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Ginko: Violet Evergarden

Discussion in 'Anime Reviews' started by Ginko, Apr 7, 2018.

  1. Ginko

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    Synopsis
    Orphan and child soldier fresh from war, Violet returns to her home country of Leidenschaftlich (meaning "passionate"). There, she recovers from her injuries and is handed off to the retired Lt. Hodgins, who helps her reintegrate into society. Hodgins takes her to the household Evergarden who welcomes Violet to stay with them.

    She begins work as an "auto memories doll", essentially a service that transcribes letters for public customers. Violet wanted the position to help her understand the parting words of her former Major as well as the confusing feelings she's had in his company. Knowing little else besides military life, her time with the dolls exposes her to a wide range of circumstances and the emotional underpinnings that go with them.

    Impressions

    Like Full Metal Panic's Sousuke Sagara, who was also a child soldier, Violet is emotionally stunted. She has no understanding of others' feelings, takes everything literally, and is very direct when she speaks. While the former lent itself to hilarious and awkward interactions, Violent Evergarden swings in the opposite direction towards the tragedy of a young girl so thoroughly denied her humanity.

    What's immediately apparent is the anime's production value. Violet's eyes practically look like they're made of glass at times, coloring is really pleasant, and backgrounds are highly detailed. In short, it's just really nice to look at. Similarly, an orchestral soundtrack strikes the right mood and is gorgeous to boot.

    While I was prepared for an emotional narrative, I was surprised at the breadth of material it tackles: everything from terminal illness, dealing with loss, long-standing relationships, to making a new life from a tragic past. If you've got a soft spot, Violet will probably find it.

    Drama intrinsically sets a high bar for writing and vocal performances. If the script is awkward or too forceful, or if the actor can't believably portray the character, the whole thing falls apart. A lot has to go right in order for the payoff to hit home. I'm happy to report that while not every episode is a roller coaster, Violet both writes its dialog well and the acting is convincing. Some of the heavier moments are particularly striking, where you could plausibly imagine the actors are messily crying on themselves.

    Who is it for?
    Violet Evergarden is one that should not be missed by any drama fan. It knows how to pull you in and tickle those heart strings. Its thirteen episodes will go by in a flash, and the journey is one worth taking.
     

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