I’ve been wanting to review most of what I’ve seen or read for a while now, and I was wondering what to review first, then I realized, what better way than to start this writing journey by reviewing the one anime that is, for a huge part, about writing—Violet Evergarden.
So let’s start this, shall we?
If I told you “do you want to watch an anime about a girl writing letters”, would you be interested? Probably not. And yet, this weird plot, in a post-WW1 France-like setup, manages to captivate from start to end. Mostly because of Violet herself, but more on that later.
Honestly, 13 episodes, 2 specials, and a movie later, I’m speechless. Not totally realizing that it’s over, and wondering why I waited so long to finally watch it.
I must say, I value and like originality a lot, yet sometimes an original plot ends up being quite disappointing. Violet Evergarden, however, is quite the opposite, it’s one of a kind really, and this unique story is a true masterpiece.
Now I’m the emotional kind of person, the one that’s gonna end up crying for not much. Because of that, I do tend to avoid watching anime that I know will make me cry. It’s also one of the reasons why it probably took me so long to decide to give this one a go. And god did I get all teary-eyed watching Violet Evergarden, not just because I got sad, and it is a very sad anime, at times, but also because of how beautiful everything is!
If I had to start somewhere to truly get into the details of this anime, I would obviously have to start with the main character, Violet Evergarden. This is because it’s all about her really, not about a crazy story with an insane plot. In the end, the scenario is simply an agency of short stories where you see Violet grow as a person.
With her doll-like appearance and demeanor, her unique personality, and her mechanical arms, she’s fascinating right away. And then, because it’s an anime, it had to go a bit overboard and make her into a badass soldier. I mean, who wouldn’t look too out of place in something like Attack on Titan really? Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad thing. It pushes this aura of mystery and her doll-like nature even further. She’s a really refreshing character, you won’t find any other quite like her.
And since the anime is not action focused but rather about how this child soldier learns and adapts to civilian life, and how she gets to understand emotions little by little, it’s no problem that she gets this anime protagonist vibe from time to time.
I think there are two other things about Violet that really gets you hooked. You will notice how emotional she gets sometimes, despite acting like a doll the rest of the time. You can’t help but feel something every time it happens. Another thing is how she is always trying to understand the last words of the person that meant the world to her.
She works at a postal company and ends up becoming an “auto memory doll” (basically a ghostwriter). I must say, everything from watching her present herself to a customer to seeing her type on a writing machine with her metal hands is truly entrancing.
Now, of course, she’s not the only character, her colleagues and friends are all somewhat important in Violet’s development even though they don’t have too much depth to them.
Even her dear Major Gilbert—we don’t know too much about him. But that’s perfectly fine, great even because it’s all about Violet. And they have done an amazing job managing to make it all about a single character without things getting boring or not making sense.
The whole world setup around Violet lacks depth, yes. But it’s also constructed logically, and you can see they’ve really put thoughts into those things, with the purpose of truly putting her in the spotlight while supplementing the overall beauty of this anime.
Animation & Art
Did I say that everything in this anime is beautiful already? Yup, I have actually.
The drawing and animation are amazing. Nothing out of this world but it truly transports you to a different era if you ask me. I believe it is because of all the details everywhere, from scenery to outfits, accessories, and tools, that you may not notice at first. It’s very clean without going overboard, which is really fitting for such a story focused on the main character.
Then I want to point out something I think was very important—facial expression. They really nailed it. I believe it makes a huge impact on our emotions.
Voice Acting & Music
While the voice acting didn’t really stand out in my opinion, it still does a good job of supplementing the rest and making the characters very expressive, with defined personalities.
Finally, it would be nothing without the splendid soundtrack. And I truly mean it, as someone with hypersensitive hearing, I put a lot of importance on this. Violet Evergarden is one of the few anime that made me think “wow the music is fantastic” while watching it. It’s such an important point in stirring up emotions or making a simple scene of Violet typing, into something absolutely epic. So yeah, even in the music department they nailed it.
In the end, I realize, it’s really hard to put emotions into words, and tell others what you felt watching it. Violet is really amazing to be able to do it for others. Well, I guess that’s the point after all!
A true masterpiece that I think everyone should watch. Yes everyone, doesn’t matter what genre you like or what kind of anime you dislike. I believe that in its uniqueness, anyone (yes even if you hate slice of life) would end up fascinated and would have a good time watching it. In my opinion, Violet Evergarden is one of the best anime of the last 10 years, it succeeded on every point from beginning to end.