Character sheet for ef (A Fairy Tale of the Two, A Tale of Memories, and A Tale of Melodies).
A seventeen-year-old student in her second year at Otowa Gakuen, the main heroine of the game's first chapter and one of the main characters of the first anime series. Miyako is zany, cheerful, and never stays on one topic for too long; she's also almost always smiling. At school, she's known as a delinquent who's always skipping class, but actually she's the top student in her grade! Miyako meets Hiro on Christmas Eve, and borrows his bike in order to chase after a thief who stole her purse. When the two of them meet at school a month later, they begin to fall in love.
Despite her outward demeanor, Miyako is actually fairly lonely, and carries emotional scars from the messy, bitter divorce of her parents, followed by them abandoning her to her luck. She tries to live her life so as not to be tied down by anything or anyone, but deep down, she badly needs and wants love.
Miyako's birthday is the eighth of September. She's 162 cm tall, and her three measurements are 88-57-83.
- Broken Ace: She strove to be excellent at everything in a futile attempt to impress her quarreling parents.
- Alliterative Name: Miyako Miyamura. Hiro even lampshades it.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Just try to get her to stay on one topic of conversation for longer than five minutes. And she regularly walks out of school because she's too bored to stay there. Eventually subverted; Miyako never learned how to converse properly, and her grades are good enough that she can ditch school all she wants.
- Character Development: She's notably nicer and less self-centered in Kei's chapter than she is in her own.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Not quite to Yandere proportions, but close. Played for Drama in the anime, where her abandonment issues are more played up.
- First-Name Basis: She flatly insists on being called Miyako by everyone.
- Freudian Excuse: Her abandonment issues over her parents' divorce, which are exaggerated in the anime along with the level of her parents' neglect.
- The Hero: She is the main heroine in the series, and her story involves overcoming her inner turmoil to develop her feeling for Hiro.
- Hero Stole My Bike: Steals Hiro's bike to catch a purse stealer.
- Image Song: I'm here
- Kick the Dog: She rips Kei apart quite brutally at the end of her chapter in order to preserve her relationship with Hiro. She feels bad about it later.
- Leitmotif: "Free and easy."
- Medium Awareness: The scene between her and Hiro at the end of her chapter, where Hiro asks her to model for him."You mean you're going to draw everything?! No mosaic?!"
- Meet Cute: With Hiro.
- Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: She is the energetic girl to Hiro.
- Stepford Smiler: Has huge abandonment issues, because her parents were too busy with their marital problems to pay attention to her. You'd never know by looking at her.
- Stood Up: She was stood up by Hiro in the anime, in part due to Kei.
A seventeen-year-old student at Otowa Gakuen. He comes from a family of artists, and has loved shoujo manga since he was a kid. Unbeknownst to his classmates, he's actually the author of a serialized shoujo manga. Unfortunately, his job requires more of his attention than he can spare, and he's nearly failing school because of it. He's been friends with Kei since they were very young.
He has severe tendinitis in his right arm, which he cannot treat properly because of his job. Because of this, he is slowly losing use of that arm, the worst fear of every artist.
Hiro is the protagonist of the first chapter of the game, and one of the main characters in the first anime series. His birthday is the ninth of September.
- Alliterative Name: Hiro Hirono
- Genre Blind: Even though his own manga deals with romance.
- Leitmotif: "Imagination."
- Like Brother and Sister: His view of Kei, poor girl.
- Married to the Job: He focuses more on his manga career, to the detriment of both his relationship with Miyako and his schooling. He eventually gets over it.
- Moustache de Plume: Inverted. He writes shoujo manga under the name "Nagi Shindou" (His sister's given name, and an alternate kanji rendering of Kei's family name), so his readers (including Mizuki) think it's a female manga artist.
- Real Men Wear Pink: Draws shoujo manga. And likes classical music.
- Reclusive Artist: Invoked. About three or four people know who Hiro really is, and he writes under a pen name.
- Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: He is the savvy guy to Miyako.
