There it is, a body on display, delicate fabric hugging its frame as if a part of its existence from the very beginning. Porcelain skin adorned with silk, the material complements the complexion. The figure stands there without concern for the wondering gaze of any passersby, a translucent wall erected between it and the endless faces. Society is kept at bay. The soft glow of light dancing on the surface of the sheet of glass serving as its imprisonment. It shimmers ever so slightly, creating prisms of color in the endless shuffle. The rays of light trails over the delicate frame of the figure. Beauty
blossoming from a thing of tertiary value.
But this is not Violet Evergarden I'm describing.
Look beyond the object, beyond the fabric; zoom pass the crystalline glass wall, and suddenly, the true image of my purple prose takes shape. There it is, coming into focus, a JC Penny's mannequin positioned at the window front of a shopping mall district. The dancing lights, nothing but the cheap glow of neon signs from neighboring competitors adjacent to it. The wondering gazes, nothing but customers with money to spend.
If embellishments for something so minuscule is all you need to be entranced by the item being described, then Violet Evergarden will not bother you. However, if you desire content equally as deserving of the words being used to describe it, then it might benefit you to move on to greener pastures, because like this opening paragraph, so too is the material on display hyper-stylized rendering of a truly insignificant thing. The main difference being the tool; flowery words traded in for audiovisual frontloading. Layered color gradients supplemented in place of proper diction. Lots of icing, very little cake.
But it's not all a lost cause. VE's story is one of relation. Or rather, everything surrounding it facilitates sentiments easy to relate too. One that practically writes itself. A person used as an instrument of war attempting to find ways to rekindle their lost humanity. An appointed position that gives opportunities to do just that. A girl disciplined in strict military decorum. A puppet with its strings cut loose, unsure as to what to do with her newfound freedom. She's a lost child, forgotten by society, forced to start from scratch. A holdover from a wartorn nation whose usefulness is brought to a crossroads. The story ends with the closing of one chapter, as we begin the journey of another. The journey is that of recovery. A journey aided by the guiding hands of someone not there in the flesh. Efforts made from beyond the grave for her betterment. One that will serve as her driving force towards improvement as well as the source of her grief as she draws closer to the answers she seeks.
Through her, we're introduced to this world. One made up like a quilt of different time periods and cultural influences, all stitched together to create something new. Victorian era structures serve as the city skyline while the undeniable look of early 20th-century technology takes the form of motor vehicles, as well as a wide assortment of widgets and trinkets littered throughout the environment. Our person of interest, Violet, equally as blended. Her appearance is that of an unassertive young woman, while her mechanical limbs tell a different story. One of violence and darkness. This temperament reflected in her personality. She only sees things in utilitarian ways; typewriters are weapons, school is a mission, her job becomes headquarters, saluting whenever given orders, requesting permission for all her actions. Social graces are completely lost on her. Her upbringing robbing her of the privilege to decide. There was only ever one path for her to take. Until recently, her actions were that of a blade, sheathed, just waiting for the time that its usefulness was required once again. An instrument of death whenever its wielder sees fit.
Her new job changes that. She must write for others as an "Auto Memory Doll," a profession where she's tasked to transcribe the feelings and thoughts of others, giving a voice for those that have trouble doing so on their own accord. A job where recorded sentiments are captured in a letter. A chance for an emotionally stunted girl to learn what feelings are. A "doll" wanting to become a doll, when in fact, the act of becoming one is what brings her closest to humanity.
As I said, the show writes itself.
A self-oscillating arbiter of "good content" for anyone wanting to express why it's "good content." The mere act of explaining its basic premise does the legwork for them. Except for the fact that when the content is lifted from the pages of its screenplay and brought to life by the magic of animation, it's equally as flaccid as the diegetic information would have you believe when following a character of such stunted social growth. It's a show perfect for overthinking, perfect for negating any naysayer, where issues are fended off as "it's meant to be that way." Subject matter created to facilitate a drab character doing things in a drab fashion. A machine-like girl with mechanical limbs given a task to emulate empathy. Her stilted, often wooden personality is accounted for by her upbringing. She's that way because she's SUPPOSED to be that way. It's all very self-serving. "To wear one's faults on their sleeve" taken quite literally.
It would have worked too, had there been no viable means to circumvent such insular logic. But here's where knowledge supersedes those counterarguments. Where one's experience can allow criticism to stick. This isn't the first anime to house such themes. And of those that did so before it, there are definitive examples of "better" out there disallowing the open acceptance of wooden behavior solely for the fact that the character's given circumstances allows it. Humans aren't that flat. To enable such simple-minded evaluations in place of spotting genuine issues is to trivialize the complexities of the human race altogether.
We already know what it would be like for an apathetic person unable to function without the strict regiment of paramilitary life because we've seen it done with a pedigree of writing befitting the serious subject matter. People that carry the baggage of their actions, the haunting memories of the things they've seen, unable to let go, to fully allow oneself to be integrated into society. We know what this looks like because well-developed personalities like Kazuki Fuse from Jin-Roh exists. Major Motoko Kusanagi from Ghost in the Shell exists. Scar from Fullmetal Alchemist exists. PTSD is not a scapegoat for underwritten performances, and it should never be accepted as one.
These issues are made visible by VE's very crowning achievement. Pristine art and animation that ends up highlighting the thin veneer of its inherent value. The undeniable look of sterile sleekness. The artifice of humanistic warmth made bare by the prim and proper order towards everything on display. Everything and everyone is made beautiful. Age, circumstances, genetics; none of it matters. Mandated aesthetics dictate this world. You die beautifully. You get angry beautifully. You get beaten up with style. Even tears are delivered with streams of diamond-like orbs, with the owners' faces made for the camera. Everyone in this world like that of runway models, all given a chance to play civilians. Realism made implausible when all inhabitants look like they should be doing photo ops for H&M brochures. Any attempt at realism placed further on cease-and-desist when glimpses of battles are depicted with shounen-like fight sequences. A place where even the grim outcome of war must be performed with a sense of commissioned poetics, all done to appease the vision of a director too busy with their pursuit for a particular aesthetic to let the content speak for itself. Content that effectively gets in the way of its own vision because it's never granted the chance to breathe.
Natural light emulation that aims for Call Me by Your Name but lands somewhere along the lines of The Visit. How an anime could suffer from overexposure is beyond me. Goes to show you that when you emulate without understanding, the issues are copied as well. Time-lapse photography used in every episode, not for any purpose other than to show off. Lens blur effects used for flashbacks and present-time, not because there's a reason to but because the director can. Everything is in service of this perfectness. This very unnatural attempt at being "natural" utterly self-defeating of its intentions.
This is equally true for moments underlined with genuine character outbursts.
Silence is powerful. Playing music over every scene is amateur. Words drowned out by plucked strings, the steadily held notes of a violin, piano keys dolled out just as quickly; all of this without concern for what the characters are saying. Entire dialogue exchanges where silence is appropriate is washed out by a wall of sound. It doesn't compliment the material; it hijacks it. There's a time and a place for everything, this anime never come to realize that fact.
It may take drowning out its content before one take notice of what good is there, but in that regard, Violet Evergarden is not without merit. Our protagonist may be an empty vessel with flickers of humanity tucked inside, but thankfully we're not made hostage by her presence, as every chapter in VE is in service of someone else. People of far greater interest than herself. Their emotional range not limited—even when presented with the same aesthetic brushstrokes that everything is painted in—their humanistic tendencies find a way to radiate outward. And as a vessel, Violet is given a chance to charter her clients' emotions to those on the receiving end of the expressed affection, and through that task itself, is able to find a way to expound upon her own feelings in return. The broad spectrum of accumulated emotions serving as the proxy towards finding her own. The idea itself is very appropriate. I would even go as far as saying that it's thoughtful. It also operates with a pace befitting the subject matter, even if that pace is considered to be a problem to some. These things need time to happen. Thankfully, Violet is alotted that.
It's all told through carefully selected vignettes, being brought together by motifs relating back to nature, its seasons, and the various foliage that comes to represent them:
▸The story of Iris, a girl named after the flowers in bloom in her small village, seeking out an existence away from her meager upbringing. Unwilling to accept rejection, an act of stubborn pride catalyzes her steps forward.
▸The story of Luculia, a pleasant disposition befitting the flower she's named after. She puts the feelings of her loved one ahead of herself. Hoping for their eventual emotional recovery from a tragedy that robbed them both of normalcy.
▸The unofficial sigils of two kingdoms: one a white rose, the other red. Lovers-to-be and penpals brought together by political circumstances, but share a love that aligns beyond the expanded power and peace of their union.
▸The final days of a mother, the autumn leaves fall as a countdown to her departure from the land of the living, wanting nothing more than to find a means to comfort the daughter that she's leaving behind.
▸The blanket of snow that covers a warring nation in frozen stasis. People refusing to move forward. Like their winter surroundings, they too remain cold towards each other, leaving their country in a state of civil unrest.
And then there's the story of Violet herself, named after a wildflower in bloom; she's plucked out of the custody of a heartless man and into the care of one that sees beyond her reduced form. A disheveled mess, only treated as a tool, one meant to be used and later disposed of; the man sees differently. He wants her betterment at any cost, even if that means paying the ultimate price.
There is a beauty here when you view the intentions behind every chapter. The problem stems from the execution itself. Beautiful on paper doesn't translate to well-done in reality. Funny enough, the doll-like nature of the protagonist and her initial attempts at writing serves as a sort of meta-commentary for the content on display:
Her intent is earnest, she wants to understand the expressions and feelings being directed her way, but like her mechanical limbs, so too is the show written with a sense of artificiality. An emulation of real-life that can't muster up to being anything more than that.
Violet Evergarden is a beautiful plastic rose with stuck-on water droplets. It's well-kept. Never finding the beauty in decay. Never needing to accept the full spectrum of life simply because its creators are wholly content with being "perfect." True beauty is found in the blemishes. Within the scuffle of humanity's futility towards greater ambitions. True beauty comes from the majesty of life itself making mankind a mere moment in a pool of infinity. True beauty is humbling.
