I am unable to give ef justice with one screenshot, so here’s a little stack.
Kulons worth of electrons were expended on critiquing ef’s frame composition, with complaints about the streetlamp taking up space here and odd split-screen techniques there. I found these innovations only a little annoying, and most of their kin working for what they were (like Miya’s clones talking). And the bulk of the show is done normally, so I don’t see a case for fuss. It’s pretty and “anime-ish” looking, like a major upgrade to Pokemon.
What peeved me were the references (I suppose everyone have seen the “NICE BOAT” screenshot by now, so the one below is something else). I can see why Lucky Star is full of them: it’s a successor of Excel Saga in that regard. But in both ef and Sketchbook the references were singularly inappropriate, as if the decisions to insert them were done without the consent of directors. What is this clowning at a funeral? Wrong type of anime, people!
The stories of insanity is not something I enjoy as a rule, moreso because creators in America seem to exhibit unusual tropism to them. Sometimes they come out ok, like Forrest Gump or Brilliant Mind, but most of the time it’s clearly the unhealthy fascination with the deviancy moving the script. In anime these trends are mostly under control, but only mostly. Chihiro seems not too bad by comparison, I think I can take her.
I suppose what keeps me watching is the suspense. At one point it seemed as if the rest of the characters existed in Asou’s fiction. So, I want to know what is going on and what is going to happen. Sort of like with Murukami’s books. And it’s a comfortable watching, so we shall see.
BTW, Nice non-pop OP and ED (ED was a hybrid).