So, it’s been 3 episodes now and no I didn’t review the second one. When it comes to Anime, people tend to watch a series in 3 different ways to determine whether its good: the pilot episode, the first 3 episodes, and the whole series. The latter of which means the show was worth making the never ending “anime to watch list” wait longer for you to finish this one. With regards to all shows, you get the best idea whether you should continue watching the series with the power of 3 rule, hence why I’m needlessly writing this review which no one is reading because I believe people have had conflicting views on Violet Evergarden so far. Like I mentioned with the Pilot review, there was an enormous hype train following the early release of the show, a train I didn’t board because I try to keep all judgments reserved until ive seen the actual show yet I’d be lying if I said it didn’t grab my attention. Now I’m here to explain why not only i think Violet Evergarden is worth watching but why I think Evergarden is a lot more meaningful than some people realise.
You know weirdly the more I write about these shows, the worse I feel like my writing gets. Not just because of grammar and punctuality, but as Violet tries to explain “I don’t even know what I want to say”. That is pretty much how I write and as actual writers will tell you, that’s really not the best way to write something…obviously. I don’t know what I want to write, I just know that shows like Violet Evergarden make me WANT to write, but I doubt I could write a character nearly as intricate as Violet. Describing Violet that may come as a surprise for people who think this Anime is overhyped, but as they say “With highly anticipated shows, comes highly anticipated hate.” People argue Violet is another emotionless Kuudere, yet this is so much that’s stands out with her. The amazing animations and music are more than just cosmetics, yet the show looks beautiful but it’s more than just a pretty visuals. They carry much more deeper meaning. So when Violet spends all day with not a single word to show her feelings, it really gets to me how terrified she is of expressing her own feelings. I struggle to express my feelings writing this damn review, yet I know inside what feelings and emotions I have. Unlike most people, Violet doesn’t even understand the feeling itself, let alone how to express it. Yes the Anime’s story is basically her trying to understand her own feelings, that may be the plot of the anime but it’s certainly not what it’s about, and it certainly isn’t your typical Slice of Life.
With Kyoto Animation, characters matter. While some would argue films A Silent Voice sacrifices most of it’s secondary cast for the sake of plot development, the film still actually makes you care about them. Violet Evergarden is no exception when it comes to the importance of in depth secondary characters. While Violet is the main focus, each episode does seem to focus plot points from different perspectives. From the pilot we had Claudia Hodgins struggle to introduce Violet to civilian life, in the second we saw Erica Brown as a doll who also struggles with expression support Violet in her desire to understand her feelings. In this episode Violet befriends the loving Luculia Marlborough who comes to admire Violet, and struggles trying to help her drunken war veteran brother. Although I wish by now I started seeing Violet come into her own, it’s still a great way of story telling by showing her characterization through the eyes of others whilst also adding small yet interesting character arcs of their own. I also hope this leads to an episode from the perspective of The Playwright, the character which the novel opens on as we see Violet for the first time. However I do hope we seem more of these characters, Claudia in particular as we know he cares enough for Violet to try and help her start a new life, he’s looking for redemption and he can’t bring himself to tell Violet that Major Gilbert is dead.
Violet has only known war, she is at her core, a soldier first and foremost. It’s in her language, her expressions, her to the point attitude. She see’s every task as a mission and every teacher as an officer. Yet she knows this isn’t what life is about, but it’s the only thing she knows. The concept behind the letters and the written word is just as powerful as the shows visuals, it connects characters in the show, shows character development and is important to the story. Having Luculia’s brother in the episode was an interesting way of having Violet taking her first steps at moving on from her military past, or at least using it to help another character come to terms with their guilt. Part of me feels like this foreshadows a later interaction when/if Violet realizes the truth about the Major. I respect the anime for taking it’s time with Violet, unlike the novel the show is presented in chronological order so it’s not showing the series of events of how Violet became who she is, it’s showing the journey of her growing up into an adult. Violet is not a simple broken girl, she struggles conveying emotion because the only language ever taught to her is that of a soldier. Her transformation to becoming a doll is like her trying to jump language or social barriers, to say that she has no personality in my opinion is just misunderstanding of her character. That doesn’t mean I’m right, it’s just how I see Violet Evergarden and why I think so many amazing moments are yet to come.
I’m really not breaking any new grounds with this review, there are far more talented people who have done more detailed analysis of Violet so far, all I can do is give my opinion on why I like it and where I think it is going. The soundtrack surprised me with VE’s first official use of the “Sincerely” opening and ending of the show. Most people are upset they haven’t used “Violet Snow” yet, but I hope they save that for when the show really needs it. However if I’m honest, I almost wish there wasn’t an OP for the show, yes Ive loved the openings so far but with only 20 minutes to progress the story I wish we got to see more Violet.
No I am not going to post a score or rating, the fact that I’m actually posting this review in the first place should show that it was worth taking the time to write it because I think it’s a damn good show even if I don’t think it’s reached its best moments yet. Simple matter is I don’t see ratings as an effective way to show how good or how much I like something. That does mean people who post scores on their reviews are wrong, it just means much like in Violet, the use of words carry weight and emotion to convey feelings. I don’t believe I can do that just by putting a 1-10 on something.
On a side note, if anyone is actually reading this, I’d seriously like to thank you for actually taking the time to read a nobodies blog post who’s opinion means Jack shit to everyone else. At this point I really just write for my on catharsis but it still means a lot that you made it this far. I most likely won’t write another review for VE until the series is finished, but I look forward to writing it.