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Violet Evergarden – 08

I spend a fair bit of time discussing the differences between the Violet Evergarden anime and light novel here, mostly because I’ve read the LN and that’s my perspective. Can never have enough material around here and the first rule of writing is, ‘write what you know’. A point I always need to repeat, though, is that different is not necessarily the same as wrong and an adaptation should not aim to be simply a transliteration of the source. A lot of anime fans and even some anime producers seem to look to adaptations to reproduce the same experience as the source when mediums and subjectivity make that practically impossible. For example, when I was reading the LN my internal voice for Gilbert was more German and stoic (and I may have overlapped him with Hilscher from Gunslinger Girls at some point), and I was surprised by his portrayal in the anime. But that’s okay. Adaptations should change between mediums. The Greek myth of Pygmalion, Pygmalion the play, the musical My Fair Lady, and the rom-com Pretty Woman are all very different experiences, and we are all richer for it. Or perhaps consider the comic book hero movies that are popular in Hollywood right now; rather than adapt one particular issue, they work best when they work to establish a separate movie continuity of their very own. Actually, these comic books are a great example in general; each comic writer brings their own interpretation of a hero, and each artist will bring their own style and aesthetic. Rather than quibble about a ‘source’ Batman or Spiderman, discussion is better spent on being true to the ‘spirit’ of those heroes instead.

With that in mind, let’s talk about this week’s Violet Evergarden. Finally, we’re given an extensive view of Violet’s past and it’s quite a stark difference from what we’ve been accustomed to in this setting. This is the kind of juxtaposition that anime does well. Violet Evergarden has always been visually stunning in all respects, with a setting filled with scenic cities and grand vistas, this episode was, in contrast, dark, violent and claustrophobic. We have this juxtaposition within the episode, too; Gilbert wanted to keep Violet at his idyllic country estate, far from the fiery fields of war. Such is the strength of a visual medium compared to a novel, being able to create such powerful imagery even within a single shot.

A good portion of this episode — more or less all the flashbacks to Violet’s time in the army — are based on the final chapter of the first volume of the LN. It serves something of a different purpose there. In the LN, the entire chapter was devoted to Violet’s past. It was, in essence, a pay-off chapter where, after lots of little clues about Violet’s circumstances scattered in previous chapters, the full drama is unfolded before us. This reflects the approach of the LN, where the character of Violet was played largely as a mystery, making the pay-off chapter the ‘reveal’. In the anime, though, Violet’s past has mostly been revealed to us in pieces already, and in this episode it’s more a matter of putting those pieces together. Therefore, there is a greater emphasis on drama. Either way, though, this focus on Violet’s past, as well as Violet’s confrontation of it, marks a turning point in both the plot and for Violet. Thus far, even though Violet has been making leaps and bounds in the development of emotional range, she has still been — I don’t want to say one-dimensional, that’s the wrong way to put it. No, she’s not one-dimensional, but she is narrow, even stunted, having imprinted on Gilbert and making him her sole obsession. Even all her work as a Doll — what lead her to all her development — revolved around her obsession with the major. So despite some doubt, it’s perhaps for the best that she comes to terms with Gilbert’s death sooner rather than later. How else is she going to leave the nest? Yes, I know Gilbert is technically only MIA, but let us put him to rest. This parting is something Violet needed, and we shouldn’t cheapen it.

It’s this turning point, I think, that will put all the episodic adventures of Violet Evergarden into perspective, as well as justify all the shuffling the anime has done to the LN. Before, Gilbert was Violet’s entire world. But travelling around the continent, meeting and helping other people as an Auto-Memoirs Doll, will hopefully expand that world. We’ve had many stories both about parental relationships and loss thus far, and I can say that we will have even more. Violet helps a lot of people. And I’m sure that, in a way, they helped her as well.

March 1, 2018 at 7:49 am
38 comments »
  • March 1, 2018 at 7:55 amstarss

    Everyone loves a good war drama.

    Though the feed I was watching have highly compressed, which does not look good for a camera shots with tons of dark shadows.

    • March 1, 2018 at 1:53 pmURGH

      Except it fails miserably as a war drama, since Gilbert continuously acts like an imbecile instead of a competent frontline officer who supposedly survived the whole war(almost, lel). And for what Violet does there is not enough disbelief suspension on the whole planet.

