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->''"Is there a memory you never want to forget?"''

A VisualNovel duology created by minori, formerly the software subdivision of Comix Wave. [[Creator/MakotoShinkai Sounds familiar]]? Don't be surprised by the amount of SceneryPorn, SurprisinglyGoodEnglish and {{Melodrama}} you'd find in these tie-in games.

The story, as in the first chapters: While going to a Christmas party, Hiro Hirono meets Miyako Miyamura, who steals his bike to chase a purse thief. They decide to hang out together and soon grow fond of each other. Renji Aso meets Chihiro Shindo at the abandoned train station where he likes to hang out after school. He is intrigued by the girl with the eye patch but finds out that she harbors a sad secret. Meanwhile Kyosuke Tsutsumi, an aspiring young film maker, is taken by the appearance of Hiro's PatientChildhoodLoveInterest, Kei -- Chihiro's twin sister who herself is in love with Hiro.

The stories are lightly interwoven, with Kei and Chihiro functioning as a linking pin between the various groups in the cast (Hiro, Miyako, Kyosuke and Kei on one side; Chihiro, Renji and their acquaintances on the other). It is similar to series such as ''VisualNovel/{{Kanon}}'', ''VisualNovel/{{AIR}}'' and ''VisualNovel/DaCapo'', but is much more surreal in its execution, often resorting to very abstract imagery coupled with copious amounts of {{scenery porn}}.

''ef: A Tale Of Memories'' anime was released in 2007 and is an adaptation of the first game and one third of the second game. ''ef: A Tale of Melodies'' was released in 2008 and is an adaptation of the rest of the second game. The anime was produced by Creator/StudioShaft and directed by Shin Ounuma, who volunteered for the job. Of special note are the illustrations at the end of each episode, which are made by various anime and manga artists. Creator/SentaiFilmworks is distributing it in North America; it is available on [[http://www.crunchyroll.com/ef-a-tale-of-memories Crunchyroll]].

A combined standalone English release of both games is now available from No Name Losers, who are also known for their localization of an earlier game from minori (Wind ~a breath of heart~). A commercial re-release via a collaboration of [=NNL=] and the European company Mangagamer is already rolled out.

!!Tropes for the first season include:

