And here we are, almost at the end of this year which was a wild ride in terms of anime and light novels for me. But for this month’s blog tour I’ll pick two older titles that I can’t help but love. The topic is „thankful“ and I had a tough time to figure out how to tackle this one.
Here at OWLS, we are pretty thankful that we are able to come together as a community and share a love and appreciation for anime and manga. This month we will be showcasing our appreciation by giving a shout out post to our favorite manga artists, creators, production companies, and writers who produced some of our favorite works. We will be discussing our favorite works by these creators and our reasons as to why we appreciate them.
The first title I’ll pick is Ef: A Fairy Tale of the Two, a visual novel developed by Minori and written by Kagami Yuu and Mikage. The PC version is split into two parts called „Ef: The First Tale“ and „Ef: The Latter Tale“. The story was also adapted into an anime series with the title „Ef: A Tale of Memories“ and „Ef: A Tale of Melodies“ by the animation studio Shaft. A little fun fact.. Makoto Shinkai was the director for the opening of the visual novel.
I personally watched the anime first and then read the visual novel. And for the last few anime adaptations of visual novels that I’ve read… I was really disappointed. Yes, I’m still mad that Rewrite and Grisaia were so meh. But praise Shaft for delivering a great anime of a great visual novel.
So, what is Ef about? It’s a romance drama story about 5 couples with a little bit of a supernatural element on it. No, don’t worry. It’s not that we have the magical happy end because reasons. Surprisingly, only 3 out of the 5 male protagonists are high school students. There were flashbacks for the relationship between Himura Yuu and Amamiya Yuuko when they were in high school though. The stories of Himura and Kuze were my favorites. I don’t know if this is because these two guys are older than the others or if it is just because of the actual story.. maybe both?
And if I really had to summarize their stories with just a few words.. I’d say that it is about moving on and finding the will to live.
Himura’s story is about him being finally able to say what he wanted to say and move on. His relationship with Yuuko ended way too early in a tragic way and it is one of the main events that formed his later personality.
The story for Kuze is.. well, he has an terminal illness and was making sure to keep everyone at a distance and tie up a few loose ends so that he is ready for when his time comes. He was not willing to risk the medical treatment to give him more time which changed throughout the story thanks to him falling in love. It sounds not that interesting, but I really liked it.
There are 3 more stories for the remaining characters. I’m not going to talk about them because they don’t really offer anything beyond your normal teenage romance with a bit of drama. Don’t get me wrong, they are really well written and I enjoyed them, but that’s basically it for them.
And the very setup of these stories is, that these are told like they are a tale. See, in the beginning we have a conversation going on between Himura and Yuuko about the various people they met, how they were involved in their lifes and affected them, and this goes for all of them.
And here we are with the second title, which is also a visual novel with an anime adaptation. I have no idea how the VN is different from the anime because it is not available in English. So, I’ll mainly talk about the anime that was produced by Doga Kobo. I should also thank the company Regista who made the VN.
Myself;Yourself is a weird beast for me. I like it so much more than I should, but when I’ve first watched this anime I couldn’t help but have a really soft spot for it. Hold it dear, embrace it, and never let go of it. Maybe it’s because it is one of the rare anime that actually has the topic of suicide which is rather rare.
The story follows Sana, who comes back to his old hometown after many years. When he comes back he meets his old friends, meets new people and sees how much has changed in the town and also how the people he knows and loved changed over the last few years. There is quite a bit of drama going on, but it comes to an end with a happy end.
Sana has a problem with seeing blood, especially if it is caused by a blade. The reason for this is rather simple. He tried to kill himself. The reason for it was really intense bullying. And after waking up in the hospital, he tried to move on and so he decided to move back to his old hometown.
On paper, this is shouldn’t be more than your typical romance drama show, but yeah.. for me it’s much more than this. Maybe it’s also once again about characters moving on, growing up, progressing, you name it? I wonder if I have a soft spot for these stories.
I know it’s about being thankful (I am, really!) but it is really hard to pick a single person for these two titles.. so my gratitude goes to all of the people involved with these works. Be it the source material, the adaptations for different mediums, music, and so on.
Extra: Linkin Park
Here is a little extra that fits here as well. It’s about music. It is about one of the bands that had a huge influence on the development of my taste for music. I am still listening to Hybrid Theory and Meteora to this date. Unfortunately, I am one of those people who is part of the „Their old style was better!“ faction. I’ve stopped listening to new tracks around the album Minutes To Midnight. The change of style wasn’t to my liking anymore. But when it comes to the old songs, I’m all in! May Chester rest is peace.
If you haven’t read Fred’s post yet, give it a shot.
Next up is Scott on the 28th.