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EP. REVIEW: Violet Evergarden


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Kicksville



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
Posts: 843
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 3:19 am Reply with quote
I'm glad I went ahead and saw this show, because I get the feeling if I went by some descriptions of it I might've not bothered - I think it worked better than it sounds on paper sometimes. I do believe the order the stories were done in made a big difference, since as I've said here before I probably would've written the show off if some of the more blatantly gut punchy episodic stories came earlier (I know some people didn't care for the references to the novels in the reviews here, but I appreciated knowing the differences).

The last episode works despite being predictable in so many ways, I thought, although it does help knowing there'll be more. I hope there is a movie, and it gets a release here, and they do those freebie handouts, and instead of a mini-poster or something they give out tissue packets.
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Blood-
Aria CompanyAria Company


Joined: 07 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 5:28 am Reply with quote
This series worked big time for me, which is why I rated it Excellent. I loved the visual look and I was intensely engaged in Violet's story. I'm sure I cried in more individual episodes than any other anime I've ever watched. There were storytelling flaws, for sure, but given how much I enjoyed watching, they were easy for me to brush aside. The final shot is, as intended, ambiguous. Violet's look does seem to be one of recognition. However, what makes me doubt that it's the Major is that her look - if it is indeed he who she is seeing - seems pretty muted if it is him. Guess we'll never know for sure.
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Merida
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Joined: 21 Feb 2012
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:22 am Reply with quote
Joshua Zarate wrote:
Taichi Ishidate would likely be considered above average in any nearly any other studio, but by Kyoto Animation standards, he’s just not that good. It’s not a perfect comparison, but I personally say that he’s the Ringo Starr of Kyoto Animation.


I'm not a big fan of KyoAni's particular brand of drama, so i doubt i even have a top 5 of their anime and i couldn't name any of their directors if my life depended on it, but still, that's pretty...harsh! Laughing

As for this show, i guess i liked it more than i thought i would, but less than i could have?
Some of the episodes genuinely moved me and Violet grew on me as a character. The same can't really be said for the rest of the regular cast which seemed a bit of a waste.

I'm also still unhappy that we didn't get any more of her backstory and found the constant teasing of Gilbert being alive more frustrating than anything. While i'm sure there are ways to pull off his "resurrection" without making it feel cheap, there are even more ways to ruin it...besides, life is not fair and war even less, it may be sad that Violet will never be able to tell Gilbert her feelings, but she can use what he taught her to help others (and love others, eventually). I think that's a bittersweet but fitting ending to their relationship.
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Edmond Lo



Joined: 17 Jan 2017
Posts: 10
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 3:48 pm Reply with quote
I know I complained at certain parts of the series. But Violet Evergarden (VE) is still pure gold to me.

spoiler[
I love the show, not only because of all those feeling that it gave me, but more to how the production was done. I am not simply talking about the animation! We all know the animation was movie quality.

There are a lot of fine touches that KyoAni had put into the series to make it well ahead of the rest.

The editing was expertly done throughout show. When to do a close up. When to do wide shot. When to do a flash back. When to do a scenic view (to indicate time flies). And when they were put it all together, it provided a very cinematic view for the show.

For example in episode 1 where they had like a time lapse scene of dust to dawn sequence in front of Hodgins' company to show a flow of time. I have never seen anything like that in an anime.

Then in the last part of episode 9 when Hodgins explained that Violet did a lot of good work, and we saw flashes of the people she had affected brought an emotional effect to me for sure. Even though I didn't like the Observatory episode that much, but seeing Leon archiving his goal brought grand tears to eyes.

Everyone know the BGM are so good in this show. Some of the music are beautifully played out during various scenes, and their timing, like when to start and stop, made a hell of different. (Some people might argue the cello part where Violet was trying to choke herself was a bit too strong, but I felt it still matched the event).

Even though the OP and ED might not be the best for this anime season, they had worked so well within the episodes they were played. For example, in episode 7 when Violet ran out of the office, not accepting Hodgins explanation of Gilbert's fate. We were then presented with a wordless episode title (which is a master class itself) and the ED song kicked in. That flow of events, including the ED, had me flooded with emotion and I had to re-watch that part so many time that I had lost count. (One of the Youtuber doing reaction video commented that the song wasn't helping with her feeling, if you know what she mean.)

Talking about episode title. I just applauded how they had ""I Love You" and Auto Memory Dolls" as the first episode title while the last was "Auto Memoir Doll and "I Love You"". That bought a closure to the whole story and showed how much the production care about all the moving parts of the show.