* AnAesop: "There's no such thing as friendship between men and women," is what Kuze tells Chihiro. Indeed, all the JustFriends relationships in the series either get a RelationshipUpgrade or result in heartbreak.
** Things go wrong in life and there's nothing you can do about them, but it's not the end of the world and you can still move on from there. This is probably the overarching theme of the story as a whole: Hiro's tendonitis, Miyako's abandonment issues, Chihiro's memory problems and more.
* AllLowercaseLetters: The title.
* AnimeOfTheGame: The original game, ''ef: A Fairy Tale of the Two'', devotes an entire chapter to each of the five love stories, and the game's setup is considerably different, with the first half devoted to Miyako and Kei. Chihiro wasn't a main heroine until the second half. The adaptation also has...
%%* AnguishedDeclarationOfLove: [[spoiler:Kei, to Hiro.]]
* [[ArentYouGoingToRavishMe Aren't You Going To Ravish Me?]]: Miyako automatically assumes that the then-stranger Hiro felt her up while she was laying unconscious after an accident, as if it would be the most natural thing. She's disappointed that he didn't and asks if he thinks she's ugly or something.
* TheBet: Kyosuke runs one on the subject of Hiro's love triangle, even including a GayOption.
* TheBigDamnKiss: Provides the trope's picture. Most of the kissing scenes turn the SceneryPorn UpToEleven. They also count as {{Hollywood Kiss}}es.
* BittersweetEnding: Every ending. Hiro's tendonitis will just get worse, Kei still isn't over Hiro, Chihiro's memory problems aren't going to magically vanish because of ThePowerOfLove and Kuze is still dying. Every ending is slightly more bitter than the last up until [[spoiler:the final ending to the story, which ends with Yuuko dead and Yuu alone... but they do get to meet again and the immortality of the soul is confirmed.]] And so things work out regardless.
* BleachedUnderpants: The anime & manga version. No sex shown, although ''ef'' was originally an eroge. [[spoiler:Although it is implied to have happened.]]
* BlindIdiotTranslation: "I wish I could see your insides..." Not technically ungrammatical; just sounds unfortunately gruesome due to different languages/cultures having different idioms and word connotations.
* BookEnds: The show starts and ends with [[spoiler:Renji describing his first encounter with Chihiro]].
%%* BoyMeetsGirl
* BoysLoveGenre: Mizuki accuses Kyosuke and Hirono to be lovers.
* BrokenAesop: The aesop of needing to cope with your problems instead of hoping they just go away is broken in the anime with [[spoiler:Chihiro and Shuuichi. The VisualNovel does not introduce the idea of some surgery that may save Shuuichi nor does Chihiro get over her memory issues.]]
%%* CannotSpitItOut
* CanonImmigrant: Emi Izumi, the president of Otowa Academy's film club and Kyousuke's ex-girlfriend, was added for both the anime and manga adaptations. She then immigrated to the original visual novel, in the form of a brief appearance in the ending movie of ''ef: the latter tale'' (the second half).
* [[CantGetAwayWithNuthin Can't Get Away With Nuthin']]: The pregnancy version is averted-subverted in the game, the first three ero scenes specifically point it out that the couples were foolish enough not to use any protection on their very first time, but nothing happens.
%%* CaughtTheHeartOnHisSleeve: [[spoiler:Kei, to Hiro.]]
%%* CatSmile: Mizuki.
* CherryBlossoms: In the visual novel, this phenomenon is parodied by having childishly drawn pink blossoms begin to cascade all over the game screen when Mizuki starts to go on a lovestruck ramble about Kei (and later, Chihiro).
%%* ChickMagnet: Kyosuke
* ChristianityIsCatholic: Averted. The church and Yuuko's uniform have more of an Orthodox vibe to them.
* ClingyJealousGirl: Kei towards Hiro. She even goes so far as to delete Miyako's messages on his phone, and promising to remove her from his memory.
* ClosedDoorRapport: Hiro and Kei are separated by a door as they work out their ChildhoodFriendRomance love triangle.
* CopyProtection: For both games in the series. You can find the specifics in the trope article (scroll down to the very end).
* CreditsJukebox: Both anime seasons have multiple ending themes. The ending theme depends on the girl being focused on a particular episode, while the final ending themes of both seasons are the original visual novel's opening theme (of ''the first tale.'') and the ending theme (of ''the latter tale.'')
%%* DatingSim
* DeadAllAlong: [[spoiler:Yuuko. There are plenty of hints about it.]]
* DisabilitySuperpower: Chihiro's amnesia forced her to develop her ability to precisely convey her feelings through words, making her a great writer. Yuu even used the blind-hearing analogy for it.