- Sitting on the Roof: He winds up getting Miyako doing it, too.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Kyousuke.
A sixteen-year-old student at Otowa Gakuen, and Hiro's childhood friend. She was the one who originally got him into manga, and she's had a crush on him for a while. Despite only being in her first year, Kei is the star of the basketball team, and has incredible athletic skills. She talks like a guy around Hiro, and takes it upon herself to take care of him (read: beat the living crap out of him if he slacks off at school).
Kei finds it very difficult to be honest with herself, probably due to her own Tsundere nature. She has a twin sister named Chihiro, who's also an important character.
Kei is the heroine of the second chapter of the game, and one of the main characters in the first anime. After a failed attempt at wresting Hiro's affections away from Miyako, she winds up in a reluctant romance with Kyousuke; for a long time, she is hesitant to love again because losing Hiro has given her a fear of abandonment. She's 150 cm tall, and her three measurements are 76-55-79. Her birthday is June second.
- Berserk Button: Don't make fun of her height.
- Childhood Friend Romance: Miyako wins over Hiro before Kei even realizes she has competition. When she asks about it later, the general opinion is that even if she had already been dating him, Miyako still would have won.
- Demoted to Extra: Her arc is extremely truncated in the anime.
- Ill Girl: Temporarily, when she injures her leg in an accident.
- Image Song: Kizamu Kisetsu
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: She finally accepts Hiro's relationship with Miyako.
- Kick the Dog: Deleting Miyako's text messages to Hiro after he stands up to her in their date, before he can even check them in the anime.
- Leitmotif: "Hand with hand.", "Early childhood.", and "Heart to Heart."
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Chihiro's blue.
- Replacement Goldfish: A lot of her chapter of the game deals with the morality of forming relationships similar to those you've lost in the past; Kei is aware that on some level she may only be interested in Mizuki and Kyousuke in order to "replace" Chihiro and Hiro.
- Second Love: Kyousuke.
- Shorttank: Though she starts wearing dresses and skirts in order to show off her feminine charms to Hiro.
A seventeen-year-old student in the same class as Hiro. The two of them are best friends and occasionally best enemies. Kyousuke is a renowned playboy, but finds himself getting stuck on Kei in the second chapter of the game, in which he's the protagonist. Kyousuke also happens to be a devoted member of the school's film club, and has serious aspirations buried under his slacker's appearance.
During Christmas break, he saw Kei in passing and got slightly obsessed with her; eventually, he decides to quit the film club and make an amateur film starring her for an upcoming film festival. Along the way, they fall in love. His birthday is November 29.
- Leitmotif: "Bad friend."
Kei's twin sister. Although she's often seen in uniform, she does not attend Otowa Gakuen for health reasons. She's often seen at the train station, reading books; this is where she bumps into Renji for the first time. Yuu (yes, that Yuu) is her primary caretaker. She has lived a very difficult life due to the fact that she has had anterograde amnesia for the past several years, after being hit by a car when she was 13 years old, which caused her brain damage and made her lose an eye.
Renji is the first person she's told about herself for a while, and his presence in her life helps her to move towards her goals again — Chihiro is attempting to write a short story about "the last girl in the world", but has largely given up due to her condition. They develop a relationship, although Chihiro's amnesia is a large obstruction to it. How things end between them differs vastly between the anime and game.
She's the main heroine of the third game, and is said to be the embodiment of the theme "a tale of memories". In the anime, Chihiro is one of the central characters. She's 151 cm tall, and her measurements are 77-53-78.
- Chekhov's Gun: Her very existence. She's mentioned briefly in passing in the first chapter, and her character develops from there.
- Image Song: Sora no Yume
- Ingenue: Far sweeter and gentler than her sister Kei. Her condition makes her innocent.
- Leitmotif: "Warm color." Her novel also has three themes, none of which appear on the soundtrack for some odd reason.
- Lethal Chef: Apparently this runs in her family.