It's through the imperfections that true beauty is emitted. Violet Evergarden is pretty to look at, but with the absence of this understanding, it could never be the real thing, it could never be "true beauty."
Violet Evergarden, the anime that has been hyped for a year, has finally arrived with controversy and concern. Is it the masterpiece that’s deemed from most? Certainly not. That does not mean VE could not deliver. I’m not gonna try to defend the anime just cuz it’s KyoAni and it’s highly placed by many, but I will give credit where credit is due. So let’s get started.
There’s no doubt in my mind that VE is visually appealing and accompanied by a great OST. However, do the characters and plot live up to it? So far, it’s too early to say despite 4 episodes still out.
But we can kinda take a guess at this point. However, I do find the setting to be quite interesting and how the characters act seem to be somewhat realistic.
There’s many reasons why people can rant on about this series, and no, “It’s KyoAni” and “It’s Overhyped” aren’t some of them despite people using these as reasons regardless. Violet’s introduction left many questioned, many thinking “She’s not interesting.” “She’s Bland” or “She’s 1-Dimensional.” But to be quite honest, the fact that she’s uninteresting and bland means there’s room for growth, and anyone can figure that out considering this has been done quite a lot. The start of the anime really showcases violet and her imperfection. Monotone, Boring, Lacking. Which is all the more reason for me to look forward to the end result of her character after upcoming development. Sure, maybe the way it was executed or presented seems questionable, but what the hell do you expect from a child that's been practically raised in war, got constant blood on her hands, and kills people without batting an eye? Anyways, I believe there’s a bigger picture to this and that this sort of direction has a purpose. Or it could be just bad directing, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.
I see no reason to give lack of growth or undeveloped as reasons to criticize characters so early on. It’s like people expect 14 episodes worth of developed from Violet in the first couple episodes. There’s reasons why developments exist, and it’s to further a character and make them more interesting as people would expect to see. However, it’s how they go about this development that makes me question the series a bit. The direction it’s taking can go either way, so we’ll have to see.
Like I’ve said, there’s so much room to give more proper development on violet’s character and the rest, but if it’s accompanied by mediocre writing, then this development would be half assed. Now the writing isn’t horrible for what it’s worth, but sometimes it’s hard to care about what dialogues these characters decide to use. There’s only a lack of substance since it’s still too early for its full potential to be known. So there’s really no “substance” to rate upon anyway. But that’s why although I’m not fond of the writing so far, I look forward to the conclusion and hopefully they successfully develop the characters enough for us to sympathize or to understand them much better. I think people expected this to be somewhat deep and thought-provoking. But this is somewhat a simple story about a girl trying to find herself. Just that it takes on a more dramatic approach.
Despite the inner contents of the series itself, it definitely does the outer contents right. To the art style, the character design, the colours and background, as well as character movement, which makes them feel more realistic and humane. Sometimes the interactions between characters are fun to watch as well.
I think that VE is one of those shows that needs time and a slower process to really form the bigger picture and its true purpose. Although the pacing seems...awfully slow, I wouldn’t go as for to deem it “boring.” For me, I don’t think that at all. It makes me curious for more and how they decide to execute the given scenarios and how each character grows from it. Sure some of the drama hasn’t been so impactful or meaningful thus far, but it’s been mentioned many times here that with enough time, I believe the drama then will carry more impact and weight than before.
I don’t think people should try place this anime on some sort of pedestal because it’s simply KyoAni or it looks amazing. Violet Evergarden is FAR from perfect, but it’s also not horrible at the same time. It’s been mentioned before, I believe it’s one of those anime that requires time to be able to fully understand VE’s potential. So I recommend lowering your hype level of this series and treat it like any other show this winter, because you'll probably ruin the show for yourself if you don’t. Violet Evergarden doesn’t offer much but great visuals and soundtracks along with it. Look at what type of series it is and see if it interests you. I understand many people feel obligated to watch it because it’s solely KyoAni (Me Included tbh). But see if it truly catches your interest. If it doesn’t, then don’t bother.
I think VE may carry a simpler story than one might think. Not insanely thought-provoking or riveting, but I believe that since this show focuses on Violet’s Character, we’d be able to go more in depth on her past life and her adventures later on. We will see Violet grow as a character as she learns from others’ experiences. That’s her job after all, to deliver letters to people and to fully express their emotions onto a piece of paper.
Overall Violet Evergarden has caught my interest personally and although it’s hanging on the edge, I do hope that the staff finds a way to really bring out the full glory of the series into its full light and shows us a great series with fine narratives and well-developed characters (although sometimes the development is being dragged out a bit too much). Not sure why some of the side characters are original, but I suppose they add a bit to Violet's character.
Thankfully, I’ve learned not to give a damn about MAL scores a long time ago, because those “scores” used to influence me whether to watch something or not. I don’t give a fuck if VE ends up in the 6’s or low 7’s once this is over. If I enjoyed it personally and loved it, then that’s that. But again, my opinion on this can change easily. I’ve only read a couple chapters of the source material so I can’t really determine how well the adapatation is so far. But VE shows promise, it’s up to the staff to live up to the promises and opportunities they’re given. Both the OP and ED were beautiful and the OST's are just great, really not much to talk about there.
Overall (as of Episode 12):
Story - 7
Art - 10
Sound - 9
Character - 8
Enjoyment - 8
Anyways, I truly believe Violet Evergarden can come out as one of the best from Winter, dare I say year, if it’s done right…
Waking up one day and discovering Violet Evergarden getting an anime adaptation by Kyoto Animation should be a blessing. At least that’s what it looked like on the surface. The light novel series earned the grand prize from the Fifth Kyoto Animation in the novel category. Even with two volumes, my expectations going into this anime was high. In particular, the sheer visual quality is a sight to feast on. However, Violet Evergarden isn’t exactly just known for that but does that mean it’s something to be praised?
Written by Kana Akatsuki, the light novel series is a story about Auto Memory Dolls. They are dolls
are made by Dr. Orland, a scientist who used them to assist his wife in writing novels. However, these dolls were also rented out to others for service. The main plot revolves around an Auto Memory Doll named Violet Evergarden as she tries to discover her purpose in life.
As someone who came into this series half prepared (I have read parts of the light novel), I felt I was ready enough. The first few episodes came in as anime originals and that left me with some mixed reception. However, I will say that the pilot episode was a terrific picture. Beyond the lush quality and the visual magnificence, Violet Evergarden presented a story with heavy emotions. It synchronizes with the drama and melancholy of what I had anticipated. However, the main selling point of the show is titular character Violet Evergarden herself. The story feels like a character study that puts over her above the rest of the cast. Every episode focuses on Violet in some way through her role in the story, her interactions with others, and how she develops as a character. The conflicts she experiences tests her feelings and how she responds to them by trying to understand others. It draws viewers into asking questions about how she can develop as a character and in a lot of ways, I think the show did do that quite well. For instance, Violet displays a lot of human characteristics and tries to understand others. The most prominent scenes features her desperately trying to learn what “love” is and to me, this series chronicles her experience like a life journey of discovery. Unfortunately, I can’t really say that the first few episodes were well thought out in characterizing Violet as a memorable character. Beyond her expressions and role, it seems the show repeats a lot of the same things over and over. The example includes Violet expressing why she is an Auto Memory Doll and it gets tedious fast. It also doesn’t help much that the other side characters seemingly react in similar ways to Violet. My main concern for the first few episodes were mainly how this can keep viewers interested with such a way of storytelling.
Fortunately, the series does get better and puts emphasis in some of the side characters. While the plot feels non-linear at times, some of the other characters do get spotlight through effective background storytelling. For instance, one of the episodes featured a 14 year old princess who gets engaged to a prince and while this seemed like a cheesy love tale at first, it resolved in a very emotional way. It gave me the impression that certain side characters are worth investing time into. In the meantime, the series does eventually step into the light novel adaptation territory as we learn more about Violet’s past and connection with someone very important to her. That person would be Gilbert Bougainvillea, a major in the Leidenschaftlich Army and someone that influenced Violet a lot since she met him. As we look at Violet’s past, we learn how they met and how much he treasure her like a person rather than a doll. It’s also important to note that Violet feels comfort whenever she is around him and not lonely. The anime in the present timeline portrays Violet as a very lonely character and doesn’t have someone to depend on. In doing so, it establishes Violet as a character that has a hard time understanding others. This is especially true for her after she heard Gilbert’s final words. The show dedicates time to explore Violet’s change since the past and how she reflects her experiences in the present. As I mentioned before, the series takes a lot of time into examining Violet as a character and getting viewers to understand her. The side characters play important roles in later episodes to make Violet reflect on her past deeds. To me, it’s effective storytelling as it really made me understand her behavior. The more I understood her, the more compelling her character became. I don’t know if this was the creator’s intention from the start but honestly, it does come together as a well delivered plan.
Now you’re probably thinking of the story contains too much drama for its own good. In some ways, it does but in other ways, it’s also important for the main story. You have to remember that the timeline takes place after a war that Violet was previously involved in. Stories about war often involves pain, tragic memories, and even death. For Violet, she experienced the realities of war. Obviously, there’s going to be a lot of drama and its effect on the storytelling can be received with mixed receptions. I had some mixed feelings in general about Violet’s past as while it can definitely evoke emotions, it doesn’t feel unique enough to be memorable. In other words, I’m more interested in how she develops as a character in the present rather than focusing on her past. Even if it’s significant for her characterization, the drama presented in the background stories doesn’t always feel too impactful. I get it though. Some people will probably point fingers and say that it’s necessary. Others may agree with what I mentioned here. To me, I’m still more interested in Violet’s development in the present than who she is in the past. Otherwise, Violet’s role in the show feels more than just a protagonist. She is the character.
