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Old 2007-06-04, 03:14   Link #1
cyth
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ef - a tale of memories.

Official site: http://www.ef-memo.com
Release date: Autumn 2007

Quote:
Originally Posted by eggplant View Post
Staff
Director: Ohnuma Shin
Series Composition: Takayama Katsuhiko
Character Design: Sugiyama Nobuhiko
Supervisor: Shinbou Akiyuki
Music: Tenmon
Animation Studio: Shaft

Cast
Miyamura Miyako: Taguchi Hiroko
Hirono Hiro: Shimono Hiro
Shindou Kei: Okada Junko
Shindou Chihiro: Yanase Natsumi
Hayama Mizuki: Gotou Mai
Tsutsumi Kyousuke: Tai Yuuki
Asou renji: Takagi Motoki
Amamiya Yuuko: Nakajima Yumiko
Himura Yuu: Touchika Kouichi

Basic information:

ef - a fairy tale of the two. is a Japanese interactive novel created by the software house minori (Wind ~a breath of heart~). The first part of the game, ef - the first tale. got released last Christmas (2006/12/22) for 7140 en, while the release of the second part of the game titled ef - the latter tale. is still pending and is for now set to be released sometime this year.

The anime is scheduled to be released sometime in autumn. A prologue DVD called ef - a tale of memories. ~prologue~ will go on sale 2007/08/24.


Plot:

The story revolves around the protagonist Hirono Hiro, a poor high school boy who draws shoujo manga for his living. One cold Christmas night after meeting a very strange woman in church, his bike gets stolen by another strange girl. He runs after her and finds her collapsed on the street. Her name is Miyamura Miyako and her bag got stolen by a man on a motorbike. Soon after, they start hanging out together, enjoying highschool life and whatnot. Hiro's life is also strongly dictated by Shindou Kei, his childhood friend.


Selling points of the game:
  • minori tried to create a "movie-like" experience with it, using lots of moving 2D CG, taken from different angles. Visual novel fans were calling this a new standard for the visual novel/game market.
  • Shinkai Makoto was in charge of ef - the first tale. movie feature that was also used as a promotional video for the game. TECH GIAN's magazine feature ef - Super Prelude included a "true" High-Definition video of the PV (in WMV format).
  • Nanao Naru's character designs.


Some information Sushi-Y found before the first part of the game was released:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sushi-Y
Here are some ef information from Nitro Yusenshiki that was revealed during the minori trial version distribution/talk event tour, some of which I found to be interesting.

- Most of the profits from Wind, Haru no Ashioto, and ANGEL TYPE are being poured into ef.
- It took about 40 million yen just to press the first fan disk and the maxi single disk (of the OP/ED theme).
- They ran out of funds, so they went and made a 50 million yen (About 430,000 USD) loan.
- The game's scenario is not all that long.
- In exchange for a large number of artworks, they cut the scenario volume down. The idea is to aim for a movie-like experience.
- ef's total CG number is about 400~500.
- The length of the scenario shouldn't determine a game's quality, it's all about how much the completed product entertains you. A game that can be completed within 16~18 hours is also far friendlier for the working-class people.
- They have gotten mails such as "please sell me an instruction manual and user leaflet" or "please sell me the game box", even moronic ones like "tell me how to get the game to install from a disk image". That's when they began working with ISPs and police in Japan to stop P2P distributions.
- There has been a number of offers for an anime adaptation of ef, but they were all turned down.
- They don't dislike any soft houses in particular.
- If any, then probably TYPE-MOON for having so much money it's irritating.
- Envious of KID for being able to borrow 500 million yen.
- Mikage's (scenario writer, also director of ef) material gathering trip to Germany through Moscow costed 58,000 yen + various expenses for a total of 100 thousand yen.
- Stood helplessly at Moscow airport.
- Doesn't understand German, so he stayed at the same hotel throughout all the location shoots.
- A chicken who escapes back to the hotel as soon as he got the photos he needed.
- Slept on a bench in Moscow airport for 20 hours waiting for the return flight.
Not a lot of good memories of Moscow airport, it seems.
==================================================


I personally own the game but I haven't even continued past the prologue (I guess now I'll have to, eh). Some of the story telling seems quite fun, especially listening to Miyako's reporting of her actions expressed in 3rd person. Anyway, I'm quite sceptical about the quality, more like the selling points of the anime adaptation because angles and "movie-like" effects don't really matter when talking anime. They do in the eroge industry, however.

