「「愛してる」と自動手記人形」 (‘Aishiteru’ to Jidou Shuki Ningyou)
“‘I Love You’ and Auto-Memories Dolls”

When I first heard about Violet Evergarden and ‘Auto-Memories Dolls’ (Auto Memoir Dolls? Whatever.) I thought it was a story about robots. When I had to do research to write the preview for this anime, I found out that it wasn’t really about robots at all. But, as I read more of the light novel that is the source of this adaptation, I realised that it totally was about robots after all.

Before we dive deeper into the high concept (…that doesn’t sound quite right), let us first have a look at this pilot itself, because I think Violet Evergarden is certainly one of the most hyped anime to grace our weekly schedule for some time. And for a show like this, the question we always ask, consciously or not, is whether it lives up to that hype. That’s a heavy, and arguably unnecessary, burden for any work. It’s a big reason why I usually try to avoid the anime hype machine every season, because as far as I’m concerned nothing good can come out of it. Well, it’s good for marketing, but little else. For the show, it creates expectations and preconceptions that are probably unwarranted. For us, the audience, it saps our energy in advance to generate that hype, and then taints our entire experience of the show as we watch it. When we’re only imagining a great anime, it is perfect. An idea is formless and flawless. Reality can never match it, and it is very difficult for any show to match the hype rollercoaster. But damn, Violet Evergarden sure does try. It comes out the gate with guns blazing (in more ways than one). Not only is it, as everyone already knew, unreasonably pretty, we also jump straight into the drama of the titular Violet Evergarden (Ishikawa Yui), broken soldier, basically immediately. As far as character introductions go, this is the hard sell, hitting us point blank with Violet’s violent backstory, her action-girl credentials, her triumph, her tragedy, and of course, just enough fanservice that can be disguised as a character moment. The entire episode carried a high-strung emotional curve throughout that only occasionally allows some slack (c.f. everything I said about the three-act structure just recently). violent Evergarden wants you to know loud and clear why it has her name in the title: this is her story, and look at how much of it she has!

Curiously, this is not how the light novel starts at all. The LN started slow and episodic, with Violet further in the background, with her clients taking the upstage roles. We learnt about Violet’s character and her past piecemeal, until she finally comes into her own at the end of the first volume with a full chapter about her dark past. In fact, most of the material we saw in this anime pilot are kept out of the first volume entirely, with Hodgins (Koyasu Takehito) and his company strictly off-stage until the second. We can’t really judge the full effects of this directorial decision until the series finishes proper, but it is important to note that one was made. Some fans are purists and consider adherence to the source the height of all virtues, but more often adapting a story to a different medium requires a degree of… adaptation. So when an anime team decides to do something a bit different, it’s at least a sign that they’ve put some thought into it. So, for example, I personally feel that character development needs to be slow-rolled and question pushing Violet onto us so strongly, but I still approve of the attempt to bespoke the story to anime.

The important thing is that the adaptation team understands the spirit of the story they are adapting, and considering that we open with Violet writing a letter, I think they do. Letters are going to be a common motif in Violet Evergarden, being a story about words, emotions, and communicating emotions. You may recall that I said that Violet Evergarden really is a story about robots, and this is why. Stories about robots, in the Asimov tradition, are really stories about being human. Robots are merely somewhat deficient people, a juxtaposition for us to examine human concepts like ethics, emotions, and society. And thus we have Violet, a girl who has somehow been wired wrong, and deep down knows it. Is that not the story of every robot wishing to be human? And so, like many in science fiction before her, Violet asks: what is this thing called love?


  1. Hype train finally arrives. Watched it twice, regular tv broadcast version and then 1080p Netflix version and the difference is really visible, so I truly recommend going for best quality here, as there is no need to say, Kyoto Animation is doing it again. Animation is top class, gorgeous backgrounds and character designs, also stunning time lapses. Gentle piano tracks in soundtrack as well.

    Really enjoyed the premiere, pacing was great, we received as much information as needed at this point, properly introducing main characters. We’ll see how it develops, especially as it seems to tell the story in a bit different way comparing to LN. But as I was a bit worried with all the hype and high expectations, I am definitely calm right now. KyoAni knows what is doing here, no doubt. Solid start, the question is how much better can it get.

    1. -Be underpaid KyoAni animator
      -spend days if not weeks putting detail to every frame for their latest project, Violet Evergarden
      -all the work goes to waste in the last second by instagram filters

      How can anyone defend this?

    2. Kyoto cleared their schedule to work on this project. Their last project was Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid, which was in winter 2017. Between that and this, they spend 9 months on a single project. Netflix money can keep a studio focus.

      1. But Netflix needs an “News and upcoming titles” reworking.. What good is that when i need to look on other sides to find out what they want to air? example.. Violent Evergarden.. it was hard to find

        So, Netflix should take into account to make a better job to introduce us the upcoming Series/Films and Netflix original.. of course under an other name to easy the bandwidth of the streaming servers

        (if some of them are reading here…)

      2. Netflix aren’t on the production committee (they only have licensing rights in the same way Crunchyroll and Funimation do for other anime), and Kyoto Animation did not only work on Violet Evergarden in the past months after Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid. There were also the two Free! Timeless Medley movies and the Free! Take Your Marks theatrical release later in 2017. And on top of that there was also the Chuunibyou Take On Me movie which just released in theaters in Japan a few days ago. And if we get more technical, they did work on Baja’s Studio OVA as well. Compare that to their load in 2015 after Hibike! Euphonium, they had the High Speed movie, A Silent Voice, the Hibike! Euphonium recap movie and Musaigen Phantom World coming up.