Anyone watching this series will easily recognize the powerful production of the show. This is perhaps one of Kyoto Animation’s best work yet in terms of technical quality. The world setting has natural and lush landscapes with European style architecture detailed with vivid colors. Every camera shot feels impactful and there’s no drop in quality in any episode. Body movements are also timed precisely well to highlight every fine detail such as Violet’s character expressions and role as a doll. Speaking of which, Violet’s character design makes her look very elegant. If you haven’t known about her background story, it’s hard to recognize her as a former soldier. Her signature hand is also a trademark animated with impressive features. It communicates the message to viewers as what she is. Other characters in the show also stand out with their human characteristics. While there’s no fan service in the show, there are characters such as Cattelya that can be very pleasing to the naked eyes. It’s clear to me that Kyoto Animation and the creative team poured a sheer amount of effort into making this series as a whole. The theme songs also highlights a sensitive feeling of melancholy to match the series’ tone while character voice mannerism for the majority of the cast are able to keep up with their momentum. The music and OST also hits the mark to deliver what's intended especially for the emotional drama.
It’s definitely a series that felt different to me compared to some of other Kyoto Animation’s recent works. This one was an emotional storyteller that gave us a reason why we should care about Violet Evergarden; not just the story but Violet’s own journey of discovery. While I can’t say it’s always an effective tearjerker, it’s still a show that’s worth investing time into. Well done, Kyoto Animation. You gave me a better hope for your future.
"Violet Evergarden doesn't talk much, but she has the power to restore people."
This quote perfectly sums up Violet Evergarden and what the show is trying to get across. After reading the synopsis of the show I was intrigued to see just how they are going to portray this type of character. In my opinion, they've done it almost perfectly. Knowing nothing but war, pain and suffering. Showing us how she finds meaning in these new emotions and how she experiences them for the first time.
Starting off with the story. We follow the journey of a girl named Violet Evergarden. Who has been in the army
as "the weapon" from a very young age. Knowing nothing apart from how to follow orders. The story starts in a hospital where we discover she was greatly injured in the war costing her both arms. When she wakes up we find out the 4-year war has ended and this girl who missed pretty much all her childhood now needs to discover emotions for the first time and so her journey begins to discover the meaning of these emotions. Although you might think the story seems pretty simple it's actually the exact opposite. With flashbacks to show what happened to her in the war as well as meeting new characters and dealing with new emotions with every person. This actually turns into a pretty complex storyline.
Although the first few episodes may suggest this is a generic anime with stunning visuals I can pretty much guarantee that it's not. The story might also seem very basic to people but the way its executed is honestly astounding. You can really sense what the author is trying to get across in every scene. The studio really outdid themselves when trying to make every scene perfect. Each scene has something to be learned from... not just Violet but even the viewers can take away these emotions. You can find yourself emotionally sucked into the story within the first few episodes. Even if you don't like how the story develops you still want to know how she turns out in the end. Which just proves how excellent the story writing is for the show.
I don't believe there is a word to describe the visuals in this show apart from mind-blowing. It's stuff you would expect from a movie budget. I'm definitely glad they focused on the art in the show. It's needed to flush out some of the emotions the character is trying to develop. One example is in one scene she looks out on the city during a sunset. Now that scene wouldn't have worked at all without amazing art. It just wouldn't show why the character appreciates it. Now it's not just the environment that has amazing art the characters also have amazing detail even just people in the background. The show does an excellent job of capturing facial expressions since is especially needed when trying to convey new emotions across. The fact this show has 14 episodes and keeps this type of art up is honestly astonishing to me. I would honestly recommend the show just for the art. Best I've seen for the budget of a show.
This part is definitely the weakest of the show. Don't get me wrong it's still good but compared with the writing and art it just doesn't compare. The show does still deliver excellent soundtracks and the voice actors fit perfectly for the roles for both dub and sub versions of the show. They perfectly express the emotions the characters are feeling. However, I feel like the soundtracks are more just background music rather than dramatic music helping to convey emotions. Although it's still better than must it just isn't as good compared to other shows.
The story is focused solely on the development of one character and that being Violet Evergarden. At least that's what you would expect. However, that's not the case. Violet has this tendency to change the way characters think and feel showing us great character development throughout every episode. With new characters being introduced for a short time and some long-term character which we can see progressively change throughout the entire show. One of my favourite things about Violet Evergarden. Now I don't know if it was done on purpose or just how I perceived it but she was given the personality of a machine. Knowing nothing but how to follow instruction and orders similar to computers. Then we find out both her arms are mechanical which for me was a massive nod towards her being a machine emotionally. This was amazing character design if it was intended. Her full character is based on being this good soldier knowing only how to follow orders and getting things done according to what was specified. Which is shown a lot in the show like typing at a certain speed when doing a letter. Then we begin to see her develop new emotions and rekindle ones she didn't know she had like love which is a major development in 14 episodes especially when she started with pretty much nothing just a blank canvas if you will.
This show definitely gives me amazing enjoyment looking forward to every episode each week knowing its going to be better than what I expected. Each episode brings old and new characters into the mix allowing for new storytelling and new emotions to be developed and sitting watching her develop these emotions is honestly so entertaining. I couldn't praise it more it keeps me coming back every week wanting to know what will she discover this week.
Now there are a few things people may dislike about the show which will ruin there experience so here are the main problems people are having with it. The first major problem is the story feels dull and slow which can ruin some peoples experience so try to keep in mind this isn't a fast show. It likes to go slow and let the characters built up progressively rather than being rushed.
Another major point would be the character development which goes hand in hand with the story. It feels slow and underwhelming. Making people dislike the show straight from the first few episodes. So if you aren't a fan of slow shows I would suggest staying clear of this show or a least give the first 3 episodes a try.
Now my last negative point isn't too much about the show itself it's more for other people's comments on it. A lot of people were really hyped about this show and feel let down by its performance so far. I would suggest just giving the show a try regardless of what they say. Usually, if something is hyped up too much it just can't reach what people are expecting. So try to go into the show with an open mind and if you don't like it by the end of episodes 3 then its probably not for you.
This show is a much watch for any person looking to get emotionally invested in a show for a complex storyline. With amazing visuals and stunning character development. There are few negatives I can give this show apart from the pacing feeling off in some early episodes. However, this is soon fixed after a couple of episodes and we are left to completely get sucked into her world and what she will discover. If anybody is thinking about watching the show but not sure. Highly recommend watching until the end of episode 3. I think by that point you should have a clear direction for what type of story the show is trying to get across. This definitely has the potential to be the best anime this winter. That now concludes my review of the show. Feel free to add me if you want to comment on my review or discuss anything.Thanks for reading.
"As human beings, we all mature physically from childhood to adolescence and then into adulthood, but our emotions lag behind." - Bernard Sumner
This is the most memorable quote that had gone through my mind whenever I watched Violet Evergarden, and led me to ask myself this question: how do you learn an emotion?
Experience? Knowing its definition? Or perhaps... By writing letters for others? Thus is VE's answer.
I liked the novel, so obviously I liked the story. They did make me get worried with those original episodes at the start but later on they managed to adapt most of the best chapters. There are
quite a few which are standalone: 5,6,7,10,11. The rest involved Violet and her co-workers.
The first half didn't look that promising, but the second half improved a lot. I think it's because they put in a lot of her adventures in the second half, only involving Violet and the customer, which gave a lot more room for growth instead of being surrounded by the other workers. She's the type who learns fast when she's alone, you could say. Watching her change bit by bit a girl from emotionless and to some extent irritating to one who is able to experience emotions was very enjoyable.
The story is not unique in the sense that she's trying to find the meaning of "love", but as it unfolds she learns other feelings as well, and soon enough we don't get the "I want to know the meaning of "I love you"" line.
Pacing has sometimes been a problem, for example episode 6, where I barely got to know about Leon. They could've done more but I guess you have to expect that when you've got less than 20 minutes to cover an adventures. But in most cases they provided us with the right flashbacks and details to get to know the customers well.
The anime did remove parts of the novel which were pretty bad: I'll start with witchcraft, a giant battle axe almost twice the size of Violet. I just couldn't believe that she could maneuver the axe so well, before she even got those robotic arms. Glad they got rid of that. They also made Violet very pacifistic compared to the novel, which helped to emphasize her growth even more, but this was at the cost of making her fighting scenes towards the end of the series ridiculous, since she chose to go head on without weapons at all, but still managed to take them down.
Other reviews have pointed out the technological and cultural inaccuracies in VE, but personally it didn't affect me that much except maybe for those robotic arms which seem to be more advanced than one we have today... Rather, I was more annoyed by the battle scenes: a 14/15 year old girl fighting against trained soldiers, sometimes without weapons... I get that she is OP, but... the way her adventures unfold so conveniently at times was one of the main weaknesses of this show.
There were some parts of the novel I would've liked them to include, for example Hodgins was supposed to visit Violet quite a few times when she was in the hospital and that helped to develop a parent-child relationship. They kind of tried to fit it in in between the adventures, but I don't think it was sufficient. The other thing is Violet's origins. They didn't go deep enough on that, and made people think that she became emotionless because of her time in the army.
This is probably the best part and what made VE get such high expectations. The face expressions were great, the landscapes were great... If I was to point out the best ones, I'd say the scenes of the starry night (Ep 6), street lamps and the city of Leiden as a whole. I also liked the way they included flowers a lot throughout the series (especially Ep 5, you could see one almost very 5 seconds). The reason I'm mentioning this is because flowers are an important theme here: if you look at the names of most of the characters, they're all related to flowers.
"People’s names always have some sort of meaning." —Akatsuki Kana (author of VE)
If I was to point out a negative... Sometimes, maybe this was just once, they put too much emphasis on scenes which didn't really deserve it. In Episode 4, when Violet was first introduced to the villagers, they suddenly went all out with the animation, including sudden gusts of wind and leaves dancing everywhere. It was amazing, but not really worth it.
I liked the OP and ED, but that was about it. It didn't make me listen to it over and over again like Aimer's Ref:rain (best ED for me this season). The background music was alright, but they were often hit or miss: they would sometimes repeat it for too long and in other cases the music just didn't match the mood at all. But still enjoyable overall.
From the blind obedience to kill to the development of a conscience which can heal, Violet's growth was truly remarkable, with the difference between her past and present crystal clear. Her blunt and fearless character had often been an obstacle against her success as a doll, but as the series progressed she managed to use them in the right circumstances. Her military salutes, her formal language, her expressionless face... They all changed. This is what the novel couldn't provide, those subtle details that show signs of growth.
