ef–a tale of melodies provides a neat answer to one of the main objections that I raised to it’s predecessor ef–a tale of memories. Unfortunately it strikes me as the sort of answer that creates more problems than it solves.
Apparently there are two identical-looking Japanese cities called “Otowa”, one in Japan and one in Australia. No explanation is provided as to how this came about; even the characters sound a bit disbelieving as they explain it. Did the Japanese, perhaps, decide to build duplicate cities when they colonized Australia in 1945?
This does indeed solve one major problem: we now learn that Kei lives in Japan while Chihiro lives in Australia. But the more I think about this the more problems I see. For example, both cities must have been devastated by earthquakes at about the same time, and rebuilt in the same way. How likely is that?
Furthermore Yuu Himura and his church have to exist in both cities simultaneously. Is he a supernatural being? Or does he have an identical twin brother?
Maybe this is all part of a brilliant master plan by the writers. On the other hand, maybe the writers just realized what a monstrous plot hole they had created when they first combined two separate visual novels into a single anime, and are now engaged in the wildest backfilling operation in history in an attempt to cover it up.