Whether or not if you liked ef – a tale of melodies, is really dependent on what you expected from this series before hand. If you expected another season w/ soaring emotional climaxes and portions that will take your breath away… prepare to be somewhat disappointed. However, if you expect answers to a lot of the lingering questions from ef – memories, then you’re just in luck.
Of all the questions answered, the most critical one was “Who is Yuuko?”. The answer was stunning, riveting, and very emotional. Simply put, her story is one of a tragic life turned happy thanks to a loved one. In spite of her tale cutting short, All the stories of ef revolve around her and Himura’s desire to share the happiness that they had felt. Her willingness to help Mizuki and his determination to create a new Otowa were their first attempts at this goal. The result is a finale that not only does the second season justice, but also the entire ef story.
Unfortunately the one story that COULD be compared to first season, didn’t live up to expectations. Perhaps it was because it was being overshadowed by Yuuko’s story, but in the end Kuze/Mizuki’s path ended up being a disappointment, by ef standards. Kuze spent a little too much time wallowing in self-pity without any noticeable improvements. When he does improve it seems that it happened because it was convenient for the ending. I never really saw the benefits of the Kuze/Mizuki relationship.
In my opinion, Mizuki ended up being a very likable female lead. Throughout the first season and most of the second, she is shown to be rather optimistic and having a bubbly personality. But when her past with Yuuko was revealed, it becomes evident that Mizuki is deeper then she looks.
Besides the story, nearly everything else remained the same. A sharp concentration on implications through creative artistry, a wonderful soundtrack that emphasizes key scenes, two stories that are relatively independent of each other, and of course a wonderfully animated and sung opening. So in those categories, ef – melodies gets a perfect 10 from me. But in terms of story, I’ll say something similar to what I said for Code Geass R2. For an anime, the story is wonderful, but for ef, it was a dissapointment… at least Kuze’s part.
After thinking rather hard, and managing to keep the fanboy in me out of the picture, I realize that ef – a tale of melodies just didn’t have the same magic as ef – a tale of memories. While together I’ll give the franchise as VERY strong 10 out of 10… as an individual season…
FINAL RATING: 9/10