      3. Forgot to include Hibike! Euphonium Todotekai Melody movie in 2017 as well, so they had quite a number of separate film projects that they worked on in conjunction with Violet Evergarden. Of course, some would be finished before others and would have had separate key staff members leading the project. They are just really effective at scheduling their projects.

  2. I think something needs to be said for the animation quality as well, every scene was so utterly beautiful! For instance there was a scene with the anchor being plunged into water, and it was barely there — but it was absolutely beautiful.

    I haven’t read the LN so I can’t comment on the adaptation, but honestly it felt to me that it lived to hype, and possibly exceeded it as well.

    1. I liked that moment as well. Just after I saw it (as it was too brief to think during it), my mind went back to Shirobako when Aoi is getting research guidance for young Diesel-san, and how the show’s creators wanted to capture little things well… time permitting of course.

      I’m pretty pleased with this first episode. I didn’t know what to expect. Earlier today I read the ‘synopsis’ for the show on MAL while looking for something to watch. The blurb there is incoherent but I figure that it wouldn’t hurt to at least check it out.

      Didn’t know that KyoAni was doing the show. While watching it, I did feel that it was both beautiful to look at and that there wasn’t really a wasted frame in it. I’m looking forward to more. There’s potentially a great story here. I’ll add that I think Violet’s seiyuu has done a good job this episode.

    1. In this particular case, they have two things going for them:

      1. Netflix is putting up some of the production money.
      2. They had a very LONG lead time in production (this is mostly to do with simu-dub in multiple language that Netflix is doing (for example, Brazilian Portuguese). The biggest problem with production slippage in anime production (as demonstrated in Shirobako) is time. The first two episodes was already completed 6 months ago.

      1. Violet Evergarden Production Committee:
        – Kyoto Animation
        – Pony Canyon
        – ABC Animation
        – Lantis
        – Rakuonsha

        or so @ultimatemegax says

        Pretty sure Netflix only has licensing rights. They came in rather late in the production.

    2. As BigFire notes, Kyoto Animation takes its time with each production. I’m sure you’ve already noted how few shows they put out relative to some other studios. They are able to do this by having their own monetisation model. As a relevant note, Violet Evergarden the light novel is their own IP acquired through their award programme, so they get to keep more of the money for themselves.

      1. these days its all about moving FORWARD, but i do wish they would take some of their precious time and dabble in more of that “Full Metal Panic”

        but i guess that story is over.

        BROOKLYN otaku
  3. @Violet Evergarden

    Good Start, it feels like some “Ghibli” Anime.. some kind a bit of “From Up on Poppy Hill” with someone that want to explore the meaning of “I love you”. Also perhaps some kind of after war use for ex-Soldiers

    Colorful, heart full, Music on point.. Looks like it is “fun to watch”.. nearly the same feelings like this one with the “travel to Antarctica”

    Ep 1/3 passed without problems, with warm feelings

    Copy & pasted

    1. Made in Abyss was one of the best shows last year and clearly it’s quality wasn’t and isn’t the norm, so I don’t know why you act like VE isn’t doing anything exceptional in that department. If you have to bring up MiA as a comparison, VE is already excellent in my opinion. Not saying you have to like VE, but at least don’t act like we get MiA-tier productions all the time

      1. Because they are selling it, so, if you want to make the animation a big thing, do something that we haven’t seen. And, beside that, there is nothing that I could praise in the series.

    2. The animation quality in Made in Abyss was certainly consistent throughout to say the least, but the character models certainly did not have the level of detail that is present with Akiko Takase’s designs. I get why people may find this boring. The director himself has stated that this is a show that will explore Violet’s character growth. I will say that there has been little to establish why we should have any emotional attachment to these characters, but this is only a first episode and I suspect more will be revealed on some of the other characters (particularly Claudia and Gilbert) later on. The episode structure after the first introductory episodes will likely be self-contained. I would more likely approach this as I do with other slower-paced shows.

    3. As much as I love Made in Abyss and will praise it until I’m blue in the face, I don’t think this is a worthy comparison. For one, very different shows, and on the issue of animation a lot of the beauty of MiA is in its backgrounds. In terms of animation, Violet Evergarden has a lot of frame-by-frame detail that remains uncontested. It’s hard to portray animation in screenshots alone, but consider this:

    1. There is a suspiciously large amount of blood being spilled from her wounds. How she fumbles with her new arms makes me think that she at least is a biological. Looks more like how a prosthesis moves compared to a replacement arm for a robot.

      1. But (forgot to add). She knows what is happen around her. She was direct with the House lady, that she can not replace her lost Son.

        So emotions is there, or at last social interactions. But the true meaning is an mystery for her

        Perhaps yes. She are more an “Child Soldier” like the Kids from “Gunslinger Girl”.. But that still the secret that the Anime have for us in the drawer.. and i want to see how they open the drawer for us…

        so.. i already know the destination, i am more to watch the way of her

    1. I didn’t want to be that guy crapping on other people’s parade, but since you offered yourself as the sacrificial lamb, I’ll join. Know what, I’ll pass. Nice meeting you.