- Note to Self: Due to the nature of her amnesia, she writes entries on her diary detailing her day-to-day experiences to the letter. She will then wake up the next day reading those entries to remind herself of what she did or experienced.
- Past Experience Nightmare: Of the accident where she lost her eye and her health problems started.
- Picky Eater: Will not eat peas.
- Polar Opposite Twins: Oh boy. Aside from their looks, you'd never think she and Kei are sisters.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Kei's red.
- Reset Button: In the game, Chihiro gives her diary to Renji and forgets about him, but Renji finds her and begins their relationship all over again, deciding to do it right this time.
- Sugar-and-Ice Personality: She tends to be cold with strangers because her health makes it difficult to let them in, but she has no problems being social with the people she knows.
- Suicide Is Painless: She discusses this, and admits to having planned to jump off the roof of the school at the end of her date with Renji.
- Younger Than They Look: Because of her condition, Chihiro will always be thirteen years old mentally.
A student at Otowa Gakuen who doesn't have many friends due to his family's moving around a great deal. His world is restricted to his class, his crazy mother Sumire, his often-offscreen father, and his cheerful cousin Mizuki — at least until he stops by the town's abandoned train station one day and meets Chihiro there. Although Renji is rather aimless and doesn't know what to do with himself and his life at the beginning of the story, meeting Chihiro and learning to cope with and consider her health in all of their interactions helps him to mature. He decides to become a novelist, and does his best to support her.
Renji's birthday is the first of November. He is a year younger than Chihiro, but his chapter starts when he's in his junior year of high school.
- But Not Too Foreign: He's half-German.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: His ideal is to be a Knight in Shining Armor, and when he first meets Chihiro he imagines her to be basking in the warmth of a... spaceship launch?!
- Mr. Fanservice: There's even a scene in melodies where Mizuki strips him down to his birthday suit as part of her laundry job.
Mizuki is Renji's cousin, and looks up to Kei. She was originally an orphaned girl named Miki, who was adopted by the Hayama family when the original passed away. She is 156 cm tall and her three measurements are 80-58-82. Her birthday is December 22.
- Girlish Pigtails: Changed to a single side ponytail in the fourth chapter.
- Harmful to Minors: Oh, boy. First her mother tried to strangle her, then tried to double-suicide-murder by driving the family car into the ocean. And after that, her friend Yuuko got hit by a car right in front of her when she was still a little kid. It's a subversion, though, as aside from her phobia of the ocean Mizuki doesn't let her childhood trauma adversely affect her behavior — rather, she wants to make people happy because of it.
- I'm Taking Her Home with Me!: To Chihiro.
- Image Song: Egao no Chikara
- Ironic Echo: At the end of chapter seven, when Kuze steps up to play, Mizuki points at him from the audience with her thumb up and her forefinger extended. In Kuze's dreams, he does this to pantomime shooting himself as he remembers his collapse onstage.
- Leitmotif: Mizuki's chapter contains a number of tracks that are only used in conjunction with her and Kuze, no other characters. Only some of them made it onto the OST, sadly.
- Love Martyr: Towards Kuze. Though she seems to get fed up with it after the rape attempt.
- MayDecember Romance: With Kuze.
- Replacement Goldfish: For the original Mizuki.
- Stepford Smiler: For a little while towards the end of her chapter after Kuze tries to drive her away by almost raping her. She snaps out of it pretty quickly, though.
- Verbal Tic: It's very rare for her to have dialogue that doesn't include onomatopoeia of some sort.
- You ALL Share My Story: She's involved in all the other plotlines before she becomes a main heroine.
A professional violinist. Went to Germany to continue his education and came home at the time of the start of the overall story. Born February 15.
- Decoy Protagonist: The fourth chapter is ostensibly from his perspective, but most of the scenes are shown from Mizuki's point of view as she tries to get closer to him, the reverse of the other chapters.
- The Gadfly: Shuichi really seems to enjoy picking on on Mizuki.
- Generation Xerox: In the fifth chapter, his role is much the same as Kyousuke's in the first.
