Violet Evergarden is a brilliant story revolving around the tale of a ex child soldier who wants to learn what emotion is.
Set in a war torn country, the anime follows a young girl, Violet Evergarden, as she attempts to uncover emotions. Being a child soldier, she has never experienced emotions, and the anime follows her along as she learns them.
Story & Characters
As mentioned briefly in the introduction, Violet Evergarden is the name of a child soldier who wants learn emotions. She becomes a ‘doll’, writing letters for various people throughout the anime. I won’t delve too deep as I don’t want to spoil the story for those who have not watched it.
The latter part of the anime is certainly stronger. The first half focuses on setting up the foundations for the anime, mostly revolving around Violet at home with her co-workers. However, the end part is mainly her going to write letters for people, and this is where I found that the story really took off. Don’t get me wrong – the story was good in the first half, however improved in the second half.
The character development is done well. Watching Violet change slowly from a cold, empty killing machine, to a person fully able to experience emotions was very satisfying. Originally, her cold nature was a great obstacle to her being a doll. Eventually, over the course of the anime, this changes – she stops doing military salutes to everything, her formal language relaxes, and she displays more emotion on her face.
On the other hand, I would have liked to have seen more of the back story of Violet – for example, why was she so emotionless, and what was going on with her before she joined the army.
Whilst the anime is certainly centered around Violet, and the development of her, I found that the character development for other characters was somewhat lacking. For example, I felt that a lot more could have been done with Luculia, a friend that Violet makes. Many characters in the anime were not very developed. Pacing was also an issue here, as the short adventures meant that there was not much time to develop the characters and areas that Violet traveled to.
This being said, it did not have much of an impact as the anime is centered around Violet, and many characters were only seen in one or two episodes.
One thing that I found dubious was her ability in battle. The various clips throughout the anime show her killing large squads of highly trained soldiers without weapons, and annihilating them, make it seem as if everything unfolds easily for Violet.
This anime was a very emotional one, and despite not often getting emotional whilst watching anime, this one did tear me up a few times. Some of the scenes were brilliantly crafted, making you feel all the emotions of the person in them. Some could have been given more time, such as the scene with the playwright and his daughter.
Overall I really enjoyed the story, and the character development. Scenes were brilliantly written to have an emotional impact on the viewer. I found that whilst it was heavily focused on Violet, with many characters not getting much attention at all, it was very nice to see Violet slowly evolve.
Animation in this anime is impeccable. There are beautiful scenes such as the starry night in episode 6, and I found that there were some really nice affects scattered throughout the anime.
People were also very well animated, and the battle scenes were done very well.
I was not a fan of the intro and outro – the voice was a little grating and my opinion, and I just did not like them. I thought that the background music was okay, but did find in some scenes that it did not fit correctly. Still enjoyable.
A brilliant show, showing the evolution of something so cold into something caring and emotional. For those that like drama shows, this is a much watch. For everyone else, this is also a must watch.