I must say, some of my favourite scenes in any given episode of Violet Evergarden are the travelling transitions. Violet Evergarden has some gorgeous backgrounds and beautiful music, and while it has turned out to be a dialogue heavy show I feel it is strongest when it indulges in quiet contemplation.

If course, there’s more to anime to art and sound, so let’s talk about theming. Starting from last week we’ve been moving away (though not completely) from anime original content and adapting more straight from the light novel. This episode is based on the first chapter of the LN. The chronological shuffling the anime adaptation has done, though, means that it can’t really be a 1:1 transliteration. In the LN, this first chapter was an introductory one, easing readers into the setting, the concept of Auto-Memoir Dolls, and what they do. Violet was a secondary presence compared to Oscar, he being the one with all the issues. In the anime, we’re now more than half-way through the season, and here Violet is a larger role. But the underlying themes should still be the same. You will no doubt have noticed that Violet Evergarden deals with parent/child relationships a lot, and the tale of Oscar is no different. And it also frequently deals with loss; last episode saw a child losing their mother, here it’s a father losing his daughter, and considering Violet’s circumstances we’ll see plenty more of loss in every form yet. But what sets this episode apart is that it is, for once, not about writing letters. Oscar is writing a play, fiction. Recall that this was the first chapter of the LN, and perhaps it was, in a self-indulgent way, trying to make a case for itself. After all, all fiction are but sets of well crafted lies. Before, the letters Violet helped write were an attempt to express a personal truth. But for Oscar, it is a search for a truth, an attempt to find some meaning in tragedy.

Consider this: why does Violet, and eventually Oscar, insist that the play have a happy ending? That its heroine returns to her father, while Oscar’s daughter did not? I know I sometimes rant satirical on happy endings, but this could be a time to seriously consider whether one is important. Oscar was writing a play for children, so perhaps it’s natural to assume that there will be a happy ending, but must it? I am reminded of one of the works of Maurice Sendak, the esteemed artist and author of Where the Wild Things Are. His dog was old and dying, and so he decided to write a book about her. In that book, the dog leaves the house on an adventure, gets lost, and dies. And, appropriately to our discussion of Violet Evergarden, the dog leaves behind nothing but a letter to her owner. It is not, by any measure, a happy ending, yet it was as much a children’s book as any other Maurice picture book. Are children incapable of understanding loss? Should they be sheltered from it? But fiction is how humans, creatures who have told stories before the dawn of civilisation, grapple with reality. It’s not like childhood is without fear, sadness, and uncertainty. Where better for children to confront these heavy issues than the safety of fiction?

Which brings us to Violet, who is very much mentally a child. In regards to the major, she has been sheltered from the truth. Was it right, to have hoped to spare her the pain as long as possible? Or should we confront the fact that, perhaps, her story is one where there can be no happy ending?


  1. I said it before and I’ll say it again, while I appreciate all the effort KyoAni puts onto the themes, symbolisms and visuals, they should give more attention to the basics.

    For what I know I can understand why the original LN is well regarded.
    And seeing how this adaptation is playing out I strongly disagree with the changes. At the same time that KyoAni changed the narrative to be more conventional it also, like I said, neglects the basics.
    Oscar should be the protagonist of this story, we should see the events by his perspective, but the anime adopts a middle ground that just detracts. If this episode had so little time to tells his story why “waste” time with Violet? Why, instead of showing those over dramatic flashbacks not use their time to make he and Violet spend more meaningful time together? At the end he could just tell that he had a daughter that died and we would understand perfectly well why having Violet there taking care of him would hurt so much. The way they did, cutting any arguing between the two about the story and letting only some key phrases, being spoken over some tone deaf score, it was embarrassing for my decaying ears.

    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.

    When this anime ends if anyone says that it’s masterfully animated I’ll agree, it is. The animators and art directions are really working very hard, no denying it. However I definitively can’t recommend for the script.

    This is developing to be a truly divider of opinions.

    1. I agree with mostly of your posting here

      I begin to have doubts from the release of these Episodes, like in Princess Principal. Seems like they are about to trow the time flow all over board for the sake of their Story. The last seconds should never ever found their way into the last seconds in Episode 05. I can not forgot or push it aside.. It’s now like an Ghost, it is there, but i can not see it

      1. Other thing that annoys me in the way the story is being told here is that it makes more difficult to believe in Violet’s lack of understanding about herself. If this is the first story in the LN, ok, but here, in the seventh episode of the anime seeing Violet being able to empathize and understand the feelings and desires of the characters of a book while still being unable to understand even the most patent feelings she feels… it’s hard to believe.