- Leitmotif: See the entry under Mizuki.
- Near-Rape Experience: Almost rapes Mizuki in the original visual novel. In the anime, this scene was replaced by him berating her with so many "Why"s.
- The Perfectionist: He only takes on battles he can win. This all changed when he got the fatal disease and got to know Mizuki better. In the anime, he eventually volunteered to undergo surgery to at least ameliorate his disease, even though his chances of survival were slim. He survives.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: With Yuu. Contrary to appearances, he's the manly man.
- Your Days Are Numbered: Knowing that he will die soon, he gradually breaks off from his commitments. This is even more pronounced in the anime, with shots of a calendar marking the days until his expected day of passing.
Yuuko is the main heroine of the overarching story. Her birthday is 6/21 and her three sizes are 82-56-83.
- Abusive Parents: More specifically, Abusive Adoptive Brother.
- Babies Ever After: In her and Yuu's fandisc epilogue.
- But Now I Must Go: After fulfilling her mission as an angel and spending her last night with Yuu — their last Christmas night together — she finally departs, leaving behind a feather.
- Dead to Begin With: There are several clues scattered throughout the story that prove she is no longer a mortal. For instance, her spontaneous disappearing acts after dishing out pieces of advice to the current-generation characters.
- Diabolus ex Machina: So your life's finally going great, Yuuko! Have a car speeding towards you and Miki right when you're going to celebrate your first Christmas with Yuu after being persuaded not to stab your unborn child out of yourself. However, this is only by viewing her arc as a standalone: The events set everything else in motion and are required to even have a story in the first place.
- First Girl Wins: Met Yuu as a little girl and then is the first girl we see in the entire Visual Novel. Nagi didn't stand much of a chance. Unfortunately, what she wins is being run over; but hey, you win some, you lose some.
- Generation Xerox: On the surface, her role in chapter five is similar to Miyako's in chapter one. Albeit, her issues are considerably worse...
- Good Girls Avoid Abortion: She definitely planned to have one, but in the end she decides to go through with her pregnancy.
- Happily Adopted: In Nagi and original!Mizuki's what-if fandisc scenarios, where she lives with the Amamiyas without incident.
- Ill Girl: Because she lacks physical strength, she tends to get sick easily and occasionally has her legs give out on her. This happens much more frequently when she gets pregnant in chapter 6.
- Image Song: Negai no Kakera
- Japanese Christian: She is born as one, but she doubts her faith sometimes due to all the misery and pain that is surrounding her immediate world.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Though she downplays it as just having a bad memory.
- Leitmotif: "Girl's mask.", "Mysteric position."
- Lethal Chef: Though she works hard to get better, and as she's less of a hopeless case than the Shindou girls, she shows some improvement.
- Manipulative Bastard: Not in the Machiavellian sense of the term, but the way she tries to guilt-trip Yuu by saying he should have adopted her as his sister in the first place to prevent all the abuse directed at her counts as this.
- Narrator: Of the first two games.
- Never Trust a Trailer: The game's second opening revolves around her reunion with Mizuki, which never actually happens.
- Psychotic Smirk: Her big revelation is accompanied by this, as she tries to guilt-trip Yuu.
- Rape as Backstory: She was defiled on Christmas Eve by her adopted brother.
- Sanity Slippage: She is first portrayed as a sweet girl; but underneath, her psychological trauma has taken a toll on her sanity.
- Stealth Pun: When Yuu asks her why she's on the roof, Yuuko replies that she's a member of the recently-dissolved astronomy club. In Japanese, "astronomy" is "tenmon", which is the name of the game's composer.
- Stepford Smiler: She lets out her Broken Smile at the end of her revelation of her physical and sexual abuse at the hands of her adoptive brother, coupled with the following quote (as stated in the anime):Yuuko: You're ten years too late.
- Vague Age: Turns into a Running Gag in the first chapter.
Yu is the hero of the overarching story. Born May 5.