Re-wind a bit back to episode 8 when Violet was introduced to Gilbert's maid and Violet probably bit her in the arm. In the next scene I could see marks on the maid's arm. This again show how much care the production had on fine details.

And let's talk about all the feeling and tears VE had brought me. I can't say I am an anime junkie but sure did watch quite a few. There are always a few sad and very touching scenes in other classic anime that I would never forget.

I thought it was extremely sad and touching when Alex was calling out for Euris while Delphine's ship was exploded, in Last Exile.
I thought it was extremely sad and touching when Nunnally found out Lelouch's true purpose with her brother "dying" in her arms, in Code Geass.
I thought it was extremely sad and touching when Orga was still worrying about everyone at Tekkadan when blood was streaming out of his body, in Gundam Iron Blooded Orphans.

VE was able to give me that classic feeling in almost every episodes. I mean like the farewell conversation between Charlotte and Alberta in episode 5 (with all the "I know" replies from Alberta, simply but heart warming); Violet's regret of her past scene in episode 7 (with the repeat statement of "I am not burning, I am burning"); and her breaking down in episode 10 explaining to the team about the 50 letters to the kid who lost her mother.

In episode 8, Violet said she was unable to describe the feeling when she saw the brooch with color of Gilbert's eyes, as she didn't know the word.

I think I have also lost for word to describe how excellent VE was.]
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Yazu13



Joined: 19 Jul 2017
Posts: 129
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 7:54 pm Reply with quote
I have a hard time listening to ANN anymore. Giving this finale a B- just reeks of some sort of bias, or just apathy. Some things in this world are just objectively good; this is why trends in reviews exist, and this review is not trending with what people are saying about this show. It's fine if the reviewer personally wasn't into Violet Evergarden, but goddamn, give credit when it's due.
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yuna49



Joined: 27 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 10:45 pm Reply with quote
Well I thought it was quite pretty but way too melodramatic. The whole sequence on the train was absurd. The military planners couldn't foresee that the bridge would be a strategic target? Why didn't someone just shoot Violet and get it over with? Why didn't she throw her attackers off the train rather than letting them regroup? (No, the "I don't want to kill anyone" explanation isn't sufficient. Falling off a train would cause serious injuries but probably not death.)

The one-off episodes were better than the overall story line. And I, too, quickly grew tired of the "is Gilbert dead" refrain. Somehow we're led to believe that it was best for Violet to pine away for an unrequited love rather than moving on.

That said, there were many lovely illustrations throughout this show, but visual artistry alone is not enough. The artwork pushed this to a seven for me. With more conventional illustrations I'd probably give it a five.

The first season of Hibike! Euphonium was a much more compelling story than this, with its share of lovely artwork as well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-gulRfv428
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XerneasYveltal



Joined: 09 Jun 2015
Posts: 602
Location: Philippines
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:46 am Reply with quote
Unpopular opinion:

I agree with the review of the last episode. The storyline of Violet Evergarden isn't quite so coherent if one watched all the episodes in proper order.

Yazu13 wrote:
I have a hard time listening to ANN anymore. Giving this finale a B- just reeks of some sort of bias, or just apathy. Some things in this world are just objectively good; this is why trends in reviews exist, and this review is not trending with what people are saying about this show. It's fine if the reviewer personally wasn't into Violet Evergarden, but goddamn, give credit when it's due.


Anime critics are anime critics. They're just doing their job.
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Cam0



Joined: 13 Dec 2009
Posts: 4314
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:57 am Reply with quote
Well, I thought this show was worth watching, but honestly I'm glad that it's over. There were some very strong episodes, but overall I think the show was too melodramatic.
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darkchibi07



Joined: 15 Oct 2003
Posts: 5142
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:30 am Reply with quote
Joshua Zarate wrote:
Taichi Ishidate would likely be considered above average in any nearly any other studio, but by Kyoto Animation standards, he’s just not that good. It’s not a perfect comparison, but I personally say that he’s the Ringo Starr of Kyoto Animation.


I don't know. There are specific episodes Ishidate has directed from other KyoAni shows that were quite excellent. Euphonium S2 Ep. 9, that badass Yuki fight scene in Haruhi Suzumiya, and pretty much all the Hyouka episodes he worked on (3, 17, and 22) are some of the examples. I feel Ishidate's directing chops excels when he's doing small, episode-length stories but if you give him full reigns of a TV show, that's where things get rough around the edges. Violet Evergarden is still marginally better than his other work Beyond the Boundary, but like the review says it still needs that cohesion to really bring the entire series altogether.
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hissatsu01