Only disappointment is the development of the other characters, especially Hodgins, Cattleya and Benedict. The novel lacked this as well, but I guess it was expected since so much was invested into Violet and her customers.
Good, but not a masterpiece.
Would I recommend you to read the novel? Give it a try unless you hated this. But there are going to be differences, both good and bad.
If you can't be bothered reading the novel but still want to know what happens, you can PM me.
“I want to know what love is” with this line Violet’s journey has started.
It’s a journey of words, words that hold the power to influence the future of a person and change their perspective about the world. Finding the right words for the dear ones isn’t easy and Violet learns that through her encounters with different people who have a story to tell.
The story is made with words, words on a piece of paper that can save a dear brother from despair, can show the love and carrying of a mother for her child even after she is gone, can make the parents understand
what their child wants to do with his future, can connect two distant hearts that yearn for each other, can bring news of happiness or sadness to someone dear and finally can make people come to a mutual understanding.
The letters that contain those words are the key to unlock the locket on people’s heart and break the iron shackles that put a restrain on their emotions. Each letter needs to be delivered to its destination because each written word represent the genuine feelings of its senders for the dear ones.Violet having a past filled only with cold words slowly starts to experience new words during her journey as a Auto Memory Doll, warmth words filled with compassion, affection, and love. Those words melt the ice around Violet’s heart and contribute to her growth as a human being.
During her journey the world is filled with bitter words too not only happy ones but that doesn’t discourage her despite bringing back sorrow memories, in fact she comes to accept those words as part of her and grows stronger. She does her best every time to understand the meaning behind those words and give the right words to the persons in need of them. A sweet girl that lost the dear person to her on the battlefield, she stands up, raises her head from the ground, takes the first step and moves on in life despite the pain that weights a lot on her shoulders. I love you Violet!
The pace is slow fitting for our characters and Violet’s growth, because life isn’t meant to be hurried, each happy moment needs to be savored and each hardship needs to be overcome, life is a battlefield were each of us has its own fight, it’s all part of being alive. The emotional atmosphere combined with the subtle visuals and gorgeous ost created around the character’s stories draw forth the raw emotions of its viewers and tears will be spend as an exchange.
Violet Evergarden is a letter of love addressed to life, a lesson about the hardships and happy moments in life, it’s about getting up and moving on despite the obstacles that await for you and it gets better after each episode like the taste of a wine as it gets better with age. Thematically rich, visually breathtaking with alluring ost Violet Evergarden is a gem that may be hated by many viewers or hold a special place in the hearts of its audience, can bring peace of mind and sooth your hearth, it’s a show that needs to be savored for its special flavor called LIFE.
As any journey that comes to an end it’s time to say farewell to our main heroine Violet who has reached her final destination but her fight with life will continue as long as she doesn’t give up, so my review of this enchanting show has come to an end. I wanna thank all of those who allocated a little of their time to read the words that I put on paper to create something that I hope will make a little change and give this show a try.
How can some reviews give this show an 1/10? How?
I mean, even if you find the story repulsive (I would feel sorry for you in that case), take a look at the animations, listen to the soundtrack. Is it really worth a 1/10 score? Or your brain deserves such grade?
If Mozart came back to life and published his 41st symphony nowadays many would rate it badly I'm sure.. "Boring, not pumping the bass enough" they would say. The thing is that not everyone is capable of appreciating beauty. So don't worry if you see some people rating this show so poorly.
Here's my take
about this, and now that I rarely give high grades. Check my profile.
Story / -> I'm waiting for the end to rate it.
Art - 10 -> This quite literally the best looking show I have ever saw and I've seen hundreds.
Sound - 9 -> Orchestral, marvelous, emotional. They got me on my weak spot though. This might not appease everyone. The opening and the ending also weren't much of my taste but the main OST is so potent that I cannot go below 9.
Character - 8 -> Violet herself is a big "?" at the moment but the rest of the characters that are peculiar to every episode make up for it. I wish the world had such amazing intensity. The protagonist may develop further into the series but I'm rating this point only considering the first seven episodes.
Enjoyment - 10 -> This is my personal enjoyment, as such it may have no value for you at all depending from your taste.
Overall - 10 -> I wrote this review because in my opinion this is the best anime I have seen in 15 years although it's not over yet and I may change my mind. However so far it has gifted me the best 20 minutes of the last weeks.
Violet Evergarden is the best looking show of the new year. Yet, beneath its alluring veneer lies something
Art & Animation: 10/10 ("Outstanding")
The art is stunning and consistent with its pseudo-European world. Hard work has gone into to animating even the most mundane moments, adding brief glimpses of humanity to otherwise lifeless characters.
Sound: 8/10 ("Very Good")
The Orchestral music is apt. Yet at times the music clashes with scenes, taking away from moments are best left quieter. Some of the best moments in cinema and animation have relied on sound effects over dialogue and music.
Story: 3/10 ("Poor")
Some changes must happen when adapting a light
novel to anime. Yet, the changes made in adapting Violet Evergarden are lackluster and timid. The writers must have recoiled when faced with a story that begins in medias res. (Lit. "Into the middle of things") So instead they altered the flow of events. Even if it was disruptive and even if scenes no longer made sense.
Further, the anime has taken a complete departure from the adaptation. In fact, it would be best to say there is no central narrative. The directors have instead chosen to adapt Violet Evergarden as an omnibus. (By their own admission.) As a result, Kyoto Animation has opted to abandon foreshadowing. These changes have weakened the story on the whole. It has become something that is disposable and lacks character. Kyoto Animation's use of brute force and crude manipulation is unsuitable for a story about post-war recovery.
Characters: 1/10 ("Pathetic")
As bad as the story is, the characters are worse. A weak story makes weak characters. The shuffling and omission of events make attachment to any character difficult. Violet's desire to learn what "I love you" means is too grandiose to empathize with. The scope is too far removed from reality to be the sole string which ties the omnibus together. So, each episode Violet manages to feel less and less human.
To conclude, I find this show guilty. It is guilty of being bad despite the clear hard work and talent that went into it. In some ways Violet Evergarden is a bigger travesty than a bad anime which had no effort put into it. This show could have been great, but it isn't, and nothing after these first four episodes can repair it. This show is a solemn reminder not to judge a show based on the quality of its original content, animation studio, or appearance.
My recommendation is to read the light novel, or watch Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu instead.
"When I die, I want KyoAni lower me down in my grave so they can let me down one last time."
From the dome of quality differences comes Violet Evergarden. Show half episodic, half character-driven, half story-driven. Yet all these halves barely make one show.
We mainly see try-hard attempts on making the viewers cry with melodrama. Most of the time it feels like spoon-feeding. Open your mouth, the emotions are coming! Let's take a bite whilst this every-sad-piano-song-ever plays on the background.
The show does bring some interesting topics on the table, but instead of trying to do much with little, instead of developing
the characters and playing around with all the good things the series already had, it starts expanding itself with irrelevances, 3rd parties and events so unnatural it felt like Hachimitsu no Clover S02 all over again. The focus always being on emotions, yet 0 emotional depth is present.
The characters on the other hand are bland and make no sense whatsoever. Violet comes with different personality and reaction based to the current episodic plot. Emotionally dead autist, hysterically crying little girl, I AM A WAR MACHINE - CYBERNETIC ORGANISM - LIVING TISSUE OVER ENDOSKELETON. Just choose your favorite version. Mine was the one in episode 6 who liked stargazing. I wonder where that personality disappeared for the remaining episodes.
Gilber's brother makes even less sense. "You will be my brother's dog." And 3 episodes later "There is no emotional bond between my brother and you." Who wouldn't bond with their own dog? I don't get it. Does this guy hate dogs or what is he even saying. What a cunt.
At the end of the day, Bialetto Evelugalden is a common drama series to this industry, and its saddest part is not the actual drama writing, but the waste of potentiality, the single thought about -not only how much better this series could have been- but how much better it should have been. I'd rather recommend Princess Principal than this autismfest.
I'll start by saying that after watching 9 episodes I was compelled to write my first review for an anime on this site.
It's true certain aspects of a show can appeal more favourably to people depending on what they value. In saying that, I will focus on what this show does so well for me and why I consider it one of the best I've seen.
The introduction of Violet can understandably come across as odd due to the monotone way in which she addresses other characters. This may be off putting to viewers as I've noticed in some other reviews, but this set
up is to a soon to be deeper story is just that: a set up. From what seems to be an ordinary show with a simple premise, rises one with humanity and heartfelt emotion. The character Violet is the canvas and each one of her encounters adds another layer of life to her story. I respect the writers for having the capacity to create these memorable moments through subtle recalling of other plot points that makes the show feel tied together. On top of that the dialogue has this poetic nature to it, whereby it doesn't attempt to add unnecessary complexity but simply lays bare the message it wishes to communicate.
There is so much I would like to say about the music of this show but I will keep it to a minimum. What music should do well in any show is add to the emotion the story is trying to communicate. VE does this exceedingly well, providing a different variety of sounds depending on the situation. There are those intimate moments where it's often accompanied by one or two instruments, and there are more intense moments accompanied by orchestra. Overall there's a large variety of well written melodious music, and it has to go down as one of the best anime soundtracks I have heard to date.
You only have to watch the first episode to understand the quality of the visuals, and I would have to put this anime in my number one spot for that department because it is truly beautiful. It's only after watching VE have I realised the full extent in which visuals and sound can make the watching experience better. The colours are vibrant and there is a consistency of detail in every scene which keeps your eyes fixated on the screen in awe. Detailed facial expressions make the heartfelt moments of the show much more impactful. There is also this tendency to cut to exquisite detailed sceneries whether it be the backdrop of a starry sky or a field of flowers. But it doesn't stop there because these moments are scattered across every scene, with the environment, objects and camera perspectives adding unbridled levels of detail. If I didn't like the story, I would still be looking forward to seeing VE because of how aesthetically pleasing it is for the viewer. I applaud the artists of this show for the work they have done, as you can see the amount of love and effort they have put into it. This show is an artistic masterpiece in it's own right and I have no problem making that claim to anyone.
