Ef – The Latter Tale (18+) – PC Review


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Genre: Adventure, Drama, Romance, School, Slice of Life
Developer: minori
Publisher: MangaGamer
Release Date: Dec 20, 2013
Edited by TheUndeadLords

Back in November of 2017, I had the chance to review Ef – The First Tale and, while it had some issues with its story and some other minor problems, it was a novel that I felt earned its merits. So being given the opportunity to review its follow-up novel, I was curious to see what Minori could bring to the table to conclude this two-part series: Ef – The Latter Tale. Ef – The Latter Tale is an adventure, slice of life visual novel developed by Minori, later released by MangaGamer that continues the story from Ef – The First Tale, sharing many of the same problems but also giving some much-needed answers to questions in the two-part series.

Picking back up on that Christmas Eve meeting, Ef – The Latter Tale attempts to bridge the events without any time skip needed, helping but also leaving some lingering disconnects that beg more questions at times. We, the reader, resume with a conversation between Yuu Himura, our mystery man from the first novel and Yuuko Amamiya, the girl in the church, discussing some story factors from the first novel before Yuuko asks Yuu to explain why he came to the church. This leads us to the start of the story, where we are introduced, or reintroduced, to Renji, a young boy who is on a call with his cousin asking if he regrets meeting someone, to which he tries to hide the truth. Although, as the phone call ends, he reveals he does as he pulls out a journal of a girl named Chihiro, who handed it to him on their last meeting as he begins to weave her journal memories into a tale for the reader. I will end my synopsis here, as I do not wish to spoil much of this novel’s story but I found the story wrapped up many of the open-ended questions we had from the first one rather effectively.

Like with the first novel in the series, Ef – The Latter Tale keeps the interesting and well-written story elements flowing but still bares a few issues that dampen the final impact of the story to the reader. As with the prior novel, the story tends to jump between the main protagonist to another and while I felt the jumps were much more controlled and story aiding than before, it can come off as confusing and can lose the reader’s attention. We are still tied to Yuu, as his role in the story is important, but the character given to with the jumps, Renji, is much better built from the start than Hiro was, having a backstory that ties into the two meeting that night, and it serves as a bridge between the two tales.

Running the movie reel again for the second time, the presentation of Ef – The Latter Tale keeps its movie feel, with the visual styles and classically chosen music to move each scene along as it is played out. Visually, I cannot give Minori enough praise for the use of the avant-garde cinematic techniques, as it allows scenes to flow seamlessly without a need for a transition, but making the characters and background feel as one big design piece, not one standing out from the other while keeping plenty of detail in both pieces. I still feel that the characters’ designs are the weaker link of the visuals, with some feeling too simple, but the facial animations from the avant-garde techniques steal the show with some of the most human-level motions and feelings presented by them, giving a depth to the character not many novels can make claim to.

Continuing the classical feel, Ef – The Latter Tale keeps the classical music and tones used in the prior novel, adding in some new pieces to keep the scene by scene flow. Musically, Ef – The Latter Tale keeps the music as a standout piece, something I appreciated as the classic tones like the piano, winds and even some chimes play a heavy hand in making the player feel immersed into the scenes as they unfold. The sound effects, while still present once again, do get presented but in softer ways than some novels may have used them, which is a strength to his novel’s music design as a whole.

Overall, I felt Ef – The Latter Tale came back with some of the same issues, while also fixes for some of the issues that made the story more retainable than prior with the great writing, character, and just overall impact. The well-written story and presentation, better character development, interesting characters, use of the avant-garde cinematic techniques, beautiful and movie-like presentation and use of the classical music soundtrack proves it can still hold its own in a field with many other names for a spot in your collection.

Pros:

  • A well-written story and presentation across the board
  • Interesting and better-developed characters
  • Use of the avant-garde cinematic techniques
  • The beautiful movie-like presentation
  • Use of the classical-themed soundtrack to move scenes along
  • Solid 8 hours plus reading time
  • Answers to unanswered questions with proper resolutions

Cons:

  • Some signs of reverse development in the story but less than before

DarkLunarDude gives Ef – The Latter Tale a Drastik Measure of 8.5 out of 10.0 (85)

For the price of $34.95 on MangaGamer.com, I can recommend Ef – The Latter Tale to those adventure novel readers seeking a good slice of life novel that wraps up well, as well as readers of Ef – The First Tale.

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