      • March 1, 2018 at 6:08 pmPasserby

        Oh, the asteroid miners must have hit a brand new vein of suspension of disbelief. This episode didn’t really bother me.

      • March 1, 2018 at 6:18 pmPanino Manino

        “competent frontline officer”?
        I got the feeling that he got his high patent because of his social stand, not by competence (like Hodgins). And he did well enough, it’s just that sometimes people on frontlines are hit by bullets.

  • March 1, 2018 at 1:16 pmPanino Manino

    Can’t say that I saw any forced animation this time…
    Well, nothing that we still didn’t knew but it’s good to finally see. And like Violet I can’t accept that Gilbert is dead, not until I see his body.
    Anyway, really beautiful episode, visually. I noticed that they are associating Gilbert with fire and Violet with water, and using both elements to show their emotional state. And how the hell they animate water that way? It’s so perfect that makes my eyes teary…

    • March 1, 2018 at 1:20 pmTarage

      Please, define for me what you mean by “forced animation”.

      • March 1, 2018 at 2:50 pmURGH

        It`s a retard speak for “me no likey”.

      • March 1, 2018 at 3:17 pmSDFGS

        Please don’t open this can of worms. If you need answers look at the previous episode comments because its there. I guess its going to be there thing now to be sitting in front of the computer with their fedora; sipping tea with an evil persian cat on their lap and stroking their mustache going “Hmmmm….I wonder if I can find any forced animation that’ll take me out of this episode.”

      • March 1, 2018 at 5:11 pmTarage

        No, I’m going to insist on this one. Surely someone who uses a term such as “forced animation” can give said term a meaning. I’m not even asking for THE definition. I’m asking for HIS definition. Please, in your own words, tell me what “forced animation” is. And you are not allowed to simply point at an anime and go “this has a lot of forced animation”. Actually tell me what you mean. Use words like a grown up.

      • March 1, 2018 at 5:51 pmmegalith

        Someone has already pointed this out. The guy is obviously stupid. Hopefully it’s just acting. Nevertheless just don’t ask and move on.

      • March 1, 2018 at 6:36 pmPanino Manino

        I was tempted to say “whatever triggers you”, but why not?
        This page doesn’t exist on a vacuum, I already talked about this last time.
        This anime is very pretty and some scenes are breathtaking, but last episode, and episode that didn’t clicked to me because of how rushed it was, I thought that the way the jump scene was animated and portrayed distracted from what happened there. Made me think, “it’s just to look beautiful and poetic, or Violet really walked on leaves and water?”. I still don’t know the answer, if I should take what I saw there and what she said literally or not, because of the way that scene was animated.
        So when I came here thinking about how to talk about this I remembered those words and began with them to “break the ice”. Too bad if people are taking this so absurdly serious and have no humor and choose to ignore every other single letter that I wrote but shikata ga nai I guess?

        I’m not a “fedora type”, I don’t even own a hat of any type, but coincidentally I’m now drinking green tea (after watching Yuru Camp), just saying in case you’d like to know. And in view that some already know me well and how retarded I am, a parting gift, “Force Animation”.
        Peace and Good Vibrations.

      • March 1, 2018 at 7:08 pmEru0

        TL;DR

        The above statement is basically what URGH said. Just save you guys some time. No need to thank me.

      • March 1, 2018 at 11:27 pmkollie

        I find it disingenuous when someone uses the phrase ‘forced animation’ to criticize an anime, as if something being well animated is something to fault (as that is what the phrase alone seems to suggest). However, depending on the context of their misgivings, their criticism may be entirely valid, just not phrased accurately. For example, a sequence can be animated in such a way that a character over-acts or does not mesh well within the context of the scene. A scene can be very well animated, but it can have unintended impressions on viewers (like in the case of Panino Manino, where they were left confused as to whether Violet really made steps on the lake or if it was an exaggerated shot interspersed in a montage of Oscar’s daughter to emphasize on a certain emotion).

        Additionally, just because one cut of an episode is better animated than another doesn’t mean that it is ‘forced’. A better animated sequence is more than likely so to emphasize on certain aspects on that sequence, to signal a higher level of importance of that scene. You wouldn’t say an fight scene is ‘forced animation’. If the complaint is that one seemingly less significant sequence is better animated that another, then the complaint should be that the animation is inconsistent in its quality (with the significance of each scene taken into consideration).

