Captive Audience

I think the first 8 minutes of ef – a tale of memories episode 6 is made of pure win. It is the sum of a delightful dialog that I have been trying to have with the rest of you in these past few years, boiled down in a very pointy and simple, directed scene about living for yourself and living for others, tersely paralleled with a creator’s dilemma in his artistic pursuit.

The subtle irony presses on even in the soundscape. Tenmon’s accompaniment with Makoto Shinkai’s early days is not without meaning. The simple chords (or whatever those wiggly lines next to them are called) pierces a slightly heated, poorly acted, but lively dialog. What leaks out was that subtle, fourth-wall prodding that have been pressed through the scenes of this anime series since episode 1. The writing and the dialog talks about a weird, artsy show like ef itself. And the people who make and appreciate them.

The episode started patently out of the DVDs of Soul Taker; flat-pressed rail road crossing, a silent parting only dressed by a roaring locomotive; but it is a declaration of war rather than an unconfessed complex.

But how does a girl figure into all of this? I’m sure a lot of you are rather more interested in the plot elements. Kyousuke was always “that special something” which made the ef anime different than anything else out there for me, so it is good to see the main romance story involving him.

The sharp declaration, the clever, alter-perspective recap to connect episode 5 and 6, well, is electrifying but also a little wacky. I guess I will have to live with that.

As the episode progressed the intensity of the direction dwindled. With Chihiro we see a lot of softness (although it makes good material to spike up things like with that sheep, those painted glass, a singular reaching arm). It’s that Renji-puppy-love, maybe. His mom is definitely a pretty lady that is also pretty funny. A little less funny was his neighbor-friend. And probably way less funny is Renji’s adviser. I guess they’ll save that for his back story with Yuuko.

The episode ends with some tender moment between Kei and Kyousuke, and Kei and Hiro, and showing you why ef is taking advantage of the anime format by doing some cool stuff that wouldn’t be so easy to do.

5 Responses to “Captive Audience”

  • chami

    I may rag on the composition of some of the scenes in this series, but nonetheless I love the subject matter. Also, in the depicting the girl in the story drawing – type is used as texture, but I feel it’s much more effective because it’s a tad more subtle, so it doesn’t compete with the actual imagery. :p

  • dm

    Beware. For Kousuke, romancing Kei may be just a means of getting her into his viewfinder — he says as much in this episode.

    I may have to start watching this series again from the beginning.

  • Shiro

    >I may have to start watching this series again from the beginning.

    I recommend it just for the first episode alone. You’ll click on to some information you would have missed the first time around.

  • digitalboy

    (as usual) I agree on all points. That beginning part was downright stirring – this show has been highly inspirational to me in a lot of ways. Downright excellent – probably my favorite show if the season as of yet.

  • dm

    By the way, Omo, that’s a great image you used to illustrate this post.

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