With its twelfth episode out, Violet Evergarden has come a long way from its slow introductory episodes. Initially, a good number of people thought that this was just mere eye-candy and nothing more, but damn, it’s such shame since the show portrays some outstanding character development and well-written writing techniques.
Violet Evergarden reminds me of another KyoAni work, Hyouka, where the characters have to deal with different mysteries every episode until it stopped doing that in the last three or four episodes. Violet Evergarden does the same thing but uses it as a key point for character development on part of the main character. Every episode the main character goes and takes on jobs which involves writing letters or documents for different people with different backgrounds.
The show’s writing style is somewhat unorthodox in a way when it uses the development within the side characters to contribute the main character’s development and backstory. Violet’s first job allowed her an introduction to emotions and the ability to convey them in a mere few words. The second job showed her the concept of family and she related to that with the only family figure she knew of – the Major.
With the princess, Violet understood the concept of love and how it can come out in the most obscure and straightforward ways. In the observatory, that job told her about the beauty of loss and she related it with her Major. That beauty is also portrayed when she wrote for a famous playwright in his kid’s play.
Although it doesn’t really show much in these job-per-episode formats, it all culminates in the last few episodes where Violet realizes her loss, her sins coming from the deaths she caused in the war, and finding her purpose. In these recent episodes, she is shown to hesitate in a fight and dwelling on the fact that every man behind the gun sight could be a son, a brother, or a father who have families to go home to.
She is shown that contrary to what most people say she is not a doll but rather a human being capable of understanding emotions and the gravity of her actions. Now she stands at the crossroads of choosing whether to accept these sins and experiences or stay lost for the rest of her existence, eventually ending her life in unsatisfactory ways.
This is a show that revolves around the effects of a war in both the micro and macro-scale. Micro, in the sense of Violet’s understanding of her actions, loss and grief. Macro, in the sense that some people are shown to have lost someone or something dear to them during the war and have either chosen to accept peace or reject it completely. It is a show that does a great job in capturing an individual experiencing a post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the war.
Although this show has not ended by the writing of this article, it has a special place in my heart as being the only anime series that has forced me to cry every episode at the sudden realizations and developments being experience by the characters within this show. I feel as if this is a love letter to how the human condition is – beautiful, confusing, and painful.
I hope a good number of you get to watch this masterpiece. It was a shame that Netflix owned the exclusive streaming rights to it but once you get the chance to watch it, take it – it’s gonna be worth your time and your tears.
Let me know what you think about this series or you can share some good titles similar to Violet Evergarden!
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