P.S.: The game PV was released by Froth-Bite last year. It can also be found on YouTube.
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Last edited by cyth; 2007-06-04 at 06:06.
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Old 2007-06-04, 05:27   Link #2
Aoie_Emesai
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Oh wow, really? OMGEEZERSS. I can't wait for this to come out. I gotta follow the news now.

I personally haven't played the game myself too. But the CG set (background) is beautifully done. Ahhh the (one) PVC is terrible too.

This one here is fine. which is the latest PVC released for the Title. The colors are too glossy, IMO.

This here, I found to be terribly done. Overall, from the forehead down it was decent, till it went uphill and proportion went all whacked. It has no dimension, seemed like their kid completed it from the forehead upward.

ps: Shaft better not FU** this up like Negima, like Starchild. Otherwise, ohh... nvm. I love the story myself, cause the main character isn't focused on a trillion different girls, likewise... other games.

Forgot the opening song sucks, IMO. The animation and background are quite well done though.
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Last edited by Aoie_Emesai; 2007-06-04 at 05:53.
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Old 2007-06-04, 05:37   Link #3
martino
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As a big fan of minori and their Wind merchandise, this is definitely very good news to me. Really looking forwards to this.

Thanks for the news!
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Old 2007-06-04, 07:34   Link #4
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Was the game a success in sales?
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Old 2007-06-04, 07:56   Link #5
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Wow, the Pani Poni Dash staff actually got Tenmon doing the music. My peepers are on this.
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Old 2007-06-04, 08:20   Link #6
cyth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiberium Wolf View Post
Was the game a success in sales?
I don't have the exact figures (I'm sure someone knows where to find those), but Getchu's sales ranking for 2006 has it on 4th place. That's after D.C. II ~Da Capo II~ (by Circus), Really? Really! (by Navel) and Scarlett (by NekoNeko Soft).

I'm not sure how that particular sales ranking counts sales, but ef was released very late in 2006 (december 22nd) while the three games outranking it were released a lot earlier (two in may, one in november), not to mention ef kept the 19th spot on the January 2007 ranking chart. Impressive performance nonetheless.


Still, one must never mistake success for absolute quality in the 18+ PC software world. nbkz-sakai is arguably an above-average producer (though seeing how he messed up some routes in Wind is quite disturbing), but there's no doubt he's a genius salesman.
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Old 2007-06-04, 09:45   Link #7
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Shaft is usually recognized for their weird, well... out of the ordinary animes. I hope Shaft don't take the artwork they credited with Pani Poni and Negima!?.

Who exactly is Sugiyama Nobuhiko? I don't really recognize that name.

(ok, i know i didn't add that there)

The DC series is really popular, so what did ja expect, same goes with shuffle. Artwork wise, it's really nice, but story as it goes, isn't all that. Though I did enjoy the story for DC II, somewhat...
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Last edited by Aoie_Emesai; 2007-06-05 at 01:39.
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Old 2007-06-04, 12:45   Link #8
rg4619
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Quote:
Was the game a success in sales?
Sort of. Thanks to the hype, -the first tale- sold well, but probably not as fantastically as you'd want from such an expensive project (i.e. plenty of games have matched or outsold ef on much smaller budgets). With financial risk that high, you'd want to be releasing the next AIR, To Heart 2, or Fate/Stay Night (100,000+ sellers).

Quote:
nbkz-sakai is arguably an above-average producer (though seeing how he messed up some routes in Wind is quite disturbing), but there's no doubt he's a genius salesman.
IMO, he's always been more of a business guy than a creator. Regarding Wind, there was no cohesive vision, with drastic scenario shifts between the prologue, main body, and end paths. All character and plot concepts seemed patched together from a marketing checklist (supposedly, Haru no Ashioto is structured quite similarly, although minori contracted good scriptwriters that time, resulting in a highly acclaimed product).

It's probably good that Sakai stepped back to let someone else plan and direct their recent productions.

