To be emotional is not wrong, but what if you’re emotionless and the concept of emotion is something alien to you? Well, this anime is all about that.
Violet Evergarden is an anime focusing on the life of the main character’s development from a machine-like person into a normal human being. Unlike any other anime, this one tells the untold stories of other people’s lives that affected the main character’s traits as a person. From there, she began to understand what emotion is and the importance of crying. In a nutshell, this anime is a montage of people crying.
The story goes as follows:
Loosely based on reality, Violet Evergarden is set in a post-world war where the war has recently ended. We meet our main character, Violet Evergarden; a former soldier forged only to live and die in war. Considering her background, having an emotion will only be a burden to her, so she has abandoned it long ago. When the war has ended, however, she is lost. She has no family or a loved one to go back to. She is left there alone not knowing what to do. She is then offered a job by her former lieutenant in his post office. She takes the offer and becomes a post writer called Doll: a job where you listen to others, interpret their words, and rewrite it in a letter form.
She has had both her arms replaced by prosthetic limbs due to war wounds, yet it doesn’t hold her back from doing her job as a post writer. She is excellent at typing but poor at interpreting people’s minds. Since the concept of emotion is alien to her, she is struggling to do her job properly. She mistakes shyness for arrogance, love for anger, and makes many other misinterpretations. As the story progresses, however, we can see that the more she does her job, the more she understands emotions, and that’s when the real story begins.
One interesting thing about this anime is that our main character acts as a spectator. Usually, a main character experiences a course of actions by themselves, but here she merely experiences it from other people’s perspectives. This anime tries to say that what affects us as a person does not always come from ourselves but also from the outside, or in this case, other people’s stories. Because it is set in post-world war, most of the stories is gloomy and sorrowful. They affect Violet the most. The more she hears about them, the more she realizes and understands the beauty of one’s emotion.
As mentioned previously, Violet Evergarden insinuates the act of crying as a normal behavior. Crying is an outlet to express our overwhelming emotions, either sadness or happiness. It is also shown in the anime that even when you are happy, a tear can still fall down your cheek. There is a lot of scenes where people just start crying—it was almost in every episode. Again, a reminder that crying is normal and you shouldn’t stop yourself from it because repressed feelings will only hurt you more on the inside.
Another interesting thing from Violet Evergarden is her character development. She began as an emotionless soldier who was only good at fighting to this emotional person who can interpret words into a very sentimental message. It shows that no matter what the backgrounds are—or anything of that concern—humans can always change. Violet used to be emotionless but now emotions are what define her as a person. She was a soldier who was only good at killing the enemy, but now she is “killing it” in the department of postal writing.
I simply cannot express all my feelings in one piece of writing, and to understand it better, you need to watch this anime yourself. The story is unique and engrossing. The character development is slow burn yet very rewarding, and again, the story shows that it is okay to shed little tears sometimes. Yes, there are some unnecessary episodes in the mix but there’s no such thing as a ‘perfect’ series and a flaw in writing is nothing but normal. Considering it as a remarkable and unforgettable anime, personally I’ll rate Violet Evergarden 8/10.