    2. Forced animation is a meme and will always be. It’s a trash word that gets thrown around for no apparent reason.

      In the first place it doesn’t make sense when you say it’s forced animation. We can only say it’s good animation or bad animation. Just that.

      Now whether it fits to the context of the series/themes or not is a whole different thing but it surely isn’t described to be “Forced Animation”. Like I said before, even though the pain fight in Naruto IMO stuck out like a sore thumb considering the aesthetics of the show and all, you can only meme it to be “Forced Animation”. However you sure as hell can’t say that with a straight face without coming out “unironic”. Not unless you really bought into that stupid meme.

      1. Don’t be mad, I tried to explain what I meant by that.
        Isolated is a very beautiful scene (I have no ideia how KyoAni animates water that way) but on that context, like I said, maybe some information was lost, maybe important information. Violet really walked on water or she only appeared to have walked on water because of the way the scene was animated? If she really walked three steps on leaves this changes everything we know about her.

      2. No matter how you spin it, the word will not make any sense.

        Also this is the moment where they left it up for people’s imagination I guess but personally I find it to be irrelevant. What really matters for the whole context of that scene was at that moment Oscar witnessed something that her daughter hoped she could do. Something which again defeats the purpose of the vague meaning behind “Forced animation”.

        To me it seems that you’re trying to describe something legitimate with a meme word that you also seem to have misused.

        If you’re problem stems from the number of gratuitous with quality animation scenes then that’s a whole entire different thing that lies with your enjoyment of the show. It doesn’t really seem to be the problem of the technical side of this show at this point.

    3. I think you’re using “forced animation” wrong. There’s no such thing as forced animation. The scene itself is beautifully animated and there’s nothing wrong with that. What I think you’re trying to say is that you don’t like how they kept the sequence vague. Like you couldn’t tell if Violet actually stepped on leaves and skipped over water or if she just stepped on some shallow areas. Is this correct?

      In my opinion I think the scene was great and that Kyoani did an amazing job. It’s possible they kept the scene vague on purpose to shift the focus. At least that’s my interpretation.

      Blargh well, I could go on and on but I think that’s enough. It’s just that the whole forced animation meme is just so stupid I had to say something lol.

      1. It’s really stupid, how “forced animation” triggers some people. You just repeated what I had already said, that the way hat scene was animated along with the way Violet frequently looks to others gives us the impression that we shouldn’t understand that scene literally, making us doubt what actually happened there. It Violet really walked on water I have a problem with this, it’s dishonest and don’t help the narrative. Instead of giving us information it’s hiding it.

      1. Yes, my ears are really decaying, that time was no joke.
        Even so or even more I’d like to hear the music not trying to remember me since the first minute how wonderful and tearful every scene is. I believe there’s more nuance about poor little Violet.

    4. Haha, I thought the lake scene was hilarious. The whole point was for Violet to trigger the memory montage and emo moment for Dad. That’s it.

      It says nothing about Violet other than the less-common qualities of her persona can trigger these sorts of moments/visions/revelations/breakthroughs for others (and that Violet is this type of writer’s tool). Violet isn’t less/more than human via some magical/robot ability to walk on water in a way no other character in this world possibly could.

      The emphasis was on Dad’s memories because he completely zoned out and didn’t notice that Violet fell in the water (I was waiting for it and the delivery was better than I expected). What did she mean she made it three steps? We don’t know, we don’t care, it doesn’t mean anything other than “Please enjoy the emotional payoff between Dad’s sentimentality and Violet’s surprising joy at getting caught up in her own experience of lake walking scene”. It seems clear the lake is very shallow where she crossed but she was only creating an illusion for a man who’s career is crafting illusions for stage.

    5. This side composes the people who actually enjoyed the emotional value of the episode

      And over here we have you who is so strung up on trying to figure out if she really did walk on water. You were apparently “blinded” so much that you literally didn’t see her falling into the water (which anyone with brains that aren’t so easily triggered on scene-composition was able to catch). Or missed the part where she says she was able to take 3 skips before sinking. Is it possible to do this, yes; but if you’re fast enough. Was violet fast enough, most likely not. Was it for cinematic effect? Most likely. That’s all there is to it. You certainly are overthinking this too much…

      1. I see the part where she falls on the water, what I’m questioning are the three steps she did before.
        It’s really possible to run, at that speed, and give three steps before sinking? Even the way she did, putting her whole weight on that leaf? I refuse to believe.
        Anyway, rushed execution, didn’t worked for me, good luck next time.