Quote:
Still, one must never mistake success for absolute quality in the 18+ PC software world.
For what it's worth, ef received praise for many individual components, such as graphics, direction, and even script quality (seems that minori recognized the need for good text, but a carefully crafted script doesn't instantly result in satisfying storytelling).

Unfortunately, opinions on the actual scenario are rather mixed. Some complain that it's short and boring, while others say they can't feel a thing for the characters (not enough time to convincingly develop their relationships. Supposedly, total length is only ~6 hours, with this timespan split among two separate love stories).
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Old 2007-06-04, 13:43   Link #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toua
The story revolves around the protagonist Hirono Hiro, a poor high school boy who draws shoujo manga for his living. One cold Christmas night after meeting a very strange woman in church, his bike gets stolen by another strange girl. He runs after her and finds her collapsed on the street. Her name is Miyamura Miyako and her bag got stolen by a man on a motorbike. Soon after, they start hanging out together, enjoying highschool life and whatnot. Hiro's life is also strongly dictated by Shindou Kei, his childhood friend.
The synopsis promises everything I look forward to a conventional romance genre, but the highlighted part cracked me up a bit. I wonder what kind of things were stolen from the guy with the motorcycle. Shaft as an animation studio also increases the appeal although, I must say, couple of their recent series weren't very inspiring. Hopefully a sizeable budget will be offered to Shaft for a decent animation effort. Shinbou can only stretch his creativity so much to cover up the non-existant budget for shows like Negima!? and Hidamari Sketch.
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Old 2007-06-04, 14:48   Link #10
blitz1/2
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Looks like another Sola.

Looking forward to this one!
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Old 2007-06-04, 16:04   Link #11
FireChick
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Quote:
Shindou Kei
Doesn't anyone know that there's a seiyuu named Kei Shindou? Here's proof.

http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/ency...e.php?id=51932

There's also an Inukami! character named Shindou Kei (voiced by Mizuki Nana).
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Old 2007-06-04, 17:59   Link #12
orion
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But that PV...

Spoiler:
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Old 2007-06-05, 01:40   Link #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blitz1/2 View Post
Looks like another Sola.

Looking forward to this one!
I suppose, if you think about it that way.
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Old 2007-06-05, 03:25   Link #14
kct
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Looking forward to this one (I have heard of a lot of good things about the game, only the lack of time stopped me from playing the game in any way).

However, I got a feeling that newcomers to the anime might take some time to avert their eyes away from one of Miyako's most attention-grabbing aspects (at least IMHO) >.> .

The main concern this time will be on SHAFT this time, as it has been made known that their version of Negima!? received mixed responses, from both fans of Negima! and newcomers alike.
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Old 2007-06-05, 06:11   Link #15
cyth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kct View Post
The main concern this time will be on SHAFT this time, as it has been made known that their version of Negima!? received mixed responses, from both fans of Negima! and newcomers alike.
Nah, forget it. SHAFT and the supevisor are just going to do their job animating it, because the story doesn't allow for it to be stylized the way Negima?! was. And I'm sure minori and their fans wouldn't let such a preposterous thing to happen.
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Old 2007-06-05, 07:05   Link #16
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Really excited about this one...mainly because Tenmon's doing the music.
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Old 2007-06-05, 13:33   Link #17
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What?! It's an anime chock full of girls and no Yui Horie. That's gotta be a first for 2007.
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Old 2007-06-05, 14:56   Link #18
kct
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaioshin_Sama View Post
What?! It's an anime chock full of girls and no Yui Horie. That's gotta be a first for 2007.
Point? There is already several animes already doing that.

Toua: You're right about that, I can see fans and Japan blasting SHAFT into pieces if Negima!? happens.

Last edited by kct; 2007-06-05 at 17:16.
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Old 2007-06-05, 15:29   Link #19
arkon
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It's okay. Just do what I usually do. Laugh at it, make a counter-jab at the suckiness of mecha, gonzo, 80s stuff etc... or alternatively ignore it. I alternate between all three usually.
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Old 2007-06-05, 19:59   Link #20
orion
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I'm definitely thinking to start sharpening the pitchforks now, getting the firewood ready and buying some lighter fluid.

So how many stakes do we need?
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