* DiscretionShot: When Chihiro takes her eye patch off.
%%* DramaticShattering
* EarnYourHappyEnding: Applied towards Hiro largely.
* EasyAmnesia: Of the recurring, timed variety.
* EvolvingCredits: Once the pairings are made rather obvious, the ED of the 2nd episode becomes the regular opening for the succeeding episodes, [[spoiler:and has several scenes changed in the final episode.]]
* FakeMemories: Averted, since Chihiro's diary is used for the opposite purpose.
** Played straight in that [[spoiler:she does lie to herself in her diary at times, making events up.]]
* FeminineWomenCanCook: Played straight in that the feminine Miyako is a SupremeChef while the tomboy Kei is a LethalChef. Subverted in that the really feminine Chihiro, [[InTheBlood like her twin sister]], is ''also'' a terrible cook.
* FirstGirlWins: Two examples, Chihiro (with Renji) and Miyako (with Hiro).
* FirstNameBasis: Chihiro makes a big deal out of it, but she has her reasons.
* ForeignLanguageTheme: The opening themes of both anime seasons are sung in English by ELISA. The final episodes of the two seasons, however, had their opening themes sung in Japanese by the same artist.
* ForeignLanguageTitle: The titles of both the visual novel and the anime are in English. Averted in the fandisc, which is translated to "An Angel's Sunday (Holiday)".
* TheGadfly: Miyako and Kyosuke just ''love'' messing with people, particularly their love interests.
* GoryDiscretionShot: When Chihiro removes her eyepatch, the camera zooms to another angle behind her where its not visible to audiences. Her scream indicates it's not something pretty to look at.
%%* GreekChorus: Yuuko.
* HeroStoleMyBike: Miyako grabs Hirono's bike to chase a purse thief.
* HookedUpAfterwards: [[spoiler:In a sense. Chihiro's chapter ends with Renji hitting the reset button on their relationship, or rather, NOT hitting said button. He starts over from square one. There's a timeship before Mizuki/Kuze's chapter showing them completely platonic but with Chihiro admitting she's both fallen in love with Renji and knew they were in a relationship before. [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming Renji restarts the relationship by writing her a story about said events with his feelings in them]].]]
* HowWeGotHere: The visual novel starts with the ending, and jumps to two different points in the middle, before starting at the beginning.
* HumoresqueProgression: The theme songs employ this progression.
* IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming: The first letters of each episode title spell out "euphoric field", the title of the opening song (kind of -- episode 12 cheats by having a split name).
%%* IdiotHair: Miyako.
* IJustWantToBeLoved: Miyako's goal in life.
* [[ImTakingHerHomeWithMe I'm Taking Her Home With Me!]]
* IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy: Chihiro thinks breaking up with Renji and hoping they'll forget they ever met was the best course of action. Also played straight with Kei towards Hiro.
%%* {{Joshikousei}}
%%* LadykillerInLove: Kyosuke.
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall: Kyousuke, after [[spoiler:confirming his confession to Kei]], manages to avoid breaking the fourth wall by virtue of being Kyousuke.
--> '''Kyousuke''': "Amamiya, you were around? If it isn't really important, then be quiet. This is supposed to be a dramatic scene."
* LethalChef: Kei. Chihiro also admits to Renji that women in her family shouldn't be allowed to cook.
* LoveTriangle: Played totally straight between Hirono, Miyako and Kei.
* ManicPixieDreamGirl: Very definitely Miyako, who violently hauls Hiro out of his shuttered life and into new experiences.
%%* MindScrew
%%* MundaneFantastic
* NoPeriodsPeriod: Averted with the girl in Chihiro's novel. Averted ''visually'' with Chihiro in the VN.
* {{Nosebleed}}: Of course it doesn't happen in this genre, but the manga fan Mizuki seems to believe that it does after Kyosuke's face hits the pavement.
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Kyosuke and Mizuki seem to be a lot sillier in the early part of the story than in their own routes, though Kyosuke's actual intelligence is never in question.
* ParentalAbandonment: Miyako's parents left her to her own devices after they split up. Kei and Chihiro's grandfather is the landlord of the apartment that Hiro [[spoiler:and previously, Yuu]] lives in. Hiro and his sister Nagi's father is an artist and is frequently mentioned by the two, but never appears. Renji's mom is the only one who ever shows up on screen.
** Inverted with Chihiro, who abandoned her parents.
%%* PatientChildhoodLoveInterest: Kei.
