6 Anime Like Ef: A Tale of Memories [Recommendations]

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Ah! To be young and in love! Some of us can recall our first encounter with romance, describing the event as thrilling and breathtaking. At times, many can’t really explain how and why they feel so over the moon, but the overall sensation is so captivating and addicting.

Diving into such an innocent romance, we then experience that relationships aren’t as blissful as they appear; miscalculating the fights, arguments and drama that lay underneath its surface. In Ef: A Tale of Memories, we are presented with these very elements. We suffer, are overwhelmed, and recall these powerful emotions, parallel to Hiro, Miyako, Renji, and Chihiro. In comparison, we present to you 6 anime like Ef: A Tale of Memories, in the hope that you will bask in these picks as well.

Similar Anime to Ef: A Tale of Memories

1. Kimi ga Nozomu Eien (Rumbling Hearts)

  • Episodes: 14
  • Aired: October 2003 – January 2004

Kimi ga Nozomu Eien (Rumbling Hearts) is a 14-episode slice of life anime following students, Mitsuki, Takayuki and Haruka, journeying through high school into young adulthood. Growing and becoming more mature, we watch our characters experience realistic teenage obstacles and emerging from these challenges. Specifically, Takayuki is caught in a romantic love triangle. We observe his dilemma as he tries to figure out whom his heart wants more, without disrupting or tarnishing relations with the other girl. Essentially, Rumbling Hearts is “a bittersweet memoir of how life can get in the way…”

Rumbling Hearts and Ef: A Tale of Memories shares a lot of similarities. The outline for each anime bears a close resemblance, as the male characters, Takayuki and Hiro, are caught in a love triangle. With this scenario comes drama and jealousy. Additionally, both series also contain characters that experience memory loss and illness. Consequently, this results in the characters showing their quality, overcoming flaws that were demonstrated earlier on and progressing into great character development. Overall, the theme to both is somewhat sad and bittersweet.

Rumbling Hearts Trailer

2. Myself; Yourself

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: October 2007 – December 2007

Myself; Yourself follows the story of Sana Hidaka, who returns to his hometown of Sakuranomori after being away for five years. Essentially, we observe Sana’s life, as he goes about his day attending high school, reconnecting with his childhood friends. Although the premise is fairly simple, the complexity of this plot shows that a lot can occur in five years. As we see Sana try to re-establish these bonds with some difficulty, he realizes that some of his old friends are not as they once were.

Even though Myself; Yourself and Ef: A Tale of Memories possess storylines that are fairly straightforward, we find that there is a darker element of romance than one would typically imagine when viewing a slice of life anime. As we focus on the romantic drama, what follows these troublesome couples is the realism and relatable traits of these circumstances, really providing viewers an intense engagement to the story. Intertwined with how these characters are feeling, we can really grasp their struggles, joyfulness and sense of achievement. In addition, the animation in both utilizes very bold and bright colors.

3. Clannad

  • Episodes: 23
  • Aired: October 2007 – March 2008

Clannad follows the journey of Tomoya Okazaki and Nagisa Furukawa. We observe Tomoya and his relationships with various people in high school, particularly with Nagisa, as their friendship grows into romance. After Tomoya’s first encounter with Nagisa, he becomes more aware of her presence around school. When Nagisa becomes more active, especially with the revision of the drama club, Tomoya reluctantly helps her, along with several others who grow to be his close companions. As such, Tomoya realizes the intricacies of their lives, providing them with guidance and strengthening each relationship.

In comparing Clannad with Ef: A Tale of Memories, both contain dramatic and powerful storylines that are truly heartfelt. In both series, we learn that the quality of friendship is essential for personal growth, especially in working up the confidence to do something you’ve always wanted/needed to do. With characters that are ill and have impairments, they show that their condition doesn’t bar them from enjoying life. In addition, the animation style, although contrasting, are super eye-catching.

Clannad Trailer

Any Anime Like Ef: A Tale of Memories ?

