Jul 9, 2021
Violet Evergarden Gaiden is the sequel to the award winning novel, Violet Evergarden. Similar to it's previous work, the story continues with Violet's impact on people's lives and how those experiences help grow her as a person. Where VE Gaiden differentiates itself from the past novel is it's heavily focused on the side characters and their journeys that led up to where they are now. I'd like to mention before I continue I think it's worth noting that the anime movie adaptation of this only adapts 1 out of the 6 chapters. Now back to the review, throughout the previous novel and anime they introduce
various characters like Gilbert, Benedict, Cattleya, Hodgins, Lux, and more. Just like we've become accustomed to reading the story in non chronological order and having to piece the stories together. In VE Gaiden we learn about all the characters' pasts, and what events took place to mold them into the person they are today. Now given all the knowledge of the characters past and actions it forces you to think about all the events that occurred up until this point and piece them together. Creating a situation where you have to interpret why they made the choices they did and really giving perspective to everything and a deeper understanding of the actions that took place. Now for all the Violet fans, she gets a good amount of characterization that adds another layer of depth to her character and this goes hand in hand with the theme's presented in this story. I think Kana Akatsuki does a phenomenal job of utilizing Violet in a way that she has her time to shine and still be impactful as in previous works, but also allowing the others to have their arcs and leave just as much of an imprint on the story as she does without leaving them in the shadows. This is a very thought out, and delicate piece of art that's been handled with a lot of care. The foreshadowing is also one of the more underrated parts about the series, a lot of the details in the previous novel was recontextualized in this one, just adding on to yet another beautiful conclusion. Now, the world building is insane. I didn't expect much going into this novel as it's a sequel and they never really turn out to be as good as its predecessor. It was just plain out phenomenal, it can't be stressed how much detail is put into this novel, I mean reading this felt like watching the show and experiencing that beautiful animation we all came to know and love. You really feel immersed in the VE verse, and I just have to tip my hat to Kana Akatsuki. I've read a lot of light novels, but for the sheer amount of detail when it comes to plot, characters, world building and evoking emotion, whether it be sadness or anger. No one does it better than Kana.
Overall this is a fantastic read, it has the slice of life elements, the drama, the romance, comedic moments and the action as well. Just like how Violet is trying to find her way through the journey of life, we learn of the others who may have not gotten their fair share of screen time in the other works. Their character journeys that essentially change the game for the readers, unlocking our third eye as they add a whole new dynamic and perspective, playing just as important of a role as Violet does in this overall story. Violet Evergarden Gaiden is a must read for all fans of VE, the laughs, the suspense, the curiosity, the sadness, it is yet again a complete masterful work for Kana Akatsuki.
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