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Violet Evergarden – 09

「「ヴァイオレット・エヴァーガーデン」」 (‘Vuaioretto Evuaagaaden’)
“‘Violet Evergarden’”

After all the dramatics in last week’s Violet Evergarden it’s only natural to expect a powerful follow-up. Sure enough, this one’s a doozy. It’s the title episode, which in an anime named after its central character means that it’s finally time to put Violet Evergarden to the test, to answer the fundamental dramatic question underpinning that character. All the darkness and violence of this arc serve a purpose, so that we may ask if Violet manages to emerge out of it.

The assumed death of the major is a breaking point for Violet, and we can debate the wisdom in keeping the truth from her and stringing her along for so long. In hindsight, though, I think it was for the best. Maybe it was done out of pity, or maybe out of cowardice, but it’s hard to blame Hodgins too much for his lie. Violet was wholly dependent on Gilbert. She followed only his orders. He was the only person she was capable of feeling emotion over. Who could so bravely gamble on what would happen if this young girl lost her existential crutch? And it turns out, it’s exactly as Hodgins feared. Violet more or less shuts down. And this is after all her work as an Auto-Memoir Doll, all that time building a sense of self, experiencing the world, and making friends. Her time at Hodgin’s company was basically one long rehabilitation for Violet, developing an emotional core that can support the loss of the only thing she ever cared about. And even then, she almost didn’t make it.

I’ve talked much about how Violet started off as a metaphorical robot before, and that much of her journey was to turn that robot into a true human. But, in ways, it’s much easier to be a robot than to be a human. Robots are just tools, they do not have a conscience. There is no need to have a robot feel responsible for their own actions. Being able to kill without remorse, as Violet did for most of her life, is the ability of a robot. A human, though, has to suffer the consequences of their actions. When we train soldiers, we’re doing things the other way around, aiming turn them more robot and less human, to make pulling the trigger more an autonomic function and less a conscious decision. But if it were so easy to turn soldiers into robots, they wouldn’t come home with survivor’s guilt and PTSD. And perhaps Violet may have rested easier when she was still ignorant of the weight of death — both GIlbert’s and the people she killed — without having to deal with her trauma. It’s like original sin; she would not feel shame if she does not eat the forbidden fruit. But she has knowledge now, specifically empathy, which is for both good and ill. But here the other rehabilitating effect of her Doll work comes into play. With empathy, Violet has to accept that she has the power to affect other people. Killing is just a horrific extreme. But the good that she has done should have weight as well. I found the positive ending of this episode quite effective as a contrast to the fear, anger, and grief of the war we opened with. It felt good to finally see the sun again.

This is the kind of thing a finale episode should be made of, right? If I didn’t know better, I would have thought that Violet Evergarden ended right here. Resolving Gilbert’s death, reflecting on Violet’s journey; it’s the kind of introspective finish to send off a show like this. It’s even the title episode, and Kyoto Animation brought out the big guns for it: Takemoto Yasuhiro was the episode director, and he’s arguably the best of KyoAni’s roster. Yet, despite everything, we’ve still got, what, five more episodes to go. Well, there’s still light novel material I can see being brought in at this point, and this episode had some potential plot hooks itself. But even without, I think Violet Evergarden can still give more. Too often do stories involving trauma have its victims just have a big epiphany and then get over it. But it’s never really so easy, is it? Trauma is a wound. Trauma scars. Violet may have found her answer this episode. Now, we test it.

March 8, 2018 at 5:56 am
41 comments »
  • March 8, 2018 at 7:12 amWorldwidedepp

    http://randomc.net/image/Violet%20Evergarden/Violet%20Evergarden%20-%2009%20-%20Large%2035.jpg
    mmm.. my guts are asking me…

    is this more an easter egg of “the Little Prince”?

    • March 8, 2018 at 7:15 amPanino Manino

      It’s the play that her client from episode 7 wrote.