      Ah, screw it!

      Finally someone articulated what frustrates me so much about the particularities of their stylistic preference.

      It’s funny how the more they try to produce these beautiful shots and fluid animations, the more it feels like shit to me. All I see is the equivalent of EA/Ubisoft with their AAA tumors preying on the medium. Thank God for all these old school series out there – I’m watching City Hunter currently. The animation is little behind compared to the wonders of Kyoto Animation, but it doesn’t need teddy bears behind 50 layers of tone filters to get me sentimental. And Saeko is much more of a milf than the Misato clone here: https://randomc.net/image/Violet%20Evergarden/Violet%20Evergarden%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2037.jpg

      PS: Haven’t seen the ep. Here just confirming whether KyoAni is still doing its thing.

      1. You are repeating your point, but we both know why. If you are going to insult someone, don’t hide behind sarkasm and polite remarks. Makes you look weak. I would expect this from an average commenter here, not the writer. I suppose it is time to leave RC and find a blog where noone hinders the true potential of my superior abilities that I’ve always come here to affirm. On a serious note though: I was here to see opinions and discuss and you have shown me I am in a very, very wrong place. Antagonistic attitude is never the right one, but you have made your choice. I have just mad mine.

        As for your point: I haven’t watched the episode because I do not want to watch it and I probably never will (and if, then only this very first ep to sample the animation lvl to see the evolution of the studio). I’ve seen most of KyoAni shows and never liked anything non-Key they produced so I have no interest here – apart from sampling the technical quality and stylistic choices, which the screenshots here are good enough for. But I’m also repeating myself, so…

      2. You ain’t going to sample animation quality from a screenshot.

        I get what that both of you implies, but that doesn’t mean that you have the right to criticize something you haven’t even tried lol

      3. @ThatGuy
        Sarcastic? Oh no, not at all, though perhaps it’s hard to tell the difference on the internet sometimes. I honestly find the fact that you have taken this time to write so much about a show you have not watched genuinely fascinating. If you wish to continue to do so, or find some place else to offer that unique perspective, who am I to stop you? I wish you the best, with no sarcasm whatsoever.

      4. You should rename your username to r/iamverysmart. It’s just hilarious and adorable how you post your pretentious bullshit in most of these comments parading that you want “meaningful” discussion then posts your opinion like their objective facts.

  4. A beautiful start. At the end, didn’t really realize why I picked this up. I just checked and it seemed quite different from the preview here. XD

    Also surprised that it was done by Kyoto Animation, hopefully they can stick to their standards throughout the episodes.

    Regarding the setting, I like how it’s in a pseudo intra war setting. It highlighted something that I think most people don’t think too much about nowadays. Just because one can read does not mean they can write. Didn’t think too much about it when they mentioned ghost writing at the start. Actually thought it was for big wigs that had “no time to spare”. Apparently it was actually targeted at the common people. The nostalgia of getting letters from someone (not some entity) that you actually know.

    Now the one thing that got me wondering.
    Auto Memories Dolls? Does that make her an automata? Have trouble believing that she is one.

    1. When I was younger, I was asked a handful of times to write letters for people. In their cases it wasn’t that they couldn’t write, per se. It was that they couldn’t express themselves well on paper (and in some cases, on paper in English) — or at least well enough to suit their purposes. There’s a cliche out there about how much of what we communicate when we talk is visual and none of that comes out in a letter. Someone used the word ‘ghostwriter’, and that is essentially why business/celebrity/athlete books are typically written ‘with’ someone. Different era of course but it got me thinking.

      1. Perhaps it’s a bit hard for a younger generation, in modern times and prosperous places, to imagine the need for professional scribes for the everyman, that writing is not a universal skill (and writing well is another thing entirely). I had grandparents who were illiterate, so I empathised.

      2. In the Past many Peoples living outside of the Cities, did not have the Money or time to visit an school. So they gone to someone that write for them.. And perhaps this is still today. just look into the villages in the “no man land”

        How many have parents or older ones that did not visit school? They surly had to hire someone to write or even to read letters for them… i know this of my own, because in my Village this was standard

      3. my Grandma did not know how to read and write, and here i am today. speaking even different language. Because my Mother gone to an village school and then move to an city…

  5. In a way I wish I hadn’t just watched Yuasa’s take on Devilman because it reminded me of what animation is really for, and one of those things is NOT for slavishly aping all the limitations of a lens, be it that of a camera or the human eye itself. Where I think people go wrong when they try to translate the experience of actually watching something in person into some type of recorded experience, whether photography, live action cinema or animation, is that they forget (or are simply ignorant of) the amount of image processing that our brains do.

    One good example of this in live action cinema is Lars von Trier and his obsession with the (unstabilised) hand-held camera. This supposedly recreates the natural movement of images that we experience as our heads move about when we stand or walk. Except it doesn’t, because the brain takes input from the vestibular system in the ears in order to precisely compensate for any movement, giving us effectively a built-in Steadicam. If we see images that are moving around and we don’t get the corresponding vestibular inputs, then the result is at best uncomfortable, at worst vertigo-inducing.