I can't say too much without giving away plot points but the focus of the show is almost entirely on Violet, with additional characterisation given to those that appear from episode to episode. I have invested in this journey Violet is on, as I can see how her character grows each week as she experiences more of a beautiful world she has never seen. I believe that everyone who watches the show will relate to Violet in some way as we have all seen the world through the lens of beauty or wonder at some point, and we are all on a similar path of discovery. Episode 7 is a particularly memorable episode and is a contained story featuring just Violet and two other characters. Minimal characters and concise well-written stories allow this show to shine and provide something that many anime's take several episodes to build up towards. It is a bold attempt at providing viewers a sense of fulfilment in just over 20 minutes, and I can say that it has given me that almost every week. When I began VE I thought of it as something that was 'pretty' and had potential, but now I look forward every week to see where it will go next.
The scores I am giving are based on what I have seen to date. If I was to review the first 3 or 4 episodes, certain scores would have been lower. Story for example, picks up significantly from about episode 6 and is now consistently outstanding in my opinion.
I was surprised when I saw the top 3 reviews for this anime were all negative because quite frankly I have nothing negative to say about VE and I'm on episode 10. If I'm being honest I think most of the people trashing VE are doing so because they want to be contrary and "cool" for not liking a popular anime. You know, the same old pretentious anime fans we all love (if you can't sense the sarcasm, you've misunderstood).
Story - 9/10
Violet is about a young woman who was used as a war machine having to learn how to live a "normal" life after the
war ends. The series is episodic with the main overarching focus being on how Violet grows as a person. Maybe the only negative I can say about VE is that, yes, some episodes are predictable but I don't necessarily see that as a bad thing.
Each episode introduces a new character and their struggles, and ends with how those struggles get fixed or dealt with, typically with Violet helping to the best of her abilities despite struggling herself.
I'm not a big crier but I'll admit episode 10 made me tear up. VE has a wonderful way of making you care about characters and a story in just one episode. Kyoani always has pretty decent anime, but they really show their talent in VE.
Art - 9/10
As per usual Kyoani delivers amazing visuals. Absolutely nothing worth complaining about here.
Sound - 8/10
Usually I don't pay much attention to music in anime honestly, but I will admit VE has a way of putting the perfect music to make sad scenes even sadder.
Character - 8/10
For one, I love Violet. The more the series go on and the more she grows, the more I want to protect her like she's my own child. The other characters could do with more development, but on the other hand since the series is episodic and has to spend time making you care each episode for a new story it's understandable our mains don't get much time themselves, but they all have wondrous potential.
Enjoyment - 10/10
This is easily becoming one of my favorite anime of all time. That's all I have to say. Please don't listen to the negative reviews and watch VE for yourself. You will understand why I feel so passionately about this series.
Overall - 10/10
Again the only anime to ever get a 10 out of 10 from me and it's not even finished yet.
Violet Evergarden feels like the anime equivalent of Oscar bait. It's big and sweeping, trying desperately to convince you that its sappy story really means something, but it's ultimately shallow and entirely surface level. Everything that really matters, the meat of the story - its characters, its themes, its ideas - are so basic that it actually brings down the visual presentation. You're wasting this incredibly detailed art on this story, of all things? Why?
Violet Evergarden is a story about a girl who is some sort of superpowered golem woman (?) who somehow has just been given robotic arms (??) despite living in a setting
where most people are illiterate and typewriters are still the new hotness (???). She was used as a soldier, but now she's a glorified traveling secretary, writing letters for others in the hopes that she can answer one nagging question: What is love? (Baby don't hurt me)
There are problems with this setup. The setting is a mess, and I have been struggling to try and get a grasp on it. I'm all for alternate reality settings based on Europe (Fullmetal Alchemist nails it) but the schizophrenic tech levels and people's relatively muted reactions to Violet's robotic arms makes it hard to get a sense of anything. There’s other weird inconsistencies, like a scene where characters apologetically bow in a Japanese manner or when a character gets Chinese takeout, paper box and all. Violet herself is also confounding, as the show has yet to make her origin clear, and while that might sound like the setup for a mystery, it certainly doesn't feel like one when every character seems to take her existence for granted.
Violet's character is also a major hindrance. If you've seen one "robot wants to be human" movie, then you've seen all she has to offer. She's dull and monotone and utterly uninteresting to watch because she’s got nothing else to her. I can literally summarize her character in two words: "Muh Major." The emotional core of her arc is her relationship with her now-dead Major, but it's hard to care when they seem to be dragging out Violet's discovery of his death and we only see him in quick flashbacks. His story seems a lot more interesting than anything going on in the present; it's a shame the whole show couldn't have just been set around him as he trained Violet.
She's a weak anchor for the show, and the rest of the characters around her are even worse. For a show that presents itself so ostentatiously, it's really jarring when all of her coworkers are immature, one-note anime cliches that could be from any generic shounen or slice of life show. There's no chemistry among the cast, either, so I have absolutely no interest in learning their "deep and mysterious backstories". Episode 4 was probably the best so far because it actually fleshed one of the cast members out, but her story was predictable and thin so it's not like it makes her all that much more interesting. If that’s the level of quality I have to expect from the rest, I’m not holding my breath.
You can have all the pretty visuals in the world, and some of these landscapes really are gorgeous, but if you don't have a good story or characters to carry it through, what's the point?
And actually, I do want to take aim at the story's visuals - or, rather, the directing. I don't think enough people are ragging on this point, but this is not a well-directed anime. There are so many laughably overwrought sequences that it feels as if the show is desperately overcompensating. I was giggling during the opening of the first episode when Violet's letter flies out of her hand and then proceeds to fly around the city in GRAND, MAJESTIC shots until we've apparently gone from the country to the motherfucking ocean. It's like the opening shot of the feather in Forrest Gump, except whereas in Gump that feather is a visual metaphor for the course of his existence, in Violet Evergarden it's just a way too obvious attempt to impress the audience.
Another galling example is in episode 4. Violet gives another character a curtsy. This is not an important interaction, she's basically just saying hi, and there is nothing pivotal about the moment. Despite the mundanity of the gesture, however, we suddenly get a million cuts and the animation goes into maximum overdrive as a massive gust of wind causes her dress to flutter like the show is announcing, "This is the most important thing ever!" It's completely over the top. Look, being over the top can be great, but it's all about tone, and it totally does not gel with the feel of that particular scene and the general "serious" tone the show so desperately wants to convey.
The directing is a mess because it never seems to know when to stop or when to pull it back. It’s as if the director is convinced that if you make it look epic enough, then you trick people into thinking it’s actually deep and resonant. Instead, it has all the emotional resonance of a fucking Michael Bay product.
And while I'm bitching, can I bitch about the soundtrack? The musical choices (big, blaring orchestras) sometimes come in at the most inappropriate times, or the music is mixed so poorly as to drown out the characters' dialogue. The ED is complete trash, and sounds as if the singer dared herself to perform the song entirely through her nose. From Kyoto Animation, who usually nail the soundtracks and sound designs of their shows, this is just baffling.
Ultimately, Violet Evergarden’s biggest sin is that it’s mostly boring. Everything this show has to offer has been done a million times better elsewhere. Even the “sakuga” isn’t all that enthralling because, in the end, it’s in service to nothing. I can appreciate moving wallpaper as a screensaver, but I’m not going to enjoy watching it for 24 minute chunks. I guess I’ll keep watching to see if it ends up going anywhere, mostly because I don’t want to think Kyoto Animation would fuck up this badly, but I certainly wouldn’t recommend this show to anyone else.
Maybe I’ll be wrong. Maybe it’ll get better. And maybe I’ll win the lottery and they’ll finally announce Nichijou Season 2 and Donald Trump will fulfill his campaign promise of making anime great again. Fingers crossed, everybody!
“♫♫♫ When you try your best but you don’t succeed…
When you get what you want, but not what you need… ♫♫♫”
Emotions play a powerful part in storytelling; holding the capacity to tell more through expressions than words could ever hope to achieve. Furthermore, the degree of sentimentality and pathos one feels when watching is able to override any logical fallacies or flaws a story may have. Because of their poignant effect, these “feels” are often used and abused by anime to hide a plethora of writing problems underneath obvious emotional manipulation on the viewers. But whilst there are shows that come off mawkish and melodramatic,
there are certainly those where sentiment is deserved. Violet Evergarden is the most recent anime that struck a chord with the community, practically built as a masterpiece before the first episode was even released and I could see why: an award-winning light novel getting an adaptation by Kyoto Animation – a studio adored for their gorgeous art style and animation – sounds like a perfect match to many. But does Violet Evergarden live up to its expectations? And, perhaps more importantly, is the emotional ride warranted?
Violet Evergarden follows a titular young girl whose purpose was to be nothing more than a weapon bred for war; a dog of the military, actions akin to a beast fighting for survival. She was never taught how to speak, write or communicate at all, only to kill. Treated as property by the military she was gifted to Gilbert, a major in the army who feels sorry for her, taking it upon himself to teach her valuable skills so that someday she may live the life of a normal girl. As time goes on their relationship grows stronger with her initial animalistic nature subdued and instead displays a more robotic-like behaviour in public. A romance between the two also brews, but their responsibility as soldiers of war takes priority and their affection for each other forced into stagnation. Unfortunately, war holds no mercy on the battlefield and results in Gilbert’s death. His last words: “I love you” – words that she doesn’t understand from the man who gave her the name of a wildflower in bloom, Violet.