  • March 8, 2018 at 7:13 amPanino Manino

    Ciao! It’s “THAT” guy again.
    I’ll just say it ok? For me it was funny seeing how Violet lost her arms. What were they thinking?
    Anyway, there’s not much to comment about in this episode. Well, I didn’t understood the logic of some scenes, like why would Violet dream with “Shousa” repeating his brother’s words, what meant to her to attack that stuffed dog (was she angry of how chained she is by Gilbert?), and what resolutions she made to going on with her life, exactly, but… well, finally this part of the drama came to an end.
    Now there’s four more episodes.
    I have no idea how this story will continue now.
    Now I have expectations.

    Or I would like to say…
    There’s no way Gilbert is dead!
    No body, no defunct.
    And Hogdings even said that “she lost anything”.

    And I just noticed this some time after, didn’t rewatched the episode, but there’s something going on with her arms?

    • March 8, 2018 at 7:21 amWorldwidedepp

      No Body:

      - the Enemy where there first and took the Corpse away
      - The bombardment shockwave air strikes pushed him outside the building
      - Fire and Ash and the end.. Voila! your gone
      - the rumbles smashed all that was left into an goo..

      but then, how they oversaw her on the end of the stairs? the Shockwave of air did not catch her, or she was an low class Soldier and left behind to die

      • March 8, 2018 at 7:24 amWorldwidedepp

        also through experience: i would not be shocked, if the Major switched sides and can not let go of the past. because he feels like the “people trow an knife in their backs!”.. they feel betrayed from their own country.. and the rest ist WW2 history (the beginning)

    • March 8, 2018 at 4:56 pmTarage

      If you think I’m going to let you off the hook you’re wrong.

      Define “Forced Animation” in your own words without using an anime as an example.

      • March 8, 2018 at 5:37 pmWorldwidedepp

        if i am use my role playing.. “forced animation” aka Just astonishing jaw dropping animation clip to fill time.. i think what he mean is “time slot filler”

      • March 9, 2018 at 7:45 amPanino Manino

        “Wasted Animation” also works here, so beautiful, so dumb… All scenes were masterfully animated but the situation where Baioreto-chan lost her arms were not convincing. Neat magic trick, where your arms get chopped off by bullets and shrapnel leaving your clothes intact.

      • March 9, 2018 at 8:02 amWorldwidedepp

        *face palm*

        Censoring for 16+..

      • March 9, 2018 at 2:01 pmAngelus

        your arms get chopped off by bullets and shrapnel leaving your clothes intact

        The first arm was lost to close-range shotgun fire, so a concentrated burst of lead shot hits you at a relatively low velocity and smashes whatever skin and bone it comes in contact with, but stops relatively quickly so there could be little or no damage to other parts of the body. The second arm was lost to a stick grenade, which was an early fragmentation weapon that would send shards of steel flying in random directions at very high speed, so again it would be perfectly possible to lose a limb to it without much other damage.

      • March 9, 2018 at 5:20 pmPanino Manino

        It would also be possible for the shrapnel to pass through her and cut her arm in the opposite side of her body?
        But it’s just a minor detail, let’s not discuss this any further.

      • March 9, 2018 at 5:58 pmEru0

        Better to have “Wasted Animation” animated by passionate artists rather than have a waste of human life being a retard on purpose in a anime blog post not written by himself. LMAO.

        Also seems you have an upgrade. You got another ESL minion tagging along.

      • March 9, 2018 at 6:44 pmPanino Manino

        Followers! yay!
        Who is?

  • March 8, 2018 at 7:22 amPyon

    This sure felt like a finale episode. An unbelievably beautiful one, and definitely the best episode of Violet Evergarden so far. And so it’s even more intriguing with what’ll happen next, it feels like we already received a great and completed story, and now we’re getting sequel to it right away. The directing sure might be a discussable thing, some people may like it, others not so much, but I appreciate it a lot, it’s quite a distinguished way to tell the story and I think they’re doing solid job here.

  • March 8, 2018 at 7:50 amzztop

    Netflix, Violet’s producer, has released 2 new Netflix-exclusive animes this month; B the Beginning, and this Friday’s AICO Incarnation. Do any of Randomc’s reviewers plan on covering those shows?

    PS. Full episodes of both shows will be put up at once, per Netflix’s policy of targeting bingeviewers as its main viewer base.

  • March 8, 2018 at 8:32 amstarss

    “Hey we got the go for 13 episodes!! I got a GREAT IDEA–here me out! …. WHAT if! …. we make Episode NINE…. the show’s finale!??”