* PornStash: Miyako finds Hiro's, and she is [[CovertPervert disappointed that it is not hardcore enough.]]
* RealMenWearPink: Hiro has always loved shoujo manga, and now draws it for a living.
** Subverted, as he is neither particularly manly, nor openly proud of his interest.
* RelationshipUpgrade: Happens to Hiro/Miyako, Renji/Chihiro, and possibly Kei/Kyousuke (they never explicitly say they're dating, at least in the first season).
* SceneryPorn: To at times surreal levels.
* ShortTitleLongElaborateSubtitle: Both the visual novel and the anime have this title setup.
* ShoutOut: Several, but most notably to ''VisualNovel/DaCapo'', ''VisualNovel/{{AIR}}'' and ''VisualNovel/{{CLANNAD}}''.
** One of the character designers for the original ''Da Capo'' game, Naru Nanao, did the character designs for the female characters in this series. Mikage, a screenwriter, works with both CIRCUS and minori.
** Look closely in episode 1 and you'll find 2 references to ''Manga/LuckyStar''.
*** One is [[spoiler:the VideoGame/{{Touhou}}-like {{bullet hell}} game Mizuki is playing (with Akira as the player character against Fujiwara no Mokou on ''Imperishable Night'''s extra stage, no less!)]] and the second one is [[spoiler:at the end of the episode, when we see Hiro and Miyako window-shopping; you'll see Konata in a window making the [[LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya Haruhi]] pose with a serious face]].
** Miyako's phone card has the [[VisualNovel/{{Clannad}} Big Dango Family]] on it. Doubles as HilariousInHindsight.
** A FreezeFrameBonus of a paper flying by when Hiro leaves the church in episode 1 has [[VisualNovel/SchoolDays "Nice Boat"]] written in it. Also counts as UnreadablyFastText.
** There are two shout-outs to ''[[Manga/MahouSenseiNegima Negima?!]]''. Why, it's another [=SHAFT=] show.
*** Look closely at the arrangement of the umbrellas in episode 2.
*** In episode 11, Motsu is one of the UFO Catcher prizes.
%%* SecondLove
* ShowerOfAngst: Kei does this [[spoiler:while she reflects on the consequences of her deletion of Miyako's messages on Hiro's phone.]]
* SiblingYinYang: Kei is an athletic tsundere, Chihiro is a shrinking violet who likes to read.
* SidetrackedByTheAnalogy: Chihiro explains a math problem she supposedly read once in school, about how long it would take a sheep tethered x feet from a pole to eat all the grass in the surrounding circle. She thinks of the implied end of the story, about how the sheep would eventually starve to death, rather than the math problem it was setting up.
* SittingOnTheRoof: Of a church, no less. The school's roof is often used as well.
%%* SnowMeansLove
* SparklingStreamOfTears: The series tends to be... rather sad.
* StarCrossedLovers: Renji and Chihiro, due to Chihiro's memory problem.
* SurprisinglyGoodEnglish: The excerpts from Chihiro's book are all grammatically correct English. Odd, considering the book itself was written in Japanese. Also, the opening theme is grammatical, with just a few slightly mispronounced words.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Kyosuke gives one to Hiro while simultaneously beating him up after Kei runs away from his apartment crying when she discovers him sleeping in bed with Miyako. He's angry at his friend due to Hiro apparently playing both women's feelings for him.
* TheTease: Sumire, towards Renji. [[IncestSubtext Yes, her son.]]
* TheXOfY: Both the visual novel and the anime have this title setup.
* {{Timeskip}}: Each new chapter begins either in the middle of the previous chapter or a period of time afterward, at which point we can see how the previous relationship has progressed.
* TrueArt: InUniverse: A major theme in every chapter.
%%* {{Tsundere}}: Kei and Hiro.
%%* TwelveEpisodeAnime
* UncannyValley: InUniverse: The girl in Chihiro's novel was intended to be in the middle of this.
* UnluckyChildhoodFriend: Kei, and possibly Chihiro. They mention in the second season that neither one of them ended up with Hiro.
* {{Utsuge}}: Although the ending [[spoiler:is fairly positive]].
* WeirdMoon: The moon, as portrayed in the anime, is [[GiganticMoon ginormous]]. It also has the points of the crescent meet at one end, which is impossible -- and then there are the scenes where it seems to be a two-dimensional object glued to the night sky.
* [[WellDoneSonGuy "Well Done, Daughter!" Parents]]: [[spoiler:Miyako becomes a great cook and the top student in both academics and athletics in a failed attempt to earn her parents' praise.]]
* WhatTheHellHero: Kyosuke is not happy to find out that Hiro is leading Kei on, and beats him up later for not being more clear with his feelings about her.
* WingedHumanoid: [[spoiler:Chihiro]] sports some wings at the climax of her story, but it's likely just symbolic.


