Friday, November 23, 2018

Anime Recommendation: Violet Evergarden

If you really want to cry, watch Violet Evergarden.

Violet Evergarden was probably one of the most anticipated anime of 2018. Unfortunately, the anime came out in the winter season of this year and had to compete for attention with other hyped up series like Devilman Crybaby and A Place Further than the Universe. Violet Evergarden also ended up on Netflix, so anyone in the United States who wanted to watch it legally had to wait until the season was over. I actually didn't start watching this series until the middle of summer.

By the time I got around to watching Violet Evergarden, I just heard that the series was disappointing and that it might have looked pretty but that the main character was bland. Those early reviews were part of the reason why I wasn't in a rush to start watching the show. Fortunately, I did watch it and after the first few episodes I was impressed by Violet Evergarden and thought that I was watching something really special. By the time I finished the series, I was in love with Violet Evergarden and couldn't believe that there were people who didn't like it.

Violet Evergarden takes place on the fictional continent of Telesis after a brutal civil war. The main character is Violet Evergarden, a child who fought in the war as a skilled and loyal soldier, and after the civil war she was found wounded and lost her arms. She becomes an auto-memory doll, a writer that transcribes peoples thoughts, feelings, and words, into letters and other documents.

Violet is a girl who grew up following the orders of others, fighting and killing whenever she was commanded to fight and kill. Once the war is over, she is has lost her purpose and the man who cared about her and led her in battle. As an auto-memory doll, helping others express what they feel in their hearts, Violet learns who she is without a war to fight and learns the meaning of love in all of its forms.

While Violet does start off as cold and emotionless, what makes the series such a joy to watch is seeing her learn about love and how to express the feelings that she felt at the end of the war. While it's cool to see flashbacks where Violet is ruthless killer who just cuts through her enemies like a hot knife through butter, the real heart of the series is when Violet travels as an auto-memory doll. The people that she meets and the places that she travels, all have a positive impact in shaping her character and she has a positive impact on all of the people she meets. There were many times throughout the series where Violet and her journey brought me to tears.

Not only is Violet a great character in a great story, Violet Evergarden is also a visually beautiful anime with just stunning and fluid animation. Even if you hate a kuudere like Violet and you're not really interested in heartfelt stories, I think you can still appreciate the beauty of the series. The whole show is like a painting in motion. Sure, you can pause and enjoy some amazing shots, but the series is great when it's in motion.

So if you're looking for an anime to binge on Netflix, or if you're in the mood for something gorgeous to cry about, you should watch Violet Evergarden.

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