To be honest, I really have no plans on making a review about this anime. Most of the reviewers I know, both anitubers and anibloggers, said what needs to be said about this series. So…whats the point of me making one?
After contemplating about this issue for awhile, I decided to release my review. Not only this Violet Evergarden, but also the other anime reviews that had been stuck on my drafts for a long time cuz of my insecurities and anxieties.
Anyway, without further ado, here’s my thoughts about the latest Kyoto Animation masterpiece, Violet Evergarden:
Recovering from her wounds, Violet starts a new life working at CH Postal Services after a falling out with her new intended guardian family. There, she witnesses by pure chance the work of an “Auto Memory Doll,” amanuenses that transcribe people’s thoughts and feelings into words on paper. Moved by the notion, Violet begins work as an Auto Memory Doll, a trade that will take her on an adventure, one that will reshape the lives of her clients and hopefully lead to self-discovery.
If you had been following me for quite awhile now, you would probably know right now that I am a big KyoAni fan. Most of my all time favorite animes are their works and they consistently surpass my expectations.
When I first heard about Violet Evergarden, it was few years ago when it was announced that there was a certain novel that actually won the prestigious competition headed by KyoAni. I was really curious as to why it won after years of only ‘Honorable Mentions’. As a fan of stories, books and novels, I was really really curious of the story.
When KyoAni announced the adaptation of the work, hype was indeed created. Even I was a big part of it. Example to that was last year fiasco, Violet Evergarden haven’t even aired yet, but it already got an 8.0+ score on MAL. It was that hyped. Was it good?? The hype?? In a way, it was. But it also created ‘great expectations’ from us viewers. I would admit, I also expected it to be really good, but yeah, the fear of being disappointed was quite strong on my part so I kinda lowered my expectations few weeks before the anime adaptation was released. And now, Thank you Lord for this Masterpiece.
Violet Evergarden is about a girl who was once a soldier and victim of the war, lost her ability to feel and understand emotions/feelings, embark on a journey to understand the last few words her Major told her, “I love you”. Its a touching story of redemption, growth, and moving forward. Its in a way can be seen as a coming-of-age story about Violet, but it could also be a story about the aftermath of war and the war itself. It just depends on the person who’s watching the anime as to how he interprets or sees it. For me, this anime is about a person, after losing ‘everything’, now trying to find meaning/purpose about her existence and also regaining the ability to be human.
One of the main strong point of the anime was the stunning and eyegasms worthy visuals. Its so stunning I was forced to watch this series in full HD on TV just to see every pixel of the gorgeous art & animation of the anime. Even though, there were some initial backlash in the anime community about the visuals, my opinions never wavered. The art shown in the anime shows a realistic look of the old times. The details were really consistent all through out the series, I’m speechless. The animation was also remarkable as well. It was very fluid, whether it was an action scene or even when the characters are just talking. You can clearly see how every shot shown in the anime has some kind of reason as to why it was shown. The hand gestures, the change of expression, etc. KyoAni pretty much perfected this method. The character design though. Yes, I love them, but yeah, its the typical KyoAni designs so in a way I find it kinda generic. Can’t be helped.
Other than the visuals, there’s still other more reasons as to why I love this series. One would be the story. I haven’t read the novel yet, but I am planning to so right now I am going to give my thoughts to the story in the anime. The plot was simple, but it was the execution of the story that made this my favorite. The story flowed really well, there was no problem in pacing. I couldn’t even see any plotholes that could potentially ruin the series. Its…almost perfect. Why ‘almost’ you say? Well, first and foremost, this anime focused on the character development of a blank slate girl, so the story was unfortunately slow. The progress of the story was moving in a very stable pace, but it might have bored some viewers. I have no problems with it cuz its very understandable and this type of anime are my jam, but for other people, this slow-burn type of anime is not their cup of tea. Its unfortunate.
The 2nd reason as to why I really love this series would be the characters. Each character introduced in the series served a purpose and they were memorable in their own way. Even though this series was bit episodic, each characters gave a lot of impact not just to me, but also to the main character. Our main character, Violet, was definitely quite a hot topic in the first few weeks in Spring season. For a protagonist, she wasn’t the ‘best girl’ type everyone was expecting her to be. She was distant, aloof, stiff, cold, ignorant, unfiltered….. her personality was not the best. But on my part, I actually liked her immediately. I think the fact that I already expected her to be that way cuz of what happened to her. She’s not just traumatised, she’s also scared, confused and worried about starting over, this time, without the Major by her side guiding her. Topping it off with the fact that she couldn’t comprehend emotions and being unaware of her surroundings, made her confused more than ever. She doesn’t know what to do, cuz she’s not used to doing this that were not ordered to her. With those thoughts on my mind, I immediately sympathised with her. I understand her. Now seeing her grow and learnt new things all through out the series was really touching. Each episode, we get to see her transform, and be a better person. She was able to become human, not just a tool for the war. It made me cry, and I just want to say “you did well”. What she went through, all of her struggles and joys, it made her strong. In a way, it made me strong too. Her journey left a big impression to me. It impacted me in a way that I should not give up too and move forward.
Lastly, one of the reason I love this series was the amazing soundtrack. Each track added flavour and meaning to the scenes in the series. They made the series more touching and it gave more impact especially to the heartfelt and heart-wretching moments in the series. The tracks also fits well with the theme and setting of the series. Its kinda weird though that the soundtrack reminds me a lot of what I used to here in Disney fairytale movies. Its not a bad thing, its actually kinda nostalgic on my part. I really really like it.
Of course, I am not blinding myself with some of the negative points I find in the series. Personally, I don’t mind them at all, but yeah, they are still negative points. First would be the slow pace. I mentioned this already above so I am just going to skip right over to the next one. The underwhelming ending. With the right-on-the-feels train in the latter half of the series, I was highly expecting the series would end in a bang or something, but it didn’t went my way. The last arc was a bit underwhelming. even though I do understand its purpose. I just wish it was more impactful I guess. But its okay, I still love this anime.
Overall, this anime is my anime of the season. Hands down. It hit me right in the feels, and it left me a lot of impact I didn’t even expect. I’m pretty much sure this anime is climbing up my all time favorite list. Damn.
This anime is a must watch, especially to people who loves to watch character driven animes. It is slow paced but its really steady. I do recommend this to other anime fans too. I know its not your cup of tea, but at least try to binge-watch it. Binging it has a better impact compared to watching it weekly. I promise you.
Anyway, that is all.
Thanks for reading!
This is so damn long.
I AM SORRY.
I didn’t meant it to be this way. I tried to edit it, but removing a line above affects everything. Its just me. Im sorry.
I do hope you give Violet Evergarden a chance. Its a really really good anime.