The aforementioned acts as backstory to the main plotline that is not revealed until later, whereas the series begins with the aftermath: Violet is found in hospital, bed-ridden with prosthetic arms. The war is over and her purpose fulfilled, now she must adopt a civilian lifestyle. She meets Claudia, a former army commander who had befriended Gilbert during the war and is now president of a postal company that provides mail and ghost-writer services. Initially hired as a postal worker, she witnesses how the ghost-writer department works and wishes to become an Auto Memory Doll – a ghost-writer for those unable to write in order to learn the meaning of words and the feelings of others. The beginning is honestly a poor first impression, coming off sappy, predictable and acts as a shoddy introduction to each of the characters. Violet especially comes off almost insufferable here; her backstory is barely referred to with most of the details left in the dark, effectively throwing viewers into her moment of crisis without any proper context. It’s a perplexing choice on behalf of the staff, considering that Violet’s personality here leaves her a bland, dreary main character to follow from the start, lacking enough reason to care about her struggles to begin with. This is made worse with how the story begins at such a slow pace, making it hard to judge whether the show is worth continuing. However, Violet Evergarden is not a show that should be judged from first impressions, as there certainly is merit to be found.
Over the next few episodes Violet finds herself working and learning from other Auto Memory Dolls from their interactions with clients. The contrast between Violet and her fellow workers easily shows how far Violet truly is from her goal: currently emotionless and blank in her interactions, yet her desire and drive to understand the clients shines across the screen. This is further touched upon as Violet attends a training school and is unable to convey one’s feelings onto a letter. On her own, she is still unable to properly recognise emotions, but through those around her she slowly begins to grasp what they feel and how they express such. Here Violet’s bland personality acts like a blank canvas where those around her can leave their mark on her, allowing for parallels between side characters and herself to cause short instances of growth in Violet and a resolution on the side-character’s behalf. However, the show is never able to capitalize on these instances well. Rather than take adequate time and focus to let these small but important moments have appropriate build-up and climax to truly have a resonant effect, the show just treats them as merely parts of the plot that could very well be considered isolated from each other, devaluing each achievement Violet makes in her development as the show goes on. I personally found it appalling with how Violet finally learns to effectively convey feelings in an extremely short and concise letter, then not even a few episodes later she is extremely proficient in her writing. If only writing IRL was that easy ☹
It’s at this point where the pacing takes a sudden shift and the shows changes to an episodic format, focusing on Violet’s travels away from her workplace for different clients, each with their own set of issues to overcome, but all revolve around the idea of awakening their true feelings. As an Auto Memory Doll her job is to help her clients express what they feel, but here Violet sees the inner conflict present and aims for them to address and come to terms with it, with her acting as a catalyst when necessary. Whilst doing so, Violet continues to gain more appreciation for different forms of communication and gradually shows more signs of human behaviour. Her facial expressions able to tell more and more with each passing episode. It also gives a greater sense of the importance of society learning to feel again, accepting the tender aspects of individuals and its value. Relearning traits such as kindness, compassion and knowing how to best care about each other, so that when her time comes, Violet will be able to do the same for the own problems. Knowing this, these episodes should be lovely short stories to sit through, but that’s not the case. The way emotions are expressed here sound all well on paper, but in practice come off sterile – a “clinical” sense with how an entire spectrum of emotions are presented. There’s certainly logical reasoning behind why each feeling is portrayed, but as a viewer, these sensations are only being observed, never experienced. A sense of detachment always lingering beyond the screen, breaking any chance to bond with what is happening in the narrative. The series never tries to be melodramatic in its attempts of sentiment and I can respect that; through sheer visual flare it seeks to emulate like none before it, only to end up feeling artificial for the rest of the show.
It’s hard to get passionate about a series like this with such a lack of connection, but following Violet’s journey to self-discovery holds enough value that’s worth mentioning. Understanding her background and circumstances is crucial in understanding what Violet Evergarden is trying to achieve. She is initially a tool for battle, completely devoid of human emotion and understanding, simply bred to kill. It is only when she is away from the battlefield where she is aware of her apathetic nature and slowly starts to change. Her development can come off sappy, but it’s justified here in my eyes; slowly grasping how to sympathize and feel for others regardless of her actions in the past. It’s a war with herself, can her bloodstained hands really be used to help others? Is she worthy to? Constantly told she is on fire, it’s when she finally learns about her former lover’s death does the burning sensation set in and eat away at her soul. She gives in to despair and unsuccessfully tries to end her own life. Just when hope looks bleak, she finds a letter sent specifically to her. It’s her colleagues; they miss her. Violet decides to help deliver letters at night, and witnesses the people that anxiously wait for these letters. Cheerful, elated to receive words from those they care about, their emotions key to her understanding her newfound purpose as a ghost-writer. Her hands that destroyed so much – can now bring people together. While the supporting characters will come and go at the drop of a dime, it is Violet who blossoms through the show.
The production of Violet Evergarden is constantly praised for the exquisite animation and beautiful art design, both of which are well deserved. Kyoto Animation once again prove why they are one of the best in the industry and raise the standard for TV animation to new heights. Everything looks beautiful… almost too beautiful. The fluid animation, impressive character designs and attention to detail are all obviously here, but I would not consider it all to be a positive. Violet Evergarden draws a fine line between breathtaking beauty and over-stylization; scenes are “too overloaded” with their artwork and digital effects, with the first few episodes smothered in excessive brightness, chromatic aberration and filters than hinder the great animation on display. When a pen is dropped, it doesn’t just fall, it descends in dramatic fashion! It’s overwhelming. Part of the problem falls to the directing which is just blatantly amateurish at times, as if the man in charge is unable to grasp feelings himself. There’s a natural beauty to be found in subtlety when it comes to emotionally-driven shows that Violet Evergarden lacks. The need to present itself in such grandiose fashion manages to expose itself to how amateur the artistic choices taken are; techniques such as depth of field and time-lapse photography are used with the sole purpose being imitation to previous works that did them better. Don't get me wrong, Violet Evergarden still looks visually pleasing, but rather than a home-grown garden gleaming with a myriad of colourful flora, the flowers are plastic, and knowing such loses its lustre.
So, with having finished Violet Evergarden, my thoughts are as followed: I rarely laughed, I never cried and this certainly will not change my life, but there is value here worthy of one’s admiration. While it lacks on an emotional level to most, the intent is pure and still holds a sense of beauty that deserves to be seen. It’s a nice show one can easily sit through to pass time, but unfortunately I can’t say much more. It’s just a shame that for a story aimed at learning empathy, this message never reaches past the screen. For it desperately wishes to be as perfect an emotional experience can be, it’s the stories holding imperfections that have the most powerful impact.
Violet Evergarden is an anime series adaptation of the novel light with the same title from Kyoto Animation.
Source material of this series is the winner of the Kyoto Animation Award 2014 in the novel category. Given that status, this series became the most awaited anime by the community for the winter of 2018. Compared to other series of the season, this series can be said to have the best animation, something that is expected of the anime from Kyoto Animation. With the premise offered is the post-war recovery of the main character, this series becomes one of the drama series that is able to fill
us all with feelings
STORY : 8/10
I never read the source material of this series so I judged the storyline of what was shown in the anime. The premise offered is actually interesting. Self-rehabilitation of Violet who was created only as a weapon of war without having the slightest feeling and desire. But since the Major gave the last sentence, she began to look for what the meaning behind that sentence by becoming an Auto Memory Doll. Walking to one place to another meets the client's request. The journey unknowingly begins to make herself understand the feelings of a human being. The problem of each client who wants to pour into a letter is that slowly build the character Violet for the better. Until finally he understood the loss of someone and began to understand what it means to love. From a soldier who moves only if given the command to a human being who can shed tears. An interesting premise for a drama series derived from the light that lately is mostly filled by isekai genre
DIRECTION : 6/10
This series begins its story from Violet's condition after the war and what she will do to find the meaning of the last sentence of Major. Then entering Episode 2-7 the direction of this series turns into episodic. Violet goes somewhere to answer client's request. Each episode is actually presented with the client's first point of view instead of Violet as main character. Every client has their own problems and from this problem Violet's character grows more human. With the direction of this story. Not everyone will understand how Violet character develops every episode. In fact, we will focus more on the client's problem. For example when most of us cry at the end of episode 10, but maybe many of us are not aware of the Violet character changes at that time. Episode 8-9 direction changes back to focus on the major plot. The transition from episodic episode clients to major episodes that has linear progress is poorly executed. I'm sure not everyone can understand how the story of this series if not paying attention to every sentence and scene with care. That was disturbing me in enjoying this series.
CHARACTER : 9/10
Violet Evergarden is a character with the greatest development among all the characters that exist in this season. Starting from a soldier who even just to eat should be given orders by Hodgins to be a human being who is even determined not to lose the life of someone as she once did. The thing that I love about Violet's character is that she develops not because she is being advised by others, but she learns by listening to the client's problem. she began to understand a feeling precisely after knowing what problems hers client was experiencing. So after knowing facts that "facts". She understands the meaning of losing someone. The scene in episode 11 when Violet performs the "last request" of the soldier also shows how she began to understand the meaning of affection. Perhaps what she's been doing lately is naive. But it shows that Violet has changed from a heartless weapon into a human who understands the sense of losing someone.
ART : 10/10
This series is a series with the best animated quality in winter of 2018. My favorite scene of course when Violet tried to pass the lake using an umbrella. The scene really shows the high quality animation presented by Kyoto Animation. The character design and color selection in this series reminds me of the Koe no Katachi film which is also made by KyoAni. Even for a television series, Violet Evergarden has the same quality as Koe no Katachi. Each frame is well drawn so the animation runs smoothly. Details on the character design also shows the hard work of key animators in making this series. Every female character feels so beautiful and every male character feels so manly through the way key animator draws each character. The selection of colors taken fits perfectly with the theme of this series which is thought to be similar to the period after the second world war in time and technology. Plus the quality of backgrounds such as clouds and water are so beautiful to the eye. Overall, this is one of the best quality anime other than Kimi no Na Wa and Koe no Katachi
SOUND : 8/10
Maybe what makes us sad and cry when watching this series is not because of Violet's personal problems, but the client's problem. But still this series still able to make us shed tears. The existence of the soundtrack in every sad moment in this anime really strengthens the atmosphere. Without proper selection and soundtrack composition, sad moments are not necessarily can make us shed tears. It also should be appreciated is the sound effect. Especially when the scene is related to the war. The sound of weapons, bombs, airplanes or even the sound of a soldier dropped from a shot. My favorite part in terms of sound effects is when an army is shot. Everything feels so fast that we do not realize that someone has been shot.
