The problem with Violet Evergarden

Violet Evergarden was set to be the show of the season before the first episode even aired, but most things that are hyped to ridiculous expectations fall short and this, unfortunately, was no exception, however I couldn’t quite figure out what was souring the show for me.

The general consensus on Twitter is that the show was more boring than they expected it to be but I think the tone for the series was set from the first episode and it was obvious that the progression was going to be slow.

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However, after watching this week’s episode I realised that my problem doesn’t lie with the narrative or the animation or design; it instead lies with the characters and, more specifically, my feelings for them. I cannot fault the character designs one bit, they are truly beautiful and each character’s image matches their personality perfectly. For example: the title character, Violet Evergarden is the very image of a pristine doll, she is fair, delicate and soft spoken apart from her mechanical hand but this matches her robotic way of speaking and her almost inhuman stance towards feelings and emotions especially those that she doesn’t quite understand yet.

The problem is that in no way am I able to feel anything towards her character at the moment. And it’s not just Violet I am struggling with, but all the characters we have been introduced to so far. In the most recent episode I couldn’t find an ounce of care or a shred of sympathy to spare for the situation the princess that Violet was working for was facing. The romantic story of hers was styled to be heartwarming but I couldn’t connect to it at all and therefore my interest was limited. Everything about the story seemed too brief and the details were not explored so the character and the relationship seemed shallow and when contrasted to previous work by KyoAni it seems pretty sub par.

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I can’t imagine the princess will appear again though as she doesn’t seem to be very relevant to the main storyline, this may explain why her part was not explored deeper but regardless on the characters being important to the story or not, I really would like to see some more care into connecting the them to the audience, especially Violet as we are following her story. If it doesn’t improve soon I can’t imagine giving the show more than a 7/10 score which will be unfortunate to say the least.

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