    Coming back to animation, another technique often used these days is depth of field. This is supposed to imitate the depth of field of a lens, therefore giving a more naturalistic effect and also enabling the technique called a focus pull, which is where the lens focuses first on one object (or person) and then another in order to indicate an intended shift of attention. The depth of field of the human eye is indeed very limited, especially in low light, but actually we mostly don’t notice it because of the way that the eye and the brain take in a scene. Although the field of view of the eye is very wide, only a tiny central portion is actually in focus anyway so the eye must rapidly scan each new image to take it all in. Because the eye also focuses very quickly, most of the time we simply don’t perceive any limitation to either our field of view or our depth of field.

    So, after that diatribe, I can finally talk about Violet Evergarden. It’s achingly beautiful in many ways, but depth of field is used far, far too much. Apparently all of the out-of-focus backgrounds were actually drawn fully detailed and then blurred in the post-processing, presumably to give a naturalistic effect. Well, it doesn’t look at all naturalistic to me because I think they’ve totally overdone it. What’s more, the degree of blurring should depend on how far something is from the lens focus distance, but they often seem to just be using three “zones” – one for in focus, one for behind the focus and one for in front of the focus – and then compositing these together. The end result of all this is unnatural and I’m finding it very annoying.

    As for the plot, I think it’s too early to tell. Violet is coming over very much as a Pinocchio-type character so far, so there’s ample scope for character development (as she hasn’t really got much of a character yet), but this story has been told many, many times before so it’s going to be difficult to come up with a fresh take on it.

    Will I carry on watching it? Of course, but it’s probably going to end up as the show I drop every week.

    1. Yuasa’s work and KyoAni’s work have different approaches. No one is flat out superior to the other in the medium.

      We can talk about different styles from different influential directors but it would be also pointless to compare say Imaishi’s approach to Shinkai’s. Let alone compare Okiura’s outlandish animation to any of Ghibli’s. KyoAni went with a different approach for this but when they want to play around they will play around with all the tools they have including 3D effects(Nichijou, Chuunibyou, Hyouka, Maid Dragon).

      What works for the style must go hand in hand with the show they’re trying to depict. For Violet Evergarden’s case, they were trying to go for a more realism aspect or emulate a pseudo-film like feel. It’s up for debate if it works not. Though an example of which where there is good animation but did not work for the style the series had would be Shingo Yamashita’s episode of Pain vs Naruto fight. It was definitely fun to watch and just screemed but it detracted from the whole artstyle.

      1. I wasn’t intending to directly compare different directorial/house styles, I was just using Yuasa to point up the difference between what you might call “pure” animation, which pays little regard to physical reality, and the synthesised quasi-reality of Violet Evergarden that, at least for me, has fallen into uncanny depth-of-field valley.

      2. The fight with Pain is seriously like one of the best things to come from Naruto anime and I keep re-watching it all the time. I’d be willing to argue, that the rest of the show detracted form that part. Sorry megalith, I’m with Angelus as well.

      3. Well I do understand that the post processing filters can be annoying if you’re to appreciate the 2D handwork. As of any shows of late from ufotable to A1(SAO). But like I said it is debatable if it works or not.

        Regarding the whole Pain fight in terms of animation was great but in terms of the general theme of the show but it did not warrant those looney tune-ish skits. Shingo Yamashita is one of my favorite animators. He did the ED for Shinsekai Yori which was beautiful and his style brought Birdy Decode to life. Sorry but the pain fight cannot pass as a good idea for me. When we have guys like Norio Matsumoto and Gorrou Sessha who are both on differrent side of the spectrum still stick to the boundaries of the show you have to expect the same for Shingo Yamashita.

      4. I see. I guess I’m willing to pardon style inconsistencies if it leads to something worth on its own.

        And I agree that we should not be be comparing haphazardly but also evaluate on the intentions, in which case KA style could be considered a giant success, but I feel like this is still a bit off, as the design behind the intentions should be incorporated into the judgment as well. And there I feel like we can sort of objectively compare and say that hyper-realistic animation/visuals, that KA studio is known for, is less valuable and ‘good’ than say Yuasa’s style. Raw animation has undeniably more creativity and expression and inevitably is more human and interesting.

        On the other hand in recent 3D cgi shows (Houseki, Arpeggio, Sidonia, …) there may be additional freedoms of expressions traded for the handmade animation, like camera work or choreography. But I feel these always pale to what an animation capturing pure thought can do. By that account I do look down on the route studios like Ufotable or KyoAni set for themselves. Their achievements may be technically and visually impressive, but I think they lack the humanity and expressive power that is (in my belief) the core of animation and that severely impacts how I can enjoy the result.

      5. I don’t think KyoAni really meant to emulate the feeling of a film. Just think about what a cameraman would do if this were a real film: he would have used a filter or a polariser to make the shots cleaner and boost the saturation of colour.

        To me, the main problem with the animation in this episode is not in the background (which, yes, is blurred owing to depth of field, but I’m perfectly fine with it), but in the foreground: the colours lack contrast, the palette is too pale, the scenes are too “dusty” and there is simply too much scattered light. I found all these very distracting.