      2. It depends in how fast and her Angel to the water surface was.. If your Body still have acceleration you can “fake” these 3 Steps, until Gravity pull you down. As if you do an giant jump and remain running in the air, but your center of Gravity is pushing you up because of your “Muscles” and then your weight is pulling you down

        i think something similar was done here

      3. This whole argument is ridiculous but ok let’s play.

        Let’s say that we were indeed lacking the visual confirmation. People who at least know by now that Violet is robotic as fuck in terms of her personality. Then maybe if we paid enough attention we would remember she said a couple of times that she does not lie.

        Another thing for the hard to catch Flower Language reference, Violet stands for honesty. Therefore I think it’s safe to say she actually did get 3 whole steps on the water.

        Still noy buying it? It’s a god damn fantasy show. You’re putting yourself through hell if you’re not willing to suspend your disbelief at some point. I think you deserve to get your shit slapped if you’re looking for grounded reality in a show that is set in early 1900s with its main protagonist having mechanical arms. LMAO.

    6. First time I’ll be posting here because this whole thing is hilarious.

      You got told off for misusing the meme so bad and you reject to be corrected. Not to mention you pass that statement as something you are serious about.

      Then you go ahead and hide under the curtain of “I’m just memeing lolz”

      10/10 Form

      Here’s another meme for you.

      You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means.

      -Inigo Montoya

      Also practice your english. Its bleeding out of my monitor.

      1. Eru0, I used that “meme” as a joke at first to lighten the mood, it’s not the first time that I’m complaining about this. What I criticize about the jump scene is just the last example on my list of things that KyoAni chooses to prioritize that I “disapprove”.
        It may be a “fantasy” world, with absurd mechanical arms, but every world still have rules. For everthing we know thus far about this world nothing suggests that the law of gravity doesn’t apply to it. I watched the scene again, Violet landed on a leaf in a very uncanny way, but doesn’t matter anymore.

      2. So what law of nature does it also make it acceptable for a little girl to easily murder grown men twice her size in an era where most humans probably don’t lead a sedentary lifestyle.

        I mean if you’re trying to break the mirror of fantasy/fiction here then go watch a documentary or step outside. Lol.

      3. You may be right there.

        Your english sucks.
        You misuse words pretty bad.
        You miss the whole context and the purpose of the particular scene.

        So yeah, maybe I don’t get you. It’s probably for the best to leave it as such for the sake of my sides and to maintain a healthy respiratory system. Goodluck Comedian!

  2. I don’t see how this series’ going to end on episode 14.
    We still Violet’s backstory to be told, and as far as
    I know there are at least 2 LN volumes’ worth of material
    to adapt. So in 7 additioal episodes they might cover
    what’s left of volume 1. Maybe a 2nd season is in order,
    because I can’t see how things are going to be resolved
    anytime soon for Violet. A major turning point here.

  3. I think this episode actually helps me really appreciate the direction KyoAni went with this adaptation in attempting to fill the gap between Violet the Child Soldier and Violet the Memories Doll. This story was early in the light novel so not only was it an introduction to the world but it was also an introduction to Violet, who’d already made the transition. If we’d started with this as episode 1, it still would’ve been a good story, but in terms of fleshing out Violet’s character the episode had a greater impact after getting to know where she’s coming from than starting right there. I’m curious what else they’ll do with the novel content now that we’re here.

    They did cut one scene with Violet getting walked in on but I’m kinda glad they did. Unnecessary fanservice aside, the scene also played up the mystery of what Violet was (human or something else), which isn’t necessary at this point in the adaptation.

  4. https://randomc.net/image/Violet%20Evergarden/Violet%20Evergarden%20-%2007%20-%20Large%2029.jpg
    This, i cried like a waterfall. Dang man, but my favorite is still Charlotte and Alberta’s moment.

    Though, im a bit disappointed when they changed Violet’s attire from the 1st PV:
    Was really eager to see her in this since it was the very first reason why i was so attracted to Violet in the first place. But oh welp :/

    The end part was a bittttt, rushed i think? Would be glad if they included what happen during Gilbert’s brother encounter in one of her flashbacks. Well, idk man. I just simply cried hard when Oscar getting all Tomoya-ed remembering his daughter ;____;

    onion warrior
  5. https://randomc.net/image/Violet%20Evergarden/Violet%20Evergarden%20-%2007%20-%20Large%2005.jpg
    To Oscar’s credit, he isn’t an insufferable boorish drunk like one Rick *uurp* Sanchez. (That’s what I get for binging Rick and Morty season 3 on the same day before watching this episode on Netflix… That and sudden awesomeness withdrawal plus a desire for season 4 of the cartoon to come sooner, but I digress.)