4. H2O: Footprints in the Sand

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: January 2008 – March 2008

Hirose Takuma is a high school-aged boy who is blind. As the cause of his blindness is undetermined, Hirose is sent to live in the country with his uncle in order to naturally remedy his condition. As he arrives in the village, he meets three young ladies, all with striking personalities, standing out amongst the others. These girls are Hayami, Hinata, and Otoha. Otoha, later on, miraculously heals his ailment, giving him motivation to help others around him. In particular, he finds an interest in helping Hayami who, for some reason, is disliked by others in the village. As he tries to the best of his abilities to help Hayami, more of this village is exposed to him, unveiling the despair he was unable to see before.

H2O: Footprints in the Sand and Ef: A Tale of Memories both have similar storylines and characters. Essentially, we view an outcast, introverted female character that aligns herself with a male character, helping and revealing a different world than what she is used to. We also see a character afflicted with a physical disability, as well as elements of the supernatural. With the exposure of dynamic and interesting characters, these romantic dramas are bound to thrill you on an emotional roller coaster.


5. True Tears

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: January 2008 – March 2008

True Tears introduces us to Shinichirou Nakagami, a talented high school student/artist and his unique relationship with three girls: Hiromi, his long time crush, and whom he resides with after her father passed away; Aiko, Shinichirou’s childhood friend, who is now dating one of his high school friends but still has some feelings for him; and lastly, Noe, an eccentric girl, whom Shinchirou has recently developed a relationship with. True Tears is a coming of age story for Shinichirou, as he figures out where his feelings truly lie.

From the start, we can see how they are alike because of their promotional cover picture, with the characters posing in a similar fashion. True Tears and Ef: A Tale of Memories are evenly matched because they are both high school romances that focus on love triangles, with the characters’ development as the basis for the story. Even though there are other anime out there with this scenario, True Tears and Ef: A Tale of Memories handle this situation in a mature fashion. Furthermore, the animation and style of each anime is very attractive, vivid and distinct.

6. Isshuukan Friends. (One Week Friends)

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: April 2014 – June 2014

One Week Friends follows the story of Hase Yuuki who tries to befriend one of his classmates, Fujima Kaori. What is so fascinating about Fujima is that her memory resets every Monday due to an accident that occurred long ago. From this, Fujima’s ailment causes some reluctance to make friends with Hase, or anyone else for that matter. Determined to become friends, Hase is persistent, working painstakingly hard to grow closer and closer to her.

One Week Friends and Ef: A Tale of Memories have many similar features. In each anime, we watch a character experience lapses of memory and a pursuant male’s attempt to grow closer to her despite this difficulty. The personalities of the characters are also alike, in that there is an extroverted male helping his counterpart see a different quality of life, helping her out of her comfort zone. Even though both contain the element of romance, Isshukan Friends is more sweet and easy going, while Ef: A Tale of Memories demonstrates a dark undertone of affliction.

Isshuukan Friends. PV

Final Thoughts

So, that concludes our list of recommendations for 6 Anime Like EF: A Tale of Memories. We really hope you enjoy these selections! Additionally, some films you should also check out include Byousoku 5 Centimeter (5 Centimeters Per Second), released in 2007; and Bungaku Shoujo (Literature Girl) released in 2010. As such, we know these are a few of the many in comparison. Let us know what we’ve missed! What other anime similar to this one can you suggest to us and other readers? Leave your comments below!

Ef-A-Tale-of-Memories-dvd-300x424 6 Anime Like Ef: A Tale of Memories [Recommendations]


Author: Eva B.

Hello! I’m Eva. I was born and raised in San Francisco, California. I’ve lived in Texas, Kentucky, and will soon be living in Japan! I’m a recent college grad with an MS in Justice Studies; a considerable feat in my life. When I’m taking a break from work/studies, I enjoy a variety of anime, passing a lot of time binging episodes alongside my husband. I also take pleasure in spending time with my two dogs and two cats, hiking, yoga, computer/video games, reading, and trying new cuisines. I’m pretty shy, so writing here has been a great outlet for me to come out of my box.

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