War has ended and peace is now ascending on the land. But there are those that can’t escape war—their lives during it and the horrors that stay with them. Violet was described as a weapon, a being used simply as a machine to assist soldiers and kill. But she must now find a place in a postwar world, not simply because she wants to survive—that’s questionable—but because she wants to fulfill the order of the one for whom she truly cared.
So…here it is, the series that will save anime! And it was…quite beautiful. I’m a sucker for steampunk, and Violet Evergarden has shades of that, as well as of an early 20th-century setting (the war looks and feels much like WWI, at least in flashbacks). The aesthetics are gorgeous—the tones, the music, the character design, all just about perfect. But my skepticism outweighs my excitement at this point. The relationship at the heart of this episode felt equal parts forced and authentic, which makes me question the writing and direction moving forward. I’m also worried that the series will be plain boring—is there enough here to keep my interest for a whole season? Will this be more slice of life or is there a strong action element to it? Will I grow to like these characters? I guess I’ll find out as the season progresses.
Or maybe I won’t. The elephant in the room is that there’s not legal streaming channel for Violet Evergarden in the U.S. (there are in other countries), at least not until the spring when Netflix will post the series in its entirety. That provides a conundrum for me, because while I’m okay with sampling the first episodes of series outside of proper distribution channels, it’s been several years now since I’ve gone “fully legal,” putting my money where my mouth is and paying for all the anime I consume. And while I’m not happy with Netflix’s decision to wait on streaming (a reason why I never watched Fate/Apocrypha either, having fallen a season behind), I can’t justify watching the series extra-legally with any moral reasoning—it would feel like what I did in high school when I would bring the same soft drink cup to a pizza joint every day and fill up, reasoning that they overcharged me for drinks anyway so I’m just striking back. So if you see me blogging the series this season, you’ll know it’s with a tinge of guilt, and if I don’t, it’s because I stayed true—that, or Violet Evergarden didn’t turn out to be the series that saved anime after all.
Violet Evergarden will be available to stream on Netflix, but not until spring of 2018.