Nov 24, 2022
I rarely give out 10/10 scores, but this anime really did it for me. It's an absolute masterpiece, from storytelling, characters, to even visuals and animation (as expected when you're animated by KyoAni). This anime is a journey every anime watcher must go through at least once, even when this isn't their usual genre.
Let me start out by getting the technical things out of the way. Animation for this anime is simply beautiful, probably one of the most well-done animation I've ever seen in an anime (gotta love the work KyoAni has done, as always). And the fact that this anime isn't supposed to be something that is heavy on animation unlike, say, the isekai, fantasy, or action genre, means that KyoAni has made a lot of effort to go beyond what is expected to make this as beautiful as possible. It is absolutely stellar, and probably one of their best works ever made.
Music. Oh man, even the music isn't a let down. The OP and ED are absolutely well done, and the music used throughout the anime isn't something to ignore either. It is as beautiful as the animation, and it deserves just as much praise.
Now, talking about the story, it is an absolutely emotional ride of rollercoaster. When we're talking about a coming-of-age story, it has to be executed beautifully, as character development and emotional growth is what should be the stand out for the genre, and this anime might just stand as an example of how that genre should be done.
Violet Evergarden's story is one of growth and finding meaning in life after her perceived purpose in life is over. When her mentor and guardian in the army, Gilbert, leaves her a heartfelt farewell and confession of love in his last moments, Violet goes on an emotional journey to find the meaning of the last words her mentor left her: "I love you."
As a character who's only known nothing but war, Violet's journey as a character is absolutely one of the reasons to watch this anime. As she doesn't know how to live in a post-war society, and has only ever received nothing but orders in her life, Violet's slow transformation from someone who's only lived a military and strict upbringing, to someone who can be independent and walk her own path in life is well-done. It is a ride that this anime will take you. It will make you happy, sad, cry, or even root for, as this anime establishes her character in a way that is very compelling and emotional.
Other characters are nothing to scoff at either. Gilbert, who barely makes any appearance beyond flashbacks, drives the main story and journey of Violet Evergarden. Even though he's absent in the present, his looming presence throughout the story drives Violet to live a life that she may want, and it is his character that drives and influences the plot of the anime. It is executed beautifully, as his purpose as a character isn't forgotten, and it not only affected Violet, but other characters as well, such as Claudia, who is also a character that deserves to stand out in this anime.
Overall, this anime is an absolutely masterpiece (I could never say it enough for this anime). It is the kind that'll make you think "I wish I could watch this again like it was the first time." whenever the anime comes to mind. A must-watch, even once, even if this isn't your preferred genre.
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