        Like others have said, the phrase itself has slowly become a meme, and Kyoto Animation’s shows tend to be easy targets to bait people with the phrase, as their shows are generally consistent in animation and they have a solid fan-base. I don’t think animation can be described as ‘forced’ nor is it a criticism at all. People just need to ignore it and not take the bait.

        However, I do have problems with some of the animation in this episode. Not that they are poorly animated, but the action sequences didn’t leave much of an impression to me. I find action sequences animated by Kyoto Animation to generally feel floaty and the quick cuts don’t really help with it either. But that’s just me.

      • March 2, 2018 at 4:54 ammegalith

        You have to know where the term stemmed from though to know why it’s not accepted. People started spamming this meme during Nichijou blaming KyoAni’s interpretation of the skits to as “Forced Animation”.

        Also I understood well what he was trying to say but to peg it into “Forced Animation” is incorrect. The problems that he may find stems from something else.

        These animation do not get forced. It has to go through so much screening before it passes into the final product. So how the hell would they force an animation?

        A lot of things can be at fault here as to why one scene can fail. Quality Checking by the Animation Director, Storyboard, Framing, editing, post production effects(people complained about the filters in the earlier episode), episode directing, etc, etc.

        Now that you know there are a lot of things that are needed to express a scene can you at least see how dumb “Forced Animation” as a way to describe a particular scene that you didn’t like?

        Mind you that the terms I said are misused by a lot of people but at least they can be specific enough to know what they don’t like without resorting to a meme word that spawned from stupidity.

      • March 2, 2018 at 7:40 amPanino Manino

        @megalith
        Of course that “forced animation” is incorrect, of course, but language is fluid, the world is broad, meanings vary. The word triggers you because where you are you saw people using the word in a particular way, and “seriously”. But you can use the same words with an opposed effect. That’s my case, when I use “forced animation”, especially when talking about KyoAni, I’m parodying those people. If you don’t get it I understand, communication is hard, more often than not we misunderstand each other, be insisting on not understanding/accepting even after the other person explain to you in more detail? That’s also stupid.
        It’s ridiculous having to read these attacks when I’m “fighting on street” people talking shit about KyoAni’s works.
        But jokes on me now, it’s karma. Get this extra “forced animation” and do what you want with it.

        @kollie
        Something like that, that’s the context where I came to know this meme.
        “Why is this particular scene so absurdly well animated when the others are so subpar? They should have put more effort on that or that one scene”. That’s never the case with KyoAni though, they’re known for consistency. And I’m happy to see with Yuru Camp that other’s can achieve this level of good animation and consistency.
        Back to Violet, I still don’t know what to think about this story and character. It’s mystery, and this episode didn’t helped. There’s something odd about Violet, she looks to have much more strength than a malnourished child should have. I can’t decide if this is just “typical LN chuunism” or something else.

      • March 2, 2018 at 8:17 ammegalith

        My god the contradiction between your statements and what you said in ep 7 is astounding. So like Eru0 said, TL;DR.

        That wasn’t meant for you but to humor kollie’s question.

        PS: Initial reply didn’t attach to this chain of replies. Sorry about that Passerby.

      • March 2, 2018 at 4:34 pmTarage

        @Panino Manino you failed to answer my question. Without using examples, explain to me, in words, what “forced animation” is. It’s simple. You are defining words you are using in conversation. Or are you so stupid that you can’t even do that? Shall I define stupid for you? Someone who is both ignorant of facts and refuses to learn. See, was that so hard?

        Define. Your. Phrase.

      • March 2, 2018 at 4:37 pmTarage

        Actually, you know what? I understand now. English isn’t your first language is it. No wonder so many of your statements are grammatical nonsense.

        “It’s ridiculous having to read these attacks when I’m “fighting on street” people talking shit about KyoAni’s works.”

        That sentence makes no sense.

        “And in view that some already know me well and how retarded I am, a parting gift, “Force Animation”.”

        Again, an abomination of words vomited out. How about you actually learn the language before you regurgitate it?

      • March 2, 2018 at 4:39 pmTarage

        Surprise surprise, your website isn’t in English.

        Go home.

      • March 2, 2018 at 7:32 pmCrush

        It’s the animation equivalent of ‘overacting’ or ‘hamming it up’. Bam. Now remember it for next time, kid.

