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Ef- A Tale of Memories: Complete Collection Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo (48kHz/16-bit), English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo (48kHz/16-bit)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: TV-MA (DS)
  • Run Time: 300 Mins.
  • Discs: 2 (2 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Sentai Filmworks
  • Blu-ray Release Date: January 31, 2012
  • List Price: $69.98

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Ef: A Tale Of Memories Complete Collection (2 Disc) -

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Overall
[Rating:4.5/5]
The Series
[Rating:5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Series

[Rating:5/5]

Ef- A Tale of Memories is a 12-episode anime series based on the visual novel Ef- A Fairy Tale of the Two by Minori. It is a heart-rending story of teenage love that follows two separate, yet interwoven story lines over the course of its dozen episodes and does so with a somewhat stylized, though not necessarily groundbreaking, animation palette.

At the heart of the story is high school student Renji who meets the quiet and unassuming Chihiro at an abandoned rail station where he strikes up a friendship with the pretty girl. What Renji doesn’t realize until a while later is that Chihiro suffers from a rare memory disorder brought on by an accident from four years earlier that has left her unable to remember anything for longer than 13 hours. After that, her memory resets to when she was only twelve. Her dream is to write a novel, and express the loneliness she has felt for so long, but with her disorder it makes it almost impossible. Renji makes it his mission to help her and through working together, the two begin to fall in love, even as Chihiro must rely on writing everything down in her book of memories to remember Renji from just the day before.

Meanwhile, Chihiro’s twin sister Kei is in love with their childhood friend, the slightly older Hiro. Hiro has moved out of his parent’s home and lives on his own, struggles to get by and is constantly truant from school. Kei tries to keep him motivated to study and think about his academic future, but he has an alternate plan – he wants to focus on being a professional manga artist. He’s already been doing it professionally under a pseudonym and is brilliant at it. His inspiration in that direction is spurred on even more when on Christmas eve he meets the unusual, Miyako. She’s been the victim of a purse snatching and Hiro helps her out. Later on he discovers she goes to the same school and also cuts class periodically. The two of them begin a romantic entanglement that that doesn’t sit well with Kei, but the capricious Hiro doesn’t seem to realize he’s been leading both girls on while he’s really in love with only one.

Ef – A Tale of Memories is a delicately handled and mature look at coming of age that tackles some rather deep subjects – unrequited love, sexuality, and career goals – tastefully and thoughtfully. I like that there isn’t any silly use of comic relief endemic to the anime genre here, like overuse of chibi, or flying stuffed animals and the like. It’s rather straightforward without being overbearing.

Video Quality

[Rating:5/5]

There’s nothing to complain about at all in this AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encodement of Ef- A Tale of Memories from Sentai Filmworks. The animation is clean, line art is crisply detailed and there are no issues with aliasing or any other motion artifacts. Colors are vibrant when they need to be and I see no compression issues.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

Audio is the original Japanese language track and an English dub both provided in lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo (48kHz/16-bit). The mixes are just about identical to my ears with good dynamics, natural sounding highs and punchy mids and lows. The dialogue is clean for both, but the Japanese track has the edge over the English dub as the voices sound fuller and more natural, whereas the English voices sound a bit squeezed and nasally.

I do have to comment, however, on the English subtitles. It seems to me that, whoever does the subtitles for Sentai needs to hire better proofreaders, because just about every release is plagued with typos and unintentionally incorrect grammar. Contrast this to the Funimation releases and other studios’ where subtitles are almost flawless most of the time.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:0.5/5]

There really aren’t any true supplements at all here, just the usual clean animations and disc credits plus additional Sentai Filmworks trailers.

  • Clean Opening Animation
  • Clean Closing Animation
  • Disc Credits

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4.5/5]

Ef- A Tale of Memories is a classy series with strong animation that touches the heart and reaches the head equally. I hope Sentai releases the second season, A Tale of Melodies on Blu-ray as well.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B005XB8T90[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com
Ef: A Tale Of Memories Complete Collection (2 Disc) -

Purchase Ef- A Tale of Memories on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for More Blu-ray Titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4.5/5]
The Series
[Rating:5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0.5/5]

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