Violet Evergarden – What is it about?
As is clear from its eponymous name, Violet Evergarden is a story of a girl by the same name who has only known life as a child soldier following commands and being useful. After the war is over and after injuries that render her armless, she suddenly finds herself grappling for an identity in the world without war as well as finds her commanding major MIA. What she is left with is prosthetic limbs made of adamantine and a former military man, Colonel Hodgins given the duty to put her in the watch of the Evergarden family.
So far all I can surmise from the first episode is that the plot revolves around Violet’s relationship with her commanding officer, Major Gilbert Bougainvillea.
My First Impression of Violet
At first, Violet reminds you of a child, away from the treachery of the world but as the episode progresses it gives you an insight of how she has been brought up as a child soldier. She has no sense of how the world functions when we see her attempting to take her clothes off in front of Benedict. In fact, she only thinks about doing her duties and being loyal to Major Gilbert as we see her writing a report to him with her bandaged fingers.
Personally, I was annoyed at how dumb they have made the character look with no social intelligence but as the episode reaches its climax, we see her taking her first steps in the world when she requests to become an Auto Memoir Doll. This is probably the first time Violet has thought for herself as is clear from the finishing epilogue of Hodgins and I breathe a sigh of relief. To see character development in the very first episode says a lot about the quality of the plot and sets a good pace for the series.
My growing crush on Gilbert
As we are introduced to Gilbert in the opening scene, he seems to be wearing a tormented expression which turns even more pleading when Violet spots a brooch of the same colour as his eyes. As soon as I saw the brooch on Violet, I knew Gilbert was in love with Violet and I was in love with him! I have always had a penchant for characters with tormented pasts and he seems to be one of them.
The Flawless Animation
The animation of Violet Evergarden hits with its breathtaking quality. Every scene is beautifully detailed be it the colour of Gilbert’s eyes or the bird eye’s view of the terrain. Even Violet’s prosthetic arm is intricately designed by the animators.
Intelligent Storytelling Tools
There are subtle nuances to the storytelling that have me riveted to it. Like when Hodgins puts his hands in his pocket on being asked about major Gilbert clearly puts across his discomfort with the situation. Then Cattleya’s narration over Gilbert and Violet’s scenes just add that extra edge to the storytelling tools used in the anime.
The last scene of the episode is worth mentioning since it sets the tone for the anime. Gilbert’s love confession at the brink of death is needless to say heartwarming and it only makes me more curious to find out what kind of characters these are and what is that binds them together.
All in all, the first episode of Violet Evergarden turned out great. It did what exactly the first episode should do. It hooked me in and I can’t wait to Binge-watch the rest of the series now!