        The suffocated
      6. @The suffocated “To me, the main problem with the animation in this episode is not in the background (which, yes, is blurred owing to depth of field, but I’m perfectly fine with it), but in the foreground: the colours lack contrast”

        Examples please?

        I get your complaint about the scattered light though

      7. @sonicsenryaku What are you talking about? Practically every screenshot here is an example. I’m not saying that the colours have absolutely no contrast, but that the contrast was significantly reduced and the result feels unnatural. I don’t know what the art director wanted to achieve, but when I watched that episode, I felt like either the country in the story was heavily polluted by aerosols, someone had put a semi-transparent folder between me and the TV, or I had cataract. The story of Violet Evergreen is interesting, but those cataract-esque scenes are uncomfortable to look at.

        The suffocated
      8. @The suffocated What do you mean what am i talking about? all you would literally need to do to support your argument is pick a screenshot that exemplifies your issues with the color contrast issue that your speak of? I say this because i don’t think your issue here is the color contrast (i certainly don’t see it). It might the bloom in some scenes that produces this hazy look on some of the scenes that inhibit the colors from really standing out in certain shots.

    2. @ThatGuy
      That is most certainly not how I feel about Sound!Euphonium. I think they nailed the emotions in that show. But this is the first episode of Violet, so I think it’s too early to judge whether or not they pull it off here, at least for me.

      1. I know I’m in the minority here, but thx for the opinion anyway.

        For clarity: Im talking mostly about the modern stuff. I do like older KyoAni (Key adaptations) a lot actually. Same for Ufo, like F/Z or Kara no Kyoukai.

    3. I don’t see why we must be one way or another. How can we say that one is objectively better than the other? Why limit ourselves by saying that animation is for something to the exclusion of something else when it is capable of both? For example, I do enjoy abstraction in my anime, and will rant about Flip Flappers til the end of days, but that is simply another tool in the toolbox. I will totally get behind discussions of execution, but to bemoan the aesthetic of a show because it’s not how you think anime should look like is, in my opinion, a rather fruitless exercise. Anime looks like all sorts of things, and this diversity in our medium is a thing to be celebrated.

      1. Are you perhaps reacting to my comments? If not forgive me for stealing the reply…

        Better/worse does not mean all or nothing. And many things are objectively better/worse – not everything is subjective. We are getting into the whole subjective-objective debate so let me state that I do believe there is some objectivity and universal truth in here, but that too is only my subjective opinion and that’s where our exchange looses further meaning so if you disagree, we will have to accept our differences and move on.

        Not sure I am limiting myself here – I’ve seen most of KyoAni shows and it appears to me they are mostly the same thing, is that the diversity you wish for? It’s becoming a thing for studios to have personality attached to them by imprinting a crude style all over their works and it makes me sad.

      2. @ThatGuy
        “It’s becoming a thing for studios to have personality attached to them by imprinting a crude style all over their works and it makes me sad.”
        You say that like it’s a bad thing. Why would it be a bad thing? If we use video games as an analogy, then for example, some people would like the gameplay of Bayonetta or Nier: Automata because they know they come from Platinum Games, while some people would prefer the Dark Souls formula that’s associated with From Software. In either case, people would know what to expect. It’s the same case here. People that love the visual art style of KyoAni or Shaft would like more shows from those studios, while people that don’t can look for shows from other studios instead. When it comes to visual style, diversity in studios is never a bad thing.

      3. @ThatGuy
        I was actually replying to Angelus further up. I know that our comments section often just looks like a wall of text, but in this case you can tell by the way the comments are nested.

        While you’re here, though, I wouldn’t agree that all ‘KyoAni shows’ are the same thing at all. If you mean aesthetically, I would agree with yoloalchemist and say it’s perfectly okay and natural for a studio like Kyoto Animation, with a relatively stable set of in-house staff, to have its own style. There are many studios and many talents out there making anime, and as an anime blogger who watches many shows I feel blessed that anime allows for so much artistic allowance in a single popular medium. Kyoto Animation is one contributor out of many, and while one can definitely tell the difference between the older and the younger of their main directors, or wish for more Nichijou or Maid Dragon, I think it’s fine that they continue to do what they do. And as long as it works, they probably will.

      4. @yolo

        Having a style is fine, but that’s why I exactly worded it as ‘crude’ style, although what I meant is more along ‘forced’ or ‘artificial’. It is a gimmick to gain popularity (not to elevate the work) even at the cost of being controversial. GoHands studio has their blue-green filter, KyoAni has blurs and some other things.

        Examples where the style is more lose, yet identifiable: Bones, Gainax, Sunrise… Compare TTGL and Evangelion or between Gundams. Same studios, similar styles, distinct results. I believe KyoAni is way beyond the line. But then again, people keep buying Call of Duty games too.

        Ok then.

        Pls read my post more carefully. You basically repeated what I already implied. Although, the word ‘truth’ you used is intriguing. I’m sure we would agree lots of things about this world to be truth/facts. Like Sun being a star or Earth rotating. If everything is subjective then any conversation is pointless, but that is far from the truth. I believe even this conversation is meaningful and I’m hopeful there are people (including me) that will take something from it. Did you perhaps mean perception of/or experience?

        Say I claim being an absolutist, then you, a subjectivist, can not claim for my opinions to be wrong, because you believe them to be subjective to begin with. Isn’t that the predicament we kinda got ourselves to?

