ef – a tale of melodies. is the second half to ef – a tale of memories. It goes through the remaining stories from ef – a fairy tale of the two that weren’t covered in memories. It was essentially what was expected: more ef. That means more tragic plot, more pseudo-intellectual wankery, and more Shinbo photoshop shots. Normally, this would be enough for me.
Except that ef melodies focuses on characters that I don’t really care about. They were fine as side characters in ef memories, but as main characters, they were harder for me to identify with. Most of them seem to be emotionally dead. I mean, we’ve got a guy who lost his sister in a fire and hates himself, a girl who gets abused by her stepbrother and dies halfway through, a guy who has a fatal disease, and a girl who started out normal, but had to have something wrong with her, so they made her parents try to kill her. The weirdest one from ef memories was Chihiro, but she was actually interesting and had a bunch of normal people around her.
Beyond that, ef melodies did a fairly good job of tying everything together. Like Higurashi and Higurashi Kai, ef memories and ef melodies should be considered one unit. They’re two halves to one story and not one story after the other. So even though I didn’t enjoy ef melodies as much, it’s not enough to make me drive people away from watching it. In fact, I’d say you need to watch it if you watched ef memories, and you should watch ef memories.