Violet Evergarden

Title:Violet Evergarden
Keywords: , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - KYOTO
A certain point in time, in the continent of Telesis. The great war which divided the continent into North and South has ended after four years, and the people are welcoming a new generation. Violet Evergarden, a young girl formerly known as “the weapon”, has left the battlefield to start a new life at CH Postal Service. There, she is deeply moved by the work of “Auto Memories Dolls”, who carry people's thoughts and convert them into words. Violet begins her journey as an Auto Memories Doll, and comes face to face with various people's emotions and differing shapes of love. There are words Violet heard on the battlefield, which she cannot forget. These words were given to her by someone she holds dear, more than anyone else. She does not yet know their meaning but she searches to find it.
(Summary Courtesy of Anime News Network)

13-episode TV anime that premiered on January 10, 2018.
Animated by Kyoto Animation.
See side story, Maou-sama, Retry!.
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 10 10 9 7 9 8 Ggultra2764 [series:3474#1552]
Violet Evergarden is focused on the titular heroine of the series who is a former soldier who becomes a ghostwriter called an Auto Memory Doll so she can reintegrate herself into society. With this job, Violet finds herself trying to comprehend the words "I love you" from her superior officer, Gilbert, before he vanished during a mission that he and Violet were on.

Violet Evergarden is mostly a character-drive drama focused on the developments of Violet's character as her reintegration into society leads her to learn about and properly expressing emotions, an element of humanity she has little experience with due to spending the majority of her life on the battlefield as a child soldier. Early episodes of the series focus on Violet learning more of the Auto Memory Doll trade and taking on jobs within the profession, each of which leading her character to gradually develop as she better understands human emotions and the words of Gilbert. This also leads her to reflect back on her past life as a soldier as she better understands the moral ramifications of taking lives, something the series takes some time to explore at points when officers among both allied and enemy forces confront her on this element to her character. Later episodes explore more of Violet's backstory that cover how she became a soldier, met Gilbert, and acquired her silver-laced prosthetic arms after resigning from life as a soldier. The show's pacing is deliberately slow to make Violet's character developments feel more natural, enhancing the engaging storytelling offered up with the series.

The only major hiccup that comes up with Violet Evergarden is the attempts it made to try focusing on the issues surrounding the war fought in the series, particularly shown during the anime's first half. While a decent attempt at trying to offer world-building to the series, the focus on the war does take time away from exploring Violet's developments as a character at points in the anime's second half, as this anime was more Violet's story than exploring the larger end of things within the anime's world.

Visually, Violet Evergarden is easily among the most impressive TV anime titles made for the year thus far. Animated by Kyoto Animation, the series sports gorgeous and highly detailed scenic shots, detailed character designs, and fluid movement that is best shown during moments when Violet is in action against enemy soldiers. The setting for the series appears to be a steampunk-like Industrial Era setting that is quite accurate in depicting clothing, building aesthetics, and technology of that time period for the most part with the exception of Violet's highly proficient prosthetic arms.

While having some hiccups, Violet Evergarden still stood out as a great title for me thanks to the developments of the anime's titular character in exploring her gradual growth and understanding of human emotions and morality. It's easily among the best titles I've seen for 2018 thus far.

Last updated Thursday, April 05 2018. Created Thursday, April 05 2018.
Unevaluated Stretch [series:3474#628]
(Three episodes watched):

As I watched episode one of VE, and compared it to the unmemorable new anime I had watched previously, the thought occurred to me that one thing I preferred about VE was that whereas the other show had pretty much revealed all of the basics of it's premise in a sudden, take-it-or-leave-it manner, VE was more careful to reveal the important points gradually and gently. I found that approach to be much more interesting and attractive. With time, however, the thought also occurred to me that it's also possible to keep too much from us, which is frustrating. Violet is a human being, right? A girl who has been brainwashed to serve as a soldier, but a human nevertheless. I hope so, because I'm not looking forward to some sort of semi-human Dolls being included. You would think that at least something as important as that would be made clear. I was impatient for the episode to hurry up and give me a better idea of what it is about and where it was going. In the end, the plot moved so slowly that one episode wasn't enough to get a good idea of what this story would be about and whether it would be worth watching. Episode two still didn't make Violet's status as either human or android clear. The mid-20th century technology seems too primitive for her to be an android, but why would a human girl be delivered in a box? I'm assuming that, being a soldier, she had her hands blown off at some point and that's why she has mechanical prosthetics. The other Dolls don't seem to have this feature. Anyway, the gist of this show seems to be that Violet is so naïve and emotionally dead that she knows nothing about romance, but wants to learn. Nobody dares tell her that the Major Gilbert that she idolizes has been killed; I'm guessing that she'll run into his brother and they will strike up a romance. So, the story seemed to have potential but I was still impatient for it to pick up the pace. But episode three didn't advance the story much either. Violet makes some halting progress towards being able to empathize with other people, but it's not clear why. A problem appears and is solved within one episode, which wasn't terribly convincing. Perhaps the problem is that Violet is so emotionless that it's hard to sympathize with her. In the end, I decided to quit this show. The plot doesn't seem all that sophisticated, and the story is moving at an aggravatingly slow pace.

Last updated Tuesday, February 13 2018. Created Sunday, January 14 2018.

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