      5. @Thatguy I’m pretty sure i didn’t repeat what you implied; Not trying to sound condescending here or anything, but you do understand the difference between truth and fact; objectivity vs subjectivity right?

      6. I’m a fan of Kyo ani; I’ve made it obvious that i think their one of the best animation studios working today. They have a passion for animation and understand it in a way that most studios do not, an aspect about them that i truly admire as its always oozes from their works (even the ones that are mediocre). I find their proclivity for visual storytelling and crafting simple but character rich narratives gripping and i can’t help but applaud the studio for the success they have been seeing as of late. I disagree with the opinion that all of kyo ani projects are the same as that is only true on a surface level. In some ways, that’s like saying all of Studio ghibli’s films are mostly the same (again, a statement that some have made and one i would disagree with wholeheartedly because a lot of ghibli’s productions are only similar on a surface level).

        Sure plenty of kyo ani’s shows follow a similar template (and sometimes they’re mailing it in unfortunately) but most of their good shows use the template as a way to explore a meaningful theme or idea. Nichijou (one of kyo ani’s best work) uses the school life template as an excuse to manufacture an eccentric nonsensical world in which to breathe life into it’s off-kilter comedy; all of which is an even bigger excuse to explore themes of friendship and overcoming everyday adversities. The show advocates positivism in such bombastic splendor, vomiting creativity in a way most anime do not even come close to doing in this day and age. Kobayashi’s dragon maid uses it’s cute girls doing cute things template to explore the difficulties of relationships, family, and isolationism. Hyouka (which everyone seems to praise highly all the time while forgetting that it to, uses the exact same template kyo ani is always being criticized for) is a slice-of life highschool club themed show about growing up, overcoming insecurities, finding motivation in life, and learning to take risks because that’s how you move forward in life. Haruhi suzumiya uses the high school club template to explore fantasy and sci-fi concepts while ultimately being a story about accepting the constraints of reality and making the best of life’s virtues; I could go on and on.

        Now granted, it’s rare for Kyo ani to explore distinctly different premises in the way a studio like Bones would; after all, they’re the guys who would give us something like shirayuki-hime one moment, and then immediately hit us with something like concrete revolutio the next and i love them for that. Bones is not the kind of studio to rely on the same visual or narrative template and in addition, the shows they make always seem to have something they want to say particularly within that series itself (most of the time anyway). While kyo ani doesn’t practice that kind of flexibility, again, I think what’s most important when telling stories is the thematic narrative rather than the premise or setting, which seems to be the factor that grabs the attention of most people; for good reason of course; that’s what a premise is supposed to do. Kyo ani is the kind of studio i respect for not only elevating the boundaries of their animation, but also pursuing different forms of storytelling whether taking an arthouse approach to telling a simple tale of love (Tamako Market-Love Story), framing or peppering live-action sensibilities to their compositions, kyo ani is always trying to improve the craft of animation and visual storytelling in some way, shape or form.

        With violet evergarden, I see yet another evolution in their visual mastery: their competent use of intricate mechanical design and animation both as a tool for art design and to accentuate the body language or it’s titular character is some of their best work. The storyboards here visually dynamic and punctuate many of the subtle visual moments that dominate this premiere. Facial expressions, particularly the eyes and lower jaw muscles are some of the best they’ve ever been in a Kyo ani series; body language is very prominent her as well. There’s also the hair detail in this series, which is just beautiful. Akiko takase is definitely at it again and i can’t stress how much having her in the animation director chair is such a welcome. I loved her work in Koe no Katachi so it comes as no surprise i like her here too. Color design is especially exquisite in this premiere; Ishidate taichi has always been a proponent of using color and lighting as a storytelling device. He has a good understanding of color balance/ symmetry. He knows when to saturate the colors and when to mute them for perfect shot. Some standout moments of rich color composition can be seen during the night scenes with violet and colonel Hodgins. Lastly, i think the editing here is top-notch. The beginning moments with the letter flying around reminded me of some shit Satoshi Kon would do. I want to give violet evergarden about two more episodes to see what the conceit of the story is before I commit to calling this a great series, but i liked what i saw so far and I’m definitely intrigued to see more.

      7. @ThatGuy
        All of which is KyoAni’s own distinct way of story telling I believe, just like sonic elaborated. I personally believe there is nothing wrong with their visual style. Because honestly, otherwise a certain anime movie of their own making wouldn’t have been qualified for an oscar nomination. I mean, we don’t see Call of Duty games get nominated for something in the game awards so often now, do we?

      1. >No, I found her annoying and a badly written female. I get they’re showing “Baww war machine who knew no other kindness” but it still comes off as demeaning.

        You’re actually fucking complaining that its demeaning that a child-soldier finds comfort to one dude who showed her kindness and shit? You sound like those feminists that says “Oh it’s demeaning that the male protagonist to save the female character he loves”. Get the fuck out of here lmao

      2. @JohnGwynbleidd I think what makes it demeaning is that we almost never get the opposite, women saving the guys they love. The continual portrayal of women as the ones who need rescue and men as the heroes who save their damsels is demeaning.

