshadowed events by its representation of the OP. Happier episodes had more color while tragic ones lack them, sometimes losing the vocal as well. In this case, it didn’t even have an OP. To reinforce that point, the episode was black and white. Yet, most of it had an uplifting feel. Yuko found the place she belonged. Yuu rediscovered his feelings. Miki, though sad at first, recovered from her trauma.

But all of that… was wiped out in an instant. Yuko’s death came about suddenly, without warning. Despite my disappointment in the turn of events, what followed after was nothing short to pure tragedy. Yuu and Miki were looking forward to a joyous Christmas. Instead, they lost someone precious to them. Yuko’s final moment, with her attempt to sing, was painful to watch and hear. You could feel the pain and despair in her cracking voice. The end was obvious… but seeing it happen… It was loaded with emotion. All of that spilled over when Yuu found her lifeless body… and the OP started playing. Yuu shaking her body. Miki crying. Ebullient Future sung alone with only the piano accompanying. Everything came together to paint a beautifully tragic picture.

Though not a favorite episode, it does deserve merits for 1) having the most disappointing development… but at the same time, 2) the most dramatic fallout. Now, everytime I listen to that version of Ebullient Future, I could remember Yuko’s final moments… and I admit, my eyes get a tad wet. But… that’s what happened in the first season so it wasn’t unexpected. All in all, a decent episode that seemed uplifting at first… only to change in a mere second. Powerful and emotional, a good end to Yuko’s story.

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3 Responses

  1. Wonderful images :) They make me want to see that anime :)

    It is The Secret all over again…. Regardless of what your expression will be, it is never known for sure what will happen. However, it is better to be a little on the optimistic side of the continuum because it makes life a little easier.

    What a sad ending… It sounds like it touched your heart…

  2. I always wondered how Miki fit in the story in ef-memo. And why she never saw Yuko. ef-melo (thank god) cleared everything up. :) I agree, the Yuu & Yuko side of the story is more emotional.

  3. Emotional would be an understatement. Heartrending is more appropriate. After watching it several times, I found that Miki’s story is quite tame. It’s the only one that didn’t go through a lot of drama. For a series like ef that’s steeped in it, it doesn’t fit.

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