Rather than being one story, each episode of ef- a tale of memories is spit into two halves, with 2 different stories. There is never any, cross over between the two storys, nor do they overlap. In other words, it would be fairly easy to seperate each episode into halves and reseqquence them to have 2 seperate very linear stories. However the way the creators did it works very well, mainly because the two different stories have a slightly different feel to them, whilst being similar enough to keep the viewer in the right mindset. One of the stories, has a feel much more like a high school romance.If i had to liken this story to any anime iv'e seen, think rumbling hearts, but if the story had carried on having a high school setting rather than progressing into the future. It deals with the insecurities, and desires and psycholigical aspects of relationships that each and every person, can directly relate to. The second story, is far more like a fairytale, far more immaginative, and almost semi supernatural, and has a fairly similar feel to Kanon or Air.The difference between these Animes, is that ef a tale of memories feels constantly melancholic, where Air and Kanon had humour, and lots of lighthearted moments. The two stories in ef, combine together to create something very gripping, and potentially tearjerking. Also the often intense and psychoanalytic dialogue, will chuck half of viewers in a sea of emotional confusion, whilst keeping the other half thinking and philosophising. Either way, it is evocotive, atmouspheric, and mentally stimulating.
It only takes seeing a few stills to know that this anime is visually impressive, and mostly flawless. Therfore i will compare it to CLANNAD, another very popular romance themed anime praised for its visuals (as if you didnt know this).
The animation, varies between being very good, and amazing. For a anime of this genre, it tyes with CLANNAD as the best in my opinion. Despite Ef a tale of memories, having more awe insspiring visuals, there is a certain charm to CLANNAD which ef a tale of meories slightly lacked, particularly the character design. There also wasnt as much variety. Some may say that this is because Ef is a quater of the length(naturally one would include clannad afterstory into the comparison), and has less variety, which is why i would give ef an equal or pehaps higher rating for visuals.
Catchy opening theme, perfecly fitting soundtrack, and good voice acting. Hard to fault.