        That been said, I don’t think this is a problem in this anime because Violet is supposed to develop and grow out of her emotional dependence on Gilbert. There’s a reason the story puts Gilbert out of the way from the start. That gives Violet the chance to come into her own as a person.

  6. I really really hope that Gilbert is alive (but definitely sth is wrong with him – maybe he has to use wheelchair?). Its been a while since I started to ship characters so early, so pls dont destroy my hopes ;_;

    1. Being an Saber clone is not only nearly the same appearance (here its not near of anything.. No hair, no costume and such). No an Saber clone also have the same Proudness, Dignity and willpower

      So, no this is not an Saber clone.. seriously.. many thing to much in Black and white

  7. And of course, here comes the parade of detractors to not only say the show is bad (which is their opinion and is acceptable), but that anyone who likes it and says it’s good is objectively factually wrong and only thinks that way because they’re intelllectualy inferior. And that’s infuriating. Live and let live. Just like it’s okay for you to hate the show, it’s OK for us to love it. No matter how many insults or posts full of a superiority complex you write, we aren’t going to magically change our views because of some people on the net we don’t know in person.

  8. Its certainly beautiful, but i haven’t experienced any other feelings than admiring the visuals. The whole hush-hush about the major rubbed me the wrong way, id rather deliver the sad news and help Violet instead. Id say the journey towards acceptance is harder than grief.

    Now all that said. Im down for another saber clone.

    1. I sort of wonder at that myself but I don’t mind that they didn’t take that route. All I know about the story is what I saw in this episode, so I don’t really know Violet’s full nature. There’s speculation here over whether she’s even human. We do know that she has subterranean deep issues over her major and it seems probable to me that the various parties involved in handling her case know what they’re doing (or at least believe that they do) and seem to have nothing but concern for her well-being. Other than letting her take on the job of writing, nothing has been off the cuff. They’ve thought deeply about how to deal with her and have done a lot to get her to this point. I’m willing to cut them some slack on the matter.

      After all, she isn’t likely even capable of living on her own right now. She’s a bit of a head case. She lacks self-restraint. She is incredibly intense. And as I mentioned, we really only know a tiny bit about her. So, it’s worth consideration but they have my vote of confidence so far. And for what it’s worth, we’re gonna learn more about her, and likely more about Gilbert before it’s all said and done, so some things we’re in the dark about now should clear up over time. Finally, human nature being what it is, sometimes stringing someone along might be the best course to take, at least for a while.

    2. Speaking of Sabre, I always found it amusingly annoying when, in Stay/Night, she’s in the tub and tells whatsisname that it’s too bad for him that she’s completely lacking in femininity or allure, what with her scarred and hardened body. Judging just from what Benedict saw, it would have been more apt to go with the clone than the original for that scene.

      1. I agree, the depiction of her refusal to accept his death and her behavior does a great job of setting up for use her psychological state.

        It is a classic symptom of PTSD

  9. Netflix… I just don’t know what to say. Either this is only in Canada, or Netflix is starting to change for the better when it comes to how it uses its anime streaming rights. Whether or not I end up liking this show when all is said and done (and so far, I kinda do), the moment I saw this in my notifications, I immediately jumped onboard to watch the first episode just to let Netflix know that I wholeheartedly support this new decision. I’ll even rewatch it at least twice just for that. Yes, Netflix, this is most certainly the right call. Keep at it for the future. You’ll be surprised how much people will support your decision. That’s the anime fandom for you.

    As for the story here, we are certainly gonna know more as we go along, but for now, if I were to describe it in only 2 words, they’d be “sentience’s infancy”. Robots (if that’s what Violet is) tend to have some personality traits incorporated into them to distinguish them, which is of course related to how they are manufactured in each setting, which we don’t know how that’s done here yet. Violet doesn’t think highly of herself, which would of course make it more convenient to order her around. But that wasn’t the case with her major for some reason. And that has stuck with her and became the thing that pushes her forward now with her new job. And that’s all I have to say about it so far, because she’s only just starting to grow from her different kind of infancy, but I’m intrigued, if only because I’m biased towards stories of android/cyborg existentialism. Let’s see what a KyoAni flavor of that kind of story tastes like. Besides that, of course I love the visuals and the music. The music, especially.

  10. A little detail that I noticed and this is what I think. When the lady gave her the gloves and she puts them on with her mouth, i noticed that she takes like half a second longer to bite onto the glove and seemed like she opened her mouth a little wider. It seems unnatural for me but kinda reinforces her robotic nature(?). These little details is what makes Kyoani great.

    Redjuice Fan
  11. I’m confused about this show’s technological aspect.

    Violet is a “robot” right? So why does she bleed? Also, the lt. colonel guy said that she used to be a child…but she’s a ROBOT, and robots don’t grow right??

    Can someone tell me if the light novel ever went into depth on its world-building? Or did it just tell us that Violet is a robot and that’s it.

    1. You will have to wait and see. The light novels are ordered differently from how the anime is progressing. If you are desperate to find out, it is revealed at the end of the first chapter.

    2. Perhaps this “Robot” could be something like the Girls in “Gunslinger Girls”. Humans child raised only for War.. But yeah, this new Arms have feedback… But she still have problems with them, as you can see how she hold the Pen.. but she hold the letter gently or she would rip them apart..