      • March 2, 2018 at 10:39 pmkollie

        @Tarage

        Your frustration is understandable, but I feel that your hostility is slightly unwarranted, despite Panino Manino’s controversial statements about animation. You may disagree with them, (and in truth, they may be wrong) but I find it counterproductive to belittle them because you believe that English is their second language (the fact that English isn’t their first language shouldn’t even be relevant here, as even people who speak English as their first language misuse the phrase).

        And Panino Manino has given an example of what they believe ‘forced animation’ is. You may disagree, (and I do disagree with how they’ve framed their criticism), but hurling insults does not drive a discussion forward. I think it has been established, even by Panino Manino themselves that the phrase ‘forced animation’ has become flexed to the point that each person has their own definition, and is a phrase that probably shouldn’t be used when describing criticism that they have with the quality of animation.

      • March 4, 2018 at 11:54 amTarage

        No, he did not. He used the show as an example, something I said NOT to do.

        Frankly if he’s going to use phrases he should actually understand them and be able to articulate them if he is going to be as toxic as he is. So yes, his complete inability to speak English directly impacts this. Hence, he should shut the hell up.

      • March 4, 2018 at 12:55 pmmegalith

        This discussion is going far too meta at this point.

        So to use Violet’s premise at this point, the show focuses on the word “Love” to which Violet tries to decipher due to it having different meanings. It all depends on the context.

        So if we apply the same thing here, it would’ve been acceptable if the person wasn’t clueless about it.

        To quote what he said in ep 7:

        “And I have to say, Violet jumping over the lake was the definition of “forced animation”, and this looks like the one time when I can say this without being a “meme”. For what I understand Violet really indeed walked on water. But because of the way the scene is animated like so many others we may think that there’s nothing unusual there, it was just one more pretty scene. Again, KyoAni trying so hard that it detracts.”

        So if we go by what he said he isn’t clueless about it but uses the word callously. Now we’re seeing him backpedal and saying that it can many things to which I say is a very convenient scapegoat if you misuse a word.

        To drive the point further here’s an example of a trend in Japan(Manji Manji) regarding particular symbols or icons that were lost in translation due to an event. It can be taboo for others, but it can be meaningless to others. Simply put, the difference here is that people in this example are oblivious to it which you kind of easier to forgive given that they never had a stronger stigma against that symbol. However, they are also not in the wrong here since the symbol itself is used in temples and also is a originally a symbol of peace. If you try doing this in front of a German who might be sensitive to this, chances are, you might get sacked in the face. Make a Hitler joke in a bar in Germany and you’re going to find yourself in an interesting place.

        But I digress, this thing doesn’t have to go on any further and I think I’ve driven the point of CONTEXT within words. Words don’t get different meaning “Magically” just because you said so. They are used by people to express an idea which other people can understand.

        The TL;DR version:

        Without unreasonable doubt, he knew the meaning behind the shitty meme and he used it callously or in a wrong way. To add to this, he tries to feign ignorance or twist the words saying it has a different meaning for himself is just him trying to find a convenient scapegoat for his stupidity.

      • March 6, 2018 at 3:36 pmTarage

        “Without unreasonable doubt, he knew the meaning behind the shitty meme and he used it callously or in a wrong way. To add to this, he tries to feign ignorance or twist the words saying it has a different meaning for himself is just him trying to find a convenient scapegoat for his stupidity.”

        Did you miss the part where I said I wanted him to define it, in his own words, WITHOUT USING VIOLET EVERGARDEN AS AN EXAMPLE? Here, let me quote it for you.

        “No, I’m going to insist on this one. Surely someone who uses a term such as “forced animation” can give said term a meaning. I’m not even asking for THE definition. I’m asking for HIS definition. Please, in your own words, tell me what “forced animation” is. And you are not allowed to simply point at an anime and go “this has a lot of forced animation”. Actually tell me what you mean. Use words like a grown up.”

        Explain what it means without using X anime as an example. It’s not hard if it’s an actual legitimate term one can use. Hell, I didn’t even ask for THE definition, I asked for HIS definition. I want to know what HE meant. But he can’t even speak English well enough to articulate that, so it’s pointless.

        Be sure though if he shows up with his bullshit next week I’m going to be on him like stink on shit.