Joined: 08 May 2006
Posts: 960
Location: NYC
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:34 am Reply with quote
Honestly found this to be amongst Kyoani's weakest series. It's certainly gorgeous, but it's so schmaltzy. The whole "Violet is a superhuman death machine child soldier" bit that is never really explained and you're just supposed to accept never worked for me. It had some stronger episodes, but overall I found it rather mediocre.
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vonPeterhof



Joined: 10 Nov 2014
Posts: 708
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 12:57 pm Reply with quote
I very much agree that this was a show with some outstanding moments and episodes that never really came together into a greater whole. As for whether or not it lived up to the "hype", at least to me the "hype" seemed twofold: the buzz about the Grand Prize winner finally getting adapted, and the "movie quality on TV" sakuga talk ever since the old commercial for the book. While it definitely delivered on the latter, the former seemed to dominate the general discussion (besides, at this point nobody expects the animation in a KyoAni production to not be outstanding). I'll be around for whatever comes next for the franchise, but my expectations will be tempered accordingly.

kinghumanity wrote:
I have to wonder if the source material is to blame here - or rather, the source of the source material. Both VEG and Beyond the Boundary came from Kyoto Animation's own catalogue, as was Phantom World, which was also a flop.

Out of the recent critically acclaimed series from KyoAni (Hyouka, Amagi Brilliant Park, Hibike! Euphonium, Dragon Maid), none were from KyoAni's own catalogue.
If Hyouka counts as "recent" then you've conveniently left out (the first season of) Chuunibyou and, a bit more arguably, the Free franchise (High Speed, the direct adaptation of the original novel, seemed especially well received... by the very few people from outside Japan who have seen it). And I'm not sure "Phantom World" even counts as a "critical flop" in the same way Beyond the Boundary does: sure, it represents a genre and an aesthetic with lots of vocal detractors (kinda similar to Free in that way), but it was fairly upfront about what it was and didn't seem to disappoint the fans of the genre in the way BtB did. In fact I seem to recall the biggest complaints later in the show's run coming from the fans of the original books, who didn't like that the anime was packed with original content and didn't leave any time for the much darker stuff from the second book.

darkchibi07 wrote:
Joshua Zarate wrote:
Taichi Ishidate would likely be considered above average in any nearly any other studio, but by Kyoto Animation standards, he’s just not that good. It’s not a perfect comparison, but I personally say that he’s the Ringo Starr of Kyoto Animation.


I don't know. There are specific episodes Ishidate has directed from other KyoAni shows that were quite excellent. Euphonium S2 Ep. 9, that badass Yuki fight scene in Haruhi Suzumiya, and pretty much all the Hyouka episodes he worked on (3, 17, and 22) are some of the examples. I feel Ishidate's directing chops excels when he's doing small, episode-length stories but if you give him full reigns of a TV show, that's where things get rough around the edges. Violet Evergarden is still marginally better than his other work Beyond the Boundary, but like the review says it still needs that cohesion to really bring the entire series altogether.
The terms 監督 (kantoku) and 演出 (enshutsu) are normally translated into English as "(series) director" and "episode director", respectively, but, as you can see, the words are completely different in Japanese and the implied functions are different, albeit overlapping (which leads to difficulties in translation when series, like Sound! Euphonium, credit someone with the title "series enshutsu"). Look here for a simplified diagram and here for a more detailed discussion. What you'll notice is that the writing is pretty much entirely outside of an episode director's responsibility: there are a lot of cases when the episode director is the one who draws the storyboard based on the script, but the script itself is within the hands of the scenario writer, series composer, director and whoever else is in the writing room. So the ED's role isn't to decide what happens in the episode, but how best to present how it happens.

There's a probably even better example of this divide in functions within the regular staff of Kyoto Animation: Yoshiji Kigami: by far the studio's greatest veteran animator who is very highly regarded in the industry for his episode directing and storyboarding skills. He storyboarded and directed this show's episode 6 and many other outstanding episodes, like Eupho 12 and Hyouka 5. His only works as series director? The Munto "franchise", which hardly anyone other than diehard KyoAni fans is even aware of.
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CrowLia



Joined: 24 Feb 2012
Posts: 5344
Location: Mexico
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:40 pm Reply with quote
Yazu13 wrote:
I have a hard time listening to ANN anymore. Giving this finale a B- just reeks of some sort of bias, or just apathy. Some things in this world are just objectively good; this is why trends in reviews exist, and this review is not trending with what people are saying about this show. It's fine if the reviewer personally wasn't into Violet Evergarden, but goddamn, give credit when it's due.


You are, in fact, incorrect, there is no "objectively good" when it comes to art, and there are no "correct" opinions. Also, Kim's reviews are actually way more generous to the show than most of the people I follow on twitter
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