ever (Released October 7, 2008)Edit
In the opening narration, the adult Yuu Himura explains that there are actually two identical towns named Otawa: The original town built on top of burnt rubble in Japan, and the new town that is a mirror image of it that was built in a beautiful land. (It is revealed at the end of the final episode that Yuu was the instigator and primary architect of the new Otowa.)
Half of the story in ef - a tale of melodies consists of flashbacks to twelve years ago when Yuu Himura was a 17 year old junior at Otobane Academy in Japan. The other half of the story takes place in the present time (two years after the events of ef - a tale of memories) in the new city of Otowa, Australia, where Yuu is now living as a 29 year-old adult.
The story begins with a flashback of Yuuko Amamiya (age 16) standing on the rooftop of Otobane Academy in Otowa, Japan. She throws down a paper airplane at Yuu Himura to get his attention. (Yuu does not discover until episode 8 that she had written "Help me" inside the paper airplane.) Yuu picks it up and climbs up to the rooftop to confront the strange girl, and he warns her that standing on the rooftop is dangerous. Yuu is surprised that the strange girl knows his name. She introduces herself as a new freshman, Yuuko. She says they know each other, but he does not recall the name. She in turn states that she knows him well. She says inexplicably, "Himura-san, even now I still hate you," and she leaves.
In the present it is early evening. Yuu is having a cocktail at an outdoor beach-side tavern in Australia. He meets his best friend Kuze Shuichi, who sits with him. Kuze asks Yuu if he is thinking about old times. He replies, "Who knows? I've forgotten." Kuze replies cryptically, "Give her my regards next time." Kuze then invites Yuu to attend his Christmas recital (episode 12) and says "And that's the end." Yuu asks Kuze about the new schoolgirl that is now living next door to Kuze over at Renji Asou's place (later revealed to be Mizuki Hayama). Yuu is surprised that Kuze - a rake who has a fetish for women in schoolgirl costumes (Memories episode 6) - is not aware of her. Kuze then pontificates on how to pick up members of the opposite sex, as he is a self-proclaimed expert. Yuu laughs and says, "You never change." Kuze points out, "Neither have you." (This is because Yuu still cannot get over losing Yuuko.)
In the past, it is revealed that Yuu and Kuze are best buddies in high school. Kuze tells Yuu that he is getting ready to leave Japan soon to study the violin in Germany. Yuu then bumps into the school's art teacher, Akira Amamiya, who tries to cajole Yuu into joining his Art Club, but Yuu instinctively dislikes him and refuses to join. Yuu then goes to the art room and finds Nagi Hirono in the nude painting a self-portrait. Nagi is a passionate artist, and she is completely uninhibited about the fact that she is standing au naturel right in front of him. Yuu yells at her to put some clothes on. Later, they walk home from school together. Nagi spots Yuuko following them and they stop. Yuuko introduces herself to Yuu again. Nagi gets angry and throws Yuu's sketchbook at his head and leaves in a huff.
Yuu walks with Yuuko to the beach. Yuuko asks Yuu if he is going out with Nagi, and he says she's just an annoying girl who follows him around sometimes. Yuuko laughs and says, "You haven't changed at all." Yuuko takes off her shoes and jumps into the water, which triggers Yuu's memory of their time in the orphanage together. Yuu now admits that he does remember her: She is the six year old girl who always followed him around in the orphanage when he was seven. They greet each other again. Yuuko mentions she is now living with her older brother and calls Yuu himself 'big brother' (onii-chan), something she did frequently back at the orphanage. This is a mistake as it triggers Yuu's painful memories of the death of his own little sister in the great earthquake and fire that sent them all to the orphanage in the first place, and it only upsets him.
The opening is shown about halfway through the episode.
In the present, Mizuki Hayama has a bad dream about drowning in the sea. Her cousin Renji Asou awakens her. It is revealed that Mizuki (who lives in Japan) is currently visiting her cousin in Australia while on winter break. As her aunt Sumire Asou serves them both breakfast, Mizuki excitedly tells them that she heard a wonderful violin playing near the church as she walked by the previous day. (Kuze was playing A Moon Filled Sky, which has a deep meaning in her past.) Renji speculates that it might have been their next-door neighbor, the famous German violin virtuso Kuze Shuichi. Mizuki gets excited and begs to be introduced to him. However, Renji (who is aware of Kuze's penchant for women wearing schoolgirl cosplay outfits) thinks it unwise, and he cautions her that Kuze is a playboy. Mizuki tells him that she just wants to hear Kuze play the violin, not become his girlfriend, and that she can take care of herself. Renji says that because he goes to school during the day and to cram school at night to prepare for his college entrance exams, and that because his mother Sumire works as a culinary instructor, that neither of them can chaperone her with Kuze, but she still insists in meeting him anyway. (Sumire's husband is a German architect who is currently working overseas on a project.)
Renji and Sumire escort Mizaki to Kuze's townhouse, where he politely and charmingly greets them at the door. Kuze flirts heavily with Sumire, who flirts back as Mizuki cringes a bit - Kuze really is a playboy. Sumire introduces him to her niece, Mizuki, as her eyes widen in recognition, as she remembers Kuze playing the violin for her as a small child (Miki). She greets him back enthusiastically and says she's a big fan. Sumire, Mizuki, and Kuze chat pleasantly in his townhome. Sumire (who is aware of Kuze's secret illness) offers to let Mizuki keep him company during her time in Australia, both for him and for her, so that Mizuki is not always alone all day due to Sumire's own jobs and Renji's day/night schooling (and more importantly to keep an eye on Kuze in case he collapses). Kuze gallantly promises to be Mizuki's faithful servant, as he owes Sumire several favors (she has been secretly taking care of him).
Kuze's townhome is large but mostly empty. This is because he has discarded or given away most of his possessions in preparation for his death. Mizuki marvels at how wide open and spacious it is. She remarks that it is unlike her own highly cluttered apartment, which is full of old mangas and other assorted junk.
Mizuki charms Kuze with her youthful energy and boundless enthusiasm, and Kuze finds her to be a pleasant distraction from his daily cares. He reacts with mild bemusement. Mizuki explores the townhome and discovers Kuze's hidden closet of schoolgirl costumes, which greatly embarrasses him. He quickly explains the he does not wear them himself and that they are merely old costumes that he is soon going to get rid of. Mizuki insists on trying some of them them on (and she does), which makes Kuze rather uncomfortable. (The point is that Kuze's fetish is only for the costumes. He is not a pedophile.) Mizuki discovers Kuze's violin and begs him to play it for her, but he claims the violin is 'broken' (his spirit is broken so he can no longer play). Instead he gives her one of his autographed CDs. She continues to playfully explore the apartment, much to Kuze's detached bemusement as he warms up to her. She asks about the masks on the wall, and Kuze explains he keeps them because adults wear many masks. Mizuki eventually leaves, telling him he she will be back tomorrow. Shortly after she leaves, Kuze has an attack and collapses on the floor.