- Absolute Cleavage: Just look at this◊ sprite in the game during Mizuki's route. His shirt is open casually down to just above his navel.
- Dead Person Conversation: He has a few conversations with his dead sister in his dreams. They may or may not be hallucinations or tricks of the psyche, though.
- Deus Angst Machina: To start off, he's an orphan. Then his little sister dies in an earthquake. Another orphaned girl tries to get close to the introverted boy, but he drives her away because she bears a painful resemblance to his deceased sister. Ten years later he meets her again and discovers that her adoptive older brother — his teacher — has been abusing her for nearly as long. The teacher eventually commits suicide and the two fall in love, but then the girl dies in a car accident. Fast-forward another ten years and his best friend is going to die of a heart condition. The guy gets kicked around by fate nearly as much as Tomoya; and both characters even share the same English voice actor — a coincidence that compounds this angst even more for some viewers.
- Generation Xerox: His role in chapter five is similar to Hiro's in chapter one, although he's much more tsun than Hiro ever was.
- Harmful to Minors: He describes the great disaster up to and including his discovery of his sister's charred corpse in gruesome detail. After which it's easy to see why he's got issues.
Important Secondary Characters
Renji's mother. She is adept at cooking, as she conducts cooking classes for the town.
Hiro's older sister; and is interested in the arts like him. Was classmates with Yu and Shuichi.
- Advertised Extra: For some annoying reason, she is featured on the cover art of Sentai Filmworks' reversible cover art image of the ef: a tale of memories and melodies. complete collection; and for the melodies set alone, she is featured as the character for Disc 2 rather than Mizuki. She doesn't even contribute much to the series anyways except to be slutty and snarky.
- Childhood Friend Romance: Her relationship with Yuu goes nowhere, to her disappointment, but is gradually accepting of his relationship with Yuuko. However, she does have a route in the fandisc.
- Cool Big Sis: She is a visual artist by profession, and even helps Hiro out with his manga if he's chasing deadlines.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Nagi is perfectly accepting of Yuu and Yuuko's relationship, and is good friends with Yuuko despite everything.
- It's All My Fault: She feels like because of her conversation with Yuu, as he wasn't able to make it in time to save Yuuko; and is shown to have immense Survivor Guilt.
- Nonstandard Character Design: She was designed by 2C=Galore, who designed the male characters in the series, as opposed to Naru Nanao.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Would you believe that Nagi is Hirono's big sister, not Kei and Chihiro's?
Yuko's adoptive older brother. His inability to cope with the fact that his biological sister, Akari, died in the earthquake, made him pour all his rage on his adopted sister.
- Alliterative Name: Akira Amamiya
- Death Seeker: Once he sees Yuu's drawing of Yuuko (who resembles his dead sister), he goes mad, mumbling about how he will reunite with his sister forever. He then sets himself and his house on fire.
- Hot Teacher: He is quite handsome for an older man, but that's just scratching the surface.
- Karma Houdini: In the end, he ultimately gets what he wants.
- Leitmotif: Mostly inverted. In most of his scenes, no music is played at all.
- Strike Me Down with All of Your Hatred: The reason why he gave Yuuko a knife.
- Sympathy for the Devil: Okay, the readers aren't going to forgive him, but Yuu does. Kind of. Understands him, anyway.
- Treacherous Advisor: Constantly begs Yuu to join the art club, but shows his true colors once the great secret has been exposed.
Heroine of one of the what-if stories. Renji's first love; the girl who drowned at the beach as a child in the main continuity.
- Nonstandard Character Design: She was designed by Mitsuishi Shouna, the main artist for two other minori works (Haru no Ashioto and Wind - a breath of heart), rather than Naru Nanao or 2C=Galore.
Heroine of one of the what-if stories, which examines what life would have been like if the great disaster had never occurred. Akira Amamiya's real younger sister. She is stated to be something of a masochist in promotional materials.
- For Want of a Nail: Her survival apparently would have made all the difference in the quality of Yuuko's life.
- Nonstandard Character Design: Same as Mizuki above.