->''"Can you hear the melody of truth?"''

The sequel, ''ef: A Tale of Melodies'', shifts focus to the love problems of Yu's past and Kuze's present as occurred in the rest of the second game.

Ten years ago, Yuu, Kuze, and their friend Nagi Hirono (yes, Hiro's sister) are all in high school. Yuu meets a girl who he remembers from his orphanage, Yuuko Amamiya, who turns out to be the adopted younger sister of the art club president, who is trying to get Yuu to join.

In the present, a year or so after the first season, Mizuki meets Kuze and they fall in love, but unfortunately Kuze is dying from a rare heart condition. We see the characters from the first season and their continuing relationships as they offer the pair their help.

Mizuki's cheerfulness aside, this part of the story is significantly darker than the straight-up romance of the first season. It deals with different psychological issues, such as loss, death, facing one's own mortality, familial relationships among non-family members, and several others.

!!Tropes: The second season contains many tropes from the first; only those that differ should be listed.

* AlwaysSaveTheGirl: Heart-rendingly averted -- twice. [[spoiler:Yuu can't seem to catch a break.]]
* AngstWhatAngst: [[spoiler:InUniverse: Mizuki's mother tried to strangle her, then drove the family car off a cliff into the ocean with everyone in it. As Mizuki sums it up:]]
-->[[spoiler:'''Mizuki:''']] ''Doesn't this kind of thing happen all the time? You couldn't call this kind of thing a scar!''
* BabiesEverAfter: [[spoiler:Subverted. Yuuko gets pregnant and after some drama decides to give birth to the baby and everything is starting to look up... but then she gets hit by a car while only a few months pregnant and bleeds to death inside the church.]]
* BeautyIsNeverTarnished: [[spoiler:Averted. Despite being noted as probably being the most beautiful of the heroines, Yuuko is covered in bruises, burns and scars. She's also the most psychologically scarred.]]
* BerserkButton: Yuu gets pretty angry when he finds out Yuuko is being bullied at school, and later with her home life. Kuze also gets hit by him when he mocks Yuu that he won't see Yuuko again.
* BestServedCold: [[spoiler:Yuuko, upon encountering Yuu after ten years, follows him around and allows him to discover that she's being picked on and abused at school and at home, all as an attempt to get him to care about her and pursue her. Once she has him emotionally invested, she shows him all of her scars, describes several of them, and lists the ways she's been hurt, and then reveals that, had he not pushed her away unnecessarily ten years before, none of it would have happened, essentially making it all his fault. She describes this as her revenge on him for abandoning her, but it was also a cry to get him to help her.]]
* BigNo: [[spoiler:TheStinger of episode 6 has Yuu shouting this as Yuuko ends her detailed revelation of her long history of physical and sexual abuse at the hands of Amamiya.]]
* {{Bokukko}}: Nagi. Apparently 'Watashi' just takes too long to say.
* BreakTheCutie: Yuuko. Oh god, Yuuko. Seriously Yuu, just give her a hug already.
* BrightSlap: Mizuki surprise-kicks Kuze to the ground after he answers her letter of challenge. "With that, you've already died once!" Perhaps not the best way to handle someone in his condition... (Complete with [[http://i.imgur.com/Baj0srw.png THIS! IS! SPARTA! eyecatch.]])
* BrokenBird: Yuuko, although it's not evident right away. Yuu gets pretty horrified when he finds about what happened to her since she left the orphanage, and that he's largely responsible for it as well.
* CannotSpitItOut: Nagi herself notes she was never able to outright confess until she knew she had already lost. Though she did give some pretty blatant hints.
* CerebusSyndrome: Not that it ever gets pitch black, exactly, but in the English release, where both games come together, each route is darker or more ambiguous than the last until [[spoiler:the fourth chapter ends with Kuze driving Mizuki away so she won't be heartbroken when he dies, followed by Yuuko's more uplifting but dark fifth chapter, and the sixth has her getting run over after everything else had finally gotten resolved. And that was a ''lot'' of resolved issues.]] During Yuuko's chapter, you might be startled to look back and realize that yes, Miyako and Kei's chapters are part of the same setting and game.
* ChickMagnet: Kuze is noted as such.
* ChristmasMiracle: Subverted big time. Kuze is back from Germany for Christmas Day, so Yuu is getting off work early and Yuuko is waiting outside the church rather than inside like usual. A young Mizuki meets Kuze for the first time and all seems well. [[spoiler:Then Yuuko gets hit by a car. Goddammit.]]
** Played straighter at the end, where [[spoiler:Yuu and Yuuko finally meet in the church, despite Yuuko's death. This makes it a ChristmasMiracle ''ten years long to the day.'']]
* ClingyJealousGirl: Nagi in the flashback episodes, although not as severe as Kei was in the first season.