    Digression aside, with Violet Evergarden being an anime that also revolves around writing for a living, I do relate to Oscar’s occasional writer’s block. It was also amusing to see Violet act as Oscar’s “ghost scriptwriter” and learning how script-writing works.

    “I’m Mary Poppins, y’all!” (Aw man, and I’m reminded of another tear-jerker…)

    Part of me was expecting reality to ensue in that scene (read: see Violet sink as soon as she stepped into the lake), so the fact that Violet managed to skip along for a couple of steps after getting a running start and only sinking after that was just…damn.

    Also, having become an Auto-Memories Doll as part of her quest to learn the meaning of love, seeing Violet learn about empathy–an emotion that’s an important prerequisite to love (and is sadly becoming rare in today’s Internet age)–feels like a huge step forward for her. But as soon as she learns one emotion, she now encounters a certain emotion that she has bottled up for so long–grief, and its various stages.

    First stop, denial. Makes me wonder what will happen when Violet gets to the other stages (anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance) if she confirms for herself that Gilbert passed away.

  6. I find the story to be excellent and very well paced. It’s a fantastic and emotionally gripping.
    I’m glad I didn’t read the LN becaue, looks like those of you that had are not able to enjoy this show as much as I do.

    If the LN is so that much better thet the anime is so poor in comparison I shall look forward to reading it after

      1. @starrs

        I get that your statement is an exaggeration, but it still is a knock at the efforts of animators and directors who adapt stories to the anime medium (not that you can’t criticize something, but its one thing to make a valid criticism and another thing to say that they are intentionally making things worse). Sure, the production committee’s aims may be set to attract people to the source material, merchandise, etc, however, anime is a completely different medium in how it conveys its themes than, say, a light novel.

        In the case of Violet Evergarden, there were many liberties taken to expand the universe of the series, including original stories, its own written script (although it corresponds to the letters in English) and different cultures that appear throughout the series.

        And I also feel that source material readers have their own sense of what the story is meant to be, and there would always be people who say the source is better (and fair enough). But there is always that bias as they were exposed to the source first, and the way that VEG has deviated from the source inevitably would irk source readers who want certain parts to be adapted in certain ways which has already been skewed by the chronology they read it in and how they imagined things to be like, or to get to a specific plot point quicker.

      2. Well, in picture meaning they burn a lot of Budget. Imagine how many hours they need to animate alone the lake scene? They burn an OVA Budget and go with an cheap script?.. Perhaps, or this is their weak point where they need to save money. it was not enough for an good script?…

      3. Just because something is animated well does not mean that they spent a huge amount of money for it. Kyoto Animation is something of an outlier in the industry, and their scheduling and treatment of animators is exceedingly better than a majority of other studios. They train their animators themselves and keep most things in-house. Interestingly, this episode was animated by their subsidiary Osaka studio Animation Do.

        And just because an aspect of the anime does not satisfy you (the script) does not mean it is cheap (I assume in the sense of cost). The person in charge of Series Composition or how the anime is structured in its storytelling is Reiko Yoshida, who has worked on Aria, Bakuman and K-On! among others. She also wrote the script for those series, as well as others like Major, A Silent Voice and Tamako Love Story.

        I personally find the flow of the show interesting enough to keep me coming back, but it is understandable if it does not work for others. The show was hyped up to no end with 2 years of build up after all, with people praising the light novels. People may have been misled about what the show is about and came in expecting something else, which no doubt would affect their satisfaction. That happened with me and A Silent Voice (had a slight manga bias).

  7. I completely relate to Violet in this episode.

    Ever since I was a child, I’ve always struggled with feeling and identifying emotions, sometimes I wondered if I even had them at all. It’s not until I’ve often felt empathy for characters in anime (in Violet’s circumstance, she felt empathy towards Olive from Oscar’s play) that I recognise what emotion I’m feeling. Anime literally saved my life, it reminded me that I’m human, that I can cry and that the voice acting, beautiful soundtrack (or lack there of, the deafening silence when Violet was hit with that “Rest in peace…?” reality made my heart drop into my stomach, jaw-dropping amazing visuals and animation keep me on the edge of my seat.

    Violet’s situation of empathising with Olive, understanding how Oscar felt about losing a person you love, never seeing them again and how that translated to her grief and anger at finding out about the truth about Gilbert. (If Gilbert didn’t die on-screen, I’m siding with Violet, he’s still alive.)

    Violet Evergarden is my AOTY. No other anime has made me feel in this kind of intensity before.

    Also, fuck. This lake scene alone made me want to cosplay Violet.


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