    • March 1, 2018 at 1:21 pmWorldwidedepp

      The last part:

      Perhaps the technique from Fate/Stay Night UBW stunning Pictures and animations got somehow into this Anime. I would look for the names of the animators and such, that worked also in the fate/Stay Night UBW and now here

      • March 1, 2018 at 1:24 pmWorldwidedepp

        also Garden of Words, has also stunning water animations. But i think they used some kind of “rotoscope”? (did i write it right) and some layers of cgi and real water… Well, Hibike! Euphonium salutes you

      • March 1, 2018 at 2:36 pmPanino Manino

        The techniques may be similar, but from what I know KyoAni prefers to do most of the work in-house, and they had plenty of time to work.

  • March 1, 2018 at 2:58 pmneko_in_blue

    I really dont think he is dead. He was probably taken by someone, has amnesia or he is just feeling too guilty about his acts on war to return.
    When they shot his face I was like “DAMN how didnt he die right away?!”
    I still wanna know how Violet lost both of her hands, hopefully the 9th episode will continue from that.

  • March 1, 2018 at 6:01 pmmegalith

    These episodes without titles are messing up my formatting.

    RIP. Well it’s part 2 next week. Gonna expect Hodgins to save violet from that emotional pitfall. From here on, I don’t think we’ll be seeing anymore clients as it seems that the story has shifted from Client’s perspective to hers. There’s still some things that need to be filled. Though we see Hodgins playing a role in this episode, there’s still more to it as to how Violet actually came to the Military. Not to mention, Dietfried’s relation to Violet.

  • March 1, 2018 at 9:50 pmrandom viewer

    So she did know of the major’s address… she’d could have gone back sooner??
    http://randomc.net/image/Violet%20Evergarden/Violet%20Evergarden%20-%2008%20-%20Large%2018.jpg

    • March 1, 2018 at 10:51 pmmegalith

      Could be. As far as we know, Violet’s intellect is remarkable. She remembered Leiden’s map(or at least the city) in ep 1 in such a short time to confidently make deliveries immediately.

      Remember that Hodgins told Violet that Gilbert left her in his care. She also recognized Hodgins’ authority. There is also a sense that she must fulfill Gilbert’s words at that time which was for her to live her life and be free.

    • March 2, 2018 at 1:42 amPasserby

      Judging by the unconventional route VIolet took, it didn’t seem like Violet knew exactly how to get to Gilbert’s estate, or it’s too remote to casually drop by. My take was that she had to do some work to hunt down the location.

    • March 2, 2018 at 5:43 amricz

      She didn’t get an order to return to her major…its simple as that

  • March 2, 2018 at 8:10 ammegalith

    My god the contradiction between your statements and what you said in ep 7 is astounding. So like Eru0 said, TL;DR.

    That wasn’t meant for you but to humor kollie’s question.

  • March 2, 2018 at 10:30 pmonion warrior

    Not my favorite episode though. I prefer a client centric stories like the ones we see from the first PV but who am i to say. ¯\_(‘x’)_/ ¯

  • March 3, 2018 at 10:10 amHenrietta Brix

    http://randomc.net/image/Violet%20Evergarden/Violet%20Evergarden%20-%2008%20-%20Large%2025.jpg

    Ah yes, the obligatory Germanic uniform. Can’t miss it for the world.

    I never knew that Hodgins was a Leutnantoberst…

    Damn my inner Wherboo came out this episode

  • March 8, 2018 at 3:21 amWorldwidedepp

    Ep 09:

    - I finally found the courage and time to watch the Episodes i missed so far
    - Episode 09, you will need and “cry pass” contrary with your favorite local store for handkerchiefs
    - the sound of the “old men” has so an strong impact, that perhaps they did not know themselves. i am no psychologist, but i bet he was also an important stone for her
    - good solution in the end of this Episodes, everyone has burnings on their body. Keep living, because the “younger” generation needs you as an Lighthouse, protector and just be there for them, in happiness and sadness
    - i have flashbacks from my time at animesuki, when i wrote something similar. “Do not poison the roots of the New Flowers!. Let them make their own decision”.. something like that, i forgot what anime i was talking about

    Glad i watched this episode. it still is up to date

    • March 8, 2018 at 3:36 amWorldwidedepp

      - Time flies.. My Animesuki forum account is still alive (not under the RandomC avatar-name) and my first posting was 14-Feb-2006 and my last was 03-Feb-2010

      I am feeling old…