Violet Evergarden, an original anime on Netflix with 13 episodes all of which are 24 mins long. This show has some scenes of intense violence including dismemberment shown on screen. There’s also an episode that has a relationship consisting of a full grown man and a teenage girl. Though it doesn’t show anything physical, the relationship is romantic in nature which personally creeped me out (it’s episode 5 in case you want to skip it all together) thankfully it is the only one. If these things bother you to a severe level then I recommend not watching the show.
The show is set in a fictional world that has technology similar to that of post WWI (1910’s), with the singular exception of the prosthetic arms that the main character (of whom the show is named after) possess. Violet Evergarden’s whole life has been about fighting. She’s considered more of a weapon than a person, she knows nothing but war. After being severly injured and the war being over, she finds her world changed in every possible way. Now she has to live as a civilian, a daunting task to this child soldier.
She’s been placed in the care of Claudia Hodgins, a friend of the Major she served under during the war. He got her a job at his postal and lettering company. With a great of deal of people unable to write, the company provides the service of writing letters (or any document) for customers. The women who provide this service are referred to as Dolls. Violet decides to take up the profession to better understand emotions, the way people express them and why they express them the way they do. With her social skills having been formed in a military setting, it’s safe to say that expressions of emotions aren’t her forté. So when the last words she heard from her Major were “I love you.” she’s left more than a little confused.
The show is beautifully animated, having Violet travel to fantastic places and soak in the breathtaking visuals of the landscapes serves both an aesthetic choice and a somewhat metaphorical one. The show has an anthology feel to it for a while, with several of the episodes revolving around not Violet but the people she comes into contact with through her job. How she changes their lives by being their Doll and she in a way learns a little more what it means to be human. With every person she meets comes another lesson in feelings and how people choose to deal (or not deal) with them.
Though action is an element of the show, it is more of a reminder than a vehicle to drive the story. With how young Violet is and how delicate she looks, it can be easy to to forget what was her life was like before she was a Doll. When most people see her prosthetic limbs, they assume she lost her arms in a tragic accident, but we the viewers know through her flashbacks how she lost them, though the exact cause is kept unknown until later. She wasn’t called a weapon for nothing.
I’ll admit that I started watching because I thought I’d receive some high octane action, but I enjoyed this series all the same. I’m big enough to admit that one episode in particular actually made me cry, which isn’t easy for a show to do, I’m made of sturdy stuff. But if you can watch the tenth episode without feeling at least a pang in your heart then you must be made of stone. At any rate, it’s an interesting concept that is executed quite well. If you have the time, I recommend watching it. I hope you enjoy!