      So, yes. She could be an Human just that nobody explained her what this pain in her chest are and such….

      1. yeah..

        Show Spoiler ▼

  12. So if she really is a robot is she like the robots from Westworld?

    That’s what they meant by automemory dolls? Writing for people that can’t write and don’t even know what they want to write? I can get behind that concept.

    My main gripe with this series and series like this is that they can make robots/robotic arms, but are still using steamships and other low tech machines. It doesn’t make sense. It’s always going to be in the back of my mind when i watch this.

  13. Here’s something worth noting: They are pulling a reverse Haruhi with this series. The LN it’s based off of has chapters out of chronological order, so you aren’t technically supposed to know that Show Spoiler ▼

    until chapter/episode 6. Here’s the order:

    Episode 1 – Chapter 6
    Episode 2 – Chapter 7
    Episode 3 – Chapter 8
    Episode 4 – Chapter 9
    Episode 5 – Chapter 1 (Part 1 || Part 2)
    Episode 6 – Chapter 2
    Episode 7 – Chapter 3
    Episode 8 – Chapter 4
    Episode 9 – Chapter 10
    Episode 10 – Chapter 5
    Episode 11 – Chapter 11
    Episode 12 – Chapter 12
    Episode 13 – Chapter 13

    “The novels are structured in a very episodic format, where each story independently depicts Violet writing on behalf of a client. But little by little, her past and her new path are revealed to the reader. Anime and novels are different mediums. As such, it would be troublesome to use the same presentation techniques in the animated adaptation that were used in its original written form. And so we reconstructed the story into a TV series. I had many discussions with the series composer/scriptwriter Reiko Yoshida-san about restructuring it into a chronological tale focused around Violet, in order to create an entertaining serial tale. The anime depicts Violet, beginning on her child-like innocent stage, and then following her as she gradually understands something important while meeting others. I think the viewers will feel like they’re watching over their own daughters as they experience Violet’s growth.”

    1. Huh now THAT’s interesting. So the anime choose to completely forgo the ambiguous nature of Violet’s person hood? Hmm not sure how I feel about that. I think leading everyone on into thinking she’s a robot the revealing the truth at a critical moment could have a large impact. On the other hand it looks like the anime is trying to tell a different story. Going this route allows them to build up Violet’s character one episode at a time and show us her growth.

  14. C&P’ing my comment from the reddit thread…

    As I was watching this premier episode, I cringe at how Violet showing her non-existent social skill and robot-like behavior (including ignoring her health), along with her increasingly frantic desire to remain at her previous life.

    Then everything changed with that flashback finally being revealed in full when Violet finally accepted the reality and started to have desires – And KyoAni showing that they can make gruesomely sad scenes as well.

    OTOH, the music throughout the episode was slightly generic, but it had its moments (especially @ the title drop, dat typewriter accompaniment), and it pretty much set the tone for the episode.

    This show should be interesting to follow for sure…

    ps. it’s been a while…

  15. This is why I don’t like Internet Hype Machine in general.

    Violet Evergarden so far is a pretty ‘standard’ late-201X KyoAni shows, but with a much higher production value and effort thrown in — as well as possibly having a better source material than usual. It still retain some weakness that they usually possess: Some questionable pandering elements, a pretty weak director compared to the rest of the crews, and a pretty formulaic/calculating story composition that is not for everyone and could became stale after a while. You should have known your opinion about them if you’re already following Japanese Animation for some time.

    However, they also have their usual strength here, possibly multiplied. Really strong production value, extremely beautiful shots, ultra detailed movements, strong individual emotional scenes, and a formula that might be formulaic but hits very well when it hits. So it’s pretty much a KyoAni formula that works for many people — but not everyone.

    The problem is when suddenly people from the entire animation suburbs came, flailing their e-peen and boasting about some specific elements that they TOTALLY dislike: Why it must be so melodramatic? Why it must be a cute girl? Why it must use a lot of post processing? Why they don’t exaggerate the animation? Why there’s not much happening in a prologue episode? Why my taste is superior compared to yours???

    It’s not like your opinion is totally baseless and people should not give criticism — I just did. However the exaggeration that I saw in many places is totally ridiculous. It’s almost like discussing “Why Gundam still use Robots that does not make any sense practially?!” or “Why this Iyashikei shows don’t have any conflict???”

    Geez, just because it was hyped by many doesn’t mean it will automatically cater to your taste. Violet Garden is a slice of life-melodrama that is made by Kyoto Animation; That sentence alone should be enough to indicate whether you most likely will like it or not.

  16. A Hype huh!? well…at least for me that i welcome “this show” with open arms, and besides not all the hype are seem to be bad, at least for me…

    it seems like the studio is getting a bit…better now, but still, I’m waiting for results.

  17. So Violet is like Setsuna F Seiei?
    Child soldiers.

    The prosthetic arms reminds me of those Winry would make for Edward.

    Wonder will they milk it with character song CDs 😛

    Doesn’t feel KyoAni but Violet has the KyoAni face, lol.

  18. I’ve only one complain about the series the stupid trope of a girl doing what she does for a Captain, or Mayor, or a person in power. KanColle did it, Twocar did it (their coach) and now Violet for the soldier who died.

    Japan, just stop this shit already.

    Syaoran Li

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