Violet Evergarden was amazing.
Warning: spoilers ahoy!
So, while I’ve managed to get Netflix free for four years thanks to buying new phones, unfortunately, it came to an end. And between satellite and other streaming options, it just wasn’t worth paying to continue. But before my subscription ended and despite my schedule, I swore to myself I would finish the much-acclaimed Violet Evergarden. I know many of you praised it, and I
So, day before my subscription ended, I fired up Netflix and began to watch. As you can tell from the title, yes, I loved it.
There were some details I either misread or misremembered though. I knew Violet was a former soldier who didn’t understand love. I also remembered the words “auto” and “doll” describing her and that she had mechanical arms. So I thought she was an actual doll — well, a robot. And because she’s an android, her programming isn’t capable of understanding love, which is why she took this letter writing job. I was very surprised when I learned that she’s human, and that the whole doll title is from post-war! Oops.
I do think Violet’s backstory is one of the weak spots for me though. Something about being found, training, and then she’s a supersoldier who wasn’t meant to be a supersoldier? Not really clear on that.
Visually, yes, Violet Evergarden is gorgeous. Even beyond the turn-of-the-century style clothing, the tears streaming down faces, and even the blades of grass so vibrant you can almost smell them, the presentation was excellent. Making each title a key line from the episode, delaying the opening animation, the physical cues that hint as to the various issues each character has — excellent.
I mostly watched the series in Japanese, although what I heard of the English dub was solid.
The series is episodic with a client-of-the-day approach, but each builds on the previous. I was surprised that she didn’t know hr commander died when I first started the show. I thought she took the job so she (an android) would understand why a human would say such strange words. When I realized I was off-base, I was like, “Okay, so the series is going to end with her grief that Gilbert is dead.” Well, wrong again. (Man, I was wrong a lot with this series!) The truth comes out about halfway through, which greatly surprised me. I do think that the post-revelation episodes were slightly weaker than the pre-revelation episodes, but they were still very good. I mean, when the bar is set so high right from the start, Violet Evergarden‘s “not quite as good” in this series is still a level a lot of anime wish they could reach.
So part of the reason why this isn’t a review post is that during my marathon, I started feeling ill. (This was before COVID-19 became a pandemic by the way, so no worries there.) I started getting a little warm, which, okay, no big deal, but when my head started to hurt, I knew what was coming. It eventually devolved into me putting on a gel sleep mask on my forehead to soothe the ache and to hold my hair back whenever I needed to dash off to toss my cookies in the bathroom. (TMI, I know.) You know those cartoon images where characters use clothes pins to keep their eyes open? That’s about how I looked since I wanted nothing more than to crawl into bed and sleep for 1,000 years. I looked like a fright. I did end up taking a short nap, but I did wake back up to finish the series. So, uh, I have a hazy memory for parts of the show.
Still, as someone who tends to put off anime for long lengths of time… totally worth it, even between puking sessions. However, I would like to rewatch Violet Evergarden in a non-haze. Funimation brought the Violet Evergarden movie to theaters, so it’s possible they may be able to put the series on Blu-ray? Maybe? Please? Sad I’m going to miss the upcoming movie, so I’ll be watching vicariously through y’all’s reviews.
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