* CrucifiedHeroShot: Yuu in the opening.
* CuteAndPsycho: Definitely played with. [[spoiler:Yuuko's adopted brother gave her a knife ''specifically'' so she could do this at any time. She doesn't.]]
%%* DarkerAndEdgier
* DeathSeeker: [[spoiler:Villainous example: Amamiya. After giving Yuuko a knife to kill him if she wanted, and trying to taunt Yuu into doing it, he finally dies after setting his house on fire.]]
* DemotedToExtra: The main high school students from the first season. While they're not entirely gone, most of the emphasis this time around is focused on Mizuki, Kuze, and Yuu.
* [[DidIJustSayThatOutLoud Did I Just Say That Out Loud?]]:
-->'''Yuuko (to Yuu):''' ''Would you mind not speaking out portions of your internal monologue?''
* DomesticAbuse: [[spoiler:Amamiya regularly beats Yuuko. By the time this is revealed, she's become used to it to the point where she can list all the scars and bruises she's received as well as all the ways he's abused her. [[TearJerker It's a long, long list.]]]]
* DramaBomb: This is a case where an already-dramatic series is made ''even more dramatic'' by [[spoiler:Yuuko's revelation of her scarred body and the aforementioned long, long list.]]
* DramaticShattering: At one point Kuze is suddenly stricken by his disease, causing him to drop his jar of medicine on the ground. He [[spoiler:collapses on the floor and licks up two pills with his tongue, picking broken glass off his face afterwards]]. In another case, Yuuko is bullied off-screen and some window glass breaks, but don't find out what actually broke it.
* DreamingOfAWhiteChristmas: Played with. [[spoiler:Some of the characters are in Australia at Christmastime with little reason given.]] Also, Yuuko muses about what it must be like to have Christmas in the summertime.
* DyingAlone: Kuze, in an attempt to make peace, breaks off all his worldly connections while he waits to die. Except it takes a lot longer than he expected, and he starts going a little crazy while thinking about this trope.
* EverybodyLives: [[spoiler:Averted somewhat. Yuuko dies, and was in fact ''always'' dead, but somehow stuck around in the church until Yuu could say goodbye. Everyone else lives.]]
* EvolvingCredits: There are a ''lot'' of varied color schemes used in the opening for various episodes, one is completely instrumental and lacks the characters in the scenes. [[spoiler:Just as it was in ''memories'', the final version of the opening has several scenes that change, and is the final ending to the series.]]
* {{Flatline}}: [[spoiler:In episode eleven, Kuze's heart machine beeps, and then the heartrendingly sad ending theme plays. At the end, his machine beeps again and he comes back to life.]]
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Remember Hiro mentioning Nagi's weird friend that gave her the key to the roof? Yeah.
* TheGadfly: Just like his eventual [[GenerationXerox spiritual successor]] Kyosuke, Shuuichi has a tendency towards provoking behavior.
* GenerationXerox: More like half generation, and they are not related, but Hiro and Yuu share many similarities during their high school life. Yuu is essentially a smarter Hiro who drastically devoted himself to studies rather than art because of the earthquake. They also share their relationship dynamics with Shuuichi/Kyosuke, Nagi/Kei, and Yuuko/Miyako, who also fill the same basic character archetypes as their counterparts.
%%* GenkiGirl: Mizuki.
* GoneMadFromTheRevelation: [[spoiler:Seems to happen to Amamiya after he sees a sketch Yuu did of his younger sister Akane, who strongly resembles Amamiya's own little sister who also died in the same earthquake. He ends up killing himself via a fire after he's done painting.]]
* GratuitousGerman: In the EyeCatch images and opening animation.
* HollywoodAtheist: Yuu and Yuuko are a mild version. "If there ever was such a person as God, he died a long time ago. Otherwise the world wouldn't be so full of such pain and loneliness." [[spoiler:The end upgrades Yuu from outright atheist to agnostic. Just one miracle won't turn his beliefs around!]]
** Technically, neither of them are really atheists. Atheists don't believe God(s) exist at all, so they would not say something like "God is dead" -- they seem more like people who believe in God(s) but are disillusioned about it.
* IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming: Yep, again. The first letters of the first six episode titles spell out "future" in reverse. Episodes 7 through 12 use the same titles as 6 through 1, respectively, but with a prefix attached to them: "for-" in the last episode; "re-" in the other five.
* IfYouKillHimYouWillBeJustLikeHim: [[spoiler:Yuu prevents Yuuko from stabbing Amamiya with this sentence almost word for word.]]
* JustifiedTitle: The title of the visual novel originally seems to be a generic {{Engrish}} love story title, until at the end it's revealed that [[spoiler:there were two towns all along, also making it a Shout Out for ''Literature/ATaleOfTwoCities''.]]
