Prologue (released August 24, 2007)Edit
Eve (released October 7, 2007) Edit
The story opens with Renji Asou, a freshman at Otobane Academy in the town of Otowa, Australia. He is debating on what to write down on his school Career Path Questionaire form. In middle-school, Renji was a dreamer who had once fantasized that he wanted to become a gallant knight who saved princesses. But now that he is in high school, reality has begun to intrude, and he does not know what he wants to do with his life.
A 45 Second MeetingEdit
After school, Renji walks along some old railroad tracks outside of town. It is a beautiful warm summer day. He continues walking on the tracks until he reaches an abandoned train station, where he meets a strange young girl sitting at the station who is wearing an eyepatch over her left eye (Chihiro Shindou). He greets her and leaves. It is a chance meeting that lasts for less than 45 seconds.
The scene shifts to Hiro Hirono, a junior at Otobane Academy in Otowa, Japan. He is a professional manga artist (mangaka) with his own series (he keeps it secret from everyone at school). He stretches out his arms at his writing desk, then leaves his singles apartment to meet up with his old childhood friend, Kei Shindou, to attend her Christmas party.
The scene next shifts to the shopping district of Otowa, Japan, where Kyosuke Tsutsumi, a senior at Otobane Academy, is using a digital video recorder to record random Christmas crowd scenes for the school's Film Research Club. It is evening. His girlfriend, Emi Izumi (also a senior), compliments his camera skills and they decide to get something to eat. However, at that moment, Kyosuke spots a strange girl in the viewfinder of his video camera (Kei Shindou). She is running down the street. He briefly films her, but a truck passes so he cannot get a clean shot. Peering through his viewfinder, he is transfixed by some undefinable quality about the girl's appearance inside the camera. Emi gets irked and drags Kyosuke away by his ear.
Kei Shindou returns to her home with a Christmas cake in preparation for hosting the Christmas party. Mizuki Hayama has already arrived, and Kei is surprised that Hiro has not shown up yet. Kei calls Hiro her 'big brother' (onii-chan). (They are not in fact related. Kei and Hiro are childhood friends who have known each other since kindergarten.)
Kei is unhappy that Hiro is already late. Mizuki tells Kei that she thinks Hiro is a weird kid. She says that he is always thinking deeply one moment, then going crazy the next, like he's some kind of "manga artist up against a deadline or something". Kei almost chokes because that is exactly what Hiro is actually doing.
Meanwhile, Hiro has gone to the local church to do some last-minute research before his manga deadline. The church is completely deserted except for a strange girl (Yuuko Amamiya) who is sitting on a ledge above the altar. She is wearing a box hat and heavy black robes that make her look like an East Orthodox nun. She wears white hair binders that look like small angel wings sprouting from the back of her neck. She informs Hiro that the Mass has already ended and everyone has gone home. Hiro tells her that he is not a believer, and he is just doing some research about the church. When Hiro asks her who she is, she only replies that she is 'waiting for someone'. Hiro then leaves the church while Yuuko wishes him a Merry Christmas.
The Bicycle ThiefEdit
Outside of the church, Miyako Miyamura runs up and steals Hiro's bicycle to chase after a purse thief. Hiro runs after her to get his bike back. Miyako crashes his bike and lies unconscious on the ground. Hiro tries to dial for an ambulance, but Miyako wakes up and says she is fine.
We next see Hiro from Mikyako's point of view and everything looks gray. (She is not colorblind; it is a metaphor for her hidden depression.)
Miyako suddenly jumps up and runs off in pursuit of the bike thief, with Hiro following her, until they finally are exhausted and sit on a park bench in front of a deserted children's playground. Miyako cheerfully admits that the purse actually contained nothing of value, and she was going to buy a new one anyway, which irritates Hiro. He is worried that she might have a closed head injury (she was unconscious) and wants to take her to the hospital, but again she says she is fine. As he walks her home, she is clearly touched by his concern and she starts feeling romantic. Along the deserted beachfront it starts to gently snow, and she twirls joyfully in front of him under the moon in a beautiful scene (YouTube AMV). They finally introduce themselves to each other. She is clearly smitten with him and says she wants to "share a White Christmas with someone". She invites him home, then she explains that they will have to break in to her house because the key was in her purse (implying that she is living alone). Hiro never makes it to Kei's party.
See You TomorrowEdit
Renji has another chance meeting with Chihiro at the abandoned train station. He is surprised that Chihiro arrived here ahead of him, and she explains she doesn't go to school. They agree to meet again tomorrow. As Renji leaves, Chihiro becomes oddly emotional at the mention of 'tomorrow'.
The third day they meet again. Renji notes that Chihiro seems different somehow. To Renji's complete surprise, she inexplicably rushes up and hugs him tightly, burying her head into his shoulder. (This is because she had failed to distinguish her feelings from actual events in her diary, and she mistakenly thinks the relationship is more advanced than it actually is at this point.) Renji is unsure how to react. She apologizes and tells him to forget what just happened, and they sit together. Renji thinks she's just upset and emotional for some unknown reason, and so he tries to make light conversation, telling her that he loves to read novels, and that he's 'addicted' to reading them. She says she loves reading too. He tells her that he always carries a novel around in his pocket, and pulls it out and shows it to her. He notes that she seems to always be carrying around a novel too (actually her diary), and he asks if she likes hers, and she replies, "I cannot live without it." (It is her memory.)
Chihiro shyly asks if they can be friends. Renji (who is also shy) at first gets nervous, but he works up the courage to tell her politely that he would be delighted to become her friend. As Renji leaves, he says "See you again!", and she quietly repeats the words to herself. It is because she will not see him again. Tomorrow's Chihiro will literally be a different person. She knows that she will effectively die tonight and be reborn tomorrow as a new Chihiro. She tries to write down today's meeting in her diary, to try to explain to Tomorrow's Chihiro what she just felt and experienced, but she cannot properly encapture in mere words her wonderful feelings in that moment. She knows that the memories will be lost. Her tears wet the blank page.
The episode ends with a Christmas montage: Hiro chasing Miyako down the street, Kyosuke pondering Kei's video image (with Emi Izumi sleeping nearby in post-coital bliss, showing that Kyosuke is a playboy), and Kei looking out of the window at the Christmas snow.
Summer and WinterEdit
Note: In Memories, the events shift back and forth between summer and winter. For example, Hiro Hirono's arc takes place in winter, while Chihiro Shindou's arc takes place in summer. Normally this would indicate a time shift between events. But in this case the events are actually happening simultaneously. This is because the events are happening in two identical towns both named Otowa. The second city is located in Australia (in the southern hemisphere) and so the seasons are reversed. This is not explained in Memories, and it is not until Melodies that the situation is fully explained to the viewer.
Visual Novel IntroductionEdit
A beautiful demo trailer for the visual novel (ef - a fairy tale of the two) introduces the five main couples depicted in the series:
- Yuu Himura x Yuuko Amamiya
- Renji Asou x Chihiro Shindou
- Kei Shindou x Kyosuke Tsutsumi
- Hiro Hirono x Miyako Miyamura
- Kuze Shuichi x Mizuki Hayama