    “…you’re a genius! You get a promotion!”

    In all seriousness, this is yet another episode that made me cry at the end. I do think Violet getting over her trauma was a bit too quick, but I do not believe she is completely over it at all. These things take time, and this is her first step in finding out the world needs her. All the customers she helped change for the better, and the friends who want to support her, are just heart-warming to see.

    I still question KyoAni’s creative decisions in adapting their own (yes I went there) works, and I still wish we could’ve seen more customers she helped. Also, why introduce other dolls, one of which is anime-only, if you never focus on them!?

    • March 8, 2018 at 12:04 pmWorldwidedepp

      Of course this takes time, perhaps it never ends. But with this Episode she found the strength and will to move on.. You can say, she found the light in an endless dark tunnel and are walking into the light

      • March 8, 2018 at 12:06 pmWorldwidedepp

        You can say, she found the light in an endless dark tunnel and are walking into the light

        You can say, she found the courage to walk to the light that began to light her path out of the darkness

        (cheesier version)

  • March 8, 2018 at 9:23 amIncognito

    Anger.
    Bargaining.
    Depression.
    Acceptance.

    Seeing as episodes 8 and 9 are Violet Evergarden‘s most serious character-focused episodes so far (and tailor-made for watching back to back immediately after episode 7), I couldn’t help but be at a loss for words…at least until now.

    Starting with how Violet lost her arms (indeed, a round from a WWI- or WWII-era battle rifle can do that kind of nasty damage–more so a grenade), it served as a vivid illustration of how hellish the war was for Violet, even if she didn’t feel it at the time. And even though I read some spoilers from the light novel and realized that the anime toned down certain events regarding the Battle of Intense, I still felt how brutal it was.

    On the bright side, I loved the nods to the other characters from the previous episodes whose lives were changed thanks to Violet. From Oscar the playwright, to Leon the traveling “Maester” (episode 6′s setting reminded me of the Oldtown Citadel in Game of Thrones, BTW), to the happily married Prince Damian and Princess Charlotte, and finally…Luculia’s brother Spencer.

    Man, for a show that was on my “Will try out” list this season, Violet Evergarden (and Yorimoi) definitely exceeded expectations. If Crunchyroll’s Anime Awards for 2018 forget to include this and/or Yorimoi, then *eff* the Anime Awards.

    • March 8, 2018 at 11:41 pmPasserby

      Unfortunately, all sorts of great shows get overlooked in all corners. I was actually a bit disheartened that Yorimoi wasn’t getting more excitement before the season started. At least we get to feel smug when overlooked shows turn out to be good.

      • March 9, 2018 at 10:32 pmIncognito

        Just like how some characters who can be considered “moe” get overlooked with extreme prejudice in Saimoe tournaments. (And is one reason why I no longer put much stock on those things. It’s also the same feeling I’m getting with the Anime Awards.)

        That being said, if those two shows do win in the 2018 Anime Awards, it would still be an absolute pleasure to say…

        “In your face!”

    • March 9, 2018 at 7:47 amPanino Manino

      “Yorimoi” is Sora Yori mo Tooi Basho?

      • March 9, 2018 at 10:11 pmIncognito

        Aye. Yorimoi is the shorthand/portmanteau name.

  • March 8, 2018 at 2:25 pmneko_in_blue

    Such a beautiful and touching episode. I was curious when Claudia said he and Cattleya also were burning. Was she on the military, too? In one character description I found, it says she has great physical strength.
    I hope the last episodes do not ruin this series.

    • March 8, 2018 at 5:40 pmWorldwidedepp

      No, she was not in the Military.. perhaps she worked… Well fo you not find here Sexy? my guess is Red Light district or comfort woman.. but psst.. the last word is like an live A-Bomb.. handle it with care

  • March 8, 2018 at 3:17 pmHenrietta Brix

    http://randomc.net/image/Violet%20Evergarden/Violet%20Evergarden%20-%2009%20-%20Large%2006.jpg
    War is never clean. It’s always messy

    http://randomc.net/image/Violet%20Evergarden/Violet%20Evergarden%20-%2009%20-%20Large%2024.jpg
    It’ll continue to follow you and possibly break you

    http://randomc.net/image/Violet%20Evergarden/Violet%20Evergarden%20-%2009%20-%20Large%2032.jpg
    Despite that, there are those around you that’ll help you get on your feet.