* LookBothWays: Someone not following this rule (person differs between the game and the anime) results in the death of the same person in both mediums.
* MayDecemberRomance: Mizuki and Kuze. The relationship is generally referred to as a crime. Technically, it probably is...
%%* {{Melodrama}}: The good kind.
* MementoMacGuffin: Yuu keeps the wristwatch his sister wore until the earthquake. [[spoiler:Later he buries it and gets over his guilt after saving Yuuko.]]
* NotSoDifferent: Amamiya has the same backstory as Yuu, and Yuu believes that he was close to becoming someone like him.
* OneDegreeOfSeparation: Best emphasized by episode 10, where nearly the entire cast is revealed to have a very tight connection to each other.
* PlotBasedPhotographObfuscation: The ending sequence involving Mizuki has a photo with the faces obscured by a lens flare. [[spoiler:Those people turn out to be Yuu, Yuuko, and Miki (Mizuki's old self who was traumatized by the experience of her own parents trying to kill her), signifying how Yuu and Yuuko have transformed Miki into the current cheerful Mizuki.]]
* PromotionToParent: Yuu and Yuuko are almost like this to a young Mizuki, at least until [[spoiler:Yuuko gets hit by a car. On Christmas.]]
* RapeAsDrama: Surprisingly minor plot point; it's no less horrible, but in this case it's just another horrible thing: [[spoiler:Amamiya has done to Yuuko. On Christmas, no less.]]
* ReplacementGoldfish: Amamiya adopted Yuuko as a sister because his own sister died in the earthquake. [[spoiler:Predictably enough, he eventually harbors deep feelings of hatred both towards Yuuko for not being the same person as his sister and toward himself for being unable to save her. Beatings and rape ensue.]]
** Mizuki was this initially despite denials to the contrary from her family.
* SarcasticConfession: [[spoiler:One of the first things Yuuko says to Yuu is that she hates him. She doesn't really, but she pretty clearly showed she was a StepfordSmiler with that declaration. See also BestServedCold.]]
* ShoutOut: There is one to ''Anime/HellGirl'' in episode 11, and Yuu does [[Manga/SayonaraZetsubouSensei Despair's]] "I'm in despair" pose in the end card for episode 1. That series was also animated by [=SHAFT=]. (The author of ''Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei'', Creator/KojiKumeta, also illustrated the endcard for episode 6.)
** Also, this excellent one to ''Franchise/StarWars'' in episode 4:
-->'''Mizuki:''' Will you -- will you do that thing for me? "May God bless you," and then you say...
-->'''Yuu:''' I'm not a pastor or a priest.
-->'''Mizuki:''' But you look good doing it.
-->'''Yuu:''' ''(Doing the Sign of the Cross)'' May TheForce be with you always.
-->'''Mizuki:''' Is that some kind of a good thing?
-->'''Yuu:''' It's... better than God.
** In retrospect, there is a great one in [[spoiler:the game's title itself: "A Fairy Tale Of The Two" turns out to mean [[Creator/CharlesDickens "a tale of]] [[Literature/ATaleOfTwoCities two cities".]]]]
* SingleMindedTwins: When Kei and Chihiro finally meet, they start talking in unison to Mizuki.
* SoapOperaDisease: Kuze has an ill-defined heart condition that is causing him to die, but has few symptoms other than heart attacks, isolationism, and existential angst.
** Wiki/TheOtherWiki says it's canonically a form of neurosis. Of course, neurosis isn't fatal.
** In the game, it was an unidentified muscle disease. It was changed to neurosis in the anime.
* StepfordSmiler: [[spoiler:Yuuko and Mizuki.]] Less negative than most portrayals, this story seems to suggest that this behavior is actually a good way to keep your sanity after horrific trauma.
** [[spoiler:Mizuki]] is actually a subversion and [[AngstWhatAngst coping just fine]], and [[spoiler:Yuu]] just thought she was one. [[spoiler:Probably because being one wouldn't be very strange since Yuuko taught her it was a good way to deal with things. She also picked up some mannerisms from Yuuko, causing people who knew Yuuko to compare them.]]
* SympathyForTheDevil: [[spoiler:Amamiya's death is presented fairly neutrally, or even as being somewhat sad despite, well, [[MoralEventHorizon you know.]] It's strongly implied he committed suicide and suggested that he never truly hated Yuuko but simply could not cope.]] The reader is unlikely to agree, of course.
* ThrewMyBikeOnTheRoof: In Yuuko's chapter, bullies do this with Yuuko's indoor shoes, hiding them on top of the lockers, which causes her to have to go around all day in her socks. [[spoiler:Eventually subverted -- Yuuko hid them up there herself to create the illusion that she was being bullied, so that she could better manipulate Yuu.]]
* TomatoSurprise: [[spoiler:There are two towns, one in Japan and the other in Australia.]]
* TraumaCongaLine: Happens to several characters this season, such as Kuze, Yuu, and especially Yuuko.
* TwistedChristmas: Three of them!
%%* WhamEpisode: Episode six.
* YouAreNotAlone: More or less said to Kuze, and to Yuu to a lesser extent.