Love is always
Like looking through clear water
Go to accept it
And it leaves
Just like you
Love is always
In a sunshine-filled place
Even if I can’t see you
Can’t touch you
It’s like you’re by my side
-“Letter” (Violet Evergarden Special end song) by TRUE
Anime has become harder to watch for me. I believe because I’ve watched almost 200 series/movies/OVAs, even some of the best shows of the season don’t move me like before. I’ve seen the same story played out, similar dialogue, and other aspects of new shows copied from older ones.
Violet Evergarden though, helped capture the essence of why I love anime even after 20 years of watching. From the date of this post, the last episode that was released on Netflix is considered a special, but it seemed to me like an episode that fits into the season. It impacted me emotionally though, and I only realized what was happening by the time the episode ended. God certainly showed me His presence after experiencing this one.
Writing a love letter isn’t easy—to get the right words without sounding corny and being honest is hard, especially if you’re not poetic. Violet finds this out herself, as she’s tasked to write one for Irma, her new client. Violet tries, but Irma isn’t satisfied with her work, saying it doesn’t have enough emotion to it and that Violet doesn’t understand what she wants. The letter is actually for a play, which Irma is going to perform, reading the letter as a song.
Violet isn’t sure how to revise the note, so another character, Ardu, tells Violet to speak to Irma about the letter to get more information. She does, and Irma admits to Violet that she wants to write this letter for Ardu’s son, Fugo. He was her boyfriend and since he hasn’t returned yet from the war, both Iram and Ardu accept that he did not survive. Even with those details, Violet is troubled and can’t write the letter until a postman sees her and offers help. He takes her to an old war post office that is full of unsent letters, either because the sender or receiver is no longer living. As Violet begins to read them, she sees they are full of love that the writer expressed to the receiver. She begins to understand the emotions that she missed when she first wrote the love letter.
Inspired, she writes it again and Irma is pleased with the results. The letter is sung during the play that Irma performs in, and the audience gives a teary-eyed standing ovation.
I, too, was touched deeply by the song, remembering family members that are no longer on this Earth and how sad it must feel to lose a loved one like Irma did. But instead of dwelling long on those thoughts, which can be unhealthy, my mind turns to more positive things, to God’s thoughts.
8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
The last lines where Irma sing, “Even if I can’t see you, Can’t touch you, It’s like you’re by my side” related to me because that’s how I feel sometimes about God. Life goes by every day—even now as I write this—and everything seems mundane at times. We do the same routines, with small variations, but not much else is different. The occasional special event, conversation, purchase, movie, anime, whatever it is that adds some spice to our lives happens, but not all the time. That’s why I try to keep my eyes focused on Heaven because if not, I begin to forget how important He is to me and how much greater He is than any issues I’m going through.
Meditating on God and His word is an exercise that over the years has connected me more to Him, and I dare say it’s not a chore but a delight! Basically, I like to be in an isolated place (bathroom, walking by myself, shower, etc) and think about His goodness, everything that He has blessed me with: my life, health, possessions, job, peace, and much more.
I felt God’s presence when I heard that song at the end because it reminded me how near He is to us, yet sometimes far away. When a loved one travels and you can’t reach them, it is truly a painful feeling. For me, it literally feels like a pain; I almost lose my breath when I think about it. When you lose someone that you know will not return, it’s devastating. It hurts.
Irma reminded me that when tragedy happens, like her losing her boyfriend to war, that Christ is still near. It may feel like we lost a part of ourselves, and while that is true, God still comforts us through it. The reality doesn’t go away, but we have a Father in Heaven who knows what we are going through and never leaves us.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
Watch Irma’s song below. Get the tissues ready.