This isn’t the last we’ll see of Violet Evergarden but I must say that this finale did a decent job wrapping things up.
I probably could’ve done without that opening action scene though. Yeah, we need continuity but I kind of rolled my eyes at how silly things were getting. I can’t believe Benedict’s high heels were that sharp enough to push a bomb aside. A BOMB.
It’s strange: for a story about living a free life after war, Violet Evergarden lacks serious nuance when it shows war itself. The lack of moral ambiguity, all the nameless enemies giving the goofy face contortions, freaking bombs attached to bridges because why not. It really doesn’t gel with Violet’s arc of self-discovery and resolve. The only time the war felt like war was with the flashback scenes and even then, the discussion on Violet acting as a human weapon is often summed up with Gilbert giving sad faces.
There are some solid character moments here though. I particularly prefer the anime’s version of Diethard a lot more. His grudge against Violet works in both versions of the stories but I think the anime does a better job giving depth that part of his character. In the light novel, he’s just a massive dick through and through whereas here, you do see him accept that his former “weapon” has become her own person. He still issues one final order to Violet though it’s one that’s meant to honor Gilbert’s memory and to leave things off with Violet on better terms. I do like that Violet rejects the order though as living and being free is what she’s been trying to do since the anime began. Granted, that desire is technically Gilbert’s final order but maybe I shouldn’t argue semantics here.
I wish I could say the same thing about everyone else. In the end, I can’t help but feel that the CH Postal staff weren’t given much to do in this series. Erica and Iris were pretty pointless as far as anime original characters go while Benedict and Cattleya feel horribly underutilized (and they were in the stinking book too!). Hodgins was pretty good as a character though his final appearance is really silly here. The staff went overboard with having him write a letter to his future daughter (sorry but Clara beat you to it, Hodgins). Oh well, we got another Luculia cameo. I’m happy with that (I still wish Luculia was a main character).
As for Violet herself, I have to say that the anime wraps up her arc quite nicely. No surprises here but there was still satisfaction through and through. Violet meeting Gilbert’s mother and earning acceptance from her was a pretty effective catalyst for our protagonist to fully come to terms with the Major’s death. In fact, it’s what compels her to properly write her letter to Gilbert for the airshow. Speaking of the airshow, that scene was in the light novel in some way and it’s still as stunning of an image here as it was there. It really accentuates Violet Evergarden‘s theme of people’s feelings reaching their loved ones regardless of how far apart they are from each other. Having Violet participate in the event allows for closure to her mourning over Gilbert.
By no means am I disappointed in Violet Evergarden. Having read the light novel, I knew what to expect and to be fair, this adaptation does iron out and even improve upon some of the more overwritten bits of the source material. That said, the anime can be a teensy bit inconsistent when it comes to its strengths. There isn’t an episode I’d single out as awful but there’s been some really clumsy moments here and there, be it something like Violet skipping on water or just themes not getting the gravitas it deserves. Still, whatever flaws I may find with Violet Evergarden, it was still a worthwhile ride. There are some incredible flashes of emotional brilliance (Episode 10 is as perfect as I’d hope it’d be for example) and in general, very little about this anime is forgettable to me.
As mentioned at the beginning of this post, there is still more Violet Evergarden to come. There’s an unaired episode will be included with one of the Blu-ray/DVD releases and KyoAni also tweeted out that a new project has been greenlit. I can’t say I’m surprised that there’s more in store. Whatever the disc sales numbers entail, it’s safe to say that the buzz and reactions to Violet Evergarden has secured its status as a hit. I’d be shocked if this show ultimately tanks. Whatever that new project is, I look forward to seeing more of Violet Evergarden.
Thanks for reading!
Violet Evergarden is officially available on Netflix.
For more Violet Evergarden posts, check out the show’s archive page!
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