    I think that’s my whole entire take on this episode.

    I really like the violin piece for her solo room scene. The music just shows her spiral into the abyss.

  • March 8, 2018 at 3:34 pmRenaSayers

    Looks like Violet is reaching epiphany and getting to the very core of her demons. Good for Violet. While Violet is leaving her regret behind we will be picking up the shard of our broken heart.

  • March 8, 2018 at 10:23 pmMcL

    Gilbert better stay dead.

    Like seriously.

    • March 8, 2018 at 11:38 pmPasserby

      I also think it would be much cleaner if Gilbert stay dead, but as others note in anime one can never be sure until they cremate the body.

  • March 9, 2018 at 1:23 amLittle Tangerine

    War has always been old people talking and young people dying.

  • March 9, 2018 at 8:42 pmFerrier

    Gilbert should have had his head blown off, or at least the bullet that shot through his eye should have continued to his diencephalon, midbrain, and right cerebellar hemisphere-basically the same thing really.

    Or perhaps he is still alive but got amnesia because of cement debris falling upon his defenseless, helmet-less head as the result of collateral destruction of the retreating enemies, explaining why he never searches for his precious Violet Evergarden.

    All that said, if Gilbert is still alive, I will feel cheated, and all the build up that has happened will be sham. Knowing KyoAni, I won’t be surprised.

    • March 9, 2018 at 10:08 pmAcerbus

      I don’t think the bullet shot through his eye as much as it deflected off the tip of his helmet, which still caused eye damage without going all the way through.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s alive, especially since there’s 5 episodes left, but it’s a hard point to sell well given the extent of his injuries and the emphasis placed on Violet mourning and learning to live without Gilbert.

    • March 10, 2018 at 7:55 amRedRocket

      The bullet was actually traveling away from him after it hit the helmet. He was shot by someone mostly behind him and they got the helmet rim not his head but something deflected into his eye.

    • March 10, 2018 at 8:11 amPanino Manino

      It was shown somewhat clearly that the bullet hit his helmet.
      He was hurt only indirectly.

  • March 10, 2018 at 1:34 amWorldwidedepp

    The Enemy with the Scar over his nose, surly had this hands on this cause of Gilbert missing

    • March 10, 2018 at 1:39 amWorldwidedepp

      But.. did he save him? buried his corpse? or dispose the corpse in many other ways or disgrace.. How knows

      But to fill the next Episodes, i think he saved him or buried him, and in the end he tells Violet trough an letter where he is.. (alive or grave)

      disgrace an corpse is an heavy sin.. in all religions

  • March 10, 2018 at 8:51 ammurialita

    I swear the animation company has ties to the tissue companies. How many boxes did you go through for just this episode?

    • March 10, 2018 at 1:44 pmWorldwidedepp

      or they have some contacts to some company that let in my room raining when i watch this anime.. i am no crying!!…

  • March 10, 2018 at 10:42 pmmegalith

    What a great episode. It definitely nailed the emotional part as if it was an ending.

    While indeed the anime took all the liberties to change and add scenarios compared to what it had in the novels, it definitely paid off in the end. Sure, they could have gone with a much closer adaptation but they would face a much difficult hurdle of tackling the story due to how it was structured. IMO it contributed a lot to the problems I had with Violet’s characterization.

    Some minor spoilers to this arc and the tones it had:
    Show Spoiler ▼

    Now from here on, it’s anybodies guess. I can see where it’s headed but considering the changes it took, chances are my hunches are wrong. Can’t wait see where this will lead to.

  • March 15, 2018 at 3:50 amWorldwidedepp

    Ep 10:

    And again, someone cut to many Onions in my Kitchen or in the neighborhood and my Eyes cry because of them.. I am not Crying!!!….

    As you can guess, an episode full of tears again

    Show Spoiler ▼

    • March 15, 2018 at 3:51 amWorldwidedepp

      i saw it on Netflix, sorry

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