Overall, this series provides best animated quality and also provides an interesting story premise. But direction in this series can make us confused in following Violet's journey to find his true self. So not everyone will judge the story in this anime executed properly or not. But for a drama series. This is an anime with good character development. Violet is the character with most massive development among all the characters in the winter of 2018.
Although I understand the sentiment of this anime being quite boring for the first 4 episodes (as all the top reviews have listed), this anime is a masterpiece by KyoAni, and although it doesn't necessarily live up to all the hype it received, does that really matter when enjoying a delightful anime?
Although the first few episodes are seemingly pointless, they do a great job at developing the idea that Violet really struggles to understand emotions. Although many side characters seem quite flat, they really help boost the story in one of the best climaxes of a coming-of-age emotional anime I have ever seen
(if you are wondering, it's episode 9). Major Gilbert and Claudia really develop as characters, gaining dimension in episodes 6-9, and it is just a joy to see Violet grow and learn how to express emotions.
KyoAni. Do I have to say anymore?
But in all seriousness, have you seen the graphics? They are STUNNING, and boost the show in so many ways.
The soundtrack is very wonderful, and the orchestral music is very moving. I just think that some of the music is lackluster compared to others. AMAZING ending song, though. Michishirube is so beautiful and emotional, and fits the show so well.
I can see where some may be turned off. Violet is flat and uninteresting in the first few episodes, but if you can take this as Violet just being inexperienced with emotions, all the flat main and side characters really develop. But I can understand why some may give bad ratings for this show having only watched 3-4 episodes.
This show is just such a joy, and I look forward to each Thursday when I can watch the next episode. Violet's maturing is so heartwarming, and the side characters slowly becoming accustomed to Violet gives this show so much charm. I really recommend this anime for its enjoyable nature, if not for anything else.
If you can accept that Violet is just mot emotionally mature at first, this show becomes a feels trip and a beautiful, heart-melting anime that is worth every episode. Looking back on the first episodes, having watched later ones (especially episode 9), there is a feeling of satisfaction and happiness just seeing how cold and unemotional she was before, and seeing how well she grew. I absolutely recommend this anime to anyone looking for great music, visuals, and a charming story that will surely make you cry.
To Mrs. Sa——, Leiden.
Leidenschaftlich, Dec. 11th, 17––.
You will rejoice to hear that the war has officially ended. Your brother is truly relieved to finally be able to breathe freely again; my fellow citizens, too, let out a collective sigh of relief. The alleys are filled with a comfortable bustle like they used to be; people’s faces don’t display a worrisome gloom anymore. Businesses are booming throughout the whole town and your brother, too, has found a place of employment in a mail and ghostwriting company. There, it is my job to deliver the letters ghostwritten by our so-called Auto Memory Dolls—women who listen to one’s
inquiries and needs for a written letter and put one’s feelings to paper.
During my time working here, I have come into contact with many of the aforementioned dolls; and one of these women in particular piqued my interest: with her elegant, golden hair and doll-like demeanor, she fits the job perfectly, and she used to act the part just as well. However, what interested me about her the most wasn’t her looks but rather the fact that she had many stories to tell, be it from house calls or other, similar events.
To be honest, the stories themselves weren’t all too intriguing. It may be because I’ve lived through several years of war, but many of them felt like something I had heard before, had seen before. While the fates of these people are definitely cruel and while I really wish they had met a better fate, I can’t help but think of the many who have fallen in war. Thus, the stories of these people whom I’ve never met don’t leave as much of an impression on me as they might have used to; while hearing this beautiful woman describe equally beautiful sights and sceneries brings with it a certain feeling of tranquility, they aren’t what makes these stories interesting.
What does make these stories interesting aren’t the stories themselves, but how they affect the one experiencing and—later—telling them. She used to be a child soldier unable of speaking, reading or human emotion. Trained as nothing more than a weapon of war, her doll-like demeanor stems not from indifference, but her time as a soldier. Due to her unusual character, she ran into trouble trying to extract the emotions out of the client’s words, but over time she learned how to understand these feelings and, most importantly, how to feel, herself.
Sometimes, upon reciting what had happened just a few days prior, her feelings slowly welled up inside, to then finally overflow. Suddenly, she learned how to smile, laugh and cry; she learned of emotion and empathy. These unadulterated feelings coming from someone formerly unable to feel moved me to my very core every time; it was during these everyday epiphanies of hers that I felt like I was really watching something grow, giving shape to a human rather than a husk.
However, newfound feelings are both a blessing and a curse. They may make life more interesting and worth living, but at the same time they can accumulate and overwhelm a person—even more so someone hitherto engaged in the cruelty of war as she was. After realizing what she had done, she slowly gave in to sadness and sorrow. Her cold, metallic hands that killed so many, her blood-stained self burdened with guilt—they started a fire, engulfing her. Her state of mind turned into a complete chaos; she decided to strangle herself with her abhorrent hands and end it all, but she failed.
What saved her was a mere letter, this one sole letter I slipped through under her door. Filled with the feelings of her colleagues who missed her dearly, this letter saved her from her sorrow and herself. It let her reflect on what she had done: both her misdeeds in war and her profession, which brought together and still connects so many. Her actions might be irrevocable—but that isn’t a bad thing. Her burn marks may never heal, but really, they don’t need to. After realizing this simple truth, she learned to accept herself and finally became a complete person.
Looking at her now, I can’t help but feel a somber sadness. Her metallic hands that killed so many and her brooch which reminds of the loved one she lost in war—they make me feel melancholy. Just like the eponymous flower, Violet Evergarden is beautiful. While the stories she tells might not be as impactful as intended, her own very much makes up for it. Once you come visit me, I shall relay it to you whole.
Although the shit of this title is limited beyond the misunderstanding of the protagonist and the mediocre handling of situations, are the two points that I consider most repulsive.
He says that it belongs to the fantasy genre ... The only ones who are fantasizing are those that give high score to this, work. And if the reality is painful, use the unreal to be able to use narrative shortcuts and more exotic resources and thus surprise the spectator I suppose.
Regarding the drama is correctly assigned there is no doubt, but even when the dramatic is going to be based on the relationship between people? Until
now that was repeated and if something I hope for what follows is a bit of relevance.
The cast of characters is so far little and poorly developed, only gives rise to talk about Violet, a somewhat inexpressive character who has the need to know the meaning of a feeling, love, within the theme I can not think of a less innovative idea.
Something that denotes in her is her false intellect, personally I'm annoyed by someone who says:
"Do you mean that you approached him with a romantic purpose, but that you were rejected? What did you express your affection for, but were you categorically repudiated?" instead of simply avoiding asking the question and understanding what would be the most sensible, or just to stop complexing the dialogues unnecessarily, I understand perfectly that it resembles a doll for obvious reasons but the handling is annoying. Its history does not become minimally moving or any other similar definition, even though what is related to the Dolls and all those generalities have logic seems to me easily recognizable as uninteresting.
I hope one of two things, that I get to like or that they stop overvaluing it, I do not know which of the two options is less likely.
If you have noticed an error of expression, badly constructed phrase, or little sense, keep in mind that it was translated from Spanish into English ;)
Every time I watch an episode, the first thing that comes to mind is "hard to watch, but in the best way possible." As a disclaimer, I am not in any way an emotional person, I am blunt and prefer fact to fiction. I do not like people who think with their emotions, but something about this show gets to me. I can't relate to the experiences of the characters, as I've never fought in a war or anything like that. Despite that, I am drawn in by everything that goes on in every episode. I believe everyone who has written a review claiming that
the story and characters are shallow fails to see what this anime is about and why it exists. Violet Evergarden is not a show that will keep you on your toes or enthrall you in a typical sense as there are several subtle themes throughout. This is an anime for those who wish to observe and feel something. Despite what I said earlier about feelings, this show is made by how the characters portray different feelings. I truly feel sorry for those who cannot see that. Rarely do I believe that writing a review for an anime is worth the effort, but I felt as thought for this anime, Violet Evergarden, it is necessary.
“Letters are among the most significant memorial a person can leave behind them.” ―Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“A letter always seemed to me like immortality because it is the mind alone without corporeal friend.” ― Emily Dickinson
You must be thinking, what the hell is wrong with this guy? Whats with all the "letter" quotes?
That's right!!! This anime actually gives you a perfect definition of letters, you must have heard of people in other reviews mentioning War, love story, Auto memoirs doll etc., Or at least got the feeling it would be one judging from 1st 2 episodes, but I would warn you guys
this isn’t what you think it is, in fact, there isn’t a straight story at all.
This is rather a story or rather a slice of life(SOL) of a girl (named Violet Evergarden) who is a weapon in war, trying to adjust in society post-war by writing the letters for people and understanding the feelings of the sender and receiver.
So why does she want to write the letters? That’s because she wants to know the meaning of “I love you”……….You must be thinking….wtf???? Yeah, that’s true, this must have been the dumbest reason for anyone to learn writing letters (even the lieutenant Hodgins says that in the series), but you will understand that in the long run it kinda makes sense :P
So then there is no story and lots of negative reasons stated above (most importantly who would want to know about “letters”?), then…… why is there a damn 8 in the rating????
Well, even though there are lots of negative factors, at the end of the day it is able to deliver what we need in an anime, i.e the enjoyment, the emotional connection with the scene and mainly the importance of letters, i.e from a ‘small sentence’ to uniting couples with ‘long letters’, the letter has the power to move people's heart, that's the power of letters, which is really depicted well here.
Alright cutting everything short, It is a collection of short stories with Violet in each episode is interacting with different people and changing their lives and also herself knowing what it is to be a human, what it feels like to lose a human and even you might get motivated from Violet as she tries hard learning to understand what human feelings are.
The main beauty of this anime is the ART, the animation, and camera view. All characters are so beautiful that everyone looks like a doll. You wouldn't even know for half of the series whether Violet is actually a doll or a human.
The setting is historic, most probably during world war I (The robotic arms of Violet seem too much advanced for that time or even present). The background, the colors, the time lapse, the sky, the flowers, the stars and even wine, every detail is so beautiful and so colorful that it gives you realistic appeal and makes you feel as if you were at that place.
