Violet Evergarden: Best of Winter 2018

Many people followed Violet Evergarden episodically over the course of the last season.  I waited for the Netflix release and watched it in spurts of three to four episodes at a time.  This is a good thing, because I could not imagine waiting a whole week for another twenty minute chunk of this masterpiece.  If it were not for the rather complete ending offered by the first season, waiting for the second part would seem like an eternity.

Violet 2

Violet Evergarden excelled at many levels.  The animation was spectacular–easily the best of last season.  I loved how well they captured the look of Old World European cities for the backgrounds.  Besides being very detailed, the backgrounds did a great job of conveying the mood: whether of a bright, sunny day in town or a dark night of death and chaos on the battlefield.  The juxtaposition of war and peace in Violet Evergarden, the greatest tragedy against the great desire of mankind, makes for very powerful tale–as Leo Tolstoy also knew when he penned arguably the greatest novel of all time, War and PeaceViolet Evergarden uses the interplay of these motifs about as well as I’ve ever seen in any anime.

Violet 6

The other strength of Violet Evergarden is using a plot type which the Japanese appear to have perfected and of which I cannot get enough of: the scarred loner trying to reclaim their humanity and to integrate into society.  No tragedy in life is as apt to produce as many scars as war, and Violet endured the uniquely tragic experience of losing the person who essentially held all the value of a parent, mentor, best friend, lover, and high priest.  You might say that Violet saw the death of Gilbert Bougainvillea as the death of God.

Violet 8

I can’t remember the last anime I watched which was so rich in suffering: every major and minor character seems to have a cross peculiar to them–whether born out of the war or other causes.  It’s hard to tear oneself away from this story where the heroine grows by helping everyone she meets with their particular crosses.  By helping others to bear their crosses, she can eventually bear her own with peace.

Violet 5

 

I ought also to mention that the action scenes were superb and that the characters stood out for other reasons than besides their pain.  The soundtrack and opening and ending songs were some of the best I’ve heard in a while.  Though the end of season one is rather complete, it left enough room for Violet’s further growth.  I’m curious to see what they do with the story in the next season.  Violet Evergarden earns a solid ★★★★★ from me, and twenty-fourth place on my top fifty list between Ga-Rei Zero and Hajime no Ippo.

Violet 9

 

Before I leave off this post, just let me tell you what I’m currently watching for Spring 2018:

  1. Megalobox
  2. Hinamatsuri
  3. Steins; Gate
  4. Caligula
  5. Dances with Dragons
  6. Golden Kamuy
  7. Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory
  8. Isekai Izakaya
  9. Libra of Nil Admirari
  10. LOGH: Die Neue These

There are too many good shows this season!

IMG_2539

By the way, the Latin in Libra of Nil Admirari strikes me as a botched.  It should really read: Libra Nil Admirandi.  The English subbers made every other word Latin, so you can throw out the “of.”  (Libra was originally Tenbin, the Japanese word for scales.)  Nil, the shortened form of nihil–nothing, is generally considered indeclinable, but the author meant for it to function in the genitive case here.  Since the infinitive admirari is ultimately being used as an adjective modifying nil, one should use the gerundive–a verbal adjective–in this case.  So, Libra Nil Admirandi, meaning “Scales of Nothing Worthy to be Admired,” is how the title should read.  All the same, kudos to the original author for trying to incorporate Latin into his original title (Nil Admirari no Tenbin).

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This entry was posted in Anime.

10 comments on “Violet Evergarden: Best of Winter 2018

  1. You and I both watched Violet Evergarden in the same manner, then: I did so on recommendation from a friend, and it substantially increased my enjoyment of the series. Glad to see you found it enjoyable, too.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Gaheret says:

    Noted! Violet Evergarden, welcome to my watching list.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. LitaKino says:

    Ahhhhh violet evergarden so beautiful I did a podcast on it and gushed my feels out. I love the concept of letters it displayed in a sentimental light which I connected with ☺️

    Liked by 2 people

    • I thought that the way they used writing letters in the story was very interesting also. I used to write people letters quite frequently until people stopped writing back.

      I’ll have to listen to that podcast.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. MIB says:

    I’m not sure what it was about this show that made me not pick it up, but it does seem to be one that is widely viewed by the anime fandom. if it gets picked up by a distributor in the UK from whom I am supplied review discs maybe I’ll find out. 😛

    And I agree, this is a good season – we share a lot of titles on our current viewing lists. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • The past season had a plethora of good anime, so I can imagine being perfectly content without having Violet Evergarden on one’s watch list. Maybe you’ll end up enjoying it more later than if you had watched it recently.

      I’m happy to hear that we have a lot of overlap again. Reading each other’s blogs must be having an influence here. 🙂

      Like

  5. I’ve noticed the Japanese tend to add the の particle even where the “of” or ‘s or possessive case doesn’t exist in the original language. I think they do this because they are treating the words as if they were gairaigo incorporated into the Japanese language itself. We do this in English too, but it’s not usually noticed, probably because it’s infrequent, as movie companies tend to always translate titles and usually pick the shortest title. I’m sure you’ve noticed by now that a number of Japanese anime with really long titles tend to get translated into short English titles when possible. For example, “Erased”, as opposed to the original 僕だけがいない街 (“The Town Without Me”). My guess is that short titles have the “shock factor” in English that make them easier to talk about and more “cool”, kind of like how Japanese use katakana for native-Japanese words just to make them more exotic-looking.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, the の particle acts to join two words in apposition. English does not have to add another word in many cases (e.g. “sailor man”), but the Japanese have to (e.g. 船員の 男 for sailor man).

      I think you’re right about why Crunchyroll went with “Erased” than “The Town Without Me.” Though, the latter title strikes me as more intriguing. “Erased” kind of stands out there in the abstract, while “The Town without Me” brings all kinds of questions to my mind. If you add the だけ part to the title, “The Town Just without Me,” it brings up even more questions. But, other people might prefer the shorter English title.

      Liked by 1 person

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