Violet Evergarden is an anime made by Kyoto Studios and based on the light novel. I never got the chance to see it in the winter anime season due to the fact that Netflix kept it from simulcasting in the US and for some reason simulcasted everywhere else. Which screw you Netflix, and I hope you only start releasing actual original anime instead of holding them up for future releases. That being said I at least had an excuse to binge watch the show as I heard great thing about it, and let see if all the hype is well deserved.
The anime is about Violet Evergarden, a 14 year old girl who was used as a weapon during the war. Now with the war over, she recovered from her injuries with two new metal arms. Now she works in the postal mail delivery service as an auto memory doll, someone who writes down a person word and thought and convey their emotion. Using this job as a way to try to understand the last word the Major gave her.
The story was actually quite emotionally beautiful and pretentious at times. The story mostly consists of Violet flashback during the war with the Major. While also trying to learn about her emotion and empathy as she tries to understand the last word the Major gave her. Which is why she got a job as an auto memory doll, to learn about those emotions and learn empathy. First what I really love was the character development of the main character, Violet. She is someone who was used as a weapon of war and was emotionless, now trying to understand her newfound emotion and learn empathy. It was fun to see someone that does start out blunt and almost robotic and still acting like a soldier, slowly start to show more and more emotion. The more she understands and empathize with this new found emotion, the happier and hurt she is. It is a fascinating dilemma and a struggle she has to overcome as all the weight of her past action start to affect her. Being an emotional and engaging journey of her coming with grip with herself along with some of the tragedy of her life. Which is not to say there isn’t any fun to be had. There is a lot of fun moment to have with her as they do a good job of showing the kid inside her, and the ignorance she has about emotion. Making for a 3-dimensional character that is a tragic character that you can root for and feel for.
The auto memory doll portion of the show was also great and interesting, but at times can be pretentious. They sometimes have an entire episode focus on Violet doing her job that sometimes also serve to develop her character, or just be a stand-alone episode. With them showing the importance and emotional weight that written words can have. Either with them preserving history, or being a way to communicate with their loved one when they no longer can. That being said sometimes I feel like they overvalued how important letters can be, when talking would work just fine. It would be almost like me texting something important to someone at my house instead of walking to them because somehow it conveys better with texting. The point is that is sometimes stupid and laughable on how important writing a letter is. I mean the different way they show how important the work of an auto memory doll is, was great. With a good variety to the story and most of them hitting at the heart with lots and lots of ugly cries from the characters that are well deserved. That being said my last minor gripes is that they would have the client narrate when is an episode focus on her job. Which would be fine except is not like that in all the episode, so it does feel jarring to out of nowhere hear the narration. Actually, the show itself is a bit all over the place with episodic episodes, sometimes having no opening and ending, then having them. Or have the last two episode be more action heavy compared to the rest of the show where the only action you see is in the flashback. But honestly, it works well enough and was still great to watch with emotional heavy episodes that had great themes and show the importance that writing can have.
Now for the flash back portion of the show, they would focus on the relationship of the Major and Violet. A thing I have not mentioned yet is the fact that Violet does not look 14, she actually looks like an adult, and it will always puzzle me when people say she looks so young when she looks like an adult. I do wonder if this was on purpose to not make the romance of the Major and Violet not be creepy since he is an adult essentially raising her when she was given to him. Which honestly no, the relationship is still a bit creepy. Raising a little girl and falling in love with her is a trope I never like. I did not like it in Ancient Magus and I do not like it here. If I am being honest this was probably the weakest aspect of the show for me, especially when the flashback could be its own show yet it feel rushed which make the emotional weight to them less effective. It felt like the more they show of the flashback, the less I care about the relationship as it was more or less what you expect. The Major is a person who does not see her as a weapon and wants her to live a normal and happy life, and with that, you can already imagine more or less how the story with them go. Showing more of the flashback oddly does not make the current situation of Violet any more bitter sweet which is a shame. Granted I will say I do like how I was wrong about one thing that I thought was sure to happen as a cheap dramatic move. So I do have to respect them for not going that route, but otherwise, this is one romance that will not bring me any type of emotion.
Now for the main star of the anime, the animation. The animation provided by Kyoto Studio might just be some of their best work when it comes to tv anime. If I did not know any better and saw this on screen, I would have thought it was a movie or something because the animation is simply amazing for a tv anime. I mean the opening with the paper flying out and the anime showing off its incredible camera work and scenery just left me with a huge smile on my face, excited to see how amazing this anime will look. With the camera knowing how to move and rotate to make an emotional scene feel grander with great vivid color and detail. With the character design also being great and letting the audience know the world takes place in an alternate Europe. As I mention the show is all about emotion and lots of ugly crying, the show know how to make those expression come to life and look wonderful and natural. It is a technical achievement for Kyoto Studio but is not perfect. I mean while the background does look great and wonderful, full of great European architect, there was one scene where the people in the background were totally lifeless. Almost like they were stuck in a limbo or purgatory, with the scene lasting for almost a minute, making the lifeless background all the more noticeable. Some of the scene the characters are a bit too stiff when people are talking which is normal for anime, but with how great the anime look at times and keeping the audience engaged, those scenes are more noticeable for me. But those are just small nitpicks since as a whole it is still a gorgeous looking anime.
The soundtrack was also amazing and beautiful to listen to. As the orchestral music had to have a heavy task of matching the emotional drama of the show, and it manage to succeed with great variety of music of hope, danger, sadness etc. It had a great variety and manage to match the scope of the story and make an emotional and beautiful looking scene be all the more powerful and had me immersed in the anime. That being said just because the soundtrack itself is amazing, does not mean how it is used in the anime is always perfect. While for the most part, it does elevate some scene, with the anime knowing how to use them wisely for the most part and know when is not needed. That being said there are times when the music is too loud in scenes where the characters are talking. Making it hard to hear them, and in some of the pretentious moments, the music only serves to make them feel all the more pretentious and laughable. But for the majority of the time, the soundtrack is used effectively and is still beautiful to listen.
Overall the anime from a technical perspective is amazing. With a wonderful soundtrack and animation that does suck the audience in. The story is interesting and at time emotionally powerful, but is not as amazing as the animation or soundtrack. As the story does have lots of problem like the weak romance, and sometimes overvaluing the importance of writing a letter when words are just as good. That being said the emotional journey of Violet was still wonderfully done and is an anime worth watching. I give this a B.
Also I will try to make my review a bit shorter, as I do have a problem with repeating my points.
I struggle to make my reviews longer.
I sometime also struggle with making long reviews sometime like with My Incredible 2 review where some of the points I made about the movie I went over briefly, then I see a other review elaborating on my points which are important points. Granted with that one I purposefully did not went too deep with it because a easy review of it is, if you like the first one, you will like this movie even if it does have much depth in it. But I do feel like the more you think about a movie, book, show etc and just give yourself time to think of why do you hate or like certain things about it, the more ammo you have for your writing. Which is funny because I always thought is better to write right away with your memory fresh of whatever you just watch, but then I finish writing and think about other stuff that I could have put or just thought about.
HungryWorld: Sorry for taking so long for the things i have to do, have been suffering from some health issues (including mental health deterioration). Anyways hope i can be a bit more active here soon enough once i am properly patched up again.
Apr 27, 2021 17:45:38 GMT
Taka: No worries, health, family, school, and work take priorities first.
Apr 28, 2021 7:41:52 GMT