The SOUNDTRACKS are another awesome tool for making this anime nostalgic. The classic orchestral music and emotional soundtracks are really awesome which resonate perfectly and sync with the situation bringing out the emotions out of you.
The opening song is also used differently and is introduced in 3rd episode (seems this style is called progressive) is a great song and matches perfectly with the situation. While the ending is also good which is introduced in the 2nd episode.
Well coming to the final opinion, which matters the most!!! This show definitely has lot of flaws from dodging bullets like Flash(Superhero), executing a person with sword while having a gun at hand, to writing public love letters and many dramatic scenes which I wouldn’t want to spoil you, which are made to make you emotional but when you think later logically, it might seem kinda dumb but still at the time of watching it makes you forget the flaws and makes you immerse in those lies, that's the beauty of this anime, making you connect with characters without much development just like Mushishi or kino no tabi. Therefore stating all various reasons,even though the anime Violet Evergarden is not suited for the likes of many, but still, it is definitely worth watching, at least once :P
For some, it would be "that most hyped series" or for others it might be "that hyped series which lived to its reputation", well, either way, it is going to be remembered lol.
And my advice for you is, at least watch 5 episodes before you drop ( If you feel like dropping) and Don’t binge watch it, because either your heart will melt or it might harden into a stone basing on your response.
I have put out all the negative things about anime for you so that you might not be surprised and drop it out in middle. Did it give negative thoughts to fans?? I don't think so, because they will like it even if there are many flaws besides this.
well, that's the end of the review, you could stop here or read below for FAQs and more detailed Analyses of the series and character development, of course, it is spoiler-free. :D
Dub or sub? : Personally, I feel that sub is a lot better because, at the actual point of creating an emotional moment, in the dub, the words are uttered as if they were read from Google translate. While the sub has better words which suit the dialogue. But in rest of the situations, the dub is also good.
Analysis of Story:
One thing is good in this anime, It keeps you guessing what this anime might be turn out to be ? just when you are thinking of being fed-up or you made up your mind what this anime is gonna be? , that's when the story changes because, at present, you might observe that the genre of this anime is listed as SOL but it wasn’t the case when this series was airing, everyone used to talk how the series might turn out to be(Forums). In detail, first 2 episodes are like a slight introduction to the current state Violet is, with focus given more to the surrounding places, the anime setting, the camera views etc, for example, The starting scene is just like the scene from Assassin's creed where the eagle flies and the camera shifts with respect to it while here a paper or perhaps the letter flies in its place.
Then slowly from episode 3, the slice of life starts and by the end of episode 7 just when you are thinking this series is full of it, writing letters blah blah, the flashback or Violet’s past kicks into play, and you get to see it for about for 2 episodes making you think, well we might get to watch a war anime perhaps, but it stops there and again the SOL begins, So by the time you reach episode 11 it makes sense that this anime is all about letters and its significance but its not really about violet's past, well that’s where you are wrong again, just watch the series and know what it is :)
Difference between Light novel and anime?
Personally, I didn’t read the novel but from the opinion of others, few other characters were introduced, Violet is more humane and less aggressive here and most of the unrealistic parts were removed like Violet with a battle axe. But the only fault is the 12th episode which gave a negative response from Novel fans by mentioning novel version was better and had more realistic feeling for that part.
Difference of experience between new and old watchers of this series:
For anyone new to Violet Evergarden, as I mentioned earlier you can observe that the genre is SOL, drama. you can have that premeditated feeling of watching a SOL. There is both negative and positive effect of it, the positive part is that you know that you are going to watch a SOL so you are mentally prepared not expecting much of a story but the negative part is that you wouldn’t have that suspense what this series may turn out to be?
Coming to Characters:
We all know that Slice of life means character development or vice versa but this isn’t the case here, as violet meets new people in every episode, so there isn’t much possibility for character development. That being said, I'll talk about few prominent characters which need to be noticed:
Violet: People might either hate her due to her PTSD traits, inexpressive nature, and a bad example of Saber ( Fate series) 'OR' love her as innocent, fragile and she strives to be a better person and also fans of Saber might like her. This show is basically about Violet so you need to watch the show and understand about her, leaving here coming to another major character,
Major Gilbert: There are huge amount of novel fans who might love him, but his character is just developed for about 2 episodes in anime and you can observe his and Violet’s relationship to be similar to like that of father and daughter, He is the main cause of Violet’s change of behaviour or character due to the fatherly love is shown by him. Many people(novel readers) say that he loved her like a partner but I didn’t feel the same. His role is very less, then there is his friend:
Lieutenant-Colonel Hodgins: I felt him to another good guy, he is more developed then Gilbert lol, he also plays a major role in supporting Violet, by getting her a job, taking care of her and even give the right amount of comfort to her as per Gilbert’s request but he doesn’t feel burdened.
The only controversial person who seemed out of character every-time in new episode is Gilbert’s brother Dietfried. In one episode he seems harsh on Violet (Ep 5), in other episode he thinks her to have changed (Ep 8) and again in 12th episode it is shown that he still doesn’t believe in Violet still but takes her advice or saves her and many more weird multiple unstable traits are exhibited by him,
other than that rest all characters are developed for an episode or two and left, For example, characters like Benedict ( postman), Luculia, Iris, Erica (Dolls)etc are used just for the sake of story’s progress in latter small and significant parts which might make many people angry for not developing them or using them properly, since we are mainly focused on Violet’s point of view I think its better to ignore the rest.
I hope you like this kind of writing style in which I seem like interacting with you and I hope this review motivated you to watch it ✌
I hope I didn't bore you with all the praises, I did want to criticize and write a review like a critic, but every time I re-watched the series, I kept falling in love with it and most probably you are gonna too :)
Violet Evergarden was one of the most anticipated anime of the winter season, with its stunning promotional material showcasing beautifully animated scenes and character designs. It could be said that in that regard it was amazing and lived up to expectations. However, when it comes to the characters and overall narrative, sadly it isn't nearly as good as it could have been. The main problem can be associated with a lackluster cast of characters in combination with a seemingly aimless narrative.
The anime is based around Violet, a young girl that knows nothing else than war: when the Great War ended, she was left with no
other option than to adapt a civilian life. By joining the Auto Memory Doll postal service, she will embark on a journey of self-discovery. Quite an interesting premise so far right? The different travel destinations the protagonist undertakes, offer each a diverse story of the client and their needs, while simultaneously developing Violet. These serve to shape the setting, as well gaining an understanding of the sociopolitical climate the story takes place in, helping viewers immerse themselves. Sadly, for a Victorian setting, Japanese customs are too prominent, making it a bit harder to engage with the narrative. In addition, the various stories on different episodes are quite predictable and cliché - some good, others not as much. Lastly, the narration lacks in continuity, and therefore coherence, as each episode jumps from one story to the other. As standalone episodes, they work, but as a package, it needs more context. One such example is where a character of apparent importance is introduced to the viewer, making them wonder what will happen next, just to fully ignore said character for the following episodes. This leaves a bad taste in the mouth, especially considering that the episodes, in general, feel slightly random. These aren't necessary issues, as characters play the most important part in Slice of Life/Drama anime, yet somehow they were lackluster as well. Allow me to elaborate.
First of all, the main character is bland and boring, robot-like; which is not counterproductive in such cases (when done correctly), since that is the whole point of the anime. However, character development of Violet was done poorly, where the actions she performed felt forced, often falling back on her main motivation to do this ordeal in the first place, which may appear as a cheap copout. Another slight problem is that she seemingly gains emotions, then to suddenly just lose them for the convenience of the plot. It could be argued that it is natural for an emotionless human being, although personally, I'd disagree, especially when taking into account how little it does to the plot. In addition, little effort is made to make her a likable character, whether it be through interactions with her surroundings or just some simple characteristics of her that could be expanded on.
Protagonists aren't necessarily the foundation of a character-driven story: secondary/supporting characters can fulfill that role too. Disappointingly, it even fails in this regard. The whole cast is generic as it can get, with not a single interesting personality to root for - they simply lack identity. Character interactions with the supporting cast are scarce, and when done, lack meaning. The anime tries to flesh these out with the limited screen time they get, but quite frankly, it leaves much to be desired. Admittedly, there are a few background stories that could be relatable to the audience, whether it be the reason why people work for the sake of working, or how people regret things only after they lose it. As a whole, the character dynamic problem lies in Violet hardly having any meaningful relationship with any of the cast, making hard to invest oneself. Such dynamics are not a necessity since, for example, Mushishi manages to do this perfectly.
Animation wise, Violet Evergarden is stunning as mentioned earlier: after all, it is done by KyoAni, a studio renown for its gorgeously animated scenery and character designs. The studio makes good use of close-ups (whether it be objects or actions of the characters) to emphasize the meaning of the scene together with the different emotions it wants to evoke. The used color palette works great for the format, although it must be mentioned that the occasional grey filter that is applied feels unnecessary. The opening and ending are beautifully drawn and shown, albeit offering little addition to the anime.
The voice actors did a good job on their respective roles, including the monotone voice for Violet that embodies her character - anger, despair, sadness, and exhaustion were conveyed in a graceful manner, although in some in instances it felt forced. As for the soundtrack used, it is befitting of the anime with the use classical instruments, such as the violin, piano, etc. These are reminiscent of Ghibli-like works, which I personally am a fan of. It does a fantastic job to immerse the viewer into the story of this Victorian like era.
Violet Evergarden as a whole was a beautifully animated work but lacked considerably in the most important parts, characters and story, causing a significant clash in immersion: the characters made it hard to feel engaged in it, while the animation and sound work invited to do so. For a slice of life anime, it fulfills its purpose, yet for a supposed story of self-discovery, it is arguably dull. This doesn't necessarily mean its bad/unwatchable; it simply could have been more than it ultimately was, since, despite all the issues mentioned in the review, I found myself enjoying the whole journey. All in all, Violet Evergarden had potential, but its shortcomings made it your average seasonal anime that comes and goes, just to be forgotten.